Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Little Shell Cottage

Believe it or not - this little house began life as a box of baby wipes (the large Sam's club version). We cut out little windows- being sure to leave the tops attached so that they would open like an old Florida "cracker" house. We cut out the door. Painted it to our liking, and after propping up the sides of the box and stabilizing them to form the roof- we added sea shells. (something we have no lack of) The idea would work for those who don't live near the beach with any organic items of their choice. ie: acorn "hats", leaves, bark
Fun, rewarding, and green! (I just love re-purposing)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Monday, July 18, 2011

Sea Shell Moblie/ Chimes

On our adventure on the Space Coast- at the beaches near
Kennedy Space Center
during the last Shuttle- Atlantis-

We collected a bag of cockle type shells with holes in the top.
I knew I wanted to do a fun craft and use
them as a souvenir from that most awesome experience-

This is what we came up with-

A Sea Shell Mobile- Chimes

We started with 3 sticks from the yard.
They are between 12 and 16 inches each
I just broke them off where I wanted them-
each a little different than the other.

I made a loop at the top for hanging - out of fishing line.

(we have plenty of that around)

I connected the sticks to each other with the line
leaving about 5 - 6 inches in between each stick.

They don't have to hang perfectly
just "aim" for the center!

Once you attach the shells
you can balance the sticks to hang straight!

At this stage - you can recruit the family to help!
We used varied lengths of colorful strings to hang our shells.
We doubled up the string by placing each cut end together and
then pull them through the hole and tie a knot by the shell
that gives you a loop to hang over the sticks.

We placed the entire loop over the stick and then
pulled the shell through it

This way, they can be moved around
until they are balanced right and to your liking!

Add as many as you like-
The shells will "clink" together if you
hang some of them side by side -

Others can be spread out for balance and aesthetics!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Birthday Bug Theme Fun

Two years ago now (hard to believe) we celebrated my son's 3rd birthday with a "Bug" theme - We used different colored fondant - also used some plain white that we colored with food coloring- here's our little "how to" :

Treat it just like play-dough - roll it into little balls and then shape it however you like. I rolled out a couple of long strips - placed them together, one on top of the other- and then rolled them up in a spiral to make some of the cutest little snails ever!

We used cookie cutters to cut the flower shapes and the frog as well. It is so much fun - you can't loose! Oh, one tip we learned the hard way is that you don't want to use tootsie-rolls in the bodies or eyes - or at all- turns out that they melt! You can however use other fun candies to make any bugs you like!

 Lay them out ahead of time on a tray and practice putting them together- you can save them in the refridgerator overnight covered with plastic wrap- then after icing your cake- just transfer your little critters to their new home!

I have recently learned that fondant can be left out to keep any moisture off because that is not a good thing with fondant. If I have to keep it overnight and I have an iced cake- I'll wait to add the decorative fondant pieces. They are made of powdered sugar, marshmallow, and Crisco- so you can just cover with plastic wrap to keep off the air.

The point is- anything you can shape out of play-dough....... you can shape out of fondant! I posted an easy fondant recipe on Adventurez In Child Rearing - I'll have to dig it up and post it here as well.

Have Fun!
"Space Chase Multiplication" by P-diddy the incredible mathematician!

Get Your Game On! I recently bought a small package of foam stickers and 4x6 foam cards (together) at Walmart for about $6.00. We have trouble with memorization of the multiplication tables at our house. My son is a brilliant mathematician (of course) but no matter how many times we drill flash cards, or write out, and study the X's tables- he just wants to "compute" instead of memorize. Although, I am sure we will find great and mighty ways to use his extraordinary talents- I am still requiring that he memorize his multiplication. Mean mean momma- I know I know.
He created the above little card out of those handy foam stickers and we decided that the rules are to start at one end and roll the dice. Immediately shout out the answer by multiplying the two numbers together from your roll and move one space forward if you get it right. Unless, of course your quotient ends in a zero- then you get to move forward 2 spaces!! We go up the card and back. We also each say the whole problem out loud- "4 x 6= 34". Guess momma looses again. Actually, I do try to trip him up sometimes by purposely giving the wrong answer. He just loves "busting" me! And it's a fun little math game and art project combined.


This second card was designed by my 6 year old. Yes, they really are particularly talented. Feel free to send money if you need a creation like this of your very own and they will be more than happy to oblige. We haven't made up the rules to this game yet. Uh, any ideas? (please.....)

O.K. - we also made some pictures to celebrate the first official day of Spring!

 This cute little guy:

Made this cute little picture:

Crafting with the kiddos doesn't have to be complicated or expensive. The total cost for the sticker project was about $6.00 & a pair of dice borrowed from an old game.

I bought a stack of colored construction paper from Sams club that will last us a year for about $12.00.  I've seen smaller stacks of construction paper for $1.00 at the Dollar Tree.

I drew (very quickly- so quickly that I should probably tell people it was the kid) pictures of a few flowers, a jagged line across the paper for him to cut out grass, and a simple tree. He cut and pasted his own design and used the scraps to make "our house". The clouds were his idea as well & cotton is cheap!

We hung out, worked on these simple projects and talked about Spring! They thought it was great-

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Clay Toys- Fun & Educational Craft

Step 1: preheat oven according to Sculpey directions
Step 2: soften clay to make it more pliable
Step 3: just like playdough! form shapes of the people & things you need for your project
(we are studying the journey of Lewis & Clark with Sacegewea across the country so this was our theme for the project, but you can use any theme from a book or movie of your choice)
Step 4: cook pieces according to Sculpey directions (the pieces won't harden until cooked!)
and let them cool
Step 5: while the pieces are cooking and cooling you can prepare your box for the diarama- we painted on our river, sky, & clouds - we also glued some dirt & mulch into place for the land
* just a hint about making the larger mountain pieces- I used tin foil for the base & rolled out a layer of thin clay to lay over the top - it cooked faster & wasn't too heavy (not to mention that it doesn't waste so much clay)
Step 6: use paint brushes, tooth picks or any other tool you like to paint and put details on your pieces and let them dry
*play with the colors, try sponging on some layers of color & paint for depth
Have Lots of FUN!!!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Customized Theme Frames Make Great Gifts

Super Easy and Rewarding- not to mention Affordable Craft! Makes a great gift!
buy inexpensive frames when you come across a deal. it is more important that you buy frames that are at least fairly well made than for them to be beautiful. You can make them beautiful by painting them any way you like. This frame was actually black to start with. I found the little wooden sailboat (already painted in such cool colors) I choose one of the colors from the boat and applied a coat of a closely related blue to the frame. Get out the hot glue gun and bada boom- you can have a totally custom gift for pennies! Take the glass and backing out and let kids help by painting the first coat on the frame- you can clean it up with a second coat- just make sure there are no "blobs" of paint left by running your brush over it after they are done and before it dries.
You can find the little wooden decor items at craft stores, dollar stores, and even wallmart. There are usually options with animals, flowers, cars & trucks. Paint them yourself or buy them already painted like I did for this one. hint: if you paint your own - you can use a thick tipped black marker to outline your finished piece- it cleans up the lines and looks very professional!! have fun-