Tidbit Times

Tiny Tidbits of my Time

Pumpkin Garland October 4, 2013

Filed under: Crafty Bits — tidbittimes @ 3:08 pm
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pumpkin garland

I came across this cute little project from an e-mail I received that linked to different blogs featuring Halloween crafts.  I fell in love with this project and just had to make it.  If  you are craving some new fall decos and don’t have a lot of time, this project is for you!  It is very simple and fast!  The original idea came from Chicken Scratch.  Visit this site to see another style of this garland.



Orange Cardstock

Patterned Cardstock

Brown Cardstock (scraps)

Dark Brown Chalk

Pop Dots

Cricut Machine (Doodlecharms & George Basic Shapes)


I cut 6 pumpkin shapes (about 5 1/2″) from the Doodlecharms cartridge on my Cricut.  Next, using the patterned paper I cut 6 oval shapes from the George Basic Shapes cartridge (about 5 1/2″).  To make the stem I just traced that part of the pumpkin shape onto brown cardstock.  Prior to putting the pieces together, I used the dark brown chalk to chalk the edges of each piece for a more rustic look.

To construct the pumpkins I glued the brown stem to each pumpkin shape.  Next, I used 4 pop dots to attach the oval piece in the center of each pumpkin.  I like how it gave the pumpkins a little dimension.



Jute Twine

Hole Punch

To hang the garland I used a hole punch to make two holes on the sides of each pumpkin.  Next, I strung the jute twine through the holes.  Last, I hung it up on my fireplace mantel.  Easy and so festive!





Scarecrow Crunch October 29, 2011

Filed under: Tasty Bits — tidbittimes @ 9:27 pm
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This recipe for Scarecrow Crunch snack mix came to me from a find on Pintrest!  It is from the site Just Make Stuff .  I made this snack mix last weekend when my brother and his girlfriend were home visiting.  We are just finishing up the last of it at work today.  It has been a hit!  I would definitely make it again.

If you can open a box or a bag, you can make Scarecrow Crunch!

Scarecrow Crunch

(Makes about 15 cups)

4 cups Oatmeal Squares cereal (I used cinnamon flavor)

4 cups mini twist pretzels

1 (22 oz) bag of Autumn Mix Candy

2 cups Reese’s Pieces

2 (6 oz.) boxes of Caramel Corn

1 bag of Chocolate Goldfish Crackers


Open everything and dump it in a big bowl.  Mix it up and ENJOY!


stART ~ Fall Leaves Fall & a Little Family Fun! October 27, 2011

Filed under: StART Bits — tidbittimes @ 2:40 pm
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Monday night we had our second meeting of our Family Fun group.  This time we met at one of the city’s Community Centers.  It gave us plenty of space, but we also had to be more organized to make sure we had all the supplies we needed.  Our theme for the evening was LEAVES!




For our stART project we read the book, “Fall Leaves Fall” by Zoe Hall.  This book is great for preschoolers since it is short and simple.  It talks about the season of fall.  We also talked about how there are two meanings for the word, fall, as in the title of the book.  The book also tells about all the fun things you can do with the leaves that fall from the trees in the fall.  When you have 2, 3, and 4 year olds listening to a story together you get lots of story participation – ha!



For our art project all the kids had brought 4 fresh, and different leaves they had collected outside.  We used crayons to make leaf rubbings into a leaf book.  I found the idea and pattern for this book here on the Michael’s website.  Prior to meeting I cut out four leaf patterns for each person as well as the same pattern out of a thin piece of cardboard for the cover of the book. 


The kids, with the help of their parents, laid each leaf underneath the paper leaf and rubbed on top of it with a fall colored crayon.  They repeated this for each of their 4 leaves. 


When this step was finished, the kids created their book cover from the cardboard leaf.  I brought along pages of alphabet stickers I’ve had forever in my stash.  It was a great activity for the kids to work with their parents to find the letters that spelled their first name.  When all the pieces were completed the parents punched a hole through all the pages and fastened them with a small brad. 

Next, we thought the kids needed some movement so we played a couple of leaf games.  First was the blow the leaf race.  I didn’t realize what a hard motor task blowing a leaf with a straw across the floor would be for a 3-year-old.  I was proud of them for persisting through the difficult task.  Second, we played the hide the leaf game.  For this game we taught the kids what “hot” and “cold” mean when you are looking for a hidden item.  They had fun with both games.





We ended our night with some fall songs and Kelly taught us some fall words in Spanish.  She sent home a coloring page with the words on it so we could practice.  We had so much fun!

This Is the Way
Written by Amber Leigh
Sung to “Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush”

This is the way we crunch the leaves, (march in place)
Crunch the leaves, crunch the leaves,
This is the way we crunch the leaves,
One early autumn morning.

This is the way we rake the leaves, (make raking gesture)
Rake the leaves, Rake the leaves,
This is the way we rake the leaves,
One early autumn morning.

This is the way we bag the leaves, (pretend to bag the leaves)
Bag the leaves, Bag the leaves,
This is the way we bag the leaves,
One early autumn morning.

Another Leaves Song
By Amber Leigh
Sung to “The Wheels on the Bus”
The leaves on the tree fall on the ground (wiggle fingers and bring hands down)
on the ground, on the ground
The leaves on the tree fall on the ground,
All through the Fall.

The leaves on the ground go crunch, crunch, crunch (march in place)
crunch, crunch, crunch; crunch, crunch, crunch
The leaves on the ground go crunch, crunch, crunch
All through the Fall.

The moms and dads will rake the leaves, (make raking motion)
rake the leaves, rake the leaves
The moms and dads will rake the leaves,
All through the Fall.

One autumn day we’ll jump in the leaves (jump up and down)
jump in the leaves, jump in the leaves,
One autumn day we’ll jump in the leaves,
Then the fall is done.



stART ~ Autumn Leaves Are Falling October 20, 2011

Filed under: StART Bits — tidbittimes @ 4:19 pm
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This week we read the book “Autumn Leaves Are Falling” by Maria Fleming.  This is a Scholastic easy reader that tells about all the fun you can have with leaves in the fall.  It was great to connect Will’s experiences this fall to the characters in the book.  He’s had fun raking leaves, jumping in them and covering his cousin and grandma up in leaves just like the kids in this book. 

Grandma had some fun covering Will in leaves, too!

Of course for our project we had to make a tree with fall leaves.  While reading another book we discussed the word, bare.  Ever since then Will has been pointing out the bare trees all around town.  So, tonight we started with a bare tree picture found here.

What a goof!  This is the new posed smile. 

Next, we used fall-colored ink pads to fingerprint leaves on the tree.  Will just loves using stamp pads for projects. 

I just love how he carefully completed this project.  He really took his time and planned it all out.  He was pretty set that he had to put the colors into groups (no mixing them up). I even suggested making some leaves falling off the tree, but no-go.  It is so fun to watch his development in the short time we’ve been doing stART projects. 

For more stART projects visit www.amommysadventures.com


Fall Decor October 19, 2011

Filed under: Crafty Bits — tidbittimes @ 10:17 am
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I just love fall!  I love the weather, the colors and traditions it brings.  This year I’ve been busy putting together some new crafts to decorate the house for fall and Halloween.  Here are a few of the things I’ve been up to.

First, I made this fall felt pocket and filled it with fall leaves, sticks and berries.  A few weeks ago my mother-in-law and her sister invited me over for craft night.  They taught me how to work with felt and wool to make this cute pocket.  We worked on dividing and conquering the project. Pam cut the pocket forms, Nancy sewed them up and I cut the pieces you see on the front.  Everyone did their own stitching. 

Each piece was stitched on the pocket using a blanket stitch with embroidery thread.  I was instantly hooked on this craft!  It was a lot of fun and so quick.  I mostly enjoyed the company of Pam and Nancy! 

Last, Pam added a wire to the top of the pocket so it could be hung up. 

The next decorating idea I found on Pintrest.  I love the simplicity of this mini pumpkin decoration.  I took advantage of the sales at Hobby Lobby one week and bought all the supplies (except the pumpkins – I got those at Hy-Vee). 

I started with a tall, clear vase.

Next, I added 5 mini pumpkins

I arranged these stick things in the vase between the pumpkins.



I found this idea last year in the Hobby Lobby magazine they always tempt me with at the checkout.  I just had to make the candy tree again this year for Halloween and who doesn’t like chocolate?  It was much quicker this year since I kept all the supplies and just had to attach the candy. 

For the candy tree you will need a planter or vase to place the styrofoam cone in.  I also decorated the planter with black ribbon with white polka dots.  Around the base of the cone I tied orange raffia and the cute tags I created using the “Mini Monsters” Circut cartridge.    Place the cone in the planter and you are ready to attach the candy bars.

Using pins (I found T-pins work really well) attach the candy bars around the cone.  Overlap them so most of the green cone is hidden.  I bought a bag of 50 fun size candy bars and was just a couple short when I got to the top. (Shhh: I just left the back spots open where it wouldn’t show).  I bought the larger sized cone, but my mother-in-law made the same tree from the smaller sized cone so that works, too. 

For the finishing touches I added more cut out Halloween shapes (pumpkins, bats and ghosts) that I cut out from the “Mini Monsters” Cricut cartridge.  I glued a mini-clothespin to each shape to make it easy to attach to the candy on the tree.  On the top I made a clump/spray of orange raffia with another tag.

I’ve been wanting to make one of these pennants for quite a while since you see them everywhere these days.  I found my inspiration for this project in the Pottery Barn Kids catalog.  Their pennant was made of fabric, but I decided I’d use paper. 

I started with 6 pieces of adorable Halloween scrapbook paper.  I found these cute patterns at a little scrapbook store in Watertown, SD that we always visit (and donate a lot of money to) on our way to our annual scrapbooking retreat. 

 Using the “Art Philosophy” Close to my Heart Cricut cartridge I cut eleven 7″ triangles in alternating paper patterns. 

    Two of my friends decided to join in the fun at  

   our scrapbooking retreat and used other fun papers.







Here are Kellie and Andrea using teamwork to cut out their triangles!





Next, I cut out the letters to spell “trick or treat” using the “Plantin’ Schoolbook” Cricut cartridge.  I used orange for the shadow and black for the letter.  So thankful for whoever invented the Cricut machine to cut these letters and whoever made the Xyron sticker making machine to adhere these tiny letters!

The most tedious part of this project was gluing black rick rack to the sides of each pennant.  I used Tombow glue and lots of patience.  It took two packages (5 yards) of medium-sized rick rack. 

I added one letter to each pennant (except “or” was on one).  To jazz it up I added a few embellishments (flowers, clips, ribbon) to each pennant.  Last, I glued all the pieces to a length of black ribbon.  I was sure to leave a tail of ribbon at each end to hang it. 

I wasn’t sure how to hang it up, but ended up using clothes pins attached to our shades.  If I get time I may try to jazz up the clothes pins.  We have this huge window in our living room, which ended up being the perfect spot to string a pennant. 

Happy Fall, Everyone!


Fall Leaf Cookies {Recipe} September 29, 2011

Filed under: Tasty Bits — tidbittimes @ 8:39 pm
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Every fall a group of my friends and their kids get together to celebrate fall with what we call the Fall Festival.  We all get together and trek out to the pumpkin patch to pick out the perfect pumpkins.  After lunch we gather at my house to have the kids paint their pumpkins and enjoy cookies, apple cider and the popular candy corn/peanuts mix!  This is a favorite fall tradition.  This weekend is the annual Fall Festival, so I had to get busy making cookies.  I found this new cookie  idea on Pintrest, but there were no directions or recipe at the link.  I thought, “I can do this!”  

Sugar Cookie Recipe

by Real Simple Magazine

4 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/3 cup vegetable shortening (such as Crisco)

2 large eggs, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract


Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl, set aside.


Combine the butter and shortening in the bowl of an electric mixer and cream until smooth.  Slowly add the sugar, beating on medium.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each one.  Add the vanilla. 

With a wooden spoon, stir the dry ingredients in the creamed mixture 1 cup at a time. 

Divide the dough into four bowls and add food coloring / paste.  I used red, green, orange and yellow.

Next, I broke off small pieces of dough and stuck them side by side on a floured surface.

Roll the dough flat mixing the colors.  And use leaf cookie cutters to cut out the shapes.

Bake cookies at 350 degrees for 12-14 minutes or until golden brown around the edges.  Transfer to a cooling rack.

We shall see if these cookies can replace the maple frosted cut-out cookies I have made previous years.  These sure were a lot quicker to make. 


stART~Dot & Jabber and the Great Acorn Mystery September 15, 2011

Filed under: StART Bits,Tasty Bits — tidbittimes @ 9:12 pm
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This week we read the book, “Dot & Jabber and the Great Acorn Mystery” by Ellen Stoll Walsh.  The weather has been significantly cooler here the last two days, so we are getting into the fall mood.  This story follows two mice detectives as they try to figure out how acorn seeds travel so far from the oak tree to grow into a new tree.  This was a great format for a preschooler to learn a quick science lesson. 



For our project we made acorn treats to take to daycare tomorrow.  These were a little messy to make, but turned out cute.  I found the idea on Pintrest (www.graciousrain.com).  I hope the kids enjoy the fall acorn treats!




glazed doughnut holes

chocolate frosting, Nutella or peanut butter

chocolate sprinkles

stick pretzels



1) Dip the top of the doughnut hole in the chocolate frosting.

2) Dip the frosting side in the chocolate sprinkles.

3) Break a pretzel in half and stick it in the top of the doughnut.

Viola! Acorn Doughnuts!




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