Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Merry Mittens

Don't you hate how bare your house looks after you take down your Christmas decorations? That's what I had in mind when I came up with this craft - festive mittens that can stay up all winter long. It's super easy to do, and all my kids enjoyed putting it together. Yes, even the teen had a blast decorating her mitten.

What you need:

  • felt in different colours
  • glue
  • pen or marker
  • mini clothes pins (can be found at craft store)
  • scissors
  • decorations for your mittens (sequins, felt or paper scraps, glitter, etc.)
  • string

You can use the template below to trace a mitten shape onto the felt. It can be pasted into Word and re-sized. Mine was about 1/4 of the page. 

Once you have traced and cut your mitten, it should look something like this:

Next, decorate your mitten any way you like. I used a snowflake pattern for mine. The kids used sequins, glitter glue, felt scraps and fabric markers. You can also buy adhesive felt shapes at the craft store which are great for this kind of project. 

When your mittens are decorated, pin them onto the string with the mini clothes pins. I used a hemp string because I like the natural look, but you can use yarn, or ribbon or whatever you want. And that's it. Add as many mittens as you like to make the garland as long as you want and hang it up indoors over a door or window - somewhere it can be seen and admired.

While I was getting the things ready for this craft, I thought of some other ideas for felt mittens:
  • Make smaller mittens and glue a magnet to the back. Display on fridge or magnetic board.
  • Make two matching mittens and attach to the ends of a string. Display over doorknobs or coat hooks.
  • Attach a string and use as a Christmas tree decoration.
  • Sew two mittens together and stuff with potpourri. Attach a string and hang.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Goodbye, Dear Friend

I know I said I would post on a regular basis, and I have a lot I want to post about, but a sad event has taken the wind out of my sails. Two weeks ago we lost our good buddy, Bo, a beautiful little mongrel who loved nothing better than to play outside with the kids on cool evenings, then curl up with them for story time before bed. He was quiet and gentle, and we all miss him dearly.

We miss the soggy teddy bears left in the hallway, the dog biscuit crumbs on the couch, and the happy waggy tail that met us whenever we came home.

The kids are taking his loss especially hard. Why did he have to go? And they wondered, like little ones do, what will happen to Bo now that he is gone.

I explained the best I could that Bo was sick, and that his body was tired and it was time for him to leave. It's okay to be sad, but we should remember Bo and talk about all the fun we had with him. This lead to a discussion about all the things that Bo loved, and what he would do in dog heaven.

A friend introduced me to a wonderful book - Dog Heaven by Cynthia Rylant. In the past week, the kids have read it again and again.

"When dogs go to Heaven, they don't need wings, because God knows that dogs love running best."

Thus starts this colourful book about all the things dogs can do in Dog Heaven. There are biscuits as far as the eye can see, geese to tease, and soft clouds to curl up on. Every dog has a home, and they can stay as long as they want. They will greet old friends when they arrive.

I hope so, I really do.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Shower? More like Deluge

Ever get yourself into a situation that seems harmless at first, then spirals out of control? Yeah, I had one of those this week. But hey, it gave me something to blog about. How's that for ripping the silver lining right out of that cloud.

My situation started about six weeks ago. I found out some very good friends of ours are expecting. The Mommy-to-be's mother called me and asked if I would help host a baby shower. Sure, I'd love to help. Another friend, we'll call her Josie, would also be helping. She would get in contact with me to let me know the date.

Fast forward a couple of weeks. They'd picked the date, it would be October 29th. Could I find a venue and book it? Sure, I said, and even though it was Halloween weekend, and a lot of places were booked for parties, I managed to find a good place - close to Mommy-to-be's house, and near a grocery store in case we needed extra supplies.

Soon I got an email from Josie outlining all the things Mommy-to-be did not want at her shower. This included games she thought were tacky, food she didn't like, and decorations she didn't want. I replied and said no problem, but did either of them have any suggestions as to what we should have? No, whatever I went with would be fine.

At this point, the gentle whirlpool into which I had been sucked was starting to pull me in deeper. I could see it coming, but I couldn't get out. Swim, little Momster, swim!

Long story short, over the next week I put together party games and got the props ready, and I contacted Josie on several occasions so that we could go shopping for decorations and food. She couldn't make it on any of those days. I ended up going on my own. I knew that Mommy-to-be was planning a Sesame Street theme for the baby's room, so I ordered some cupcakes at the bakery near the venue that were decorated like Sesame Street characters. I asked Josie to pick them up on her way to the shower.

Finally the day arrived and Mommy-to-be's mother and I showed up early to decorate. We had everything ready to go when the guests arrived. Josie showed up 30 minutes late - with no cupcakes. She forgot. I ran next door and got the cupcakes, as well as some extra cheese and crackers that Mommy-to-be thought we might need. Everything else went perfectly. All that printing, cutting, shopping, cooking and decorating came together nicely.

At the end of the night, Mommy-to-be got up to make a little speech. She said how happy they were to share this joyous occasion with friends, thanked everyone for the gifts, and thanked her good friend Josie for all the work she did on the shower.

You've got to be *M#F@! kidding me!

So this is my question: How inappropriate would it be for me to send Josie a bill for half the shower expenses? Cast your vote in the poll on the left and help me resolve this situation in a way that is either socially graceful or will ensure that I will never be asked to do this again.