Free printable Christmas paper chain crafts and holiday countdown activities

 Remember the fun of making Christmas countdown chains? It's an easy, cheap festive child-minder craft. You can make it from recycled paper. It keeps little ones productively busy. It's good practice for math, fine motor skills, counting, writing and reading. Here's how to make a Christmas paper chain, plus Free printable Christmas paper chain crafts and holiday countdown activities

Sexy Ebola nurse, Breaking Bad meth dealer, Ray Rice Vie for Worst Halloween Costume 2014

Most of us have no problem with Halloween generally. We may even join in, decorate the house, pass out candy. But there's a darker side of Halloween and I don't mean haunted houses. I mean the way Halloween costumes stoop lower every year. This year, several are vying for Stupidest Costume 2014: Sexy Ebola nurse (said ABC Good Morning America October 27), kiddie Breaking Bad Walter White and Jesse Pinkman meth dealer and child's Ray Rice costumes (reported Fox 13 Denver) Costume makers can't seem to get to rock bottom fast enough. Let's look at them, one by one.   Sexy Ebola nurse, Breaking Bad meth dealer, Ray Rice Worst Halloween Costumes - Grand Rapids Holidays |

Free Printable Photo Frame Crafts, Picture Frames Kids Can Make

The holiday season is fast-approaching, with Halloween, Thanksgiving and then Christmas. Or maybe you celebrate another winter holiday--Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice, Epiphany? One thing these have in common is that they usually involve gift-giving. Parents, looking for gifts children can make for holiday giving? How about homemade photo frames for school pictures? Here are links for free printable photo frame crafts.Free Printable Photo Frame Crafts, Picture Frames Kids Can Make


Free Printable Halloween Pumpkin Carving Stencils, Trick-or-Treat Jack-o-Lantern Patterns for Fall Decor

Ah, the smells and colors of fall! What a lovely time. And what would autumn be without carving the traditional Halloween pumpkin? It's a rite of trick-or-treat. And it's lots of fun! Looking for creative pumpkin carving stencils for your jack-o-lantern? Here are free printable pumpkin patterns, templates and stencils for all your fall decorating needs! BTW, my smart little daughter designed that cute Michigan map pumpkin stencil herself! Free Printable Halloween Pumpkin Carving Stencils, Trick-or-Treat Jack-o-Lantern Patterns

Gothic Victorian Decor Elements for Horror and Vampire Lovers

With the popularity of vampire and zombie fiction, more avant-garde home decorators are turning to neo-Gothic design elements. For edgy, sensual, eerie decor ideas, turn to the repressed (erotic) Victorians for inspiration.

The Gothic period in art and architecture harks to early middle ages spoke to Victorian religious mania-cum-eroticism. Hag-ridden by restriction, the dark, demonic Goth influences fed their fears. Freud had a field ripe to explore libido repression, sexual phobia and phallic lust.

Gothic colors: black, gold, blood and wine red, silver, deep midnight blue. Metallic colors symbolize sexual prowess. Dark colors evoke night, evil, supernatural and foreboding.

Gothic patterns: paisley (sensuous curves and loops resembling sperm, represent suppressed phallic symbols) Paisley was a popular for men's smoking jackets, vests and lounge robes. Also velvet, lace and brocade.

Gothic furniture: sumptuous divans, floor pillows, chaise lounge, settees and tiny gilt tables. The emphasis is on comfort and seduction.

Gothic curtains and drapes: Curtains symbolize hidden desire, secretive trysts and bedroom activities. Curtains should be of weighty fabric--velvet, velveteen, brocade. Drapes should be lined for privacy and held back with sensual gold rope. Gothic Victorians curtained everything: doorways, alcoves, niches (in which usually resided a voluptuous Greek nude sculpture displayed on a pedestal).

Gothic decor elements: funereal plants (rhododendron, fern, ivy) wreaths, draping fronds seductively wrapped around pedestal or elevated plant stand. Evergreens symbolize sensuality, fertility and death.

Not-necessary but nice to have Gothic decor items: samovar (Turkish tea urn), hookah pipe, nargile, bong, water smoking implements.

Gargoyles: must-have. Should be carved in stone or deep mahogany of newel post or bed frame to frighten innocent maidens into a gentleman's bed. Stone gargoyle statues, with leering eyes and lasciviously lolling tongue are quintessential Victorian eroticism. For more decor visit me

Free Printable 4th of July Decorations and Paper Crafts

Do love to decorate for 4th of July but hate to spend money? I'm with you. Why waste all that money on stuff you're just going to throw away? How about this workaround. Print paper decorations and crafts for holidays. There are loads of online sites with loads of freebies for Fourth of July and all holidays. Flags, red white and blue stuff, American themed crafts and more. Click here. Free Printable 4th of July Cut and Paste Paper Crafts and Activities 

Creating a Relaxing Summer Solstice Environment in Your Home

Do you give so much that your reserve fuel for self is low? Do you feel constantly anxious over things you should be doing? Does the idea of doing nothing frighten you? If you've answered yes, to even one of these questions, you seriously need to find inner peace. Call it what you will--shalom, pace, pax--it's crucial to mental health. And summer is the perfect time to set about creating serenity for yourself. And here's how. Benedictine monasteries and most Holy Orders follow what is known as 'The Liturgy of the Hours'. Traditionally, prayers and scripture focus on eight periods in the monastic rule or Rule of St. Benedict. They are named for the kinds of prayer offered as well as the hour of the day. Here area ways to create a peaceful, relaxing environment.  Summer Solstice and Relaxation

Frugal Father's Day Party Kids Can Do Themselves

Advertisers would have us believe that in order to show a loved one a good time a lot of money must be spent. Holidays that revolve around family members, like Mother's Day and Father's Day, are especially prone to guilt-based giving. This idea of commercialized family celebrations goes against the purpose of the holiday. Most parents don't want their children to overspend. Here are ways kids can create a festive, meaningful Father's Day party without spending an arm and a leg. Frugal Father's Day


Host a Cheap Open House, Reception or Graduation Party

Are you hosting a graduation open house for high school, college or kindergarten? Maybe you're doing a first communion reception? These parties can become very costly especially for parents of graduates. You want a nice party. I'm saying be stingy. But there are ways to cut costs on food, rentals, decorations, cake, gifts and more.  Do's and Dont's for Hosting a Cheap, Open House Graduation Party

Blue Flowers for Landscaping, Decorating, Weddings, Outdoor Parties

I love decorating with flowers, especially live plants over cut flowers. One of the most popular decorating colors is blue, but trying to find flowers in that color is tricky. With advances in growing of flowers, we have access to more artificially tinted blue flowers. But if you're a naturalista like me, you want genuine, naturally colored flowers. Here's a guide to blue blossoms and flowers in shades of blue. Use this for landscaping, home interior decorating, wedding floral arrangements and more. Best Blue Flowers for Weddings and Spring Gardening

Free Cinco de Mayo Fiesta Printables, Latino-Inspired Party Decorations, Mexican Crafts

Cinco de Mayo--"fifth of May" in Spanish--celebrates the Mexican victory at the Battle of Pueblo. My Latino friends tell me Cinco de Mayo isn't as big in Mexico as in the U.S. And what do we Americans do with holidays? Party! Or in this case, fiesta. Here's are kid-friendly Cinco de Mayo games, crafts, lesson plans, cultural activities and food! When I was homeschooling, we decorated the house for different festivities and holidays. Here free printable Mexican crafts, Latino inspired art and Cinco de Mayo fiesta decorations! I tried to weed out the schmaltz and share the more artsy-cultural images.  Cinco de Mayo Fiesta With Latino-Inspired Games, Crafts, Food

Free Printable Vintage Easter Greeting Cards, Retro Nostalgic Clipart

I've been writing about printable crafts since I started freelancing. People love free stuff and printable things just tickle us silly. Early on, I discovered a site with printable vintage greeting cards and clipart-- Vintage Holiday Crafts. I found this little bunny clipart there. Isn't he darling? You can print nostalgic images for any holiday, but as we're in the Easter mode, I'll share the link to that page (I don't get paid anything for sending you there). Just be sure to abide by their site use rules when you print.   Free Printable Vintage Easter Greeting Cards, Retro Nostalgic Clipart

Save Green, Live Green, Spring Cleaning and Safety Checks

Living green has several components: cutting costs, making eco-friendly choices and improving quality of life. You can hit all three with these spring cleaning tips. Freshen your home, save money and possibly save lives with safety check-up/clean-ups. All it costs is a little elbow grease.  Save Green, Live Green, Spring Cleaning and Safety Checks 

Green, Kid-Friendly Spring Cleaning Tips for Vehicle Interiors

Ah, spring--Mother Nature blesses us with sun, rain and...mud! Winter snow and ice make car cleaning virtually impossible. Mix spring mud and post-winter debris and the vehicle interior is trashed. Here are five cheap, easy, green tips for spring cleaning the car interior. Get the entire family involved (since they're probably the ones who trashed the car.)Green, Kid-Friendly Spring Cleaning Tips for Vehicle Interiors

Disney's 'Frozen' Party Treat Recipes, Winter-Themed Snacks for Kids

If you see one movie this winter, make it "Frozen." It's an arctic adventure like Hans Christian Andersen's "Fairy Snow Queen." Disney's Frozen is a perfect theme for a winter birthday or just-because party. Here's a menu of Frozen-inspired snacks kids will love.Disney's 'Frozen' Party Treat Recipes, Winter-Themed Snacks for Kids


Cheap, Recycled Gift Craft for Children --Decorative Storage Jars

I empathize with work at home parents of little ones--too cold to play outside for long. How about a cheap, chilly day craft for housebound kids? Most everything you need comes from your recycle bin. It's an easy safe, DIY retro crafting technique called decoupage or Mod Page.   Cheap, Recycled Gift Craft for Children

Free Printable St Patricks Day, Easter Holiday and Events Decorations

Planning a holiday or event party, then get over to Martha Stewart for printable templates, patterns, crafts, stencils. You'll find printable for every holiday, theme and occasion. Coming up, she's got St. Patrick's Day, Easter and Mother's Day crafts. But you can access any holiday from the page I linked. There are cards, invitations, decorations, games, banners, cut and paste, children's activities, gift crafts and more. Look for birthday, anniversary, new baby, wedding, bridal shower, graduation and religious events.   Free Crafts and Printables from Martha Stewart 

Decorate Your House with Old Recycled Maps

I love old maps--I guess I'm a cartographati! And from the responses I wrote on a post about my virtual Bubblews friend map, I guess I'm not alone. Many people said they shared a fondness for maps. I'll take that one step farther--I decorate with them. I save old maps from garage sales and National Geographic. I was given a bunch of old ones when I homeschooled. I went through and removed them all. You can print maps too  Decorate Your House with Old Maps - News - Bubblews

Easy Decorative Glass Crafts with Nostalgia

My daughter designed a platter for me for Christmas. She copied a recipe from my grandmother in my grandmother's handwriting on it. As grandma is now deceased, God rest her soul, it's very special. I was thinking how perfect it would be for bored, snowbound kids or adults to make. Shut-in seniors might like making these too. All you need is permanent markers, glassware and an oven.   Snowbound this Winter? Make This Easy Craft My Daughter Made