Tag Archives: crafts

#TheStarMovie Coming Soon! #FlyBy

The Star is a new film produced by Sony Pictures will be released in theaters November 17th! So excited for this adorable new Christmas film!  Be sure and check them out!  What a great movie to get the holiday season started!

About the Movie

In Sony Pictures Animation’s The Star, a small but brave donkey named Bo yearns for a life beyond his daily grind at the village mill. One day he finds the courage to break free, and finally goes on the adventure of his dreams. On his journey, he teams up with Ruth, a loveable sheep who has lost her flock and Dave, a dove with lofty aspirations. Along with three wisecracking camels and some eccentric stable animals, Bo and his new friends follow the Star and become unlikely heroes in the greatest story ever told – the first Christmas.

Find it Here!

Have Some Fun

The movie itself is a ton of fun but they couldn’t stop there!  On the website, they have an interactive coloring book and it’s not only adorable, but also such a fun and relaxing activity!   The Star Animated Coloring BookThere are also free printable Dioromas to add to your holiday fun!  I love love love these adorable little cutouts!  What great fun to have with the children before Christmas!  Being a sucker for craftThe Star Printable Dioramas

Further Things Worth Checking Out!

Christmas Love Letters from God

Where Jesus Slept

Christmas Tract & 10 Must Do Christmas Crafts

Saving Christmas

The First Christmas

Fall Getaway You Can’t Miss This Year

If you’ve never been to Silver Dollar City, you definitely should make the time to go.  This is the perfect time of year to make plans to go.  Don’t let the craziness of the holiday season stop you, it is worth the time, trust me!  Read all about some of the best times of the year at Silver Dollar City below!

NATIONAL CRAFTS & COWBOY FESTIVAL (September 13 - October 28)

For fall, Silver Dollar City presents the National Crafts & Cowboy Festival, featuring some of the nation’s finest craftsmen and authentic cowboys. The festival presents a Wild West Show with trick riders, ropers and a world-champion Native American Hoop dancer; Western music; a barn dance, and 125 visiting craftsmen. Best of Missouri Hands juried artists demonstrate their art and fall harvest foods are served up September 13 – October 28 at the Branson, Missouri theme park.

The Home of American Craftsmanship presents the nation’s largest festival of demonstrating craftsmen, with entertainment and activities saluting the Great American Cowboy:

Over 125 visiting craftsmen from around the country demonstrate their art, including Best of Missouri Hands juried artists, all joining Silver Dollar City’s 100 demonstrating craftsmen.

Silver Dollar City’s Wild West Show features trick riders, Native American dance with 8-time World Champion Native American Hoop Dancer Nakotah LaRance, comedy canines, and trick roper and bullwhip artist A.J. Silver.

Legendary Western actor and watercolor artist Buck Taylor hosts “Buck Taylor’s Cowboy Emporium,” featuring a variety of Western crafts.

Plus Chuck Wagon & Food Network Chef Kent Rollins and Extreme Mustangs are featured in the Red Gold courtyard.

A Western Barn Dance presents kick-up-your-heels fun, with a live band.

Western music with groups including The Malpass Brothers, The Home Rangers, Belinda Gail and Kristyn Harris, 2016 Western Music Association Entertainer of the Year.

NEW: The nation’s pioneer culinary heritage comes to life with campfire cooking and cowboy cuisine, including Cowboy Beef Stew and Dutch Oven Desserts.

This event draws approximately 300,000 visitors each year.2017 National Crafts & Cowboy Festival

Silver Dollar City began the fall crafts festival tradition in 1963, bringing in visiting craftsmen in addition to the park’s growing resident crafts colony, with the goal of showcasing the makers along with the finished artwork. More than half a century later, a unique feature still is that all visiting crafters, as with the park’s own, demonstrate their work so guests see the process, the skill and the creativity of true craftsmanship. This became the nation’s largest festival of demonstrating craftsmen. The focus on authentic craftsmanship was one of the reasons the U.S. Congress in 2010 proclaimed Silver Dollar City the “Home of American Craftsmanship.” In addition to craftsmen, Silver Dollar City added features with another American icon several years ago, the cowboy, to carry on the festival as The National Crafts & Cowboy Festival.

AN OLD TIME CHRISTMAS (November 4 - December 30)

AN OLD TIME CHRISTMAS (November 4 – December 30)

Our An Old Time Christmas festival, this year adding a huge new area: Christmas in Midtown, with towering light displays 9 stories high, animated figures in lights, and 1.5 million additional lights, bringing the park total to over 6.5 million lights! Christmas in Midtown is our largest single lighting expansion in the past 20 years of this festival.

One of the nation’s most acclaimed Christmas festivals, profiled by USA Today, CNN Travel, The Travel Channel and Good Morning America, is even bigger and brighter this year with an all-new area:

NEW: Christmas in Midtown, a 70,000 sq. ft. area filled with new light displays 9 stories high, including 30 angels, animated reindeer pulling a sleigh, 3 light tunnels, two 40-foot long moving trains, dozens of stars and snowflakes, and a 50-foot tree, all created at Silver Dollar City. Christmas in Midtown, the largest single lighting expansion to date in the past 2 decades of the festival, adds 1.5 million new lights, bringing the park’s total to 6.5 million lights!

Rudolph’s Holly Jolly Christmas Light Parade, led by the most famous reindeer of all, features musical lighted floats with 200,000 lights accompanied by 33 costumed characters.

Rudolph’s Christmas Town, where kids can meet Rudolph, Clarice and Bumble, also includes activities from Reindeer Games to cookie decorating.

Two original musical productions present Broadway-style experiences, with elaborate sets and talented casts: It’s a Wonderful Life, adapted from the Frank Capra classic, and the acclaimed production A Dickens’ Christmas Carol.

The Christmas on Main Street light & sound show features the 5-Story Special Effects Christmas Tree with over 350,000 colorful LED lights.

Tinker Junior’s Toy Shop is an interactive show for kids featuring a 12-foot talking and singing Christmas tree.

Kids can meet Santa in Santa Claus Lane, illuminated in colorful lights.

Plus, the festival presents holiday shows, a musical Living Nativity, shows, rides, shopping and new Silver Dollar City dining specialties.

AN OLD TIME CHRISTMAS (November 4 - December 30)

What do these colors inspire in you?

I remember, as a child, how much I loved making stuff. It almost always had a meaning or a reason. My Granny’s would listen intently as I explained whatever I had made and why. As an adult, I understand why they would listen. Initially, I recognized how entertaining the little ones were and then I did the same thing they did, I learned to use the moments as a teaching tool. Whatever they explain, we can use as a lesson. I especially love when they take those and they go to others adding the new lesson to their explanation as their own.  It is both amusing and adorable.

Let the Little Children Come has yet another amazing tool to work with the babies. These Salvation Bracelets are an easy craft to make that the little ones van not only be proud of but also learn from.  These colorful little beads each represent great meaning: yellow, black, red, white and green.


The great thing is that teaching them at a young age what the colors represent can also be something they carry with them all of their lives. Imagine being an adult and in a really hard place, seeing some random object colored the same as the beads and being reminded at the perfect moment that God IS there and that HE loves you,  accepts you and is there for you. I could make a hundred mile list of times where I needed that reminder and to feel that great Presence.  Sometimes just knowing isn’t enough, as we let our life problems shade that knowledge, often all the way into darkness in the worst of times.

Obviously, the Sunday school lessons are many with these bracelets. However, I feel that those lessons that could be reinforced at home with them is the most valuable. One can never have too many standing opportunities to teach and remind out little children to go to God. Let the Little Children Come may be a long name for a company but it is certainly a message we will remember.

                                But Jesus said,

“Let the children come to me.

Don’t stop them!

For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.”

Matthew 19:14 NLT

Be sure and check out our Friendship Lesson for kiddos too!  So many lessons running around the Zoo!

Any tips on great lessons?  

We’d love to hear them!

How Hobbies Can Benefit Your Health: Guest Post By Leslie Vandever

UntitledThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines “mental health” this way: a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.

Practicing a hobby achieves every one of those mental health goals. Let’s go over them one by one. Mental health:

·       “[is] a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities …” When you take up a hobby, whether it’s knitting, woodcarving, gardening or even just walking the dog, you’re doing something that you get better at over time. You can see the changes in your ability to accomplish your hobby, which makes you feel good and increases your self-esteem. Your knitting goes from being too loose or too tight to being just right. You have the confidence to challenge yourself with increasingly more intricate and difficult patterns. Your end result goes from a crooked scarf to a beautiful sweater. It takes time, but it’s worth it.

·       “[the individual] … can cope with the normal stresses of life …” Practicing a hobby is a great stress reliever. It can’t make problems go away, but by distracting your mind from dwelling on them—particularly the kind of problems that you can do little about—you allow it to rest and relax. The mind-body connection is so intertwined that by resting your mind with a hobby you enjoy—maybe even love—your body relaxes too. And often, taking your mind off troubles for a while can let your subconscious mind find the creative solution to them you’ve been looking for.

·       “[the individual] … can work productively and fruitfully …” Practicing a hobby project that has a clear beginning and end is immensely satisfying. If your hobby is carving ducks, for instance, the challenge of transforming that plain block of wood into a sculpture that showcases the quiet, glowing beauty of the shaped and finished wood, the beauty of the duck in nature, and your mastery of your craft gives you confidence in your ability to be productive and fruitful, not only with your hobby, but in your life in general.

·       [the individual] … is able to make a contribution to his or her community.” Practicing your hobby, even when it’s one that you only practice at home, can allow you to contribute to your community in several ways. Using the duck example again: procuring the wood for your project may take you into the community and give you opportunities to talk with others about what you’re planning. You may make some new friends in the process. Once you’ve finished the carving, you can display it in your home or show it at the local co-op art gallery you volunteer at a couple times a month. You might sell your duck carving there or, to help with a local cause, donate it for sale at a fundraising auction. Any of these things make you an active contributor to your community at large.

Your hobby can also have a beneficial effect on your physical health. Again, this is true because the mind has such a profound effect on the body. When we’re happy with ourselves, or challenged in an intriguing way, we feel better, even if we’re physically ill or limited by chronic pain. And doing a hobby—using our hands, concentrating, enjoying ourselves—calms and focuses the mind, and contributes to our overall well-being.

The best thing of all about hobbies is that there are so many to choose from. Anyone can take up a hobby and reap the benefits in both mind and body.

Leslie Vandever is a professional journalist and freelance writer. Under the pen-name “Wren,” she also writes a blog about living well with rheumatoid arthritis called RheumaBlog (www.rheumablog.wordpress.com). In her spare time, Vandever enjoys cooking, reading and working on the Great American Novel.


·       Do Something You’re Good At. (n.d.) Mental Health Foundation. Retrieved on February 13, 2014 from http://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/help-information/10-ways-to-look-after-your-mental-health/do-something-youre-good-at/?view=Standard

·       Mental Health Basics. (2011, July 1) Mental Health. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved on February 13, 2014 from http://www.cdc.gov/mentalhealth/basics.htm

·       Dich, D. Hobbies and Mental Health. (n.d.) All Things Depression: Strategies for Anxiety, Depression, Stress and Anger. Retrieved on February 13, 2014 from http://allthingsdepression.com/2011/02/hobbies-and-mental-health/

Help ME!!! Crafty Crafty Crafter’s Block

I’ve got a serious case of crafter’s block and would love your help!!!

Crafter’s block.  I’ve got it.  I’m certain!  I use to be so incredibly crafty.  I have lots of scrapbooks, homemade decorations, made gifts every single year that I can remember that people actually loved!  (Or they are really good actors)  I have even gotten tears of joy on more than one occasion!

In the past, I’d decide I wanted to make something involving some random thing, like when I wanted to use old blue jeans and came up with these coasters and placemats for my Mom.  Looks very country, but that is exactly what my Momma loves: country.  😀  If you checked out the link, I hope you like them, btw.  I do homemade Christmas stuff, one year I even sent out homemade invitations for our Thanksgiving.  Very well received if I do say so myself.  We had over 30 people that year!  Though I don’t contribute it to my invitations, that’s very much not the point.

The point is, now I have nothing.  Today I pulled out every one of my Cricut cartridges and couldn’t think of anything I wanted to make.  I have been browsing Pinterest and following my amazing craft blogs to no avail.  I keep getting the same ideas: ditto, squat, nada and any other word you can think of that means ‘ya got nothing!’

I can’t help but wonder if this isn’t the result of my lack of focus in that area.  The Crafty Zoo has become the review and giveaway zoo, which is fun and I love, but somehow the site changing changed me too.  I guess that just goes to show how much of an extension of myself this site really is.

The plan, aside from whining, is to get my head back straight!  I’m going to keep doing reviews and giveaways, because I love doing them, but I’m also going to get my projects back.  I have decided that I’m going to start a project next week.  NO idea what it will be, doesn’t matter really, but it WILL be something.  Also, I have decided if I have to post about half done projects and project failures, I’ll do it.  As long as I get my crafters block to turn into something crafty!

Have you ever dealt with this?  Any craft ideas???  I’m open and in desperate need of your help!