Category Archives: Craft

Pantry chalkboard project

Going back to work more meant getting more organized in a big way.

While I had tried before, writing notes down on a piece of paper wasn’t going to cover it on a day-to-day basis – I needed a more permanent way to offer schedule, food ideas, and a message center for anyone in charge of Lil’ Wonder and Wonder Boy. image Center stage- the inside of the pantry. (Illustrated here with the inside of a cabinet door since I forgot and already had put the tape on. See how it makes a nice space perfect for the paint? It was made for this project. ) The inside of the pantry door was long used to tape up printed- out toddler food ideas, neglected cleaning schedules and other things I could ignore while digging through the pantry for food. And the new addition – chalkboard paint. image While I am seriously a year or two late to the chalkboard paint trend (thanks Pinterest) I had long thought about painting something in my home. The paint came in several colors, but I didn’t feel any of them would work in my kitchen (darn, no yellow!) so I went with regular ol’ chalkboardish color (Moonstone). image Of course I picked a weekend that my husband wasn’t home a lot, and of COURSE we couldn’t paint with the practically hyperactive Lil’ Wonder running around, so Wonder Boy and I waited until 9:30 at night on a Saturday to do our project. We live a crazy life, yo. I taped it off with regular painters tape, then added that rubber band trick you see a lot on Pinterest. image It totally works, y’all. I showed Wonder Boy the ‘moves’ long strokes, up and down, a little on the paintbrush at a time. I admit, he totally impressed me with his mad painting skills, I dripped more than he did! image After a good solid coat, Wonder Boy was put to bed and I snuck in another couple of light coats afterwards. Voila, our new chalkboard! I keep it real with these photos. My house is a mess. deal. image Painting at night was totally my friend, as the next morning Wonder Boy was eager to try out his new project and it had a chance to completely dry overnight. It made him feel like a little man of the house to have accomplished a big project like this. I was glad to teach him a skill and get a quick project accomplished that made the transition to working a little easier. And? It totally works. Right now I’m using an towel to help erase, and it may need a wipe every couple of week, but I’m trying out different places to write what is for dinner, what could be for lunch, and what my work schedule is. But also – artwork. image

Craftivism

 

Disclaimer: I was sent a copy of this book for review. No other compensation was given. All opinions are my own.

Someone yarn bombed a tree in my town last year, and I just stood there, adoring it. I loved the bright colors, the artful placement.  I loved the radical nature of it, and I loved the crochet work, as my hands seem far too full for hooking over and over (and the weather too warm for baby hats).

Somehow, away from the cultural norm of sewing your own clothes and blankets, knitting socks and sweaters and baby booties, crafting has taken a turn from the essential to a realm for activists seeking to draw attention to a cause or just brighten someone’s day.

craftivism

Craftivism talks about many different projects, each with their own take on making the world a better place one stitch/tile/ craft at a time. From foam cupcakes left in random places to embroidered works of art depicting activist flyers and slogans,

The book shows how people have embraced crafting and radicalized it, taking out offensive ideas and using decoupage to add radical language.

The AIDS quilt is one that many people might recognizes, and embraces the entire notion of using hand-made crafts to convey a message.

Craftivism is a great book for someone who loves to make, or one who is passionate about social causes.

Want a peek? The book made Buzzfeed.

Craftivism retails for $24.95 in the US, find online retailers here.

My New Office

So over the weekend, my husband, very nicely, wore himself out building storage pieces and transforming the craft room/office/whatever space into an office, craft space and guest room so we can take over the current guest room for our new June arrival.

I am so glad I never showed before pictures, because it was chaos.

 

 

 

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This is an inspirational view of my neighbor’s roof. I hadn’t worried about curtains yet because I liked natural light and the sun never comes directly in, but if people are going to sleep here I have to stitch some up soon.Good thing I have a big stash of fabric in the office closet, now organized, that I can pick from.

Which makes me now realize I didn’t take a picture of the closet. Well, it’s full and neat but full and not picture perfect, so just imagine its one of those craft closets you’ve seen pinned on Pinterest and I won’t tell the randomness that lies between my yarn and Disney material.

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Look, the bed. This was our old mattress that is now our guest bed. Just to the left you see peeking one of my geekiest possessions ever- a poster from Star Wars II Attack of the Clones.

Let me further geek out by saying I have the love theme from AOTC on my phone at all times. I love Padme’s costumes in that movie.

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Pizza night

We’ve established a new routine at our house.
Pizza night.
Sure, $15 brings Papa Johns and no work at all, but less than that brings fun in the kitchen, a learning lesson for my son as a chance for the family to work together in the kitchen.

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We’ve been trying different sauces, cheeses and toppings with most of our pizza.

I’m a fan of Trader Joe’s pizza sauce, and a jar will make three or four pizzas.

Wonder Boy only had to be shown how to spread the sauce with the back of the spoon once- he is already a sauce pro. His cheeses tend to end up in big fluffy piles in the middle of the pizza, so I help him with that.

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This is the pepperoni we tried this time, and I loved this Fresh and Easy one because it had a mild flavor.

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We have also tried some little mini pepperonis I found at my local grocery store, and they were great because they were easy to sprinkle on and then we had extra for a snack another day.

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Wonder Boy likes his with lots of pepperoni. I added an extra sprinkle on top to help the pepperonis stick, making it an extra extra cheese. Then I evened out the pepperoni distribution, making it an extra pepperoni pizza too.

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Fact: my pizzas are never round. But neither is my baking pan I’ve been making it on.

Another Fact: Our pizzas are never perfect and I like it that way.

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Also- going on the wish list is a pizza cutter. I’ve been hacking away with a big knife and it’s just getting ridiculous.

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Wonder Boy adores pizza night. He loves helping in the kitchen, he loves having a ‘job to do’ and he loved the end product.

It’s also a great way for me to get dinner done and also let him have all of my focus.

And also ? I’ll shove a few slices of takeout pizza in my mouth. This stuff, only two.

I don’t know why, but it’s just more… fulfilling.

Have you ever made pizza at home?

What are your favorite pizza toppings?

Sorting buttons- a busy toddler activity

Yep, I’ve done it.

For the love of all things Pinterest I finally did a tutorial on a project I did for my son, inspired by much cooler, much more fashionable/hipster/retro/whatever projects I either pinned or liked.

My son has been pretty good about knowing which colors are which and can point out a certain-colored object.  Although if you ask him what color something is, the answer is always ‘blue’.

I decided, in my son’s land of plastic toys and stealing my iPad, that it was time to start introducing some good old-fashioned entertainment.

Besides pulling the pots and pans out and clanging them on the floor.

So here we are, with me trying to make one project and adding in a second one at the same time. And it all fits into a small bag and is pretty cheap and colorful.

You will need:

A box of your son’s crayons you keep locked up in a small box with a snowman on it.   

Cupcake liners – the smaller ones I got at Michaels, the bigger one at my local bakery supply shop. (Larger one is optional- just trust me and keep reading.)

Buttons or other objects (I bought these at Michaels in the kid craft section).

To make the color-matching project, you just dig through the crayons till you find the ones that best match the buttons you are using. (Since there are seven colors in the pack, I colored a liner for each color.)

Color the bottom of the liners.

Ta-da! You are done if you are making a color-sorting activity.

For extra fun, read on. To make a project where they can sort into big and small buttons, just write ‘big’ on the big liner, ‘small’ on the small liner (I guess if they can read the words, it doesn’t matter if one is bigger than the other).

 Check out my mad coloring skills and excellent printing.

And voila! There you go with your mad extra-credit abilities.

All of this fits in a sandwich bag, but if you are so inclined put it in a box or something vintage. Whatever.

This project is portable, cheap, quiet (unless they drop buttons on the tile floor) and the parts are easily replaceable.

All this rocks my socks.

Using the colored buttons was easy for my son, but then he had too much fun filling all of the liners up so this was pre-color mixing.

Then he had fun dropping them onto the table, but it kept him out of my hair so that was fine.

It’s his game, after all.

If you plan on using them for sorting by size, I suggest pulling buttons that are similar colored but different sizes for that use.

Buttons are FUN!

I just got his hair cut, it’s SO short. Sigh.

 

Other potential uses for this nifty project:

  • Are your kids learning another language? Write the words on the liners and have them sort accordingly- repetition is good for memory!
  • Cleaning out your pile of cupcake liners! Do you have a lot of colored ones? Pull out liners to match objects.
  • Using some of that cute stuff you bought to make crafts with but never get around to it? let them sort some of that! There you go.
  • Pull this out at a restaurant and feel smug that your kid is doing something EDUCATIONAL and not begging to play with your phone. Which you are trying to tweet and check in on.

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