Monday, July 24, 2017

Kids Rock Garden

Earlier this summer, I converted a small portion of my flower bed into a rock garden for my two year old to play in.  


We have this large patio out back and with a grill and picnic table at one end, and some play toys for the kids at the other.  There's a little play house and a water table so I thought I'd add a rock garden to that side as well. 


My two year old son loves to play with rocks.  He likes to scoop them up and move them from one pile to another.  I'm all for getting kids to play outside, so I decided to make him his very own rock garden.


I took a little section of the flower bed that surrounds our patio and laid down some paper so weeds wouldn't grow up through the rocks. 


Not sure if that would prevent weeds, I also laid some black plastic (actually it was a garbage bag) on top of the paper.  And I didn't like the 2x4 wood edges so I swapped them out for some large rocks we happened to have laying around outside.  


Since I wanted my son to be able to scoop up the rocks, I thought I'd get some small rocks to fill up that area.  I did buy some small rocks but they weren't small enough for scooping with his kid sized plastic shovels.  That's when I decided to use aquarium gravel.  Walmart had this bright purple color on clearance for $1 a bag, so that's what we got.  I used 4 five pound bags for my space.  


I surrounded the purple gravel with the small rocks and added a board so he could drive his cars.



It's cute and colorful and he does like to play in there.  The only issue is that the gravel doesn't stay in the rock garden.  Nothing that a broom can't fix though.


I also noticed that he mostly plays in the front of the rock garden since that's where he sits and his arms can't reach to the back of it where the retaining wall pavers are.  So I moved all the purple gravel to the front and filled in the back with the small rocks.  Now he has more gravel to dig through and as he gets older he has another section to play in.  


I even painted the board to make it look like a road for his cars, although his favorite thing to do is to scoop the rocks into various cups and containers.  I'm also thinking about getting some little plastic dinosaurs to add to the mix.  


It's been a fun little area for him to play in.  


This isn't the only kid friendly upgrade to our patio.  
Check out the Flower Bed Tot Spot I created earlier this spring.





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Monday, July 17, 2017

Spray Paint a Lamp Shade for a Custom Look


When it comes to decorating, I feel like I bounce around from room to room never finishing one space before starting the next.  And by the time I go back to a room that I've started decorating, I've changed my style and want to do something different.  Anyone else have that problem?  

For my 2 year old son's room, I decided to do a red and blue color scheme.  He has blue bedding and curtains so all I had to do was put in some red.  I had a lamp on his dresser but didn't like the lamp shade so I bought a drum shade at a thrift store.  I was planning to paint it anyway even though it was pretty close to the color I wanted.  If you look closely you'll notice that it had faded on one side.  Like I said, not a big deal because I was going to paint it.  


The photo above is the before and the photo below is the after.  


You can see how much richer and brighter the color is in the before and after comparison below.


I love when things match, and by match I mean match exactly.  I used the same color to spray paint several picture frames.  Don't mind the wall stickers behind some of the pictures.  They were from when this room was my daughter's nursery.  If I take those off, the paint comes off too and I'm not ready to paint this room.


I just love this caricature of my little guy.  Those dimples and sly smile capture his personality perfectly.


Now each side of his room has a bit of red.  I love being able to customize a color scheme using something as simple and easy as spray paint.  And if I want to change color schemes in a few years (or months) it will be cheap and easy to do.








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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

DIY Pencil Sharpener


Right after school let out, we took a little vacation to Williamsburg, VA.  It was about a 4 hour car ride and my older daughter loves to pass the time reading or drawing.  With hours to doodle in the car, she knew she'd have to sharpen her pencil several times.  We have lots of those cheap pencil sharpeners but no sharpeners that contain the shavings.  So, being the creative genius that she is, she came up with a way to keep all her pencil sharpening shavings from filling up the car.  She thought of this idea and put it together all by herself.  She didn't even search Pinterest, but if you want to see a video of the process, you can check out this Pin.



Supplies used:

Pencil sharpener
Empty tic tac container
Hot glue gun

All she did was hot glue the pencil sharpener into the tic tac container.

That's it.  It only takes a few seconds and now you have a way to contain your pencil shavings. 








You can use this while traveling, for school, or drawing at home in your bed late at night when you should be sleeping (yeah, my daughter does that).




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Monday, June 26, 2017

Line Design Art

This week both my girls are at an Art Camp, so I thought I'd share some cool art we made a little while ago.  It's easy to create and looks oh so cool.  You could make this again and again and never have the same look.

I originally found the idea HERE at Art with Mr. E
Be sure to check out his blog for more ideas about how to make your own line design art.


Step 1:  Draw a slightly wavy line across the page.
Step 2:  Place several dots on the line various distances apart.


Step 3:  Draw bubble type lines from one dot to the next.


Step 4: Be sure to vary the shape and direction of the lines going from one dot to the next.  You can make them curve or get bubblier/bigger.  Make sure the lines never cross over each other.



Step 5:  Add color.  You can use pencils, markers, crayons, watercolors....



And here's where my daughter lost interest.  I'm pretty sure she spent at least an hour doing this much.  If interests wanes in this project maybe you could spread it out over several days, use different coloring mediums or patterns.



Another fun art project to try would be this Optical Illusion Handprint:







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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Matching Bow Ties


I'm a sucker for a guy in a bow tie.  And seeing all 3 of my guys in bow ties, well, that just melts my heart and takes my breath away.



I thought it would be cute for Father's Day to have the boys wear matching bow ties so I started shopping around online.  At first I checked Etsy to find some matching father/son bow ties but didn't like those prices so I quickly came up with an inexpensive plan.  Instead of buying a toddler bow tie and two men's matching bow ties which would run about $50 on Etsy, I could buy 3 of the same bow tie from any store.  My toddler had been wearing my older son's men's size bow tie to church anyway and it didn't seem too big for him, plus he'll only grow into the men's size.  So my next step was to find some inexpensive bow ties and just buy 3 of the same one.  I ended up finding the best price on amazon.com.  Less than $2 per bow tie and shipping was free.  I couldn't pass up a deal like that.  I had to rein myself in and not buy one for every Sunday of the year.

HERE is the amazon.com affiliate link to the 3 matching bow ties.

I also ordered a few more for just the boys since bow ties aren't really my husband's style, he was just being nice and humoring me.  My older son on the other hand, will only wear bow ties to church.  So of course my younger son wants to wear them too.  They had been wearing the only 2 bow ties my older son owned, but now they have an assortment to choose from each week including the ones below.





These bow ties are adjustable and able to fit a toddler all the way up to an 18" neck.  I'm already thinking I should have bought more.  





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Monday, June 12, 2017

Father's Day Cards

Here are some cute Father's Day cards we just finished making.  



I love cards that use the kid's fingerprints or handprints so you can look back years from now and see how little they were, plus it adds a personalized touch.

"Dad, You're Fin-tastic" is my favorite.  I'm a sucker for a play on words and this one just so happens to be a double play on words because "Fin" is my little guy's nickname.



These cards work great for dads and grandpas alike whether they love to fish or not.








You can check out my inspiration ideas HERE and HERE.

Tell the dad in your life you're "hooked" on him this Father's Day with an easy-to-make fish-themed card.:      Hooked on Daddy Fish Handprint Card. This is too cute for Father's Day!  * Fish hand print * Hand print crafts * Kid's Father's day ideas * Father's Day crafts via @bestideaskids:



And if you are needing more Father's Day card and gift ideas take a look below:

DAD blocks 



What to get the guy who has everything 


For the New Dad


Thumb print card


Candy Stache



and a HUGE ROUND UP of ideas HERE and HERE
   



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