Staying in Focus: Autumn crafts/precious moments

The finished product

The finished product

One of the things I most enjoyed about teaching was exploring the changing seasons and celebrating the holidays through art. I enjoy crafts myself and loved sharing this with my students.  Now that I have retired, I enjoy sharing these  interests with my grandchildren. This weekend they came over for a visit. Their laughter and exuberance fill the house and bring a charge of energy to their Grams and Grandpa. We decorated a Halloween scene, made puppets and then they put on a puppet show . Here are some pictures of our day together.. IMG_2416IMG_2415                                                                          Adding the finishing touches. And now it is time for the puppet show:IMG_2441

The finished product!


                                                                                            After all that work , it’s time for some physical activity :                                                                                                                               IMG_2420

           Each day spent with them is a precious moment.                                                                                                           

IMG_2421 IMG_2423 IMG_2424 My friend, Denise, who recently moved here is also a craft enthusiast. Here are a couple of simple crafts we made together, We took a plain pumpkin and fancied it up with ribbon and fall flowers. You can use a real or a manufactured pumpkin. The leaf mat is a simple piece of white cardboard cut into a circle the size you need, with leaves (real or silk) ironed flat and glued  onto the circle. We used a hot  glue gun. A white sock and an empty 2 liter bottle of soda become a ghost. Simply fill the bottom with beans or sand for stability . Use a little wire  to make the peak atop his head and make the arms bendable. Use scraps to decorate. A spaghetti jar and some stretchy medical bandage become a mummy. Add googly eyes and some creepy spiders to decorate. Place a candle inside. I use the battry powered ones for safety. IMG_2428 IMG_2423 - Copy IMG_2426 - Copy Filling your home with holiday crafts brings back memories of special time spent together with family and friends. Our family has exchanged homemade gifts for many years. They have included clever crafts like those above, beautiful cross stitch pieces from my mom, and cross stitch ornaments from my cousin Phyllis, painted dishes, mosaic hot plates, candles, potpourri jars, decorated coffee cups from my sister. I’ve added annual  Christmas poems with watercolor backgrounds, family photo books I designed on Snapfish, framed photography and a myriad of homemade ornaments. My brother has made us each beautiful carved walking sticks, and very clever things made from found objects like large, rusty bolts from railroad tracks, my sister-in-law Elise gave us clever scarves  made of yarn, our niece Jeanette has painted feathers and shells and framed art pieces. These are the kind of gifts you remember year to year. And the making and giving of gifts are  some of the truly precious moments of our lives. This inspiration for the ribbon  pumpkin came from all you magazine,the September 20, 2013 issue.

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