Tuesday, November 1, 2016

November, the month of Thankfulness

The following post was originally written three years ago this week.  I'm pulling it back up and sharing again in case you're like me and found yourself wanting a leaf stencil for another fall related project with your kids.  2013 was the year we began our first Thankful banner, and as I was asking Ella to create some colorful leaves out of construction paper for us I suddenly remembered I'd saved these stencils from three years ago.  They're nothing fancy, but they do the job.

Going around the table every night in November sharing at least one thing we're thankful for is one of my favorite things we do.  I can't do without this transitional month of Thanksgiving before the harried pace of December comes.  What's on your thankful list as we near the year's end?  I'm predicting Pokemon makes the leaf banner at our house at least once this year.

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Are there any other mothers out there who have sometimes felt like they weren't good mothers because they didn't do "crafts" with their kids?  For some reason, to sit down and color or organize opportunities to paint, create, or otherwise make something "crafty" epitomized being a good mom to me.  Maybe it's because I don't consider myself a natural crafter?  It's all kind of ridiculous, and I think I'm growing out of feeling like that, though it didn't stop me from feeling kind of proud of myself for doing a craft with Ella Saturday morning. ;)

I saw this glittery leaf project on Pinterest one night and thought it was pretty, and it made me excited to use glitter.  I also thought the kids would enjoy a glitter experience.  Who doesn't love glitter???  I was strangely looking forward to a big glittery mess.

The original crafters said they used a bag of artificial leaves from the Dollar Tree, which I was unable to find, so I ended up using Photoshop to create a template that I printed out on cardstock and used as a stencil.  You're welcome to download it and use it if you have any leaf projects up your sleeve this fall.

Ella and I traced and cut until we felt like we had enough, and then came the fun part:  glue and glitter.

We experimented with different ways of decorating the leaves.  Ella had the good idea of coloring them first so there was still some color showing through the glitter.  Some leaves got more glitter than others, but I don't think you can really mess it up.  Ella was hesitant at first about completely covering her leaves with glitter, but it grew on her.

 Pretty, Pretty

Part way through the project I decided not to worry about making a perfect banner for decor and to instead merge it with the desire to keep a record of the things we're thankful for this month.  I really liked the results:  a little bit of shiny and a whole lot of thankfulness in the heart listening to my kids give thanksgivings.  Maybe a little laughter listening to their thanksgivings, too.

I failed to take a picture of James' first thanksgiving with my good camera.  Here it is on Instagram.  I love that boy.

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