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“It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!” party

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“It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!” party

I love Snoopy and Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang!  I remember looking forward to watching their specials on TV when we were young.  (I also love pumpkins) so it was easy to come up with the perfect theme for a fall birthday party for my son.  I haven’t watched “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!” for years, but I remember how Linus made me laugh, trying to wait all night in a pumpkin patch.  So this party started with a little pumpkin patch.  I had made some fondant pumpkins for cupcake toppers, and so there  were still some just sitting around, waiting to form a pumpkin patch for Linus."It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" party ideas by denna's ideas.  Fast and easy ideas for a fall birthday party.Add in a “great pumpkin” and some more chipboard Peanuts characters (from last year’s kids’ Thanksgiving table)….."It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" party ideas by denna's ideas.  Fast and easy ideas for a fall birthday party."It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" party ideas by denna's ideas.  Fast and easy ideas for a fall pumpkin birthday party.I had found some little packets of tissues with Snoopy on them, so they were a bit of a favor at each place…."It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" party ideas by denna's ideas.  Fast and easy ideas for a fall birthday party.There were some other cute and fairly easy pumpkin ideas that were fast enough to put together for this party.  My sister told me about using mandarin oranges as little pumpkins…."It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" party ideas by denna's ideas.  Fast and easy ideas for a fall pumpkin birthday party.Just peel them and add “stems” from celery, or in this case, stems from spinach leaves!  And a bit of cilantro for leaves around the pumpkins.  And then a jelly bean favor for each kid, this idea I found here on Parenting.com.  I happened to have some red tulle (no orange!), so wrapped the orange jelly beans in it, then added pipe cleaner for a stem (and to hold the bag together) and some green curled ribbon for the tendrils.  Didn’t take long to put together."It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" party ideas by denna's ideas.  Fast and easy ideas for a fall birthday party.The orange tablecloth and birthday banner I had saved from last year’s Garfield party"It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" party ideas by denna's ideas.  Fast and easy ideas for a fall birthday party.My preschool nephews were visiting, so I was trying to think of ideas that they could help out with for this party….baking!!  Let’s make some birthday brownies!! (from a box!!)"It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!" party ideas by denna's ideas.  Fast and easy ideas for a fall pumpkin themed birthday party."It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!" party ideas by denna's ideas.  Fast and easy ideas for a fall pumpkin themed birthday party.You could always add a pumpkin puree swirl into the chocolate brownies, that would be finger lickin’ good!  (or pumpkin and cream cheese!! ahhhh!)  Another idea that turned out great to do with the little kids was to make a birthday poster.  First I drew a picture of Snoopy with a Sharpee marker on posterboard, then covered it up with white paper and painter’s tape.  Then let the kids at it with paint daubers (bingo dabbers?)"It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!" party ideas by denna's ideas.  Fast and easy ideas for a fall pumpkin themed birthday party."It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!" party ideas by denna's ideas.  Fast and easy ideas for a fall pumpkin themed birthday party.A fun idea even the youngest can help with!"It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!" party ideas by denna's ideas.  Fast and easy ideas for a fall pumpkin themed birthday party.After painting is dry, peel off the tape to reveal….Snoopy!"It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!" party ideas by denna's ideas.  Fast and easy ideas for a fall pumpkin themed birthday party."It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!" party ideas by denna's ideas.  Fast and easy ideas for a fall pumpkin themed birthday party.Then an older kid colored the words in with black marker so they’d stand out a bit.  Posters, bday banner, favors, centerpiece, check!!….bring on the food and the party!

A happy pumpkin with a jack-o-lantern face from Papa Murphy’s pizza…..it’s the season for those, and they were just right for our pumpkin theme.  We love Papa Murphy’s pick up and bake at home pizzas!"It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!" party ideas by denna's ideas.  Fast and easy ideas for a fall pumpkin themed birthday party.Time for pizza!"It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!" party ideas by denna's ideas.  Fast and easy ideas for a fall pumpkin themed birthday party."It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!" party ideas by denna's ideas.  Fast and easy ideas for a fall pumpkin themed birthday party."It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!" party ideas by denna's ideas.  Fast and easy ideas for a fall pumpkin themed birthday party.Pumpkins! (oops, that’s from something else!)"It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!" party ideas by denna's ideas.  Fast and easy ideas for a fall pumpkin themed birthday party.Linus’s pumpkin patch moves over to the birthday brownies…."It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!" party ideas by denna's ideas.  Fast and easy ideas for a fall pumpkin themed birthday party."It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!" party ideas by denna's ideas.  Fast and easy ideas for a fall pumpkin themed birthday party.Make a wish…."It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!" party ideas by denna's ideas.  Fast and easy ideas for a fall pumpkin themed birthday party."It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!" party ideas by denna's ideas.  Fast and easy ideas for a fall pumpkin themed birthday party.Happy birthday!  Check out some more pumpkin ideas…"It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!" party ideas by denna's ideas.  Fast and easy ideas for a fall pumpkin themed birthday party.Here are some more pumpkin food ideas that I’ve worked on in the last few days, and they’d be perfect for a  Charlie Brown pumpkin theme.  My mom told me about some cute pumpkin cheese-balls that she saw, so I tried them out….Pumpkin shaped cheese-ball appetizer "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!" party ideas by denna's ideas.  Fast and easy ideas for a fall pumpkin themed birthday party.How to: mix up softened cream cheese with spices (garlic, onion, paprika, pepper, season salt, or whatever you like) and some grated cheddar or mozzarella cheese.  I also added chopped sun dried tomatoes.  Let sit for a few moments in the refrigerator to harden a bit, then pull it out, divide into two chunks, cover with plastic wrap and shape into 2 balls.  On top of the plastic wrap, mark the lines on the pumpkin with a back of a knife.  Return to fridge.  Later, before serving, take off the plastic and roll the cheese-balls in crushed nacho cheese tortilla chips (Doritos!) and add the stems from some bell peppers.Pumpkin shaped cheese-ball appetizer "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!" party ideas by denna's ideas.  Fast and easy ideas for a fall pumpkin themed birthday party.The stems were easy to cut out….cut out from the pepper, along with the seeds, then cut right at the base of the stem, it kind of just popped off….Pumpkin shaped cheese-ball appetizer "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!" party ideas by denna's ideas.  Fast and easy ideas for a fall pumpkin themed birthday party.crushed Doritos…I added paprika, but don’t do that, it dulled the color….Pumpkin shaped cheese-ball appetizer "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!" party ideas by denna's ideas.  Fast and easy ideas for a fall pumpkin themed birthday party.When you press in the stem, it helps squash it into a pumpkin shape…Pumpkin shaped cheese-ball appetizer "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!" party ideas by denna's ideas.  Fast and easy ideas for a fall pumpkin themed birthday party.I took a knife and re-made some of the indentations on the sides….Pumpkin shaped cheese-ball appetizer "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!" party ideas by denna's ideas.  Fast and easy ideas for a fall pumpkin themed birthday party.Such cute, tasty little guys!Pumpkin shaped cheese-ball appetizer "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!" party ideas by denna's ideas.  Fast and easy ideas for a fall pumpkin themed birthday party.And one last pumpkin idea….we just loved this one!  I found a video on how to make these adorable pumpkin buns, by Hani, from Haniela’s.  She has all sorts of great how-to videos for lots of yummy eats!  She made these in just an hour.  My first time to try took close to an hour and a half, but the next time was faster….and really, 35 minutes of that time is letting the buns rise, so really they’re pretty quick to make!  And so adorably pumpkiny!!  (Click on the link above for her video and recipe! you can do it!)  You can make large ones for hamburger buns, how fun is that??Pumpkin shaped dinner buns for "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!" party ideas by denna's ideas.  Fast and easy ideas for a fall pumpkin themed birthday party.Make the dough and cut….Pumpkin shaped dinner buns for "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!" party ideas by denna's ideas.  Fast and easy ideas for a fall pumpkin themed birthday party.Let rise, add egg wash and sesame seeds, Pumpkin shaped dinner buns for "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!" party ideas by denna's ideas.  Fast and easy ideas for a fall pumpkin themed birthday party.Bake for about 12 minutes…Pumpkin shaped dinner buns for "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!" party ideas by denna's ideas.  Fast and easy ideas for a fall pumpkin themed birthday party.Add a stem and there you go!!  I didn’t have the big pretzel sticks, so used several small skinny ones.  I’ve also seen photos with pecans as stems!Pumpkin shaped dinner buns for "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!" party ideas by denna's ideas.  Fast and easy ideas for a fall pumpkin themed birthday party.I just love those pumpkins!!  All pumpkins, I guess.  We had a lovely day out at a pumpkin (and everything else) farm and I had such a great time!  Love photographing pumpkins!"It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!" party ideas by denna's ideas.  Fast and easy ideas for a fall pumpkin themed birthday party.Hope you got some ideas for your next fall party…oh, I just saw that It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown is on TV tonight….pumpkin memories!! 😉

Easy DIY No-Sew Fabric Pumpkins for Fall Decor

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Easy DIY No-Sew Fabric Pumpkins for Fall Decor

Easy as pumpkin pie….actually, much easier and faster than that!  Fasy, easy, temporary decor:  I’m all about these three this year.  These pudgy pumpkins are so easy to make, you can have a pumpkin patch in your living room in 10 minutes.  The “ingredients” for the pumpkins are materials that you probably have around your house….and if you don’t happen to have cinnamon sticks, maybe you could substitute something else….like small rolls of cardstock or cardboard.  And the best part is that you don’t have to sew anything!fast and easy DIY fabric pumpkins by dennasideas.com, Fall Decor ideas by denna's ideasMaterials:  (new or clean) dish towels, rubber bands or hair elastics, plastic shopping bags, some sort of string or yarn and/or raffia and whole cinnamon sticks.fast and easy DIY fabric pumpkins by dennasideas.com, Fall Decor ideas by denna's ideasI was so happy to find a use for these tea-towels (that’s what I call dish towels, is that Canadian, eh?) that I bought for a fun Christmas project last year.  I had meant to use them for drying dishes after Christmas, but they ended up downstairs in the craft basement….and didn’t come to light until recently….hmmm, they’d make cute pumpkins!!!  Find the rest of the ingredients:fast and easy DIY fabric pumpkins by dennasideas.com, Fall Decor ideas by denna's ideasNow grab the narrower end of a dish towel and accordion pleat it, but not perfectly, remember this is supposed to be fast.fast and easy DIY fabric pumpkins by dennasideas.com, Fall Decor ideas by denna's ideasPleat the other end, too, and fold in half.  You might have to hold one pleated end, while pleating the other end with one hand.  Don’t be perfectionist, it will all be fixable in the end.fast and easy DIY fabric pumpkins by dennasideas.com, Fall Decor ideas by denna's ideasLay the pleated ends out in a heart shape.  The idea is that the ends will be rubber-banded together, with the ends inside the pumpkin.  Now add a rubber band or hair elastic.fast and easy DIY fabric pumpkins by dennasideas.com, Fall Decor ideas by denna's ideasYou can vary how much of the end pleats are going to be inside the pumpkin, and so vary the size of the pumpkins.  Now pull the bottom of the “heart” down….fast and easy DIY fabric pumpkins by dennasideas.com, Fall Decor ideas by denna's ideasAnd tie with some string, yarn or raffia.  Just a couple of regular knots will do to hold it.fast and easy DIY fabric pumpkins by dennasideas.com, Fall Decor ideas by denna's ideasStart fluffing out the sides of the dish towel a bit.  You can add the stem of the pumpkin now, or later, it doesn’t really matter too much.  Grab a couple of sticks for a larger pumpkin, or just one stick for a smaller pumpkin, and insert them into the top, in the middle of the rubber-band “knot”.  Now stuff the pumpkin with loosely balled-up plastic bags, opening up the pleats a bit, and arranging them to cover any plastic bag that peeks out through the side cracks.  And that’s it!!fast and easy DIY fabric pumpkins by dennasideas.com, Fall Decor ideas by denna's ideasLater, I decided to tie some raffia around the cinnamon stick stem, to give the look of leaves and vine tendrils.fast and easy DIY fabric pumpkins by dennasideas.com, Fall Decor ideas by denna's ideasIt took about 10 to 15 minutes to make 7 pumpkins for my “patch”.  The yellow pumpkin is a table runner, folded in half.  The two smaller brown pumpkins were bits of fabric from Walmart, those ones that are smaller than a fat quarter, something like 18″ by 21″ or whatever.  They were from last year’s project, too.  I had been looking at fabric pumpkins, but didn’t want to sew, or permanently use up my small stash of fabric, so this worked out perfectly.  I can pull them apart and use my tea-towels for drying dishes (if I want, ha) or anything else.fast and easy DIY fabric pumpkins by dennasideas.com, Fall Decor ideas by denna's ideasfast and easy DIY fabric pumpkins by dennasideas.com, Fall Decor ideas by denna's ideas

easy Thanksgiving ideas

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It’s Canadian Thanksgiving weekend!!  Our holiday is on Monday, but many people are celebrating today.  We ended up having a busy schedule this weekend, but that’s fine…we’ll maybe roast a turkey on Monday!  I haven’t been doing much decorating for Thanksgiving yet…still have 1 or 2 days, though!

I thought I’d post a few easy ideas to do or make for Thanksgiving, that we’ve done over the years.

How about going for a walk and picking up some autum leaves:You can use them for decorating or make a craft with the kids, heh heh.  I just love the colors!

Whip up some sweet treats:These strawberries were dipped in orange melted candy melts, then when they hardened up, the stripes were piped on with melted candy melt in a plastic bag with a small corner snipped off.  It works well if the strawberries are cold.  Pipe the middle stripes on while the strawberry is sitting on the wax/parchement paper, then carefully pick it up to pipe a few stripes going up the sides….don’t worry about the backside! 🙂  These were really fast, really! Only ingredients are candy melts and strawberries.No pumpkin flavor in these strawberries!!  But if you love pumpkin, how about baking some pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, topped with a fresh cranberry!  Yum!How about trying a thankful leaves craft: (I’m pretty sure this was my sister’s idea!)Help the kids cut out leaf shapes from colored paper, then have everyone write out things that they are thankful for, one per leaf.  Then find a spot to tape them up (green painter’s tape).  We taped them to the inside of the basement door and going down the walls to the basement…they have been there for years now!!Make a pumpkin scarecrow:This is easy if you have a fresh little pumkin and some hay around (a plastic pumkin would work fine, too!).  Fill a pop bottle with sand or rocks, for the body, and make a small hole in the bottom of the pumpkin that will fit over the bottle top.  The clothes we used were my daughter’s clothes from when she was about 1 year old.  We stuffed them with cotton stuffing, then just added some hay coming out the arms and legs and tied them with some string or ribbon.  Two buttons pinned on with straight pins for eyes, and some crocheted curls for hair (they were left over from a Raggedy-Ann wig that my mom made a loooonnnggg time ago!)

And my personal favorite tradition, a fresh flower/fruit centerpiece for our Thanksgiving table:

No matter what else goes on the table, I just love having some fresh flowers!!  One year I hollowed out a little pumpkin and filled it with carnations, so cute!  Another year the arrangement had burgundy carnations, green limes, brussels sprouts and an artichoke.  I loved that one!  I like using carnations because they are sturdy and last for a long time, and I love the look of real fruit (limes, lemons, etc).  Hmm, still hoping to get some flowers or something for Monday…. 🙂  I think last year we had a cornucopia basket spilling out fresh fruit and veggies, and one year the cornucopia had those cool real flowers that are paperlike and dry perfectly…(siemprevivas we call them in Spanish)…What decorating ideas and/or crafts does your family do for Thanksgiving?  Maybe you haven’t had time to do anything, but how about taking just a few moments to make some little thing….or get the kids to do it!  Look around your house and see what you already have that you can use.  The kids will (probably!) enjoy it and it will be a Thanksgiving memory for them.  Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!!  (my dear Canadian friends and family!)