Oct 30, 2012

Etsy ~ Citron Faire

Some of my favorite product photos! (I say it all the time, but I really love styling small products!)  I'm thinking about updating my little Etsy shop on Friday.... it seems like a good day and the excitement from the week should be winding itself down. ;)  I'm also thinking about creating a new section in the shop for just vintage finds.... We'll see if I can fit in another round of photos this week! 

Ok, so I have my checklist for the evening - carving some pumpkins, making a chicken & broccoli casserole, and working a little more on Sweet November ~ it's almost here!

Thanks for stopping in today! ~ Tara

Oct 29, 2012

Pumpkin Fest

This past weekend I decided that we needed to go on an adventure up North to Prescott for the annual Pumpkin Festival. We packed a big picnic lunch, grabbed some Halloween costumes and headed out for a day of games, jumpy houses and an afternoon at Prescott's historic Courthouse town square. I love Prescott, it feels like Fall and the best part is that it's a less than 2 hour roadtrip to get there! The kids had a great time,   they even got to do their first cake walk - which Alaina won! She told me about 5 minutes later that her legs were still shaky because she was so excited when they called her name. :)  

We're getting all ready for the big night, I still have a few things left on the checklist to complete and a couple of classroom parties to attend before Wednesday and then it's onto Sweet November! Here's to a hopefully very full and productive week!

Oct 22, 2012

Sweet November, part 2

We're bringing it back this year! Jessica and I loved hosting our week long Sweet November blog hop 2 years ago, so much so, that we've been working away on another edition! Starting next Thursday join us for over a week of Autumn inspired projects, crafty tutorials, recipes, fun ideas, photos and a couple of giveaways! I'm also going to be adding some Autumn themed embellishments to my little Etsy shop - I'll do a preview here on my blog closer to the 1st. 

Hope to see you all for what's sure to be a very sweet start to November! 

Oct 14, 2012

Autumn Colors

Another month, another color challenge. It felt like Fall here for a few days, rain and 70 degree weather. For us in the desert, that is wool coat, scarves and boots weather. We're wimps. But it put me in such a great mood for pumpkin flavored everything and a color combination that was reminiscent of a rustic Fall afternoon! Details of the challenge are posted on the Crate blog if you all want to check them out. 

the colors are: dove grey, peacock blue and gingerbread brown

I only intended to create 2 layouts but the above layout was such a simplistic idea that it begged to be made for this challenge. My Fall to-do list (below) is taped onto a paper bag so I can add photos from our adventures when I get around to taking them!

I love this page. Chase has a speech delay and really has only started speaking with in the past 9 months. He started off  "talking" as a typical 1 year old will start to do, but as he grew older he also grew quieter until he reached 2 and had lost all verbal communication. After months of trying to locate the correct people to help with his development I was finally put in contact with the right speech therapists and we had Chase tested for possible eye sight and hearing issues. After we had ruled out an array of possible answers to the questions of why he had just stopped talking, it was left up to us, him and an in home speech therapists to get him on the right track. We started speech therapy once a week and on a good week he might be able to mimic a single letter sound. After a disappointing 4 or 5 months of practicing every day and flashcards almost every hour, it was mentioned that sign language would help him more than anything else, and this way he would have some way of communicating. So, Chase and I learned sign language and that was how we talked to eachother. 

When he turned 3, he was tested again for eye and ear issues and still nothing, although by 3 he was able to say 2 words: momma and no - even though I was still the only one who could understand him. He started preschool at a developmental preschool for children who have special needs last September. His first IEP was so simple and basic, we just wanted him to be able to pronounce 4 consonants and 3 vowels sounds. By the end of the year his IEP goal was to have at least 4 working phrases. I found a video on my phone a couple days ago that I had taken of Chase last December on Christmas morning, he still had no speech capability and was signing to me about our dog barking. 

At 4 now, Chase putting together words to form sentences that actually make sense, even if they're not so nice(thanks in part to the older boys in the neighborhood that he idolizes), is incredible. He's basically learned how to speak within just the past 9 months and he still signs to me but only when he's really upset with someone or I've had to ask him - can you tell me what you said again? Speech is one of those things that you just take for granted because we don't have to think about it, we assume that development goes in order; first they crawl, then start pulling up, and then walking happens just like a baby babbling, then mimicking and then talking. It's been a great experience though and a humbling reminder to slow down and really being proud of all the little things he's able to do, like being able to pronounce the "d" sound - which he mastered about 2 weeks ago! 

This picture is what his speech therapist does to his mouth when he's trying to pronounce the "o" sound. :) He loves showing me what he's learned each day at school.

I also created a few art pieces for my piano. I have this small collection of chipmunks from my Grandma that I'll display along with these for Fall. 

I'm working on a fun little project with my crafty twin Jessica this week, with some luck, I'll be back to post about it this week! Thanks for stopping by! 

Oct 11, 2012

Halloween Treat Bags- 2

Since there's still a couple of weeks until Halloween, there's still some time to think about creating some handmade treat bags for your little trick or treaters! This year I was determined to make mine from materials that I already had on hand. No more buying stuff! So, that meant some rummaging through my craft room and closet, and a trip to the bookshelf. What I decided on was a can't-get-any-simpler design that used only 2 materials and one technique! 

Trick-or-Treat bags

Materials needed:

book pages from an older(ish) book 
black scrapbook paper 
sewing machine
*party favors or candy

a quick how to: 

- carefully remove pages from the text book. The advantage to using a vintage book is that the binding and glue will also be equally as old and the pages tend to slip out easily, plus I love the yellowing of the pages-it lends that old eerie feel to the treat bags.

- create the bat wings by first making a stencil of the size you would like the wings to be. Then trace your stencil onto the black scrapbook paper and cut out wings. 

- decide on how large you would like each bag to be. To make the large bags, I used 2 sheet of book paper and sewed them together to form a pocket/bag. To make a small bag, I simply folded one sheet of paper in half and sewed the outside edges together to form the bag. *Don't forget to sew the wings into place! 

Now you get to decide what treats to fill the bags with! 

I had alot of party favors left over from Halloween's past. So, the kids and I sorted through our stash and made 2 groups, 1 group of favors for the large bags and 1 group for the small bags. 

The larger bags were filled with tattoos, paper airplanes, pencils, game books, erasers, random plastic Halloween toys, rings and paper bat confetti. 

The smaller treat bags were filled with bracelets, rings, stickers, and little packages of candy corn - that was Chase's contribution, apparently candy corn is a must have for the 4 year old crowd. I should probably also mention that the candy corn is not left over from past Halloween's, but rather an impulse purchase by said 4 yr. old at the grocery store this week. 

Once you've filled each bag fold the tops over and staple close.  I have to admit that I really do enjoy seeing them all neatly lined up in my urn and I know I'll miss seeing them sitting out on the table come November 1st, but it's a double win for being able to use up the Halloween favor stash and for repurposing an old book!

Well, that really is all there is to it - I told you id would be super simple! You're only a couple of steps away from creating a whole bunch of these cute handmade treat bags for Halloween this year! 

Happy crafting this weekend! 

Oct 6, 2012

a pretty, I mean spooky, Halloween

Halloween has officially arrived at our home! I worked on and off for about a week to get the front yard decorated. I'm guessing it took me so long because this is the first holiday in the new house and it took some extra time to arrange and rearrange everything.... and this yard is much smaller than our previous home so getting everything to look just right has been a rather daunting task. 

In keeping with tradition, we chose a theme for costumes and decor and then last week we (as in Alaina) changed our minds about doing an Alice in Wonderland theme and have decided we will all dress as vampires this year. (She's really been into the Monster High stuff.) That also meant that all of the decor ideas I had to match the Alice theme, no longer applied. No Cheshire cat in the tree, no colorful flowers lining the walkway, no heart and playing card garland and no pink flamingos. I'll have to save those ideas for maybe next year. Instead, we're going with a little more dramatic decor in keeping with the whole vampire theme. I've brought out some really inexpensive silver platters, silver vases, used lots of gold and silver glitter to make things look less spooky and more glam and those pink plastic flamingos well I found a new use for them!

A little black spray paint, a very steady hand and some sparkly glitter turned those tacky pink flamingos into some very leggy undead birds! I painted 2 of them and let them hang out in one of the graveyards, I think they're a nice touch even if people don't recognize them right away. :) 

Well, I had resolved not to do any more decorating today but I just thought of a fun Halloween craft for the kids so we're off to pick up some paint and extra paint brushes at the store. I'm thinking some big Halloween flowers to decorate the rest of the bushes might be a good way to spend a Saturday evening!