Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Loads of Love

Here's a simple Valentines craft for the kiddos.  
Just cut out a truck silhouette, glue to paper and add some heart stickers.  

I used my Silhouette cameo for this but it would be easy enough to draw freehand or print out from your computer.

I actually had it framed on a shelf in my son's room (you can see it in the picture below) but now he'd rather have Batman, so I'm slowing switching out some of his decor. 

My son was able to add the heart stickers himself and I wrote the cute saying on it. 

Now it's ready to give to his Valentine.  And just who is the lucky lady.  Well, that would be his cousin.  They are about 1.5 years apart and ever since she was born, my son has had a special bond with her, always trying to hold her and protect her.

Image may contain: one or more people and child

Happy Valentine's Day

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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Valentine Cards for Cousins

Our kids have several cousins that live far away.  We try to keep in touch but it's hard to make phone calls with different time zones and different schedules/activities going on.  Email/text/messaging is OK, but the little ones aren't able to do that.  So I like to send mail.  I know it's old fashioned, but what kid doesn't love to get mail. 

We made these cards the other day to show our cousins some love.  I mostly use my Silhouette Cameo to cut out vinyl.  You can check out some of those projects HERE, HERE and HERE.  This time I used it to cut out card stock and made a card with it.  I feel like I've opened up a whole new world of possibilities now. 

I found the 'Love' image HERE.

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Monday, February 12, 2018

Sexy Socks

I never know what to get my husband for the holidays so recently I've been using candy as my go to.  And yes I'll get him some candy for Valentine's day but I also couldn't resist getting him more sexy socks.  A couple Christmases ago, I spiced up his sock collection with some bold Argyles.  You can read about that HERE.  I found similar socks in red the other day and just had to get them for Valentine's day.  Of course I couldn't wait until Wednesday and wanted to give them to him earlier so he could wear them to church.  I made a cute little tag and put them in his sock drawer.  What a cute way to surprise him in the morning when he gets ready.  

The tag I used on this pair of socks says "A little something to spice up your socks life".

What do you get your sweetheart for Valentine's day, or any holiday for that matter?

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Monday, February 5, 2018

Shadow Activities

Our local library has a terrific children's story time.  Not only does the story teller read a story or two, there are several activities and a craft to go along with it.  Last week the story was about Groundhog's Day and the activities were all about shadows.  My little guy's favorite activity was the one where he got to use a flashlight to make animal shadows.  Since I had all the supplies at home, I decided to make my own shadow play activity.

Luckily for Christmas my son got some plastic animals to add to his plastic dinosaur collection.  He and my 7 year old daughter love playing with them, mostly making them eat other animals.

All I had to do was add the box and a flashlight, turn out the lights and let the kids have fun.

They liked seeing what kind of shadows each animal would create, and making the shadows grow and shrink when they moved the flashlight.

Other Shadow Play Activities our library had set up included ideas similar to the ones below:

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Thursday, January 25, 2018

DIY Valentine's Day Wood Conversation Heart Wall Hanging

I've been wanting to make these wooden conversation hearts for a while now.  Three years to be exact.  Go ahead and read THIS POST to refresh your memory, I'll wait.  

Well, I finally got around to doing it.  Earlier this summer I found some wooden heart plaques, I wasn't even looking for them.  Every other time I happened to be at a craft store and happened to remember to look for the wooden hearts, I couldn't find them so of course I had to get them.

The first step was to paint the hearts in pastel colors.  I used some of the acrylic paint my daughter got for Christmas and added some white to it so it would be lighter.

Then, I used my Silhouette machine to cut out the names in a dark pink vinyl.

I was on a roll and did this much in two days.  Then, I couldn't find the staple gun.  So my progress came to a halt.  Finally I took the time to really look for it and there it was, neatly put away with the rest of the tools in the garage.  For some reason I thought it would have been left out with the last staple gun project which, by the way, is still unfinished and sitting in the basement.  

After a two week hiatus for this project, I picked up where I left off by stapling some wide ribbon to the back of each wooden heart.  I used dark pink ribbon to match the vinyl letters.

Then I doubled over the top of the ribbon and put a key chain type ring on it so I could hang it.  

I didn't want the ring to show so I prettied it up with a bow made out of the same ribbon.

In my original post about wanting to make these wooden hearts, I thought I would hang them in the foyer.  Then I realized that might look weird since I don't have any other Valentine's Day decor in there.  So I decided to hang on the wall next to my fireplace since the mantel is where all my Valentine decor is.  

This is the before picture of that wall.  I just took down the two pictures and hung the hearts from the top nail.  

The ribbon and hearts cover up the bottom nail so it all looks nice, and not too low for little ones to pull at.

Here's the Valentine decor on the mantle.  In the original post I mentioned how I wanted to make a cute heart banner.  Well, I never got around to making that but I did find this pre-made heart banner at an after Valentine's Day clearance.

I still display the 'You & Me' sign, which is just a gift bag I put into a frame (you can read all about that in THIS POST), and the infinite love block I made in THIS POST.

I still haven't made the LOVE blocks, but I did add this LOVE sign.  It's just a thin wooden LOVE key glued onto a card stock frame.

From this angle you can see all the Valentine decor.  

What Valentine crafts have you made?  Link up in the comments below.

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Monday, January 22, 2018

FREE Valentine's Day Printables

This weekend was a warm one, in the 50's.  The snow and arctic cold seems to be gone, at least for the next week or so.  I know other parts of the country are still getting blasted with snow storms, best of luck to you and stay warm.  So whether you're stuck in the house and looking for something crafty to do, or just getting ready for the next holiday, these Valentine's Day printables would make a cute project.  

Valentine’s Day is virtually around the corner. It’s the time of year when people rise to the challenge and express love in new and unique ways. With this in mind, has created some editable Valentine’s Day stickers.  You can download the free, editable labels HERE. There are several different kinds cute for kids of all ages.  They can be used for party decoration, creating cute crafts, tagging gifts, writing heartwarming or funny notes and more.  You could even print them out on adhesive paper to make them into stickers.  So many possibilities.  

Happy crafting!

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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Christmas 2017 recap

I'm having a hard time getting back into the swing of things.  Being off for the holiday and sleeping in was great.  I got used to it real quick.  The kids first week back at school wasn't too bad since 3 out of the 4 days had a delayed start due to the weather, so I was still sleeping in.  This week however, has been a little rough.  The super cold temperatures didn't help either, but yesterday and today are warmer, if you can call 40° warm.

I'm finally getting around to recapping our Christmas.  I know it's 2018 and I've already taken down my Christmas decorations, but I'm still going to write about it.  Then I'll share some Valentines decorations I've been making.

This Christmas seemed to fly by and we didn't get around to doing all the fun traditions we've done in the past.  But there is always next year.  Some of the fun and FREE things we did included:

* Making a gingerbread house at Home Depot.  I was quite impressed that my 7 year old did all the work herself

OK, she got a little help painting from her brother.

* Along with a wooden gingerbread house, we also made the edible kind.  I think more candies were eaten than actually put on the house.

* My little guy just loves trains.  So of course we had to take him to a train garden.  Actually he got to go to several of them thanks to relatives taking him as well.  He loved being able to press the buttons to make things move.  

I think he could have stayed there for hours.

* The two youngest and I went to see Santa and one of his reindeer.  You can't tell by his worried expression, but my son was so excited to pet a reindeer.

* The Elf on the Shelf came back.  You can read about how and why we brought it back in THIS POST.  This was the first time my son was involved in this tradition.  And since the elf was only around for a week, which is a lot more manageable than a month, I think she'll be coming back next year too.

* We went to Bass Pro Shops and played in their Winter Wonderland while visiting with Santa.

Once again my daughter impressed me with her skills, this time it was shooting.  She had pretty good aim for only playing this game once a year.

The 'dirt' was brown kinetic sand and the kids loved playing in it.  We have kinetic sand at our house and I'm thinking of recreating this.  I could put the sand in one of those underbed storage containers along with some vehicles and sand toys and let them play with it that way.  We usually just have it on a baking sheet and use cookie cutters and plastic knives to play with it.  This would bring a whole new dimension to our kinetic sand play.

And let's not forget about Christmas morning.  I don't know who was more excited me or the kids.  Three of the kids got some big gifts.  They didn't cost that much, they were all bought second hand, but they were large and so I didn't wrap them.  You can see in the picture below how I like to separate out my kids gives so we have 4 piles.  On the left is my 7 year old's pile.  Her presents are stacked upon a pink and black leopard print high heel shoe chair.  My 3 year old son's pile is next and behind it is a tall Fischer Price Little People City Skyway race car ramp thingy.  And that big red bag conceals my teenage son's punching bag.  My teenage daughter didn't get anything very large.  Her gift requests were small items like books and art supplies.  I tried to make up for the smaller size with more items by individually wrapping the 13 book set she got.

Since some of the gifts were unwrapped, I didn't want to spoil the surprise (or spoil the change of me seeing their faces when they first see the gifts.  Because of the openness of our house, the kids can look down from the second floor and see right into the living room, I wanted to cover up the gifts and unveil them when I was there to see their expressions.  I just used some bed sheets.  The kids were definitely interested in what was under there making those weird shapes, but they did wait for me to unveil it for them and boy were they surprised.  

And then I took the obligatory Christmas morning photo.  My 7 year old's face was pretty much frozen like that all morning.  She's the most dramatic of our kids and it was so fun to watch her open her gifts and squeal in excitement over each one.  

This year we did pretty good with the presents.  We got stuff the kids actually liked and would use or play with.  That hasn't always happened.  Sometimes it's hard to know what they'll like/play with since birthdays are just a few months before Christmas and the kids already have so much.  To cut back on the amount of stuff, we've tried getting the kids 'experiences' such as pool passes or a trip somewhere but we also like them to have fun stuff to open. 

Here are some of the things the kids got (go ahead and plan ahead for next Christmas or think birthdays, or Easter baskets gifts):

3 year old boy gifts:
Superhero dress up costumes - these are great to pick up on after Halloween clearance.

7 year old girl gifts:

Teenage girl gifts:
Books - mystery, fantasy, sci-fi, how to draw, how to paint, creative writing...
Art supplies such as canvases, paints, gel pens, high quality markers, fabric markers....
Clothes - robe, pajamas, shirts...

Teenage boy gifts:
Ceiling fan - because he says he's always hot at night.

And here's a fun family gift they got - The Claw Arcade Game.  They loved it and practiced much patience in playing it.  It has been fun to play with their friends too.  The novelty has worn off like I knew it would, but I plan to use it for the kid's birthday parties too.  You can change up what you put in it from candy to small toys or even money.  In the video below you can see how intense the kids are in trying to get something.  It's much easier than the claw machine at the arcade.  Depending on the type of candy/toy you put in there, you could be a winner every time.

Hope your Christmas was a merry one and that 2018 has been off to a good start for you.

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