First of all, I am praying for all those in the East that are without homes and electricity tonight. My thoughts are back there and it feels so sad for the rest of the US to be able to carry on the Halloween tradition while they are suffering so much................................................................................................
Whenever we go to visit our kids and grandkids--Three live on the Washington Coast with their families and are only minutes apart-------Oma has to bring a "project" to do. It is a 4-5 hr drive so we make the most of it.
I saw a cute idea for battery lights in mason jars with gauze over them.  We attached googly eyes and stickers  and put them in a tray.  Here are sisters  Sydne, Lauryn and Rylee with their jars.  Rylee, 4, told her parents they made "estimation" jars for Halloween.  Five year old Lauryn is in Kindergarden and they all brought things from home to put in a jar to learn how to 'estimate' the number of items inside.  They are called estimation jars.  So precious.
Here Nai'a and brother Elijah pose with their jars.   The first thing the kids ask when they see me after hugs and kisses  is "Oma what are we making this time?"  Or  "Oma what is our project?"
When they come to visit us my whole studio is open to them to explore and of course the messier the better.  Sorry Moms, I can't help it. Heheh
One day I had no ideas  and made myself go into the studio and make Something Halloween.  I have an 8x10 canvas and used spray inks to get a purple, pink orange background.  I had old fold out white wedding bells and cut them into pumpkin shapes.  I then used the spray inks to color them and let them dry.  I mounted them on the canvas and added a few little halloween embellishments.  I aim to find a frame I can paint black at a thrift store and keep it for future halloweens.
This was a fun project.  While on vacation in August we stopped in an antique shop and the owner had some fake cakes.  These are so fun and easy.  I took thrift store tins  you know the ones we all use that house cookies and candy and popcorn and crackers, whatever. I painted the tins with vinyl joint compound  like buttering a cake.  You have to make sure the tins that top the bottom one are secured with enough goop because they have those rims on the bottom and the bottom is recessed.
After letting them dry for a day or two, you are ready to decorate.  I painted the 'frosting' orange,
covered wooden letters in green glitter, and pulled out 'stuffs' from my holiday stash.  I had this cute black  tin container that I stuffed with skellies and candy corn, etc.   I added the spider web when I was done to complete the project.  I just used hot glue to adhere the objects and letters but you can also use a strong adhesive of any kind.  You just have to wait for the items to adhere longer.
I had so much fun I decided my Mayhem Monday kids should make them as well.  We are now meeting on Tuesdays, so the majority of the kids can come.  I renamed our group  the Tornado Tuesdays  I love it.  I have about 11-12 kids coming and average 9-10 every week.
These kids love coming here.  I have been doing this for the past five years now, year round.
When I have to miss for any reason and cancel a week they are all so upset.  They will often come to visit in between because they all live in the neighborhood.   Some of these kids are younger siblings of kids that I started this for.  Those kids are in high school now but still come to visit on occasion.  There is always lots of hugs and smooches when we see each other.  John has been such a positive influence.  He teases them and helps when he is off work and home.  They even like to run and hide if he pulls up to the house when they are here. (Like he won't walk into the front door and see
both the kitchen and dining room tables full of projects and pounds of supplies scattered hither and yon!!!
He always plays along and acts surprised or scared  when they jump out at him.  Every once in a while, if someone has had a bad day at home or school, they will ask if John is home and ask for a
"special hug' from him.  That always makes his day.  Our grandchildren are so far way but it is so nice to love on these kids!!
I always show the kids a premade example of what we are making and then let them go for it. Our number one rule is no one can criticize their own work or anyone else's.  I tell them what they make comes from their heart and they need to embrace their creativity and be proud of it.  Some times the projects are far from what I have shown them and that is the beauty of letting kids do their own thing.
They are all seeing the same thing with a different eye and muse!!  I wish it were easier for myself to create with such freedom.  My inner critic jumps up and down immediately if I have any doubts.
My hope is that these kids, and my own, realize that we are all talented and need to just make our art for the special thing it is.

On Monday I was concerned about how to get 10 pumpkins for carving.  Everywhere I went they were so expensive!! I was shopping at a local chain store and happened to go through the Managers" checkstand.  We have been going to this store for 38 years and he has moved up through the ranks in all this time.  Anyway I brought up the kids and our weekly events.  I asked if he would be willing to donate any pumpkins for the cause, at the same time pointing out that many of the bottom pumpkins,were visibly rotting at the bottom of the huge boxes.
He told me to bring them back into the store in the cart and come through his checkstand.  I picked out the smallest of the pumpkins----still they were $6.99 each!!  Egads.
I returned to his stand and we talked a few minutes and then he got very stern and said----Just take them---all of them----but if you breathe ONE word to anyone you will have to come back and pay the full amount.  I mean it!!  He got embarassed but winked at me.  I said does this mean you won't expect a Thank You from the kids?  He said NO NO GO.  What a great guy.  I rarely ask for donations but this was just meant to be. And  I can tell you all because you will keep the secret.
Usually this time of year it is cold and awful but we all sat out on our back deck and carved away, telling ghost stories while we worked.  The kids were so excited when they saw the size of the pumpkins. 
I told them a very nice person donated them and we yelled 'Thank You nice person' out into the universe!

He wanted a fabric head band  so he coud be a ninja

When I brought my fabric scrap bin out they all wanted something for their 'people'.


For the first time in years I am not dressing up---just not feeling up to it today. 
This lovely lady is my full sized mannequin---Stella.I bought her an estate sale a few years back.
I dressed her up as a witch this year and painted her with green make-up. 

This is her looking out the dining room window--right next to the front door.
Hope your little ones are enjoying their time trick or treating or at Harvest Parties at their church.


AwarenessBelle said...

Have missed your posts. So happy to see you writing and sharing again.

kath001 said...

Hi Cathy,

Thanks so much for visiting my blog and emailing me. I have loved visiting your blog back. You have some great looking kids...grandkids AND Tuesday kids! :)

Blessings! kathleen