A Grandma's spin on crafts, games, recipes & lifestyle

Tag: crafting

DIY Pom Pom Gnomes & More!

While I have always thought gnomes to be cute, I have to say I have not been a gnome collector….until now!  Oh my goodness!  Whether it is because they are simply adorable or that making them has become quite theraputic, I am totally enjoying these DIY Pom Pom Gnomes and More!

A quick search on Pinterest will show you MANY ways of making yarn pom poms.   I have made pom poms over the years for various crafts, and I can honestly say I have tried MANY methods!  However, the one method I refuse to try is using a purchased pom pom maker.  I try to be as thrifty as I can so that is just not an option for me…and mine have still turned out fluffy and full!

Supplies Needed ~

  • yarn
  • scissors (sharp and with pointy tip)
  • serving fork, wooden fork, credit card, or cardboard cut about 1 1/4″ wide X 1 1/4″ wide
  • hot glue gun
  • embellishments for nose:  wooden ball, small stones, pearl balls, etc.
  • toilet paper roll(s)
  • tape (for incidentals)

First of all, you need to focus on your yarn.  Any yarn will work, and I mean ANY yarn.  So what is the difference between the $4.99 yarn and the $7.99 yarn?  There are many differences, but for these DIY pom pom gnomes, it is basically the thickness.  The thicker the yarn, the less it will take to create a full ball.

How to Make Yarn Pom Poms ~

My favorite method for making pom poms is with a large serving fork.  The fork I use is about 1 1/4″ wide.  Some other methods are using a credit card or cutting a piece of cardboard to the exact size you want.  There are truly so many items you can use for this project, this has just been the method I have found I really like.

  • Cut one piece of yarn about 6-7 inches.  Place the yarn as shown in the picture above.
  • Wrap your desired color of yarn around the fork until you get the desired size and thickness.  While you are wrapping, you will leave the one piece of yarn hanging down for later use.

  • I have included a picture to give you an idea of how the pom poms will turn out according to the number of times you wrap.  The smaller ball was wrapped around the serving fork 100 times and the bigger ball was wrapped around the serving fork 200 times.

  • Once you have finished wrapping, bring the loose piece of yarn up and over the top and tie loosely.  (The reason I say loosely is to make pulling it off the fork easier when it is time!)  Hold the tied yarn piece and begin pulling the wrapped yarn off of the fork.

  • When you have pulled it completely off of the fork, tie the yarn on top tightly, double knotting it.

  • Cut through all of the loops, being careful not to cut into center where the tied piece of yarn is tied off.  It is important to have sharp scissors with a pointy tip.

  • Lightly fluff your pom pom with your hand and then trim the edges until you have desired the size you want.

Whoo hoo…you have officially made a yarn pom pom!  Great job!

I’m going to let you in on a little secret.  The blue pom poms I made above were not for making gnomes.  Remember, I told you there are so many fun things you can do with these?  Well, these particular pom poms became “snowflakes” in my Gizmo Snail Mail project I wrote about at the beginning of this month?  Do you remember that post?  Check out this fun post on Gizmo Advent Snail Mail ….right here!

I hid a Christmas book in the bottom of a box, added a spring mechanism on that, placed a piece of cardboard on that and then filled the box to the top with the “snowflakes.”  When the kids opened their countdown box, voila, it was an instant snow storm, compliments of Gizmo!

Back to DIY Yarn Pom Pom Gnomes & More ~

Now it is time to make those cute little hats!  You will need a small book or credit card that measures about 3″.  I use a small leather book that is 3 1/2″ X 5 1/2″.   It is a fun idea to get a little crazy with your yarn selection for the hats.  Decide if you will use a solid color, a mixed yarn or use 2 or 3 different colored yarns.

My daughter, Karleigh, created some pom pom gnomes over the weekend.  Notice she has some solid colors, some yarns that are a mixed coloring and then created her own color striped hats by using 2 different color yarns.  Notice that cute little Purdue one!  Such a cute idea to pair up with some holiday candy or a bottle of wine and gift to friends and family!  (She found it to be very theraputic to make these…bonus!)

Gnome Hat Instructions ~

  • Cut toilet paper roll into 1/2″ rings.  This will make the band of the hat.  Once you get familiar with the process, you can play around with the sizing of the hat and cut them to the dimensions you prefer.

  • Wrap the yarn about 30 times around the small book or credit card.  Snip the end.  Cut the yarn across the binding of the book.  Once you have cut through all of the yarn strands, you will have 30 strands that are about 7″ long.  Depending upon the bulk of your yarn, you may choose to cut more if needed.
  • Place one strand at a time through the toilet paper ring, forming a loop.

  • Bring the two loose ends up and through the loop.

  • Pull to tighten, being careful not to pull so tight that you tear the toilet paper roll.  *The toilet paper roll is somewhat flimsy.  If you happen to tear it while working, just wrap a piece of tape around the cut to mend.

  • Continue this until you have completely covered the toilet paper ring.
  • Tie one long piece of yarn around the top, leaving some loose at the top for the fluffy top of the hat.
  • Trim the top of hat to desired length.

  • Insert one to two cotton balls in hat to keep form.

  • Hot glue inside of hat and place on pom pom you made earlier.  Adorn with a nose of your choice.

These yarn pom pom gnomes are seriously as much fun to make as they are to gift and/or receive.  They are perfect additions to gifts for friends, teachers, co-workers, and family members.  They would also make a perfect gift topper!

Enjoy your crafting ~

Mimi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mother’s Day Controversy

May 9, 2021 – The 107th Mother’s Day ~

Have there OFFICIALLY been 107 Mother’s Days?  There is some controversy over this date.  This, of course, led to some research on my part.  According to our history, 1914 is the the year that President Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation designating the second Sunday in May to be a national holiday to honor mothers.  So I consider this fact to NOT be a Mother’s Day controversy…what do you think?

Other days celebrating “mothers” have been recognized before this.  Ann Reeves Jarvis organized Mothers’ Friendship Day to foster reconciliation between families of the North and the South after the Civil War.  She cared for wounded soldiers on both sides during the war and  felt strongly about bringing peace to all involved.  The first Mothers’ Friendship Day was held in 1865 and became an annual event for several years after that.  In fact, this is what inspired what we now know as Mother’s Day.

Sooo….Mother’s Day became a national holiday in 1914 BUT people realized long before then that mother’s deserved some respect…AM I RIGHT???

Hold up…did you catch the typos in the earlier paragraph???

Are you finding yourself stating, “Mimi needs to correct her grammar.”  Did you notice that darn apostrophe is in the wrong place…not once but TWICE in the opening paragraphs?  Well, it is indeed correct just how it is!  For all of you grammar nerds like me…Sorry!  In fact, this is what has become yet another Mother’s Day controversy.  Crazy right?  When the friendship days were first created, they were more of a celebration for soldiers and their moms in an effort to instill peace.  Therefore, it was not a day honoring individual moms, but instead moms as a whole with their sons.

I am actually sitting here stunned right now that in my mid 50’s I am just hearing of all of this.  I recently started researching Mother’s Day controversy stemming from posts I have seen on social media over the last few years.  None of which had anything to do with:

  • Who actually created Mother’s Day?
  • Where does that crazy apostrophe belong?
  • What is the right way to celebrate this wonderful holiday?
  • Is Mother’s Day too commercialized?

Personally, I have always found the biggest controversy to be finding how to share time with my mother, mother-in-law and my kids (obviously as their mother) all in the same day.  When I was a kid, we all lived so close to most of our family members making this process much easier.

The Move From Singular Possessive to Plural Possessive ~

The big move of that devilish apostrophe from Mothers’ Day to Mother‘s Day took place in 1908.  Anna Jarvis (daughter to above mentioned Ann Reeves Jarvis) held a memorial to honor her mother and all mothers.    This is technically the first official celebration of Mother’s Day.  After several years of this annual celebration, President Woodrow Wilson signed a bill designating the second Sunday of May as Mother’s Day.

The Controversy Continues ~

As the years progressed, Anna Jarvis became increasingly frustrated at how Mother’s Day was being celebrated.  According to Anna, the holiday was becoming too commercialized.  She spent the rest of her life trying to get the holiday removed from the national calendar.

It is so sad that such a special day is plagued with so much controversy.  However, we are not going to let this get in the way of showing moms all around the world how very much they are appreciated, right?  How you choose to celebrate is obviously up to you….simplistic or extravagant.  Keep in mind, the most important thing is just to convey love and thoughtfulness.  Let’s look at some fun ideas!

Mother’s Day Ideas ~

  • Brunch – Break out the china, pull out the tablecloths and add in some candles.  It can be matchy matchy or all mis-matched.  The idea is to bring together a fun meal with a special table setting.  And…don’t you dare let mom make that meal….come on it’s Mother’s Day!  If the children are small, let them make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with apple slices.  If it is an adult planning then maybe go a little more sophisticated.   Regardless of the menu, any mom is sure to appreciate the special attention!
  • Household Chores –  Every mom loves a break from house cleaning.  Whether you take it on the fly and just clean the morning of or you create a coupon book for mom with different duties, offering to help clean is something every mom loves!
  • Gardening and Flowers – We have spent several Mother’s Days once my children have gotten older with them helping me till the garden and plant the veggies and flowers.  I love the help and especially love the special time with the kiddos.  You can go a step further and purchase some of the garden goodies for her.
  • Free Day – From sunup to sundown, let mom just relax.  Does she love to lounge in bed or does she prefer time in the sun?  Know what she likes and make sure she is content there all day long with snacks, drinks, books and a cozy blanket.
  • Reading – Speaking of books, does she have a favorite author?  Is she on a reading social media site (like Good Reads) where she saves books she would like to read?  Look at that list and surprise her with one or two of her desired books.
  • Hiking – Is mom the outdoors type?  Plan a fun day of hiking and a picnic!
  • Casino Time – Maybe mom loves to gamble.  Offer to drive her to and from the closest casino.  As an extra bonus, add in a little extra cash for her to have fun with!  For heaven’s sakes, let her have fun!  This would be one of my mom’s favorite gifts for sure!
  • Shopping & Lunch – Need I really say more about how much fun this can be for both mom and daughter?
  • Home Made Cards – My children loved making their own cards when they were smaller.  What is important here is that you do this ahead of time so they have plenty of time to create the “perfect” card.  There is no card out there that can be purchased that is more personal than a hand made one!
  • Pet Spa – What mom wouldn’t love a break from bathing the family pet?  Either wash the pets for her or just help out…you may be surprised at how much fun you can have together.

There are truly so many ideas for this special day.  Personally, I love the gifts that are hand made or “time spent with my kids” gifts.

Also, there are some really unique ideas from Stampington & Company that you need to check out.  They have free projects, that do also include links to purchase any of the items you don’t already have.  Use the links in green below to find some really creative ideas.

This project is definitely the “Bee’s Knees” for a Mother’s Day Gift! Check it out here!  (ok, I really love this one because bees are my fave!)

You're The Bee's Knees— Mother's Day Tag & Charm Project

 

This Mother’s Day floral bouquet project is sure to be a hit…check it out!  One of the things I love most about this project is that they used holiday clearance items (like a Christmas tree form) to redefine their use.  It is so very creative.

A Mother€'s Day Floral Bouquet Project by Catherine Garmany

I can’t begin to tell you how much I LOVE these very special soldered ornaments. You MUST see these!  What is so wonderful about these is that you can use special sentiments OR you can use special photos!

Inspired by Mom Soldered Ornaments Project by Catherine Garmany

These are just a few of their unique crafting ideas.  Be sure to check out their website yourself here…Check out everything Stampington & Company has to offer here!!!  Be sure to peruse their website, but click on DIY Inspiration ➡ Free Projects➡ Search Bar (and type in Mother’s Day) for more great Mother’s Day crafting ideas.

I still haven’t figured out the more current Mother’s Day controversy of spending this awesome day with both my mother and my mother-in-law…but I will continue to work on that!  In the meantime, maybe this year will be difficult to figure out that dilemma after my kid’s see the current personal “spa day” I did on myself and my hair.  I’m thinking this year a day at my favorite hair salon may just be that perfect gift for me…*HINT HINT*

P.S.  Are you wondering about the woman in the cover pic?  That’s my mom….she’s as cool now as she was when I was a kid!

Much love ~

Mimi

Children’s Book Club Subscription

What is not to love about a monthly subscription box?  I remember as a kid my mom would order different monthly magazines for me.  Excitement was high on the days those magazines hit the mailbox.  Memories of running into the house with my coveted treasure still makes me smile.  I would head straight to my bedroom to explore what this month’s book had in store for me.  Fast forward to the 21st century.  NOW, we have BOXES!  Boxes filled with all sorts of treasures and surprises!  Oh, how I have fallen in love with the children’s book club subscription from Owl Post Books!!!

Let’s face it…we love to spoil our children and grandchildren.  Nothing makes me happier than to see the faces of my grandchildren with a smile plastered across their eager faces.  They jump around and ask, “Can we open it now, Mimi?”   I truly love it as much as they do!  Not only do they love the books, but they have already become accustomed to the idea that a craft is included as well.  Th  Everything is all right there in one cute little box without having to prepare a special activity.

October Books ~

This month’s books included:

  • I Love You Little Pookie ~ This is a delightful book that teaches love.  It offers many opportunities for kids to hear the words “I love you.”
  • The Itsy Bitsy Duckling ~ I love singing this book to the tune of Itsy Bitsy Spider – the kids love this.
  • Halloween Peek-A-Boo ~ This was our favorite this month.  Each page has a “spooky” Halloween character.  They challenge the child to mimic their “frightening” look in the provided mirror.  Many belly laughs were shared while each child tried this!

October Craft ~

The kids loved the craft this month from their children’s book club subscription.  They got to punch out, peel off the backing and stick  foam stickers wherever they wanted.  They even changed their minds as they were crafting and moved some around.   It was a great craft that they could do together even though there is a difference in their ages.  The final product was a super cute Halloween frame that we will print out a picture from this post and insert.

The subscription box we receive is for ages 0 – 3.  We chose this because I wanted to have something special to do with Max while Addi was at school.  What we have discovered though, is that Addi loves them just as much as Max.  This leads me to believe that Mimi will be setting up a second subscription soon.  I’m anxious to see what all is included in the next age group of 4 – 7 years old.

It is safe to say that our family is obsessed with this whole children’s book club subscription idea.  What a great way to foster the love of reading that has the child excited for each month’s selections.  Try it out for yourself here:  Owl Post Books!  What a great time to get started too…the holidays are just around the corner!  If you would like more details, I provided detailed information in last month’s post…..Check out the details here for Owl Post Books!

Happy Reading!!!

Fall is Around the Corner!

We have all heard the jokes…let’s just skip through Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas and move on to 2021!  Everyone is officially FED UP with 2020.  However, we still have time to make this year memorable in ways other than the dreaded virus that has haunted us these last few months.  I truly believe this.  Maybe it’s because I ABSOLUTELY LOVE HALLOWEEN!  Let’s set aside the frustration and enjoy the rest of this year because YES~Fall is Around the Corner!  Ok, ok I hear you.  It’s August 14 and the official start of fall is September 22.  That means we have time to plan new activities, make new crafts and search for delicious new recipes….let’s go!

Start Collecting Pine Cones and Nuts NOW!!!

The wonderful thing about crafting with nature’s wonders is that adults and children can craft together using the same materials but with different outcomes.   Pinecone and nut crafts have evolved through the years.    I have been urging my family members to start collecting pinecones and nuts now so we will have a nice inventory when we get ready to start crafting.  I am absolutely loving some of the ideas I am seeing on Pinterest like these cute ideas:  Click here for some creative nature holiday crafts like the pics below!!

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