Doing Art Together: Family Hand Portrait

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This was a homework assignment for Lu. She had to count everyone in the families hands then trace their fingers on a page and number them.  I thought it would be fun to take it a step further.  I had Lu use watercolor paper. She traced every ones hands, overlapping each hand as she went along. I traced them with a Sharpie and Lu numbered them. Then I gave her some watercolors and let her paint them any way she wanted. I think it came out beautiful! What a great family "portrait." I am definitely framing this one!

This would make a great gift for a Mom, Dad or Grandparent!

Tip: I highly recommend you use water color paper. Water color paper won't buckle as much and will hold up better. Also outlining the hands using a permanent marker will make sure the hands don't get lost under all the paint.  You don't need to have your little one number each finger unless you want to reinforce counting.

Dairy Free Spritz

As many of you know, my eldest daughter, Lu, is allergic to milk and tree nuts. I have never attempted baking Spritz Cookies until this Christmas. I was so pleased the Fleischman's Unsalted Margarine worked as an excellent substitute for butter. I was worried it would either jam up the spritz gun and/or taste odd. Luckily they came out beautifully! Chilling the dough a bit helped.  I used the America's Test Kitchen Recipe substituting 1 tbs. Soy Creamer for Cream and 2 sticks Fleischman's Unsalted Margarine for butter. I did one batch using vanilla extract and one with orange extract. The adults preferred the orange extract batch and the kids preferred the vanilla.

Homemade Ornaments with Shrinky Dinks

Dear Santa, I want 2 JB (Justin Bieber) Cards, More Squinkee(s) (and) slippers (heart) Lulu

Dear Santa, 51 Stuf(fed) Animal Dogs (heart) Emme

Capture your kids top 3 wish list gifts on a Shrinky Dink blank page. I cut an 8x10 blank Shrinky Dink page in half to make 2 ornaments. Have the kids write their must haves from their Santa list on the page, decorate, punch holes and bake. We used sparkly pipe cleaners to create the hanger.  It will be fun to look back on these ornaments years from now.  We may do this every year!

Thanks to my friend MB for the idea and the Shrinky Dink Blank Sheets! I couldn't find any at my Michael's Store.

Girls Scout Pledge Coloring Page

I just signed on as Co-leader of Lu's new Daisy Troop.  I am fortunate to have a Co-leader who is super organized and detail oriented. That leaves all the fun and craft planning to me! Our first meeting is this week. To reinforce learning the Girl Scout Pledge I created a coloring sheet for the girls.  It is a great activity for the girls who finish the main activity quickly and for the girls who don't get to it can take it home to color. I know my blogging buddy Katie from Katie's Nesting Spot will appreciate this since she just signed on as a Co-leader for her daughter's Daisy Troop. So here you go all you Daisy Leaders out there! Enjoy :-) Girl Scout Pledge Coloring Page

Homemade Holidays: Ornament Crazy!

I have been a bit obsessed with needle felting these last few weeks. I have been making 100% wool ornaments by repeatedly sticking a special needle into the wool.  I begin by making the ball then I freehand the design onto the ball. There is something so relaxing and creative about the process. I am just a beginner so I would recommend checking out the web for instructions.

I love the scarf!

I still need to add the olive branch.

My girls really like this one.

I added beads to this one. My friends daughter taught me how to do it!

This last ornament is a project I am going to do with my Daisy Troop.  I just became a co-leader. The girls are earning their center patch. The ornament represents the patch and learning their pledge.

Stale Bagel Bird Feeder

After the Thanksgiving festivities we ended up with a few rock hard bagels. The girls and I turned them into bird feeders. Cut bagel in half. Tie a string onto the bagel. 

We spread Crisco on them but you could use peanut butter.
Then sprinkled them with bird seed.

A great treat for your neighborhood birds...and squirrels! If you don't have a stale bagel you can use a pine cone. You can also have kids string O cereal onto a pipe cleaner, twist to close and then hang on a branch.

Here are some other bird feeder ideas:

Homemade Holiday Gift: Felted Soap

With some assistance my 4 year old and 6 year old were able to make their own wet felted soap.
My 4 year old really loved getting sudsy! My 6 year old did not. If you have a kid that loves rolling up their sleeves and getting dirty (in this case, clean!) this is a great activity.

The wool roving for wet felting is available on line.  The roving comes in an array of colors.  You only need an ounce each of  3 or 4 colors to cover several bars. I just ordered some Ecosoft Roving from Weir Crafts for $2.25 an ounce. There are many other options available on line.

Setup: Cover your table with a towel. Have some extra hand towels nearby.

Old panty hose or knee high, bar of soap, roving, and container of  very warm water

Check out YouTube to get started. I haven't found one that uses my particular method. See the tips I have below.

  • When making felted soap with kids I suggest dipping the soap in the very warm water first. Then wrap the wool roving around the soap. This helps the roving stick better.
  • Wrap in several layers of the roving until you cant see any soap peeking through.
  • I like to have the roving ready to go in small "sheets" so I can lay them out for my kids. They lay the wet soap on top of one "sheet" then wrap around the sides of the soap. Then we carefully pick up the soap and flip it over so the top of the soap is now face down on the next sheet. Continue until completely covered.
  • Next, hold open a nylon stocking very wide and have your child carefully place inside. You can tie off the stocking or just wrap it around.
  • Have your child dip the soap in very warm water.
  • Begin rubbing very gently at first. You want to create a lather. As the soap starts to felt they can get more aggressive with the rubbing. 
Good luck! It is a great handmade gift. When the soap is used up you are left with a wool pouch. I have heard it makes a nice pot scrubber.

Have fun crafting with your kids this Holiday!

Recycled Holiday Ornament Craft for Kids

Use a clean plastic lid from a jar, glue, glitter, pom poms, chenille stem or ribbon.

Back of ornament. We used one of Emme's old paintings (that happened to be covered in glitter.) We used it on the inside of the lid and on the back.  We just cut it out and glued it on.

Glue your scene on the inside.  We chose to make a snowman. A Christmas Tree would be cute, too.

We received the Pom Poms and Glitter Sticks (Chenille Stems) from

Packaging Bath Bombs

Look how pretty the bath bombs look boxed. I used mini cup cake liners and a clear stationary box.

Homemade Holiday Gifts: Bath Bombs

I am already thinking of teachers gifts for the Holidays.  I have always wanted to try making bath bombs.  I finally wrangled up all the ingredients* and followed the instructions on Instructables.  

It couldn't have worked any better. I had no problems. It was very straight forward. The girls could do the measuring/pouring.

I tried two types of molds. Both worked beautifully. The bombs came out easily.

*Citric Acid was difficult to locate. I could not find it at my grocery store or pharmacy like recommended on line.  I ended up finding it at a health food store. It was a bit pricey. One 4 oz. bottle was almost $6.00. You use the entire 4 oz. in the recipe. If you were more patient you could order it online I am sure for less.

Overall, a fun project! I definitely recommend it. We used grapefruit essential oil for our scent (make sure you get the kind meant for use on the body.) The house smells wonderful!

Alphabet Nature Collages

We recently had a few days of gorgeous fall weather.  The girls and I took the opportunity to get outside and forage for collage materials. The girls had a blast. I always know when an activity is a success when they repeatedly ask to do it again!

We also added some beans, couscous and rice to the mix. We dyed the rice and couscous with food coloring and a squirt of hand sanitizer (in place of the rubbing alcohol.)

Have your child draw the letter of their choice with the glue bottle.  You can draw the letter and have them trace it with the glue. Make sure they use a lot of glue! Depending on how quickly your child works, you may need to add more glue in sections as they work.

The final step was adding glitter to fill in all the little nooks and crannies. Let dry then gently shake off excess. 

The girls preferred the "sprinkling on method" so I cut up the pine needles and rosemary.  

Both girls wanted to keep making letters for their friends.

Have fun crafting with your kids!

Holiday Headband in Minutes

I received a package of crafting goodies from to play with. The first item I was drawn to was the, what I used to call Pipe Cleaners, then Chenille Stems and now... Glitter Sticks. You all know what I am talking about! There was a cute project idea for a bracelet featured on the Glitter Stick packaging. I loved the idea and just tweaked it a bit.  

I took one of my girls cheap plastic headbands and started wrapping two glitter sticks around the headband at a time. I chose red and silver, you could choose any seasonal color combo. I left aproximately a half an inch free of Glitter Stick on each end.  This prevented tickling the backs of the ears. I would have your child try on the headband and mark with your thumb where you should start.

When you come to the end of the Glitter Stick overlap the next two sticks to create a seamless look.

I ended up using 9 Glitter Sticks in total.  Older kids will easily be able to do this craft.  A fun activity for a Girl Scout Troop or Slumber Party.

Have fun crafting with your kids!

Recycled Toadstool Craft

Check out this adoarable recycled Toadstool I made out of:

Danimals Smoothie bottle
Dole Fruit Bowl
Mod Podge
White Circles
Red Tissue Paper

Glue the circles inside the clean and dry fruit bowl. Next glue red tissue paper inside bowl with Mod Podge.

The white circles with show through the bowl when dried.

Let dry. Place on top of clean Danimals Smoothie bottle.  You can glue gun them together or keep separate. Makes for a cute hiding place for secret fairy notes!

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Halloween: Girly & Spooky

I love making hair bows for my girls, especially for all the holidays. There are hundreds of bow tutorials out there in the blog world. It really is easy!  Find some cute ribbon (Halloween ribbon is on sale now!) and go to town.  I had extra plastic spiders left over from some goody bags I made for our neighborhood pumpkin carving party.

So cute! Spooky and girly...

Lu wasn't completely sold on the spider. I had to explain to her Halloween is suppose to be spooky. Luckily little sister is fearless and convinced her it was OK.

Love that jelly face!

Don't forget to enter my giveaway! A year subscription to the brand new Disney FamilyFun Kids Magazine.

Halloween Costume: Mission Flamingo

This year my eldest daughter saw a flamingo costume in the Chasing Fireflies Halloween catalog. In case you can't see in the picture, they want $78.00 plus $22.00 for the headpiece! Not to mention the accessories. Someone please tell me who spends almost $100 on their child's Halloween costume? They certainly are not trick or treating in my neighborhood! Aside from the cost, I wasn't too sure I wanted want my daughter looking like a Vegas Showgirl. Scroll down to see part 1 of my homemade costume.

So began, Mission Flamingo... Cue the music! Could this crafty mama make a flamingo costume just as good as the magazines, minus the Showgirl vibe? After much thought and several overly elaborate ideas I settled on the simplest solution.  Here is part one:

I bought a 79 cent mask and a bag of pink feathers from Michael's. I had the glue gun, sparkly adhesive foam and gems in my craft stash. I enlarged the eye holes to fit my daughter's proportions and then started gluing.

Lu squealed with delight! Definitely sparkly and fancy enough for her.

Back of mask.

Easy but a bit messy. I have to go clean up...

Are you making your kids Halloween costumes this year?

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Halloween Party Activity

Next week our neighborhood will have a little pumpkin carving party for our little gobblins. To add some fun to the event we will be playing some Halloween games, like the toilet paper mummy wrap race. Kids will also have the chance to win the this (see picture) if they can guess how many chocolate eyeballs are in the vase.

I could only scrounge up a vase. To prevent "losing" any eyeballs I took the netting from the bag o' spiders and tied it on with some ribbon. I think it added a nice spooky touch.

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Simple Fall Inspired Crafts

If you are anything like me, you often find yourself telling yourself, "I could totally make that!" Yet, most of the time you never quite get around to making said item.  Well, these projects pictured above, I found on a recent shopping trip, are too simple not to make! Don't you just love the matted seedpods? So simple and elegant.

Also, don't forget to enter me FamilyFun Kids Magazine Subscribtion contest. Just leave me a comment here!


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