Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Book Inspired Crafts and Activities

I came across this blog No Time for Flashcards and the author has lots of great ideas for crafting with books.  Her ideas inspired me to pick a book from Hannah's (huge) stash and see what happens.  My brain hurts a bit from all the retreat planning and now that it's over (sigh and big satisfied smile) I can move on to other things.  One of Hannah's current favorites is from her Grammy.  It's called Franny's Friends, by Catarina Kruusval.  It's a cute story of Franny and her stuffed animal friends.  Hannah's favorite friend is Itty Bitty Kitty (pronounced in a high pitched voice).  Little Franny and her friends go on an outing - a walk and a picnic.  Poor Itty Bitty Kitty and Little Heddy Hedgehog fall into a hole and must be rescued.  Hannah loves to call out, "Itty Bitty Kitty, where are you?" dramatically as the friends search.  It doesn't take too much imagination to come up with a few ideas for activities. 
1.  Coloring pages.  If you're lucky you can find some online.  They don't have to be from the story.  I could find pictures of the different types of animal friends.  Or even better, sketch a scene from the book on a huge piece of paper using a black sharpie.  Don't worry if it's not perfect - your little person won't care.  Hannah enjoyed coloring a big page I drew of Franny's friends on a hill. 
2.  We can take a walk and have a picnic with some of Hannah's favorite stuffed animals. 
3.  Act out some of the story.  This particular book has lots of outdoor scenes.  Hannah will love running around the yard trying to find a hidden stuffed animal while yelling, "Where are you?" at the top of her lungs.
4.  Other inspired crafts.  Franny is wearing a beaded necklace.  We could make one similar. 
5.  Learning.  We can practice counting Franny's 7 friends.  When planning our picnic, we can count out 7 cups, 7 treats, etc.  We can name and learn about the different types of animals named in the story.  Franny dresses her friends.  We can practice buttons, snaps, and zippers.  We can name colors of the animals and their clothing.
Would I do all of these wonderful activities?  Probably not.  But you never know.  When we are in need of an activity, picking a book off the shelf can give this mama lots of inspiration for hours of fun with my little one.  None of the activities I thought of would take a whole lot of prior planning, which is very convenient.  I forsee lots of book-themed days or weeks this summer.  I hope you see some, too!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Busy with Retreat Planning

I've been very busy planning for our church's women's retreat.  For today's post, I thought I would share a few pics of the crafty side of the retreat.  It's so rewarding to me when my gifts for creating things can be used in God's service and to bring joy to others.  Our retreat theme is "Return to Me" based on Lamentations 3:40.  I've worked on wall decorations, big tissue paper pompoms, name tags, posters, a card-making service project, and lots of miscellaneous craftiness.  The retreat is finally this weekend and all the planning is down to the last minute details.  I'm looking forward to it!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Five Fabulous Finds for Your Friday

Here are five of my favorite finds this week across the web.  Grab a cup of coffee or a glass of sweet tea (or whatever you like) and enjoy a little inspiration.
felt dahlia brooch
Photo Credit: Megan Reardon
1.  Holy Moly!  Check out this gorgeous felt dahlia.  The tutorial can be found here.  I can't wait to make one.  It looks easy - I'll let you know.
2.  Take a look at Heidi's Quiet Book.  Not only super cute, but she made it using things from her stash - frugal!
3.  This may be an oldie, but it's cute and so easy a 2 year old could do it (with mama's help).  I'll be making this hand print lamb with Hannah next week. 
4.  Did you know that popcorn has its very own website devoted to all things popcorn?  Well, it does and it's poppin' with fun activities and ideas about and/or using popcorn.  Yummy fun!
5. Yes, I admit it.  I'm a Cricut Junkie!  and this week 7 new cartridges were released.  Joy at Obsessed With Scrapbooking has a few preview projects and links to all the new handbooks.  My favorite new release is the Elegant Edges.  I envision many lovely projects...
Ahhh...good creative stuff makes me giddy.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Gettin' Crafty With a 2 Year Old

This week little H. and mama have been "gettin' crafty."  First, we picked up, on a whim, a wooden "tweet-tweet" house that we took home and painted.  Secondly, I downloaded FREE from Guildcraft a Trinity Shamrock craft, which we colored (with markers - a big deal) and (an even bigger deal) we added glitter.  I don't know about other mamas out there, but I find it challenging to craft with wee ones.  I want to get in there and do it myself, "help" her stay in the lines, not get so messy, make a beautiful end-product.  But that's not what H. wants.  She wants the experience, the process.  I'm not sure she cares right now what it looks like in the end, she just likes to do it herself.  So I let her, because I want her to have the experience, too.  I let her get messy, pile one color of paint on top of another and leave completely blank spots on the little birdhouse.  I let her paint inside the itty bitty house even though no one will be in there to see it.  I let her plop the glue in the middle and completely avoid the edges.  I let her shake, shake, shake the glitter container even though I know it's going to be all over the play room for the next year and a half.

And I learn a bit from her.

I learn that sometimes it's the process and the journey that become more meaningful than the end product. 
I learn that it can be fun to get messy.
I learn that glitter is really pretty when the light catches it just right even when it's on a dirty floor.  It's almost like a secret little wink and it makes me smile.

I learn that I really kinda like gettin' crafty with my 2 year old.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Make a Lovely Card Set Gift

I'm really liking these Echo Park papers (Scrapdoodles has them in stock!) and wanted to make something special with it, but what to do, what to do....  When stuck, I browse the web or even (gasp) pull out some old idea books and magazines.  I found a photo of a cute notecard gift set in an old book and set about making my own.  It was a little bit of trial and error to measure/cut the main folder (there were no directions in the book), but luckily I had two sheets of purple cardstock :).  More fun Springtime yellows, greens, and pinks, paired with a dark purple and I think we've got something special.  The folder has 6 blank cards in one pocket and an envelope containing 3 each of 3 different sentiments: Thanks, Thinking of You, and Happy Birthday.  The lucky recipient can then use the cards any way she desires by adhering the appropriate sentiment circle.  The folder itself is made from one 12x12 sheet.  I covered a Maya Road chipboard shape with the sunny yellow patterned paper for the front.  The whole thing is held closed with a magnet (tucked under the yellow paper and the paper strap and sticker).  I can't wait to make some more.  I think they'd be great gifts. 

Fresh Spring Layouts

These two layouts were so fun to create.  They satisfied (for now) my yearning for spring.  I love the fresh colors of the new Echo Park "Springtime" line.  The coordinating sticker sheet features the adorable yellow polka-dot bicycle.  I hand-cut the tree trunk, but used a Maya Road chipboard shape for the foliage.  First I inked up the chipboard with a bit of white, then sponged on green.  I cut some simple leaves with my Cricut and inked them as well, randomly adhering them in bunches to the chipboard.  It was easy and I think it's super cute!  I love to take photos of the flowers and "creatures" around my house and I thought this layout would show some of these pics off.  I printed the photos at home at 2 x 2.5 on a sheet of letter-size photo paper.  I kept the white borders, and just had to trim a bit and cut the sheet in half to fit it long on my page.  It's a great way to add a lot of photos, but still have room to play on the other side of the layout.
I wanted to use all the awesome patterns of "Grandma's Feather Bed" from Bazzill that I found at Scrapdoodles, so I decided to try out little squares.  I punched them from the paper and lined them up to create borders around my photos (don't you love these photos of my sisters and me?).  The title was a sticker from my stash - I think it's from Me & My Big Ideas.  Now it's a little bit quilty - which makes me think of grandmas, sisters, and cuddling up under the warmth of a good old-fashioned blankie.

Monday, March 14, 2011

A Rose by Any Other Name...

Welcome to my new spot!  I'm very excited to be here in my new corner and work on expanding my blog.  If you're a follower of my old blog, I've transferred most of my posts over here, so just update your links to the new address and follow me here.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

New Layouts

I've been scrapping here and there and thought I'd post a few layouts recently completed.  I'm pretty much caught up through October.  The first layout is from a fun pumpkin patch trip with Auntie Kitty.  The pumpkins are a cut from Create a Critter.
This next layout is from our trip to South Carolina.  I think I'm a little stuck on photo grids lately - so many cute photos that I want to fit into one layout.  The title is cut from Country Life and the journaling box is from Heritage.
This last layout is also from that October trip.  Very simple.  I think all three layouts mainly use DCWV stacks papers.  A coordinating stack makes it so easy to pull together quick layouts.  Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

March FaithKeeping

It's almost time for another FaithKeeping event at Redeemer.  Join us on March 12, from 1pm - 4pm as we create this Prayer for your Home framed layout project.  At FaithKeeping we focus on projects that help you and your family grow in your faith.  Our goal is to find creative ways to keep God's Word always in sight and readily available for helping us grow in our faith.  For this project, we'll focus on praying for your home and the people in it.  You'll need to bring a photo of your home.  It can be of any aspect of your home.  My photo is from our family room.  I converted it to black and white and printed it in 5x7 size.  Some of the cuts are from my Cricut (which will be available when we meet).  I hope you'll be able to join us.  There is a $5 fee to cover supplies and refreshments.  Redeemer members can see the March CPR and bulletin for more information.