Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Muddled Mawkishness Is Moving!

Muddled Mawkishness and Murky Musings is moving to Hope to see you there!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Many Hands Make Light Work

Thank goodness there are "many hands" at our house today! This weekend, the city of Rayne is hosting their annual Frog Festival. Our small family business will be out there on Saturday, selling our wares, thanks to my super boss. She was willing to share a booth with us. So after tackling the few tests we have to complete today, our family will be preparing the basket of goodies we will be bringing to the festival. If you are in the area, come check out all our Kittles Family Artworks goodies and the textile goodies from the Sew What! shop.

I used to sell my jewelry under the name Rond Alainn when we were living in Texas but when we moved back to Louisiana, I had to stop. We had to find out all the ins and outs of selling things in Louisiana and we had to make new connections. There was no time to do that immediately since we also had the task of settling into the routine of living in a new place. Our old friends had, of course, moved on and grown in their own paths and made new friends, which meant we had to make new friends, as well. You know how the saying goes: "Make new friends but keep the old. One is silver and the other, gold." There's truth in that saying. I'm happy to say we've kept most of our old friends and made some awesome new ones, adding to "the family we chose."

I can't type too much today but I wanted to share a bit of my excitement about being able to sell our things to the public at a live event. It's been so long since I've done so, that I'll have to dust off all my displays! I've also had to refresh my packaging and supplies, and check through all my tags and pricing... Crazy! Well, what is life but a wild roller coaster ride, eh? Have fun! I intend to do so.

Laugh a lot and remember to breathe!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Origin spirits of the past - Opening Theme (good quality)

 Our family really enjoys this movie and the opening theme is especially gorgeous when you have a good speaker system. Even if you don't enjoy animated movies, check out the theme song and listen with an open mind. They lyrics are not in English but it's a really beautiful piece of work.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Recycled Gift Tag Tutorial

Hello again! I've never posted a tutorial with photos before. This is my first attempt. I like playing with my photo apps and this actually gave me another opportunity to do that. I hope you will enjoy the tutorial and find it interesting. You might get a laugh or two out of it, as well!

Homemade Gift Tags
I've been collecting warm beverage sleeves from our trips to the local cafe because I love the texture of the corrugated cardboard. I thought I'd cut them apart and use them in a scrapbook but then I read this post on Colorful Threads of Life blog. My husband drew my attention to the post and I really liked the ideas posted there which included nifty gift wrap ideas using recyclable items. So here's my spin on homemade gift tags.

Supplies Needed
one warm beverage sleeve (will make 3 gift tags)
Scrapbook paper of your choice (scraps will work if they are at least 2.5" square)
Hole Punch
Eyelets in desired size
Eyelet tool (which comes with most packets of eyelets)
Sharpie Marker in desired color
Optional Embellishments (i.e., glitter and glue or glitter glue, sparkly mesh fabric, ribbon/string/hemp cord)

Once you have all your supplies together (and you know how all the tools work... :O ), the project goes together pretty quickly.

Step 1:
Cut the warm beverage sleeve into pieces starting at the place where it's been glued together. Mine were perforated so I cut along the glue line and along the perforation there.This opens up the sleeve and allows you to cut all the sections apart.

 I end up with 3 large cards and 2 small cards when the cutting is all done. Set aside the small cards for possible use later. (I'm thinking I'll use mine as two-piece tags, one reading "To:" and the other reading "From:" but I'm sure I'll need smaller eyelets for that.)
Step 2:
Taking one of the large tags from the previous step, use a pencil to trace this shape on the back side of your scrapbook paper. I chose to use Christmas paper because that holiday is fast approaching and I'm nowhere near ready for it!
Step 3:Cut out the shape you just drew on the scrapbook paper. You could also use scrapbooking stencils if you wish to create specific and perfect shapes for your tags. Just be sure the stencil is not too much larger than your tag. Unless you are using cardstock, the paper won't be stiff enough to hold its shape. (For instance, if you want to cut out a star, if the points of the star extend beyond the edge of the cardboard tag, they will bend, ruining the appeal of your tag.)
 If you want some of the textured cardboard to show, cut inside the line you drew. I had to trim away a good bit before I was happy with the result.
Step 4:
Place your scrapbook paper, printed side up, on top of your cardboard tag. Place it where you want it and hold it in one hand. Using the hole punch, punch a hole for the eyelet you wish to use. The eyelets I chose were 3/16" (4 mm) so I was able to use a standard single-hole punch. 
Step 5:The eyelet tool that comes with eyelets used in sewing has two parts: a thick, round disk with a bit of a groove in the top which the eyelet front will sit in; and a round cylindrical piece which is flat on one end and has a rounded and recessed point on the other. (I chose to use 2-piece eyelets which means they will have a back piece. They seem to have a smoother finish and are less likely to end up with rough edges.)
 Using the eyelet tool that came with my eyelets, I placed the top part of the eyelet face-down onto the round disk. This is important! Be sure the part of the eyelet you want to show is facing down on top of the round disk! If you don't place your eyelet into the tool correctly, it will not hammer into place correctly and you'll end up with sharp ragged bits of metal that look terrible and present a bit of a hazard. (Ask me how I know...)  Place the top part of the eyelet face-down onto the disc part of the tool. Place the scrapbook paper (face down) and cardboard tag (corrugated side down) on top of the eyelet, lining up the holes over the eyelet. You should see a metal tube rising above your paper pieces. Next, place the back piece of your eyelet over the paper and tube end of the top eyelet piece, lining up the holes. Be sure the rounded edge is facing up. Using the long cylinder, place the rounded point into the hole and gently pound the flat end with a hammer until the eyelet is locked in place. Be sure not to hammer too long, or your paper pieces will wrinkle.
Step 6:
Remove your tag from the tool...or your tools from the tag. Essentially, your tag could be used this way without any further embellishment, especially if you like a more rustic design. The Sharpie markers are used to address your gift tags. You can add any other embellishment you like to your tags to dress them up. I used a bit of glue and some superfine glitter on mine. I also used a length of cord (between 6 and 8 inches long) to string through the eyelets in my tags.
Here's is the photo of my finished tags. I have four now because I had four pieces of scrapbook paper I wanted to use. I also like a bit of imperfection in my pieces so I'm not unhappy with the uneven edges or not-quite-perfect shapes I ended up with. I like that all my tags will be unique when I'm done creating them.
 Feel free to share this blog post. Any of the pictures can be clicked on to enlarge them. They are my photos, though, so please keep that in mind. I don't mind if you copy and paste this blog post to a word document for your own personal use. Happy creating! :)

Friday, October 18, 2013

Bands, Firetrucks and Cotton Candy

This is Rice Festival weekend. The Rice Festival is held every year in October in the town of Crowley, LA and it's a pretty big event. There are live concerts, fair rides/games/food, and parades. Today was the children's parade and all the area marching bands, schools and organizations that wanted to participate were there. It wasn't so big as to be overwhelming for my husband who is not a big fan of crowds but large enough for my girls to get a good taste of the parade atmosphere. One of my son's friends (who we've sort of grafted into our family as our second son) plays a drum for one of the local high schools so we got to see him marching and playing his drum. What fun!
 Our youngest wants to be a fireman when she grows up. She's always excited to see anything related to firefighting and fire safety. She was very happy to see the firetruck coming down the street, though I caught her as she was turning to look at me with my phone for the picture. Oops... :) She was also excited when she saw a fire hydrant. Can you say 'obsessed with firefighting'? *chuckle*
 Our girls had never gotten a chance to eat cotton candy and I told them last year we'd try to make it out to the festival so they could get a taste. It didn't happen last year for some reason. So this year, we managed to get them out there. And this is what they did with the cotton candy after their first couple of bites. Smart girls, eh? I'm pretty sure it's better for you to use cotton candy this way. :D
I hope you've enjoyed the photos. A little more info about the rice festival might be in order. Why celebrate rice? Well, it's one of the major crops of the area. While I don't like the massive amounts of chemicals our local farmers use, nor the type of seed they use, it is their livelihood. Getting a bunch of Cajuns to change their minds about something they believe in firmly or something that's been tradition for a long time is almost impossible but I can guarantee you will get nowhere trying to push new beliefs on them while condemning their current practices, no matter how much scientific evidence you provide. I can say this, though. They do what they do with all their hearts and they do it to the best of their abilities. I can definitely give them kudos for that. We celebrate their efforts and one of the crops that pays the bills. It's just a bit of time out from all that hard work to let loose and enjoy fun and laughter with family and friends. There are also contests, like rice eating contests. There is usually a large area where artists and small business owners are able to set up their booths to sell their goods. There is so much to see and do at the Rice Festival. You should definitely stop by if you ever get the chance.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Physical Education

We always seem to just "wing it" for physical education in our homeschool. I find I can teach them about good nutrition when we make meals at home. We live in an area with a large yard and have been blessed to live in areas which were close to playgrounds which all provide room for free play. All thee of my baby goats love (or loved in the case of our oldest) to climb: trees, old swingsets, basketball poles...Perhaps I have a trio of monkeys instead! But when an opportunity for other activities arises, I do my best to take advantage of it. While there is a martial arts dojo in our local town and both girls are very interested in learning a martial art, our budget does not allow for it at this time.

So, since martial arts is not an option, we are, instead, learning about horses and horseback riding from one of my dad's good friends. I think this is a good skill for anyone to learn and an excellent form of exercise. We are also creating a lapbook (We're using the lapbook available through 'A Journey Through Learning'.) which will help us remember safety tips and information about the care and keeping of horses. We'll even be able to learn a little bit about the different kinds of horses and donkeys. (We are beginning our riding lessons by riding donkeys because they are smaller and a bit less skittish.) Because the lapbook is specific to horses, we'll use books and online resources to learn more about donkeys.

I took a few photos at our first lesson and edited them a bit with my phone. I think the photos came out pretty well and I had fun playing with the textures, actions and frames. I hope you enjoy them, too!
 The above photo shows the girls listening to my dad's friend talk about some horse safety rules.
 Above and below shows each of the girls getting the feel of the donkey's movements while he is being led.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Art and Science

As I mentioned in my last post, we've started a unit study on stars and stargazing. Today we studied a little more about galaxies. I thought it might be fun to let the girls use wire and beads to create an artsy model of a galaxy. This is what we ended up with. Now you can criticize if that makes you happy but we're pretty happy with the end results. :D Hope you enjoy the photos!

Spiral Galaxy and Irregular Galaxy, respectively