I like every season for different reasons. One of my favorite things about spring and summer is the abundance of gorgeous gardens. I’ve been stopping to smell the roses…and the lilacs and lilies and hyacinths and hydrangeas. This past Mother’s Day was spent at Planting Fields Arboretum in Oyster Bay, New York which is on Long Island. After that, we stopped at a nursery to buy flowers. Outside on a sunny day absorbing vivid colors and sweet scents? Lovely!
Not Just For Kids!
Looking for an easy, DIY Mother’s Day gift? I made this silk flower arrangement for my mom when I wanted to give her something pretty that required no care. I featured a photo of it on my blog before, but How-To instructions were posted in my guest post on middle grade author Darlene Beck-Jacobson’s blog Gold From The Dust: Bringing Stories to Life. If you’re like me, you have Styrofoam-from-packages lying around the house (because why throw away something that might come in handy in a craft project?) If not, supplies can be found at local art shops such as A Paper Hat Art + Design Supply (curb side pick up) and crafts stores such as Michael’s and A.C.Moore.
Happy creating, hon!
- silk flowers
- glue gun and glue sticks
- Styrofoam blocks or pieces
- marker, serrated knife, wire cutter, scissor
- Figure out how many pieces of Styrofoam will fit in and fill up vessel. With marker, mark where to cut Styrofoam and, using serrated knife, cut foam into correct number of pieces.
- Prepare flowers part 1. Determine how long stems need to be to sit inside foam and also stand above rim of vessel. Tip—hold flowers in a bunch, approximating the way they are to be arranged. This helps determine which stems are to be cut shorter and which longer. Trim stems with wire cutter.
- Prepare flowers, part 2. With scissors, cut off excess leaves, especially those that would sit inside foam. Too many leaves get in the way. Too few leaves may look bare. Tip–Save cut leaves to possibly glue to moss.
- Hot glue bottom of cut Styrofoam and secure inside vessel.
- Hot glue flowers stems, then stick stems into Styrofoam, carefully arranging flowers. Add extra glue to spot where foam and stems meet.
- Spread moss around top of Styrofoam. Lift up sections, then glue them down.
- Fill in bare spots of Styrofoam with more moss and cut leaves.
Middle grade author Darlene Beck-Jacobson generously offered to share tips on visiting classrooms via Skype. Since we were talking about school, it wasn’t a stretch for me to Show and Tell. When I held up my latest creation, she invited me to post How-To instructions on her blog. Click here to check out my guest post on her blog Gold From The Dust: Bringing Stories to Life, where you will find photos and instructions on how to create your own DIY silk flower arrangement.
Darlene is the author of Wheels of Change, a middle grade historical novel. Click here to learn more about her book.
Thanks Darlene, have fun crafting, and happy Mother’s Day!
Hon, please indulge me. It doesn’t have to be Mother’s Day for me to say how grateful I am to be a mom, how proud I am of my kids or how much I love them. But, what I want to do today is spend time with all of them so this post is the prologue to the story of the last 18 1/2 year of my life.
(I can’t take credit for all of the photos. Some are mine and some aren’t.)
Baby A was only 2 pounds 9 ounces at birth and stayed in the NICU for 6 1/2 weeks. Despite being tiny, she could breath on her own (the tube in her nose above is a Gavage feeding tube). The nurses said she screamed loudly and a lot, which demonstrated how developed her lungs were. One nurse took to carrying her around on her shoulder to calm her down. As I scrubbed up before entering the NICU to take my smallest triplet home, one of the nurses, referring to my baby, said, “When is that mother going to get here already?” The mother bear in me came out when I answered, “I’m here!”
Proud mama (and papa) moving our firstborn into her dorm room for freshman year.
Baby B was the largest triplet at 4 pounds, 12 ounces. In the NICU he was considered a “feeder and grower” and was able to come home after 10 days. His colic lasted until he was 6 months. In an effort to deal with the colic, we switched to a non-dairy formula causing him to smell like a potato! He was such an affectionate baby, he’s meld into my body when I rocked him. As a toddler, he was the ringleader of the games “Let’s Smear Our Room In Vaseline,” “Let’s Step In the Diaper Rash Ointment,” and “Let’s Shred All Of The Audio Tapes Our Parents Made Of Our First Words!”
Proud mama (and papa) attending an ROTC Army event at our son’s university and seeing him in his dress blues.
Baby C, 4 pounds 4 ounces at birth, was allowed to come home after 12 days. She had no problem sharing a bassinet with her brother and the two of them would contentedly stare at each other. But when Baby A came home from the hospital and I laid her down next to her sister, Baby C howled with displeasure as if to say, “Who is this baby and what is doing here? I had to either lay them head to toe or put my son in the middle. Hon, I am here to tell you that birth order dynamics are thrown to the wind when it comes to multiples. Baby C established herself as the “oldest” (that’s a euphemism for bossiest) even if she was born third. She had the world’s best belly laugh and, if I could have bottled it, I’d be writing my books on an island in the Caribbean right now!
Proud Mama (and Papa) have known our daughter was artistic since she was 3 years old. Her self portrait is stunning!
Hon, do you know what was strange about holding an 8 pounds 6 ounce newborn? She was the same size as our triplets were when they were able to sit up! Our Plus One was an easy, go-with-the-flow child who was happiest when she was surrounded by her family. Many people have asked if she was accident, to which I replied, “No, she was very planned!” More people have said, “Wow, that’s a lot of kids” to which I replied, “Four was always my lucky number.” And countless people have said, “You had triplets and then another one?!” to which I replied, “She’s G-d’s gift to me!”
Proud Mama (and Papa) shed tears at our youngest’s “Moving Up” ceremony, but still celebrated the start of a new chapter in her life.