Monday, October 22, 2012

Polymer Clay Creations

On our summer bucket list, which has now turned into our "project binder" One of everyone's favorites is playing with sculpey clay.  This stuff is available almost everywhere.  And I usually get mine on an online sale or at my local Michaels when it's on sale there.  A little bit goes a long way for the kiddos.  So it has lasted us a long time.  I also use my coupons at Michaels to get some tools because we learned there really isn't a great substitue for those.

Today we are making our own beads to be strung into necklaces later. Note: Use a toothpick to create the hole for the beads to be strung later. 
Once everyone is done, place them all in a glass pan and bake according to package directions. The younger one did not enjoy creating her own beads and rather created blobs.  These needed to bake MUCH longer.  I think it ended up being a few hours. I just checked them every 20 minutes or so.

Once they had cooled When Mom found some time several days later, we strung them into necklaces.  I forgot to put holes into the blobs, so I ended up wrapping them with wire and putting them on that way.  They've held up so far, but they are REALLY heavy and so she does not really like wearing the necklace.  Lesson learned.

I always keep a few "fancy" beads on hand for things.  She chose to alternate with round black beads and then clear faceted ones.  She really enjoyed all aspects of this project. And of course we are already looking for more ideas of things the kids can make themselves with the clay.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Crayola Fabric Fun

Whoa, I've been absent lately.  I guess the back to school, fall season, life in general bug got me.  This summer we decided to try different thing to make our own tshirts and see which we liked best.  We are far from through our list of techniques but the first one we tried was Crayola's Fabric Markers.  And instead of a tshirt we got white bandana's from Hobby Lobby.

Now, while this is a great idea, I didn't realize how long it would take.  But at least it kept them busy for about 45ish minutes.

Needless to say, its been awhile since we started this project.  We still aren't done.  But it was fun and they do like they get to color on something they wouldnt normally be allowed to! :)

If I were doing this again, I would maybe do a transfer to a tshirt so that it is less to color and they can hopefully finish it in one sitting.  Either way, this gets a thumbs up from mom & kiddos.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

A Baby (boy) Shower

This month I had the pleasure of hosting my cousin's (who is like a sister) baby shower.  She chose to wait until after baby was born to have it. She didn't find out if she was having a boy or a girl and she wanted to get lots of stuff that was for a specific sex. 

I made an adorable invite on photoshop, which I'm not going to share because it has his picture and all of is info on it. We had the party at the new grandma's house for space reasons.  So I didn't want to get to carried away with decorations.  Plus it makes for a lot of extra work.  I don't recall decorations from one shower I've been to over the years.  But I do remember key pieces that were really unique.  So  I made the most adorable diaper wreath (if I do say so myself) for decor.

The menu was delicious of course and made all by me that morning.  We had deviled eggs, cheesy potatoes (a recipe I completely made up that day!), little wieners, pasta salad, snicker salad and cake and punch.  Naturally I got the punch idea from Pinterest.

I did mine slightly different than the recipe.  I used white grape juice, 7 up, vanilla ice cream and blue food coloring.  None of the 3 grocery stores I tried had blue colored kool-aid.  Plus, I did not want the added sugar.  I tried a batch at home using blue Gatorade that tasted a little different, but still wasn't blue enough to emulate water.  The food coloring version was delish!

Whenever we have lots of family together, we always take the opportunity to update our 5 generation picture.  This is mine.  We are SO blessed!

We played 3 games.  First was a trivia game I made.  I created this using facts I found on the Internet.  I have created a free download for you to use - not the typo I have! oopsie!.  And if you want specific sighting or you want to fact check the answers, just google the questions.  
The trivia game I created has a typo! Oops! It's a nice ice breaker I suppose! :)
And the answers!

 Second was "guess what's in the bag" where you put miscellaneous baby items into lunch bags, number them, and then have everyone guess what's in the bag by feeling them.  I used all items you would find in a diaper bag to make it a little less complicated.

 Lastly we played gift bingo. I used the free cards I found.  But if you google "baby shower bingo card", you will get a lot of options to choose from.  You use the gifts the mom receives as your bingo squares and then whoever gets bingo at the end wins the prize.  If no one gets bingo, then the host can call out random items until someone gets bingo.  Of course this generated a 3 way tie for the last gift when I did it.  So I had a few extra baby trivia facts I didn't use on the first game.  I used the question, what's the average time it takes a dad to change the diaper?  They all guessed a time, and whoever got closest to the real answer won. 

I wanted all my prizes to me things I had made.  So this part was a lot of fun too!
2 votive candles, a bar of soap and a lip balm

dish cloths (I love those!), a bar of soap and a lip balm

a brag book made from toilet paper rolls and scrapbook supplies, a bar of soap and a lip balm
Like I said, that part was LOTS of fun! :)  I also of course, made my gift for the mom and baby too.  Another puff quilt...

It was a pretty easy event to put together.  And with fairly minimal stress! If there is enough interest, I'll do future posts on the specific parts of the shower (how I made the diaper wreath, my recipes, the puff quilt, etc)  Thanks for checking this out!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Blobs in a bottle...not quite...

The girls decided they wanted to try the blobs in a bottle experiment found on Science Bob's website.  They were supposed to look like this.  But ours didn't quite turn out that way....

We started out with these suplies:

The girls  poured everything into their bottles...

The loved how the water and oil immediately seperate!

We added the food coloring, and finally dropped in the fizzy tablets.

We saw reaction (You can see the white fuzzy looking spots on the surface inside the bottles) but we never saw colored blobs floating around. No matter what we tried.  We went back to the intructions. We used a different size bottle that Science Bob.  We used knock off alka seltzer and we used equal parts of water and oil because someone didn't have enough oil in the house to fill these bottles. I am sure any one of these things could have given us scewed results.  Either way, the kids still loved this project and I agreed to try it again, once we saved up the right supplies.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Summer List: Potato Stampers

Another quick(ish) and simple kid project.  I had some potatoes that were probably fine to eat but not my first choice.  So we broke off all the growing parts and made stamps to paint with instead.

We used powder tempera paint because we hadn't experimented with it much yet.  But, after doing this, the liquid tempera paint would have been much better and quicker!

We didn't do anything to complicated for designs.  I used a small paring knife and just did the best I could.  And the girls were fine with this too.

We started out with regular copier paper, but that wasn't quite working for the girls so we quickly switched to our go-to paper; the butcher roll.

They made MANY pictures and I'm sure some of the relatives would love to see some of the masterpieces as well.  This was a very quick project but they enjoyed it all the same. 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

shadow boxes

I love babies.  I LOVE babies.  Especially my own.  Its been traditon that first birthdays are a huge hoopla here.  (2+ birthdays are simple cake and ice cream parties) I always thought that day was so bittersweet.  So happy to celebrate another first with our child, but the real first sign that our baby was no longer a baby and to quickly growing up.  I knew I wated to preserve that day beyond my usual scrapbooking.  And thanks to Hobby Lobby's awesome frame sale and shadow box selection, this idea came quick and easy.

First step is to save a few random things from the party.  I always save more than I know will fit into the box because that gives me the most options to work with. Here is my finished frame.  Besides the items and the shadow box, you may want a cute scrapbook page to be the background and some pictures.

My finished product includes 2 pictures, one wearing the crown, and the other post cake! :) I also included a irridescent star we used for decorations, an invitation, the birthday princess button and crown she wore, and a small napkin.

Now that she is 7, she still loves looking at this. She has asked why I didn't make one for each party. That's a neat idea, but 18 boxes per kid could get to be a lot of wall space to display them...but still a fun idea! :)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

I made a Puff Quilt!

If you have read any of my posts, it's not hard to figure out I L-O-V-E pinterest! You may have seen the tutorial for this amazing puff quilt:

She has an awesome tutorial.  So awesome that even if you have NEVER made a quilt of any kind (much like myself) you could complete a puff quilt!! I think her's is amazing! But before I tried one myself, I had to check out more.  Enter "puff quilt" into pinterest search box.  And you'll see many beautiful ones.  My other fav is this one:

Can you believe this one was a give-a-way!!? Awesome! The post is on makit-loveit, but the blanket was made by Heidi at Honeybear Lane. All 3 blogs are really great!

So with all that beautiful inspiration, and a very pregnant best friend, I needed to attempt to make one.  I went to Joann's. I was super lucky and received a 60% off coupon back in May.  That was what made me decide to get the Minky for the back side.  (I'd never attempted to sew minky before.  I am not a fan.)  After my two little helpers and I decided on a few different fabrics and patterns we wanted, I headed home.  Of course I was extremely excited and didn't take hardly any before pictures.
But here are plenty during:

AHHH! Finally done stuffing!

I used minky, flannel and cotton. 

4 rows done!

I wanted my blanket to be small enough to throw over the carrier or stroller. Or to use for tummy time on the floor. Not really one to wrap him up in.  So I made mine a little smaller.  But I am so madly in love with it!

Of course I had to add a tag! :)

Ready for giving! Everyone in my family wanted to keep it because it was so cuddly.  My husband even asked if I'd make him one.  I'm fairly certain he was serious. 

The only changes I made to the tutorials (although I didn't follow them exactly) was instead of doing a slip stitch to close it, I did an invisible stitch.  Which I'd also never done. It was a little more time consuming and I only ripped it out twice! But I was much happier with the finished appearance. 

Also worth noting, if your minky gets to long when you are closing the last seam/pocket, I just folded mine in on itself.  I would have taken a picture of it, but you couldn't hardly tell that it was even there.  So there wasn't much to show!

Even if this project intimidates you, or you are just a beginning sewer, I still think this is a project anyone could do and the end result is worth every minute!!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Bored Jar Activity: Marshmellow Creations

A great summer day that turned out to be really productive brought us to the bored jar.  E drew "see what you can make out of toothpicks and marshmellows" So we got our supplies:

As usual, I just let the kids do whatever with them.  I showed them how to connect them, but then they started creating simple "pictutres"

Once that was mastered, they chose to create all kinds of things.

I didn't think this would keep them as busy as it did.  They spent easily an hour at this.

And before long, they had...

...lots of toothpick and marshmellow creations.  I can't remember what everything was, but as long as they were happy and entertained, it didn't much matter! :) Another simple and easy "project" in the books!

Monday, June 11, 2012

A Life book

Most people know I'm an avid scrapbooker.   And naturally the girls are also becoming interested in paper crafting.  They also like to look through old scrapbooks from when they were babies.  We share laughs and stories and it's always great.  Now that the oldest is able to read and write neatly I thought i would be fun to have her do some things we can look back on. I also wanted something more personal than the School Years books you can buy. 

So we are going to create a Life Book.  It will be a continual work in progress.  I know many will think how is this different than a scrapbook?  In my opinion, scrapbooks are stories told through pictures. I want this book to be the story of her life, told by her, and in her words. So I wanted to share with you the pages I have made so far.

A name/signature sample page.  Have the child write the name on the line, and then the date goes in the parenthesis.

I plan on reproducing some of the pages each year, so I thought it was important to write the date on very page. 

My Daughter just finished first grade, but this could easily work for any grade, and we most likely will do it for every grade.

This is more of a preschool page, but I still think it would be cute to see how they change their coloring, writing, etc of this page through the years.

I love this page.  It's a little more intimate than some.  I would like to do several more of these with different prompts.

Books are a big deal around here.  I LOVE reading.  LOVE it.  Kids books are my favorite.  And I hope that this love is passed on to my children.  But, even if it's not, they have to read for school and are bound to find books they like :)

Again, I think date is huge! This page will be so cute! Now just to remember to weigh them at the beginning and the end of each school year! :)

We've been working on a family tree page as well, but haven't come up with something that works like we want it to.  But when we do, I will post that as well

I don't have an order worked out just yet.  But I don't think it matters.  I want this book to be all hers.  So I will also include drawings and art work she makes that are the 8.5x11 size.  I have ordered some chipboard and we are going to do a cover when those arrive. 

I'd love some feedback on these.  Let me know what you think of the idea and if you have any ideas you'd like to see made into pages. Thanks so much!

*Let me know if you have any trouble getting the pages yourself!