Holiday Bingo

This year my eldest daughter wanted to try her hand at some holiday crafts.  I figured it would be fun to try some more creative and challenging crafts so we looked at pinterest and I let her choose what to do.  She ended up wanting to make a holiday bingo game as a gift for her 2-year old cousin.  It was very sweet, although explaining to a 5-year old why bingo may not be an age appropriate gift seemed beyond her.  She just looked at me with wide eyes and said “It’s okay mommy, she can just use it when she’s older!”  (Shrug and sigh).

Most DIY bingo sets were printed from a computer,  but since I don’t own a printer I figured we could draw them by hand. My daughter got to choose all the icons and colors.  She actually drew each one for me and colored them so I knew what she wanted,  then I transcribed them to each board in random orders. The bingo pieces ended up being pennies we painted with nail polish and the dice we made were little wooden craft blocks that we drew the icons onto and colored.

I think this set is really cute and thoughtful, and it was a lot of fun for my daughter and me to put together. Hopefully her cousin will really enjoy the set when she gets older! Did you make anything special for yhe holidays?  Happy holidays to all! 

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Zentangle Bowls

I have these legacy bowls from college that are perfectly serviceable and durable, but they are definitely not my style and I am desperately waiting for them to “break” (they never will, they’re indestructible….. ) so that I can finally have an excuse to buy some fun new table settings.  I have been coveting sets of bowls that have mis-matched prints in bold colors or bold patterns.  Some that I especially liked are below:

Aren’t these just adorable?  I want some so badly, but I cannot bring myself to dispose of perfectly practical (and unbreakable) bowls.  Well, fortunately (or not) my husband accidentally broke a bowl, which, unfortunately, happened NOT to be one of the oh-so-despised bowls that I would rather it have been.  However, this did give me an excuse to get a new bowl.  I thought it may be fun to test out an idea that I had while planning the craft for my eldest daughter’s birthday party.  Why couldn’t I make something?  I have all these glazed sharpie pens.

I was prompted to find something to do when my daughter suddenly got sick and had to stay at home for three days.  In desperation, I went to Target with her and got two bowls for us to decorate.  For my bowl, I thought it would be fun to do a Zentangle-inspired, or Mandala-inspired design.  For those of you not familiar with Zentangle or Mandala art, it’s some images are below:

 

I learned from the party craft that I should try to avoid the actual eating surface because the washing would eventually cause the pattern to wear over time.  So, I had a plan, kind of.  This is what happened:

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My daughter helped with some of the simpler patterns, such as the large yellow dots.  She was really impressed with how long this took me to draw (it wasn’t that long, but to a 5-year old, it was “FOREVER”).  I’m looking forward to getting a couple more bowls to complete a set – all different patterns of course!  What do you think?

Eraser Fun

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My eldest daughter really loves art projects.  Give her an art pad and some colored pencils or crayons and she will be entertained for a good hour or more by herself.  Since she tends to have such an affinity for drawing or art projects,  I am always looking for new ideas of things to do to keep her interested.

My cousins came for a visit over the summer and not only did they bring some awesome colored pencils,  paper pad and stickers, they also brought a really cool make your own eraser kit!  Within the compact plastic case, you saw pristine squares of soft colored rubber waiting to be molded into whatever your imagination and hands were capable of.  She was so excited when she got this gift that she proceeded to show it to me every day until I said we had time to do this project. I finally relented after a couple of days (so this post has been a long time coming!)

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The cool thing is this material is a lot like play-doh except once you are done,  you bake it in the oven and it will harden into an usable eraser. When I asked her what she wanted to make,  she immediately decided on a pink piggie.  Pink is one of her favorite colors right now so I’m hardly surprised she found a way to use the pink first.

I busted out a 1/2″ diameter wood dowel, some toothpicks, and a plastic for and knife to use as shaping tools for our projects.  I decided to make a purple dinosaur (not Barney)!  It was quite fun and as you worked longer with the original material, it became more pliable and moldable,  although it did get stickier as well.

I helped my daughter get the shape just right after her first go of it by herself. I showed her how to add a hole in the bottom so you could mount it on a pencil, how to attach limbs, etc.  It was very similar to working on a clay sculpture.  I think that the end results are super cute and my daughter had such a great time making these.  I can’t wait for round two!

Where the Heart is

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So I have to begin by apologizing for being so terrible about keeping up with my crafting.  I have not have a lot of free time lately, but I’m going to try and get back into it this year.  Part of the issue is that I haven’t had a lot of time to browse and get inspired to make something new.  However, when I see something that I want to try, it drives me to make time for it.  Case and point, I saw this really adorable hat from Portlano and I thought maybe I could try and modify it.

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Portlano Heart Hat

When I saw this, the wheels in my mind started turning and I thought I may be able to figure something out.  I had a perfect opportunity as well since one of my co-workers recently had a sweet little baby girl and we just survived Hurricane Jonas here on the east coast.  Done!

I still have winter white and lavendar yarn leftover from my previous knitting forays with fair isle hats so I just used the same yarn as it is relatively easy to work with, is very lightweight, and makes a very nice finished product.  I did a mash-up of patterns that I got from a great blog here, combining the heart pattern and the stripe pattern.  As always seeing the pattern unfold before my eyes as I’m knitting is always so much fun, especially since I seem to have a serious problem following patterns closely and tend to improvise.  Every project is a new challenge!  One thing I did grapple with was if I wanted to make heart pom-pom for the top, or to try and knit a heart like the original inspiration piece.  I finally opted on a plain pom-pom, but I think that in the future I may try to make an over-sized pom-pom pom.  We’ll see what happens!

I already had the pleasure of seeing my hat on the adorable new owner, which is always such a nice treat!  Welcome to the world sweet baby, and I hope that you are toasty warm with your new hat!

Shake, Rattle and Roll

It seems to be that time of year where we are learning about all the new babies we will meet in the coming year. It always makes me so happy to hear the happy news of expectant parents, whether it is for the first time or not.

If you recall way at the beginning of my blogging journey, I had mentioned my daughter’s daycare bff in this post.  We recently discovered that she is going to be a big sister! A big congratulations to the expecting parents and her friend, what wonderful news! I just know they’re all going to have so much fun together and her friend is going to be such a great older sister!

Well, I wanted to make something special for the new baby. I recall when we first had my daughter that we didn’t have a lot of toys that made noises, like a rattle, or musical toys. I thought that making a baby rattle would be such a great idea! My daughter is really into all sorts of animals right now, so I thought about what I wanted to do (and what I couldn’t really make into a hat) and decided to try and elephant.

I found a really great pattern for an amigurumi elephant here. I thought that it was so cute and would be perfect for the rattle.  I wanted to make it into a ring so I opted just to make the head and make a separate ring and attach them together.  I ended up using the “bee” ring pattern here because I thought the sizes may work well together.

I slightly modified the head by placing one of those rattle balls I talked about in my previous post here.  I love the way this turned out.  My daughter was so excited when she saw the finished product that she didn’t want to let it go and ran around shaking it for a good hour.  I guess I’ll have to make her one as well!  Congrats to the expectant family!

What a Hooooot!!!! (Part 2)

My last post laid the groundwork for a mobile I had been working on for my nephew.  Let me just say, I love this thing.  I am very happy with how it turned out.  Would I change some things about it if I made it again?  Sure.  This was, after all, a learning experience.  However, I really love how all the pieces came together to balance each other.

These owls were a hit!  My daughter LOVED these little guys!  As I finished each one, I would put them on our little side table in the living room so they would all be lined up, and every morning, she would come into the living room, see the owls, and make a squeal of delight and point at them!  I admit I was afraid that they would make their way into her mouth somehow (as do most things in our home), but she never even gave a hint of doing this to these owls.  Maybe she knew?  My husband, as well, was really excited to see each owl as it started from a couple pieces of felt and came together to the finished product.  He liked them so much that I think I’m going to have to make a couple more just so we can hang them around our apartment!

Now, while I had originally planned on making 4 owls, once I had all the pieces together and looked at them as a whole, I decided to make one more to really round out the piece.  I had seen a couple of mobiles on Etsy and Pinterest with birds on branches, and I thought “why not owls on branches?”  So, I went to the park one week-end and found some nice sticks to use for the mobile.  I didn’t want that harsh texture with the owls for a baby mobile though, so I wrapped the sticks in string.  I thought that this helped to soften the jutting branches and strong angles.  I played with positioning the owls and thought about how I wanted them to interact.  It was very important to me that I capitalize on the three-dimensionality of this.  That was my main thought as I put all the pieces together.  Once I settled on the general balance, I added a couple of cut-out felt leaves to give it a little twist of detail.

I love the final result so much.  I really hope that my nephew loves looking at it from his crib and that this is something that he’ll be able to keep for his future kiddos.  I seriously think I’m going to have to make one for myself…..

What a Hooooot! (Part 1)

I know that my postings have not been as consistent as of late, and I do apologize.  There have been a lot of changes going on, but I do have a bunch of great projects to post about!

My big brother had his second son not too long ago. I had been contemplating what to make for our new family member for a while. I was browsing pinterest and got the idea of making a mobile. I saw a number of different mobile ideas, but I stumbled on some owl mobiles that I thought were so adorable! After making 2 owl hats (see previous posts here and here) I was starting to understand this owl appeal.

I found a couple mobile ideas that I liked and sort of mashed them all up together and modified them to what I was trying to accomplish. This mobile took quite a while for me to complete because it was an experiment every step of the way.  There were many challenges to this project so I will be splitting this project into two posts since it was such an undertaking.

The first thing I had to do once I decided on the general idea, was to choose a color scheme.  I live by a small but convenient craft store that carries limited but essential items, one of them being felt, which is what I selected as the main medium for my project.  I decided at first that I was going to make 4 owls, two larger and two smaller, for this mobile.  That being said, I decided on 4 main colors that I would rotate around for a different color combination for each owl.

Next, I had to make a template for what I wanted.  This took me a little bit to figure out since I wanted to make sure I got the proportions right.  I did find an image of a nice owl mobile that I thought was very successful, which was on sale on Etsy.  However, I did change a couple of the components for how I wanted the owls to interact with the overall motif.

I decided that I would hand-sew the owls.  Since each was relatively small, I didn’t think it should take TOO much time.  I think that this greatly helped in the look of the final product.  The above is a sneak peek of how one of the owls turned out.  My next post will show the final mobile!