Tag Archives: craft

DIY: Quick and Easy Word Art

Our family loves books. I’m a big believer in reading to kids pretty much immediately. Even if they don’t understand anything at first, just the sound of your voice is soothing to them. Eventually they’ll start paying attention to the stories and they’ll have positive feelings associated with reading, which I think is incredibly important.

Anyway, I’ve been reading to both girls pretty much since they emerged from the womb. We have tons of favorites, one of them being Where the Wild Things Are. When Max decides to give up being king, the wild things shout at him “Oh please don’t go–we’ll eat you up–we love you so!” I’m not sure how or when, but at some point I start saying this line to Samantha.

I’ve been wanting some kind of art that incorporated the quote for a while now and the other day I decided to make one myself. It couldn’t have been easier. Continue reading

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DIY Fail: Yarn Ball

Bloggers are always showing you their beyond perfect crafty creations, but you rarely see any missteps. And you know there are missteps.

I happen to think that you can learn just as much from my DIY failures as you can from my successes, so I thought I’d chronicle one of my recent mishaps.

Have you seen the seriously adorable hanging yarn balls that are all over Pinterest (the picture at left is just one of seemingly endless examples)? I thought a couple of pink ones would be absolutely perfect for the “About to Pop” baby shower I threw for my sister. Since I had all of the supplies on hand anyway, I figured I’d give it a whirl.

First, I gathered my supplies.

I collected a balloon, scissors, yarn, Mod Podge and a sponge brush and was ready for action (or so I thought). Since I knew it would get messy, I laid out some newspaper– although I’m not really sure why. The table I was using is already full of crafting war wounds. I’m hoping to tackle that in a future DIY, but I digress!

I took my (blown up) balloon and smeared Mod Podge all over it. Next I started wrapping my yarn all over it. As I was doing this, I started to wonder if I should have checked out some tutorial beforehand. Would there be enough Mod Podge to make the yarn good and stiff? What about the layer of Mod Podge on the balloon? How would that work?

I had a feeling I knew how it was going to work out, but I charged ahead anyway. Next time, I’ll look around for some tutorials or go with my gut instead of wasting time on something I was pretty sure wouldn’t turn out right.

When I was satisfied with the amount of yarn on the balloon, I tried to put another layer of Mod Podge on top (mostly because I was concerned the yarn wasn’t saturated enough).

I left it to dry over night and was greeted with this when I popped the balloon in the morning:

FAIL. Of course, my first layer of Mod Podge made a little skin underneath the yarn.

So what did I learn from this blonde moment?

If something seems wrong, it probably is.

Take a step back from whatever you’re doing and try to think about it from a different angle. If that doesn’t work, look for help from others. I hopped back on Pinterest and quickly saw that other people soaked their yarn in a mixture of water and glue (and sometimes corn starch). That makes much more sense, since you want the yarn to get good and stiff so that it keeps the shape of the balloon once you pop it.

Next time I go with my gut.

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My Week Through Instagram

The end of Spring Break brought boredom (and, of course, its fun friend, Crankiness). Sam decided to thumb through a copy of Disney Family Fun magazine and bookmark the things she wanted to do. Not very surprisingly, she bookmarked just about every page.

We also turned to more crafty projects to try and let Crankiness know he (it has to be a he, right?) is not welcome. This is our little toilet paper tube bunny. Sam painted it pink and purple and glued on its face and ears. This little craft took the perfect amount of time– any longer and it would still be sitting on the table waiting to be finished.

The one day Ellie actually took a nap (after a car ride and nearly a week of not napping), Sam and I had a little spa day. We both got to soak our feet in her little inflatable zebra tub and we treated each other to multicolored manicures and pedicures. The little bean woke up as my sparkle coat was drying.

On Friday we had a fun play date with her best buddies. We went to story hour, went out to lunch, and then hit the playground for some solid wear the kids out time. This is Sam “selling ice cream” with Maddie and Ben. They were selling it for free and you could have any flavor you wanted in a cup, cone or on a stick.

They also played an elaborate bridge troll game where Sam was the momma troll and Maddie, Ben, and another little girl at the playground were the baby trolls. Sam was trying to teach them how to be trolls, so she would put her babies to bed under the bridge and then sneak away and run over the bridge, pretending she was someone else. Her babies were supposed to wake up and scare away the intruder. It was absolutely hilarious.

We also went on a little shopping trip to try and find a birthday present for my sister. Sam wanted to buy her earrings with her own money, so we headed to Forever21 where I knew we could find a cute pair for cheap. This sparkly purple minidress caught Sam’s eye (see her in the bottom pointing up at it?) and she was sure I should buy it for my (pregnant) sister. She wasn’t too happy that I disagreed.

These are my multicolored toes, courtesy of Sam. Yesterday was TOMs’ One Day Without Shoes day, which is to raise awareness about the millions of children who go without shoes every day. It’s amazing the difference a simple pair of shoes can make in the lives of these children (from safety and disease prevention to the ability to attend school). Check out their site for more info!

Last but not least, this is me and my little bean sitting on our front steps waiting for Sam to get off the bus. It really doesn’t get much cuter than this.

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Making Lip Balm With My Girl

My big munchkin is on winter vacation this week, so I’ve got my hands full. She’s used to days that are packed with fun activities and friends, so she pretty much constantly asks me what we’re doing next.

Luckily, Santa is a little bit of a genius and left her lots of crafty gifts under the tree. She also got a bunch of games that I’m sure I’ll be sick of by tomorrow! 😉

This morning, we decided to tackle the Creativity for Kids Make Your Own Lip Balm Kit that my sister got her. It’s perfect for her in so many ways (she’s a girly girl who loves to put on “sticky lips.” She also likes crafty things and science and this kind of combined all three).

Basically, it comes with some wax and flavoring. You soften the wax in hot water, add the flavor/color, put them into little canisters, and then decorate the canisters.

My girl loved it. The only issues I had with it was 1) I wish the container to mix and soften the wax was a little bigger and 2) it would be nice if the color/flavor was easier to squeeze out. It was made for ages 7 and up. Sam is 5 1/2, so it makes sense that it might be a little difficult for her to squeeze, but even I had an issue with it.

Minor difficulties aside, this kit was a lot of fun!

Here are some Instagram pics of my munchkin working hard:

stirring the wax to soften it

putting the lip balm into the container

smoothing it out

While she was busy being a mad scientist, my little one was busy tearing apart the kitchen. Here’s a picture of her in a calmer moment as she attacked a piece of banana as though she hadn’t been fed for days!

Even though it’s Tuesday, I’m linking up with a {little} dash of ash for Instagram Monday (I’m a day behind this week and I’m sure it will only get worse as the week progresses!).

Now we’re off to play Guess Who! What did you get for the holidays?

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Is It September Yet?

Don’t get me wrong. I love my feisty little five-year old. She’s one of the funniest people I know, a lovable little mushball and smart as a whip (whatever that means).

She is also the ultimate drama queen (we’re talking about the stomping off to her room and composing songs about how no one loves her because I told her she couldn’t have an Oreo at eight thirty in the morning kind of drama queen).

Because of the drama and the fact that I had another little girl at the end of March, this summer has felt incredibly loooooong. We can’t do as much as Sam is used to and my attention is a bit diverted. This is the perfect recipe for drama soup, which just so happens to be my sweet pea’s specialty.

Samantha is totally fine if she has some sort of project to work on, which is why I was thrilled to come across a helpful article in this month’s Disney Family Fun magazine. The story was about a family who had this special jar that they filled with scraps of paper that had fun activities written on them. From baking cookies to berry picking, it sounded right up my little lady’s alley.

So we decided to do our own version…

We grabbed an old oats container and scraps of paper Sam had cut up the day before. She meticulously colored all of the scraps (it was so tiring she had to “take a bweak” when she was done), glued them to the container and added jewels (all while mommy magically got some writing done!).

We then added things we like to do: from spa day (where I give her a mani-pedi while she has a homemade facial) to garage sales (which she also happens to call antique or thrift shops).

So far it’s worked out great. She feels like whatever she picks is her idea and not something I came up with, which is always a bonus (hmm. sounds a little like her father…). She also likes that it comes from a pretty container, which automatically makes it cool.

Now I just have to remember to think up new activities before the next vacation…

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