Archive of ‘kid crafting’ category

advent and adios

our advent calendar was a raging success. both of our boys love a predictable routine anyway and the morning draw of the day’s advent only added to their joy.  it was really fun to have an activity each day even when it was a simple one.  we did lots of ‘making’ and they loved knowing that an activity was coming in the afternoon, it made everything run smoother.  no lie.  I’m trying to figure out how to keep up something like that during the rest of the year…maybe a really big family calendar of some sort. anyway, her is the run down on some of our favorite activities:

*two kinds of snowflakes…one made of paper (a major success!!) and the other from a way-too-fussy Martha Stewart thing that was mostly a disaster.

     

* decorating really big snowmen to hang up on the wall. this activity was actually an on-the-fly response to having an advent activity that read “build a snowman” on one of the many warm weather days we have had in these parts.  (it’s getting really old.  I’m starting to shake my fists and rant “we need snow!” to no one in particular).

 

* we built a ‘snow castle’ from white christmas lights  in a cardboard box. i got the idea here, which incidentally is a fantastic site full of great kid-craft ideas.  in fact, I think most of my ideas might have actually originated here.

* a door wreath out of a wooden wreath with pom-poms glued onto it. we used clear glue, which is really impressing me these days.  it honestly dries clear.  I got the inspiration for this from here, even though ours is nothing like that, it is what sparked the idea.

  *and shrinky dink ornaments! I am pretty sure that I let out a little squeal when I saw shrinky dinks in an art supply store. and, they are just as much fun as I remember. both boys loved how they shrink and they were able to color on them the way they would like to and still have the final product turn out small like a real ornament.  word! next year might be the ‘year of the shrinky dink filled Christmas tree’.  we will see.

  

but, this year is nearly done and all remaining energy is now being diverted to the cooking and kitchen fussing…it must be done. so, we are unplugging (mostly), grabbing the cookbooks and the wine.  it’s Christmas time! have a beautiful and relaxing holiday friends!

sew mama sew giveaway: a baby’s happy stacker kit!

WE HAVE A WINNER! It’s Rebecca from Our Busy Little Bunch! I’ll send you an email soon, Rebecca.

 it’s giveaway day! and I want to kit. you. out!

welcome to the happy stitch giveaway! this little kit of sewing goodies is intended to flesh out your sewing supplies with some good stuff and get you well on your way to making this beautiful ‘happy stack’ toy for a wee one!

let’s get to it.  this sewing kit includes:

A  Heather Bailey ‘happy stacker’ pattern (retails at $13).  I love getting people sewing and this pattern makes it nearly irresistible! to help you with your project, the kit also includes:

*) a happy stitch original…a handmade linen sewing weight so you can weigh down the pattern and skip pesky pins (if you’ve taken my classes…you know how I feel about pins).  it’s cute, very cute and I’m not just saying that.

*) some ribbon for the happy stacker.

  

*) a seam ripper with a bright light at the end (includes a new battery to help light up your seams as you rip them out…not that this is going to happen, of course…you won’t need it, I’m throwing it in just in case. wink.).

*) an assortment of quirky, vintage buttons…just for fun. you probably don’t want these on your baby toy but they are just pretty. and, pretty is good.

    

I’m also throwing in: a purple bobbin holder to keep those bobbins tidy (woot!) but it isn’t particularly photogenic so I don’t have a photo.

here is how to win:

*) leave a comment in this post (you have until December 16th and I’ll announce the winner by the 18th.  make sure your email is current so I can contact you if you win!) telling me about the very first thing that you ever made and what you want to make next! answer long or short, tell a story or a poem or simply write up a list of two! I don’t mind.  I will make my husband pick a number out of hat so the winner is random.

And, yes! I’m willing to ship internationally. Why not?

Don’t forget to check out all the other amazing giveaways this week! click below:

good luck! (and, don’t worry…because everyone is a winner in my book, I’m cooking up a little tutorial and a recipe for everyone that checks back on the 18th!)

art projects for kids and random other stuff

this past week’s art project with the kids was a little more ‘supply intensive’ than usual but very satisfying for the boys because it was guaranteed to result in a beautiful piece of art work. we made these glass art displays for the window. I can’t for the life of me remember the website that I saw this project on but it was amazing and filled with fantastic projects, many of which are bouncing around my head. sorry to that website and all their hard work. my head is obviously bouncing around with lots of stuff or I would remember your site!

this project uses dollar store glass frames with the backs removes, clear glue, glass pebbles, and suction cups.  to prolong the fun I also had the boys ‘wash’ the clear pebbles. they loved splashing them around in a tub of water and felt a part of the preparation of the project, which is always nice.  once everything was dried, I handed them both a bottle of clear glue, a prepared frame and  sponge-style paintbrush.  they poured on the glue and spread it with the paint brush (it’s important to put down lots of glue! my cautious boys poured out a small amount…I had to encourage them to really go for it.) then they can place the pebbles wherever they want.  interestingly, both boys stacked the pebbles on top of each other while I laid all of mine flat (of course I made one, too!).  I love the way that kids don’t always see the barriers that adults do…why not stack them?!

  

 

after they had dried for a LOOOOONG time, I super-glued suction cups onto the glass-side of the frames so they would stick up on the window.  and, that is were they are displayed now! (note: I don’t entirely trust the itty-bitty suction cups that I glued on, so they are still resting on the window sill a bit.)  it was a dreary, wet, grey week last week so it was nice to have a little something brightening up our window.

  

I think we are going to try this next. though, I’m seriously considering doing it without the kids and giving it to them as a holiday gift.

I’ve also got a lot of projects going for handmade holidays this year but I can’t share those just yet! don’t want any peaky peakers to lose out on their surprise. but, here are some nice ideas.

finally…keep your computer close tomorrow! it’s giveaway day at sew mama sew. hundreds of bloggers give away handmade items, sewing supplies, and other craft supplies. it’s insane and super fun and be sure to check back here! I’ve got a giveaway to seriously kit out a sewer! …it’s not to be missed, my friends.

art projects for kids, mostly

for a long, long time my oldest, C, was just simply not interested in art projects. he dreaded them, complained about them, and refused to participate.

as you can imagine, this made a little part of my heart ache. eventually, (perhaps developmentally?) he came around. now he loves art projects and is eager to join in. i noticed that part of what won him over was when the results of his effort were more vibrant and exciting.  for example, he was all over coloring as soon as i brought oil pastels into the mix and he had more than drab crayons to color with.   (have you ever noticed how awful some of the art supplies are for kids! like the crayons they give you for free at the restaurant that barely even work! why bother! it’s such a turn off to the whole process.)  anyway, i’m trying to be all over this one and think up some fun and exciting art projects. so, the other day we went on a walk and collected rocks for the express purpose of painting them. the boys thought this was great. “paint rocks!” it was very exciting.

i’d envisioned this project as being simple…we paint the rocks, add some eyes and shazam! pet rocks.  but, we didn’t have goggly eyes, just green dots and the boys didn’t want two green dots on some of the rocks they wanted lots of green dots.  so, green dots were added with abandon and each new creation was set aside to dry on little foam sheets.  pretty soon we had a growing company of rocks and it was beginning to look awfully nice.

i’ll admit that i was responsible for lining them up quilt-like, in the beginning, but once it started it was C that decided which one went where.  in the end, both boys spent an honest 40 quiet, fully-concentrating minutes on this project, which is a lot for us. the best part? i really enjoyed this project and think it genuinely looks nice.  plus, i got a humbling reminder that my kids have their own innate sense of style and design and the best thing i can do is butt out.

this next project is basically the opposite.  i pretty much took charge and did most of the work (including the work of encouraging them to get excited about it) but it was totally worth it.  it’s so exciting.  SNOW GLOBES! ok, not snow globes but halloween globes but the same idea.  oh yes. homemade snow globes. let me say it again: snow/halloween globes. and, we made them. it’s so easy.

1. save up some jars with their lids and clean them.

2. find some stuff that fits inside.  this is a good things for kids to get involved in…’what fits? what doesn’t?

3. glue the stuff to the inside of the jar lid with hardcore glue, let it dry.

4. throw some glitter in the jar (we only had these metal party favors) and fill up with water (preferably distilled water if you want it to last a while) and a drop of glycerin to help the glitter float.

5. pop that lid on the jar and tip upside down.

yes, it is that easy. (we found glycerin at the health food store but i didn’t look very hard and i think we could have found it for cheaper elsewhere.)

here is martha’s version.  i can already tell you that we are going to be making a lot more of these for christmas.  if i had all the time in the world i fear that i would take this snow-globe making down a long, weird road…making little snowy worlds in a jar….i could get sucked into that, for sure.

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