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Archive for the ‘Crafts’ Category

Uses for Kids Artwork – Idea #2

In Crafts on November 18, 2013 at 4:19 pm

For Christmas, I made both Elly and her younger cousin lace cards.

Elly colored or drew all the artwork.

I simply adhered the artwork to pieces of cardboard with mod podge. I used both cereal boxes and the box my new-to-me compost container came in. Then, I muscled through all the layers with a hole puncher. The laces are actually parachute strings that I cut in thirds and then burnt the edges of.

I have an ulterior motive, of course. These lace cards are Elly’s introduction to the word of sewing.

Though I have tried handing Elly a blunt embroidery needle, the fun ended when she pricked her finger. Rather than give up and try again in a few years as a more patient person would, I searched for an alternative.

Sunday Snapshots (of Christmas Decorations)

In Crafts on November 17, 2013 at 8:03 pm

How I hate decking for Christmas when it is frigid outside. So with temperatures in the 60’s this weekend, it was the perfect time to hang the outdoor Christmas decorations.

One day this tree will be as tall as me. Until then, it is our Charlie Brown tree.

Elly has helped deck our home for Christmas.

She made an ornament out of Crayola model magic clay. It’s a funny face, in case you were stumped. 

She filled our hand knit stockings (no, not by me. These were knit many years ago by my neighbor) with pinwheels.

She made a Christmas themed angel house.

Our local garden store, Achin Back, taught a fairy garden class today. Elly was the youngest at the class. Though I helped, Elly called all the shots. She picked the pot, the plants, the decorations and, of course, the angel. The end result is gorgeous and now sits on our dining room table.

Memory Board

In Crafts on November 14, 2013 at 4:53 pm

Long have I wanted a memory board to hang Elly’s craft projects on. But all the ones I saw at a store or even at my best friend’s house were so small. At best, they could hold 5 crafts. Elly makes 5 crafts in a day. I would need to buy several memory boards to hold a weeks worth of artwork.

So, instead I made a gigantic memory board.

It measures 2.5 feet by 4.5 feet.

Not only is it big enough to hold all the artwork Elly can crank out, it should hold all our Christmas cards saving me from the white trash approach of taping them to a door with masking tape. You know, the approach I went with last year.

I made the memory board out of a plywood board which oddly enough came with the house, home decorator fabric, batting, duct tape and push pins. The push pins were a beast to push into the plywood and after so many curse words were muttered, I went in search of my glue gun. Tacking the ribbon down was a breeze with the gun.

It took me a few days to convince Elly to add any of her artwork to the memory board. Artwork is supposed to hang on the refrigerator.

Uses for Kid’s Artwork – Idea #1

In Crafts on November 8, 2013 at 12:27 am

As you know, I have a problem just throwing Elly’s artwork out, but I can’t possibly keep the mountains of artwork she creates. Well, to be more precise, I have a hard time throwing out Elly’s paintings and legible drawings. It’s not just because Elly made it. Without a second thought, I toss little crafts that Elly makes on a daily basis. No, it’s more because I love paintings. The more colorful they are; the more I love them. Elly thinks like I do; she too loves color and rarely limits herself to just one. So, I swoon whenever Elly pulls out the paintbrushes. I do.

Rather than throw out Elly’s awesome paintings, I have come up with a few ways to save them or repurpose them.

A clock! 

This was an easy project. All you need are 4 handprints, scissors, white acrylic paint, mod podge, a clock and clock gear.

Elly made the handprints with Crayola washable paint and construction paper.

The clock, clock gear, and mod podge I purchased from AC Moore. The paint came from my insane supply.

Once home with our clock, Elly and I gave it a coat of white acrylic paint.  

Then, I fussy cut around the handprints.

With a paintbrush (though Dan prefers a foam brush for fewer brush marks), I coated the entire clock with mod podge. It took me a while to line the handprints up at the 12,3,6, and 9 positions.

To protect the handprints, I sealed the entire front of the clock three times over with mod podge.

Finally, I installed the clock gear.

 

Though I was tempted to keep this clock myself, Elly picked out who she wanted to give it to for Christmas.

Packing Away a Quilt

In Crafts, Quilts on November 1, 2013 at 11:59 pm

It has been two months since I have posted on this blog and with good reason. At first, it was a happy reason. Then, it wasn’t.

Because I always have some sort of sewing or knitting project going on, it is fitting that this story revolves around a quilt.

This quilt was given to me by my neighbor. Her mother made cross-stitch quilts for every child and grandchild she had. This was her final quilt. She only had time to do the border and the mobile before she was called home. My neighbor, not having a crafty bone in her body but unable to just throw it out, gave it to me with the hopes that I would finish it for my child.

I truly tried to finish it in the way that it was intended by cross stitching the moon, but I gave up quickly. Cross stitching is not for me. I take my hat off to those who follow the tiny diagrams and truly love the process.

After failing to complete it, I stuffed the quilt back in the bag and hid it in my sewing room. Two months ago when I found out I was expecting our 2nd child, I pulled the quilt back out, determined to finish it. Elly owns 3 handmade quilts from me. Surely, my next child was deserving of the same love that I pour into each of the quilts I make.

Halfway through the hand appliqueing process, the dream went away. It started with just some innocent spotting.  Then, the pain started. It worked itself into a frenzy until a rush of blood occurred. Finally, the gestational sac was passed and our child was no more. It was all so horribly simple.

Unable to even look at the quilt, I packed it up in the bag that I had carried it around in. The needle is still threaded and slipped in the fabric waiting for a happier day.

To keep my mind and my hands busy, I turned my attention to Christmas. Oh, how I love Christmas. In a few short days, the shopping was almost done. Sewing projects are being worked on. Crafts are being made. Slowly, I am finding peace.

Happiness was never truly lost. It is impossible to be unhappy when you have an Elly.

 

We were at Target in this picture. It is difficult for Elly to keep her superhero costume wearing to just home or Halloween; it is too stifling.

Drowning in Elly’s Artwork

In Crafts on September 14, 2013 at 10:43 am

When Elly was 17 months old, I started a scrapbook for her to corral all her artwork. Today, I finished filling it.

Elly is only 3 1/2 years old.

Even our living room wall boasts 4 paintings made by Elly.

Rather than throw out some of her paintings for she is a girl who will produce 10-20 pictures at a time, I even converted a few of her art pieces into cards.

Grammy and Poppy receive a package stuffed to the gills of artwork every few months.

Even still, I do have to throw out some of her artwork or it would literally take over the house. Did I mention that Elly is only 3 1/2 years old?

What scares me is that Elly hasn’t even started school yet. My understanding is that the amount of artwork she will come home with will blow the current supply out of the water.

So, what do you do with your children’s artwork?

Should I start a new scrapbook and try to not exceed 1 scrapbook per year? Should I do as Dan suggests, dump everything I can’t bear to part with in a cardboard storage box, label the year and hide them in the attic. Then, Elly can have the distinct honor of sorting through the mounds of paperwork when she becomes an adult. I dislike Dan’s idea only because it is against my nature to hoard. Of course, scrapbooks are different and cannot be categorized as hoarding – so I keep telling myself.

Should I throw more artwork in the trash? Should I find some more loving relatives/friends (read suckers) to whom I can offload all this artwork onto to?

Help!

A Painting Party

In Crafts, Home on July 3, 2013 at 8:15 am

A lot of painting has taken place in the past few days.

Elly made several masterpieces over the weekend.

Her process was terribly messy. I was instructed to put a large glob of paint in the middle of the construction paper. Then, Elly dipped her hands into the paint, letting the excess ooze through her fingers. She swirled the paint all over the paper.

While waiting for me to change papers, she rubbed the paint into her hands like it was some colorful lotion.

It is no wonder that I have to replenish our washable paint supply every other month. Elly loves her paint.

Truly loves.

On Monday, I painted the 3rd wall in the living room. This time I used a roller and oh, boy, was it much faster. Up close you can tell that one wall was brushed on and one wall was rolled on, but if you are that close to my walls, you are likely a kid in time out. Nobody else is going to be studying my walls.

Only 1 wall left to paint before we finally get to rip up this carpet. I can’t hardly wait!

Yesterday, Elly painted an American flag with the Pottstown Moms Club.

I used artist tape to block out the stripes and star section as seen in this blog.

Perhaps we will take a break from painting these next few days. Or not since it seems to be raining yet again.

Rainy Day Fun

In Crafts on May 24, 2013 at 10:27 pm

It rained almost all day. After it finished raining, it still wasn’t nice enough to venture outside. The temperature had plummeted to a cool 50 F. So, we stayed indoors all day long.

Naturally, we read a lot of books.

We watched Finding Nemo.

Then, it was time to pull out the crafts.

Armed with a used egg carton, 2 bottles of Elmer’s glue, 4 bottles of glitter glue (Elly loves glue. Lots of glue), glitter, bells, pom poms and stickers, I was able to amuse Elly for close to an hour.

 

Every single hole was filled with glue. Lots of glue was needed to hold all the decorations.

 

Verdict: thumbs up from Elly.

Though I don’t think this is a project that will be treasured and kept. It’s a mite too big to fit into her scrapbook and it’s a disaster waiting to happen. The moment someone accidentally knocks it upside down will be the very moment oodles of glitter will be dumped all over the floor. Truly, I’ve had my fill of wiping glitter off the floor.

Easter Eggs

In Crafts, Family on March 26, 2013 at 8:24 pm

Dan was sick last week.
This week Elly and I are sick.

The house is a mess.
Very little food is getting cooked.
Sometimes we wear our pajamas until noon.

Yesterday was like that.

To pass the time, we dyed Easter eggs.

Elly dyed each egg a different color.

When they had dried, I encouraged Elly to add stickers to her eggs. The sheet inside the Paas kit has something like 50 stickers. Elly, ever the lover of simplicity, added just 1 sticker to each egg.

This year Dan and I decided that Elly would of course get a basket Easter morning but there would be no mention of the Easter bunny bringing it. Neither of us grew up with that tradition and it seemed like a hard thing to deceive her on especially since the eggs in her basket would be the eggs she dyed today. Surely she would recognize her own eggs.

Is the Easter Bunny a part of your Easter celebration?

Sunday Snapshots (of decorating boxes)

In Crafts on March 17, 2013 at 10:55 pm

The large boxes that arrive from Amazon are highly sought after from Elly. She loves to climb inside them and decorate them from the inside out.

Recently, I bought her a half pound of pom poms as well as a bag of feathers.

Elly put them both to good use while decorating the latest box that arrived on our doorstep.

Yeah, Elly gets serious about her decorating. Don’t even think about borrowing her bottle of glue when she is on a roll. The answer is no.

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