Our Grateful Tree

I am always a sucker for a tree branch craft, so imagine how much I love a Thanksgiving grateful tree. For FHE this last Monday, I tried to get the kids to really think about the things that we are grateful for. It took some work for them to be serious, but they really loved writing and drawing (or telling me what to write) and then placing them on the tree.

For this tree, I just snapped off a piece from my tree in the back yard and spray painted it white. Instead of cut out leaves, I just did circles.. because I already had them.

One of my favorite parts of the activity was asking the kids to name something Dad is grateful for. It was pretty funny to hear what they see as Dad’s favorite things.. the gym, football, beef? Bentley said beef.. she’s on this weird beef kick.. She wrote “I love beef” on my foot the other night…

Some of my favorites from the tree:







definitely lemonade and definitely toast-bauer



Do-It-Yourself Antique Spoon Herb Markers

I’ve been doing some summer traveling and camping, and it feels good to be back to my blog! I thought this was a project worth sharing, although I haven’t quite mastered it myself.

These are stamped, which is the part that can be tricky. But aren’t they cute? I made them for my “secret sister” at camp. But I can’t keep a secret, so she knew from day 1 I must be hers. I wanted something fun to give someone who gardens.. and this cute idea came up. First, I started by looking at the local thrift store for interesting spoons.

Notice how I started with twice as many? That’s how many I messed up. Make sure to buy extra, and start with the spoons that are your least favorite.

You’re going to want a metal stamp kit. There are a few different options at Harbor Freight. Your first step is taking a sturdy hammer and flattening out the arch in the spoon. You really won’t get the result you want unless you set it on concrete (if you’re working on concrete you’re worried about chipping, put it on top of wood or something else on top of the concrete). Anything that is not really hard underneath it will absorb your hit, when you really want the stamp to get as much of it as possible.
So once you’ve flattened out your spoon, it’s time to stamp it. Now we all know I struggle with the details, and this will sound funny, but make sure your stamp is facing the right way before you pound. Try your hardest to give yourself enough room for all your letters. I like the look of the letters being a little crooked, so I don’t worry too much about that. If you want them straight, I would bet sticking on some painters tape would help guide you. A mallet packs a lot of punch, which getting one good hit is the easiest way to achieve the best look. If you’re punching an “L” and you feel like it’s not a very deep engrave, it’s hard to line that “L” exactly up again, but it can be done. You have to hit hard. That’s why it’s good to practice, you don’t really realize how hard you have to hit. Some spoons are softer than others.

The last step is to rub the spoons with antique glaze. I like the glaze I got from Lowe’s.. you don’t have to mix it with anything.

It’s a really fun project.. not expensive, and once you learn to stamp, there’s so much more you can do with them! I’d love to know if you’re going to try it!

so eAsY maGneTs

So here’s a simple craft for pretty much any age… my 5 year old loves these. I love magnets (my fridge is covered in Anne Taintor and home made) so I can hang up all my favorite pictures. This was a cute idea I saw on a blog a while ago and I thought I’d share it because it is so easy.

All you’re going to need is river rocks, rub on stickers, magnets, and hot glue.

My advice on..

the river rocks: lighter and flatter is best.. and I think it would be even better if you could find some that don’t have the shiny glazed polished kind of finish (I think a hardware store would be your best bet for that.. in the landscaping). I didn’t find those and it still worked. I like a more earthy look, though. If they’re too big, the poor little magnet won’t be able to hold up the rock, let alone anything else you want it to hold to your fridge or magnet board.

Rub-Ons: You can find these at any scrapbook or craft store.. there are so many cute options. Just find some that are small enough to fit and you’re good to go! These are from the local Pebbles in My Pocket and are called Lucy’s Bird Bath.

See! It’s true.. here’s the proof that my little trouble maker will stay out of trouble for 30 minutes if I put her to work on this one…

So basically, the hardest part is making sure your sticker completely rubs off onto the rock. This is why I say I think one without a polish is better.. it would probably get a better stick. But as long as you’re careful, you’ll be able to get it on there perfect. Maybe practice one sticker that’s not your favorite first..

Next step, hot glue yourself a magnet. Don’t let your five year old do that, though. Can you imagine?
And here are her cute little magnets.. ready for a fridge or a cute little magnet board.

Thanks for all your great support.. I love it!