Polka Dotted Pumpkins

polka dot jack-o-lanterns

I’m always a little sad when daylight begins to dwindle every Fall, but then I remember how much I love the cozy, comforting glow of candlelight in the evenings! Lucy and I got a jump start on cozy-lit evenings with our jack-o-lantern project we did last week.

Lucy was relatively patient as I took pictures along the way, and surprisingly she was grossed out by the pumpkin guts, so I did all the scooping and scavenging for seeds. (This is the girl who loves digging for bugs and playing in the mud. Make it productive, and it’s not as fun, though!)

Making jack-o-lanterns

According to Lucy, pumpkins smell like watermelon. And her favorite was the medium-size tan pumpkin. I loved that one too, and it’s deep orange insides were a surprise.

Check out how we created these jack-o-lanterns over at A Beautiful Mess. I didn’t want to get too crazy this early in the season by making a whole batch of these cuties, only to have them rot before Halloween. So I think I’ll wait a bit and make a few more for our front stoop. Gotta up the trick-or-treat game this year— make a good impression in the new neighborhood and all that! :)

polka dot jack-o-lanterns



KIDDO CRAFT | Tic Tac Toe Snack Board

kid craft ideas- snack game board

One of the hardest parts of moving, from the kiddos’ perspective, is that crafting has not been easy to come by! Most of our craft supplies are still packed up, and we’ve only just began to have a space suitable for sitting and crafting the day away. But I looked around and found some leftover materials from our kitchen renovation, and came up with a fun craft Lucy really enjoyed, especially since in the end it involved playing games while eating a favorite snack.

I partnered with Horizon Organic on this project to feature their honey graham snacks, but this project would also work great with Horizon cheese shapes and your kiddo’s favorite fruit. Follow Horizon on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest for more fun snack ideas!

kid craft ideas- snack game board

DIY snack game board

This project was free for me to make, because I already have the materials on hand. But if you don’t have scrap wood, chalk paint, and sandpaper laying around, they aren’t to expensive to pick up in stores.

MATERIALS

  • 5×5 piece of wood
  • sandpaper (We started with 80 grit and finished with 180)
  • white chalk paint, or white primer
  • artist’s paint brush
  • optional: wax or your sealer of choice— butcher block oil is a great food-safe option

DIY snack game board

Lucy has seen me working with power tools and building things for as long as she’s been alive. It’s a great passion of mine to empower her to be able to do and create anything she can imagine. But first, she needs to get to know the fundamentals of woodworking. I cut the wood before we got started, which left jagged edges that needed smoothed out. We talked about why we sand wood, and how to sand in the direction of the grain. Also, we talked about beginning with a lower grit (“more bumpy”) sandpaper to smooth out and rough edges and uneven places, then transitioning to a higher grit (“less bumpy”) sandpaper to smooth out the scratches and make it nice to touch.

It was really special to see her focus so much on getting out all of the scratches and corners! Look at that concentration.

kid craft ideas

After we wiped the saw dust off of our boards, we got out chalk paint to do our lines. We used chalk paint because it doesn’t require primer. But using primer would’ve worked too!

Painting lines was also a great preschool exercise for her. She did a pretty good job, I thought. But she did ask me, “Why is yours better than mine?” I told her I’ve had lots of practice. And then she told me she was going to practice a lot so she could be better than me. Ha! Sounds like a plan.

When I took this photo (above), Lucy asked me, “Do I look like an artist?”

kid craft ideas

Her first line was globbiest, but she quickly learned how to adjust to make finer, straighter lines. (I lightly drew the lines in pencil first, so she could trace them.)

kid craft ideas- snack game board

After the paint dried, we got out our Horizon Organic graham game pieces and began to play tic tac toe. I think I won five games in a row before she figured out she needed to focus more on blocking me than filling up the board with her chocolate game pieces.

kid craft ideas- snack game board

Lucy and I really had a nice time making these boards together! It was just enough of a process to be interesting to her, but not so long that it tested her patience too much for just a fun craft. I’m already thinking about other games we can make together! Bonus points if food is involved!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Horizon. The opinions and text are all mine.

DIY Tiered Tassel Earrings

DIY Tiered Tassel Earrings

Just as my wardrobe has become more minimal, my earrings have become… well, maximal! I have clear memories of feeling quite glamorous as a kiddo with pierced ears wearing my mother’s oversized earrings leftover from the ’80s. But then there was a span of about twenty years when, as my fashion sense developed, earrings felt a little too gaudy. Well, that is with the exception of my minimal silver hoop earring phase at the turn of the century. (They went well with my flared jeans and Abercrombie tees!)

Lately I’ve found myself surprised by my interest in the oversized earrings I’ve seen dangling on the ears of fashionable ladies all over the web. I decided I was ready for the earring revival, and I was going to jump in with both feet– and with a DIY take on the statement earring trend.

DIY Tiered Tassel Earrings

DIY Tiered Tassel Earrings

statement earring DIY

DIY Tiered Tassel Earrings

statement earring DIY

Step One: Remove the paper from one embroidery floss bundle and fold it in half. Use an approximately 12″ strand from the extra embroidery floss bundle to tie it tightly in the middle and the knot it.

Step Two: Cut through the loops at either end of the bundled floss.

DIY Tiered Tassel Earrings

Step Three: Pull the either end of the tied bundled downward and secure tightly as shown above with a strand from the extra embroidery floss bundle. I tied it once on one side, flipped it over and tied it again, then flipped it over and tied in a knot. 

DIY Tiered Tassel Earrings

Step Four: Use a darning needle to thread the two ends of the floss you just tied into the tassel and out the bottom.

Step Five: Give your tassel a haircut to make it even on the bottom and the size that you desire. You will need very sharp fabric scissors to do this well.

DIY Tiered Tassel Earrings

Repeat steps 1-5 until you have created 6 tassels as shown above.

DIY Tiered Tassel Earrings

Step Six: Arrange your tassels in two rows of three, making sure each row’s tassels are evenly sized compared to the row of tassels beside it. Use a darning needle to hide the top knot strands of the top two tassels in each row, trimming them to be the same length as the tassel. Leave only one strand untucked on the bottom tassel of each row, but tuck the other one in.

Step Seven: Use the remaining strand from the bottom tassel to connect the entire row of tassels. To do this, thread the strand through a darning needle and use the needle to guide the thread through the bottom of each tassel and up through the middle of the tassel’s top.

DIY Tiered Tassel Earrings

Step Eight: Knot the thread tightly around the eye of the ear wires, making sure to get the ear wire tight up against the top of the tassel. Then use the darning needle to hide the remaining strand of embroidery floss down into the tassels. Trim it to blend in nicely.

DIY Tiered Tassel Earrings

I was so excited about these earrings that I made two pairs right away– one in black yarn, then these in ecru embroidery floss. I wore them to church over the weekend (paired with a simple black shift dress and nude clogs) and had a lot of fun conversations about them, as you can imagine! I guess that’s why they’re called statement earrings– they practically require a reaction!

What do you think? Are you ready for the return of statement earrings, or are you happy to leave the trend in the annals of the ’80s?

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