Nebula Jar

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This craft was, sadly, a bust. We tried it twice, referencing two sites, but Chiara and I had to give up after neither one worked.

The steps are simple enough, you need:
•a jar
•acrylic paint
•cotton balls
•glitter
•water

We started by putting some water in the bottom of the jar, adding some paint in your chosen color and stir them together. Add some glitter after the paint is well mixed.

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Once the glitter has been stirred into the paint mixture, add some cotton balls that you’ve stretched out a bit. You want enough cotton balls to soak up all of the liquid.

After all the liquid has been absorbed, add some more water and another color of paint. This is where we ran into trouble because the water kept pulling color from the cotton balls below. We kept going though, adding more glitter, then the cotton balls. We did one more color, using blue, red and purple altogether, to get the finished product above.

We may or may not try this again at a later date, but so far, unimpressed.

Sad day for crafting. Sorry guys! 😦

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Lego Party Favors

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I made a ton of these guys for the kids parties this year. We didn’t have a huge turnout for Arthur’s, and Chiara’s was cancelled due to bad behavior, so we are still playing with these funny little guys.

I started out by finding some Lego molds on Amazon. I had some huge issues getting them on time as it was a third party vendor, but the customer service people at Amazon are fabulous, and I got my molds finally.

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Then it was time to raid the crayon bag. At the end of the school year it’s just easier for me to throw whatever crayons survived into a gallon ziploc bag instead of having a ton of partially full boxes.

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The kids loved this part, at least at first. Apparently it gets boring after a while. You have to peel the papers off, then fill in your trays.

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First batch by the kids and I. I wanted to keep the mini figures solid colors, Chiara went multi colored for her brick crayons. Arthur stuck with blue and his favorite color, green.

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They come out of the oven all liquefied, after following the directions that came with the molds. I was more than a little disappointed in these molds because after the second batch, the blue mold had melted along the seams. I’m still working on getting my replacements!

After the crayons were completely hardened, I popped then out of the tray to sit overnight. I wanted to make sure they had cooled all the way. Then I bagged them up for party favors.

I definitely see myself making more crayons in the future, but I’ll definitely find better molds before I do!

Planning Summer Fun

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Have you ever faced the problem of how to keep your kids busy over the summer? It can be hard to do, especially if you and your spouse both work full time jobs. Last year, my husband was a stay-home dad for most of the summer, so it was fairly easy to keep them occupied. Then I went to a third shift position, my husband went back to work and the last bit of their summer was spent watching movies or playing on their tablets, only leaving the house on my days off.

I knew I didn’t want to do that to them this summer! I’m still working third shift, hopefully my last summer on this shift, so it will take some work on my part.

I started by making a list of some things we could do this summer:

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It was a quick list I made at a friend’s house, so I was just listing everything that popped into my head.

Later on, at home, I made my board:

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You could make yours to show the week, as I did, or if you wanted, you could do an entire month. I figured if I did a week at a time, it would allow the kids to pick the activities they wanted for that week.

Then the fun part, make your activity cards:

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These were the ones I made to start. I already know I’ll be making more, including some blank ones for one time activities. For instance, we’ll be making a day trip later this summer to meet my favorite author again, but that won’t need a permanent card. Or when we throw my husband out of an airplane this summer for his turn at skydiving! Dry erase markers to the rescue!

Originally I was going to attach the board to a cookie sheet and use magnets to attach they activities, then Tony had a brilliant idea. Velcro:

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Now I can hang the board up anywhere! Thanks honey.

It’s going to be a busy summer, trying to squeeze sleep into this delightful mix I’ve thought up. What’s a little lost sleep compared to a great summer for my kids though?

Happy summer all!

Constellation Wall Art

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This is not on the wall yet, because I need to buy more batteries for it. I borrowed batteries from a remote. Am I the only one who runs short of batteries and does this? I hope not!

This project has been a long time coming. I’ve had it pinned for years, but even worse, I bought the supplies weeks ago. Finally getting around to it and I love it!

I started by selecting the constellation for Arthur. I will be doing one for Chiara, but I couldn’t wait to blog about this one because it turned out so pretty! Arthur got Orion. Chiara will be getting Pegasus.

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I laid my printout of Orion over the black glitter scrapbook paper I had selected as the background, then poked a nail through the star locations. Be sure to hold your paper still or your constellation will be goofy looking.

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The messiest part of this whole endeavor was this part. To help show the shape the stars form, I used thin strips of silver glitter paper. Maybe 1/8″? I didn’t measure, just kept making them skinnier until I liked how it looked. Then you cut the strips until they are the distance between “stars”. I used Elmer’s Glue-All. It holds well, but I was sticky and glittery by the end of it!

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I may look for another option when I do Chiara’s, but I also used the Glue-All to attach the paper to the canvas. You can either do a 12×12 canvas, or like I did, a 12×16. I am still looking for the right sticker letters, but I am going to put the constellation name along the bottom.

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Once the glue has set, note the bumps the glue leaves, take a small drill, I used a Dremel to make the star holes larger. Be sure to use a drill bit approximately the size of the lights you’re using.

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Another sticky and messy part! At Tony’s suggestion I used hot glue as a way to hold the lights in place. I held the light in place and circled the base with hot glue. I hate hot glue! The stringy bits are so annoying!

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I used these battery operated lights, found in the wedding section of Walmart.

Arthur was excited with the final product and can’t wait for it to go into his room. Sadly it will have to rest on a shelf because the lights extend past the canvas frame, making hanging impossible. Oh well!

Original pin came from here. They did all of the zodiac constellations for their art.

It went rather quickly, once I actually started this. So choose your constellation and get going!

Happy crafting!

Couples Photo Map

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This was a fun project! I can’t wait to make one for Tony and I, but this particular one was a Christmas gift for my parents. You’re probably wondering, “Wow, Christmas was months ago. What took so long?” I couldn’t figure out how to get this present to them, so they didn’t get it until the kids Spring Break. I couldn’t post about it until they had seen it. So here we go!

This pin has been on my photo display board for a while now. Honestly, until today, I didn’t even look at the actual blog. I had seen the picture on Pinterest and fell in love with the concept. The original blogger used push pins, attached to the back of her photos to hold the pictures in place, giving the map more depth. Not having read the blog, here is what I did:

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I started with this 24×36″ map from Amazon. I love Amazon! If they don’t have it, it’s not to be had! I went with that size because I wanted to be able to see the pictures when they were all in place. Then the fun started. I had to sift through my pictures, thousands and thousands of pictures, to find pictures of my parents in different states. I wanted pictures with just the two of them, but the Missouri picture included my kids (mom still loved it!).

Then the tricky part. Cutting the pictures into the shape of states. Certain ones are easy, like Ohio. Others, like North and South Carolina can be difficult. Especially considering you have to cut the photo in such a way as both people are still visible.

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Some states, like Hawaii, there is nothing you can do, so make up your own mind what to do with the special states. I just did a cutout around them and put it by the state.

Once I had placed all of the photos I had, I framed the map and considered it complete. There is always the option of adding more photos, I definitely want to add a picture of them from Alaska when I find one!

Mom was very happy with the gift. I haven’t heard what dad thinks yet, but I picture a smile, a nod and a “looks good”. Sweet and a little shy about it, just like he’s always been.

If you travel, if you take pictures, even if you wanted to do a family map instead of a couple map, this is a fun, and only slightly complicated craft!

Happy crafting all!

Schoolwork Memory Book

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As any parent will tell you, young children generate papers. Artwork, doodles, schoolwork that they did well on. The amount of papers that come home from school is mind boggling! I’m a saver. I want to save all the moments, but I don’t want to keep all the papers. Let’s be honest, it’s a fire hazard, it’s more clutter and once you put it away somewhere, you will probably never pull it out again!
Once again, I fell back to my dear friend Shutterfly. I’ve used Shutterfly in the past for my family yearbooks, printing Christmas cards and pictures. Coke points are great for saving money on their products too!
Before the idea fully formed in my head, I took digital pictures of every paper Arthur brought home, saving it on my external hard drive. Then it occurred to me, I could put them all in a book to have a hard copy!

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Opening page featured first days of kindergarten work, pictures he colored of the bus and his school. I also included the name of his school and his teacher.

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I had the mix pages, like this, which was just a grouping of his artwork. He went through phases in school, drawing ships for a while, then switching to bats, then a frightening looking man. I did try to group those together.

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I also did themed pages for holidays, like this one for Thanksgiving.

All in all, I loved this project! I was so happy when the book came in, allowing me to sit and look through Arthur’s kindergarten work in one setting. Now I need to do one for his first grade work, then I’m done until the end of this school year!

In this house we do Geek

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I know I just did a Disney version of this, but both apply to our family, so yes, I did both! They were both so much fun, and they perfectly describe me. After all, how many people are out there that love both Disney and the Fandom life?

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This one features the following movies:
We believe in Magic – Harry Potter
We go on Unexpected Journeys – Hobbit
Going where no man has gone before – Star Trek
In galaxies far, far away – Star Wars
We assemble and defend – Avengers
We know the answer to everything is 42 – Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Family don’t end in blood – Supernatural
We’re all mad here – Alice in Wonderland
The odds are ever in our favor – Hunger Games
All the stories are true – Mortal Instruments
We aim to misbehave – Firefly

I had the second frame from Goodwill, so now I have a beautiful pair of pictures, just waiting for me to find the right spot on my walls…..

What fandoms inspire you? Which quote would you choose for your print?