Foofy * Not Foofy

Girl Scout Cookie Booth Sign

CraftsHeatherAnne NorburyComment

If you've missed me these last couple weeks, it's because I have been up to my eyeballs in Girl Scout cookies and cookie booths. My daughter is a Daisy this year with the only homeschool troop in our council (which was surprising to me, given how many homeschoolers are in our council area). The fun thing for us is that we get to have cookie booths at times when other Girl Scouts are in school. Every Friday this month, we'll be a popular lunch spot selling Girl Scout cookies and helping our daughters develop all the skills that come with that.

I am the Troop Cookie Manager. I am SO thankful this is our first year and we are a small troop (only 18 girls). I cannot imagine how the cookie managers handle the big troops. Our 18 girls pre-sold 165 CASES of cookies and we've already picked up another 50 from the cupboard. As troop manager, I am in charge of organizing the booth times and locations AND decorating the booth. Two weeks ago, I had girls and moms over to our house to make the booth decorations. We made a cute sign (instructions below), a felt pennant banner that reads "Cookies" and painted flower pots to hold "cookie flowers". I apologize for the lack of "in process" pictures. It was a bit hectic.

#1 Favorite Cookies - Thin Mints Wearable Sign

Materials:

Large piece of cardboard - need to cut circle with 20-24" diameter.

Brown felt, 1 yard 

White, black, yellow & pink felt, small sheets or scrap 

Green satin ribbon, wide

Brown ribbon, wide

White fabric paint

Green pipe cleaner

Ribbons, 8-10" pieces, 2 or 3 styles

Hot glue gun

Glue sticks

Pencil, nail or another pencil & a pipe cleaner for drawing circle on cardboard

Box blade

1) Start with drawing your circle shape on your cardboard. Using a yardstick, find your approximate center of your circle and poke the nail in. Set your pencil on the outer edge of where you want your circle. Connect the pencil and the nail with the pipe cleaner. You might need to splice two together if you are making a bigger circle. I find that pipe cleaner are easier to attach to your center point and pencil than trying to knot string. Holding the nail in one hand, use the pencil to draw your circle. Cut out the circle with a box blade. 

Or just watch the quick video I made on how to make the circle.

2) Lay the circle on top of your brown felt. Cut out the felt so that you have a circle about 2" wider than the cardboard. One of the Brownie Scouts did this with supervision but she did a GREAT job. 

3) Using hot glue, glue down the felt to the back of the cardboard. Don't glue as you go. It's easier to get a tight circle if you glue every few inches, leaving some loose, then go back and fold and glue the loose sections. 

4) Cut out large white circles and small black circles for the eyes and pink felt for the mouth. These were all done by Girl Scouts. A Brownie Scout did the eyes and a Junior Scout did the mouth. For the eyes, we used a a ribbon spool to trace the white and a small bottle of acrylic paint for the black. For the mouth, I had the scout draw out the mouth design she wanted on a piece of scrap paperboard (an empty cereal box to be exact), then cut it out and use it to trace her design. 

5) Cut the wide green ribbon in a sash length. Have someone with good handwriting write "Thin Mints" in white fabric paint. A mom did this for our troop. 

6) Create a "prize" ribbon for your #1 most popular Girl Scout cookie. One of our Juniors took on this task with scrap felt, scrap ribbons and, with some assistance, hot glue.  

7) (optional) Make a big loop bow out of the rest of the wide green ribbon. I should make a tutorial on that too. Another blog post. 

8) Once the fabric paint is dry, hot glue on the green sash, prize ribbon, and loop bow. I also glued a length of brown ribbon at the top so the girls can wear this when working the booth.  

This picture was taken before the booth was entirely finished. The table cloth edge was serged to finish it. We also glued pictures of the different cookies in the center of each of the smaller flowers (front & back) and added colorful googly eyes. In use, the flower pots didn't like to stay upright in the wind (even filled with marbles). We now turn them over and stick the flower stakes in the hole in the bottom. The girls usually hold the big flowers and wave them to passers-by along with the Thin Mint sign.  

St. Patrick's Day Front Door Decor

CraftsHeatherAnne NorburyComment

So last month found me throwing together a last minute

Valentines wreath

with random supplies I found around the house. That one turned out so well, that I decided to try my hand at a St. Patrick's Day front door piece.

Needed Supplies: cardboard, paper plate, gold foil "grass", craft foam or cardstock shamrock shapes, ribbon (for hanging), and acrylic paints: green (two shades), black, sky blue, and whatever shades you'd like to use for a rainbow. I used purple, medium blue, green, yellow and red. I really like orange too but I was OUT (OUT! as if?!) of orange acrylic paint.

Additional supplies (these are things most people will already have on hand): box blade or some such to cut cardboard, paint brushes, glue gun and glue sticks.

For this project, I measured the backing cardboard to fit the supplies I was using. I started by tracing the paper plate, then laying out the shamrocks around the plate outline to get the dimensions I needed. I marked the edges of the shamrocks on the cardboard with pencil. Once I set them aside, I then "connected the dots" on the circle those marks made. That outer circle is the one you want to cut out with the box blade. 

Cut the paper plate in half.  Use it to trace the top of the "pot" section of the center circle. Paint that section and the outside of the paper plate black. I missed getting a picture of my adorable daughter painting the paper plate for me. She did an excellent job. Next paint your rainbow. I started with the purple and painted one arcing stripe. Paint a blue stripe next to the purple, then green, yellow and red. You get the idea.  :-)  Fill in the rest of the sky with blue. 

Paint the outer circle with green. I used metallic green, which went nicely with the sparkly shamrocks. I like sparkly. 

Hot glue down the plate and shamrocks. I recommend laying out the shamrocks before you attach them so you make sure the spacing is good. Unless you're really nerdy then measure off the circumference, divide by the number of shamrocks you have and space them exactly. I like the eyeball-it method personally (even though we are a really nerdy family).  

Glue your ribbon (or cut up T-shirt in my case) to the back. Make sure your volunteer knows what you are asking when you ask if the ribbon is centered. As you can see, mine is slightly off kilter. I love you, Melanie! But I was asking if the ribbon was centered, not whether the whole thing looked good or not. LOL. Stuff some gold foil shreds into your pot and VOILA! 

Review: The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver

BooksHeatherAnne NorburyComment

I have struggled to write this review. This book was just "meh" for me. The first section of the book while Missy/Taylor was still in Kentucky felt oddly cobbled together. The focus on Newt Hardbine seemed out of place even then but by the end of the book when the character wound up getting but a passing mention, it really felt like a forgotten story line that never came to conclusion.

I am not a big Barbara Kingsolver fan. I don't dislike her work and I enjoyed The Poisonwood Bible but she is not an author I seek out to read. This was a book club selection for me. This definitely read like a first novel. There were a few truck-size holes in the plot that brought me up short as I was reading with their jarring presence.

I think I struggled writing this because I know so many people who really like this book. I won't say I hated it but it was just okay. Nothing great. Throughout the book the characters seemed to all just blindly accept their fate or lot without question or very much emotion. It was exceptionally hard to suspend disbelief at many points along the plot line, especially when Taylor just drives off with a baby in her car with no internal dialog or seeming care. As I mentioned already, it's as if she blindly accepted her lot without question. For someone who does NOT (I repeat, does NOT) read romance novels, I still apparently like some fiery, passionate people in my novels. The dialog often centered on how strong other characters perceived Taylor to be and yet most of her internal dialog and actions didn't really add up to a strong character to me.

If you are a Kingsolver fan, I think reading her first novel would be a good thing. You definitely see the seeds of her later, more refined style. I'd love to hear why other people love this book so much. So, what did I miss?

Super Simple Valentine's Day "Wreath"

CraftsHeatherAnne Norbury1 Comment

As you know, we moved the first of November into our dream home. I feel blessed every day that we found such a great house and one that we could AFFORD! However, I recommend NEVER moving right at the start of holiday season. As if we had a chance of ever getting fully unpacked in a timely manner (does anyone ever actually get fully unpacked?), moving right before the holidays means a lot of boxes get stashed in corners or the basement and forgotten. And while my Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter and other major holiday decor all was packed in neatly labeled boxes, the less common holidays, like Valentines, wound up having decor strewn through a myriad of randomly packed boxes from our old basement.

In other words... I can't find my Valentine's wreath for the front door. After a quick search for it and a lack of desire to conduct anything more than a quick search, I started nosing around my craft room (still also mostly in boxes) to see what I could come up with relatively quickly and easily.

First a visit to the kids' downstairs play space that is full of cardboard:

Using newspaper to get a sheet big enough, I made a heart template in the good ol' grade school style... half a heart along the fold to make it symmetrical. I didn't measure the size of the heart beforehand, but just went with what looked right to me. It wound up about 15" high. 

I traced the pattern on my cardboard. 

Once the outer heart was traced, I drew another heart inside it and cut both hearts out with a box cutter. This is the ONLY time I have ever liked the tile floors in my kitchen.  

At this point, I painted the heart red with basic acrylic paint. Forgot to take a picture of that step.  Since the cardboard will show through in the finished wreath, I didn't want to leave it plain. 

Time for cutting... my finished wreath took the 5 adult-size t-shirts, two bright red and three red tie-dyed left over from another project. Any combination of "Valentine's" colors would do. I just used from the arm holes down to the bottom hem.  

Cut off the bottom hem then cut strips across, about 1.5" to 2" wide. Cut these strips at each end so that you have two strips out of each circle of t-shirt fabric. Start tying. Since I had more tie-dyed shirts, my pattern was two tie-dyed strips, then one red strip. I tied the tie-dyed strips first then the red strip between them so the red sat on top a bit. I used a wider strip of red t-shirt material, cut once into one longer piece, to make the holder.  

TADA!

Not too shabby for a thrown together wreath. 

This project can also be found at the Link Party at

Make It and Love It

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