Category: crafts (page 1 of 4)

We made edible slime. Because our house wasn’t messy enough already.

edible slime

It seemed like a good idea. Mostly because I was feeling insecure about not being a “cool” mom anymore. I think I used to be more fun. Actually, I’m 100% certain I used to be more fun. So, we went off on a quest for fun. Don’t worry. I was smart about it. I picked a day when we’d been busy running errands and I was exhausted. I made sure Thomas would be working late. These things are guaranteed to make a mom more fun, right? Right.

For the record, I think you should be immediately suspicious of any activity where step one is “Melt 3 cups of gummy bears.” I’ve met melted gummy bears. Those things end up all over EVERYTHING. I was unwilling to throw in the towel though. So onward we went.

Here’s how to make edible slime:

  1. Give up on any hope of your home ever being clean again. Your kitchen is probably already a mess because you did just cook dinner. Embrace that. Soon you will have melted gummy bears literally on every surface of your kitchen.
  2. Send 3 cups of innocent gummy bears to their molten lava doom. They don’t deserve this. But, heck, neither do you. You guys are all in this together.
  3. Melt them and melt them and melt them until they look like one big rainbow flavored soup.
  4. Give every kid their own bowl and spoons. You really want to maximize the amount of dishes you need to do afterward.
  5. Disperse the gummy bear goop into their bowls. It will likely get into their hair at this point. Keep going.
  6. Have them add equal parts cornstarch (non-GMO of course!) and powdered sugar.
  7. Feel really really stupid for forking over the extra 39 cents for non-GMO cornstarch when you realize the remaining ingredients are basically sugar and food coloring.
  8. Stir.
  9. Pick a band-aid out of the slime & keep stirring.
  10. Let them use their hands. Also their faces. Heck, even the toddler might put her toes in hers. I’m not judging.
  11. Sample your delicious sticky sugar. Wrap it up in plastic wrap to save for tomorrow but remember that the sugar ants will likely eat it all up for the sun rises.
  12. Crash on the couch. Decide that being a cool mom might be overrated.

Edible slime, my friends. That’s all there is to it!

 

trav and slime

V and slime

Circus, Circus!

I loved this party. I think it was my favorite of all of our parties. I liked it better than the Luau. Better than the Pop-Art Party. Better even than the Faerie party and the Pow-wow.

If there is one thing I love to plan it is birthday parties. We decide on our theme for the party by January usually. And we concoct all kinds of crazy ideas for it. Then we execute said crazy ideas 24-48 hours before the party. Because we like it a bit manic around here.

The Circus theme was so much fun to plan! If you are looking to plan a Circus party there are a wealth of ideas on the internet. My friend, Mama the Reader, had some great links to a Circus parties that I found inspiration from. We also found so much inspiration from The Winding Road.

So, without further ado, here’s our take on the Circus theme!

The Invite –

Thomas designed a Circus poster style invitation for the party and it really set the tone for everything that was coming! As much as I prefer printed invitations I just don’t have it in me to sit down and address and mail 40 invites. So, we did this as an email invite.

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The Costumes-

What would a party be without costumes? And thanks to my amazing sewing teacher I was able to make these great little costumes for the kids! Kai and Ivy were the tightrope walkers. Traveler was a clown.

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The Food –

We tried to keep it simple with the food. Actually, that’s a lie. We had a huge menu planned. And out of necessity (and lack of time) we simplified it. In the end we went with hot dogs, apples with caramel dip, cupcakes, cakes, candy, candy and…what else? Oh yeah, candy. We actually had a Candy Bar for the goody bags. We bought TONS of old fashioned candy and put them out in glass containers and let the kids fill up old-fashioned popcorn boxes with as much candy as their little hands could carry. I also made a couple of little cakes and decorated them like Circus tents.

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The Decorations –

This was my absolute favorite part. If someone would pay me money to come up with funky homemade/old-fashioned decorations for their parties I would be a happy woman. Because this is such fun. Okay, so we wanted the feel to be colorful and so our goal was to transform the carport into a circus tent. We used canvas drop cloths and painted red stripes on them to create the look of a tent. I picked up some fun colorful curtains at a thrift store and a couple of bright colored crib sheets (I’m all about repurposing. And being cheap.) and I used them to create a pennant flag thingy. I never can remember what those things are called. We also made a crazy fun “CIRCUS” sign out of letters from the craft store, rhinestones, and a cheapo mirror from Walmart (Yes, I know I said I was never going there again. But, I did. *sigh*)

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Last, but not least, we had an awesome magician (Thank you Tommy Johns!) He was so engaging for the kids and grown-ups and made the whole event spectacular! If you’re looking for a magician in the Atlanta area I highly recommend him! (And, no, I’m not being compensated to say this!)

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So, there you have it. The Loving family Circus party. We felt so blessed to have so many wonderful friends and family come and celebrate the kids’ birthdays. It was a fantastic day!

Oh yeah, and here is my favorite picture of the day. Thomas dressed as the Bearded Lady and a friend who shall remain nameless got their picture taken in the photo booth. Is it wrong that my husband felt so at home in a dress and wig? Or that I thought he was totally adorable as the Bearded Lady? I sure hope not…

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Cool DIY Project: Vintage Record Clock

Looking for a fun, eclectic, inexpensive, DIY gift? Then I’ve got just the thing for you!

I made this for my sister for Christmas this year because she loves old records and I thought this would look so cool in her place. I’m actually a little embarrassed to post instructions since it was so incredibly easy. So, Eryn, stop reading right now. I want you to keep thinking I spent hours slaving away on your record clock!

Step One:

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Buy an old record at any thrift store, Goodwill, or junk shop. You can use a 45 as well depending on the size of the clock you’re looking to make. I bought this record for a whopping 50 cents!

Step Two:

Pick up a clock kit online or at any craft store. The one I used only set me back $7.99. It came with self-adhesive numbers in the kit but I wanted to go for a more modern look so I left them off.

Step Three:

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Mount the clock kit to the record through the pre-established hole in the middle. And Voila! A record clock. (See I told you it was easy!)

A few of my favorite things…

I spend an obscene totally reasonable and healthy amount of time online during the week. So, I thought I’d take Fridays and share my favorite links from around the blogosphere.

Like the rest of the world I have developed quite an Etsy addiction. And I’m only joking a little when I say that I wish they would make it just a little bit harder to buy things on their site. Because a shopaholic like me doesn’t need it to be too easy for her to buy stuff.

So, this week I had to share my most recent favorite Etsy finds. These two things are hands-down my favorite geeky baby presents for the Star Wars fan in your life. In fact, we bought both for our friends Dewde & Dewdette who are expecting a little boy in December. Of course, I couldn’t resist picking them up for Traveler, too!

The first is a knitted Yoda hat for winter. Oh my gosh, I can’t even tell you how much I love this hat. Traveler has already worn his out on a cool & rainy day because I was looking for any excuse to put it on him. It was a huge hit in public and he looked adorable. In fact, he is totally going as Yoda for Halloween this year.

Adorable Yoda Hat from PrettyPeapods Etsy store

Adorable Yoda Hat from PrettyPeapod's Etsy store

And what budding Yoda would be complete without a baby-sized green light saber? When I stumbled upon this knitted light saber from Carbonscoring’s Etsy store I knew I’d struck gold. You’re guaranteed to be the only person at the baby shower with this gem! And the cool thing is they also offer other colors or the pattern itself in case you’re more of a DIY Star Wars knitting geek. So awesome.

Baby-sized knitted light saber from Carbonscorings Etsy store

Baby-sized knitted light saber from Carbonscoring's Etsy store

Come visit me…

I’m the new Atlanta Children’s Crafts Examiner over at Examiner.com which means I’ll be posting several cool craft articles a week over there with fun ideas for things to keep little hands busy.

In the meantime, check out my first article on creating clay texture stones with kids. It’s a fun, easy & educational craft that my girls loved!

Click here to read the article!

Artful Friday: The Recap

Our first Artful Friday was last week and even though it was just the girls and me it was really a fun day.

We started out reading Leonardo the Terrible Monster which is a great book about not-so-scary monsters and then we set out to make our own not-so-scary monster friends.
Styrofoam eggs & balls, paint, glue, glitter, & BBQ skewers were our materials and the girls used them with enthusiasm!

Even though it nearly killed the control freak in me to do it, I let them have complete control over how they made their monsters. I didn’t tell them where to put the eyes or how to glue the hair. And you know what? I think they came out even better because I kept my hands off!

See what I mean?
This week we’re doing a dad-themed book/craft in honor of Father’s Day (shhh…don’t tell Thomas) and I’ll post pics next Monday!

Got any cool summer arts/crafts ideas for kids? Feel free to post suggestions/links in the comments!


Artful Fridays: Reading books, making messes, having fun.

Now that Traveler is almost 3 months old, I’m finally getting back into the swing of things. Life is getting a little easier and I figure it’s time to get back to my creative/crafting/art interests.

And, what better time to do that than summer, right?

So, in an attempt to keep my kids from being bored this summer I’m starting Artful Fridays at our house. Every Friday the plan is to get the girls outside, read some new children’s book, and make a little art inspired by the book.

I’ve always wanted to be a part of a kids’ art group where the focus was on having fun, getting creative and socializing so we’ve invited friends to drop in on Fridays, too. I think it’s a great way to keep the kids entertained so moms can get some much needed grown-up conversation at the end of a busy week. I’m keeping it open-ended for friends so they can come when it works for them and there is no pressure to be there every week. Some weeks we may have lots of friends, some weeks it may be just me and the girls, but every week we’ll be getting messy, creative, and fun with art and reading.

Our first book is going to be Leonardo the Terrible Monster by Mo Willems.

It’s a great kid’s book about a Monster who is terrible at, well, being a monster. But when he finally gets good at the scary monster job he realizes he’d rather be a friend than a monster anyways.

And Leonardo and his terrible monster friends will be inspiration for our own crazy, silly monsters. I think it’s going to be a fun way to engage the kids in the book and I can’t wait to see what monsters they come up with. I’ll be posting pics of their creations, soon!

The Pow-Wow Party

As you might remember from last year, I love birthday parties. Or, I should say, I love throwing birthday parties. Actually, I love throwing parties in general. It is entirely possible that my obsession with putting on events has to do with the fact that I eloped and was thus deprived of the chance to obsess about the most special day of my life. Or not.

Either way, I try to have a big birthday party every year for my kids. It started with Kai’s first birthday and we’ve continued the tradition every year. We’ve had a Japanese themed party, a Luau, a Pop Art party, a Faerie Forest party, and this year, a Pow-Wow party.

Since the girls’ birthdays are only a month apart we do joint parties. It is easier on us and allows us to have one big huge bash where we go all out. I love the way it works out.

The pow-wow theme was really fun to plan for. We had teepee cupcakes for the kids, a Native American scene on the cake for the grown-ups, a rock painting station, a pony bead jewelry station, and (the best part!) PONIES!

With over 20 kids and 30 grown-ups it was important to make sure we had plenty to do, and I think we had just the right mix of activities to keep all the kiddos busy while waiting for pony rides.

Here are a few pics from the party. The girls’ outfits were made from thrift store finds and turned out pretty fun. I’ll be posting more about how I like to make costumes on the cheap later in the week so stay tuned for more on that…

Every year we have a picture framed for each girl and have guests sign it. They have one from every birthday and I hope someday they’ll enjoy having these as reminders of their birthday celebrations.

I kind of messed up and forgot to order a cake for the grown-ups this year. So, in a last minute run to Kroger I found a birthday cake decorated with removable balloons and dismantled it, added some sprinkles for grass & dirt, and used the Native American figures the girls had to play with as decoration. I think it worked out pretty fun!

The teepee cupcakes. I wish I could take credit for these amazing things! They were AWESOME. They were cookie and cream flavor with an actual Oreo baked into the bottom. The cone was filled with Oreo creme and they were absolutely heavenly!

Last (but not least!) were the ponies. Can you tell the girls were loving them?

**Notice how even though I spent 3 days making 20 Native American vests out of paper bags and headdresses out of feathers & posterboard my children aren’t wearing either. That’s gratitude for you!**

The Christmas Confetti Bubble Bath Experience

Okay, so I saw this recipe online for Christmas Confetti Bubble Bath and thought it would be the perfect little project for the girls and I to do one afternoon. After all, what is more fun than homemade bubble bath?

Making the bubble bath really was fun. And with a bit of tweaking the end product could be quite the success.

Step One:

Shred (with regular cheese grater) one bar of soap. It should be noted: soy soap flakes do NOT turn into bubbles in the bath. More on that later…

Step Two: Add food coloring gel to soap shavings. Add a few drops to each bowl and mix. Tip: Be careful what colors you choose!


Step Three: Spread on wax paper to dry. Isn’t it lovely?



Step Four:

Add to bath water and watch Red and Green turn into a horrible, horrible Brown colored water with strange floating soap flakes in it. Listen as your children exclaim with glee that it is like having a bath in lake water!!

Apparently, bathing in lake water is all the rage among preschoolers these days so luckily the girls didn’t seem to notice the lack of bubbles and the hideous color of the water. (Note to self: next time stick with regular soap and consult a color wheel before choosing colors!)

I’m just glad I tested it out on my girls before giving it away as gifts for Christmas. ‘Cause, you know, not everyone likes the idea of bathing in the Loch Ness Monster’s natural habitat!

Escape from the 1960’s

This weekend was such a whirlwind. We’re getting ready for a big Thanksgiving practice party (more on that later) and parties like that always remind me of everything that needs to be done in our house. Couple that with a serious case of preggo nesting and we’ve been quite the productive family the last couple weeks.

And my favorite thing is doing make-overs on a budget because it forces some serious creativity.

This last weekend we made over our terrible straight from the 1960’s bathroom. The counters were original to the house (built in ’67) and most of the fixtures were from that era as well. I couldn’t handle it one more second (there’s that preggo nesting coming into play) and we couldn’t afford to overhaul the bathroom completely either.

Here’s our before:

Sorry for the terrible picture. It’s one we had left over from the previous owner’s real estate info. Just in case you thought that clock was my idea, it wasn’t. And it didn’t stay in the bathroom. Who needs a clock in the bathroom anyways? That seems like a lot of pressure to get things done quickly…

Anyways, it’s a little difficult to get a good pic of the interior because of a funky angle. But, you get the idea. Boring. Even a little ugly. And, unfortunately, the counter top isn’t nearly as hideous in this pic as it is in person. But, with a new coat of paint, some inexpensive curtains & fixtures from Ikea, we turned that into this:


We hung the shower curtains from the highest point on the wall in an attempt to make the room seem taller and added the pop of orange on the curtain sash and a small medicine cabinet to make things a little more interesting in there.

But, my favorite part is the new finish on the bathroom cabinet. Did you realize you can paint your laminate countertops? It’s true. You can put a new finish on almost anything with the right process. For countertops, all you need is a quick sanding with some rough grit sand paper, a couple (or 3) coats of paint, and a thick coat of polyurethane and voila a new counter top without all the bad fake marbling that came with a 1960’s counter top. I LOVE the way it turned out:

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