Valentine Necklaces

14 02 2012

Did you wonder what we were making last week? Well, here they are – valentine necklaces!

I literally got requests from parents at Eleanor’s preschool to make beanbags again like last year, but chose to politely ignore them. They were a little more work than I was up for this year as I’m on jury duty and had no idea how much time I’d actually have.

Inspired by these gift tags over at burlap + blue, we made necklaces out of crayola model magic clay. They clay is fun and easy  to work with and created light as air pendants. The only down side is that they can pretty easily be broken in half if one should try.

Best idea for preschoolers? Probably not.  Certainly not as useful as the beanbags. However, they’re delicate and sweet and Eleanor is very happy with them. Plus it gave me an excuse to buy a lovely little sampler pack from The Twinery.

 

I’m also happy to announce that we finally used up all this pink card stock. This is literally the 3rd year that it has been used for making valentines.

Not only did she happily carry her bag of valentines to school this morning, but we got her all gussied up with her felt button covers, one of these necklaces AND my 1st ever attempt at ribbon braids in her hair. Not just any ribbon braids either, ribbon braids in a heart shape. I really need to stop looking at Girly Do’s By Jenn as I think I might be getting carried away. Little girl hair styling on a willing participant is a bit addictive.





A Bubbly Valentine

13 02 2012

Unlike his birthday themes that he picks out 2 years in advance, Seth was super indecisive about his valentines this year. He really wanted to give out little tubes of bubbles, but he kept changing his mind on how exactly these bubbles were going to be presented. Two days before Valentine’s Day and he’s describing to me his Plan A, Plan B, Plan C… When he got to Plan D I cut him off. He really wanted to do something similar to last year. But we made one up and it just wasn’t working due to the thickness of the tubes. The rest of his plans were similarly complex with unresolved issues and we were getting down to the wire. So I started to do a little brainstorming and came up with this tag. It actually contains elements from many of his ideas – photo of him, bubbles, a tag. The only plan it didn’t accommodate was one involving little rockets with the bubbles tucked inside. I’m not THAT crazy. Well… maybe I am, but we didn’t have enough time for crazy.

I took a photo already out on flickr, popped it into Speechable to add the silly little speech bubble, used the handy tools for sizing and printing already on iphoto and boom I had a pic ready to make into tags. Super speedy I tell ya. Using my great new circle punch (that had some how found it’s way into my christmas stocking not too long ago), Seth was able to punch them all out himself. It really helped that the punch is flat on both sides and fairly wide, so even though he’s only 7 he had enough strength to work this large punch upside down. He added his signature to the backside, including circles representing hugs but left off the ‘x’s so as not to give any wrong ideas.





Valentine Making in Progress!

10 02 2012

Now the hard part. Waiting 2 days for them to dry. Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.





Valentine Pencils

21 02 2011

Thought I’d get through all the valentine posts last week but I ran out of juice. I realize you are all probably over Valentines Day and wanting to move on, but I’m going to bore you with 2 more posts and then swear to do my projects earlier next year (you know, like I do every year).

These are the valentines Seth gave out to his classmates this year. Totally inspired by Erin over at House on Hill Road who in turn was inspired by Alissa at 24*7*365.

And although I think the suckers they used were totally cute and I believe candy and valentines day go hand in hand, I know I can count on other parents to supply plenty of treats. Therefore, we opted for pencils.

These photographs do not do them justice. But they were hard to photograph with the limited sun we’ve had around here. We printed the pics on card stock to keep the cost down and simply wrote on each one with a sharpie. Seth was a trooper and signed them all himself on the backside the day before the big day. In fact all of these projects were finished on the very last possible day.  Such is the way we roll.





Valentine Garland

11 02 2011

Although I really wanted to make Jackie’s Valentine Bunting, I just didn’t have the type of string in my stash that I was envisioning in my head. When that happens, I’m just never satisfied with any other options.

Since I still wanted a garland to hang up and the kids were asking for a valentine’s day craft project I went a different route.

Turning toilet paper tube rolls into hearts is certainly not new, but it did fit my demands of the day. In fact, it turned out better than expected. The kids got to paint pink hearts, Eleanor got to do a bit of lacing with sparkly yarn and not a single person that has walked into my house could tell that we used toilet paper tubes until I told them.

Love these action shots of Eleanor concentrating so hard on her lacing. I think the close up makes it look like the needle was magically sewing by itself but it was jut a fluke that I caught it mid-air after she dropped the needle.

And while we were waiting for the paint to dry we made super yummy banana chocolate chip muffins. Seth thoroughly enjoyed mashing the bananas. We only made a half batch though and they were gone FAST. I plan on making another full batch for Monday morning.





Paper Doll Snowflakes

13 01 2011

Snow is gently falling as I type this so it seems only proper that I should post about paper snowflakes. Making paper snowflakes is a favorite pastime around here. We slowly add to our collection over the course of the winter eventually covering our sunroom windows with all shapes and sizes. I think my paper doll snowflake might be my favorite so far this year. In hopes of keeping your winter spirits up, I thought I’d share the how to:

Materials – a pencil, sharp scissors and a thin, square sheet of paper. I like tracing paper, but there are many options to choose from – newsprint or gift wrap for example. Normal printer paper works too but is a little more difficult to work with as it gets bulky and rather thick to cut.

Step 1 – All snowflakes are 6 sided so you must fold your paper into a pie wedge of 6 layers. There are a few ways to do this, here is one I like:

Fold the paper in half corner to corner forming a triangle.

Find the middle of the sheet below the triangles tip and fold one side over at an angle.

Then fold the other side over in the opposite direction. I don’t know the exact angle degree but I can tell you it will take a couple attempts and that’s ok. It will not hurt your final product to unfold and refold a couple times. The goal is to get the folded edges to line up together. I tend to fold a pile of these to have available for my son to cut so I get plenty of practice.

Step 2 – draw your image. I rarely do this step unless I have a specific outcome in mind such as a ring of girl dolls. Not how the the legs, arms and the corners of the skirt all hit the folded edges. This is what will hold the snowflake together and prevent it from becoming a rather flimsy pile of 6 separate paper dolls.

Step 3 – cut!

Step 4 – unfold, admire and stick on your window with a little tape or a glue stick.

Just a reminder to those of you in a winter climate right now – there are still a few more months to go, you might as well see the beauty and find a way to appreciate the season. When you do that it ends sooner than you expect.





Advent Calendar!

8 12 2010

Every year I become enchanted with all the beautiful – and often complex – advent calendars out on the net. In fact, I become rather obsessed. The closer christmas comes, the more disappointed I become with myself for not pulling it off. Logically, I know that’s silly. One simply CANNOT do everything. But this year I found myself once again dreaming of little envelopes or bags filled with activities and the occasional sweet. I figured I’m no longer employed outside the home, so why can’t I pull this off? And then boom! December was upon us and I decided to have a good old fashion sit down with myself on what is important and what I have time to do while still enjoying the season. Enjoyment being key as all the hard work in the world isn’t worth it if you’re not enjoying  yourself. So I came to terms with an advent calendar not being in our cards this year.

That very same day, Seth came home with a strong desire to make an advent calendar. Did he sense I had just tossed that possibility out the window? All I can tell you is that he was NOT going to take no for an answer. He started digging through the recycling bin and the basement, emphatically saying no to any of my suggestions that involved leaving the house to buy supplies, and he came up with a plan. His own plan. The best kind.

He found the base materials:

  • a flattened cardboard box
  • green construction paper
  • a flattened paperboard box (from a large box of crackers)
  • a box cutter (actually he asked for this one)
  • a self healing cut mat (I kid you not – his idea)

I filled in the gaps:

  • white duct tape
  • markers and colored pencils
  • a bone folder

Process:

  1. We cut the cardboard and paper board to the same rectangular size, roughly 11X24″
  2. Then we covered the cardboard with a few pieces of construction paper
  3. These 3 pieces would form our layers but before attaching them we had a little work to do. Although Seth didn’t think it necessary I wanted a little picture on the front. You know, something to gussy it up. I was thinking along the lines that Seth or myself could draw. A snowman or a christmas tree perhaps. But Seth, with his infinite wisdom, chose a cabin. After sketching out a few ideas on scratch paper I looked up at him and said “maybe we should wait until your dad gets home”. To which he replied “because he designs houses at work”. “Yeah.” “Good idea.” And so we did.

    And boy am I glad we did.
  4. Next I used a stencil to trace out 24 uniform window openings and cut out the 3 sides with a box cutter. I also scored the 4th side of the window using a bone folder to make the window open more easily.
  5. Steve numbered the boxes and filled in the image with snow and sky coloring
  6. Despite my worry that duct tape was no longer classy enough for this masterpiece I went ahead and used it to edge the piece and hold the top paperboard layer to the paper covered cardboard.

I’m adding messages only a day or two prior to the window being opened to prevent peaking as well as to give me the flexibility I need around the holidays. I’ve got a whole list to draw from so that if I don’t feel like making cookies with the kids the next day I can replace it with something like give someone a compliment instead. Gently as I can, I pull back the window being careful not to truly crease the board. Then I write a little suggested activity for the day. Here’s a sampling of my list:

  • Make paper snowflakes
  • Sing a christmas carol
  • Buy a christmas tree
  • Decorate the tree
  • Have a snowball fight
  • Go sledding
  • Give someone a hug
  • Make orange pomanders
  • Go for a drive in our pjs to see christmas lights
  • Watch Rudolf
  • Make someone smile today
  • Dance to christmas music
  • Drink hot cocoa

Granted, you can see the Cheese It box front when you open the windows. If we do it again maybe I’d glue down a backing paper or paint it. But really, it doesn’t hurt the overall effect and the kids don’t seem to notice once bit. The best part of this project? That it was a collaborative effort. In my opinion, the best holiday projects, are ones you do with someone else. The fact that it was based off my son’s idea and initiative only makes it that much better, giving him confidence and pride in the outcome.








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