Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Homemade Pumpkin Crayons

Did you know you can order custom boxes of crayons directly from Crayola?

Neither did I, until I was searching for lots of orange crayons on Ebay.  I decided to go direct to the source and whadda-ya-know, custom boxes of 64 crayons are available.  Only drawback is you can only choose four colors per box, which was totally fine by me for this project.

I've wanted to try this for a long time and since my girl's class doesn't allow edible treats on Halloween I thought this would be fun and something different for her to "treat" her class to.

We had a little play date with one of Sutton's classmates.  Her mom is also a blogger, small world right?!  You can find Danielle's blog, Domestic Dish, here.  I have a hard time with impromptu play dates these days, but this worked out perfectly.  I was able to orchestrate my week (aka Sutton's homework schedule) around this play date in advance.  Plus Danielle was able to pick up Sutton from school that day and brought her right to my house.

I provided the place and the craft supplies and Danielle provided the snack.  Look how cute!  She made the snack tray like a graveyard, tortillas were cut like tombstones and pumpkins.

We nibbled our snacks on festive plates and napkins and

Danielle and I sipped these mommy drinks.  Have you seen these?  They are so darn cute!  They should offer the cans in a variety of colors to coordinate with different party themes.

After the crayons were peeled, the girls broke them into pieces and put them in the silicone molds.

The second time around I put the silicone mold on a cookie sheet.  The last thing I wanted to do is get burned or spill hot wax all over the place because the silicone mold is floppy.  The cookie sheet keeps things stable.  We put the cookie sheet in a 250 degree oven and melted the crayons for about 15 minutes.

Then we let the crayons cool and when they were solid again, popped them out of the mold.  At this point I packaged up some crayons for Danielle and her girl.  They headed home and I kept on cooking...for a few days!

I needed 99 crayons.  I wanted to give each child 3 different crayons and there's 33 kids in the class.

I couldn't forget about the packaging.  That's my favorite part.  It doesn't matter if it's for a five year old or an adult, I love packaging!  Since the crayons are for classmates, I thought it would be fun to include these library cards.  I've been waiting for the perfect time to use these.  You can buy these at teacher's supply stores in packs of 50 for cheap.

I stamped each library card with a Happy Halloween stamp using embossing ink and powder.  I folded the crayons up nicely in natural colored wax paper bags.  To finish them off I taped the library card with polka dot washi tape.


Stamps and Washi Tape- Paper Source
Crayons- Crayola
Wax Paper Bags- Etsy
Library Cards- Lakeshore Learning
Similar Silicone Mold- Joann

Hopefully I'll be back sooner than later in this space.  Seems like I might be back in my groove, as far as blogging goes anyway :)


Monday, October 22, 2012

Apple Hill

This past weekend we took a very quick trip up North to my hometown in the foothills of Northern California, just to go to Apple Hill and to visit my parents.  There is nothing in Southern California quite like Apple Hill.  There are vineyards bordered with apple orchards bordered with pine trees.  There are about 50 different stops you can make along an "Apple Trail" and you will find everything apple, from apple cider shakes and apple beer to apple donuts and endless varieties of apple pies and apple butters.

Apple Hill is the best of fall in one place.

Sometimes you just park your car right in the orchard.

There are many activities for the kids, fishing in ponds, face painting, pony rides.

Around every bend in the road are quaint, family owned ranches.

There are pumpkin patches sprinkled along the Apple Trail as well.

Some of the Apple Orchards are You-Pick orchards and at others they do all the work for you and you can buy apples out of bins.

We always stop at the Jack Russell Brewery.  Ever heard of a Meadery?

Mead  is a type of honey wine.  The Jack Russell Brewery makes their own Blackberry Mead made with local honey.  I tried it, but it was too sweet for my taste.  I'll stick to the hard cider next time.


Yesterday my girl got to feed my parent's pet deer from their deck.  My parent's can almost hand feed a couple of these deer.  They have two different families of deer that hang around their property.

It was hard to leave this last night.  It was hard to leave the space, the trees, the slower pace, and it's hard to take the special time my girl gets to spend with my parents away.  I'm making some changes in my life right now, changes to really slow down.  I'm limiting the commitments I take on and minimizing my exposure to social media.  I think I've probably said that before, but this time I mean it!  Nothing like a trip to my hometown to ground me and bring me back to Earth.  Happy Monday!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Kid Friendly Katy Perry Costume

Hello, hello!  Are you loving fall so far?  Are you ready for Halloween?  Halloween seems to be a month long celebration around here and we kicked off this weekend with a children's Halloween party on Saturday.  I get a little nervous letting my girl wear her costumes to these parties because I try to make them and I worry that they will get ruined before the actual day arrives.  Some years she's had multiple costumes.  These are one time wear costumes, not well made, and will not survive a spin in the washing machine.  My time is more limited than ever and I didn't even start to make the costume until Friday night.  Between being sick last week, my husband out of town, blah, blah, blah, let's just say it was a rough week and the last thing I wanted to do was make this costume on Friday night.  I asked my girl if she would wear an elephant costume that we have as part of her dress-up clothes and it bummed her out big time, so I RSVP'd yes to the shin-dig, took some Mucinex, and put the sewing machine pedal to the metal.

She wanted to be Katy Perry, but I wanted more modesty than most of the Katy Perry costumes offer.  At first I had grand plans to make an entire dress, but I was too pooped.  I modified my original plan and made this apron.  I took inspiration from this costume.  She wore the apron on top of a white button-down tuxedo shirt and a red and white plaid skirt that she already had.  It worked out great and it was easily removable when it came time to get down and dirty and play.  Removable = not ruined.  Saturday morning my husband took her to get a candy cane mani and pedi.  You should hear how that went down.  I don't think my husband had ever been in a nail salon.

For the bodice of the apron I started with the ice cream cone on the right shoulder, made out of felt that I wove together and stuffed with batting.  Then I added the cupcake and candy canes, a lollypop, then a couple hard candies, and the name "Katy" to finish it off.  For the skirt of the apron I sewed together strips of random, brightly colored fabric. I didn't even hem the bottom of the skirt.  I had almost everything on hand for this costume.  The only items I had to buy was the wig for $5 at Wal-Mart, the headband from Macy's (It was on a Christmas tree and I thought it was an ornament that I would have to glue to a headband, but when I pulled it off the tree it was a headband disguised as an ornament!  Just what I needed!).  I also bought her the blue bracelet from Target and her costume wouldn't be complete without a pretend microphone.  She LOVED this costume.  Anything that involves nail painting and makeup is up her alley.

Once we got her costume situated we headed to the party.  There were three different activities for the kids to do, including pick and paint pumpkins and decorate your own cupcake.

I haven't been to a neighborhood function in a LONG time and it's like a whole new neighborhood, so many new faces!

The lady that coordinated the party arranged to have a reptile guy come to entertain the children.  He brought a tortoise...

a tarantula, snakes, a bull frog, and a bunch of other gross reptiles that the kids were fascinated by.  Apparently tarantulas shed and the one he brought had just shed the morning of the party.  What is in his hand is just a shell of a tarantula.  Entertaining and informative.

Hope you all are enjoying fall this far!  We have a big plans this week.  My daughter is going on her first field trip to a pumpkin patch that involves riding on a bus and we're going to wrap up our week getting real fall weather in Nor Cal, where we'll be apple picking, pumpkin patching, and maybe a little wine tasting:)  Have a happy week!