Saturday, May 16, 2015

How to Train Your Dragon Toothless Wreath

Back in February, my oldest turned 6!  He wanted a How to Train Your Dragon party.  I love finding ways to do DIY birthday projects on the cheap.  Cardboard is my best friend.  I use it for SO many things when planning a party.  Click to see how I used cardboard in my Ninja Turtle and Frozen parties.

Read on to find out how to make this awesome Toothless wreath.

Take a piece of cardboard and draw the shape of Toothless's head.  Cut it out.  I usually use a utility knife for this part.

Then you're going to need a bunch of felt cut into small circles.  I usually take a small cup or something and trace one (or just eyeball it).  This is a great project to do while you're watching your favorite television show.

Then take your piece of felt, fold it over once and hot glue it to the cardboard.  You may need to glue it before you fold it over for extra stability.

Do this over and over and over and over again.  :-)

Attach a piece of ribbon to the back and you've got yourself a really cute "wreath" for your front door!

I've seriously done these types of wreaths so many times for different parties and seasons because it's easy and inexpensive.  You can also use foam instead of cardboard (a bit more expensive) and pin them to the foam.  Here are some other examples of doing this type of wreath (click on the photo for the tutorial).

Thanks for reading!  I'll be back soon to show you some other DIY elements to this How to Train Your Dragon party!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

A Special Mother's Day Gift

I will be 35 years old in June.  I wish that I could say I've cared about my heritage and the generations before me.  But I just haven't.  I wish that I had listened more closely to my grandparents' super long stories about how they walked to school in the snow (not really but you know what I mean).  But I didn't.  It wasn't until just recently that I've come to care about these stories of the past and how I wish I knew more about the generations before me.

You see, my mom's biological father died when she was just two years old.  He was 37 years old and suffered from congenital heart disease that eventually claimed his life.  My grandma remarried to the only grandfather I've known and he adopted my mom.  We recently had to move my grandparents to a nursing home because they suffer from dementia and Alzheimer's.  As we've been cleaning out their home (because my own family is moving in), we have found videos and photos of my mom's biological dad, Lloyd.  We found his shaving kit, the tie and watch he was wearing when he died.  The memorial book from his funeral.  His wallet and work tools (he was an optometrist).  It has been so special to find these things.

So, I was thinking how neat it would be to find out as much as I could about him to give to my mom.  I've been working on this for about a month, maybe a little more.  The search has been fascinating, challenging, encouraging, very emotional, tough and rewarding. 

Let me introduce you to Lloyd Azel Warren.  (Warning: Picture overload but I want a copy for myself too.)

What all of this has taught me is that our history is so important.  And if you don't share stories and pass them down, that eventually there will be no history there to share.  The stories of where we came from are important.  I already scrapbook (via Project Life) and document my own family.  But I think I'll start documenting things more fully.  Like, I want to be able to describe my family so that when we're long gone, my children's children's children will know that my husband was so kind and that my dad was hard working and never met a stranger. 

I was able to track down a first cousin of my mom's.  She was the son of Lloyd's brother Ralph and lives in Georgia.  She was able to tell me a little more about her own father and family and gave me a few pictures of Lloyd she found.  I also tracked down a half first cousin, Mark.  He actually lives in the same town we do and vaguely remembers playing with my mom as a child. 

The entire time I was researching, I couldn't find out anything about Lloyd's dad, James.  I mean nada.  I went up to Nahunta, GA where Lloyd was born and after about three hours, I was finally able to track down his birth certificate which gave me more information about James.  I found out he serve in WWI and where his grave was.  I was so excited. 

So, this Mother's Day, I'm giving my mom the gift of history.  I'm hoping we can continue to research her family together. 

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