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!


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