Birthday Pleasures

Photo courtesy of Evil Erin

Today I celebrate another birthday. Is it just me, or does each birthday get less and less important as your focus shifts from inward to outward toward your family and friends? I have so much to be thankful for--most noticeably right now is my health and the health of my family. It's something so easy to take for granted until you see a slew of family and friends make trips to the hospital, and then you realize how blessed you truly are.

So, today, I am thankful. Thankful for health. Thankful for fall. Thankful for family. Thankful for friends. Thankful for my God. Thankful for the internet and FB which allows me to get over a hundred happy birthday notices throughout my day. Thankful for my daughters. Thankful for being able to work from home. Thankful for life and joy and peace. And thankful for fall treats--I think my ideal birthday party would be a huge gathering of friends and family around a bonfire, roasting wienies, singing songs with guitars, and doing lots of talking and laughing. Oh, and of course there would be lots of fall goodies like pumpkin bread with cream cheese frosting, baked apples, caramel apples, pumpkin scones, and anything else that includes pumpkins, apples, or could be cooked over a campfire.

What does your ideal birthday party look like?


Thanksgiving Centerpieces

photo courtesy of floodllama

Halloween is over, and I'm strangely open to the idea of putting up Christmas decorations already. Usually we wait until the day after Thanksgiving, but this year we will be traveling a bit, so my time at home will be cut shorter. In order to pacify my cravings to decorate for Christmas, I've decided to focus on fun Thanksgiving centerpieces--perhaps something I can work on with my toddler to take as a thank-you gift for the family who is hosting Thanksgiving this year. Whether it's an old farmhouse style table or a more traditional drop leaf table, there's always room for a handcrafted centerpiece, right?

So, dear readers, here is where I need your help. Do you have any ideas or links to creative ideas for Thanksgiving decorations? The folks at Babble have already sparked my interest with some turkey crafts and "Give Thanks" banners.

I've also been mulling over the idea of a turkey centerpiece without the tail feathers attached. Instead of bringing a fully assembled centerpiece, I'd have paper tail feathers and a marker to leave on the table next to the turkey. Throughout the day, each family member could write something he/she is thankful for on each feather. Then the feather would be added to the turkey so that by dinnertime we'd have a fully decorated turkey. What do you think?

I also just looked at some centerpieces that were predominantly blue in color. What do you think? Should all Thanksgiving centerpieces burn red, orange and brown? Or is there room for some cool blue or even hot pink items?

Are you going to decorate your table this year? Leave your ideas in the comments section so we can all partake. Oh, and of course, THANK YOU.


DIY Baby Mobile

During my fabulous and productive nesting stage, I cranked out quite a few crafts and projects inspired by baby #2. Here's a mobile I created and passed on to my lovely cousin for her baby boy. It was super easy and fun to make. There are so many fun things you could add to personalize it yourself (e.g. you could put a button in the center of each yo yo, you could paint the crafting loop a special color or add decorations to it, etc.)

First of all, here's a link to my inspiration. I love her use of primary colors, and you'll notice her yo yos are smaller than mine--I think I'd make mine smaller like hers next time.

Step 1: Gather your materials. Everything for the pinwheels is listed in this tutorial for making fabric yo yos. You'll also need some kite string and a wooden circle (I used one normally used for pulling thread tight for a cross-stitch or applique project.)

Step 2: Follow the tutorial for making an array of yo yos.

Step 3: Thread the yo yos together using kite string--add knots in the string after you thread each yo yo to determine where the yo yo rests on the string.

Step 4: Tie all of your lines to the wooden circle, balance, knot, and use a lighter to fuse the knots to keep from unraveling.

Step 5: Add kite string to the top to make two arcs that crisscross in the middle. Anchor those together with a long piece of string that you will attach to the ceiling.

The final product picture just isn't very glamorous, but I promise your project will be! This would be a meaningful and fun project to give someone as a shower gift--if you know the colors/theme of your friend's shower. Just be sure to also buy something off the registry--those gifts are always appreciated too.