Thursday, December 15, 2011

christmas decor

here is a bit of the christmas decor.  new idea for this year is another spin off on the electric candle holder deal to the left....putting bubble lights in it!

and as requested by ms. pagoda seen below is the display shelf that i used for the displaying of cluttered up little vintage christmas crap that normally doesn't all get put out due to lack of space.

and our main tree's theme is the simpsons.....( we made the Andy tree for my mom's house)

we doused it in a bunch of officially christmas simpsons ornaments along with previous BK kid's meal toys, parts from simpsons games, dvd covers and some printed out images on cardstock.

i am a bit grinchy this year.  i did not decorate much more than shown in the photos. i teeter on the verge of hating christmas at times. too much to do, to make, to remember, to buy, to take out and put back up.
it will be over soon.... only a few more days to go.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

there are so many neat and clever ways to upcycle old suitcases.... mini bars, pet beds, tables, craft transports....  but i wanted to put this simple solution out there for during the holiday... a suitcase with a key/lock is a nice place to stash gifts. ;)

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Andy Griffith Christmas Tree

the theme for this year's tree is The Andy Griffith Show.  We are HUGE TAGS fanatics around here. Pumkinbutt's first real hair cut was done by Russell Hiatt, the man Floyd the barber was based on.... We have visited Mt. Airy, the town Andy grew up in and Mayberry was based on, many times... all ate the porkchop sandwich at the Snappy the show every night and quote the show on a daily basis. example: when someone is sitting around stalling i usually pull out the Malcolm Tucker lines on the bottom (see below) and insert whatever activities work, along with "going to Thelma Lou's". Here's the whole set up:

Barney Fife: [while relaxing on the front porch after Sunday dinner] You know what I think I'm gonna' do?

Andy Taylor: What?
Barney Fife: I'm gonna' go home, have me a little nap, and then go over to Thelma Lou's and watch a little TV.
Andy Taylor: Mmm-hmm.
Barney Fife: Yeah, I believe that's what I'll do. Go home... have a nap... and then over to Thelma Lou's for TV.
Andy Taylor: Mmm.
Barney Fife: Yep, that's the plan. Home... little nap... then...

Malcolm Tucker: [interrupting] For the love of Mike *do* it!
Malcolm Tucker [shouts] : Do it! Just *do* it! Go take a nap, go to Thelma Lou's for TV, just *do it*!
So enters the theme...

For the love of god! DO IT! Go make some ornaments, decorate the tree, go to Thelma Lou's for TV, post about the tree! Just DO IT!

i think i made about 8 different ornaments.  They were all from images i found on the internet, printed on cardstock, and embellished a bit.

on the left is a combo of two images, a vintage TV set and i inserted a still from the opening credits.  right, a christmas group shot, a bit of glitter on the wreath and attached to a round wrapping paper covered disk.

these are images of coloringbook covers with a bit of glitter.

left, cover of a TV guide, glitterfied. right, a autographed photo of Otis with a small bottle of hooch attached.

my fav episode, the pickle story.  an image of opie with "good ol' store bought pickles" flanked with images of homemade canned pickles.
barney as santa image.  i embellished the beard with some white yarn and put some snow glitter behind him.
  "Toot, Toot, Tootsie Good bye!" Aunt Bee's solution to becoming a spring chicken again... Colonel Harvey's Indian Elixer! these are those stocking stuffer sized bottles of liquior with handmade decals by my stepdad. We also had little silver sherriff badges (from the kids section for cowboy parties)  hanging on the tree as well.  for the over-all-pull-it-together feel, we used those large multi color lights and doused the tree in silver icicles. Silver icicles were very hard to located and we opted to use the shredded gift bag filler from $ tree. cheap and effective!
Of course, i came up with a few other ideas for ornaments after the fact; such as making Ernest T. Bass rocks, mini boxes of Mircle Salve, sticks of dynomite for Jimmy the goat to eat, plastic kids handcuffs, fishing lures, images of deep freezers with the text "Aunt bee, just call the man!" on them....

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

For Free!

Look what i found on the side of the road last week! as you can see... FREE!
i painted it with some leftover house paint...

hmmmm.... what purpose did it serve in it's previous life?
oh... i see...well i was planning on using it exclusively for the displaying of nick nacks. i best keep a lookout for the sylvania rack police!

Monday, October 31, 2011

belated halloween wishes

i can't let halloween go by without at least some representation here, even if it's late and minimal. so here is the pumpkin for this year:

presented in "spooky-lit-vision":

and here is a last minute idea that pumpinbutt came up with that i thought was supercool: (it is on the back)

i had this idea to try random black paint rubbed all over the pumpkin but wasn't entirely happy with it... kinda reminded me of that cheesy faux wall paint technique of sponge painting that was so popular in 1992.

halloween decor

Decor this year ..... uber cheap..... most stuff from the dollar tree. tombstones and paper die cuts from $tree of ravens. something called "halloween hay" stretched across the top came from Joann's. i hung 7 of these tombstones on the wall instead of doing the graveyard deal outside.

A framed tombstone rubbing that i put up every year. added the oh-so-creepy halloween hay along with a foam raven perched on top. off to the left is a paper die cut of an owl from $tree.

here is a bit of a shot of the "wall cemetery". in the middle of the display is a graveyard print from Madame Talbot Victorian Lowbrow . Also seen in the lower right corner is one of those typically used for christmas plastic candle holder do-hickeys. i used orange flicker flame bulbs and put several around the looked very haunted mansion-ish! (the next picture below it is more clear)

various displays of vintage halloween stuffs:

i think the only thing i purchased new this year were the die cuts (ravens, bats, owls, spiders). not pictured but hung on the windows were the spiders and bats on the ceiling. when the fan is turned on the wings flap for an extra added effect.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

here is another colaborative project of PB and i. he drew the face and i sewed it togther. what is it?! a jellyfish stuffed toy for the dog of course! by the look of the eyes i think it may be dead.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Wimpy Kid turns 7!!

My "wimpy" kid turned 7 years old last month! Every year Pumpkinbutt has a themed party...Saying "party" is really putting it lightly. He has a full-all-out-mega-hullabaloo-birthday-athon. I don't generally post about them because after the ordeal i have to go into rehab to be cured off the Wild Turkey. Last year's partypalooza still haunts me....Star Wars. good god almighty. i may write about it at some point because i feel certain i must have been nuts. i am sure to receive a discount coupon for the local crazy house which will come in handy one day. after my mind cleared i vowed that this years party was going to be simple. simple enough that i can post about it and it not drive me to drinking when i relive the experience. i am motivated to post about this party particularly because there isn't alot out there on said theme of Diary of a Wimpy Kid (plenty out there on star wars!) and it may be helpful to someone. i have snagged my share of party ideas so this is my contribution toward party idea karma. i don't have photos of all the happenings and items so unfortunately some of it will have to be just read and left to the imagination...

Ok let's get this party started:

starting with the photo above, i got a roll of white wrapping paper from $tree and made it look like a large piece of paper using markers, a ruler and a circle cutter. At the bottom of the paper i left space for the guests to sign well wishes. the enlarged peoples (Greg, Rowley, Fregley) on the wall are on the same type wrapping paper. The balloons, streamers and partyware were black and white (like ink and paper). as the guests arrived we played Beastie Boys Intergalactic, referencing the first movie where it was played at the mother and son dance. Also to buy time while the guests arrived they each got to "Wimp Yourself". These were then printed out and hung on the wall for all to admire. many of the decorations were also the props for the games. very handy! In the book/movie Greg and Rowley become members of the school's Safety Patrol and have to help the kindergartens cross the street . hanging on the mantle are "the kindergartens" made from poster board and individually attached with velcro with a nylon handle on the ends. for the game, the kids wore safety vests and had to "hold the kindergartners hands" (nylon handles) and get them down the drive way without them disconnecting. sounds fairly easy....but not when the mean teenagers are chasing them (like in the book/movie)! i borrowed a remote control truck and placed photocopied images of the mean teenagers in the windows of the truck. the kids were awarded with packets of hot cocoa referencing the book where that is the perk of being a safety patroler. also seen in this image, on the mantle top were all the books with little battery powered tea lights lit. the disco light ball was another reference to the mother and son dance.

i liked how it appears the illustrations are driving. in the book they were actually standing and bulling Greg and Rowley.

another game yet also decor. The Loded Diper band stage corner. Loded diper (pronounced Loaded Diaper) is Greg's older brother, Roderick's band. For this game the kid's got to play the guitar loudly and badly while everyone cheered them on, took pictures, and requested autographs. now that i have seen the second movie another layer to this game could be to dance like Greg's mom during the performance! the bags on the shelf to the right, are the loot bags but again used them as decor until needed. in one of the books Roderick makes Greg's school lunch because his mom wasn't able to. so Roderick puts a note on the bag as mom would but saying something Roderick-ish. "Dear Greg, Remember to change your diaper after lunch. love mommy". ha! love it!

Another corner of the main party room has a cardboard tree and a free standing cardboard cut out of a little girl used for the next game. This game references in the book/movie an awful little girl named Patty Farrell and while on stage performing in Wizard of Oz, Greg (playing a tree) pelts her with apples! For this game the kids got to wear the tree and throw fake apples at the card board cut out of Patty with the intention of knocking it over. The kids loved this game so much they all went 3-4 times each. Even some of the adults put the tree on and knocked her out.

we also played two other games that required very little items and the parents participated as well. first, the cheese touch game which was like hot potato only they passed around a piece of real cheese inside a ziplock bag. the other was called the Shame Game which i found in a press packet online for a Wimpy Kid book release party. everyone stands up and as i called out situations if they are true they continued to stand, if false sit down. for example... Have you ever picked your nose in public and didn't get caught? of course you have so keep standing! the game continues until the last one standing, the most shameful one, wins. so back to the photo above. to the right is the entrance to the Haunted House! (i hung up a couple of black tableclothes from the ceiling to conceal it until needed.) In one book, Greg and Rowley decide to make some money by hosting a haunted house complete with live sharks. but only wind up finishing the hall of screams area where the kids basically crawl under a table while Greg and Rowley howl and scream next to it.... so wah-la! i put the dining room table next to the opening and made noises as each kid crawled through.

  on the other side i decorated the room with halloween stuff since it is a big part of the story in the books/movie. on the wall were cutouts of Greg and Rowley in their halloween costumes. and because i have plenty of halloween stuff this worked out well for me. i hung up copies of the Haunted House flyer that Greg had made on the walls along with bats cut from construction paper (already had on hand). for the cake i made a simple sheet cake covered in fondant to look like an open book. i wrote on it with food markers. that top right hand corner wasn't truly smudged, PB's name was there. for the snacks, i just went with premade easy junk rolls, chips,'s what Greg would have liked! i did make a large piece of the moldy cheese out of white chocolate and food dyes. i cut the circles out using the ends of a sterile syringe casing.

for the loot bag prizes i embellished pencils with shrinky dink Gregs. i made some Diary of a Wimpy Kid Do It Yourself type pages printed on lined paper and complied them into journals for the kids to complete at home. also with the loot bags was a copy of the "Wimp Yourself" that each kid made and the hot cocoa.

this was the cheapest party i have ever done. i may have spent 35 bucks for decor, goodies and food. i made several things out of a free refrigerator cardboard box. I had alot of stuff already on hand. the parents had just as much fun as the kids.

Oh! for the thank yous i used the form Greg had for his christmas gift thank yous .... but changed it to birthday:

i also made a Diary of a Wimpy Kid shirt for PB to wear so he would be dressed themely (not a word but works!).

and here is the boy smiling and enjoying his party! unlike last year where he put on a luchador mask, hid and cried. ah good times!

Saturday, April 02, 2011

stick peoples* ties

a collaborative project PB and i made. thrift store ties paired with his little drawings make for a great man gift. he drew the peoples on cotton duck with a permanent marker. i then coated them in mod podge and attached to the ties. the mod podge made the images really stiff. i am sure there has go to be some miracle substance out there (anyone?) that would have worked better but i just used what i had on hand.

* words are more fun when plural but still have a "s" attached when not needed... peoples!

Monday, March 21, 2011

terrarium cupcakes

i made these cupcakes for pumpkinbutt's class recently. they are studing gardens/plants/ creatures right now. i also brought in a large container of real earthworms for them to look at. Then read a book to them called "Yucky Worms " which has interesting facts and experiments younger kids can enjoy, like how to know which end of the worm is the head or tail (the head is the end that heads down first in the dirt).

the cupcakes are covered in chocolate icing dirt, green tinted coconut grass, gummy worm on top and then placed inside a clear cup. i covered the tops with cling wrap for the complete terrarium look.

Friday, January 28, 2011


pumpkinbutt's class is reading The Twits by Roald Dahl of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach fame right now. this week is literacy awareness week and i saw an opportunity to have some fun! The Twits is an extremely funny little book about an old married couple that are horrid and haggard and play mean tricks on each other that are actually pretty funny!
mr. twit has a long nasty beard that he never washes and food gets stuck in it so....
i started with having the class help me build upon this mr. mashed potato head rendition of mr. twit:

as we added peas, corn flakes and hot dogs the class " Ewww"ed so much that my original plan of us actually eating him didn't happen. i got this idea from a book i found at a thrift store. it is all food stuff based after many of Roald Dahl's works. Recipe and instructions below if you happen to be needing a mashed potato face and beard:

next i had pre-drawn beards on brown construction paper. i gave all the kid's dried foods (rice, split peas, cornflakes, noodles) to glue down. afterwards they sported their dirty beards:

pumkinbutt gave the activity a thumbs up!

one trick that mrs. twit played on mr. twit was tricking him into eating spaghetti with worms in it. i made the kid's some wormy spaghetti out of twizzlers and gummy worms and put it into little ziplock bags with an image from the book of the trick taking place.

another trick that she played on him was putting her glass eye in his mug of beer...

so i got "kid beer" (root beer) and made a label with mr. twit on it:

and them snuck eyeballs (marshmallow, life saver, raisin) into the cups:

so why all the tricks done by mrs. twit? because i dressed up like her! in the book she is a rude, ugly, fowl women, and i can relate! in the book it describes how she used to be good looking but with all the horrible thoughts she had it made her look horrible. so i told the kid's that their teacher and i are the same age....60, but the teacher looks so good because she doesn't think bad stuff like i do. ( their teacher is only in her 20's ) i then passed around a photo of natalie wood and said that's what i used to look like!

so here is the book's mrs. twit:

and here is my rendition:

hahahahahahaha! so freaking funny! as i would talk to the kids, i would call them "dirty little street urchins" and "varmits" but quickly change it too "little dears" and "sweethearts" because i told them i was trying to change my ways. they asked where mr. twit was and i told them he was at home trying to figure out how to use a stick of deodorant and a bar of soap. i wanted to start it off with that my parole office was making me be here as part of my community service. but these kids are too quick and would have questioned it and that would have lead to my not being allowed to have any more activities with them.
whew! it was fun but a lot of work. i spent about 4 hours on all this stuff for 1 hour of kid-crazy fun but i loved doing it. looking forward to the next book they read about vile individuals!