Thursday, January 24, 2013

* Snow Day Play: Make Ice Animal Balls with Balloons and Water.

Temperatures have been in the teens and twenties all week
and we finally got our first snow last night. 
We needed some fun winter distraction to fight cabin fever
and decided to take advantage of the freezing outdoor temperatures. 

"E" brainstormed this idea yesterday afternoon and I went along with it.
She's my partner in crafty-fun-crime!

We raided the birthday party decoration box for some balloons in less-desirable colors. 
Then we carefully inserted some small plastic toys inside them.
I held the opening of the balloon apart while my daughter slipped in each toy.
Then, we used the sink to fill them (just like making water balloons.)

I would be lying if I told you we stayed dry --
two different times we didn't get the balloon hooked onto the faucet correctly
and ended up spraying the whole bathroom and ourselves!
(and the poor dog because she has to be wherever we are)

After mopping up the bathroom (twice!) 
we set our water balloons out on the deck to freeze overnight.

This morning, after breakfast, we peeled off the balloons on two of our 
ice balls and took them upstairs for some bathtub play. 
We're planning to unwrap the rest in the next day or two.

They're really lovely -- like handblown glass paperweights. 
I can think of all kinds of beautiful things to freeze in these balloons 
including real or fake flowers and leaves, 
small insects, buttons and marbles, etc.

The girls love them and they were a fun and easy snow day activity!

Stay warm my friends!

Pink and Green Mama

Sunday, January 20, 2013

* This Year's Stitched Heart Valentines: Recycle Artwork to Make Easy and Beautiful Cards!

Today we decided to make one of our favorite kinds of homemade Valentines --
stitched heart Valentines made with fun scraps from old art projects,
paint samples, maps, and watercolored coffee filters, and fun paper scraps! 
I first debuted this project on my blog here in 2010.
We love them so much, we decided to make them again.

This year's scrap heart pile was so pretty on my desk that I took a photo!
I'm thinking it would make a cute screensaver for my computer this month. 

Same technique as last time. 
We cut hearts out of scraps of fun paper then laid them out on some
plain white cards from the craft store (you could also just fold a piece of paper.)
If cutting out hearts isn't your thing, you could use a heart shaped craft punch!

I used hot pink thread this year (red last time) in the sewing machine.
Just sew a straight line through the paper to stitch the hearts in place on the card.
Trim the excess threads - be careful they can come un-stitched easily 
if you pull the thread too hard. You could put a little tiny dot of glue on the thread ends
on the inside of the card if you were worried about them unraveling. 

Close-up of my yellow and gray heart on a creamy, pale yellow card.

We even stitched up this heart that was from a cut up/re-cycled washi tape picture!

Got wild and crazy and made one card with not one,
but three(!) rows of stitched hearts. 
They remind me of balloons!

A cute little set of homemade valentine cards, ready to send! 
These sweet little cards also make great thank you notes,
mother's day cards, birthday cards,
 and anniversary cards for your sweet heart.

I made one for my husband a few years ago with a heart 
cut from a map of our honeymoon destination. 

Happy Homemade Valentine Making!

Pink and Green Mama, 

DIY Competition

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

* Get Organized For the New Year! What to do with Kid's Toys, Art Supplies, School Papers and More...

The Pink and Green Mama house has been stuffed to the gills all month with Christmas decorations, food, crafts, out of town relatives, family, friends, and gifts! Now we are settling back into a normal routine and cleaning up the house to enjoy a quiet and reflective new year. I always like to work on organization and streamlining projects around the house in the month of January. A bit of out with the old (hello Freecycle and Goodwill!), re-arrange the old to make it feel new (I love to rearrange rooms, closets, and baskets),and find homes for new toys and stuff that arrived with the holidays. Organizing and de-cluttering have always been two of my favorite things (in addition to nesting, arts and crafts, gardening, and cooking yummy homemade food)

Today I'm rounding up some highlights from posts over the past 5 years to share some 
of my favorite organizing tips and tricks from around our house, playroom, and art studio.
I hope it inspires you or helps you think of new ways to rearrange toys, craft supplies,
or memories in a way that is easy, affordable, and completely do-able. You don't have to do it all in one day. As I like to say, organizing my house is like eating an elephant, I can only do it one tiny bite at a time! 

Here are my TOP 12 Organization Posts
* Tame the Playroom Clutter *
* Organize Those Toys and Collections! *
* Tame the School Paper Messes * 
* Eliminate Magazine Piles *
* Corral Art  and Craft Supplies *

This post is a mini tour of some of our successful kid-friendly spaces in our home. 
What works best in our house is to use a classroom model. 
All of our spaces are:
Kid-Friendly, Proportional, Accessible, and Organized.

My labeled basket and bin system that we've used for the past 5 years in our playroom.
Easy for friends, pre-readers, and babysitters to know where everything is
and most importantly how to clean it all up again!

This post shares how I organized my own Barbie Doll clothes when I was 
a little girl in a set of big binders. The girls love this system!

This is what we do with our American Girl Doll-sized clothing, 
accessories, and baby doll clothes. 

Who knew a bean bag slip cover would be Mommy's favorite organizing trick?!
Out of sight but accessible. Helps with the dust.

This post highlights our daughter's Rocks, Minerals, and Fossil Collection
and....for a homemade eco-friendlystorage solution try

These boxes hold collections of tiny things in our house like coins, shells,
novelty erasers, Bakugans, Marbles, etc...

When everything you need for a project is in one place,
it's much easier to sit down and create something when inspiration strikes!

We use a "color box" system that I used in my art classroom
and a magazine holder box system for easy kid access. 

An easy to maintain system for keeping all of those school photos,
awards, and special memories at your fingertips. 

Why not set up a letter writing center for your kids?
It's a great way to write thank you notes and get teach the lost art of letter writing.

One line a day, how easy is that? Just think how many 
memories and little moments of your children's lives you can capture this way?!
Mine is on my bedside table.

I've used this binder system for my ridiculous magazine habit 
for the past 10 years and it still works like a charm! 

Here's to a happy, healthy, and organized 2013!

Pink and Green Mama

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