This past weekend I finally went to see my family, for the first time since Christmas. I've been feeling like the world's worst...

Craft Night with the Family

     This past weekend I finally went to see my family, for the first time since Christmas. I've been feeling like the world's worst daughter lately. I live in the same city as my parents now, but I'd been so busy that I only wanted to spend my free time alone at home.

     Catching up with my family is always a good time. We always find something fun to do. Depending on who is there and what the day is like, it could be a movie marathon, a series of physical or mental challenges, an epic Mario Kart tournament, or a craft day. This time, we wound up doing crafts using my sister's extensive collection of yarn. I was so excited! It had been such a long time since I had actually made something, and it was much needed. I also got to model the hat that my Dad made for me once upon a time. Yes, that's a real raccoon.

     My Mom was looking for a quick and easy craft to post on her blog, and we all decided to join in on the fun. My Mom and my youngest brother made some really cute flowers, inspired by a post on Pinterest. I made an attempt at the ever popular yarn balls, also found on Pinterest. My sister started on knitting a pair of socks.

     The yarn balls that I was working on were very easy to make, and they turned out pretty well. This was only my first attempt, but I'm planning to make another set for a centerpiece for my boyfriend Jim's dining room table as well.

     I found a couple of old balloons in a drawer in my parents' kitchen, and my Mom also ended up buying another small bag of balloons. I used regular sized balloons, not mini balloons, and I only blew them up part way. I think for the next set that I make, I will try with mini balloons, which should give a more even and rounded shape. This set turned out a little bit egg-shaped, but I don't mind.

     After glancing over several different tutorial posts for the yarn balls, I decided to use good old Elmer's glue and water for my mixture. I approximated two parts glue to one part water, and mixed together with a kebab stick. I found that it was easiest to wrap dry yarn around the balloon first, to measure how much yarn to cut. Then I would coat the yarn in the glue mixture. It was very messy to dunk the yarn in the glue and wrap it around the balloons, but it was a lot of fun! The yarn soaks up a surprising amount of the glue. For the eight balls that I made, I used almost an entire 7.625 oz. bottle of Elmer's glue.

     My Mom had the great idea to hang these in a box to dry. We grabbed an old plastic mail box, taped a few rows of string across, and found some clothespins. This was the perfect idea because it allowed the glue to drip off and kept the yarn from drying to a surface.

     I had to allow mine to sit for over 24 hours for the yarn to fully dry. A few of the balloons deflated on me before the glue was dried, so the balls didn't shape correctly. I attempted to untie one of the balloons and blow it up again. That lasted for about 5 minutes before the balloon deflated even more than it originally did. That's okay that I didn't wind up with all eight of the balls though. The six that worked out are just the right amount for the bowl that I have to put them in! Don't you love it when things work out perfectly? It was so much fun to pop the balloons and peel them away from the yarn. Do you remember being a little kid, putting glue on your hands, and peeling it off? This whole experience was like that from start to finish. So much fun. And they just look adorable in my little bowl!

     I also loved the little flowers that my Mom and brother were making so much that I had to make a few for myself. They are so cute and so spring-y. The flowers from the original post were yellow, like little dandelions. My Mom and I fell in love with the light yellow yarn from my sister's collection, so that is what I chose to make mine out of. My younger brother made these little flowers in a variety of colors to put in a colorful vase that he also made. They all looked super cute.


     Now that I've got the technique for the yarn balls down, it will be easier to make a second set for Jim's apartment. I won't make his in bright, bold colors though. Even though I'm about to add some girly arts and crafts to his apartment, I'll make sure to chose some "manly" colors. His set will be a series of browns, tans, creams, and maroons to match his current living and dining room.

     Overall, Saturday was a beautiful day spent with my family. With the rain (and hail) falling outside in the evening, The Last of the Mohicans playing in the background, and my hands busy with a new project, it was the perfect night in. I'm not going to be waiting another two months to spend such quality time with my family again. At least not while I'm living in St. Louis.


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