Friday, December 7, 2012

CMOM Productions: HeArt for Art

My youngest son has a huge heart for art.  Although both of my boys love to draw, M has a passion for creating and trying new projects.  One of his favorite recent creations can be seen in the photos.  We came up with this one because his fabulous Art teacher had it pinned on Pinterest. All we needed were art pastels (not chalk), a plastic bin (big enough for paper), cardstock, water, a place to dry your paper, and a craft stick.  Pastels sealing spray is suggested, but optional.  If you get the opportunity, give it a try.  A black silhouette of your favorite image is great addition to glue on after the paper is dry.  Frame it for yourself or as a great gift!  I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Step 1:  Fill your container with water.
Step 2:  Use a craft stick to shave off flakes of pastels in various colors

Tip:  Where it sits in the water is where it will show up on the paper

Step 3:  Place your paper into the water face down

Step 4:  Carefully remove your paper

Step 5:  Place it somewhere to dry (if you have empty space, shave off more pastels onto the blank spots)

Step 6:  Once it dries, put a black silhouette image on it or enjoy as is.
*Spray it with pastel sealer if you desire.

On Another Note:
I've recently run out of photo storage on my blog.  The decision to remove old photos currently in place or switch over to my website blog is being weighed at this time.  I do not wish to purchase more "space."  As a result, the next few blog postings may not have photos to accompany them.  My plate is full with Christmas happenings, so I've resolved to make the decision after the holidays.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Meeting Jeff Kinney

Authors are the new rock star!  At least that's how things roll in my family.  Anyone who can get kids excited about reading deserves a cheering section.

My excitement about their excitement was overwhelming when I surprised my sons (and a friend) with tickets to meet one of their favorite authors, Jeff Kinney.  I even managed to get my little men to wear Wimpy Kid shirts without spoiling the surprise.  After picking them all up early from school, I handed out 3 Christmas wrapped books (the latest DOAWK book) and let them know it was an early Christmas gift.  Afterwards, I handed my oldest son a manilla envelope that I stamped with the Wimpy Kid (a previous handmade project) and a santa hat.  He pulled out 3 tickets to a book signing with Jeff Kinney and read them out loud.  When O realized that we were going to meet one of his favorite authors at that very moment, he responded with an energetic, "are you serious?"  He was stoked and the other two boys sat with stunned looks on their faces in amazement.  They all thought I had an appointment that day, so they couldn't believe I had pulled one over on them.

Thanks to a local book store, each of the boys got the latest book in the Wimpy Kid series autographed (along with a drawing of Greg or Manny), a magnet, and a tattoo.  Mr. Kinney spoke with the boys as he signed and shared with them that his kids were in the same grades that they are in.  The boys chose to get a group photo with the amazing author before we headed out.

Thanks Schuler Books & Mr. Kinney!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

3 Something AM

Last night was long and tiring.  Before you get ahead of yourself, it was not because of the election.  My oldest son woke up around 3somethingAM feeling sick.  Feeling turned into being.  If you are a parent, you realize what that means.  Sleep was broken as I took care of my not-a-baby-anymore boy.

As he was drifting off at one point, I held him close and stopped to appreciate the moment.  O is no longer a baby, not a toddler, and growing quickly towards being a pre-teen, but he still needs me.  When your children get to be a certain age, the cuddles come less often.  It's hard not to miss it.  Even so, there isn't a second that I'd wish for my kids to be sick.  Yet comforting him made me smile and gave me comfort as well

I adore my sons and am happy to see them growing into such wonderful young men.  My prayers continue for their present and future, as well as gratitude for the blessings that they have been from the day I realized that I carried them.  Being a mom is worth all of the sleepless nights.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

CMOM Productions: Hobbits & Heroes

In our home we are always up for literary and comic book heroes.  Is it any wonder that our halloween costumes reflected both?  Of course not.  Here's a look at the beloved characters I often refer to as my sons.

O, my oldest son, is whole heartedly a fan of the character who wears precious goods around his neck.  If you guessed Frodo Baggins, hobbit of the Shire, you would indeed be correct.  After reading The Hobbit and beginning The Fellowship of the Rings, O insisted that he wanted to become Frodo.  How could I deny my son's desire to be his favorite hobbit hero?  Working without a pattern, I thus began my quest to create an authentic replica with the fabrics I had on hand.  Aiding me were detailed movie and costume photos found online.  In the end, the hairy hobbit feet were my biggest challenge.  While I was grateful to have most everything on hand, I purchased the following items:  vinyl with "wrinkles/lines" in the skin tone I was looking for (found on clearance for $8/yd), a necklace chain ($3.99 before 40% off coupon), black winter hat ($1 Walmart), doll hair ($6.99 before 50% off coupon), and 1 pair of flip flops for under $2.  The end result...  Well, you be the judge.  Would you call it precious?

Now my youngest son, M, is more reserved and doesn't enjoy a showy costume.  Although if he is going to dress up, the details have to be spot on.  This may be one of the reasons he chose a superhero that doesn't insist on standing in the spotlight.  He's comfortable keeping an eye on things from a distance, but willing to step up when it counts and always hits his target.  Hawkeye of the Avengers may be quiet, but he aims to be a great hero.  We unexpectedly found the physically fit vest style shirt at Target.  M insisted there was no need to make this piece from scratch.  It came with a black bow and 2 suction cup arrows, so he was all set to become a Shield agent archer.  Using items we already owned, we added to the black and maroon wardrobe.  For the record, M had no desire to wear boot covers.  He was one happy hero with the additions we created and insisted we hit the mark.

If you are looking to create a little target practice for your archer, we have a bonus project for you.  This past summer we used pvc pipe pieces, binding rings, an acrylic photo frame piece, x-acto knife, hole punch, and sharpies to create a water gun shooting range.  It easily transitions to indoor fun with nerf darts and suction cup arrows.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Wealth of Change

Photo taken in the White Mountains of NH
Within 9 months of 2012, I have seen a wealth of change.  I must admit, the year didn't start out on a high note for me.  I went through some difficult situations, was blindsided, felt discouraged, and got "knocked down" a number of times.  Don't get me wrong, it wasn't all bad and I know it certainly could have been worse.  At some point I found myself being drawn closer to God.  Through the process I found a reason for the negative thrown in my direction... growth.  We all know I'm not talking about my height here.  I'm not saying I want to live through the hurts again and the list of those I trust is much shorter, but it brought me to where I am today.  There is peace in this knowledge.  The way I view things has altered slightly.  While there is more caution, I have more faith.  I'm aware that my days of learning are far from over.  When the next struggle comes along, I plan to deal with it to the best of my ability, using prayer & patience.  God has a plan for me.

During the summer, we experienced great blessings.  Visiting with friends and extended family on the east coast was one highlight.  Our hearts and family grew as we took part in the fabulous wedding of my father-in-law & P.  She is an amazing woman who enriches all of our lives tremendously.  We officially gained more additions to our lives with E, little J, B, A, and others as well.  Two families really did become one in July.

While this was a great event in our lives, there were more incredible moments as well.  I believe one of the most special happenings came to fruition in part because of motions that were set into place at the beginning of 2012.  God moved me.  He tweaked my heart through the strife.  I gained peace.  A desire to be baptized presented itself.  While I have been a Christian since the age of 12, there are reasons why I chose not to be baptized until this year.  I won't go into detail, but I will tell you that I wanted all the glory to be for God and nobody else.  On the evening of May 13, 2012 (Mother's Day), I read my written testimony in front of our church and was baptized by Pastor T.  It was an incredible day that I shared with my mom, older brother, husband, sons, & dear friends.

A spark began.  Times of hurt caused me to turn to God on a deeper level.  In turn, I altered my prayers to God regarding situations in my life that I could not fathom how to repair.  One of these prayers was simply... "God I don't know what to do, but You do, so I'm putting it in Your hands."  I meant it, continued this prayer, and gave it fully to God.  In mid-July, I was amazed to receive a message that I honestly never expected.  It took me some time to process, but I felt that God was answering my prayers.  Faith that He was in control encouraged me to proceed.  A bond that was broken four years before had begun to mend and continues to do so.  My younger brother, M4, is back in my life.  In fact, we attended his wedding to D in August and are now blessed with a new sister-in-law (an aunt to my sons).  I truly believe that God brought us to this place.  What joy fills my heart for this gift.

Sharing personal stories isn't always the most comfortable thing to do.  There is always concern that someone will become upset in the process.  For those of you who have read my blog postings before, you know I have shared difficult situations in the past.  You have been given an insight to my journey, read my light hearted stories, experienced some of my joys, and seen my crafty creative side.  My life is no better than anyone else's and I don't pretend to have all the answers, but if my story can give a little hope, inspiration, or help to someone else, then I feel it's important to share it.

Today, I am grateful.  <3  I give the glory to God!  I sing His praises!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Mo Fun Projects

We are a family that loves Mo Willems!  My son, M, was introduced to Pigeon, Gerald, Piggie, & oh so many mo(re) fabulous characters when he started school.  Thanks to the fabulous teacher, Mrs. R., we have fallen in love with the humor that Mr. Willems brings.  If you have never read one of these fantastic stories, give them a try.  Our absolute favorite is a Piggie & Elephant story called, "We Are In A Book!"  Be warned though.   Once you go Mo, you never go back.

With all this love for storybook characters, you might not be surprised that we've done a number of crafts in honor of them.  My friends have insisted that I share some of these fun projects.  Many Mo fun projects will be making their debut below.  *Some Mo Willems themed projects not pictures have already been showcased on my blog.

Mr. Willems, 
If you happen upon our little bit of this, little bit of that, family based blog, please know that we greatly admire you.  Your books are absolutely the best and we share them with everyone we know.  Okay.  We may not exactly share our books with everyone, but we do tell them about your amazing stories and buy them for some other special kiddos in our lives.  You've inspired these projects with your fun cast of characters and I'm certain you'll continue to do so.  We thank you for the humor, entertainment, and making reading a little mo' fun!  Keep writing & illustrating... we'll keep reading & loving every second!
You Fans,
CMOM Productions (just another cast of characters)

A Classroom Mascot...
This fun Pigeon mascot was hand drawn.  Here he is playing "Pigeon Lips" for Valentine's Day.  Key ingredients... poster board, scrapbook paper, glue, & a large laminating machine.  If you aren't into hand drawing, you could always use a projector to help create Sir Pigeon.

Mascot Accessories...
No mascot is complete without accessories.  Let's face it.  This Pigeon has to show his attitude and what better way to do so than with extra style.  All items were laminated.  *Not pictured:  1 speech bubble, perfect for bus driving requests.  While not all of the props are completed, it's a start.  When I finish the rest (I do have a list), I promise to do another post to showcase them.  

Pirate Pigeon (March is Reading Month theme: Pirates)...  
The palm tree & beach sand were made by an amazing friend & fellow parent volunteer and myself.  Three cheers for Miss J!  The pirate pigeon artwork is amazing!  Bravo kids!


Irish Pigeon (St. Patty's Day)...  

April Showers Pigeon (check out the boots)...  

May Flowers Pigeon...  

Back to Back Bus (one side school bus, one side "the bus")...  
Per my request, this one was created by my fabulous husband, C!


Desk Name Tags...
Mo' favorite characters, including the man himself, plus a speech bubble, some scrapbook paper, adhesive, & a laminating machine.  Write names on with a sharpie and cover with contact paper to stick them to the desks.  At the end of the year remove the sharpie with rubbing alcohol (I learned this trick from M's teacher).

Pigeon Treasure Keeper...
Using my previously seen hand carved Pigeon stamp, recycled containers, white contact paper, sharpies, these treasure keepers were fun little gifts for M's classmates.

Wooden Pigeon Pegs (hand painted)...
Wooden doll pegs, paint, brushes, modge podge to seal it, and patience.

Cat the Cat Clock...
A book with ruined pages inside (picked up at a book sale) was perfect for this project!  We grabbed a clock kit at our local Hobby Lobby, added a little spray paint, used a drill, and here you have it.  We found this book clock idea online.  C & M completed the project.

Pigeon Pencil Block...
Wood block, drill, scrapbook paper, modge podge, stamp, & sharpies.  By far our biggest efforts of team work as a family.  My older brother cut the 4x4, husband drilled the holes, boys picked the paper, & I put it together. 

Hand Carved Stamps...
This is one of my favorite creations ever made.  It was a personalized gift for an amazing teacher & friend.  Made with stamp rubber (found at Hobby Lobby), carving tools, and stamping cling foam, these stamps can be used with clear blocks (Stampin' Up size C = perfect).  The set is stored in a stamp case made by Stampin' Up.  The word bubble can be used for Pigeon, Gerald, & Piggie.  I wonder what they'll say... 

Pigeon (Hand) Prints...
This project was spotted online with stars for "Don't Let The Pigeon Stay Up Late."  We kept it simply the pigeon for our class project.  Paint, construction paper, scissors, glue, & a wobbly eye.  Mrs. R, Miss J, & I had fun seeing all the pigeons take shape.

Well, there you have it...  
CMOM Production's current gallery of Mo Willems inspired projects!  
Stay tuned for future projects.