Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The annual lantern walk

We went back to colorado for a couple weeks.  The trip was quite looked forward to throughout the fall.  And by the time we actually got to the trip it was a very needed reunion with friends.  The whole thing was an adventure as usual.  There was snowy travel though the Sierra Nevadas and the Rockies (but no snow chains needed).   There was late night mama crafting with wine, chocolate and popcorn. Tea parties with friends and lots and lots of joyful playing (both mama friends and kiddos). 

One of the highlights for me was being there for the annual lantern walk.  We spent a week making lanterns and a special hour carrying our lanterns through the dark night.  What a joy to be with our friends singing and enjoying the light.

Our Lantern Recipe:
medium to large paint brush
tissue paper (I prefer white or warm colors.  The cool colors can get too dark and thick and the light doesn't shine through as well)
Elmers glue or homemade paste (see recipe below)
hole punch
collected plant matter (leaves etc)
a stick
bees wax tea light
lighter or long matches
clothes pin and string for hanging to dry

Blow up a balloon and mix glue with a little water or use homemade paste. Rip the tissue into strips.  Paint the balloon and lay strips making sure to overlap.  Its pretty much just like making a paper mache' project if you've ever done that.  Make sure to do a layer or two and then hang it to let it dry for a day or so.  Repeat a couple times adding leaves or plant matter under the last layer if you feel so inclined.  Three or four layers should be enough.  Anymore than that might make it too thick and your light won't be very bright.  After the last drying punch holes an inch or two down from the top.  Depending on how thin your lantern is you may need to reinforce the holes on the inside with tape.  Attach wire and stick.  Put a candle in your lantern and ta-da!  You have a beautiful lantern.   

Paper mache' recipe
1/2 C all purpose flour
2 C cold water
2 C Boiling water
3 TBS sugar

Mix flour and cold water. Add to two cups boiling water and bring to boil again.  Remove from heat.  Stir in sugar.  It will thicken as it cools.  Should last a week or two if refrigerated.  

Thursday, November 1, 2012


Whew!  Ten days ago the kids decided they wanted to be a witch, a cat and a mouse.  Truthfully, Eoghan had no voice in the matter.  The girls decided he should be a mouse to fit in with their theme. Anyhow, I drafted up some patterns and whipped up some costumes.  I'm not going to lie, it was a little down to the wire.  At 9pm Monday night I decided my made up witches hat pattern just wasn't going to cut it.  I needed a little help.  Thank goodness for the internet and those who post free witch hat patterns! All in all I'd say things turned out pretty well.  My pattern drafting skills are improving... don't look too closely.  Our insperation for Lillian's witch costume ended up coming from Merlina and the Magic Spell by Daniela Drescher.