Sunday, January 29, 2012

February Calendar and Practical Scrappers Update

I finished the February layout for our calendar/ Project 12 today. I used another Sketch Support sketch. I am really liking these sketches for this project because they allow a lot of space for lots of photos and it is easy to squeeze even more in. For this sketch, I ended up putting three photos on the left hand page instead of 2 and divided one of the 4x6 spaces into two 3x4s. I am using the right hand page for the calendar this month.

This layout also qualifies for Margy's "Flakey" Challenge at Back Porch Memories. The challenge was to simply use snowflakes on your layout.

In other news, I did not make it to the third round of the Practical Scrappers contest. :( Thank you to everyone who voted for me anyway! I had a lot of fun participating in the first two rounds and preparing a layout for the third round. The challenge for the third round was to be inspired by one of the three quilts they posted photos of and to use at least 4 of the following items: Ribbon, Button/s, Banner/s, Tag/s, Eyelet/s, or Chipboard. (I used everything but the tags.) Here is the quilt that I chose to inspire my layout:

I decided to make diamond for my background to mimic the diamonds on the quilt. I then used my sewing machine to zig zag stitch between the squares.

Friday, January 27, 2012

30 Days of Hands on Play Challenge: Day 18 and others

We only had one of the last three days' activities given to us as Elizabeth, who I have been following on this journey, has been sick. :( (I hope you are on the mend!) We came up with our own activities for the other two days.

Wednesday we decided to: play with shaving cream. Ellie has been begging me to get the shaving cream out again so that's what we did. Will was not a fan at all. I have worked with many kids through my previous jobs and his reaction is pretty typical for a kid his age. They are very particular about not getting their hands dirty, unless it is under their conditions.

Addy played for a little while, but she was dealing with the start of a cold and a constantly runny nose and ended up leaving the activity so she could wipe her nose.

Ellie stuck with it for a while, writing in it, scooping it into dishes and squishing it between her fingers.

Thursday's activity was: rough housing. Ellie really wanted to go outside and it was another warm (for January in Minnesota) day so that's what we did. Since it was warm out the snow stuck together wonderfully. First we made a snowman, which was knocked over quickly by bulldozer Will. Then we got into rough housing and had a snowball fight! I didn't bring the camera out for this one because it is easier to participate when you are not holding a camera worried about it getting hit with a snowball. We had a lot of fun!

Today we took another field trip with friends, this time to the zoo. The kids had a great time looking at the animals and playing in the "Beehive" which is the play room for toddlers and preschoolers.

Will started doing something that his big sister Addy has enjoyed doing for quite a while, collecting leaves. It took us a while to get through the end of the Tropics Trail because he was constantly stopping to pick up leaves.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Scrap Fit: Fun at the Fair

This week's challenge at Scrap Fit is to use kraft paper on a layout. I don't use kraft that often for some reason, but I had a lot of fun with this page, so I think I will be pulling it out more often. For the background on the top of the page I used some Ranger Snow Cap Distress Stain on some bubble wrap and pressed the bubble wrap onto the background. I really like how it turned out, it added just the right amount of texture! For the flower border I fussy cut flowers from a sheet of patterned paper and attached them with differing thicknesses of foam adhesive. Finally, for the chipboard flowers, I used various colors of mists to color them. I added some pink Stickles to the pick parts of the flower for even more glittery shine.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

30 Days of Hands on Play Challenge: Day 16 and 17

Okay, I'll be honest, I was not thrilled when I saw yesterday's activity: play outside. Yes, we went outside a couple of weeks ago and we didn't have to, but it has since snowed and it is 20 degrees colder.

I told the kids that was our activity and they were so excited so I had to just go along with it. And you know what?! It was fun! I got the kids (and myself) all bundled up and we grabbed the sled and headed to the front yard. Will walked outside before I had a chance to get mittens on his hands and ended up falling and getting his hands covered with snow. Once I got his hands brushed off, I put his mittens on. The first thing the girls did was lay in the snow and make angels.

Will fell a couple more times and ended up with snow covered mittens and lots of snow up his sleeves. I thought that may be the end of his and my outside time. I told the girls to head to the backyard and I brought Will into the house. I took off Will's mittens and realized that his hands were still pretty warm so I just found a different pair of mittens and pulled his sleeves way down over them. We headed back outside and found the girls in the backyard going down the hill on the sled.

I took a couple of turns with Will and then suggested that we head to the front yard again because the hill was bigger there. We all took some more turns sliding down the hill. I then decided to shovel the driveway while the kids played. We were out there for an hour and a half!! The kids had fun sledding, playing with some of their wheeled toys on the driveway as I cleared it, and rolling around in the snow. Maybe I need to take them out more often...

Today's activity was: build a reading tent. I decided to set a up something similar to a fort in the living room facing the window for lots of light. The girls climbed right in and looked at some of the books from our trip to the library last week. Ellie had fun relaxing and looking at books. Addy was a little more interested in figuring out different ways to destroy the tent...

Right after I got the tent set up, Will woke up from his nap. Once I got him cleaned up (this is a story in and of itself...) we all got in the tent and read a few books.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

I'm in Round 2!!

Thank you to everyone who voted for me in the Practical Scrappers contest! I made it to the second round!! The challenge for the second round was to make a layout using one of two sketches. Most of the people who made it to the second round chose the first sketch, but I chose the second because it had room for 4 photos and I liked the flowers on it. Here is my layout:

I had a lot of fun making this layout. I did some fussy cutting on the photo mat to frame the large photo. I also used lots of mists on this one. I misted the background with purple mist to give it some interest and I misted the flowers for some shine. For the flowers I wanted to mimic the flowers on my photo mat so I cut out circles in different sizes, crumpled them for some texture, sprayed them with some Perfect Pearls mist, Inked the edges and ridges with purple ink, and then stacked them.

If you like my layout, you can vote for me to advance to round 3 here.

Friday, January 20, 2012

30 Days of Hands on Play Challenge: Day 14 and 15

We are half way through! It has gone so quickly! I am already trying to come up with ways to continue this after we are finished. I'm thinking of maybe putting each thing that we've done (I will probably add other things I come across to keep it interesting) on a slip of paper and then putting it in a jar that we can draw from each morning... We'll see.

Yesterday's activity was: plan a party. I was a little unsure of what to do with this at first, but I decided a tea party of sorts would be fun. So after the kids got up from their naps we gathered around the dining room table and I made hot cocoa and graham crackers with Sunbutter and raisins. I set out a tea cup and saucer for each of us. We all had some cocoa and a snack and we chatted.

The kids and brought some of their animal figures to the table to join us. Will pretended to have them drink cocoa from his cup.

After we finished our treats the girls got out some pencils and paper and did some drawing. They had me draw some pictures for them too.

Today's activity was: mega doodles. I had looked through some of the activities when I was deciding whether to do this or not and I remember seeing this one and thinking, "Cool!" We got out a roll of paper and laid it out on the kitchen floor with some crayons and colored pencils. We all drew and doodled for over an hour. (Okay, Will didn't stick with it for that long, and while he was there, he was usually trying to scribble on what the girls were drawing, which led to some extra drama.)

In the end this is how much we colored:

Ellie LOVED this activity and said repeatedly that we should do it again sometime. We are definitely looking forward to what the next few weeks hold.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

30 Days of Hands On Play: Days 12 and 13

We've had two more fun days of playing together. Yesterday's task was: go on a field trip.

We went to the library since we haven't been there in a while and it is nearby.  The kids had fun playing with the toys, looking at books, and choosing books to bring home. Sometimes going to the library ends up being very stressful for me, but yesterday was good and I didn't feel stressed.

Today we ended up being a little pressed for time because we got a slow start this morning, but we still had fun.  Today's challenge was: play with paint.

I love all thing having to do with art supplies, so I would have liked a little more time with this. We got out the water colors. Will didn't spend a lot of time with this, he didn't like it for some reason. While he was playing, he enjoyed dipping his brush in the water, then in the paint and then back in the water again.

The girls and I had fun painting flowers and other things.

Vote For Me!

I entered my "Day at the Races" page in the layout contest at Practical Scrappers. I made the top 70 (yay!), but now I need your help. Go to the link below. Check out my layout and all the others in my group. If you like my layout (or any of the others) go to the bottom of the post and click next to my name (and next to the name of any one else whose layout you liked). That's it! The top 25 vote getters from all of the groups will move on! Thanks!

Vote Here!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Halloween Mini

The make and take at the We R Memory Keepers booth at Scrapfest this year was a Halloween mini book using their Cinch binding tool. I've decided to use it to document our family's Halloween costumes each year. I have been working on getting the last 5 years put in there. I pulled out all of my Halloween and fall papers and went to work. It went together pretty quickly and now I can just add a page each year!

Here is the cover we decorated at Scrapfest:

Here are the pages I have completed:

Monday, January 16, 2012

30 Days of Hands on Play Challenge: Day 10 and 11

Friday was Day 10 of this challenge and our activity was: make potions. I had accidentally ended up with an extra box of corn starch a while back so I decided to mix that with water for the kids to play with. Will was freaked out by it immediately. I pressed his fingers into it and he wanted nothing to do with it. The girls and I played anyway. We picked up chunks of it, watched it flow, and let our hands sink into it.

After a little while we added some food coloring and had fun mixing that in. The girls loved this stuff! They played for an hour and a half!! We got it out again on Saturday and they played with it some more!

I switched today and tomorrow's activities because we are having people over and so we did our activity this morning: act out a story. Ellie acted out "Little Red Riding Hood" recently in preschool so that was the story she wanted to act out. She also took on the role of director since she had done this before. :) The first time through Ellie was Little Red Riding Hood, Addy was Grandma, Daddy was the Big Bad Wolf, Will was the Wood Cutter and I was the Mom.

We took turns trying all of the roles. Then we switched to "Goldilocks and the Three Bears and acted that out a couple of times. The kids really had fun with this one!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

30 Days of Hands on Play Challenge: Day 8 and 9

Two more days down! After tomorrow, we will be a third of the way through. We are having so much fun. Ellie is my child who likes to know what is coming up next (especially when it is something she enjoys) and she has started saying, "I wonder what we are going to do tomorrow."

Yesterday's activity was: play kitchen. All three of my kids like to help cook and pretend to cook, but Addy is my little chef. She loves watching cooking shows and loves pretending to cook (in fact, I will be doing a scrapbook layout about this very soon) so I knew she would be excited about this.

We started by doing some actual cooking. First the girls and I put together some bars for me to bring to book club last night (they turned out great!).

Then Will woke up from his nap so he got in on the next task: making instant pudding. This is the first time Will has helped with cooking and he LOVED it. I had to pry the whisk and bowl out of his hand when we were done.

Finally, we pulled out the play kitchen toys and cooked some chicken, hamburgers, and salad.

Today's activity was: water play. My kids, who love sensory play, were in heaven! I filled up a big plastic container with water in the bath tub and then carefully carried it to the kitchen where I had laid out a couple of bath towels. We had a bit of bubble bath left in a bottle that I dumped into the water for some bubbles. I also added a bit of food coloring. We grabbed all of the cups and bottles that the kids use as toys during their baths (they play way more with these than any purchased toys). We did some comparing and estimation by taking different sized containers and deciding how many of the smaller one it would take to fill the larger one and then actually doing it.

Then I took a handful of suds and blew it out of my hands. Will thought it was hilarious and kept giggling; deep, awesome belly laughs. The girls decided to get in on the fun and we were all laughing!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

30 Days of Hands on Play Challenge: Day 6 and 7

We've completed a couple more days of the challenge. I both activities outside because it was in the upper 40's both days- it's January and we're in Minnesota people, this doesn't happen very often!

Yesterday's challenge was: play islands. To make this challenge work outside, we brought out the sidewalk chalk and drew islands on the driveway. I decided to draw a bunch of different shapes so we had a few options to throw a little learning in.

I started out by calling out a shape and we all had to jump to that shape. The girls took turns calling out shapes as well.

Then we played a game of "Freeze." One person yelled "go" and everyone ran around until that same person yelled "freeze." Then we each had to name to shape we were on. Will loved running among us and yelling "Go!"

Finally we played a little Shark/Crocodile. We ran around among the shapes and the person who was "it" (the shark or crocodile) had to try to tag us when we were outside of a shape. Once a person was tagged they had to go wait on the island I drew (yes, I took the challenge literally).

Today's challenge was: sensory play. My kids LOVE playing in the sensory table at school so over a year ago I bought a large flat Sterilite container and some bird seed and made a sensory box. We don't get it out super often, but we pulled it out today, along with a small bucket, some shovels and some measuring cups. We have played with the bird seed inside, but it is really messy, so bringing it outside makes for a lot more fun for everyone.

The kids didn't play super long in the bird seed today, but they wanted to play some of the games from yesterday again, so we did!