Hands on the Arts 2013

This year we went to the “Hands on the Arts” festival and craft fair in Eastham, Ma, for the second year in a row. Last year the kid’s had so much fun and I couldn’t wait to take them back!

If you didn’t catch my post last year about this fair you can find it HERE.

The brief run down of this event is that it is all FREE! Well, the kids activities are anyways! They had a puppet show for the Littles, and a big tent set up with many tables so the kids could do all kinds of free crafts. Then of course there are awesome craft vendors to peek through! (****remember to support your local crafters!! They work sooooo hard!!!), and a few food vendors—did I mention the mouthwatering BBQ?? YUMMERS!

Anyhoo, enough with the words, this is what our day looked like:

Peter and the wolf puppet show. Thie kids LOVED this!
Peter and the wolf puppet show. Thie kids LOVED this!
Sorting seashells for the mosaic project...
Sorting seashells for the mosaic project…

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I have to say here that my youngest, Shelby, was too small last year to really participate in the activities, besides putting her handprint in some clay. So this year she was very excited to not have to sit in the stroller. She had so much fun beading her own necklaces and choosing the beads. As you can see she is very proud of her work here!

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Painting seashells, rocks, and starfish. You can never go wrong with toddlers and a bucket of paint. They love it!

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My oldest daughter, Hannah was very interested in the pottery wheel. Here the woman is teaching the kids how to use it. This was not a take-home project because many kids would assist with one item, but it was still a great hands-on activity for the kids to learn from.

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You can’t see Hannah’s project too well, but she made a  girl out of clay. Very inventive.

I was finally able to snap a pic of what Spencer was up to! He loves to mess with tape, glue, cardboard, paper towel rolls, and anything random!

Each of the kids had an absolute blast. It was a day to be creative without restrictions. They had many choices of mediums to use, and nice works of art to take home.

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And then we discovered that I locked my keys in my car. ://////// OOPS! Here are the Littles sitting in a shady spot while we waited for the AAA person to come pop open my door—–

*sigh, it never ends does it? 🙂

At least we had a good day anyway!

As Always — Don’t forget to visit me on ETSY, and LIKE my page on Facebook to keep up with all the goodies!!!! Remember to support your local crafters!

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Fingerless Gloves Giveaway!!!

I haven’t been on my blog in AGES!!! But I miss you allllllll!

I can’t tell you how much has happened in the last few months, but it’s been a blast. I’ve done so much sewing, knitting, crocheting, painting, just so many crafts and awesome stuff! I have finally opened my own business. I have a shop on Etsy named These Old Blues, and I also network through my Facebook page also titled These Old Blues.

I don’t really have a ton of time to explain EVERYTHING that has happened but I wanted to promote my business, and share my very first giveaway!!! So this is priority for tonight.

Have you seen these gloves???

Fingerless gloves
Fingerless gloves

Are they not awesome???? I love mine! I’ve been making these for years and there is finally a market for them and I cannot make them fast enough. These gloves are warm and cozy, great for typing on the computer, reading a book, or just keeping your arms and hands cozy on a rainy day.

These gloves are knitted by me, yes by hand! No machines, no funky plastic things that help you knit. These are painstakingly time consuming! What knitting project isn’t??  But they are sooooo worth the effort. The picture is shown in a Heather Grey with black accents, and a horseshoe cable. [The gloves in this picture are SOLD] I make them in three lengths: wrist length which is about 6-7″ from end to end, mid-length are about 12″ they come up the forearm, and the full-length gloves are about 21.” I use a very soft, 100% acrylic yarn. I use this yarn as much as possible in everything I do. I admit that sometimes I do purchase the rougher more traditional acrylic yarns, but only if a specific color request requires me to do so. I can tell you that these gloves are best in this brand of yarn, and I loveeeeee them.

So anyhoo, because everyone is RAVING about these I am going to treat my readers and Facebook fans to a giveaway.  When my Facebook fan page reaches 100 “LIKES” I will give away a custom pair of wrist-length fingerless gloves in a color (or two) of the winner’s choice.

Here is how to enter:

*First go to my Facebook fan page  found HERE and “Like” the page if you already haven’t.

*Then “Share” the post I have pinned at the top with the same picture of the gloves you see on this blog post.

*Once you have liked and shared my post, PLEASE come back here and comment on THIS blog post (not my Facebook page) and I will enter you here. Facebook frowns upon giveaways directly on Facebook, all these things I am learning as a new business owner.

***For my fans on Facebook who have already shared and commented on my photo, no harm done, YOU ARE STILL ENTERED in my contest.  I just went about the giveaway the wrong way…So sorry!*****

Anyhoo, I can’t wait to give a pair of these away! So please LIKE and SHARE!!!!

This contest will end at 9pm EST on the same day my fan page reaches 100 LIKES!

Thank you so much!

 

*****Winner announced!

Giving Picasso Kool-Aid

This morning while enjoying my morning cup of coffee and catching up with some Facebook posts I came across this great idea:

Thank you to Tina S. from Deltona, FL, miss you neighbor!!!! This just made my day! Here in Massachusetts its a rainy yucky day again. We have had a few nice days that I am thankful for, but this rain? Really? I’m quite fed up with this weather. It’s not even hot enough to put in the air conditioners.

Then I realized today is June 13th, and my 14th wedding anniversary. (((((Happy Anniversary Hunny!!!! XOXOXOXO)))) It rained on our wedding day too, no it didn’t rain, IT FLIPPING POURED, and I swear it rains every year on this day!

Anyhoo, back to this clever find! I couldn’t be more thrilled to find a rainy day project for my 3 year old. It dawned on me that I’ve never given Sebastian paint…nope, what’s wrong with me? So this project was a MUST TACKLE IMMEDIATELY. Normally I would have all the ingredients for this but I just used all of my cornstarch this past weekend for making moon mud. [Another simple project I hope. to share with you this week.] So I wanted to stay home in my jammies today and enjoy a crummy rainy day, but then we had a minor setback to those plans and had to head out to the pediatrician for a minor issue. It looks like I had to venture out anyway, so off to the DR and the store we went.

I had a brilliant idea after first reading this post. How about Kool-Aid to color the paint instead of food coloring? Woo-hoo, smelly paint and awesome colors!

Gathering supplies

Now I don’t normally keep Kool-Aid on hand so I had to purchase this (5/$1 cheapo!) but I was remembering experimenting with Kool-Aid hair dye in high school. This is a great dye and they have fun colors. It’s a quick way to get a really vibrant red without having to use a ton of food coloring, or buying the expensive concentrated stuff for cakes.

So I mixed all the ingredients up just as the picture describes except that I doubled the recipe and I poured my “paint” into the baby food jars. I am always making extra of everything so that I have more for later. My theory is that I would rather have too much than not enough!

I remembered visiting a preschool, and also having a million friends who were preschool teachers, that if you add a little bit of soap to finger paint it becomes more washable. Please note that I said more washable, NOT completely washable. So you just have to add a little bit or the paint will become too soapy. I think I used about a tablespoon, but you don’t have to measure it, I just drizzled some in.

see the soap?

I began mixing the red. It was cherry! Oh yum!

I started with just a little bit of the Kool-Aid packet and then added a little more because it was too pinky-looking. After adding little by little I said to heck with it, for .20 I can handle using it all and I dumped it all in. I love the look of this! Then I noticed that I had some red dust on my fingertip, and washed it off. Oops, I forgot about the staining power of Kool-Aid. You would think that I would have thought about this when I was remembering dying my hair with the stuff. Nope I didn’t. I added some more soap after this thought. So make that about 2 tablespoons….ish….

This was my green. They didn’t have a green Kool-Aid so I had to mix yellow and blue. I remembered not to add all the blue because it can be way to dark. I couldn’t seem to get the green really deep, so I shifted gears and added some green gel food coloring.

Then mixed.

Ta-Da!

Don’t these colors look so yummy? You should smell them! Clockwise from the top is cherry, lemonade, blue raspberry, orange, green scented like blue raspberry lemonade, pink lemonade, and grape.

Now I haven’t experimented with Sebastian yet, I’m still waiting for him to get up from his nap. We will see how that goes, I’m kinda scared to be honest. LOL! I think my house is going to look like someone gave Picasso Kool-Aid, but at least the paints smell yummy…

*****NOTE**** this is probably not going to be neat in any way, shape or form. Kool-Aid stains like crazy! Of course I had to be different, me and my brilliant ideas. We’re only kids once right?

I am also thinking about putting glitter in the paints to make it fun too! OOOOO glitter paints!

As Always — Don’t forget to visit me on ETSY, and LIKE my page on Facebook to keep up with all the goodies!!!!

Melty Crayon Catastrophe- Part 2

So if you didn’t catch the PART 1 post yesterday, you can find it [HERE] to play catch-up.

Sorry for the suspense, but the post was soooo long. I had to leave you hanging. It was fun imagining my catastrophe though right?

So this was one of those frustrating moments where I just needed to walk away. During nap time I was able to become Heidi again, and not the scary, screamy, crazy mommy that the psycho children turned me into. I had a thought.

You ever hear the saying, “If all else fails READ THE DIRECTIONS?”

It dawned on me that I was approaching this project like a guy, LOL, and sorry hubby. <<<Who needs directions, I know where I’m going…….hours later staring at the same street sign you know you just saw 20 minutes ago>>> I needed to do some research. What was I doing wrong? I went BACK to the drawing board, or my Pinterest board and followed the links to see how other people were doing this. My first mistake was probably peeling the papers. It looks like the papers are what actually seem to hold the crayons to the board. But no one discusses this as far as I have seen on Pinterest, it is purely my assumption, but DUH me, I just HAD to be different. Second, the glue stick. The other people used hot glue. Holy crap. Seriously? Why didn’t I think of this??? Someone please smack me I’m beginning to feel really dumb.

Third…My hair dryer sucks. I’ve come to this conclusion. It works fine for my hair, but melting crayons? Not so much. This is where my phone call comes in.

Me: Hi, do you still have a heat gun?

Hubby: Yes.

Me: Is it here (meaning home) or there at work?

Hubby: I have it here (at work).

Me: Could I borrow it? PLEASE???

Hubby: Yesss.

Yay! That was my biggest problem. So my hubby comes home for lunch and brings me this awesome little tool. It reminded me of the scene in Meet the Fockers where Greg brings the missing cat back to the family. The cat that wasn’t really their cat, but still it was the heroic-like scene played in slow-mo, the hero walks up the driveway with the beloved item in his hand. My hubby, my hero. Heehee, sorry for the cheese guys!

Anyhoo—-Looks like a hair dryer but comes with big warnings. He says, be very careful this is meant for melting plastic. Oh jeez!

I just thought this was funny, but obviously necessary….You know someone out there was bound to do it.

Glad I wasn’t using a plastic frame or this really would have been catastrophic!

So now that I read the directions I still had to make this my own. I am not happy with the idea of leaving the papers on, I just don’t like the look of it. Sure maybe it will hold onto the page better, but I’m determined to make this work….MY WAY. I took all the crayons on the small canvas and hot glued them to the page this time. Then I got even smarter and brought my art easel up from the basement [DUH] instead of sitting on the floor with this thing laid out on a cereal box. This was just brilliant. I covered the floor with newspaper because this wax splatters A TON. ****quick tip*** My kitchen floor is tile. Any wax that splatters on the tile (outside of the paper zone) comes off easily with a straight edged razor blade. 2 minute clean up, scrape and sweep. Done.

Moving on.

I began to heat up the wax.

I melted in my little broken piece. I was LOVING this little heat gun! In seconds I could see the crayons start to sweat and drip. SWEET! I played with the different directions, letting the crayon splatter versus letting it drip. This heat gun even had a cold feature (well cool) and so I could heat up the wax and then cool them down as they dripped exactly where I wanted them. Oh THIS IS WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT!!

Do you see now how I like to do things different? This is probably NOTHING like what you pictured, but it is exactly what I pictured. It doesn’t resemble crayons anymore and I love that! I realized that as I was doing this that I may have made some mistakes in the beginning, but ultimately it lead me in the direction I wanted to go anyway. There really is no WRONG way to be artistic. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

TA-DA!!!!!! My masterpiece!!!
closer
I love the colors all mushy and blurry
Up close and personal….I waved the heat gun around in circles to get the swirly marbled thing going. LOVE IT

Oh and this is my catastrophe masterpiece on my wall:

Yes I had to hang it sideways, just to be different. But I liked it this way!

But wait. I’M NOT DONE!!! It gets better. I still had one more canvas ready to go and the kids were still napping. SWEET! Let’s go for it.

Melty Crayon Catastrophe, TAKE TWO:

A new beginning

Can you see where I’m going with this one? I was so excited!

So I started melting away. Again some of the crayons were still breaking apart and falling off my page, but whatever. This is my art and I wanted to run with it. If there is one thing I learned about art: YOU CANNOT BOX ART. I like to let art tell me what to do. Whenever I try to force something the way I did the first time, it NEVER works.

So this is what I had going on. I’m in love in love (again).

Another melty mess! YAY!

And the total picture upon completion…

Another masterpiece!

It reminds me of the spin art we used to do as kids at the fair. I had another brilliant idea when I saw this….My daughter has a little pottery wheel. I wonder if it would work for spinning melty crayon art??? Oh this I may have to try!

Back to finishing up my second piece before I start a third…..

I liked it when it was done. But I wasn’t sold on it. I don’t know why, something in my gut said I wasn’t happy. Why I can’t really tell you. I loved it, kinda, and then not so much. Something was missing. So I went to bed that night thinking it needs something else.

So I slept on this thought. Much like taking a break in writing when you have writer’s block, I do the same with art. I woke up with the same gut feeling that something was missing and I knew just what to do.

and the madness continues….

I think there was too much white space. I needed more color. I needed more melty yumminess. I started gluing more crayons on in the spaces in-between the melted crayons, and where broken ones had fallen off. I glued more above the already melted ones in the little semi-circles. I broke off pieces that were coming off and re-glued them where I wanted them.

Then I melted some more……. and more…… and more….

When pieces fell off, I got smart this time. I took wax paper and stuck them back on.

Wax on, wax off! Or should I say wax OFF, wax ON…haha

Stay crayon  stay! This is also where I had a lot of fun with the cool button. I took a melty messy chunk of crayon and mashed it back to my page, then cooled it right where I wanted it. Then I went and melted it again. Haha! So much fun! I have the power!

YES finally I’m getting somewhere!

And here is the final.

Yay me!!!
close up….
and another close up view.

See art doesn’t have to be perfect, but this is my perfect. I took a complete catastrophe and turned into awesomeness. Yes, some may still call it a mess, as it is quite abstract. All I have to say to that is, well, it took people many years to enjoy Picasso too.

<<<Quick tid-bit here—- A little off subject but I have to share. It’s kind of the moral to the story here. I was given an abstract art assignment in my sophomore year of high school. It was a fabulous mess. It took me a long time, well planned and thought out. But my teacher didn’t get it so he marked me down on it. He said it was too abstract and didn’t resemble the original. Is that even possible??? To be too abstract??? I never thought in a million years that art could be marked WRONG… I was extremely discouraged and heartbroken. There is nothing a person can do wrong when it comes to art. It is like being graded poorly for your opinion, (I had a teacher that used to do this too, irritated the crap outta me).You can’t do that!!!! It’s an opinion, a point of view, and there is nothing wrong in that. Period. I was so upset with my teacher. Sorry Noonan, but you missed my vision. >>>>

I just wanted to throw that in because it took me a long time to get over this. I have learned to never let anyone get you discouraged over art. It’s yours and you do with it what you make of it. If many of the famous artists let people discourage them into discontinuing their work we wouldn’t have many of the famous pieces of art in history we have today. I love the impressionists era. Renoir is my absolute favorite artist. Monet is probably my second. Society didn’t like the begining of this blurry view of life. These artists didn’t give up. They persevered, just like I do with my work.

A few lessons learned here. First, don’t let anybody get you down over your artwork. Stand tall and be proud if you like it.

Second, just because a project uses crayons does NOT necessarily mean it was meant for children. My older kids maybe, my 3 year old, no way. I got splattered with hot wax a few times, and I would never let him use the heat gun. It’s too hot and dangerous for him.

Third, I could say read the directions. That was actually my first thought, but no, I dance to the beat of my own drum. In all honesty I would not have discovered this melty mess if I followed directions. My art would look like everyone else’s. This is how I have come by many Clever Catastrophes. I tend to use the term catastrophe interchangeably with masterpiece if you haven’t already picked up on that.

Picture-perfect locked in a box—-is not for me!  I discovered something new. I took the road less traveled by…

Thanks Robert Frost.

—– and thanks Mr. Pearson for drilling that poem into me.

What about your art?  Have you come by anything artistic accidentally? Have you made a complete mess only to turn around and realize that you liked your mistakes?  Have you turned a catastrophe into beautiful works of art?

 

As Always — Don’t forget to visit me on ETSY, and LIKE my page on Facebook to keep up with all the goodies!!!!

Melty Crayon Catastrophe- PART 1

This is the day you may begin to understand my artsy ways, and my title Clever Catastrophe. I have clever ideas that turn to complete catastrophes. But then I turn my catastrophe back into pure cleverness. Hence my namesake Clever Catastrophe was born. I hope I don’t lose you on this, stay with me, I promise you’ll understand by the time this post is finished.

Yesterday was NOT a good day. It started out yucky, drizzly, misty, all together it was just a nasty day, and I thought I could turn it into something fun for the kids. I’ve been dying to try out the cool crayon melted canvases I have seen all over Pinterest. Have you seen them? I thought they were quite clever. This is what I found:

melty crayons on Pinterest
melty crayons on Pinterest

This was love at first site! I thought how hard could this be? You take crayons and stick them to the paper/board-whatever, and then you melt with a hairdryer. Got it. I DON’T need directions. ****My first mistake…

I pulled up some of my cheapo yard sale frames. I had a vision. I love things that think “outside the box” quite literally and by that I mean pictures and art that extends beyond the frame. I envisioned this not-so-perfect, neato, melty mess, dripping along the edge of the frame, oh yum. I envisioned it all. I don’t like perfect order….to me that’s just way too perfect. I love abstract art. I like the imperfections and mismatched style that looks like it was just meant to be that way. Yes the rainbow and perfect order is pretty and great, but that doesn’t say HEIDI.

So with the rain and all I thought it would be a good project for Sebastian and I.

Apparently I thought wrong.

For all those of you who think, oh gee how does she have time for all this? How does she do this with little ones? She always manages to come up with great ideas and life is perfect hunky-dory. NOT NOT NOT! I promise you this is NOT the case. Yesterday was an epic failure as an artsy crafty mom.

Anyhoo, first I measured out my cardboard backings and paper for the frames. Cutting, snipping, gluing, then stapling in the backs nice and secure, all while the kiddos were eating breakfast. Laying out ginormous pieces of cardboard on the kitchen floor was quite entertaining I suppose.

Second we started peeling papers of the crayons. Let me just tell you that EVERY single board I found on Pinterest and Etsy with melty crayon thingys all had the papers. I thought, why? I don’t like that! It looks like crayons…..I want a piece of art that looks like it USED to be crayons. So of course I have to be different. Remember when I told you in my first post that I look for inspiration in other’s craftiness, yet I put my own spin on things; this is exactly what I mean. Again, you’ll understand when this is all over.

I purchased 2 boxes of dollar store crayons last week knowing I had this creation up my sleeve. $2 for 2 packs of 48 crayons was perfect for a melty mess, who needs Crayola brand when you’re just trashing them for art? Save those for real coloring projects. ****quick tip**** the dollar store crayon papers peel easier, sometimes the papers just fell off on their own— it was so easy! Also they have more of the same or similar colors (yes repeats, lol).

So we peeled papers, and then glued naked crayons to our canvas. They only needed a little stick because once they started melting they would just stick on their own to the paper, so a glue stick would be just fine right? My second mistake, WRONG AGAIN.

measuring
Gluing
choosing and gluing

This small one was supposed to be Sebastian’s artwork. After gluing the crayons down, we started up the hairdryer.

hairdryer by Sebastian

I decided to start this flat, give the crayons time for a little melting action. I wanted to make sure these crayons stuck to the paper. It was a good idea, but that doesn’t mean it was going to work. Sebastian was bored after about 8 seconds. So I took over. Shelby was being clingy so I let her sit in my lap….she climbed all over me tried to knock the frame over, smacking crayons, poking me in the eye, banging her head on mine, etc. TWENTY minutes rolled by and these crayons were barely getting shiny, least of all drippy….UGH, this was just not working, the kids were just being insane and all I wanted to do was finish this stupid project. Yes at this point it was stupid. Screaming children, messy living room, dishes in the sink, laudry needing to be done. yes I should have attended to these, but I thought this was going to be a simple project to entertain the kiddos for an hour. There would be time for housework later.

This simple project for the kids became MY project.

I kept on truckin’ with this hair dryer. I figured a few more minutes and these crayons were going to melt. Baby climbing on me again, Sebastian taking her toys, coloring on the TV, pulling things out of cabinets, sippy cups being thrown out the window, pulling the dogs tail. Oh jeez this was NOT working.

But I was obsessed. Just 5 more minutes guys, please. Baby back on my lap….and the crayons FINALLY started to melt! YAY!

Yay! Melting! Not how I planned but I didn’t care at this point.

After starting and stopping a thousand times the kids gave me 5 full minutes and I thought I was getting somewhere.

Then catastrophe.

Melty crayon falling off oh no!!!!

One of the melty crayons broke and started to fall. (Yes that is a cereal box holding up my artwork.) You know, this was very frustrating. It was not working. Stopping again to try to fix the issue, the crayons were cooling and needed to remelt yet again. The kids were being OK, so I prayed please give me another 5 minutes, please please, I’m almost there I can feel it. I moved on. I decided that I liked the broken crayon there. It gives it character, and it says me, non-perfection makes it perfectly ME. Good. Moving on.

Heating yet again.

Another catastrophe.

More crayons falling off.

FUDGE! OKAY, NOW I’M TICKED. Kids climbing on me again, fighting, throwing fits. This is just NOT happening. OK I give up. This was my sign from God, jeez, pay attention to your kids get over this crayon melty mess. I put everything away and said I’m done with this crap.

Had some quality time with the kids, made some lunch. Then ahhhhh. Nap time. Peace.

Sometimes a break is all I need to clear my head.

And I did it. I gathered my thoughts, pulled my supplies out again, MADE A PHONE CALL <<<<<<that’s important if you can’t tell>>>>>>>>>…..and I came up with the perfect melty mess that I imagined.

But I can’t show you just yet…..It would ruin the surprise. There is more to the story and I don’t want to bore you, so I can give you a sneek peak.

sneek peak!

Oh, isn’t it just perfect? Oh I love it. I’m very pleased and I can’t wait to share. Stay tuned…..

You’ll find Part 2 [HERE].

As Always — Don’t forget to visit me on ETSY, and LIKE my page on Facebook to keep up with all the goodies!!!!

Bead-dazzle me a Sun-Catcher!

I came across this really interesting sun-catcher on Follow Me on Pinterest. I love this site! I love sharing on it and I love to find nifty little creations that I can do at home myself. As you all I know I love to craft anything I can get my hands on. My first day on Pinterest I thought I was losing my eyesight, I was soooooo addicted to pinning that my eyes were burning. I think I woke up with a Pinterest hangover. If you haven’t tried Pinterest, then I suggest you check it out!

So anyhoo, back to my crafting experience. I found this awesome picture:

pinterest suncatcher

I thought, wow, so pretty! It must be complicated right? NOT SO!!!! VERY, VERY simple I promise. You buy the clear-ish plastic pony beads form the craft store, I just so happened to have some from my hair braiding days, or I’m sure you could use any clear plastic beads. You dump them into a round non-stick cake pan in a SINGLE layer, no greasing necessary (yes this made me nervous) and bake them in the oven on 400 for about 20 minutes. My oven took closer to 30 minutes, but it also depends on what kind of effect you want to have I suppose. The less time you cook them for the bumpier they are. I prefer them a little smoother so I kept checking them every 5 minutes after the 20 passed. As you can see, some melted differently. The clear ones still looked a little bumpy, but I was happy with it.

Baked and melty-looking

***NOTE, this does smell a little in the house so if you are bothered by melting plastic smells, I wouldn’t do this in your house. Maybe purchase a toaster oven that you could put outside?? I don’t know, but I know some people complain of the smell. It really didn’t bother me. I suppose if I was doing this as a full time job I would pick up an old oven and keep it in a shed or garage to bake in. But one time isn’t going to kill me.  AND ANOTHER NOTE **** Just because I wasn’t sure how this was going to turn out, I went yard sale-ing for pans and paid .25 each. I didn’t want to use my own in case they got ruined, but I also don’t want to melt plastics in them and then cook food in them if you know what I mean. I’m not one of those nutty people who freak out over all things plastic, it just seemed weird to me, so I’m keeping separate pans for craft stuff.

So once the baked beads cool, flip the pan over and the plastic”cake” falls right out! No more worries about not greasing the pans. Woo-hoo!! I am so excited about this silly little NEW thing! Why didn’t I think of this?

After baking the first plastic cake, I was hooked. I got so many ideas! Now the original instructions said that you can drill holes in the sun catchers wherever you want them. Again this made me nervous thinking the plastic would easily crack, so on the first sun catcher I put a heart shaped metal cookie cutter [you can see in the picture above] at the top thinking I would make my own hole. The cookie cutter DID NOT pop out so easily. It was actually pretty well-stuck in there. I had to perform serious wiggling tactics to remove it. Finally it came out, so not too bad but I won’t try that again.

I thought I would make some smaller plastic cakes to hang as little dangles from my big one. So I took these muffin pans I also yard saled for a quarter each and put some beads in them ready to bake. This time I used a rivet for my holes (you can see the rivet in the pre-baking picture below)  to see how this would come out, knowing I was going to leave them in as decoration. Now I didn’t realize that the cupcake pans were not completely non-stick coated like the cake pan was so I had to really pop the bottom of the cups to remove my cakes. I also noticed a “texture” on the bottom of the cakes from the pan and I could also see very tiny scratches. So note that any imperfections in the pans MAY be noticeable in your sun-catchers.

beads in muffin/ cupcake pans

So I now have one big sun-catcher, and 6 small ones. I imagined my sun-catcher with 3 long dangling strands each with 2 small ones on them. I realized that I have 6 circles with one hole each, and my big circle only had my top hole shaped like a heart. Oh boy. I HAD to break out my drill and proceeded to drill 3 holes in the bottom of the big sun catcher, and one hole in each of only 3 of the small ones.  The ones hanging on the bottom of the strands only needed the top holes with the rivets. It really wasn’t that bad. No major cracking when I did the drilling. Next time I will not be worried to drill the holes later, but that won’t stop me from thinking of other creative ways of making cool shapes for holes.

NEXT STEP—I creeped  into the shed —real sneaky-like—-and stole some of my hubby’s fishing line…..I couldn’t find any new packages, so I just took it right from the reel. HEHEHEEEEE, yes clever isn’t it? Fishing line is perfect for this project and if you have a hubby that likes to fish it’s probably something you have laying around the house—one less thing to buy, LOVE it!

tying fishing line in top and bottom holes

I tied all the pieces together exactly where I wanted them and VOILA!!! ***Tip- I dangled mine from the table so I could see exactly where I wanted to place them.

Hanging to see how they fall as I tied them
outside
The whole shebang
Trying to get pics in the sunlight…
A semi-sunny pic….at least of the top half

So my picture-taking skills aren’t so great, but you get the picture (no pun intended). I love this new creation and I have so many ideas that come with it! I could make different shapes, I could put different non-clear items within them before baking, I could even make wind chimes. I can separate colors  and make them one or a few certain colors each. I can make swirls or patterns with the beads before I bake them….It just goes to show how flexible some crafts are. No one says you HAVE to follow the directions to the “T.” I liked mine sun-catcher longer, I did that on purpose. You could make yours shorter, or put more small pieces on it. Have fun with it, make it your own. Send me pictures!!! I wanna see what you come up with!

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Tunnel-tastic, it’s Fantastic!

So yet another gloomy day in my household and keeping the kids entertained is becoming a chore. For the earlier part of the morning they were entertained with the play tunnel, the bowling pins (again), and then Sebastian built a city out of blocks.

City of blocks

Out of nowhere a giant dinosaur (named Shelby?) stomped the city to pieces. Then came the absolute, total, and utter meltdown. It was a complete catastrophe. The dinosaur is not allowed to knock down the city; she should get discipline he says. Tired of intervening, I had enough and went on my merry little way.

oh, no Shelby!

After 3 days of rain and lack of sunshine, my patience with the weather is wearing thin and my petals are beginning to wilt. I don’t mind a good rain storm every once in a while, it gives me an excuse to stay indoors and have fun with the kids or just have a “me” day. But I can only handle so much of this crap. I mean it, enough Mother Nature.

I dressed myself in a brightly colored tie-dye dress to help brighten my mood. I put on some Mickey Mouse for the little guy and he chilled out. Sebastian decided he was hungry and brought me a fruity thing to help him unravel from the plastic. He set it down on my lap and it suddenly sparked my mood.

Holy crap, this kid’s fruity snack matched my dress. Ha! Who-da-thunked? Slightly inspired I realized that Mommy needed something pretty. The kids were being good so I decided to give myself a mini-pedicure and manicure. But really for me this means, fill my acrylic nails, polish my nails and toes, add some sparkle to my day. Then I might feel like me again.

Bad idea. I should have known. They would be good until my nails were done and I was waiting for the polish to dry. I must have dinged them and repainted them 15 times….never again. Next time I promise to wait to paint my nails until the kids are fast asleep.

Concentrating on taking all the polishes out of my toolbox.

They still came out pretty even after all the frustration. They look red in the picture but they are really a bright pink. I love that they sparkle and makes me feel like me again!

That brightens my day!

Wouldn’t you know the sun decides to grace us with her presence as soon as I put the kids down for a nap.  Now that I’m pampered, and feeling mushy, I could use a nap too.

All I have to say after a day like today is please, please be a nice day tomorrow, the kids need a day outside….

 

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Rainy Day Fun

Longing…..

One day beautious, the next yucky, crappy, icky day that makes me want to stay in my jammies. Welcome to Cape Cod! Yes, it’s Monday. Yesterday we dug up plaster dinosaur bones on the beach (planted for a birthday party); today maybe we’ll paint them. That is a good rainy day project for a 3 year old right? Trying to keep two little ones entertained on rainy Mondays takes a bit of skill that I cannot say that even I can master all the time. They are both running around with runny noses and crappy attitudes (lol), while today is my day to play catch-up. Monday’s list includes laundry, dishes, cleaning up the kitchen that looks as though a twister just went through it, sorting my coupon inserts…..all while keeping the little guys occupied. Today I have a plan.

Here I am on baby number 4 and I cannot believe this idea did not come to me sooner. Ever buy those little puffs for the baby’s first snacks? I loved them for the kids’ first finger foods. The kids liked the puff snacks too, but the containers seemed more entertaining. A while back, Shelby began to peel one of the labels off one of the puff containers. I looked at the shape of the container with the label off and it was like, Ding-Ding, brilliant idea!!! Look:

Anyone else know what I’m thinking???

Holy crap that looks like a bowling pin!! Now if only I had 10 of them. I rummaged through the recycling bin to find 4 more. Over time the last few months I was able to collect 10 of them and I was so excited! I can have a full set now. I bought some red duct tape, cut a small strip off to put over the middle. Look carefully and you’ll see the design is already there…..easy peasy!

I am considering putting some dried beans in the bottom to give a little bit of weight to them and also they will make a cool sound, but then I will be gluing the tops down or that could be a total disaster. I may just glue them anyway because the little blue tops everywhere drive me a little nutty. But what great rainy day fun for the kids!! Even the older kids like to bowl. They now have a bowling alley in the living room, and the pins are portable. Grab any ball and go for it!

A little blurry but hard to catch falling pins in action!!
Sebastian, I want a turn too!!!
Just one more to get Mom!

We are also breaking out the cardboard play castle today. It has a ton of coloring space on it so we keep folding it up and putting it back in the box for another day. There is only so much coloring the kids can do before they get bored and would rather play inside the castle. Sebastian knows when it’s raining we can play in the castle.

Have you seen these in the stores? They carried them at CVS around Christmastime and retailed for about $19.99. They also had a really cool rocket ship that I was dying to get, but I waited too long and they were gone. I hope they come back this year because I would like to get the kids another one. A great investment for many hours of playtime that entertains even the big kids, something that is always a challenge when there is an age gap.

I’m not always that great with keeping the kiddos attention on rainy days, but I try to keep things on hand to keep them from getting bored. If I don’t have anything they want to do, I have to get creative with what I do have on hand. Ever get into the Play-doh just to find out that someone left a few of the containers open and they are all dried up? Ugh, I hate that. Try making your own play-doh sometime. The kids can choose their own colors and you can even bake it to turn it into a keepsake. We like to do handprints and such with dough too! Or try using food coloring on some of that macaroni sitting in the pantry to make colored macaroni beads. When my children are bored I give them a big laugh, because I can always find something for them to do! There is never a dull moment in this house!

Painting, coloring, and indoor bowling today, maybe some play-dough, who knows what’s in store for tomorrow… I think it is supposed to be just as icky outside around here. How about your plans, what do you like to do with the kids on a rainy day? Do you go shopping, or to an indoor playground? Do you find time to snuggle on the couch and watch a movie, or do you craft with the kids and explore your creative side? Have you recycled anything into a children’s toy lately??

 

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