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!

Friday, June 8, 2012

On our summer list - shaving cream colors

This concept is pretty common among preschool programs, but both my girls love this activity so much that they both requested it be added to our summer activity list.  And it's extremely inexpensive fun.  We picked up dollar store shaving cream cans, one for each girl. But one for the both would've been plenty!  And then we used cookie sheets and food coloring from the cupboard.

This is pretty simple.  Shake. Spray. Play.

And I totally let the girls take the lead here.  We just plaid in the white cream for awhile.  We talked about how it expands as it is being sprayed from the can.  How it feels, etc. 

I was especially proud of Little Miss Creative who used the cookie sheet and cream as a magna doodle of sorts.  Here she shows her family portrait. :)

Next we decided it was time to add food coloring.  Of course we stock regular colors and the neon colors.  Now if only they made more colors...

E loved dripping EVERY color on her tray, but realized later that may not have been the best choice as it made an icky poo green we could't fade out or change. But it sure looks cool here!

O chose to add her colors slowly.  At first picking her two favs, pink and purple.  (my girly girl!) and added more colors as we added more cream. This made for a cool rainbow affect.  And she really enjoyed when we added the spatulas and other utinsels.

We also added clear water beads to see what they would do.  But I think there was to much cream at this point and they sank right to the bottom of the pile.  E used hers to pretend it was buried treasure, but it was only found once as the pile was to big and the colors were to dark to find a clear softish marble.

Of course Mom had to make a rainbow pile of mooshy cream too! E wanted to know what would happen to the shaving cream if we baked it.  I honestly did not know. So of course we fired up the oven.  (I am blessed with a double oven, so the smaller one only takes minutes to heat up) We set it to 350 and "baked" our creations for about 2-3 minutes. 

Here's the cream after baking.  It's hard to explain what happened to it.  It was very clean smelling (like the original shaving cream but much lighter and airy) and it "sparkled".  It didn't seem to change size, but I suspect it would have had we left it in longer.  The girls were surprised that the cream was not at all hot like we all thought it would be.  But again, with longer time, who knows.  There are so  many things you can do with shaving cream, so thankfully we have some more for next time!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Bored "jar"

We've been mentally preparing for summer for at least a month now.  I am extremely excited about the upcoming months.  This is the first summer that I've been healthy enough to participate in playing with my kids like I want to.  And they are both old enough that they can play and contribute and a new and fun way too.  We've been preparing both a summer list (to be published later) and a bored jar list. 

Of course I searched Pinterest and found these fun ideas:

Pinned Image

Click the picture to get to the links.  There are more on pinterest.  I just searched "bored jar" (and "board jar" - seriously...)  I liked things about each post, but of course needed to make it my own.  I wanted it to be a project for the kids more than me.  So I complied all of the lists I could find.  Then I gave them to my 7 year old with a highlighter and she chose the ones she wanted to make the cut.

We also set some guide lines.  The purpose of the bored jar is to entertain themselves.  So that means, when mommy is busy and there isn't anyone available or willing to play.  And you also have to be able to do each activity on your own, without needing help or materials we don't have.   So there were a lot of them that we both agreed would be fun to do, but that didn't fit our criteria.  Those things went on the Summer List.

I liked the idea of putting them on the sticks.  And I liked using Avery's clear address labels.  I was able to make them a little unique by using different, fun (free), download-able fonts from the Internet.  I also wanted to keep track of what we had borrowed from Internet friends and what ideas we came up with on our own.  So I color coded them. 

We had 120 ideas to start with.  We split up the sticks, got out the tempera paint and I let the girls go crazy.

O lasted about 3 minutes and then she resorted to just finger painting on the paper :)

But E likes to see the projects through and was THRILLED with the idea of the bored jar.  So she stuck it out and finished painting about 110 sticks on her own! (But it kept her busy nearly all of the morning! Day 1 of boredom - BUSTED!)

We let them dry, and then I helped her stick all the labels to all the sticks.  Originally we had planned to keep them in one of the large mason jars and swap them out with others to keep the idea newish. 

But the jar only held like 20 some sticks and we didn't like the way it looked. Plus, having helped compile the list, she knew what she really hoped to draw! Instead, we decided just to use the pink flower pot I picked up at the dollar store. 

We've had the "mommy-I'm-bored" flower pot in use for a week and a half. I've only heard those dreaded words once, and I immediately replied, I think you know what to do.  She skipped off to pick out a new stick. 

Some activities last a few minutes like, "stand on your head" and others can last as long as she is interested.  Like one of my childhood favorites, "paint the cement with water".

*Side note - some of the labels have come unstuck from the side they were folded over on.  So I just used a scissors to trim them off, and they've been fine ever since.

*Click on the images below to download the files via google docs.  (Don't worry, they're available to everyone - with or without a google account.) Thanks for looking! Enjoy!