Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Catching Up With Fall

Grab a cup of coffee - this may be a long one!  We've been quite busy around here, soaking up as much "fall" as possible...even if it hasn't really felt much like fall outside (at least not until TODAY - yay for cloudy, cool weather).  We've taken trips to two different pumpkin patches, taken time to paint some pumpkins, decorated the house, collected quite an assortment of twigs and pine cones and nuts for a nature tray...and had more than our fair share of pumpkin pancakes!  Man I love this time of year!

So this is my painted pumpkin.  I have to tell you...I used to HATE my "doodling" type drawing and painting...but I recently took Stephanie Ackerman's online Random Creative Scrapple Doodle class, and I just love her!  Highly recommend her classes!  (And her blog - she's so encouraging and uplifting!)

The girls had fun painting their pumpkins too.  Like their easy-clean-up outfits?  LOL

Jeremiah really enjoyed the second pumpkin patch we went to (yeah, the pics are all out of order...sigh...I'm too lazy to fix them!).  The ground was all covered in straw, and I let him have free reign.  He had to taste it, of course!  

And if the straw tasted good, surely the pumpkin would too, right?

I am amazed when I look at pictures of the kids - they always look so much older than when I look at them every day.  They're growing up so fast.

We had actually met a couple other moms from our homeschooling group at this pumpkin patch and had lunch together.  The kids had a great time playing together (and running from the swarms of bees!).  No one got stung, thankfully.  And they all had a great time on the tire swing.

The other pumpkin patch we went to was much larger - and though I hate that they end up making you spend a bunch of money on rides and jumpers and such for the kiddos, I do love the eye candy they have in their vast array of pumpkins, gourds, indian corn, etc.  Tables and tables and tables of gorgeous fall colors!! And what a difference a year makes - last year, all three kids fit in this wagon!

The kids were enthralled with the animals - from afar.  They had no desire to go into the petting zoo.  Ha ha.

Climbing on the hay castle is always fun - and free.

We splurged on a pulled quad ride.  The kids thoroughly enjoyed it.  It was a bit bumpy for my suiting.  LOL

Ahh...these tables just make my heart go pitter patter!!

Even the girls were enthralled with the freshly picked and washed gourds that were being brought in from the field.  

And we all took our first trip into and out of a corn maze.  There were 4 hidden boxes in the maze which we had to locate and do crayon rubbings on to form a completed picture...we thought we were NEVER going to find them all!  (And it didn't help that there weren't crayons at some of the stations, so we had to use pieces of corn stalks and rocks to do parts of the rubbings!)  Glad to have experienced it once...but I left feeling all scratchy on my arms, with flashbacks of detassling corn in high school during the summer, and don't think I'll ever need to repeat the corn maze experience!  

So there you have it.  Our fall activities thus far.  What about you?  We'll continue this weekend with a trip to DisneyLand on Friday, to celebrate Jeremiah's first birthday (which is actually on Monday)...and then attend our church's Hallelujah Night on Halloween.  I've got a couple of cute Halloween projects to show you on Halloween, too, so stay tuned!

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Spooktacular Signs - The Trick-or-Treat Blog Hop

Welcome to the Trick-Or-Treat Blog Hop! 
October 8-10, 2011

Crafter's Workshop and Clearsnap have teamed up for the next three days to create hauntingly inspiring projects for this Halloween season. It's all tricks, treats, and techniques so join us on a fright night jaunt to remember, hopping from blog to blog. Leave your "Trick-or-treat" comment on each blog in the hop in hopes of winning candy, blog candy that is! For every 50 comments posted on this blog we're giving away a set of inks and accessories to spook up any crafter's projects!!! We'll choose the winners from the blog comments posted on all the blogs in the Hop. 

The Clearsnap prize includes Smooch Spritz in Frosted Grape, Green Olive, and Carrot Cake, ColorBox Pigment InkPad in Spooktacular, Glitter in  Grape Fizz, Design Adhesives in "Trick or Treat" and "Eeeeks!?", plus our new Design Foils in Lime Burst. That's alot of spook to go around!

Plus Crafter's Workshop is giving away this fabulous assortment of templates worth over $35!! This is some serious blog candy!!

Receive extra entries in the Hop for following Clearsnap and Crafter's Workshop on Twitter and Facebook and for tweeting or posting on Facebook about the Hop - just post here afterwards that you have followed us or posted about the Hop to increase your chances to win. 

Here are the artsy spooksters to visit:

Julie Fei-Fan Balzer - http://www.balzerdesigns.typepad.com/
Charlotte Jenkins http://suepup.blogspot.com
Mary Dawn Quirindongo -http://mypinkmexico.blogspot.com/ Karen Grunberg- http://www.karenika.com/
Jen Clark - http://mycraftyfriendjen.blogspot.com/  YOU ARE HERE

Happy Hopping!!

We recently visited our local pumpkin patch as a family, and while there, I saw a large family or possibly a group on tour - at any rate, they had some signs on wood sticks to identify their group.  I thought they were really cute, and that some similar Halloween-y signs would make super cute decorations...and that my kids would probably enjoy carrying them while out trick-or--treating (OR just around the house for the next several weeks, as is proving the case...).  So before we left the pumpkin patch, I made sure to gather several twigs - we live in the desert and certainly don't have any twigs in OUR yard!  My kids couldn't wait to see what I was going to do with them!

I started out by cutting cardstock to 5.25" wide by 6.5" long.  I ran each one through my Zutter Distrezz-it-All to distress the edges.  I used the 6x6 Crafter's Workshop trees template and the Clearsnap MetalXtra Platinum ink pad with a blending tool to apply ink to the cardstock to create just a shadow on the background.

After drying the ink, I applied some Glue Gloss to a tree stamp and stamped it over the background trees.  I rubbed some Lucky Penny and Plum Crazy Designer Foils over the Tree (you have to let it get tacky a bit, then rub a bit and apply several times since it's not really meant to be used with the Glue Gloss).  Then I re-stamped the tree using Clearsnap Pigment ink to give it more definition.

I used the Crafter's Workshop numbers template to highlight the number "31," using Clearsnap Espresso pigment ink.  I just love how easy the Queue's are to use - both the chalk ink and the pigment ink.  (Just a note - the chalk ink dries very quickly, the pigment ink a bit more slowly, but both are easy to use.)

I added a word sticker, going around the edges with Dark Brown chalk ink, and went around the edges of the entire sign with the same ink pad.  I added some accents with a Viva Pearl Pen, and my sign was complete.(I punched holes in the top and bottom to put it on a twig.)

On this one, I used the triangle plaid template to create a background, added the clocks over it using that template, and I used Glue Gloss to cover the witch in black glitter.  I *LOVE* using Glue Gloss for glitter - it ROCKS.  If you've never tried it for glitter, flocking, etc. - you are really missing out!!  I again used the MetalXtra Platinum ink pad - to ink the skull and to add highlights to the houses - I just love that ink pad!!  A little goes a long way.

On this third one, I started by using black ink with the tree template, and then used Design Adhesive flourishes in the corners with Plum Crazy foils.  You can see the shimmer somewhat - but it's really hard to see in photographs JUST how shimmery the foils really are!!  I added the skeleton and the Halloween card - inked with Lavender chalk ink - and the "spooky" word sticker.  I went around the edges of the sticker and sign with Espresso pigment ink.

Finally, the last sign.  I started by using the damask template, and sprayed using Wine Berry and Silver Foil Smooch Spritz.  Then I applied some Glue Gloss on the house, and again applied the Designer Foils, a little at a time.  While it didn't work perfectly - it sort of has a spooky, haunted look to it, which is fitting with the theme!  I finished it with a greeting.

For now, the signs are gracing our entry-way table, along with a few other Halloween decorations...though I had to fight my children off to get them to leave them be long enough for me to snap photos!  I have no doubt they will be missing soon, and there will be 3 little monsters running through the house sporting spooky signs!

Now on with the blog hop!!


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