Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A New Fun Calendar

You all know how much I love camping and campfires....and it all started by accident ever since I made my grandson's each their own felt campfire to play with. It seemed safer than the actual one they constantly wanted to play around.
Well I just recieved my email with July's paper calendar from Curiosity Group.
I think this will look great on my desk here at work. I am printing several to take and hand out to a few friends who also love camping.Click here to be able download and print July's calendar. Check out the other items they have one of which is Kung Fu Panda from this summer's fun movie.
 Check these out and have fun....I'm on my way to build my little camp site calendar to brighten up my desk!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Preparing for the 4th of July

       July 4th is just around the corner and I've been searching for ideas. We usually just have a simple back yard evening of swimming, grilling out and then of course the must have.....fireworks.... for the kiddos.....the big and the small kiddo's of course.
While I was blog hopping today I discovered a few fun tips and printables I wanted to share. Custom Printables has a great freebie. A popcorn/candy box designed special for The 4th of July. I plan to print this one to use for popcorn.
I was thinking about adding some tiny chocolate chips to the warm popcorn. I think that would be delicious with the salty popcorn, don't you? Actually I watched a lady at the movie theater in the row in front of us do something similar. She dumped a whole box of snow-caps into her bucket of popcorn and it looked artery clogging,heart stopping delish!!
For another fun printable you should stop by Don't Eat The Past for a red,white and blue printable gift box. I think this would be perfect for party favors at any summer party. Hummmm, maybe even some chocolate covered popcorn inside.
I'm not really sure this next printable screams the 4th of July, but I just had to share it because it is American. Toy-A-Day is a place I visit often for paper toys. I saw this one today and thought why not add him to my table for the 4th. I will have to go back and see if they have a Statue of Liberty paper toy.
Isn't he a hoot!!
Of course where better to find party ideas than my favorite place.... Martha Stewart. She has zillions and zillions of party planning ideas, as well as printables. I could spend hours there.....well actually I have!

What I love about printable's is they are easily available for virtually nothing. Then once the party is over and you are cleaning up, simply toss them out. A lot of decor bang for the buck I guess you could say. 
Family Fun has several easy ideas for patriotic decor. Here is one I plan to use, a fold and snip star.

Better Homes and Gardens was an accident actually. I never would have thought to go to this web site  for party decor,but they really do have lots of wonderful ideas. I'm all about cheap,easy and simply and this one is all three. This would be perfect for my front porch railing.
Wouldn't the fold and snip star work for this?
As you know I am a nut about paper lanterns so this one is easy peasy for me! I think I still have several bags in the back end of my car....just waiting for me to sneak them in while my husband is busy....Moohahaha!
We also may spend a day or two at the camp and they always have a golf cart decorating contest. So I need to come up with some ideas for this year.....Let's see......I do have plenty of glow sticks,crepe paper and Chinese lanterns....oh and I think I noticed a Liberty Crown and Torch to craft on Family Fun that I would look great in. 

I don't think the boys would be too embarrassed, do you hahaha ! =)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Random Thoughts, My Dad and A Polka Dot Sky

As I sit here trying to narrow down my thoughts, which is no easy task for me I am munching on my favorite candy. Yesterday I made a trip to one of our local Dollar Tree stores and bought myself a box of Boston Baked Beans.Oh my goodness I love them.
They remind me of being a kid and going to the Drive-In with my BFF and my Dad. Whenever a new movie like Where The Boys Are with Connie Francis or Beach Blanket Bingo with Annette Funicello would be playing he would agree to take us.
I think he mostly went for the great ice cream cups with the wooden spoons,and the enormous pork tenderloin sandwiches.Jackie and I would sit scrunched down in the back seat,sometimes outside in a lawn chair and squeal and laugh through the whole movie. I still wonder how he put up with our silliness. But back then it was a simple time,an innocent time I believe for kids. A wonderful time when people neighbored. You actually knew family on your street,and we all watched out for each other. That innocence and respect I fear is completely gone in our world now.

I bet before I finish this post I will have finished this box of candy! Gez, once again I've completely forgotten I was dieting....well I'll just start again tomorrow!
Now my mind is wandering to movies. I'm a movie nut and I have a family of movie nuts.We aren't really picky the only rule we have is it must be entertaining. I however have another rule,and that is it must not be extremely violent or gory. My Mom use to say I was more "G" rated than the kids and I think that's true.
This is why I so enjoy hosting outdoor movie nights.The kids love setting up their chairs and blankets and flash lights.And of course glow sticks we all wear glow necklaces and bracelets. You have to have a good supply of popcorn,root beer, and boxed candy of course. All important elements of a successful movie evening.
Now back to movies.The next movies on my to see list this summer are Super 8 and Green Lantern. They look like real summer fun. I love a good ole action, adventure, comedy!!
I also enjoy a somewhat scary movie!
I may just have to see Pirates #4 again....cause you can never really get enough of Johnny Depp! We all have become pirate crazed right now. With two small grandson's at the perfect age for pirate adventure it has become a constant passion around here. Pirate shirts,pirate games,pirate dress up,pirate talk.....well you get the idea!
Yep,this is a pretty good summer for movies. So many to choose from....and we still have the last Harry Potter movie coming...which the thought of it being the last one makes me want to cry. I have shared this series of books and movies with my oldest grandson,and now my niece for so many years,it's like the end of and era.

Now back to the Dollar Tree. I was just tickled to death to find such a large assortment of fun stuff for this weekend's Father's Day,plus some items for the 4th of July. We also found some great items for the deck and pool.

I try to keep a large selection of glow sticks for summer

Pool noodles a real necessity

Aren't these just fun!!

Fun colorful Luau glasses

Now you have to admit... these are just too cute!
When things are only $1.00 you can afford to go a little crazy and I guess I went a lot crazy.
They had so many Chinese paper lanterns the kind with tiny battery operated lights inside, in so many fun colors. I had to stock up. I love to hang them from the bottom of the deck over the patio below. They are also great to sit on tables,and hang in our trees out back.....such a an inexpensive way to add so much ambiance.Wrapping paper,gift bags,and paper products are always a great deal at the Dollar Tree.

So after I returned home with my discount dollar and candy fix,we had to enjoy a relaxing moment on the deck. As we sat quietly watching deer walk out from the creek and chuckled at the hummingbirds defending their feeders we looked up at the changing sky and saw it was covered in white polka dots. Completely covered in large puffy white dots. Like a dotted swiss bedspread I was owned.
These photo's do not do this justice. It was so pretty!

It was beautiful and made us sit there in reflection on the wonders of God and our thankfulness on this weekends Father's Day. I decided at that moment to pick up the phone and call my Dad,to discuss our our up coming visit. You see my Dad has cancer,and was given 12 months to live,that was 39 months ago. 
Happy Father's Day to all the Dad's out there who also do for their kids like my Dad has done for all of us over the years!
Yep the candy is gone.....but not the memories.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

It's a Hot One!

          Hot Hot Hot.....that's the season we're in. There doesn't seem to be a gradual season change anymore. Our area went from extreme flooding to extreme heat in a matter of a few days.
As a quick update,I survived Saturday pool prepping,and it was a scorcher,98 degrees in the shade. But as it turns out, it was a nice day working and laughing together. Followed by a nice evening out to dinner.
I have mulled over several topics for today,but just couldn't muster up the pizzazz. I guess you could say I'm in a rather blah mood. So I'm just going to share some fun items from Etsy.I'm sure it's just this heat that has burned away any spark of enthusiasm.
Thankfully we will be heading to our camp soon, so I'm hoping that will help restore my battery.
In the words of Jimmy Buffet "Changes in Latitude, Changes in Attitude"
So for now, here's what made me smile today.

Ocean Rain Soap
This makes me think about beach glass....a real obsession of mine!
Yellow Beach Sign

Well and beaches too....gotta go there to find the glass. Nags Head North Carolina was by far the best place. We found so many pieces and in three different colors.
Just a tiny bit of trivia for you,Nags Head is also the place where Black Beard was killed. They just recently raised the huge main anchor of his ship the Queen Anne's Revenge. I can't wait to see what other treasures will be raised up after sitting at the bottom of the Ocean for 300 years. Actually that area is a grave yard of hundreds of ships over hundreds of years. It's a great place for kids and adults to visit ,and spend their summer vacation.
Carnelian Orange Bracelet
There is something about the color orange that I just love. Actually googling the word orange once is how I discovered blogs. Orange is my oldest grandson's favorite color.So for his birthday one year I was looking for gift ideas. Up pops a site called How About Orange. It was from that point on I became addicted to blogging!
Guava Marshmallow Lollipops
Now you have to admit the flavor of these is very intriguing....just may have to order these for the grand-kiddo's. Go to her shop and check out her set of 6 lollipops,3 Buttered popcorn,and 3 coke's.Wouldn't those be great for an evening of outdoor movies!
Ceramic Heart Bowl
Check out this shop. So many darling items!! I think a handbag like this would be fun too.
Fish Tile

Mason Jar Solar Lids
These are a fabulous find and are now on my "gotta have list" for my deck here and at the camp!
Tin Shovels 
Oh I wish I could afford these....they would be sweet in my bathroom at our camp.
Bright Green Metal Butterfly
Had a thought when I saw this metal butterfly.....I need a garden of metal flowers. No watering, no wilting in this heat, and no,win!
Fedora Hat

Carnival Birthday Banner
This banner screams lets have fun!! For a birthday party,or any party. I love the colors and the combination of stripes and polka dots!
Antique Nest Boxes
 Well Obviously I'm effected by color so to get over my Blahs I think I will stop on the way home and get myself a big box of 64 Crayola crayons, with the sharpener of course. And maybe a coloring book.....I mean why not..... it works for kids why not for a Nana =)

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Camping Fever

             I hope everyone else has caught the outdoor fun camping fever,and it's not just me!
Today I am helping my husband work out back to set up our little pool and bring out the outdoor furniture to the lower patio. This patio really needs some decorating and sprucing up this year. I hope we have the money and energy to accomplish both this year.We have finally completed the upper deck and the patio at our cabin/cottage I never know exactly what to call it.....we usually just say our camp. So of course I'm hiding in hopes he will start without me and forget I was gonna help....I know that seems mean te he!! But it's worth a try.
I was piddling on the web and some how found a web site about Indiana State Parks. I even have A.D.D. on web surfing! There I found a fun gift shop.It's called Mother Nature's Mercantile and it has some great summer gifts.
The funny thing is I make S'Mores for my fire-pit, but I really don't care for them. I love the smell and I can eat my weight in roasted marshmallows, and who in their right mind doesn't like chocolate. But the combo of all three just isn't for me. I think the main problem is the graham cracker, just not my favorite.

 Our oldest grandson has always been a game fanatic.He use to tell us he wanted to be a board game designer when he was little. Now he leans mostly toward video games,as most teens do. Incidentally he has been published twice as a game reviewer on the web. Makes a Nana very proud!!!
But down at the Camp card games RULE! Especially a game called Nerts.I plan to post more about our summer family Nerts competition soon. So I'm thinking this S'Mores card game could be a good addition to Patrick's birthday that is coming up soon.

Since I spend most of my time making Campfires I thought this shirt should become my new uniform!

Uh oh! DANG IT!! My husband has found me and now I have go and help....and it's going to be 96 degrees I need your prayers hahaha!!!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A Wonderful Holiday Weekend Surprise

I don't know what I would do without my blog friends! They all are the best!! A few of you may know that I am not the most diligent about checking my personal email. I am working on that,I promise. But on this past Friday night I was enjoying one of my husband fabulous margaritas watching a dvr'd episode of Swamp People ( yes,my favorite,really!) and decided I'd better check it.
I had a gazillion messages of course mostly junk, but there was one from a blog friend Rosina from the blog Rosy-Posy.She was answering my comment on her blog and as a side thought she congratulated me on being featured in an online magazine.
I thought REALLY..... I WAS! Where? So I started doing a Google search from the name she had casually mentioned,and of course I frantically replied to her to get more information. My Google search of the name  Modern Handmade Child took me right to the site.

 Oh my goodness what great web site this is and the online magazine is wonderful! I'm not just saying that because I'm in it,but being a magazine fanatic like I am, I know a GREAT one when I see it. Tons of ideas to keep kids from being bored this summer. Craft ideas for Mommy as well as the kiddos,and some delicious recipes that kids will love! The articles were engaging and the photography was bright and beautiful on each and every page.They also had an interview with an Etsy shop owner which always tickles me whenever I see a fellow Etsian being featured anywhere.

 The best part is it's an open publication! And it is delightfully fun!!
You will find the magazine on the right hand side of their web page,and you will find my Campfire on page 51! Backyard Camping Adventure is the title of the section that my Felt Campfire is in.
 There is nothing I enjoy more than designing and hand making items for children. It is my passion, and often totally consumes my thoughts.

 My belief is that no matter how modern we are there is one need that ties us to every century of existence on Earth....the need for fire! We may be in the 21 century but we still need to be warm and to cook our food.So whether it's in a microwave oven or a campfire,or a furnace or an outdoor fire pit, fire still connects us to primitive man.Fire pits or indoor fireplaces have had an archeological importance as well for discovery.

We have learned a lot from these areas about how people lived by what they ate and how they cooked it.Items that have been discarded in these pits as trash are now great treasures of discovery and knowledge.

I have a new Fire pit I hope to have up and in my shop by Monday the 6th of June. I had been mulling over a couple of ideas,when my 5yr old grandson steered me toward an even better idea. He has been advising me on what I should make next and always says "Nana can you have it done for me by tomorrow"! Gez he's almost as bad as my son who I work full time for!

So then after I came back down to Earth from this news, Poppy from Poppy Loves A Party sent me a message to tell me that my Beach Campfire had been on the front page of Etsy on Sunday morning. Then that evening my regular Campfire was on the front page. I may never come back down to Earth now! But if Poppy hadn't told me I wouldn't have ever known.
I wish there was another way to track this sort of thing on Etsy. There might actually be a way and I'm just not aware of it. But if there isn't I wish Etsy would find a way to let us hard working artist know that our work has been selected and placed on the front page.

I love Etsy and it has been a blessing for me and my passions. If you have never visited this wonderful web site then you are missing out on a place of incredible talent. Everyone should take the oath to By Handmade....and by doing so you are supporting hard working small business owners who put love in everything they sell!