Family Stories: Crafting with the Florida Granddaughters at Thanksgiving

Ana displayed the gingerbread house in her craft room… Santa looming high above (to the right) is a Santa I painted many years ago.

Crafting is always a “Big” thing when visiting the granddaughters in Florida… especially with Ana! Just after a big hug, her first words always are… “what are we going to craft GiGi?”

I came prepared on this trip with many craft ideas and projects to complete… and Ana was always by my side… and always ready for the next project… often before she was finished with the very one we were working on. Being on my toes, and prepared is definitely a must in keeping up with her! Her twin, Nina, will plop at the table wanting to join in… but often disappear before I even get her started… Barbie is usually calling her! Ella, my oldest (11) isn’t into crafts so much these days… but she certainly keeps busy in practicing sign language for a school club and she’s also joined the school band… learning to play the flute. While she may not have been at the craft table… we watched her practicing the ABC’s and The Pledge of Allegiance in “sign”… and listened, as she serenaded us with her flute.

One of our first projects involved painting, and they all joined in on that one… even the ones who balked… quickly showed enthusiasm as they planned out colors in designing their project. Sometimes you just have to push them to join in! That was one of two crafts, of “all out” effort, of the three of them joining together, but they often showed up to see what Ana and I were working on.

Often while we crafted, Ella serenaded us with her flute!

Ana quickly showed me a Highlight magazine project she wanted to make… and I made it happen. Great Job Ana! It was this project that quickly led to the full-size cardboard gingerbread house… with Pop’s help!

While we painted, I enlisted the help of Pop, unbeknownst to him ahead of time… as I wanted to create a gingerbread house with “no” baking. Pop is a master of carpentry… so he was asked to build the cardboard house… and complied!

Ana pulled Pop in for more “engineer” assembling crafts!

Ana couldn’t wait to whisk her gingerbread house off to her craft room… she was so happy with the design. I can see that this is going to be a yearly project, and I’ve already drawn up plans for next years house. I’ll come prepared with them all cut… just needing to be glued… Pop is feeling relieved!

Other projects included bracelet making and wall hangings made on cardboard looms… Amazing what you can make with a piece of cardboard, yarn, and pom-poms!

Pinecone painting was fun for all…

Ana’s loom “wall hanging” and “yarn Gnome”… made with yarn and toilet paper roll. Yarn is always a must for crafts!

Sewing was introduced this year… only Ana took me up on the challenge… and boy did I thread that needle soooo many times! I need to search out “thread never comes out” needles! Ana was the only one who sewed her very own “chicken”… I made the others for the “lazy chickens”! Chickens are a big thing around their house now… as they have their very own chicken coop. (That means another blog post on chickens in Florida)

Earlier this year in April we made horses, courtesy of free patterns by Ann Wood. They are so much fun to make… cut from cereal or cookie boxes, paint and attach legs with buttons! Ann offers many free patterns on her website… my chickens above were also one of her free patterns.

More Pinecone crafts… turkeys for the Thanksgiving table!

Thanksgiving (2021) in Florida with Rose, Nina, Stephen (son), Vinnie & Anna (Rose’s parents), Ella, Me, Steve (hubby) and Ana… one of my best crafters!

I think by this time, my crafting “get up and go” had got up and gone.. as was almost our trip… sadly winding down in Florida. I was already getting teary-eyed in knowing I soon would be giving my last hug and kisses for awhile. Saying goodbye is so hard for me… I miss them all so much… and I’m missing out on so many daily hugs, but I’m already planning for the next trip. Ana asked me almost everyday… more like begged… “can you please come back for Christmas?” Broke my heart to say no… as I so wanted to say “YES”. We left sadly on Nov. 29th… heading home before snow arrived in Connecticut… but not before stopping in Savannah for a couple days! (More to come on Savannah)

Xmas came early before leaving… and mama graciously allowed them to open Christmas early from us. (Molly photobombing my pic) How lucky are they to have Thanksgiving one day… and Christmas the next!

These photos remind me of so many fun days we enjoyed… and until next time, the memories and photos will have to keep me going… and remind me that I need to stock up on more craft projects!


You can read more Craft Junkie over HERE.

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About Jeanne Bryan Insalaco

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