Friday, October 30, 2009

Carving a Pumpkin to Look Like My Dog

OK. I was not going to carve a pumpkin this year. But last night, Dave hauls in a good sized pumpkin from the garden, plops it on the table, and trots away. I did my best to ignore this orange beauty, but she's absolutely begging to be carved. "No. Back away from the pumpkin," I tell myself. "Go to bed." I went to bed and both the pumpkin and I survived the night.

What do you know? The very first e-mail I received this morning had a bunch of pictures of dogs posed next to pumpkins that had been carved into their liknesses. The one above is the spitting image of my 4-legged baby! Are you kidding me??? I, of course, have to carve this design into the pumpkin! So I set off to find a chihuahua pattern. Lo and behold, I hit the jackpot of FREE dog themed pumpkin patterns!

Here's one for Nancy and her sweet Cindy:

Here's one for Miyuki's precious Dachshund:

And one for Miss Yo-Yo's little Jack Russell:
Do you want to carve a pumpkin in the image of your own 4-legged family member? The free patterns are available here at BHG. There are many different breeds available and the pictures they have posted are totally sweet. I especially love the pumpkin carved like a pug!

Happy Halloween.

Hugs and blessings~

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Free Berry Basket Pattern from Basketmaster's Weavings!

My friend and "mentor basket weaver" Nancy Jacobs has generously posted another free basket pattern and tutorial on her website, Basketmaster's Weavings. Even better... She has created a video tutorial to guide you in the weaving process! Click here to visit her on YouTube.

I've not had time to weave for a few months! This sweet "beginner" basket might just be the thing to get back into my "weave".

Hugs and blessings~

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

How To Make Gift Bows From Old Magazine Pages

How cool is this idea? Making your own gift bows from old magazine pages has got to be one of the best "upcycle" ideas I've seen in a long time. There are so many different scrap materials that could be used for this project, right? (I'm thinking my staff members are going to be receiving Christmas presents decorated with bows made from old Kumon worksheets!)
Please visit Jessica at How About Orange for her simple tutorial. Be advised that simply viewing the directions for the project might cause you to stop what you're doing and head off to find some glue dots and a stapler!
Hugs and blessings~

Thursday, October 1, 2009

October is National Book Month - Be a Reading Role Model

The latest word from educators is that reading aloud to kids may help them in school and later in life. That’s because children who are read aloud to often become readers themselves.

Experts say reading aloud makes reading more fun for kids and, therefore, something they’re more likely to do on their own.

The more a person reads, the better he or she becomes at it—and students who read the most tend to stay in school longer and achieve more.

I strongly encourage families to read together as much as possible. Here are some tips for parents to become reading role models:

Make it a family thing. Set aside time to read at lease one night a week as a family. It can be after dinner or homework or right before bedtime. Join your local library and make family trips on a regular basis. Talk with your children about their books so that they will see you’re interested.

Make your home reading ready. Create a reading area in your house that has comfy furniture, good lighting, and most importantly books. Stock this area with books that your family will enjoy, such as how-to books, mysteries, comedies or fairytales. You’ll be surprised how often you and your children read when the materials are immediately available.

Do it together. In addition to reading as a family, invite your children to read with you. Show them how we use reading in our everyday lives by asking them to read the back of the cereal box, street signs, or the synopsis of their favorite movie on DVD. These simple activities work anywhere and will show your children that reading is an essential life skill.

Read on the go. Next time you take a family road trip, encourage your children to open a book along the way. If your children get carsick or are too young to read on their own, audio books are a safe and educational alternative for everyone. This will ensure a quiet and entertaining trip for the entire family.

Do you need help selecting books that appeal to your child’s interests or reading ability? Kumon offers a free Recommended Reading List, which includes a range of 350 titles for any reading level. Parents can select books to read aloud to children that help build pre-literacy skills. Students can find books on anything from sports to science or adventure books. Ask your local Kumon Instructor for a copy, leave your request as a comment on this post, or e-mail me at

Hugs and blessings~
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