Tuesday, August 31, 2010

::oil and water::

I got this idea straight off of Frugal Family Fun.  If you have not checked out her blog, you should!  She is a genius of cost vs fun.  I wanted to test drive this craft as a possibility for the art party. 

You take a ziplock and put in equal parts baby oil to equal parts paint.  That's it.  SIMPLE!  You could add other things too, like glitter.  (Which we will do at the art party.)  

Lily LOVED this.  She just really wanted all the things to mix together and was so interested in the fact that the water based paint and the oil will not mix.

We played with it on a sheet of white paper to make it stand out more.  I can't wait to do this at the art party!

(I love this picture of Lily because she looks exactly like she did at age three, not almost 7!)


Monday, August 30, 2010

::preschool - stamping, cutting and over/under::

I have just found a new blog to me called s.b. creatively.  Not only does she share my love of lower case letters, but she also has some great idea's for creative things to do with little guys.  I took the cork stamping idea straight from her.   I drew the stem with a crayon and showed him how to start filling in the flowers with stamps.  He told me I was doing it wrong and started stamping over the lines of the stem.  Next time I will write his name really big and let him stamp his name.  (Which he is starting to spell out loud.  In his own little foreign language.) 

I tried again with a large flower outline drawn out for him to stamp.  He liked that better, and he loved adding another color to the table.  We talked about orange and found other objects that were orange.  Which is not that hard right now because my table is COVERED with stuff for Lily's upcoming art party.

Curls at work.

We have been working on holding scissors properly.  He is starting to get it.  I thought he was left handed, but he is cutting with his right.  Josh still wants to teach him to pitch left handed.  

I have some of this cheap ribbon that I let him cut with because it stands up on its own and that makes it easier for him to cut than paper.  He  loves the confetti that it makes and the vacuum sucks it right up.

Lastly, we talked about over and under.  I asked him to go over the bench like Mommy...

Then under the bench like Lizzie.  He thought this was a very fun game.  

That is a glance at what if going on a the Schaefer Family Preschool right now.   Throw in your own ideas!  I would love to hear it.   

Sunday, August 29, 2010

::center piece::

I wanted a tall floral arrangement for my Lily's upcoming art party.  I also want to get as many things done ahead of time as possible.  Live flowers would be stunning, but I couldn't get this image from BirthdayGirl out of my mind... 

It's so pretty and sweet.  The colors are all wrong for the art party, but I love the design. 
So I decided to make one of my own.

I pulled out my cricut and got to cutting.  I couldn't decide which flower to use, so I used all different ones.  Sticking on rhinestones and silver ink to finish them off.  

For the stem, I stuck a kabob stick on the back with tape and covered it up with a punch out circle .

Lily was feeling grumpy and didn't want to help me.  When she saw how they turned out she changed her mind.  I put her on rhinestone duty. 



PonyTails and FishScales

Saturday, August 28, 2010


I had really big plans for my secret back garden.  It was going to be my pumpkin patch and corn field.  It was going to be a little weedy but just adorable.  Some sunflowers sprinkled in to define the boarders.  We tilled under this pretty little meadow and it went insane.  The weeds devoured it.  To give you an idea, the weeds are over my head.  The sunflower was at least 10 feet tall.  Next spring I am going to weed kill it, till, and plant is with grass seed.  I hope we can get it back to its former meadow glory.  A few of the sunflowers did manage to rise above.  Max and I journeyed out to try and pick one for Lily.


She loved getting off the bus to a sunflower as big as her.  

So I guess the back garden isn't a total loss.  

Friday, August 27, 2010

::palette invite::

When Lily started Kindergarten last year I struggled with her party invitations.  I usually try to make her invites a year in review, with lots of pictures.  But other kids don't care about seeing all those pictures.  So last year I made a family invite and a put only one picture in the school invites.   This year I decided that I wanted two totally different invites.  I have already done her water colors school invites, so it was time to get to work on the family invite.  The first thing I did was cut out two inch circles of different color paper on my cricut cutter.

Then I bought a real palette from the craft store and used it to trace the base for my invite.  I tried to find online templates but could seem to track down the right one.  This one cost $2 at the craft store, and it was just the right size.

Then I had to cut it out.  Not my favorite job, but an evening with American Pickers helped me get it done.

I printed out a variety of pictures of Lily from the year in a 2/3 inch format.  I used a 1.5 inch hole punch to cut out circles of her face.

Then I taped it all together with my industrial tape gun.  (Which I should post about, because I am actively IN love with it.)

Then I got on the Mac version of Word and made up this simple information sheet for the back.

I really like how they turned out.  




Thursday, August 26, 2010

::preschool for Max::

Here's the skinny - Lily went to Goddard from the time she was 9 months old till the summer before she started kindergarten.  It was a wonderful experience.  They did a great job preparing her for school.  She loved Goddard, and even though it cost more than the mortgage on my first house, it was a good investment.  I was in school during most of that time period and I needed Goddard.  But now I have my wonderful babysitter, Alyssa.  She is so talented and loving to my kids.  I couldn't pray for better.  But the one down fall is that Max is not getting the socialization that I think he needs, nor is he getting the formal preschool curriculum that Lily thrived in.  I have been looking into lots of different preschool programs, but I have decided that for now I am going to try to dedicate some time and effort into teaching him myself.  He's only 2.5, we have a while till SAT's.  I can't teach him the social aspect, but I can teaching him the material.  At least, I want to try.  Next year I will send him to some kind of program that meets for a few hours a week, but for now he is mine.  Alyssa was home schooled and helped home school her younger siblings, so she is very on board with helping me teach Max.   

I want to focus on colors, shapes, ABC's, numbers, and writing his own name (seriously - it is Max, not Hollingsworth, we should be able to do it eventually).  

I want to give him exercises that stress fine motor skills, because his gross motor skills are way advanced.  The kid can already do a somersault.  I was going to make him some lacing cards but I found these on clearance at the craft store for $0.25.   

I work with a GENIUS of a woman who has a masters in child development.  She told me to think about sensory input.  Things like a box with rice in it to play in, or some kind of sand table.  I think I might get a rubbermaid container and fill in with sand for him to play in outside.  Then I can just put the lid on and but it up when he isn't using it.  Sandbox's gross me out, too much animal poop, so he is not getting a real sandbox.  

Something I really want him to do and enjoy is art.  So I brought home an empty carseat box from work and he and I worked on painting it today.  We used finger paint and talked about the different colors and shapes we were making.  

He painted with water colors too.  I asked him to find a color and paint with it.  He thought this was a really fun game and he kept getting it right.  The only ones he couldn't keep straight was brown and black.  That kid is so fun.  

I am really excited about figuring this all out and looking for ideas to help keep Max in love with learning and art.  

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

::Lily's special day::

Lily's amazing new teacher has a great way of letting each kid feel special.  When it is their turn she sends home a little back pack that has a composition notebook in it.  There are instructions in the front that say that the child is supposed to write a few sentences about themselves.  It is not important that spelling be correct, the child is supposed to write it themselves.  Then they are supposed to pick out a few items that represent them and they get to talk about them in class.  

Translation of Lily's sentences "I ride bus 23.  I like to make art.   I dance.  Disney World is my favorite place."

The items that she choose and why (according to Lily):

An owl - she likes stuffed animals and her grammy made this
A block - "I like to build stuff"
A paper doll - "This represents my art."
A little cook book - she likes to cook with her mommy
A paint chip book - she likes to do crafts and she made this
Her necklace - "I like jewelry and bright stuff"
The little horse - "I love to ride horses and I have a pony."

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

::easy art party invite::

Disclaimer: I am crazy about birthday parties.  This has already been established.  

I am making two different invites for Lily's birthday art party.  One has lots of pictures on it and is for the family/adult friends, I will post it in a few days.  But for now I am really excited to talk about the invite that Lily will be passing out at school.  I worked very closely with a wonderful designer on Etsy named Bird.  She made this custom invite printable for me.  The cost was $20 and I felt like that was very reasonable.  I can't wait to work with her again.  She did some custom labels for me that I will be using at the party.  Please link here to see her clever party idea filled blog and here to see her Etsy shop.

The outside

The inside

These were so easy.  Walmart had the paint sets for $1 each.  Then I just printed out as many copies as I needed from the art work that Bird made for me.  I printed them on card stock and used my paper cutter to trim them down.  I used a little tape from my tape gun on the middle to hold the two sides together.  And finally, I put just a little bit of tape on the "are" on the front to hold it down to the plastic.  

I love the idea of giving an invitation that is also useful.  I hope that even the kids that don't come to the party get the chance to make some cool art with these paints.



PonyTails and FishScales



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