Saturday, January 26, 2013

Crystal Snowflakes

Our science experiment this week is growing borax crystals on pipe cleaners shaped like snowflakes. It was a lot of work, but the kids love watching them grow (so do I!). I forgot how fast the borax crystals form, and by the time I was finished with the last batch the first batch already had crystals forming on the top. I took the basic recipe from here which I found on Pinterest (of course!). I made most of the pipe cleaner snowflakes after having two girls try it, and the results weren't what I expected. We also chose to add blue food coloring to make it even more fun! Anyways, here are the pictures.

We didn't have enough mason jars (read: we didn't want to wash them all) so we used large clear plastic cups instead. I wasn't sure how they would do with the boiling water, but they held up great since I let the water cool a little before pouring it in. 

After only a few hours the crystals are growing!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Christmas Cards

Think of it this way; this post isn't late, it's giving you great ideas for next Christmas! I had a lot of fun using my new Cricut, an early Christmas present thanks to Black Friday, along with stamps to create our Christmas cards this year. We sent out/hand delivered about 50 cards this year; so I decided to make five designs and ten of each design. So here's the big reveal of my original designs:

This was my first Cricut trial. I cut out the circles and stamped the wreath on them. I made some of them green because I ran out of red card stock. Oops!
As I got used to the Cricut I got a little braver. I cut out the ornaments and the saying. I started cutting out red ornaments, but realized that blue might look nice too since it matches the ribbon. I like both of them, but I'd love to hear what you think!

I gave the Cricut a rest on this one, and went with a simple stamped card. This stamp set from Stampin' Up is one of my favorites! The dragging on the edges helps it pop off the background paper a little more.

This is another simple stamped card. I love this swirly tree stamp, and the bling in the middle gives it an extra pop.

These adorable penguins were by far the most work! I used the Cricut to cut out all of the pieces, but had to glue all the tiny pieces on by hand (that was 20 penguins total!). But looking at it again it was worth the effort because they're adorable. :)

I hope you enjoyed these designs. What Christmas cards did you make this year. Did I inspire you to get a head start on next year?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Other Wedding Projects (the last post)

I'm horribly late on posting these pictures of other projects for Diana's wedding! But better late than never, right?

After Diana and I finished the wedding invitations we still had some work to do. There were still table names and place cards to make along with programs to put together. That was all part of my wedding gift to them. I also helped her make cute tumblers for the bridesmaid gift baskets.

One of my favorite things that Diana and Aaron did was collect rocks from different beaches in the area, and used those in the bottom of the bowls for the center pieces. Where they got the rocks coordinated with the table names. The bride & groom table had rocks from all of them. Isn't that a cool way to add in a piece of the Pacific Northwest?
Fun Fact: Mukilteo Ferry Park is the beach where they got engaged!

This is my place card. We printed names on one side with table name on the other, and the little "C" in the corner indicated that I chose the chicken option for food. Then we simply stamped on the side with Baroque Motifs to match the table names.

Diana typed up everything for the programs (with a little help from Google!), and we went to Kinko's to print them. Pretty basic: cover, order of ceremony, listing of the wedding party and parents and grandparents, timeline for the reception, a short thank you note, and their new address is on the back (due to privacy I'm not posting that). Can you tell she's very detail oriented with the specific timeline for the reception? Good thing it all went according to plan. :)

I found these tumblers at Dollar Tree after looking everywhere else for them. I got the glitter glue from the dollar section at Target. Diana wrote our names on the side and bride, maid of honor, and bridesmaid on the lids. One thing we didn't realize until putting water in them is that the glitter glue comes off then it gets wet. Looking back we should've spent a little more for the puffy paints instead. Oh well, they were still cute while they lasted. :)

That wraps up my wedding projects posts (finally!). Since the wedding in September I've had a lot more time to work on other projects. I'll post more about those later...

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Sinterklaas Crafts

In the Frog class we like to do our own little "Christmas Around the World", and teach the kids about some different cultures. This year we went to the Netherlands, Germany, Mexico, & Switzerland. Since I'm Dutch I had a great time teaching them about Sinterklaas since I grew up celebrating it. I think the highlights were the blue Big Bird (on the Dutch version of Sesame Street), and the video of "Zwarte Pieten Style". But they had fun making a few crafts too so here they are:

This is one I made, but the kids used magazine cut outs to complete their wish bags.

The kids loved making a Piet hat! This is the one I used to become "Piet" when I taught them about Sinterklaas.

All of the kids were adorable in their Sinterklaas hats! They even got a little goofy wearing them sideways or upside down. :)

I can't forget the delicious peppernoten I made at home and brought for snack one day. I wasn't sure what the kids would think because of the anise flavor, but they loved it. I also brought in a chocolate letter (an F for frog class of course!) which they also loved.

I'd say I was successful at teaching them about Dutch culture since they still sing Sinterklaas songs I taught them. One of my girls told me, "I asked Santa to bring me peppernoten and a chocolate letter." If you would like more information about Sinterklaas or these crafts just ask me in the comments!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Fall Craft Projects

Well, the Frog class was busy crafting this fall. Thanks to Pinterest for pretty much all of my ideas!

 We painted egg carton pumpkins. Some are scarier than others!

I got a kit of these foam pumpkins at JoAnn's. I love how they used the same items, but they're all so different! I also got a kit for foam turkeys that the kids had fun putting together.

We made hand print spiders around Halloween. Isn't it cute with the googley eyes?

After reading the "Pumpkin Patch Parable" we made pumpkins similar to these that we hung on our lockers.

For Thanksgiving we had fun coloring pasta (I discovered that liquid water colors work well too) to make noodle turkeys like the ones found here, and hung them above the lockers for everyone to admire. We also made hand print turkeys then used feathers to decorate them to use for a bulletin board display.

Happy crafting! Please leave feedback of crafts you've done with kids for fall, if you want more details, or if you like an idea. I would like validation that I'm writing to an audience.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

DIY Laundry Detergent Update & Pictures

Happy New Year! Every year I make the goal to post more often, and in 2013 I'm hoping I'll do better than I did in 2012 or 2011. I like posting about crafts I do with my class. It seems the most traffic to my blog is from Pinterest (thanks!) to craft projects I've done. So I'll try to post more of those, too! Since it's been awhile since I posted I've got a few posts ready to go already so here I go...

About a year ago I posted about my little adventure making laundry detergent after I broke out in hives. I'm happy to report that I'm still using the same box of Borax & Washing Soda, and I just finished the big pack of soap I bought at Target. I was making a single batch every few months, but when my Mom got hives too (she still used a generic detergent) I've had to start making a double batch each time since it's being used more often.

Here are some pictures to demonstrate how it's done:

One batch uses 1 bar of soap (I use Up & Up Sensitive Skin but any kind will work), 1/2 cup Borax, and 1/2 cup Washing Soda.


Start by finely grating the soap into a bowl.

 Add the Borax

Add the Washing Soda

Mix it together and you're ready to do laundry!

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