Sharing Saturday #48

Once again, there were some amazing ideas shared last week. If you have not had a chance to check them out, please do so! There were many Thanksgiving crafts and ideas shared. I know I pinned them for next year. Click on the Most Clicked picture to see the post!

With December starting, I know I have Christmas and winter on my mind. Plus Sunday starts Advent this year, so I decided to feature a few of the Christmas/Advent/Winter posts shared.
1) From Wesens-Art: Advent Calendar
2) From De Gulle Aarde: Cup Cookies
3) From Making Boys Men: Using Kids Art for Christmas Cards
4) From Taming the Goblin: Snow Play (Indoors!)

A few of my other favorites as well:
1) From Hey Mommy, Chocolate Milk, Native American Salt Sticks Evaporation
2) From E Strea Chikitu: Needle Felted Star Tutorial
3) From I'm not a trophy wife: Fun Word Cloud Project (introducing another free word art site like Tagxedo)
4) From Ziezo - Crafting and Living in Kenya: Dyeing Wool with a Child

Thank you to everyone who shared last week!! I hope you will join us and share again!! If you are featured here, please feel free to grab a featured button to display proudly on your blog.

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From Your Hostess:
Winter Pants: Yellow Ducks and Red Snowflakes
Now for This Week's Party   
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Christmas Gifts

Since we put our tree up early, Hazel is so excited about Christmas. It is a good thing the month of December is so full of fun activities or it might be a very long month for her. She has been wanting to wrap Christmas gifts for months, so yesterday I gave in and let her do some wrapping.

Over the summer we made some of the poured paint flower pots for all of our family. (We followed the tutorial at Dily-Dali Art.)Hazel has been wanting to make paper flowers, so we decided to make some for the flower pots and then wrap them. We kept it simple with cupcake liners and pipe cleaners.
I got a bit fancy with some of the flowers and different size liners, but for the most part we kept them simple. Oh, a word of advice in poured pots--don't store them stacked. They stick!! We only broke one getting them all apart, but it was not fun.
After making the paper flowers we wrapped them in sparkly tissue paper and tied them with a pipe cleaner. (Our cats eat the ribbons and get sick so we don't use ribbons when the gifts will sit in the house for any amount of time.) Then Hazel wanted to wrap more gifts, so I pulled out all the gifts for Daddy, Mimi, Pop and Nonni that we have already bought or made. We wrapped those including Pop's birthday gift. Pop's birthday is Christmas day, so it is always a double celebration. Actually now four of my family's birthdays occur from Christmas until January 10th and then we get Steve's and his mother's in February. We basically have three months of celebrating.

Hazel still wanted to wrap, but all I had left are gifts for her (and stocking stuffers) and most of them are from Santa so she definitely cannot see them. I did leave the wrapping paper in Steve's office and when he got home they wrapped the gifts I have bought for myself so far.

Now I need to get sewing her big Christmas gift from us and her birthday gift. I'm off to sew. How is your holiday shopping going?

Morning of Baking and Snacking

Wednesdays are our day of rest and play. It is the day this year between her two school days, so I try not to plan too much. This week, we finally baked the pumpkin apple cranberry bread recipe we wanted to try. We used this recipe from Joy the Baker. Since it makes two loaves, we brought one to school. Since there is a no nut rule, we did not add the pecans to one of the loaves, but besides that pretty much followed the recipe. Oh, and I was told that I was the assistant that day and she was the chef. We change roles often.
My chef measuring brown sugar.
Then we baked it and waited. Hazel did not like the waiting because I promised her we could have some hot chocolate with the rest of the homemade whip cream with a slice for a snack.  She did however enjoy the snack.

Then to share one more surprise, I made Hazel another new pair of pants. She has been asking for a new ducky outfit since she has outgrown the one I made her. I had bought this flannel when I bought the other ducky fabric, but Hazel has been playing with it. I used it finally to make her pants and want to make a matching top. I took the pattern I used the other day and changed the pockets to ones for a jacket on a pattern I had. I also added some elastics in the ankles to help keep her legs warmer.

Dressed for School

New Pants

Last night I decided to use some of the flannel I bought recently and made Hazel some pants. I have started a top to match, but haven't finished it yet. The top is mostly the solid red.

I used the pattern and instructions in Little Girls, Big Style by Mary Abreu. I added the pockets and the lace.

Ok, my only downfall with these pants. Hazel wore them to school today and we had snow flurries and rain showers all day. The flannel absorbed the water (I didn't realize it was suppose to start so early so I did not have her wear her rain or snow pants), and the ruffle made them a bit too long and got covered in mud. Luckily they washed out. Oh, well. The next pair will be shorter and maybe tighter on the legs.

Happy Family Times #35--Thanksgiving

If you want to share a child-oriented craft please visit Sharing Saturday!!
 Did you do something with your family that was fun? Kelly from Happy Whimsical Hearts and I are collecting family activities. Our hope is to have a fun list of activities to inspire all of us to have more quality family time. Please share yours below.

Well seeing how our Thanksgiving was last week, I cannot think about sharing anything other activity this week. To me Thanksgiving is all about the family. The food is great, but we focus much more on being together. I also decided a long time ago that I love to host Thanksgiving more than travel for it. Plus we always invite Steve's mother--though she never comes for the actual meal, but stops in to say hello later in the day. We at least feel like we are trying to include her.
Playing "This Little Piggy"

My parents and one of my sisters came. They came Wednesday and stayed until Friday. Hazel was so excited. Once she saw my sister, she did not want to let her out of her sight. My father had a new position as second best. Hazel helped me make the beds on Wednesday and clean the guest bathrooms. She also helped with some of the cooking on Wednesday.

My sister worked Wednesday so she came after Hazel's bedtime. Hazel did not get to see her until Thursday morning. She could not wait to go down and see her, but we did not let her wake her aunt up, however, my sister heard her talking to my parents and came to see her.

Now I cooked the turkey, mashed potatoes and stuffing on Thursday. Hazel and I had made cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie on Wednesday and I bought an unbaked apple pie at the church fundraiser which I baked on Thursday. My mother made roasted vegetables and a salad (though actually all three of us helped with the salad) and my sister made her favorite squash dish. Hazel helped her.
Scooping the squash
Hazel got quite upset when my sister wanted to help in the kitchen rather than play with her. My sister always makes the gravy. Well my turkey cooked like my mother's always did and was done at least an hour before scheduled. Overall the meal went well and so did the food prep. We decided to use our good china since there was only six of us. (We have to hand wash it so we do not use it very often.) We cleaned up and went for a walk around the block before having dessert. Then I made some whipped cream and Steve's mother came over.

Hazel and my sister were planning a ball and Hazel got us all costumes to dress as princesses. Everyone had a piece of fabric for a dress, a crown, a wand and a necklace. When my mother-in-law came, she searched for enough things for her. Even my father got to dress as a princess. We did let Steve dress as a knight, but I did not get a picture of him.
My sister decided to tease Hazel and tried to walk in her princess slippers. It was rather funny. She kept pretending that they fit perfectly like Cinderella's.

After dessert, Hazel decided all the princesses needed to get married and the ball became a wedding. For Hazel the most important part of the wedding was walking down the aisle. Hazel's prince was her pink dog named Frenchy and their aisle was the entire family room.
My sister got Fluffy as a prince. My father and I came late and we decided that my father could be my prince. My mother already had one of Hazel's stuffed animals as her prince.

The next day my sister left early, but my mother, Hazel and I put up our Christmas tree while the men went to the shooting range. We had such a lovely Thanksgiving and I am very thankful!

Now it is your turn to share how your family has spent some quality time lately.

~ please link up (family time oriented giveaways are ok, but please no Etsy shops)
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Ok, now for our PARTY!! Please share your FUN Family Times!!

Days of the Blackbird--Virtual Book Club for Kids

Last week we kicked off this month of the Virtual Book Club for Kids with two of Tomie dePaola's books with angels.

This week we are sharing Days of the Blackbird: A Tale of Northern Italy. This sweet story is a way that La Giornate della Merla, The Days of the Blackbird, may have come to be. It is a fictional story to explain a true Northern Italian holiday.

The story is about a duke and his daughter. The duke is well respected and well liked in the town and many people come to him for his advice. However in the warm weather his daughter and he sit in their courtyard to listen to the birdsong. Their favorite bird is an all white bird which his daughter calls La Colomba. This bird is always the first to return in the spring and the last to leave in the fall and has the most beautiful voice.

Late one fall the duke falls ill. His daughter worries about him greatly. As the winter begins some of the birds begin to leave, but his daughter goes and begs them not to leave. She feeds them and puts out baskets with wool to keep them warm. Eventually all of the birds except La Colomba leave. She begs La Colomba to stay and he does. He sings on the windowsill for the duke every day. Then the coldest days of the year occur--the last three days of January and La Colomba needs to find more warmth and goes to sleep in the chimney. On the third day he returns to sing but the daughter is shocked to see a blackbird and realizes it is La Colomba. After that La Colomba is called La Merla (Blackbird) and never changes back to white. The duke of course becomes healthy and calls the last three days of January the Days of the Blackbird since it was La Merla that saved him.
Well we had quite a fun time with this one. Hazel has been asking questions about fire a bit, so I burned some scrap paper in a tin can to make ashes and then added water to them. We used this ash water as paint.
We started with La Colomba. We used a picture I found at DLTK-Growing Together.
Then Hazel painted the picture with the ash water and I helped a bit.
The result was La Merla, though not as black as if we had used real paint, but I liked giving the lesson of ashes and soot.
I also made the white bird pictured above using a pattern in Living Craft Magazine last year. I made Hazel a black one to go with this book. Now she uses them to act out the story. (Can I tell you how sad I am that Living Crafts is no longer published?)

Now it is your turn to share your favorite activities to go with Tomie dePaola books.

Felt Zoo Preparation

Sharing Saturday is still open and waiting for your child-oriented crafts and activities!

For Christmas we are giving Hazel a finished version of her zoo mat with a castle play mat on the other side. We also bought her the Melissa and Doug Castle Block Play Set. I wanted to make her some animals for her zoo, so I got started on them this weekend. I made her this adorable penguin. I got the free pattern at Nuno Life.
Zoo Play Mat Unfinished
I also made a lioness. I got the pattern from my Joan Russell book, The Woman's Day Book of Soft Toys & Dolls. It is out of print but you can buy used copies at Amazon. I will be making the male lion as well which is similar but has a mane. Are you making any Christmas gifts for your little ones?