Thursday, March 14, 2013

Bryan Bear, Bryan Bear...

What do you see?  I see my mommy acting like a crazy person and thinking she's good at art when she really isn't.  That's what I see.

Or something like that.  Wondering what I am talking about?  Remember back to a couple weeks ago when I posted this about my Amazing Bar.  Well, it ended up being a little more complicated than I had envisioned.  Wait, back up... Here's a recap of how my Amazing Bar came crashing down to a height of humbleness because of a hand print.

A couple weekends ago, I decided to run some recon on my ideas for Bryan's birthday party.  Keep in my the guest list includes the three of us and Bryan's four grandparents.  That's it.  Six adults and the birthday boy.  I am planning to execute a "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you See?" theme.  Because I think fondant on a cake is disgusting and not really edible, I thought, "hmmmm...could I put sugar cookies around the cake as decorations?"  Of course you can.  It's my idea. I can do whatever I want to, right!?!?

Well, it took me a while to realize that I was going to have to order cookie cutters, find a recipe for the cookies and the frosting and bake them.  I perused Amazon and the standard cooking websites for the cutters and came up empty. Until I found the Cookie Cutter Company where I could pick and choose individual cutters to find exactly what I wanted.  And they came as expected, were not very expensive and totally worth it.  I found Alton Brown's sugar cookie recipe here and baked them up.  I am thinking that I don't actually care for sugar cookies. These were bland. At best.  But cute!!  Here are the first three I tested with:  Green Frog Green Frog, Red Bird Red Bird and Brown Bear Brown Bear.
The cookies were cute but a little lackluster in the taste department.  But the most valuable lesson I learned:  Ingesting that much food coloring has consequences that can cause unnecessary concern (use your imagination, people... and think: toilet).  So, that idea is a no-go. I may be back on fondant since you shouldn't eat that much food coloring, and nobody eats fondant.

Up next:  The invitations.
Let's start with the idea.  I wanted to take Bryan's hand print in brown finger paint and where his thumb would be, I wanted to put a bear head.  This would make it look like Brown Bear, Brown Bear, right?  Sure.  That prompted four trips to Target and two to Michael's.  I started with brown felt, scissors, brown paint and white note cards.  First mistake...the paint. I needed non-toxic finger paint.  Back to Target.  Second scissors were really dull.  Back to Michael's where I picked up a super awesome scrapbooking razor thingie.  Have I mentioned how badly I suck at arts and crafts?  Third mistake...trying to razor cut brown felt into a bear head. Back to Target for brown construction paper.  Fourth Sharpie does not do well on white note cards.  Or the other white note card underneath.  Back to Target for Crayola markers.  Fifth mistake... making eyeballs with said Sharpie.  Back to Michael's for googly eyes.  Sigh.

When I finally sat down to make the bear heads, so that I didn't waste perfectly terrible brown felt circle-ish shapes, I used them to make ears and a nose for the bear.  Not to self.  Razor STILL does not work well on felt.  Neither did the super dull scissors.  Louder sigh.  I refuse to go back out at this point.  Don't forget, I am only making 2 invitations.  Seriously.  Just two.  It was now time to assemble the bear heads.  Uh oh.  Being a new mom, I don't have Elmer's in this house.  Nor do I have a hot glue gun.  Or any other adhesive that is intended for arts and crafts rather than permanently bonding something to something else.  So, super glue it is.  Do you know what happens when you super glue two tiny felt bear ears and a tiny felt bear nose to paper?  The glue soaks through.  Do you know what happens when super glue soaks through said brown felt?  It sticks to your fingers.  Do you know what happens when said brown felt is super glued to your fingers?  You laugh hysterically and add Elmers to the grocery list.  Also, you ask for help putting contacts in because for the next 24 hours it looks like you are growing brown hair from your thumb and index fingers.  Loudest sigh EVER.

The bear faces turned out OK.  I traced them from the cover of the book onto tracing paper, then used the razor to cut the tracing paper and construction paper at the same time.  It worked. In hindsight, just plain circles probably would have been cuter.  On to the hand print.

Did you know they don't make brown finger paint?  But thanks to the food coloring fiasco (and the back of the food coloring box), I knew the proportions to mix different colors into brown. So that was great.  What wasn't great?  Getting a 10-month-old baby to flatten out his paint-filled hand to make an obvious looking hand print.  I grossly overestimated Bryan's level of comprehension of the fun this task could be.  Oh, and my kid HATES getting his hands yucky.  A great trait he inherited from me.  Sorry about that, Nuggs.  So, while they didn't quite meet my Amazing Bar, they certainly humbled me.  And the grandparents loved them.  My intention is to take on a craft every couple of months until I am a badass mother crafter.  Take that Pinterest!

Oh, and here's the finished project.


  1. Fun post. Just so you know from my experience on first grade felt will stick to ANY type of glue of there are fingers involved. Water will wash off finger felt if you use elmers.

    The invitations are so cute. Good job!

  2. Funny post, the joys of parenting. I think the invitations are darling, and you DID IT,