Thursday, February 19, 2009

Blank Books for Children

One of the homemade Christmas gifts
I made for the Frog Princess this year was
a simple set of blank books.
I don't know of a single kid who doesn't like to draw and write in their own books.
She loves making up stories and illustrating mini diaries, journals, etc.
I just stapled office paper together with some leftover
scrap-booking paper to make the covers.
By making them in assorted sizes and shapes
I was able to re-use more scraps and give her more artistic freedom.
This would be such a simple birthday gift
to make for a special child in your life.
Just think what Eric Carle or Tomie DePaolo would have done with these?

Monday, February 16, 2009

Parent and Kid's Craft: No Sew Fleece Pillow

No-Sew Projects are right up my alley!

Last month, the girls and I spotted some groovy rainbow fleece at our local Walmart. I picked up a half yard of each with plans to try a new project. I've seen those tie-your-own fleece quilt kits and thought why can't you make a pillow the same way?

Flash-forward a month to yesterday. The girls and I were looking for something to do. Weekend plans had been cancelled and all was quiet while the Frog Princess recovered from the stomach flu (yuck!) Time to make some feel better pillows. We had our fleece and a new bag of polyfil stuffing. We were good to go! They took about 20 minutes to make.

To make our feel better pillows, I just laid out two contrasting pieces of fleece and trimmed them into matching rectangles with my pinking sheers (we actually cut out 4 squares since we were making matching pillows for the girls) You can use the same fleece for the top and bottom or mix-and-match patterns. The girls like to mix-it-up so we went with rainbow on one side and black with rainbow dots on the other. It made it easier to see which pieces needed to be tied together. Then we cut 2.5" fringe around the edges (I eyeballed it) and started tying double knots (great practice for my kindergartener!) We left a small hole to stuff in the "fluff" then tied it shut.

End result: two cute pillows for TV time and instant comfort for a little girl who really needed a rainbow to cuddle after some very gray clouds. She named her pillow "squashy" and has declared that he is a caterpillar. We're sewing on two button eyes today. After we finished our craft yesterday I googled "fleece pillows" and yes there are a million of them on the internet - who knew?! I guess we made ours the right way, I think it would be hard to make them the "wrong" way unless you didn't tie them tightly enough and all of the stuffing came out.

Happy crafting!

What kind of low key crafts do you do with your kids when they're not feeling well?

Friday, February 13, 2009

Love-Ly Hand Sanitizer Project. Friday Feature: Crafty Hand-Cleaner Project!

I absolutely adore (worship) "Crafty Chris" (my nickname for her) from Just a Girl. When you have some spare-time swing over to her blog and give her some bloggy love. Her blog is chock-a-block full of fantastic decorating ideas and tasteful/beautiful crafts. She had me at hello but when I found her post about teacher gifts in her blog archive I knew I'd found my soul mate. Why couldn't she have been one of my classroom moms when I was still teaching? She made these adorable decorated hand sanitizer bottles as teacher gifts for valentine's day and I just had to try it with my own little crafty girl.

The frog princess has three adults who transport her to and from kindergarten each day. One morning bus driver, one afternoon bus driver, and one adult assistant (Miss Val a.k.a Miss "Val"-entine today!) on the bus to help a special needs child who rides her bus. At Christmas, Miss Frog Princess made adorable bus cards for each of her "drivers" and decided this morning that we needed Valentine's for each of them.

Now, I just happened to stock up on three bottles hand sanitizer ($1 each!) at the dollar tree last week. I was planning to decorate them "Just-A-Girl-style" for our own house but the Frog Princess pleaded a good case to me so we dolled up the bottles with some clear CM scrap-booking stickers and foam shapes to give as gifts at the bus stop today. Notice how she used a sharpie to add bus details to the yellow van foam stickers. She added the yellow "travel" and blue "road trip" ribbons with much giggling.

Happy Crafting!

We'll be having a nice quiet day tomorrow. Daddy and the Frog Princess will be building a heart jewelry box at a free Lowes build-it-and-grow workshop in the morning followed by a home-cooked Valentine's day dinner with a special guest, her Kindergarten teacher!

Wishing you all a very Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Kid's Craft: Paint Stick Snowman Ruler

The Frog Princess made this fun little craft in preschool last year
and it makes me smile every time I see it.
Swipe a FREE wooden paint stirring stick
at your local hardware store's paint counter.
Paint it white and add sharpie lines and numbers to mark "inches"
Attach a scrap of fabric or ribbon scarf, mini pom-pom eyes,
paper or craft foam mouth/nose, and a felt hat.

You'll have a friendly little frosty fellow who is ready to measure that snow!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

You Color My World Valentines: Melted Crayon Heart Valentines

The Frog Princess and I have been busy in the kitchen making valentines for her kindergarten class. We made these last year for her preschool and she wants to make it an annual tradition. We saved our broken bits of crayons, easy to do with Mini-Saurus coloring in the house these days. Peeled them all carefully, broke them into smaller pieces. Then we baked them in the oven at 250 for about 15 minutes in our Wilton mini heart pan. Once they are melted we put the hot pan out on our deck in the snow to cool. Each child will get one attached to circle of paper with a little Earth drawn by the Frog Princess.
"You Color My World With Love!"

For details on how to make this project see my post:
Recycled Crayon Heart Questions Answered!

Happy Valentine Making!

Friday, February 6, 2009

* Painted Snow - Have Some Crafty Snow Day Fun!!

The next time you're stuck indoors with the kids on a snow day,
ask yourself, "What would Pink and Green Mama do?"
The answer: get crafty with the kiddos!
Mix up some food coloring and water in spray bottles and paint the snow.

Whenever the weather outside is frightful, we bundle up 
and head outside to make some installation art.
I get out the spray bottles and fill them with colored water
(e.g. Water + Food Coloring OR Kool-Aid)
What would I do without food coloring?

I give my pint-sized Picasso three bottles,
and the world becomes her canvas.
She even armed herself with spray bottles as she slid down the yard on her sled,
leaving colored stripes in her wake!

I love watching the Frog Princess mix colors in the snow.
When else does mom say, "Sure... paint the deck blue!"
The deck never looked more festive.

There is nothing like a little rainbow to brighten a gray and snowy day.

This is so much cooler than the other kind of yellow snow!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Mission Organization: Taming the Playroom Clutter

I can't say enough good things about baskets and bins for taming piles of clutter in our house. I love these colored cube bins I found for the girl's toys a few years ago but we waste time and lose track of "critical" playthings because you can't see what is inside of them. I decided it was time to figure out a labeling system.

The school teacher in me wanted laminated labels to hold up to the wear and tear of daily use and abuse. I mourn the loss of my "all-access" laminator my last teaching job afforded me. I also REALLY miss the big Ellison press (especially now that I'm a scrap-booking addict) but that's another story.

Nowadays, I have to think out of the box to find solutions for my laminating needs. I was going to buy ID badge holders in the office supply aisle but then I found these little gems. They are self-laminating (read: no machine or heat required!) pouches. I guess they are for laminating business cards or making tags to tie onto your luggage but they were perfect for my playroom mission organizations project.

Just print out your photos or images from the web to make kid-friendly labels, slip them inside the little pouch, peel off the sticky backing and viola! A perfectly laminated little corner-rounded label to attach to your toy bins and baskets. I just punched a little hole in each corner and tied them to the handles of my toy bins with ribbon.

I really would like to thank the folks at Scotch for coming up with this!

Ahh....contented sigh from mommy. No more Geo Trax all over the floor.

Behold the glory of the rainbow box containing all of the play silks!

Musical instruments contained in one big basket-- music to my ears!

If you think this is a great idea, you should swing by The Shabby Nest to see the Taming the Kid Clutter party being hosted today by Wendy and Pretty Organizer!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Ladies Who Brunch...The Baby Shower

Adorable Mommy-to-be, Darb

These were the favors I made.
They each have a cinnamon bun in an over-sized muffin cup holder.
The label says, "Thank you for celebrating Darby's Bun in the Oven"

The brunch spread: casseroles, my spinach quiche (see recipe below), fresh fruit, strawberry dip, donut holes, scones, and spinach and strawberry salad.


Showered With Love!

Hope you enjoyed some of the photos from the big day yesterday.

The baby shower for my sister-in-law was lovely. We had a house filled with strong, beautiful women who love and support the adorable mommy-to-be and a good time was had by all. Mimosas flowed freely and the food was scrumptious.

Here is the recipe for my yummy quiche (quite popular yesterday) - reheats well and is easy to make for brunches, teacher appreciation luncheons, etc.

Spinach Feta Quiche

4 oz (I use a little more) Crumbled Feta Cheese
Heaping 1/2 cup Romano Cheese Grated (you can also use parmesan)
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
10 oz. package frozen chopped spinach (thawed completely & drained)
1 cup whipping cream or half-n-half
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups grated Monterey Jack Cheese
9 inch deep dish pie shell

Combine first 5 ingredients in a bowl. Sprinkle you don't know jack cheese on top of the pie shell. Pour spinach mixture on top of cheese. Beat eggs and cream together in separate bowl. Pour mixture over spinach mixture...Bake at 350 for 50 minutes. Yum!

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