God Save The King!

And his kingdom!

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The coolest Mom.

This week was my mom's birthday, so in memory of her I'll share this interesting tidbit:

When we were little, our mom painted animals on the walls of one of the bedrooms, and on one there was a big lion. I don't remember what was on the other walls, but I remember the lion. When you walked in, he was right there. We also had a giraffe peg holder to hang things on. (I still have that.) I'd forgotten all about that wall until I started making these coloring pages. I suddenly marveled, "That's right... We had a big lion on our wall when we were little... Isn't that cool?" Our mom really was the coolest.

Providence? I don't know - I've never particularly cared for lions, I'm happy with domestic cats; but I care about all animals and that we were put here to take care of them and, quite frankly, are really botching it. People really blow my mind. Now, I've got a lion on the wall of my heart...

Printable bonus page 4

Yes, there are other bonus pages. ...somewhere... heeheehee ;p

Coolest Mom

Other Craft Ideas:

Paint a lion, or other wildlife, on your child's bedroom walls! (Make sure they're friendly ones. ^,^ A lifelike one with blood dripping from its fangs might be cool to a teenager, but the little ones wouldn't get much sleep.) The lion Mom made had very simple lines. Practice on paper first, if this isn't your thing, or see if you know someone who happens to like doing art. If your child is age appropriate, outline it on the wall for them then let them fill in the colors like a giant coloring page. ^_^


Paper plate and construction paper:

Another simple craft to do is to take a paper plate and glue handprint cut-outs from colored paper around it for a lion's mane. Then, draw in the lion's face in the center of the plate. You can glue, or staple, yarn to the back to hang it up with (try to keep the staples under the mane and just to the plate so it doesn't show on front).

You can also glue strands of yarn around the paper plate for the mane, but the handprints are a nice keepsake to look back on how little they once were.


Big balloon, newspaper, flour, water, yarn, empty butter-spread bowl, colored tissue paper... = Piñata!

~*~ this one takes a few days ~*~

Everyone loved our mom's piñatas. I don't think we ever made a lion one, but she did have the Cub Scouts make a lion mask - see below. Now, this is all from memory..:

Make sure your parents are done reading the newspaper before tearing it into strips about two inches wide. They don't need to be perfectly measured or straight, and they will end up all different lengths and widths. How much you need depends on the size of your project, but it takes a bit for good coverage. - You also might want some whole sheets of newspaper to lay down over your work area for easy clean-up later.

meowBlow up your balloon (or have someone with a lot of hot air do it for you ^_~) - generally a large or jumbo size. You can use the large balloon as a head or as a body with smaller balloons to add a head and legs. We usually just used crepe paper dangling down for legs, but I believe the legs of the cat pinata in the photo were made using the long kind of balloons and covered in paper maché. (Those are very hard to blow up, so beware!) Also, yes, you want the balloons firm but not too tight: You don't want them to pop easily.

If your family doesn't use tub-margarine, other empty containers or bowls will work. Find one with an opening that the top of your balloon will nestle in. Make sure the rim doesn't have any pokey parts on it. The bowl's job is to keep your project up for you to work on and so that it can dry without sticking to anything.

For adding a head or legs from balloons, I'm thinking we used masking tape to hold them on where we wanted them. Also, if you don't have very large balloons, you can put some smaller balloons together. In the end, the balloons will be popped and taken out, leaving a cavity that size for treats. (see option for legs below)

In another bowl, mix up some flour and warmish water into a paste - not too thick, not too thin. Work out any lumps. Use your hands. It's great mushy fun, and you'll be putting your hands into it to create your masterpiece in a minute.

Um, I hope you are wearing short sleeves...

Now, you take a newspaper strip and put an end into the paste and slowly draw it up while immersing the rest of the strip as it moves through. Use your hand to swipe down the strip to get some of the excess paste off, lay it over your balloon and pat it down, smooth it out. Repeat with more strips, overlapping them until the balloon's surface is covered in a layer.

If you've got other balloons taped on, put strips on that go from one balloon to the other over where they meet to make sure those parts stay together when the balloons go bye-bye.

You can also form ears (or noses) during this process with pasty newspaper, or you can glue construction paper ones on later. You know... I vaguely remember wadding up a bit of tissue paper and paper machéing over that...

Leave the tip of the balloon that's down in the bowl uncovered. That's going to be your opening to put treats in when it's done. Just leave it about wide enough for a hand to get in.Rahrrr!

I believe we put a layer on one way, let it dry, then put the next layer criss-crossing, let those dry, and so on, laying each layer to criss-cross the last.

In order to be able to hang the piñata, after the third or fourth layer, lay two lengths of yarn or kite string criss-crossing over the base of the balloon while that layer is wet and cover with strips along the lengths. Make sure the ends of the string hang past the piñata's opening enough to be able to come together from four sides and tie off for later hanging it with.

Add another layer or more as above... How many layers you need depends whose going to be whacking it. Also, today's newspapers aren't as thick as they used to be; so even if I remembered an exact number, it wouldn't be the same now.

Sometimes, just to mess with people, I would make one really, really thick. ^,^ But, really, if you are going to have teenagers whacking at this thing, make it a bit thicker than you would for smaller children.

Be sure to let the layers dry in-between adding more. When you're satisfied with how many you've got on, let the whole thing dry thoroughly - at least a day or two. Sometimes the balloons pop on their own as the project hardens. When it's dry and hardened, take it off the bowl, pop the balloon(s) and take out their remains along with any tape pieces.

Now, you can tie the yarn/string together at the top and put the top of a hanger through it to hang it up and decorate it. Handle with care when pressing on it to glue decoration on. You could work on it while it's on a table or floor, but you need to let each side dry before you turn it to work on more of it and be careful not to squish what you've got done. (we've had them hung in doorways, from a shower curtain rod, a hook in the ceiling... wherever will safely hold it)

Colored tissue paper - What we did was cut lengths a few inches wide, fold them up (like for paper dolls) and cut half-inch to one-inch wide sections along one edge to make a fringe to represent fur. You can also make squares of tissue paper and glue the center of it down, leaving the edges sticking out for fluff.

Option for legs - Usually, we liked to do the dangly legs. Easy ones are crepe paper (streamers) with construction paper feet on the end, or strips of construction paper folded back and forth along its length to give it some bounce when hanging and with paper or tissue paper feet.

Depending on the size of the youngsters, we usually hung the piñata from a broomstick with an adult holding each end to raise it up and be out of the way of swings. We also would use an old broomstick handle to whack it with. If the holders are really mean (;p), they'll jiggle the piñata around to make it harder to hit.

Depending on size and age, we generally were blindfolded. - Which led to hanging the piñatas from trees, or a rafter in the garage, when we got bigger and our swings were wider.

masksmasks 2

Paper maché masks

Ah, Cub Scouts are so mature. ;p (Other, uncool, mothers would have made them be.)

They used big paper bags for the framework - as, "back in my day" it was "paper or plastic" at the grocery stores. Those aren't around much anymore, so a very large balloon may have to do. The darling brother from the photo says that they made them so that the weight of the mask rested on your shoulders and not the top of your head, by trying the bag on, marking where the shoulders were then cutting out to one inch below that and with a small slit to allow your arms movement up and down.

Same process as for the piñatas, just shape differently and make thicker. You can mash the sides of the bag's bottom in to round it off before covering. Form ears and noses as you go along, or use construction paper or cardboard for those later.

With balloon framework, you would let strips hang down on two sides to form the front and back of the mask. The sides need to be open to fit over the shoulders, round them out while working. Keep the main opening much larger than you would for a piñata. The masks go over a head and you want plenty of breathing room in there. Basically, the balloon, now, would simply be giving form to the top of the mask and holding it all up til it dries. Covering the balloon isn't the goal for this project.

When it's dry/hardened (and the balloon popped and cleaned out - paper bags stay in), have the child try it on and mark where the eye-holes should be. Remove it from the child's head before poking/cutting the eye-holes out.

I believe they spray-painted these - outside! - (it looks shiny and hard) but he believes it was with brush-on paint. Use whatever is age-appropriate for your child. Crepe paper was used for the lion's mane, construction paper for noses and other accents. You could also glue on tissue paper to cover them instead. (Again, if you'd like a 3D nose, you can form one with a small balloon or wad of paper while pasting the newspaper strips on. There was also a boy who attached egg carton halves to the front of his finished work for a bird's beak. Clever.)

There you go! Some of the cool things our mom did with us! Have fun!

We sure did. ^_^


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Neocities is cool.