Archives for October 2015

Halloween Safety Tips

Tomorrow is Halloween and no doubt every child you know is super excited about trick-or-treating and wearing their costumes, but have you discussed some ways they can remain safe while they’re out tomorrow night? Here are a few top tips to remember.

  • Never go trick-or-treating alone, always go with an adult or a group of other kids. trick or treat
  • Be very aware of any cars around; do not accept a ride from strangers and be careful whenever walking near the road. In order for drivers to see trick-or-treaters better, it’s a good idea to give your child a flashlight to carry.
  • Make sure that the costume fits well and doesn’t present a safety hazard for your child; no one wants to get hurt on Halloween and an ill-fitting ghost costume that obscures your child’s vision or princess dress with a long train could cause an unfortunate accident.

Even if you don’t have kids or if they’re too old to trick-or-treat now, there are a few tips for you as well!

  • Avoid homemade treats; even if you know that there’s nothing wrong with your famous caramel apples, it can make other people nervous eating food made by someone they don’t know.
  • Encourage children in safe trick-or-treating habits; if you see a child doing something foolish, let them know!

If you keep these tips in mind, you’re sure to have a fabulous Halloween; now stock up on some awesome candy and get ready for all those trick-or-treaters! Have a happy Halloween from all of us here at The Family Tree!

Pumpkin Carving Tips

With Halloween right around the corner, now is the time to carve a pumpkin into the perfect Jack-O-Lantern to display by your front door! Here are some basic instructions, as well as a few tips and tricks to getting your pumpkin looking just right.

Supplies: Jack o' Lantern

A pumpkin

Large serrated knife

Smaller knife

Large spoon

OR

Pumpkin carving kit from the store

 

Directions:

  1. When you pick a pumpkin, make sure that it has at least one smooth, unblemished side to carve; the less than perfect sides can always be hidden against the wall or by some extra decorations.
  2. Cover your work area with newspaper to make cleaning up easier. Place your pumpkin on the newspaper and proceed to cut around the stem at an angle; be sure the hole will be big enough for your hand and candle to fit through! WARNING: If the hole isn’t cut at an angle, the stem will fall into the pumpkin and you won’t be able to cover the candle when you’re finished.
  3. Scoop out all the seeds and pumpkin guts, making sure to scrape the sides for any remaining strings. Don’t forget to do the same for the stem! TIP: You can toast the seeds for a snack while you work! Clean them up, spread them on a baking sheet, and bake for 10 minutes at 200 degrees. Add a bit of salt, cinnamon, or any other spice for a tasty and healthy fall treat!
  4. Once your pumpkin is clean, you’re ready to carve! TIP: You can either have a design drawn on paper and use a pin or small nail to transfer the outline onto the pumpkin in a connect-the-dots fashion or you can use a dry erase marker to draw your design directly on the pumpkin and simply erase anything that remains after you’ve finished carving.
  5. After you’re finished carving, it’s time to put a candle into the pumpkin and set it outside to show everyone how fabulous it looks!

There are so many creative designs for Jack-O-Lanterns; you’re limited only by your imagination. Sometimes the funny shaped pumpkins can make the best jack-o-lanterns! Be sure to stop by The Family Tree to pick up your perfect pumpkin before Halloween!

DIY Decorations: Floral Wreath

Today’s beautiful wreath from Jennifer at Town and Country Living takes only a few minutes to make and is stunning on a front door, all while being less than half the price of a fancy store-bought wreath from the same materials! What better way to celebrate autumn than by saving some money on your fabulous decorations? So head on over to your favorite craft supply store and pick out some gorgeous fall floral sprigs and get ready to create a masterpiece!floral wreath

Supplies:

1 grapevine wreath form

Several floral sprigs

Hot glue gun

 

Directions:

  1. Lay your wreath form in front of you and tuck your first sprig into it so that it lays flat along the wreath. The stem probably will poke out the back, but all you need to do is bend it and tuck it with the grapevines; it’ll blend right in.
  2. Once you have the sprig laying how you’d like it, attach a few of the branches to the wreath with a few dabs of hot glue. If you prefer a simpler wreath, you can stop here.
  3. For a full wreath, continue attaching your floral sprays until you’ve covered the entire wreath.
  4. Hang that baby on your front door and congratulate yourself on a quick and easy DIY!

This wreath is also easily customizable for the holiday season; instead of the bright yellows and oranges of fall, look for deep reds and greens. However, if you want to switch out your floral sprays once fall is over, you’ll have to remember to use florist’s wire instead of hot glue to attach them to your wreath.

DIY Decorations: Popcorn Wreath

Colorful Indian corn is back in stores and can look lovely when a bunch is hung on your door, but maybe you’d like a variation on the corn theme. Popcorn kernels make a whimsical wreath that can be left plain or spray painted any color you desire and you can make it look rustic or elegant, depending on what kind of bows or accents you add to it. This wreath from Ashley at Cherished Bliss will require you to get your hands sticky; there’s really no way to make those little kernels stick to the glue without getting some on your hands as well!

Supplies: Autumn-Popcorn-Wreath11

1 foam wreath form

Burlap ribbon

Modge Podge

Elmer’s glue

Water

Foam brushes

2 bags popcorn kernels

 

Directions:

  1. Take your wreath form, glue or pin one end of the burlap securely to the form, and start wrapping, being sure to cover the whole wreath. You don’t want any pesky green foam peaking through your popcorn! Once you’ve finished wrapping, be sure to either glue or pin the end of the burlap so that all your hard work doesn’t come undone as soon as you pick up the wreath.
  2. Now it’s time for the fun part! Take one of your brushes and paint small sections of your wreath with Elmer’s glue and sprinkle on as many popcorn kernels as you can. You’re going to have to let each section dry before moving on to the next; you don’t want to knock off any of the popcorn!
  3. To be sure the popcorn stays on the wreath, you’re going to need some modified Modge Podge. To make this, shake together equal parts water and Elmer’s glue until mixed. Take your other brush and gently brush this mixture over top of your finished wreath to seal the popcorn on.
  4. To make a hanger, you can find some pretty fabric and cut a strip long enough to loop around the wreath and reach your hook. If you want to get fancy, you can also layer two fabrics.

Who knew that humble popcorn kernels could make such a fabulous wreath? The great thing about this wreath is that it looks just as good on your front door as it does hanging somewhere inside your home. It’s easy to add some great decorations, too; a spray of colorful Indian corn would be the perfect accent and round out the harvest feel of this wreath!

Fairy Festival

Alert! Alert! Fabulous fairy gardens wanted for contest! On Saturday, October 17, The Family Tree will be hosting its first ever Fairy Festival and we couldn’t be more excited about everything planned. There will there be fun, games, and real fairies. Don’t forget to dress up in your favorite fairy or gnome outfit to attract even more fairies!

We want you to show off your creativity in our fairy garden contest! You can bring your fairy garden and set it up in our special “fairies & gnomes only” arena anytime from 10:00 to 11:30 and then the winners will be announced at 12:30. All fairy gardens welcome! Whether it’s a tiny acorn garden, a shoe box gnome home, or an elaborate fairy city, we want to see where your fairies and gnomes live! We will have three different age categories for contest participants: 8 years old and under, 9-16 years old, and 17 and up years old. So go ahead and start attracting fairies by creating a fabulous fairy garden or make sure your current one is in tip-top shape for the 17th!

In case you’re fresh out of ideas, here is some helpful background info on fairies and what they like. If you’re interested in what types of fairies you should plan your garden for or what kinds of food to provide, be sure you read these posts!

Types of Fairies

How to Attract Fairies

What do Fairies Eat?

Enjoy crafts, games, story time, and hunting fairy’s treasures. Don’t miss tea time at 1:00 pm with a special fairy. Taste fairy treats and tea will Miss Fairy Manners teaching you proper etiquette for drinking tea and eating cookies. Here’s the planned schedule for the day:

Games and crafts 10:00-2:00pm
Learn the basics for building the perfect fairy garden/terrarium seminar 10:30
Tour our real Fairy Garden 10:30-2:00pm
Story time:  11am
Treasure Hunt: 11:30am
Contest winners announced 12:30
Tea Time and Etiquette with Miss Fairy Manners: promptly at 1:00pm

Be sure to put The Family Tree’s Fairy Festival on your calendar; we can’t wait to see you and your gorgeous fairy garden!

DIY Decorations: Pumpkin Wreath

In honor of autumn, The Family Tree will be featuring a series on easy homemade fall wreaths to Circle-Pumpkin-Front-Door-Wreathdecorate with. The Family Tree has an abundance of little mini pumpkins that are just begging to be made into something gorgeous! After hearing their siren call for several days, we found this easy wreath from Ann at On Sutton Place and it is the perfect combination of unusual and traditional. The orange color pops against the background greenery and will make your door stand out from all the others in the neighborhood!

What You’ll Need:

1 grapevine wreath form (you can wire 2 different sizes together if you’d like more depth)

Rosemary garland

12-18 mini pumpkins or enough to fit around the wreath

Florist’s wire

Directions:

  1. If you’ve gotten two wreath forms, stack the smaller one on top of the large one and wire them together in at least four places.
  2. Wrap the rosemary around the wreath until you like the way it looks and then wire that on in several places
  3. Arrange your pumpkins on the wreath to determine how many you’ll need and the best fit
  4. Begin attaching your pumpkins to the wreath. To do this, you’ll need about 20 inches of wire; loop the middle of the wire tightly around the pumpkin’s stem and then wrap the ends down around the rest of the pumpkin, making sure that it fits into the creases. Position the pumpkin on the wreath and poke the wires down into the grapevine and twist several times to secure.
  5. Continue wiring the pumpkins on until all are attached.

Hang your wreath on your door and enjoy all the compliments that you receive! Do note that this wreath can get a bit heave because of the pumpkins, so take that into account when choosing a hanger. Be sure to stop by The Family Tree to pick up some mini pumpkins to start making your wreath today!

Circle-Pumpkin-Wreath1