Tuesday, February 11, 2014

What I am Doing Until Curling Comes on Tonight

As I sit here on another “not-snow-day” during the coldest winter in history, I felt it necessary to put in the classic film, Spies Like Us. Also fitting, considering the current Olympics in Sochi. 

Well, maybe that’s a stretch. Nevertheless, I felt it an appropriate Cinematic choice.

As I sit here and write, I have a lovely view of our fireplace. It makes me very happy.  It may not be Pinterest-worthy but it is Evans-worthy so we’re all good. I should be writing for work, but the fireplace is inspiring me to write this first.

On the last “almost-snow-day” when the kids were released 20 minutes early but there was really only ice to play with, the youngest child and I worked on lightly decorating the house for Valentine’s Day. We just used what we had on hand.

I am not suggesting that everyone has on hand what we have on hand.

I have a problem.

I admit it.

We have a pretty well stocked mini-Hobby Lobby in the front room.

Anyway, to make our paper heart garlands I got out some different shades of pink card stock and some card stock printed to look like old letters. I sliced them up into strips about 11” long. They were roughly an inch wide. I didn’t measure. I eyeballed. Measuring takes patience, time and caring that they are all an inch wide. I had none of those things.

I started this process while the kids and their friends were out playing in the “snow”. That ended fairly fast and they came back in for a cocoa break.  Well, it started as a cocoa break. It ended up as a “We don’t want to go back out there at all for the rest of the night,” break. It was pretty stinkin’ cold.

Doesn't Molly look cold?
*Neighbors to and from the north, this side note is for you:

We know that 19 degrees is balmy, t-shirt weather for you. We know. We know!

But for us, 19-degree weather is hibernate and put on forty-five layers, like Randy from A Christmas Story, weather.

Please do not email me scathingly condescending comments about our wimpiness. Talk to me in August when you are melting in 85 degrees and we are doing yard work in 114. So there! (Sorry, the cold makes me grumpy)

So as the mass of kids downed their cocoa and took off around the house, the decorating continued.

How cute are these marshmallows???

 The youngest child, who can sense any crafting in a fifty-mile radius, appeared out of nowhere.

“Can I help you?”


“Can I punch holes?”


“We can set up a system. You can fold the strips and I can punch the holes in them.”

“Sounds good.”

So we did. I folded all the strips in half and passed them to my hole-punching comrade (see what this movie is doing to my vocabulary?).

The next step was to twist the strips in and glue each end to the other with glue dots. This makes the heart shape.

My plan was to string the hearts on twine through the center hole and they would hang all catawampus. I have made a paper heart chain like this before, but quickly realized that I had used much thicker twine so it worked better that way.

As I tried to come up with a solution that wouldn’t make the hearts all clump up on the thinner bakers’ twine, the youngest child said, “Why don’t we punch holes on each side, too. Then they will line up and not bunch up.”

Ah, the orderliness of this kid’s brain both scares me and fills me with pride.

She may also have just been trying to punch more holes.

“We can save all of these paper punches. They are really pretty and look like ice cream sprinkles,” she said. “My art teacher needed these this year for our ice cream project so we can save these so next year she won’t have to use glitter.”

Shout out, Mrs. Lake! We have paper punches for you. You just need another fifteen cups or so and you should have enough for school! I’ll get the child right on that.

She was right, the hearts strung much easier on the twine with the extra holes on the side. She punched, I strung, and kittens batted and swatted the finished hearts. Soon, we had enough to wrap the bannister and string on the fireplace.

"What are you people doing down there?"
A few punched-out hearts taped on our “fake” candles on the mantel added an extra detail for about two minutes worth of work.

The canvases the girls already painted last year are already perfect for the theme.

The youngest child was very happy to have helped make the house “beautiful”.

“This is a really good project for kids to help make,” she said.


Perfect for icy, cold, stuck-inside days.

The little burlap banner was easy, too, but took a little more work, wonder-under, an iron and sewing. I can share if anyone is interested.

Have a Happy Valentine’s Day!

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