Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Dear Santa...

I'm so excited for Christmas to get here, it feels like it is taking forever. I finally figured out what handmade gift everybody will get so I hope to start on them tomorrow!

Yesterday I told you about the number one things on the lists for the kids, today I thought I would share whats on Mama's list.....Craft storage.

Since moving I haven't been able to craft like I want to. Part because of space, part because I'm still trying to balance having to kiddos and baby girl grows so fast she wants to be into everything, and mostly because I know what I have but i have no clue where in the 4 stacked boxes and 1 suitcase it is. HIGHLY discouraging. Sometimes I feel like I would rather buy new whatever instead of attempting to dig around to find it. This year I asked Santa for a tall dresser to store all of my madness in an organized fashion. Now the thing I WISH Santa would bring me is a Workbox. What? You never heard of one? Let me introduce you to one of the greatest things ever made. The workbox by The Original Scrapbox.
Isn't this thing great? Look at all that storage, and a workspace too. It's like a little crafting sanctuary all in one little piece of furniture that looks oh so nice when tucked away. Not only does it come in white they have a few other colors/finishes to choose from. The Original Scrapbox makes a few other styles of crafting furniture that is worth going to the site and taking a look at.

If you want to see a really cool craft room that uses all of the Scrapbox products check out Linda's craft room from Craftaholics Anonymous. She even has a video tour to envy this room even more. Seriously, if this room had pink accents, and a papasan chair, it would be my vision for my future craft room with the grey walls and white furniture.

That's all for now, maybe I will be good enough for Santa net year, who knows. ;)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Thinking About Christmas

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend. I know I did, it's so nice to spend time with family! Now that thanksgiving has passed us by everybody is thinking about Christmas. I absolutely love Christmas so I have been thinking about it for a while now. We have even had our tree up for a week already, haha.

I have a few upcoming projects in mind to start on, but the sad part is I cannot post them until after Christmas since they are gifts (don't want to spoil the surprise). That being said, I love giving handmade gifts, they are so much more personal and heartfelt. What kind of handmade gifts will you guys be giving this year?

Sometime the smaller kiddo's don't appreciate the handmade gifts as much and rather have a new toy with extremely hard to open plastic packaging. That's ok though, I picked out the perfect gifts for them this year. For the boy we are getting the Leapster Explorer by Leapfrog with the camera attachment, because he loves to take pictures like his daddy.

I've done a lot of research on this toy and have read lots of reviews and I absolutely LOVE it. I know he will have tons of fun playing games and I will know he is learning. You can even track your child's learning progress by hooking it up to your computer. There are a ton of games for this toy but my favorite part is that you can download games, videos, and interactive books directly to your handheld... NO LOST GAMES! If he does get an actual game cartridge we will probably go with the Mr. Pencil game as it seems like one he would really like. Oh, and I forgot to add my other favorite part. The difficulty of these games change as your child learns, how could you not love that, you know its not going to be a game he completes in a day and is done with it.

For baby girl we picked out the cutest little doll perfect for her age. The Baby Stella doll by Manhattan Toy. This doll comes in a few different styles but we choose the one with the black hair, isn't she just the cutest?
There has been TONS of good reviews for this doll as the perfect "first doll" for little girls, and I am a big advocate of every little girl having a dolly. Stella is a nice cuddly soft doll which I love. I think soft dolls have so much more character than the plastic face/bodied dolls. She even comes with a little magnetic binky to give her
You can get lots of clothes and accessories for her which I love, every girl (even a dolly) needs lots of accessories. Looking around the Internet I did not find a lot of free (or even paid) patterns for diy clothes for this doll...except one for a diaper pattern from Treasures For Tots. I know when she gets it I will try to work on lots of clothes and accessories patterns to post as there is a lack of them on the net already. [so excited!] One day I hope to get her a Waldorf doll like the ones here, but for now, this one is perfect.

 That's it for now, tomorrow I will share with you whats on my Christmas list.

Disclaimer: I was not paid or compensated by anyone to write about these products. I just really liked them and wanted to share my opinion.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Kids Krafts Friday - Pinata!

YAY! I'm so excited this is my first Kids Krafts Friday. This project was long in the making because I promised Noah that I would help him to make one of these a while ago after he saw one on Nick Jr.

It may not be too pretty but he had tons of fun making it and that's all that really matters.

Here's what you will need:

few sheets of white printer paper (optional)
tissue paper
white glue (like Elmer's)
Patience (lots of it)

First thing first, rip newspaper into strips, this is a long and boring process so I did this while watching TV (and browsing pinterest)

Then we mixed the glue, this was his favorite part, he told me he was Chef Noah while he was mixing it. I used a ratio of 2-1 with 2 cups of water to every 1 cup of flower. If you are doing a small pinata like the size of ours that should be enough but if you are doing anything larger, double it.

The next part may be a little common since because I think everybody has made a pinata in grade school,but just in, case you haven't I'll tell you. Dip paper in glue mixture, wipe of extra with your fingers, and put all over balloon. Be sure to overlap pieces a little and cover the entire balloon. It helps to put the balloon in a small bowl to hold it still while you are working.

Now, the ideal thing to do is let the first layer completely dry before you start your second layer, but working with a 3 year old that did not exactly happen. I figured if I didn't wait, it would turn out the same. I was right, but it took days to dry, and it made the kitchen smell like the flour mixture, so please, try to wait between each layer. About 3 or 4 newspaper layers should do it. Here he is, very proud of his first layer

Optional - add a layer or two of white paper to cover up the newsprint if you would like.

While you wait for your pinata to dry cut your tissue paper into small squares. It doesn't have to be perfect, just get some scissors and go crazy.We used Christmas paper because that's what he wanted, but it looks nice to used color paper and go for a pattern look lol. To speed up the process it helps to cut in strips, then stack the strips to cut the squares. (I had Noah separate all the pieces that were stuck together, he started to count them, then says mom there is just too many, it was funny)

After its all dry, its time to add the candy and decorate! I used a sharp knife to cut a hole in the bottom big enough to fit the candy in it(but do not cut it all the way off), doing this will pop the balloon, be sure to get that out before you do. I used tape at first to hold the hole closed, but the tape I had wouldn't stick to anything so I just glued it shut wit some strips of white paper. Since you need to hang it up the easiest way to do this is to make two holes close together at the top and string some ribbon or yarn through. I used screws to make the holes, and I used a tapestry needle to help get the ribbon through, if you don't have one of those I guess you could tape your string to a toothpick.

Give yourself a pat on the back, or clap like Noah did because you are almost done. Now its time to add all that tissue paper you cut up. We did it the old fashioned way I remember doing in elementary school. Wrap the tissue paper square around an unsharpened pencil and dip in glue, press and hold on pinata, and viola! it sticks! repeat until you are all done

When its all dry, string it up and knock it out! The hubs didn't think it was a good idea to do that in the apartment so we are going to wait until Saturday and do it outside at grandma's house. Will post a pic when we do so you can see :)