School Projects

Fun Projects

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Snow Day

Two days ago we had another snowstorm here, so when Project Day rolled around it was only fitting that we make snow men, before going outside and sledding in the backyard.

We stacked progressivly smaller styrofoam balls on top of each - with a bamboo skewer through the middle - to make the bodies. Twigs were stuck in for the arms and push-pins for the noses.
Then we glued on buttons and fabric scraps for accessories.
NOTE: Tacky glue was NOT a good choice for this project. I'd try hot glue next time.
The finished men:

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I Did It Myself!

If you've been following my posts, you know that the past few weeks have been spent preparing for my little sister Margo's wedding.
The momentous occasion came off beautifully this past Saturday.
Congratulations Jon and Margo.

With this major project completed, I had time today to accomplish something else that has been waiting since Christmas. I decided to take on power tools and get Blair's Christmas present shelves up on the walls of her room. Thankfully the shelves came with detailed instructions, so once I figured out how to change bits and use the "chock key" I was able to hang them with a lot less trouble then I thought. Here is my very first fully-installed screw!
Once the shelves were hung, I was finally able to display Blair's other Christmas present: her name letters.

To complete that corner, I hung this Claude Monet painting that used to hang in our bathroom.
The other two shelves went up in the other corner of the room, along with these jars and buckets I've had waiting to use. Eventually I am going to fill them with silk Crazy Daisies.

The Girl's Room (where neither girl currently sleeps) is finally starting to come together. Now I just have to get rid of the extra furniture that is being stored in there!


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Wedding Preparations

My third sister is getting married on Saturday. I feel a little out of the loop because with three little kids I haven't been able (or allowed) to help much in the planning and preparation part. I was responsible, however, to get the matching dresses and vests made for my little kids (It has become tradition for all the cousins to match at these events). For some reason, I had a hard time getting this done. See here and here.
Thankfully, I finally finished the last outfit on Tuesday. I had finished the actual dress the week before, but the slip that I had inherited to wear under it was too long, so I finally got around to shortening it. For some reason, I made several very stupid mistakes on this easy project, but eventually I got it right. Well.....right enough that I am not going to change it again.
Here it is:
(Poor Brynnie was sinking fast from a cold when I made her try her ensemble on.)

Now I just need to do a little ironing on the grown-up clothes....yuck.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Project Day for Jeta

I haven't had time until today to blog about last week's project day.
I think my youngest may be working on a project of her own: teeth.
She used to nap beautifully and entertain herself on the floor, but for the past few days she has demanded a little more attention. Thankfully she settled down for a really good nap this afternoon, and I got caught up on a few things.
That brings me back to Project Day.
My sister offered to host again, since her usual Valentine's Day Party got pushed aside by a new baby this year. I thought it would be fun to have the kids make something special for the new baby, so I bought some fleece and cut it into 8 ten inch squares. Then I sewed them together two at a time (with a 2" seam allowance) and then cut the allowance into a fringe.
The idea was for the kids to knot the fringe, and then the pieces would be sewn together and knotted again to make a 12x12" "Taggie".
My notion of the kids' ability to knot fleece was rather inflated, and only Mia had any interest in the project. She diligently knotted away!

Ellie wanted to help, but was satisfied to color instead.

I finally finished the project today. This picture shows the top, and there is an identical piece for the bottom. I sewed those two pieces together inside-out, and then reversed it.
I hope Jeta enjoys it.

Valentine's Day Countdown: 2 & 1

Happy Valentine's Day!
It's finally here and the countdown is done!
Yesterday was another crazy Sunday, which meant that I didn't get a chance to sneak something into the kids' mailboxes. To make up for that, I made their favorite snack about 15 minutes after breakfast ended: Strawberry-Blueberry smoothies.

Then, while Blair FINALLY took a good nap, I got to work on the official Valentine's Day Valentines. This one included candy, because Ian hinted that the past few surprises have been deficient in that department.

And just so my husband didn't feel left out on the big day I made dessert for supper tonight.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Valentine's Day Countdown: 3

The other day, Ian asked me for a flag, so today I made him one.
Now I just need to find a stick to fly it from.
Brynn especially liked her "B for Brynnie!"
Once again, felt and tacky glue came to my aid.

Happy Valentine's day.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Valentine's Day Countdown:5

Until today, I have done identical surprises for each of my two older kids. Today I decided to go a different route. This countdown has turned in to a way for me to get rid of all kinds of little scraps and items that I've been saving for "something" but never actually using (like those little take-out boxes from yesterday).
One thing that has been in my collection for a while now is a little wooden box in the shape of a heart. I have no idea where it came from, but it has just been sitting there, taking up space. I thought it would be a perfect treasure box for Ian. So I added some felt (Sorry, Tandis) and put his name on the top in glitter.
Brynn might have enjoyed a treasure box too, but I only had one. So, I decided to make her something that I knew Ian wouldn't appreciate: a pendant heart necklace. I hand-sewed hearts (cut from saved felt scraps) together, stuffed it with other scraps, and then laced through a ribbon (also a saved scrap). It is a little large, but Brynn likes her bling, so it worked just fine.
Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Valentine's Day Countdown: 6

Since the past few days of the countdown have included candy in one for or another, I decided I better do something a little more healthy. I know, I know, raisins are mostly sugar too, but it's "all natural" so that's better....right?

To make the healthy treat a little more exciting, I wrapped them up and
added these stickers taped on the top.
Ian took one look at the raisins and tossed them over his shoulder. Oh well.
The sticker, however, was a success. Why? Because it was the right size to be a "Valentine Police Officer" badge.
Happy Valentine's Day.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Valentine's Day Countdown: 7

Only a week left until Valentine's day!
Yesterday my kids were in the making mood, so I decided we would try our hand at candy.
Thanks to Make Monthly for the recipe for our own Conversation Hearts.
The kids didn't know it at the time, but the hearts would also serve as their surprise treat.
I just love that making their own surprise is just fine with Ian and Brynn.

Candy hearts call for only a few ingredients: Powdered sugar, water, light corn syrup and unflavored gelatin, but require quite a bit of muscle. We added vanilla for flavor and food coloring too.
Then you roll out the dough and use cookie-cutters to make the hearts.

After that they only need to dry overnight.
I forgot to buy a food-safe marker, so we didn't get to write on ours.
This morning, I packaged a few up in these little take-out boxes (another search through my wrapping paper box turned up these forgotten items) and popped them in the mailboxes.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Valentine Countdown: 9 & 8

Well, I missed another day.
In my defense, that was because the Green Bay Packers were in the Superbowl yesterday, and in Wisconsin that event trumps all other holidays. I might have still slipped something into their mailboxes, but we were gone the whole day and there just wasn't an opportunity.
Today, though, I did have opportunity (the kids were outside shoveling the snow that had drifted into our driveway in the past few days) so I got to work.

This may be my favorite valentine yet, because I got to taste test the M & Ms while I sewed.
Happy Valentine's Day.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Valentine's Day Countdown: 11 & 10

Due to technical difficulties yesterday I couldn't post, so today you get two valentines for the price of one. I don't feel very badly about it though, since yesterday's surprise was a little lame (we have also had sickness in the house, so my time to sit and figure out something good was limited.)
I found these little fold-up boxes in my stash of wrapping paper, and inserted the Pez Dispensers that Grandpa Kevin keeps stocked.
Ian announced that his box looked like a box for french fries.
For today's surprise, I had a little more time (and had made a trip to Walmart for supplies) to do something really fun. Thank you FamilyFun Magazine for this idea.
My kids like dragons - I don't know why - but they frequently have conversations with the large ones that are banned to the outside so that little imaginations don't keep themselves up all night.
I thought these seemed safe enough.
These dragons only took me about 20 minutes each to make.

(The cup was so I didn't have to jab my hand in order to keep the layers apart.

My "final product" picture was pretty terrible (try taking a picture of your left hand while holding your camera in your right hand!), so here's the one from FamilyFun.

We have been experiencing random dragon flights all morning, so I guess they were a hit.

Happy Valentine's Day.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Valentine's Day Countdown:12

For the past few days, Brynn has been carrying around a stack of really small board books,
which she calls "My bookies."
(Here she is reading a bookie to Blair.)

I thought for day 3 of the Valentine's countdown, I would make her and Ian their own
little "notebookies" that they could write in.
For Ian I added a little number dot-to-dot puzzle (his current favorite thing).
Since it is a little hard to see, I'll give away the shape: a heart.
They haven't checked their mailboxes yet, but I think these "bookies" will be a hit.
Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Valentine's Day Countdown: 13

For day 2 of the countdown to Valentine's Day I decided to go candy free. I was browsing through blogland and found a fun idea here: felt "watches."
I'd post her pretty picture here, but my internet is being wonky today and won't open her site so you'll have to be satisfied with my slightly blurry photos.
All you need is a few scraps of felt, tacky glue, and velcro.
(The white strips in the picture are the velcro)

Cut out the pieces and then glue them together.
Make sure you put one half of the velcro on the top side and one on the bottom, so that when you wrap the strap around your wrist the pieces meet up.

The finished product (too small for my wrist).
Happy Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Countdown to Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is two weeks away, so we decided it was time to get out the Valentine's Day decorations. I like to do different decorations each month during the winter, because winter around here is so grey and we need something cheery in the house.
The heart garland is a new addition this year.
(I wish I could remember which blog I got the idea from, but I can't)
The little mailboxes gave me an idea:
A countdown to Valentine's Day.
Each day until February 14 I am going to put a little something in each of the kid's mailboxes.
They will know the surprise has arrived when the little flag on the side of the box is up.

First I had to personalize Blair's box.
I really should stop free-handing these things, since I seem to be terrible at centering.

Today the surprise was a little lame, since I spent most of my time setting up the decorations and making the heart banner, in addition to putting on and taking off snowsuits.

Even so, candy is always a hit with my kids.

She's Getting So Big, Part 2

This project started a few weeks ago when I started giving Brynn her naps in the toddler bed in Ian's room. I wasn't sure when we were going to go the rest of the way and have her start sleeping in there too, but yesterday turned out to be the day.
One of the things that had been holding me back was that I didn't have a little girl blanket to put on the bed. Of course I could have left Ian's fire truck and police car blanket on the bed but I really wanted it to be special for Brynn. Then, on Sunday, my Mom told me that JoAnn Fabrics was having a HUGE (70% off) sale on fleece. I just happened to have enough cash to buy 4 yards of fabric!
So, on Monday we ventured out and bought the fabric.
Then, I actually had enough time to sew it together.
It seemed like the time had come.

For the rest of the day, I really focused on Brynnie being a "Big Girl" and needing to sleep in a "Big Girl Bed."
She was eating it all up.
We did "Big Girl" things together like
mashing bananas for banana bread.

We even decorated fancy posters to put up around "The Big Girl Bed."
Seven o'clock arrived and we went through the bedtime routine, with only one change:
She laid down to sleep in the "Big Girl Bed" instead of the "Baby Crib."
To say that she was excited would be the mildest of understatements.
Maybe I had hyped this just a little too much.....uh oh.
I decided to not intervene with what happened in the newly shared bedroom for one hour, unless the activity extended outside the bedroom. There was lots of yelling and dancing around, and certainly no sleeping.
At 8:45, Ian started getting frustrated: "Mommy, Brynnie keeps waking me up."
Then the escapes started occurring. "Mommy, Brynnie won't stay in bed."
At 9:00 I decided the time had come to take SERIOUS action: I turned out the nightlight.
There was crying and pleading, which I ignored.
Then, suddenly, it was 9:45 and I realized there was quiet. I waited another fifteen minutes and then went in to see if Brynnie was sleeping, and if so, which spot she had chosen. I sort of expected to find both of the kids on the floor together. To my surprise, they were each sound asleep in their own beds.
But we'll see how tonight goes.