Friday, January 28, 2011

* Valentine's Day Craft: Felt Heart Barrettes

Last year, I whipped up these cute little hair accessories
for my sweet girls to wear to school on Valentine's Day. 
I actually sewed them during breakfast before we went to the bus stop. 

For "E"s barrettes I sewed 3 felt hearts to a barrette with a button in the center.
I just tied the ribbons to the barrette underneath the hearts. 

For "C"s barrettes, I just stitched  smaller hearts to little clip-on style barrettes
and clipped them through her ponytail holders. 
She didn't want ribbons. 

It's funny to look back and see how long "E"s hair waslast year, 
I'm so used to it being short now that that seems like a really long time ago.

She won't let me put anything in her hair now. 
Perhaps some of you mamas out there still have little girls who are willing to "accessorize" : ) 

pink and green mama

Today's Creative Blog

Thursday, January 27, 2011

* Snow Day Craft: Pom-Pom Milk Shakes!

Today we're having a snow day. 
Everyone's home -- daddy's office is without power so he's trying to work at the kitchen island.
The girls and I are crafting and playing!

I used to make these when I was a little girl -- 
Pom-Pom Milkshakes and Smoothies for my dolls. 
Today was the perfect day to introduce them to my own girls.
They're a huge hit!!

They're fun for stuffed animal friends, Barbies, and American Girl dolls!

First we needed straws.
So, I cut 3"x3" pieces of white paper for the girls.
We drew a stripe on the edge of two sides.

Note: You can also cut little skinny cocktail straws from the party store
but we like to make our own with paper. 

Then, you roll it up and add a dab of glue.

Trim off the pointy edges with scissors.
You can use craft glue, tape runner (double sided tape) or glue gun to secure the edge. 

Here's a pile of "straws" waiting to be trimmed.
You could also cut down those skinny coffee stirring straws but we didn't have any.

We used old children's medicine cups and lids from things like spray-on sunblock
(I always save them for projects like this!)

We secured each straw with a dab of glue inside the cup. 
I used a glue gun so we wouldn't have to wait for them to dry
but you can also use craft glue if you're willing to wait!

Then, the girls picked out the combinations of pom-pom colors they wanted to use
and we secured them inside each cup with more glue.

We added bead sprinkles, bead cherries, and "real" sprinkles with glue to 
the tops of the pom-pom milkshakes!

The "Catsby Family" has been visiting my old Barbie McDonalds 
and ordering shakes all morning.

We just might have to make some real milkshakes too!

"Rosie" cat and "Bently" cat love their shakes!

The whole "Catsby family" on the road with their shakes.
Happy (Snowy) Play-Day!!

pink and green mama, MaryLea

Today's Creative Blog

Best toys for toddlers


Sister Sister Sunday

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

* Valentine's Day Craft: Recycled Valentine's Day Card Basket

 Once upon a time, before my life was filled with small children,
I had time for collections. 

I collected: Pink Depression Glass, Handkerchiefs,
1950s Head Vases, and Victorian era - 1940s Post Cards. 
I haven't given much time or attention to any of those collections for several years. 

I still use my pink glass dishes, the girls play with more than two-thirds of my 
hankie collection in their on-going stuffed animal and "house" games,
and my head vases are on display in my kitchen
(always get some interesting comments on those!)

When I saw the Vintage Card Basket (see photo below) on Etsy last year
at Artsy Mama's Etsy Shopit was love at first site.
I had been on the look-out for a card basket for several years
but it's hard to find one when you don't spend time 
at flea markets or antique stores anymore!

I ordered it and was over the moon when it arrived.
It has a place of honor in my art studio holding sewing notions on my sewing table. 

Of course, I wanted to try my hand at making our own
so last year, we recycled some of our favorite  
Valentine's Day Cards into a card basket/bowl of our own!

To start, I printed out a template I found here:
I traced it onto a piece of manilla folder (sturdier for multiple tracings).

They also have great directions--
that I should have followed instead of just winging it.

You'll need 14 cards for this project (or kid drawings on card stock!)

You'll trace 12 "side" pieces  and 2 "bottom" pieces.

They used white glue and I didn't --
my life would have been easier if I had tacked mine together with a dab of glue. 

My pieces kept slipping around and that wasn't fun during the sewing part. 

You'll use a hole punch to punch holes evenly
around the edges of each piece and yarn 
(or embroidery thread) with a fat embroidery needle to sew the basket together.

Here's the bottom.
Like I said, should have followed the directions --
this is not the best sewing job!

A handy little bowl to hold your treasures!

Happy Re-Cycled Crafting!

pink and green mama, MaryLea

Sister Sister Sunday

Sunday, January 23, 2011

* Valentine Button Heart Sign Craft

This is a fun little project my oldest "E" whipped up 
and I realized it would be a perfect Valentine's Day
Decoration for your house, front door, or classroom!

I know that the word "craft"can connote a certain association
with "do it this way and everyone's project  will look the same"...
This little heart craft can be done, (and I encourage it to be done) 
any way your child, the artist, wants.

Don't want to make a heart?  Make a different shape. How about a Star?
Don't want to do "Valentine" colors? How about a Rainbow Spectrum
or  Warm colors and Cool colors on two halves, or Your child's favorite color!

She started with a simple wooden heart from the craft store
but I think you could make this just as easily from a piece of cardboard box
(or cut a piece from a cereal box).

Add a piece of yarn (or ribbon) to your heart (or shape of your choice)
so you can hang it up! 

Paint it pink  (or red, or white,  lavender...or Rainbow!)

Then, crack out some craft glue (we like Elmer's school glue)
and add some buttons! 

Happy "Crafting"!

pink and green mama,

Today's Creative Blog

Friday, January 14, 2011

* Winter Rice Sensory Box

With temperatures in the teens and twenties  for the past several weeks,
we've been spending LOTS of time indoors. 

Last week, I dumped the frozen ice blocks out of our
water play table that was sitting sadly on our deck. 

I used some Method LeScrub and an old towel
to spiff it up and clean up all of the dirt and mud stains.

Then, I poured the contents of our 
Winter Wonderland box into the dry "water" table
and it's been 9 solid days of afternoon entertainment.

Even big sister and her friend joined in this week. 
Posts about our Winter Box can be found here and here. 

It's also been a great way to practice our sweeping and dust pan skills.  
You can't have rice avalanches without a little spillage!
Yes, I know that polar bears and penguins don't live together - we're not that picky around here.

 I've also set up our light table in the playroom
for some more fun play!
(It's just my old light box on one of the girls' Ikea Play tables)

You can make your own Light Table with an acrylic box-style frame,
a piece of white paper, and some low-temperature LED lights 
(like xmas lights, a flash light, or battery operated tea lights)

 Snowflakes and Snowmen made out of shapes!

The blocks you see on our table were a Christmas gift from our favorite Aunt Darb....
You can get your own

Happy Winter!

pink and green mama

Monday, January 10, 2011

* Homemade Recycled Calendar Mod-Podge Puzzles

The new year brought with it new calendars and some old calendars that were ready for recycling. 

What better way to recycle calendars 
than to use them for craft projects?!

The girls and I decided to make some homemade puzzles.
We used three different techniques that I will share with you in today's post.

First, we picked our favorite photos and started cutting them to the right size 
for the puzzles we wanted to make. 

Technique One:
Mod-Podged Block Puzzle

We had a set of plain blocks in the art studio craft stash that I painted black a while ago 
and didn't know what to do with...

So, we stacked 9 of them together and measured the square they made.

Then, we cute 6 of the photos into squares that size. (I think they were 5" x 5")

I started with the first photo, by trying to cut it into 9 equal squares.

Then, I realized I had a square scrap-booking punch
that looked like it was the same size.

Bingo! It was the same size and SO MUCH EASIER
than trying to do the math and cut each one evenly : )

After, all 6 photos were cut into little squares it was time to start Mod-Podging!

Since we couldn't glue all 6 sides (of each block)
at once, we had to do it in a couple of different sessions.

We wrapped up our brush in aluminum foil between each "gluing session" so it wouldn't dry out.

I use this same trick when I paint rooms in my house,
I wrap my brush or roller in saran wrap/plastic grocery bags
and stick it in the fridge (between coats of paint).

The end result..

A block puzzle for the girls with really cute baby wild animals. 

Baby Tiger.

Baby Tree Frog.

Baby Jaguar.

We Mod-Podged the mini photos
from the back of the calendar onto the lid
of a chocolate box to keep the puzzle in.

Technique Two:
Mod-Podged Cardboard Puzzles

We also Mod-Podged some calendar pages
onto scraps of cardboard. 

I cut up the first one with an X-Acto craft knife
on a self-healing cutting mat into random shapes.

 For the Elephant Puzzle
we decided to try tracing one of our own 
store-bought puzzles...

We assembled the puzzle on the back of the
Mod-Podged cardboard and traced each piece
with a pencil. 

Then, we (meaning, me, the mom)  tried cutting out the pieces
with scissors and a craft knife...

The little curved pieces were too hard
to cut with the stiff cardboard (ack!)

So... instead, I just cut random shapes again. 

 End result. Crazy Elephant Puzzle.

We stored the two cardboard puzzles in zip lock bags. 

Honestly, it would have been easier to just 
laminate the picture(s) with my mini laminator
(or a piece of clear contact paper)
and just cut up the shapes!!

Technique Three:
Puzzle Maker Machine Puzzle

For our final Recycled Calendar puzzle, we got out "E"s Puzzle Maker
one of her little friends gave her for her birthday last year.

She picked out a little Penguin Picture 
from one of the calendars and I trimmed it for her. 
Then, we stuck it to the adhesive piece 
of foam that came with the kit. 

And she cut out each piece with the little 
puzzle making machine (like a big puzzle-making) hole punch. 

We taped the mini photo of the penguin (from the back of the calendar) 
to the lid of an old jewelry box and stored the puzzle inside. 

Happy Puzzle-making!

pink and green mama

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