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Monday, April 30, 2012

Easy Kid Mask

Every year we have such a awesome time at Cuyamaca College's Annual Spring Garden Festival. There is also sooo many activities and I typically don't get to share all the fun we had outside my circle, but I'm gonna change that and hopefully give you another quick activity that can keep the little ones in your life occupied.

So simple & fun for the little ones and plenty of room for variation. 
The MUST HAVES: Paper Plate, Scissors/Exacto, and Glue. OPTIONS: Your choice string or popsicle sticks. Crayon, markers, or paint? Maybe some glitter or just like this one, feathers.

For the version that Riley made we had just the paperplate that had the eye holes precut out, popsicle stick, glue, crayons and feathers. So mom step get the paper plate and cut out 2 eye holes, whatever is easier and with your favorite cutting tool.

Let your child decorate with whatever colorful method you choose. For this less messy version it was just crayons.

Glue on top for feathers, glitter, whatever you decided.

For this version we glued a popsicle stick to the back bottom instead of a string method. If you are interested, how you can do that is add 2 holes on the sides of the plate an tie 2 pieces of string (1 tow each side). Place mask on face and tie behind head. My daughter's head is not big enough to try that but it's your call.

As you see, the mask brought a smile to the kiddo's face. ;)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Thoughts of Earth Day

Although we have Earth Day every year to help remind us of this planet and that we must protect it not just for us, but for our children and their futures, I hope that you take this day to fill yourself with more ideas and creative ways to to live year round. As they say every little bit helps an I know in my household we may not be the picture perfect "Go Green Family" but we try to do what we can and make sure that even our little one understands the importance.

The biggest things we are about is recycling, donating & re-purposing. So basically we try to cover our 3 R's, "Reduce, Reuse, & Recycle."

Recycling is the easy part for us. Although living in apartment communities where storage is tight and it doesn't seem like recycling is really easy, I see where others can be discouraged, but it is possible and don't forget that you can always look at your cans and bottles as a tiny bit of savings for fun cash.

Our biggest thing really is donating. Donating is just a way to help not only ourselves an the trash situation, but also foster the understanding and joy of giving in our children. Forget Christmas gifts as that lesson, I think it is a year long lesson with donating. I am blessed that Riley has really understood this. We always hoped if we start when she's young she wouldn't fear the thought of getting rid of old toys, but enjoy it. Since before she was able to comprehend what was going on I would get together whatever outgrown baby clothes, toys and for sure any of my pregnancy items that were unneeded an give them to whoever was of need. As she got bigger we would try about every three months to sit down and go through things. Now she is almost four so the growing is a little slower and toys at this stage aren't as fast to be below her comprehension level so we don't do our sit downs as often. Now she instigates the time. This is the first year I think she has truly caught on. She will hand me toys and say, "I'm ready to give this to a new kid Mommy." Melts my heart. Like they say kids are little sponges and it's never to early to start. We don't have to battle it out and she's always so happy to know her stuff is about to go to a new home with someone who can appreciate it and give the item the use time it deserves. It's just making your child understand that its a good thing an not a event that should dramatize them. Make it into a game or assure them that with the space that is made there is room for new items or even just more room to play. As long as you make it a habit, avoid doing it with force, an show your child how proud you are of them by choosing to let go of even the smallest items they will light up and just want to give more.

As for re-purposing, SOOOO EASY!!! We all have seen a million of things we can do with toilet paper rolls, milk jugs an what not, but don't forget those great little jars and tubs can have more then food storage use. Here's what I mean:

If your house is anything like mine I'm sure your little one has just about as much little toys as our daughter does an I'm sure you are more then over stepping on them, but spending money on a tub just to hold such little things is kind of ridiculous. Really over having them scattered about? Or maybe that was just my thoughts? I just was tired of seeing a little animal on the floor, more little animals in room in a bucket...and even more floating around in her toy box, but I really couldn't bring my self to buy one of the tubs that hold her puzzles and what not just for these things, so we came up with this idea. Which of course could probably done way more extravagant, but this was more intended for Riley to have pride in the item so she would stick to using it.

Old jug, construction paper, glue, scissors, markers & stickers.

Really most was up to her, I just measured & cut the paper.

She had me label it, but of course in the colors of her choice and she went crazy with stickers. Then she got to glue it on. Really simple. Though puff paint did come to mind before we went to the construction paper method. If we went that route she could had covered the thing in stickers an pain, but this was a fast less messy direction.

Finally these guys got a home! Best part is with a lid, no more spilling of little plastic animals after the clean up.

She was very happy to fill the jug. as you see on the table is another glass jar. We used that one to store her shells. Shells of course must be seen, not hidden. Hehe.

If you are looking for more ideas or activities to educate your child about the purpose of the 3 R's, Recycle, Reduce, Reuse, check out this link: EDCO for Kids. It has a ton of great things to do!

Oh & for you Jack Johnson fans:

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle - 3 R Song

Monday, April 16, 2012

Vintage Theme Bridal Shower

Recently my littlest sister got bestowed the honor of being Maid of Honor in a wedding. I understood what that meant and she understood stress, so this was a time that I was happy to put my little crafty head and hands in motion. She had some great ideas, but no idea how to execute without paying the ridiculous Etsy costs, so I went to work. Maybe some of these ideas are perfect for your next event or need some tweaking just to fit, but wither way I think what we've stumbled upon can totally help anyone out in the next event planning mode.

First thing first, if you are doing the pre-wedding parties here's my tip - Bridal shower, mellow tie in with wedding theme. Bachelorette party - EXAGGERATED TO THE MAX theme of it all or just straight up girl's last free for all. I personally prefer just the fun exaggerated theme over all the typical Bachelorette items, but that's always a depends on your bride deal.


Well my sister found the cutest veil for all the parties, the only thing was they wanted $30, for the purpose of the gift I can't list cost, but it was defiantly not that, also I preferred our version. Sorry I do not have pics of this process but really it's very simple!

What you need to do/go/get: Buy a headband. The one we got the idea from used the fat version but I opted for a medium of sorts because not everyone's head has enough space to wear a fat one. I love them, but I can never get those to stay in place. Next go to any fabric store check out all their net/veil like material. I chose a yard (though I only used half). I picked the shiniest, less gripping, with a soft feeling of all the material options. I didn't want any part of this to get stuck on her clothes or others every time she hugged someone that would be a mess. At Micheal's,  Fabri-Tac (this is a no sew project). I also found the perfect little letters and flowers for the veil  there. Check the scapbook section. The flowers were a fabric material and already a sticker type. The letters were cardboard with glitter, very light in weight and ready to go, not a sticker, just what I wanted. Bobby-pins on hand for bride to be on the day of the event.

Maybe this close up will help.

Ok, so first I cut down my fabric/veil material in half. The remainder half I folded gluing with the Fabri-tac the bottom half under veil the top have above. The bottom try to make it as smooth as possible as you go. The above piece I tried to not place as smooth as the bottom to give more height. Folded the sides an tacked them to give a more finished less rough look. We also had bobby pins to make it lay just the way we wanted once bride had it on. trying it on made it obvious not to cut because each head made it lay slightly different. After that I worked the letters middle to out, so I started with i. Sadly the top of our i did not survive the winds, but the letters didn't budge a inch. Stick with the fabri-tac just to the bottom of each letter, the top of the headband. I chose to stick a little fabric to the back base of each to help with veil height. Then just stuck on the flowers how I saw fit. Here was the original inspiration: Bachelorette-headband. Lots of differences, besides the band; they had a thicker veil material, a little more height, as you see our letters and flowers not the same and probably more. These hopefully get your brain turning because your veil should be just as 1 of a kind as your Bride.


Let me start by saying get your computer & printer ready if you like the faux marriage certificate and the "Soon to Be" banner. The fantastic thing is there's some great FREE sites that you can work from.

Another of the bride's wonderful maids made this.

Thanks to the Graphics Fairy this idea came up. Just need to follow their instructions, steal some images & print. It was a cute addition to the gift table.

As for all our lettering on our banner and favor station it was another freebie. We used Cast Iron from I will admit it was a little harder to read in small font, but it really stuck with the theme. 

If you were curious about what the mug had to do with the favor station, well here's the full image. It was the most personal touch. a collection of vintage and some not so old mugs. It let each person pick what spoke to their personality, fit with the brunch and antique feel of it all an of course each had a little bit of theme color complementing candies.

Banner time. Scrapbook paper, hole punch, yarn/twine/string, paper trimmer, printer. First I trimmed each 12x12 sheet to quarters. Loaded in printer an was ready to get to the hard part. In my word program set the paper settings to 6x6 sheets and centered each of my planned letters. "Soon to be Mrs Martin." If it is easier for you to type a space on each to remember do it, but in my case I just set aside the 2 blank sheets that I required. The first page is just the tricky one, play with your font and see what is the biggest you can get on your 6x6 sheet. Then type one letter a sheet at a time then hit print. Once done hole punch a little in on each corner. So 2 holes per letter/blank/sheet. If you are worried about the positioning of your holes check the images of the other banner's making process (below). The hole punch position should be about the same. String through your chosen line. I went with a type of yarn and went for a over under form. Loop each end around a tack an done.

I know we all keep seeing these cute little banners, typically cloth bits cut into triangles, but myself having a sewing Achilles heels I totally didn't go that route. Once again I turned to our stock pile of scrapbook paper. Much like before trimming to 6x6 sheets, hole punching an stringing, the only thing different is a few different middle steps. It took me one 12x12 sheet of each design to make two.

Ruler, pencil and scissors are required on this part.

Each pre-cut 6x6 sheet mark at the bottom where it hits the 3 inch point. Straight line with your ruler corner to point.

You should have this guide made of the back of every sheet, or every other. It becomes up to you if you want to cut one at a time or every two. I wouldn't recommend doing more then that because of the next step.

Glue the back side of the same pattern paper together with a glue stick, so no ripples and can be viewed on either side. This is also why cutting two at a time not a big deal, because they fit together pretty well. You may require a little edge cuts to make perfect but shouldn't be to far off.

Hopefully, you have a nice pile with lots of variety going. Once dry get those hole punchers out.

Aim for a tiny in on each edge, doesn't have to be perfect but enough in that the string you tread wont tear the paper. Just like the other string how you feel comfortable and hang.

Last but not least, the most versatile of all the ideas, COFFEE FILTER BALLS!!!! Here's the few sites I got this idea from, Snowy Bliss & Rhonna DESIGNS. So pretty! An soooo easy! Though I totally ended up skipping on the dye job I had planned. Instead just used bleached & non-bleached coffee filters for our effect. In case you don't follow the links, here's how I went about it:

Coffee filters of choice, hot glue & stapler with staples. At the end to hang hole punch an more string of choice. Flatten out two filters per ball you plan and think roughly 12-16 other filters to roll up per half.

Fold coffee filter in half then roll up loosely. Pinching bottom. Should look somewhat like pick and the ruffles should be roughly in line with each other, a little of is no big. But, a lot off, re-roll.

Staple bottom point.

I aim for the staple as my hot glue spot.

Start in the middle of your flat filter an work your way out and all around. Sometimes I picked it up and made the flat filter hug all the inside just to make sure everything was really glued. While your half is laying down you may see gaps go ahead an fill in with more. Once half looks full get to starting on other half repeating steps with your other flat filter and rolling more.

Glue your two flats together an you got yourself a ball. Add more hot glue anywhere that seems empty of not sticking right. Once all dry, hole punch on the two flat filters that are still in the middle of each ball. Aim hole a little in from the outside edge, string knot & hang. They are really light so don't stress too much about hanging requirements.

I hope this gave you some creative help.
Congratulations to our Bride-to-Be & Yours!!