Category Archives: construction paper

We Are Still Thankful!!!

In this mini blog, we share how to make lollipop turkeys and a fun idea for easy place card holders. (Warning – pine cones are back!)

LOLLIPOP TURKEY CRAFT:

dscf4700-2

We decided to put a Thanksgiving twist on the lollipop ghosts that are one of our Halloween staples.

You will need:

dscf4690-2

  • lollipops (we use Tootsie pops)
  • one sheet of 8 1/2″ x 11″ white card stock for each turkey
  • orange tissue paper
  • small googly eyes – any color
  • 1 sheet yellow construction paper
  • scotch tape
  • double stick tape
  • markers and crayons
  • ball point pen
  • scissors

How to create:

001

 

dscf4697

  • Print out our turkey template (above) onto card stock
  • Color with crayons and markers
  • Cut out with scissors
  • Our turkey body is 5.5 inches from top to bottom but when printed from the blog on our printer it comes out 5 inches. Either size works fine.

dscf4701dscf4694-2

  • Wrap pop with 4-inch circle of orange tissue paper and tape to secure. Make sure a bit of the lollipop wrapper shows to create the turkey’s waddle.
  • With double stick tape, add mini googly eyes and 1/4-inch yellow paper triangle for beak.
  • Poke hole in turkey with ballpoint pen.
  • Place lollipop into hole and fasten stick to back with tape.

dscf4696-2

Make it fancy! Use markers, paints, crayons, whatever your favorites are. These turkeys were made with sharpies and highlighters.

dscf4669-2

Gobbling fun!

One last thing: Carefully remove tissue paper from pop and put it back on turkey body with double stick tape, so you don’t end up with a headless turkey.

dscf4728-2

Lollipop ghosts:

Open link below for how to make the easy lollipop ghosts that were the inspiration for these turkeys.

https://funclesarts.com/2015/10/30/last-minute-mayhem/

PINE CONE PLACE CARD HOLDERS

dscf4726-2

Spray paint some flat-bottomed pine cones gold (or whatever color works in your decor). Add a themed holiday sticker to computer-generated name plates. They make great place card holders for Thanksgiving or any gathering.

dscf4681-2

The gold spray painted cones are great, look for them in future holiday posts!

We are thankful for our loved ones, our health and for you, too!

Enjoy!

Roy and Kevin

Advertisements

Super Weekend!

It just doesn’t seem right that the Patriots are not in Super Bowl 50. Still, it’s a great event, and we will be tuning in for Lady Gaga’s national anthem, the game (go Broncos), the commercials and Cold Play’s halftime show.

Food is always a great part of Super Bowl Sunday, and in this week’s blog, we share our Crispy Baked Shrimp, served with our Amped-up Coleslaw.

We also feature this week’s Amaryllis report, our indoor/outdoor garden update and, of course, the bears!!!

CRISPY OVEN-BAKED SHRIMP

This tasty, oven-baked shrimp looks and tastes fried, but has a lot less fat and calories. Easy!

DSCF2336 (2)

Delicious as a sandwich, too!

DSCF2346 (2)

DSCF2300 (2)

Ingredients;

  • 1 lb. bag large, raw, deveined shrimp, 31- 40 ct.
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup Panko bread crumbs, separated – 3/4 cup and 1/4 cup
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 teaspoon Mrs. Dash Garlic Herb Mix
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder

How to prepare:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Defrost shrimp, peel and remove tail.
  • Pat shrimp dry and place in bowl.
  • Mix flour, chili powder and Mrs. Dash.
  • Coat shrimp thoroughly with dry mix.
  • Add beaten egg to shrimp mixture and toss.
  • Add 3/4 cup bread crumbs to the bowl and toss to cover shrimp completely.
  • Place coated shrimp on parchment-lined sheet tray.
  • Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup crumbs over shrimp.
  • Bake 10 minutes.
  • Flip with spatula.
  • Bake 5 more minutes.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Hearty Coleslaw

This coleslaw is delicious. The broccoli slaw adds crunch and fiber.

DSCF2291 (2)DSCF2295 (2)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 of a 12 oz. bag of Dole’s Classic Coleslaw
  • 1/2 of a 14 oz. bag broccoli coleslaw (we use Mann’s)
  • 1 cup of light mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon grainy Dijon mustard

How to prepare:

  • Mix the 2 coleslaw blends together.
  • Combine mayo, mustard and lemon juice.
  • Toss dressing with slaws and chill.

DSCF2353 (2)

Great with the crispy baked shrimp!

ST. VALENTINE’S DAY IS COMING!!!

Woven Paper Heart Baskets

DSCF2385 (2)

Roy learned these woven paper heart baskets from the PBS show “ZOOM!” Here is a link with details on how to make these baskets:

http://www.enchantedlearning.com/crafts/Heartbasket.shtml

Check next week to see how we decorate and fill these charming hearts for St. Valentine’s Day.

PATIO & PLANT UPDATE

The bears ventured out onto the patio during today’s snow storm to clear off a sign!

DSCF2365 (2)

Good thing they were able to warm up afterwards.

DSCF2367

Weekly Amaryllis Report

The Amaryllis we received as a gift is thriving!!!  It travels with the light throughout the day – early morning light on our office printer; mid-day light on the office counter and sunset in the apartment. Amazing growth in one week! Thanks Chris and Bernard!

This is where we started:

DSCF2176 (2)

Here is this week’s growth! (Feed me Seymore!!!)

DSCF2265DSCF2268

DSCF2288 (2)DSCF2371 (2)

 

FOOD ART

DSCF2382 (3)

 

The Bears

The bears have packed up their PATS gear and said goodbye and thanks for a great year! Now, they are focussing their energy on the UCONN Huskies! (The bears are always so um … subtle… with their decorations! (Yeah it’s the bears who do that!) GO HUSKIES!!!

DSCF2309 (2)

Enjoy!!!

Roy and Kevin

Positively 2016!!!

Happy New Year!  In the northeast, the new year brings cold weather. Our white bean chicken chili will positively warm you on a cold winter’s night. We also offer a couple of upbeat craft projects, our garden update, and of course, the bears, who share their New Year’s resolutions!

WHITE BEAN CHICKEN CHILI

We were surprised when we looked back at our previous 64 blogs and saw that we hadn’t shared one of our favorite recipes, white bean chicken chili. It’s a healthy, warming comfort food, perfect for a cold winter night!
DSCF2018 (2)

 

 

 

 

 

This chili is easy to make and delicious.

DSCF2001 (2)

Ingredients:

  • One teaspoon olive oil
  • One lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • Three 15.5 oz. cans cannellini beans, rinsed
  • One 16 oz. can fat-free refried beans
  • One 32 oz. carton low sodium chicken broth
  • One small onion, chopped
  • One 4 oz. can chopped green chilis
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Mrs. Dash garlic herb mix
  • One teaspoon cumin

How to prepare:

  • Chop chicken breast into 3/4 inch pieces.
  • Warm olive oil over medium heat in a 5-quart Dutch oven.
  • Saute onion in olive oil until soft.
  • Sprinkle chicken with chili powder and add to Dutch oven.
  • Cook chicken until lightly brown, about 3 minutes.
  • Add cannellini beans, refried beans, chilis and cumin to pot.
  • Stir to break up refried beans.
  • Cover mixture with chicken broth.
  • Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.
  • Simmer 20 minutes or until thickened.
  • Serve with tortilla chips, guacamole, olives (Kevin’s favorite), green onions, salsa, sour cream or any of your favorite toppings.

Adjust seasonings to make it more hot or mild according to your own taste!

COLLAGE

The new year is a hopeful time and one way to maintain that feeling is to surround yourself with positive messages. We combined two uplifting thoughts into one inspirational piece of art.

We cut out letters from old magazines and newspaper inserts, choosing contrasting sizes, colors and fonts. If you can’t find all the letters you need for your project, use stickers or print letters from the computer. Once all of our letters were gathered, they were attached to a piece of specialty scrapbook paper cut to fit the size of the frame. Gift wrap or construction paper also could be used as a background. Total cost for our framed project was about $6.00! This easy and effective type of collage has many applications. It’s a fun project for kids and adults alike. We’d love to see your positive messages for 2016!

DSCF2044 (3)

SPEAKING OF POSITIVE MESSAGES

People appreciate being remembered. We make a point of mailing birthday, anniversary and holiday cards to family and friends throughout the year. To make this easier, one thing we do at the beginning of the year is to note special occasions on a wall calendar that hangs in our living room. It’s an easy way to keep track of card-worthy events throughout the year. Who doesn’t like to be thought of with a card? We recently received a touching, handwritten thank you note from Kevin’s 5-year old great-niece, and it made our day. Positivity bounces back and forth!

PATIO UPDATE

We removed the decorative holiday items this week, but left the greenery and lit tomato cages. The greenery will be removed when it starts to dry out. Hoping the tomato cages will be glowing on the patio all winter.

DSCF2038 (2)

Sign for the Patio

While we were designing the “Create Peace” collage, we came upon a beat up old door from a long-discarded cabinet. A quick paint job and fun message adds a bit of whimsy! Let’s grow!

DSCF2041 (2)

DSCF2026 (2)

Hitchcock’s view from our patio:

Is Tippi Hendren in town? (Rizzolty rozzolty now now now) This photo from our patio reminds us of Hitchcock’s classic movie, “The Birds”.

DSCF1995 (2)

FOOD ART

DSCF2063 (2)

THE BEARS

The bears are doing pretty well with their resolutions!

DSCF2059 (2)

Enjoy!

Roy & Kevin

Autumn Leaves

This week, we share ideas for re-purposing our Halloween decorations, a seasonal art project,   a quick and delicious recipe for tuna pizza, our garden update and, of course, the bears!

PUMPKINS AND SCARECROWS

Our Halloween decorations included many items that can be used throughout the fall season. The ghosts and skeletons have been exorcised until next Halloween, but the pumpkins and scarecrows now form the basis of our fall decor. With Roy’s handmade pumpkin pillows on the couch, we simply turned the faces to the wall for a quick and easy change-up.

DSCF1196 (2)DSCF1193 (2)
DSCF1199 (2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSCF1197 (2)

LEAF ART

This craft is a flashback from grammar school – still fun to do!!!

IMG_5798 (2)

DSCF1168 (2)

IMG_5789 (2)IMG_5787 (2)

 

 

 

You will need:

Leaves, crayons, paper (see tips below), paper towels

To do:

  • Place leaf vein side up on paper towel.
  • Position paper over leaf where you would like the image to appear.
  • With side of peeled crayon, gently rub paper over leaf.

This requires some trial and error. Make sure you have extra paper so you can experiment.

Tips:

  • Pick out different shapes, sizes and varieties of leaves.
  • Use paper that is not too thick. Printer and construction papers work well, but thicker paper, like cardstock, will be less effective. Test out your paper before starting your project.
  • Leaves with prominent stems and veins are great for doing these rubbings.
  • Experiment with different color crayon combinations.
  • Good use for broken crayons.

Scan your completed designs for multiple uses. Print the images onto cardstock for personalized greeting cards. Frame your creation for seasonal decor. Think outside the box, pick up some t-shirt transfer paper, and your creation becomes a fun t-shirt!

Check out this link for info on designing t-shirts with your artwork:

http://www.ehow.com/how_10039627_transfer-pictures-tshirt.htmlZZAS

TUNA PIZZA

DSCF1161 (2)

These tuna pizzas are quick, easy and delicious. Simply put your favorite tuna salad on an English muffin, add 1/2 slice of low-fat Swiss (or your favorite) cheese and veggies (if desired). We used chopped green peppers. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes, then broil for 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn. These come out of the oven very hot – let cool slightly before eating.

We used 4 cans of tuna for 6 English muffins.

GARDEN UPDATE

DSCF1178 (2) DSCF1179 (2)

The unseasonably warm weather continues and has made the garden last longer than we had anticipated. We are still harvesting peppers and tomatoes in November!

VEG ART

DSCF1205 (2)

HOLIDAYS COLLIDE!!!

Our Christmas cactus, which we received as a gift from Kevin’s mom, Irene, more than five years ago, is blooming in one of our Jack-O-Lantern pots.

IMG_5781 (3)

JOKE OF THE WEEK

If money really did grow on trees, fall would be everyone’s favorite season!

THE BEARS

The bears wanted to help rake the leaves under this beautiful tree, but their (matching) rakes were too big, so they decided to play! (Who can blame them!?)

DSCF1175 (2)

ENJOY!

Roy and Kevin

 

We Fall for Halloween!!!

 

Halloween approaches! This week, we share two ideas for easy-to-make decorations, a recipe for sweet potato salad and, of course, our garden update and the bears!

HALLOWEEN TREE

We created the Halloween tree pictured above using easy-to-find items, most of which were purchased at our local dollar store.

You will need:

  • 1 tree branch with some off shoots – our’s is 22″ tall
  • Two 8-eight foot strands of black garland
  • Decorative plastic Halloween figures
  • Plastic Halloween rings (ours are bats, skulls and spiders)
  • One 18-inch square of fabric. We used fleece, but burlap would be great, too!
  • Gravel to act as stabilizer in the pot
  • Newspaper and/or plastic bags for filler
  • Curling ribbon
  • Basket, flower pot or the vessel of your choice

 

DSCF1034 (2) DSCF1036 (2)

We foraged our yard for a spooky-looking tree limb with offshoots on which to hang our decorations. The branch was wrapped in the black garland. The garland had pumpkin and skull images on it, which we removed and saved for another project (see below).

How to create your tree:

  • Line flower pot/basket with cloth.
  • Put gravel in cloth-lined pot.
  • Nestle tree in gravel.
  • Fill pot around tree base with newspapers and/or plastic bags.
  • Gather cloth up around base of tree and secure with ribbon.
  • Arrange the Halloween rings and decorations on your tree.

This tree can be made any height, depending on the size of the tree branch and container used. It would make a great addition to a children’s Halloween party. At the end of the party, kids can take tree decorations home as favors. Do your own variation with light-weight candy, toys or whatever says “Happy Halloween!” to you!

GARLAND WREATH

DSCF1097 (2)

 

DSCF1040 DSCF1044 (2)

The first step in this easy-to-make decoration is to line a 12-inch wire wreath form with black garland (shown). Next, cover the wreath with an orange and black pumpkin-themed garland (thanks, dollar store!). To finish it off, a larger pumpkin (leftover from the tree project above) represents the moon, lighting the sky for one of our cute clip-on witches from last week’s blog.

SWEET POTATO SALAD

This sweet potato salad is a delicious side dish for your Halloween and fall celebrations!

IMG_5710 (2)

Tricia Yearwood (yes, that Trisha Yearwood!) had this recipe on one of her recent Food Network television programs. We tweaked the recipe by using non-fat sour cream, doubling the hot sauce and topping with toasted chopped walnuts. Very tasty. Like all potato salads, it’s even better the next day!

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/trisha-yearwood/sweet-potato-salad-recipe.html

GARDEN UPDATE

With frost warnings predicted for our area last Sunday night, we brought our flowers, basil, chocolate mint, and pepper plants indoors. We also picked most of the tomatoes, even though they were still green (see veg art below). Temperatures have risen, the plants are now back outside, and they are having another resurgence. One more unexpected comeback!

IMG_5695 (2) IMG_5698 (2)

VEG ART

IMG_5721 (2)

JOKE OF THE WEEK

What is one room a ghosts’ house doesn’t need? A living room!                                                      source: Halloweenjokes.com

THE BEARS

Hmm . . .  we didn’t know the bears were expecting company! Not sure they did either!

DSCF1091 (3)

 

Enjoy!

Roy & Kevin

We’ve Only Just Begun!!!

A year ago today, we decided to start a holiday blog and do one post a week from mid-October through New Year’s Day. Once the ball got rolling, we didn’t want to stop. The blog has been a lot of fun to do and it has inspired us to be more creative. Thank you to everyone who has followed and contributed to our the blog. We’re looking forward to another crafty and tasty holiday season and a fun 2016!

PAPER

For wedding anniversaries, the traditional gift for the first year is paper. With that tradition in mind (sorta), we share two crafts made from paper. The first paper project is a clip-on Halloween witch made from construction paper and a clothespin. The second project is a banner we made for Kevin’s brother’s family, wishing them luck on their upcoming move to Florida. Additionally, we offer a recipe for broccoli rabe, a garden update and, of course, the bears!

WITCH CRAFT

Halloween is coming and we are creating a few fun and easy crafts. This week, it’s the cute clip-on witches shown above.

IMG_5638 (2)

You will need:

  • clothespins
  • black, orange, green and white construction paper
  • glue stick
  • double-stick tape
  • scissors
  • a fine marker (black ink)
  • ruler

To make:

Cut the following equIMG_5648 (2)ilateral triangles:

  • three 1-1/4 inch triangles – 1 green (head), 1 orange (hair), 1 black (hat)
  • two 1-1/2 inch triangles – 1 black (dress), 1 yellow (broom head)
  • two 1/2 inch black triangles (shoes)

 

You also will need:

  • one 3/4-inch x 1-1/2 inch white rectangle
  • one 1-inch x 1/8 inch strip of green construction paper

Draw (as shown in picture below):

  • lines on the white rectangle – every quarter-inch
  • a face on the green triangle
  • a black verticle line on the yellow broom head

A little more cutting (see picture below):

  • cut the white rectangle in half lengthwise to form the legs
  • cut broom bristles 1/16-inch wide ending at the verticle line
  • cut 1/16-inch wide strips in bottom of orange triangle to create hair
  • cut 1/4-inch off the tops of the yellow and black 1-1/2 inch triangles
  • cut the tops off of the 1/2-inch triangles (1/8 inch off the tops)

IMG_5652 (2)

  • attach orange hair to the back of the head with glue stick as shown below.
  • attach shoes to legs and legs to body
  • attach arm to body

IMG_5657 (2)

  • attach head to body and hat to head
  • using double stick tape, attach broom bristle to end of clothespin

Before attaching, the back of the witch should look something like this:

IMG_5659 (2)

Attach witch to clothes pin as shown using double stick tape.

The completed witch will look something like this.

IMG_5663 (2)

DSCF1014 (2)

These witches love to help decorate! Use them to clip Halloween cards to curtains or on our clothesline banner (search previous blogs for info). Looking forward to seeing photos of your witch creations!

This is a simple, kid-friendly craft which is more difficult to describe than to create. Use these basic guidelines and have fun!!!

BANNER  

IMG_5527 (2)

    IMG_5465 (2)                                                                                     

 We designed this special banner by thinking of what symbolizes Florida and came up with the  two obvious answers: oranges and sunshine. We cut out orange and yellow circles to represent  those iconic images. Some quick cuts turned the yellow circles into suns and green leaves attached with small black paper fasteners transformed the orange circles into fruits. Stickers express the sentiment, “Enjoy FLORIDA!”. The banner was strung together using curling ribbon and embellished with sandal and beach themed stickers. (The top of the exclamation point at the end of the banner is a surf board sticker; the paws represent their dog, “Sadie”.)

This was a fun project to create, making use of quality stickers, craft paper, and a new circle cutter. We’ve said it before, but it bares repeating. Always look online for coupons from craft stores (and any stores for that matter). We saved money on all the items use in this banner with just a few minutes effort to print the coupons.

BROCCOLI RABE

IMG_5671 (2)

In our effort to explore new foods, this week we tried broccoli rabe. The first recipe found on- line did not boil the rabe first. It was awful – very bitter! Our second attempt is this recipe from one of our go-to favorites – Rachael Ray. It’s a delicious, healthy way to cook this green.

Here is the recipe:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/rachael-ray/broccoli-rabe-with-lemon-and-garlic-recipe.html

GARDEN UPDATE 

IMG_5684 (2)

The recent, unseasonably good weather has kept our garden thriving! We have at least 70 green tomatoes on our two cherry tomato plants and 25 peppers in various stages of growth on our Shishito pepper plant. They better hurry up and ripen before this weekend’s predicted frost or we may be growing them in the house. Wonder how much indoor grow lamps cost!

Kevin spotted this lone flower today on the vine that grows on the fence that surrounds our property! This vine has never flowered in our eight years here!

IMG_5678 (2)

VEG ART

The apples have taken over. (No, we didn’t grow them!)

IMG_5688 (2)

THE BEARS

DSCF1002 (2)

The bears are starting to figure out their Halloween costumes!

Enjoy!

Roy and Kevin