Friday, December 30, 2011

Eva is FOUR!!!!

Time has been flying much too fast around here.  The other night I kissed my sweet little 3 year old goodnight and in the morning I was awakened by a charming little 4 year old!  She was thrilled to find that it had finally snowed, just intime for her birthday.
We celebrated Eva's special day with friends who were visiting from out of town and one set of grandparents.  (Her actual birthday party will be this Saturday.)  Eva was showered with all the things she loves- trains, dinosaurs, stickers, more dinosaurs, books and did I mention dinosaurs?
I cannot even find the words to describe how much I love this little girl.  Eva, you amaze me and fill each and every day with wonder, giggles and sweetness.  Your Daddy and I love you and cherish every moment we get to share with you.  I know as a 4 year old you will continue to grow, create, astonish and entertain us.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Craft A Day 'Til Christmas: Day 22: Nativity Scene

Isn't this the sweetest thing?  I wish I could claim credit for it but Eva made it at her Spanish class.  The tiny little figures were shaped out of clay made with white bread and glue (1 tablespoon of glue/ slice of crustless white bread).  Eva made the pieces one week and by the next week they were dry and she painted them.  Her teacher then hot glued them to a felt covered disc.  (To give you an idea of the size, the disc is the size of a cd.)  I love it!  Eva places it under her little tree.  Isn't that the cutest little Holy Family you've ever seen?
I am officially throwing in the towel on the last two crafts.  While Eva never takes a break from crafting, she has had no interest in doing mommy-introduced crafts and I'm not going to push it!

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season and we'll see you in the new year!

Craft A Day 'Til Christmas: Day 21: Reindeer Feed

This is another annual tradition in our house- making reindeer feed!  Those reindeer get hungry pulling Santa's sleigh so we sprinkle some of this special food on our lawn for them to eat while Santa is busy inside.  There is no specific recipe- just mix together anything you have in your cupboards that is safe for critters to consume.  For ours we used oatmeal, walnuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds and flax seed.  To get the reindeer the extra magic they need to fly, we also add some red and green sprinkles.  Stir it together and keep in a sealed container until you are ready to sprinkle it on the lawn on Christmas Eve.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Craft A Day 'Til Christmas: Day 20: Snowman Candy Wrappers

Eva has a ton of cousins so we made these candy bar wrappers to snazzy up their chocolate gifts.  I cut an 8 1/2" x 11" sheet of paper in half width wise and wrapped it around a Hershey bar, securing it with clear tape.  Then Eva drew eyes, a carrot nose, a mouth and buttons on each one before I tied some scrap fabric around for a scarf.
We are making 12 total but Eva ran out of steam after 7 so we will finish them up tomorrow.  I love how each one has it's own personality!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Craft A Day 'Til Christmas: Day 19: Penguin Thumbprint Ornament

I saw these amazing ornaments on Meet the Dubiens and knew we had to make the penguin one.  Eva made a white thumbprint on a clear ornament (but any color would work) and then I used paint markers to turn it into a penguin.  She also wrote her name on the back of the ornament and I dated it.  Such a great keepsake!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Craft A Day 'Til Christmas: Day 18: Painting with Pine Branches

Who needs brushes when you can paint with pine branches?  Eva had a blast dipping the branches in paint and smearing it around.  She also tried making pine prints but the smearing was apparently more fun.

Craft A Day 'Til Christmas: Day 17: Cookie Cutter Painting

I spent the other day baking and this craft kept Eva entertained for quite some time.  I poured some paint on little plates and let Eva pick out a cookie cutter to go in each color.  I gave her a pile of parchment paper sheets to stamp on and she went to town.  (It turns out paint doesn't adhere to parchment paper so if you decide to try this I suggest using paper or else when the paint dries it will fall right off!)
Eva added some of her own touches too.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Craft A Day 'Til Christmas: Day 16: Cinnamon Applesauce Ornaments

Making these ornaments is a yearly tradition in our house.  We always end up making a few batches- some stay to decorate the house, the rest are attached to presents.  They smell great and are simple to make.  I don't have any pictures of the process but Eva made this batch with her buddy Luke (his mom Kristi is a frequent commenter on the blog and a long time friend of mine- HI KRISTI!!!).  They had a blast rolling out the dough (and tasting it) and cutting out Christmas and Hanukkah shapes with cookie cutters.  The dough is just a cup of cinnamon and a cup of applesauce.  I add the applesauce gradually until the mixture forms a dough-like consistency.  I have yet to use the whole cup of applesauce.  After the little ones finished cutting out their shapes, I poked a hole in each one using a chopstick and then placed them on a cookie sheet and set them in a 200ยบ oven for about an hour, flipping them once.  You can also skip the oven and just leave them out for a few days to dry out on their own.  Once they are completely dry, slide some ribbon through the hole and hang them wherever you'd like.  Eva put a bunch on her tree and I have one hanging from each of out kitchen cabinet knobs.  They make the whole house smell like the holidays!

Craft A Day 'Til Christmas: Day 15: Hand and Footprint Rudolph

This is a fun, quick craft that you could also do with paint but we opted for tracing on paper.  Just trace both hands and a foot, cut out and glue to a sheet of paper (or dip them in paint and stamp onto the paper).  We added googly eyes and a sparkly red pompom for a nose.

Craft A Day 'Til Christmas: Day 14: Santa Beard

Eva has never been a big fan of the man in the red suit.  Each year she has progressively gotten braver about talking to him but this year we went straight back to sheer terror.  I thought making this Santa beard may help her connect with the jolly guy but no such luck.  Even making a Santa craft was unacceptable to her.
I cut out a beard shape and asked Eva to glue on some cotton balls.  I"m amazed we got this many on- she just was not having it.
This was as close as we got to Santa this year.
But she did mail him a letter to make sure he knew what she wanted.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Craft A Day 'Til Christmas: Day 13: Gingerbread Play Dough

Today's craft involved some cooking in the kitchen.  We made two batches of wonderful smelling gingerbread play dough.  I found the recipe here.  Eva helped stir all the ingredients together and then I heated them on the stove until a dough consistency formed.  
After it cooled, we divided one batch up and made little gifts for our friends at Spanish class by attaching a cookie cutter and little card.  With the rest, Eva went to town "baking."
We also made a real gingerbread house today.  Eva was a pro at sticking all the bright colored candies everywhere!

Craft A Day 'Til Christmas: Day 12: Handprint Bough

First I'd like to thank everyone who shared their crafts and activities in our link up the other day.  If you have any you'd like to add, please continue to do so!  Next, I want to apologize for skipping the last few days- I've had a migraine and was in no mood to post but we were crafting so we will play catch up over the next few days.  Finally, today's craft!  After making the handprint tree earlier in the month Eva has been asking to make handprints with paint so this is her own creation.  She drew a brown branch on the page and then stamped her hand in green paint to make pine needles.  When it was dry, she glued on circle ornaments cut from scrap book paper.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas Craft Link Up!

Today is your day to show off the wonderful holiday crafts you've been making with your little ones.  Feel free to share crafts you've made yourself too or any yummy recipes as well!  If it's holiday related, link on up!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Craft A Day 'Til Christmas: Day 11: Snowman Ornament

We are making these ornaments as gifts for Eva's teachers.  I found some clear plastic ball ornaments at JoAnns to use to make them and Eva drew on the face with paint markers.  I had her sit on my lap and held the ornament for her while she drew.
When the paint dried, I used a funnel and toothpick to push some fake snow into the ball (no where near as fun as it sounds!).  But they turned out really cute!

Craft A Day 'Til Christmas: Day 10: Paper Heart Ornament

I found the instructions for this little ornament on pinterest and knew it would be a fun, easy craft for Eva to make.  I cut some Christmas scrap book paper based on the dimensions of the paper I had and Eva glued the papers together according to the directions in the tutorial.
Rather than stapling everything together like in the tutorial, we glued and Eva pinched it tight- pinching face optional.
To hang, I added some ribbon through one of the hoops.