Our 4th

Happy 5th day of July!  To my friends here in the States, I hope you had a wonderful Independence Day.  We had a lovely day.  We watched Despicable Me in the morning (we hadn't seen it yet!), played on the new tree swing Mr. B installed the day before...

... and watched this as we made homemade hula hoops!

The hula hoop project is one I've longed to try for a couple of years now.  One of my favorite family music artists, Elizabeth Mitchell, did a guest post on SouleMama.  (Fitting, as I first found out about SouleMama via Elizabeth Mitchell's email newletter!)  We just followed this simple video tutorial:

(Of course, it turned out our local hardware store was sorely lacking in pipe, so a trip to a big box store was in order for us.  We tried!)

After a family 4th of July dinner at my sister's new house, our little family headed to our local drive-in!  

We loaded up on horribly junky concessions, while the neighborhood surrounding the drive-in lit up the skies with fireworks.  We knew it would be a very late night for the girls, but our neighborhood usually stays very loud until late on the 4th.  We might as well have fun supporting a local institution!  We saw Despicable Me 2 and Monsters University, and of course, lots of awesome vintage drive-in bumpers and snack advertisements!

I'm sorry I haven't had much in the way of books to post about this week.  The weather has been too beautiful.  We're spending so much time outside!  We are reading, but I haven't had a chance to scan or take pictures, find links, etc.  Thank you for bearing with me!  I hope everyone is having a lovely season.  
Merry Weekend!  Happy Reading!

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Independence Day

And a happy normal July 4th to everyone outside the United States.  We've been enjoying lower-than-usual temperatures, spending lots of time outside, so I haven't had much in the way of books to post about!  Our fairy house is coming along, Mr. B scaled a ladder and hung a swing from a tree in our front yard, and we bought materials for making our own homemade hula hoops!  Today, we'll celebrate the country's birthday with a dinner at my sister's new house.  And at some point, I plan on watching the History Channel's "Independence Day: The History of July 4," which I bought from Amazon Instant Video.

Our town stopped putting on big fireworks displays a few years ago.  People stopped going, I think, in favor of setting off their own.  Our neighborhood tends to go crazy until all hours of the morning on the 4th, so we figure if the girls are going to be up late anyway, let's celebrate with an old American pastime:  a night at the drive-in!  The weather has been beautiful, and the fireworks in our neighborhood make the girls very jumpy.

I thought I'd leave you with a few 4th of July links.

And here is a sweet moment from the Disney version of Pollyanna (1960), starring Hayley Mills.

And a happy 4th from the Muppets!

Be safe, and have a happy 4th!

The Yellow Brick Road

Tin Man sculpture in Clifton Square

We followed the road of yellow bricks, and found the Tin Woodsman.
He already had his heart.

We paused to admire him a bit.

And considered where our silver shoes might take us.

And decided they would take us across the parking lot to the new ice cream parlor!

(Photos taken at a beautiful little collection of shops, food spots, and offices made up of old houses.  Big Sis had just received her silver slippers in a box of awesome hand-me-downs the day before.  She had just come from dance class, thus the tights.)

We are still reading The Marvelous Land of Oz.  The Scarecrow, the Tin Woodsman, Jack Pumpkinhead, the Sawhorse, and Tip have just met H.M. Wogglebug, T.E., the most hilariously annoying character in Oz.  (That's the Highly Magnified Wogglebug, Thoroughly Educated, of course.)

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Thinking About Fairy Crafts & Parties

Not actually doing any fairy crafts.  That's why this post is so late.  (But you should see our yard!  We can decorate the fairy house again!)

So the latest Wishworks catalog arrived in the mail as I was contemplating this post.  Wishworks and its parent company, Chasing Fireflies, are out of my price range - I feel like I should state that right now - but the pictures!  The ideas!  The fantasy of it all!  We get the catalogs, and the girls love to page through them and daydream.  And this one arrived just after Little Sis declared that she wants a fairy-themed birthday party this year.

I'm down with that.  I have a thing for fairies.  I have a thing for fairy parties.  I have a thing for parties.  (See here and here.)

Her birthday isn't until November, so I think we'll go "fall fairy" for the color scheme.  (We can fancy up her Halloween costume!)  But I do love this Cicely Mary Barker-inspired Flower Fairies party in the Wishworks catalog.

from Wishworks by Chasing Fireflies July 2013 catalog.

Perhaps we can base our own party off the Flower Fairies of Autumn!  I can get the book for inspiration...

I have two fairy craft books checked out from the library.  The books are very different.  One is full of fancier crafts, involving more store-bought materials and sometimes requiring a sewing machine.  The other is geared more toward kids, and makes use of recycled and household objects (plastic wrap, bath scrubbies).

The fancy book is appropriately titled Fairy Crafts, and is by Heidi Boyd.  Many of these crafts would make gorgeous party favors and decorations.

Fairy Crafts by Heidi Boyd.  North Light Books, 2003.

These are just a few of my favorite crafts in this book.  The lanterns are amazing.  (See the flower fairy dolls?  We made something like those once!)  I love the plates and tableware.  Perhaps with this much notice, I could make those.  In fact, this whole book screams "special event."

For everyday fairy fun, I like Fairy World Crafts by Kathy Ross (illustrated by Nicole in den Bosch).  The crafts are simpler, and even though the results are not as polished, they're rather perfect for a day stuck inside due to bad weather.

Fairy World Crafts by Kathy Ross, illustrated by Nicole in den Bosch.  Millbrook Press, 2008.

I'll post pictures of our fairy house when we get it back into shape.  Until then, I think I'm off to new subjects!

I've started a new pinboard just for Fairy Party Inspiration.  And to visit my pinboard devoted to all things fairy, troll, gnome, dragon, unicorn, etc, check out A Little Magic.

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