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Posted by on Oct 24, 2012 | 0 comments

Spooky DIY Halloween Party Appetizers and Cocktails

Spooky DIY Halloween Party Appetizers and Cocktails

In an earlier post, I wrote about some of the Halloween party decor I made with my girls in anticipation of our cocktail party. As promised, we used our best dark magic to prepare grisly appetizers and cocktails with definitely spooky edge (many nods to go the creative minds at Martha Stewart for a lot of our inspiration). We started early in the day with prep for the hotdog mummies at our neighbor Newsha’s house. (She and Katie both contributed to the menu.) The girls also prepped the finger nails for the witches fingers. Ana used a food coloring pen to give each almond “finger nail” a bloody red tip. Here’s how delectable they look after baking: To make one of the most arresting and disturbing appetizers, which we aptly named “Hannibal,” I started with a plastic face mask. I covered the mask with plastic wrap and then layered pieces of salami and prosciutto over the face (while wearing my Andy Warhol costume) – how surreal was that. Given...

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Posted by on Oct 23, 2012 | 0 comments

Spooky DIY Halloween Party Decor

Spooky DIY Halloween Party Decor

We’re throwing a small Halloween cocktail party this weekend for some neighbors and friends. So, I’m making some spooky DIY decor with my kids ahead of time. I’ll show all of the final party decor, including the tablescape, spooky appetizers and ghoulish cocktails when it’s ready for showtime. But these crafts I made with the kids needed to happen days in advance. Paper Mache Crows and Spiders We started out by looking at photos of crows on the Web. I also used this paper mache bird-making tutorial as inspiration. We crumpled up newspaper to make the main body shape and used masking tape to secure the sides. When I realized the complexity of making the crow, I suggested that we also make spiders. Those were infinitely easier for Nadja (age 4) to accomplish. We ended up with assortment of both crow and spider bodies. We mixed glue with water to make the paper mache paste. And then layered strips of newspaper around the bodies. We let the bodies dry...

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Posted by on Apr 9, 2012 | 1 comment

Lessons Learned: Natural Dyed Easter Eggs

Lessons Learned: Natural Dyed Easter Eggs

For the past two years, the boys and I have colored our Easter eggs with natural dyes. It was part science experience, part curiosity, and we received various results. Would it have been easier to just get a kit from local drugstore, sure, but then our house wouldn’t have the smell of dill and cabbage wafting for days. Last year I made dye with turmeric and blueberries and followed the normal course of soaking the eggs for a few minutes. It worked pretty well — we got some nice looking eggs, but stained dish towels. Hoping to get some new colors this year, I found this site’s tutorial and thought it looked interesting. The basic directions are to boil the eggs in the dye mixture and then let them soak for up to 20 hours. Since turmeric was a success last year, again I made a mix of turmeric, water and vinegar. Then I tried a mixture with red cabbage, water, and white vinegar. On the back burner, I started cooking some blueberries until they...

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Posted by on Feb 21, 2012 | 1 comment

Presidents Day-Inspired Freezer Paper Stencil T-Shirts

Presidents Day-Inspired Freezer Paper Stencil T-Shirts

Last week I was looking for ideas for Presidents Day activities and I found this site describing how to make Abe Lincoln and George Washington freezer paper stencils. I’ve been wanting to make freezer paper stencils for a while now, so this was a great time to try. Although Abe looks pretty awesome, it was probably out my range for a first-time stencil. So I stuck with a design a little simpler, a little more modern, a little more Del Ray: Obama, of course! Here are the supplies used: A white t-shirt, blue and red fabric paint, sponge brushes and freezer paper. I purchased everything but the freezer paper at Michael’s. The freezer paper came from Hancock Fabrics (at the Route 1 location, it’s way in the back near the quilting supplies). You can actually print directly on the matte finish side of the freezer paper. I already printed the logo on a piece of plain paper so I just traced it onto the freezer paper and cut it...

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Posted by on Dec 19, 2011 | 0 comments

Old School Christmas Crafts to Make with Kids

Old School Christmas Crafts to Make with Kids

Even though Christmas is less than a week away, there’s still time to enjoy making holiday crafts with your kids – especially these 5 ideas, because they don’t require elaborate ingredients or specialized skills and tools. An added bonus — you may remember these old school crafts from your youth. The popcorn garland To make this craft even simpler, I used plain Microwave popcorn. You do have to use a sharp needle though, so your children should be old enough to handle one. That said, I’m the one who ended up needing a Band-Aid. Pipe cleaner snowflakes These pipe cleaner snowflakes are easy-peasy. You’ll need to demonstrate how to make one first and then the kids will enjoy cutting the pipe cleaners and twisting them into cool-looking snowflakes – no two alike. We hung ours in our window. Paper snowflakes These are even easier. Just fold a square piece of paper on the diagonal and then fold again in half. Next, fold again in half and then cut off...

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