Kid’s Craft: Fall Leaves Milk Art & Thanksgiving Place Cards

Kid's Thanksgiving Project Idea: Fall Leaves Milk Art & Place Cards | PepperDesignBlog.com

Part of my Thursday routine with Liv and Taylor this school year has been to co-host a ‘co-op preschool’ with four of my girlfriends and their kids. We swap who will lead each Thursday and this talented lady set up a curriculum based around arts and sciences.

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Kid's Thanksgiving Project Idea: Fall Leaves Milk Art & Place Cards | PepperDesignBlog.com

This last Thursday was my turn to lead an art lesson and I’ve been meaning to try out milk art for a while. It’s really rather a simple process but because of the unconventional art style, such a big hit with kids. I tied our lesson all together with a nature walk, a discussion on why leaves change color, and a scavenger hunt to find ‘inspiration’ for our craft project. Then we came back to the house to create.

Kid's Thanksgiving Project Idea: Fall Leaves Milk Art & Place Cards | PepperDesignBlog.com

Considering that milk is such a staple in our home (the girls love milk to a crazy degree, especially T), I thought that this project would be an ideal one for our collaboration with Got Milk and on sharing creative ways to incorporate milk (beyond a big cold glass of it) into the everyday. Milk keeps these girls strong and it’s one of the few consistents in our daily lives that I know I can rely on for a balanced diet (Liv is a great eater, T is a little more difficult, but without resolve she’ll walk up to the fridge and ask for ‘malk’ several times a day).

Kid's Thanksgiving Project Idea: Fall Leaves Milk Art & Place Cards | PepperDesignBlog.com

Using milk as the base and food coloring as the dye, milk becomes kid-friendly marbling on a grand scale (like, cookie sheet grand scale). This is such a great project whether you have 30 minutes or a couple of hours – Liv has already asked to recreate it multiple times.

Back to that Thursday morning lesson… we started our day off with a little nature walk around the neighborhood. As a group, we observed the tall trees and the fallen autumn leaves along the sidewalk (though they were a little scarce – did I mention it was in the 80s? crazy.)

Kid's Thanksgiving Project Idea: Fall Leaves Milk Art & Place Cards | PepperDesignBlog.com

We do have a row of maples that change color with the season and that’s where we found most of our treasures. How I adore those three trees! We talked about why trees are important for our environment, why they change colors as the days get shorter and what role ‘chlorophyll’ and ‘photosynthesis’ play.

Kid's Thanksgiving Project Idea: Fall Leaves Milk Art & Place Cards | PepperDesignBlog.com

The scavenger hunt side of our nature walk meant finding beautiful fall leaf inspiration. There were a few red and yellow leaves, but mostly brown!

Kid's Thanksgiving Project Idea: Fall Leaves Milk Art & Place Cards | PepperDesignBlog.com

Leaves in hand, we laid them out on our craft paper-covered table (they sell awesome rolls of brown paper at home improvement stores for so cheap) so that everyone could observe their shape and colors as we continued.

Kid's Thanksgiving Project Idea: Fall Leaves Milk Art & Place Cards | PepperDesignBlog.com

Then using pre-made templates, the kids traced leaves onto watercolor paper (key that it’s watercolor paper) and cut out their drawings. Older children might want to sketch their own leaf shapes by observing what they’ve found in nature. …

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Thanksgiving Tip: Create Prep Stations for Guests

Thanksgiving Tip: Create Prep Stations for Guests | PepperDesignBlog.com

Cooking our Thanksgiving dinner is always sort of a communal project. Different family members take on different recipes while we all prep together chatting in the kitchen. I tried something new earlier this year with Liv’s 3rd birthday, and before everyone arrived, created prep stations for the giant meal we were having that day. Some family members had offered to arrive early and as they filtered in, I set them up with a station. It was a success.

By setting out the necessary ingredients, tools and equipment to create each recipe (sometimes family members will have to share the tablespoons, that’s okay) it cut down on a lot of the ‘where can I find…’ and ‘do you have a…?’. I also provided a print out of the recipe itself just in case. Everyone wants to help, no one wants to get in the way, and sometimes passing out jobs while you’re trying to oversee a giant gathering makes the project feel more stressful. This solution has really worked out well for me, that is, when I have the foresight to put it all together! For Liv’s party, everyone cleaned up their own stations, too. Bueno!

The above is a sample prep station of my very favorite breadcrumb-coated roasted pumpkin slices – recipe to come.

PS two ideas for Thanksgiving place cards: thoughtful paper downloads and gold pumpkins + sharpies.

Impromptu Picnics and a New Living Room Lamp

Picnic in the Living Room | New Quill Lamp | PepperDesignBlog.com

Sometimes adorable moments catch me completely off guard and I’m lucky enough to have my camera out.

Picnic in the Living Room | New Quill Lamp | PepperDesignBlog.com

I was snapping a few photos of a new wooden living room lamp that we’ve just added when I turned around to find a picnic set out before me. Liv explained that she had made ‘lots of different soups’ but that they weren’t too hot ‘because I added ice cubes’. T plays along with pretend meal making really, really well and is a pro juice pourer and wooden cucumber eater.

I was invited by Quill this fall to choose a new piece of office-related furniture to try out. I was a little hesitant at first, but upon searching came up with a handful of lamps that would be great for our home (and we were in need of lighting in a few key spots). The lamp that ultimately worked best for us (the Adesso Walden floor lamp) fits the little reading nook area of our living room well (though I have also tried it in the guest bedroom and our bedroom and it might be playing lamp-house-shuffle for a while :)).

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The lamp is tall and wooden with a metal foot. It feels a little industrial but also warm, and I kind of dig how the cord is intended to wrap around various parts of the wooden base to keep it exposed. It leans just a hair (and I can’t seem to fix that) but other than that it’s a great fit.

spon_quill_livingroom_lampcloseup2_800

There’s something about this corner of the living room that I both love and hate. That there club chair is over forty years old and was actually one of the first ‘grown up’ pieces of furniture that my dad purchased back when he was in his twenties. I love that this chair is filled with so many stories and that leather club chairs, in general, are pretty classic. This guy is sort of a family heirloom and, despite the rips, bruising and other obvious flaws, I don’t see it going anywhere for a while. It’s also one of Kevin’s FAVORITE spots in the whole wide world :-). When it comes to comfort, sometimes husbands win and aesthetic loses.

New Quill Lamp in the Living Room | PepperDesignBlog.com

I think something giant and boxy would be kind of awesome there. But those curved arms might come back in style some day ;).

Meanwhile, these two girls were having a really sweet moment. Reminds me so much of the post I shared yesterday on watching them become sisters.

Picnic in the Living Room | New Quill Lamp | PepperDesignBlog.com

It wasn’t long though before Taylor spotted the camera. If a camera is visible, T reacts by pointing and shouting ‘no!’ or running up to it to offer the biggest ‘cheese!!!’.

Picnic in the Living Room | New Quill Lamp | PepperDesignBlog.com

Then she proceeded to do the Charleston to entertain us for the the next few minutes.

Picnic in the Living Room | New Quill Lamp | PepperDesignBlog.com

Oh, that girl.

What do you think? Do you like the wooden arms of this new standing floor lamp or do you think I should bring the brass one back in here?

Living Room Reading Nook | PepperDesignBlog.com

Digging both at the moment and happy that both will find a spot in this casa. You can’t ever have too many lamps!

This post is sponsored by Quill. Thanks for letting me share about the brands that support this site :).
Photo credit: last photo by Katie Beverley, the rest by me (you can really tell the difference!).

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