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Archive for the ‘crafting’ Category

Summer Fun…

So I have never lived where it was so hot that people hide indoors all summer until now.
We do go out some, but we are inside way more than I would ever have imagined. So we’re coming up with lots to do inside. Playdough, painting, crafting, coloring, puzzles, pretend play, ¬†lots of library trips and subsequent reading. It’s been fun, but I miss the days of playing in the sun. I need to start getting the kids out early, like before 7:00 am and getting to the park or the like then. Until I get that together, we’re stuck with indoor fun. Anyone have any ideas for beating the heat in the comfort of my wonderfully air-conditioned home? Any new spins on old ideas for indoor fun? Remember we are TV free. I have lots of hours to fill.

As it sits now, the natives are getting a teeny tiny bit restless. Okay, very, very restless.

And they are starting to rub off on me

Literally

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I have yet to really decorate the house we’re living in now. You know, the one we moved into in March. I think that has something to do with the fact that Texas hasn’t felt like home. I love this house… Texas, I am still working on. But I am not helping myself by keeping my house bland. So I am going to start making some things for our home and start looking for some 2nd hand frames, prints and other decor.

Anyone have any advice on decorating on a budget with thrifted/ handmade items? I’ll hit up etsy.com too, but I am so impatient, I want this house beautiful yesterday!

I’ve also decided I need to get out and explore the Dallas area more. I am sure I would like it here better if I did. I want to start doing some day hikes. We’ll have to drive a ways for this, but I miss nature. In Washington state, where I am from, the nature is mixed right in with the city, at least more so than here. I miss all the tall trees and the beautiful Puget Sound. I am sure if I look, I will find the beauty here in Texas.

My kids are growing way too fast. Sweet little Eden is 15 months old now! Keagan is changing so much… every day he reminds me that he is not my baby anymore, but a big, smart boy who has a mind of his own!

Anyway, I will be updating on my decorating adventures. Hopefully with some photos of my no longer drab house!

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became one hat, one pair of pants and one pair of mittens last night ūüôā

Eden thinks the hat is better as a toy.

Keagan, however, won’t take his mittens off.

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Our advent activites have been going well. We made snowflakes and read books over the weekend and today we painted Christmas trees and more ornaments. Keagan really likes painting these days. Eden wanted in on the fun, but I was worried about her eating the paints, so I didn’t let her. I am going to have to look for some homemade paint recipes that wouldn’t hurt her if she ingested a bit.

Tomorrow we’re stringing popcorn and cranberries. I think Keagan will have a blast. I’m using a really blunt tapestry needle so it shouldn’t be too sharp. And I will, of course, be right there with him, ready to help.

Crafting is going fairly well. I am hoping to finish a blanket for Eden tonight.  I really have to get some photos up of all of my Christmas crafts.

I’m having a hard time coming up with gifts¬† for Eden. She’s 8 months old, will be just about 9 months on Christmas. She’s starting to like toys, but we have pretty much all we could need for a baby her age left over from Keagan. So far I made her a little taggie lovie and this blanket. I plan on making her a doll… I can’t decide if it’s going to be a Waldorf inspired baby, a Black Apple doll or a mermaid doll. For the mermaid, I’d put something crinkly in the tail so it made noise. I haven’t found a pattern, but I could wing it. I may make two of those for her. I also have an idea for a bunny with a ribbon tutu floating around in my head. But those are all pretty similar, so I don’t want to make them all. I want to come up with something that’s not a doll or a stuffed animal. Any ideas?

And I know she doesn’t need much, but I don’t want Keagan to get several gifts and think it’s odd for Eden to get less, you know?

I also have to make them mittens and hats. Tonight or tomorrow. It’s COLD. I’m making them from felted sweaters. I’m using the method in “The Handmade Home” by Amanda Blake Soule of Soule Mama (which is AWESOME by the way, check it out if you’re into crafting with repurposed materials) and¬† the mittens I am just tracing their hands and using the bottom ribbing of the sweaters for the bottom of the mittens. I’ve seen a few tutorials, but that covers the basic idea. Pretty simple, really… but I am sure you can find ideas for either project with some googling.

How are everyone’s Christmas projects going? Getting close to done?

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We’re doing a Christmas activity each day until Christmas. We started the 30th of November by making these activity cards:

I found the numbers on some blog and I feel pretty crummy because I just can’t remember where! If anyone sees them and recognizes them, please tell me where they came from!

So we colored, stickered (we were given a large amount of Christmas stickers)¬† and glued those on the 30th. I’ve been adding the activities to the back here and there. I want to be sure we have one each day, but I also want to be flexible. With a 2 1/2 year old and an 8 month old I have to be!

On the first, we decorated one of our “faerie trees” out front that Keagan insists his friends, the faeries live in.

Keagan was really excited.

Keagan had a blast decorating and now gasps with joy every time we go outside. I love it! He said he made his faeries happy and their tree is pretty. Sounds good to me.

Yesterday, we made snowmen (I cut, he glued) and read “A Pirate’s Night Before Christmas” by Phillip Yates. The book was great! We read it several times and it’s a lot of fun. When you read this book aloud, you can not help but to talk like a pirate. And what kid doesn’t want to combine all the fun of pirates with all the wonder of Christmas? It was the first book he wanted to read when he woke up today as well. It’s a hit. It’s not one that will leave you all warm and fuzzy when it’s done, but it’s great.

Today, we made salt dough ornaments. We baked today and we’ll paint tomorrow. I’ll share photos when we’re done, but Keagan’s loving the process thus far.

I hope everyone’s enjoying the advent season. It’s a lot of fun to lead up to the big celebration with lots of fun activities. Christmas should be more than just a day, I think. Is anyone else celebrating the whole season? Anyone have any fun activities they’d like to share?

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The past week or so has really been a blast with Keagan. I told you all before about Keagan’s Halloween Faeries. Well I’ve been having to come up with gifts for him each night ever since he decided that the Halloween gift exchange with the faeries was not just a one night thing. We were sick last week and I decided a few store bought (wood and made in the US) toys wouldn’t kill us. He really loved the wooden top and airplane. He did forget a few nights and that helped me as a tired sick mama. Last night, we ran out of store bought toys and were back to making them again.

I wanted to make him a¬†plush monster as he’s really loved¬†monsters lately and they don’t have to look perfect. I also wanted it to be small¬†so I could¬†use my scrap felt. My¬†wonderful husband got in on the whole project.¬†He cut and¬†sewed the original shape and then told me how he wanted the eyes and mouth to look. I¬†attached the eyes and mouth with sloppy (on purpose this time haha) embrodery.I was up into the wee hours of the morning finishing “silly¬†monster” (as Keagan has been calling him) but the look on Keagan’s face when he saw it sitting under our “faerie tree” made it all worth it.

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So sweet!

I will be glad when Halloween is done so I can get back to my Christmas crafting. I love doing this, but I know I have so much to get done. Ido think I will have a helper for that now, as my sweet husband seems to have caught the crafting bug. How can you not love creating for the ones you love?

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This week is “L” week for Keagan. Our main theme the week is leaves. I don’t schedule a ton of activities for Keagan, as I believe in child-led learning, especially at a young age, however, I plan a simple activity each day.

This week’s plans:

Today Leaf Rubbings (already done, he loved it!)
Wed: Leaf Walk, collect leaves for the rest of the week and talk about them, their colors, the autumn, etc
Thurs: Leaf collage
Fri: Tree activity, I’ll cut the base of a tree out and let him glue leaves on the top.

I skipped Monday, we had playgroup and afterward he ended up at the hospital (that’s my next post!) so we took the day off.

At some point, we’ll make a collage for L, we do one for each letter (cut things out of magazines that start with our letter for the week and Keagan glues them…. he doesn’t want to cut yet)

We may also make a Lion mask, depending on his interest, and we will read some lion books and talk about them a bit.

As we go through our days, I make an extra point to read books that fit with out theme, write the letter of the week on paper before he colors on it, find coloring sheets in his books that fit the theme, etc as well as talk about anything he finds interest in related to the theme. When there’s a good opportunity, we take a “field trip” like the leaf walk. We went to the pet store and bought a fish on “F” week and went to an apple orchard on “A” week etc. I don’t do the letters in order to make all of this easier. I am saving “C” for Christmastime and we’ll do “H” the week of Halloween, “T” the week of Thanksgiving. We’re going to do “Z” soon since I can’t think of any field trip other than the zoo for it and it’s going to be too nasty to go to the zoo soon, but we’ll run out of letters before the weather is nice again. I am saving “S” for when there is snow, but that will have to come without plan, since snow is hit or miss around here most years. If nothing else, I’ll save it for a planned trip to the mountains.

Anyway, there’s the rough idea of how we do “preschool.” Keagan likes these activities and the theme really helps to motivate me as much as teach him. We have a lot of fun together doing these things and because it’s flexible, it is very easy to work around Eden.

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