Milkweed & Monarchs
Happy Birthday, Bill!

Busy Birthday Bees

So the boys and I worked on some birthday crafts today and I thought you might like to see what we got up to! We made these crafts for Bill - the person whose birthday it is tomorrow and who was told NOT to read my blog tonight! (Right, honey?) I had a lot of fun putting these crafts together ... it's been a while since I've had a quiet, crafty day like this!

The first thing we decided to do was make Bill some barbecue sauce since he loves barbecue and hot sauce (especially really hot sauce) and I found this neat recipe on Martha Stewart's website. So here are the ingredients, all gathered and organized on the kitchen counter ...

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I had everything on hand except the chipolte peppers - but they were easy enough to find. :) Once I got the sauce simmering on the stove, I dug out some supplies to make a neat little gift box...

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I've always wanted to make one of these "sailor's valentines" for Bill - he grew up on the water and has a real affinity for all things nautical. To the best of my knowledge, these boxes were made as gifts for sailors' sweethearts back home - using shells they collected while at sea. There's probably a lot more to it than that, but this was the inspiration for my craft. :)

I had all the supplies already on hand - lidded box, paints, clear-drying glue (Mod Podge), seashells, beach sand, twine. I began by painting the box in acrylic paints. The boys chose soft green, blue and gray - the colors of the Atlantic. We then worked on an arrangement of shells - and once we had our design, I glued the shells (and a tiny starfish) in place.

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And while the shells were drying, the sauce was just finishing up...

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It doesn't look like much -  but it sure smelled pretty good! I really hope he likes it...

Back to the box while the sauce cooled  - it was time to glue on the "rope" trim and dust the top with sand.

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For the rope, I just braided some kitchen twine and knotted it at the ends. I used a bulldog clip as a "clamp" to hold the trim to the edge while the glue dried.

By late afternoon, our gifts were ready!

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I used stickers to decorate the glass quart jar holding the sauce...

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And inside the "sailor" box, there are a bunch of curled up notes ... the boys brainstormed "Daddy Saturdays," which are basically things they'd like to do with Bill when he has a free day - aka, go hiking, have breakfast at the beach, make ice cream, visit the Apple store (lol). They wrote these ideas on slips of paper and tucked them inside the box.

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And the very last thing we did was to sign cards and wrap the rest of the presents...

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Bill LOVES popcorn and our old popcorn maker recently kicked the bucket - so we got him a new one. The other box contains something far less exciting - he's been after me to replace our tupperware with glass storage containers, so I picked up a box at Target and wrapped it up for his b.day. I think he'll get a laugh. :)

As a final touch, the boys embellished the plain brown kraft paper with smiley stickers and Sharpies.

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And now we're all ready for tomorrow!

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Well, I hope you enjoyed a peek at our birthday craftiness today! I think it feels nice to make something homemade for someone you love ... just as it feels nice to receive it! We don't always have (make) the time to be so creative and hands-on with our gifts, but I'm always so pleased when we do ... :)

I hope you all have a lovely night and a pleasant day tomorrow ... I'll see you here again very soon!


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