Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Fathers Day Stepping Stones

I tried to dream up something new and exciting for the kids to make for a Father's Day present this year, but I've been so busy that I just came up with nothing. So, I decided to do a craft that I've done before, pre-children. We made concrete stepping stones that daddy could put in the garden.

I went searching in the shed for the mold that I used before, but I couldn't find it.  I didn't want to buy a new mold, so I improvised.  For one stone, I used an old plastic bowl that I didn't use anymore (cause I left it outside after a cookout and never got around to taking it in).  If you actually put your stuff away and don't have any old ones laying around, just go to the dollar store and get one.  Its much cheaper than buying the "stepping stone mold" from the craft store.  For the other stone, I used a cardboard box.  .


Instead of buying the bag of stepping stone mix, I used some left-over concrete/mortar.  You can actually buy a bag at your local home improvement store for about $6.  This is a huge advantage over the kit at the craft store.  The craft store bag makes one 12 inch stone or two 8 inch stones.  The mortar from the home improvement store will make billions of stones (ok, not billions, but A LOT). 

Mix up some concrete and water to a brownie consistency.  Then, pour it into your molds and smooth it out.  Let it set for a couple of minutes, then let your kids decorate.  I decided to do my kids footprints.  In one, we used stones that I had left over out of an old vase of flowers.  I don't have a picture of it, but for one I used stones left over out of an old fishtank.  You could also use rocks from the yard, left-over nuts and washers, cut-up straws, just whatever you find laying around.
Another option, we had a bag of sand left-over from the sandbox, so I cut the top open and had the kids step in it.  When they picked up their feet, their foot-print was left behind. So, I filled the footprint with mortar, let it hardened, and pulled the hardened form out.  It made a foot-shaped stone.

Let your stone set-up about two days and there you have it!  Between pouring in the ingredients, mixing it up, pouring into molds, adding embellishments, and stepping into wet concrete, my son loved this project!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Alexa in Wonderland - Little Bit of Ranting

As some of you know, my 10 month old pulled an Alice and tried to take a trip to Wonderland yesterday.  We were hanging out in my yard, which is on a mountain in the woods, and she was just crawling around as always.  I was in the middle of the yard helping my son with something and in the 2 minutes I looked away, she made her way to the edge of the trees and had eaten a wild mushroom or two and was about to eat another.  So, I scooped her up, ran in and called poison control, and rushed her to the ER.  After 6  hours of observation, we were released to go home.  We got lucky, and she was perfectly fine.  Other than the thrill of trying to entertain a 10 month old in a small hospital bed for 6 hours, the the hospital stay was uneventful.

Now for the reason I feel I need to share this; I was treated by multiple people like I was a bad mom!!  Really, am I the first person who has turned their head and had their kid get into something they shouldn't have??  I mean, I could have her in the middle of an empty padded room and she would find a way to hurt herself.  If she was in a warehouse filled with cotton candy and chocolate chips, she would find an exposed piece of floor tile and eat it.  The doctor asked me what happened, so I said that I looked away and before I knew it she was across the yard eating something.  The doctor actually said to me, "So, where you hanging out talking to friends and just not paying attention?"  OH MY!!  ARE YOU SERIOUS!  Where the heck did that come from.  Then I was asked what time it happened and I told them 11:20.  Poison control basically called me a liar and rudely told the doctor there was no way it happened at 11:20 because I called them at 11:15.  So, I was 5 minutes off and that means I'm trying to hide something???  So, next time your child cuts a finger, don't pick them up and stop the bleeding.  Run in the house and document the event complete with the exact time while they bleed profusely, then go stop the bleeding (Ok, maybe I'm being dramatic there, but thats how they made me feel).  And on top of these people (not the word I was looking for, but it works), I had non-employees (and thats what I'll call them) tell me that I need to watch my children better.....  Shaking my head....

My children gnawl on bugs, dog food, paper, the furniture, my leg, and anything else they can get in their mouth.  So, all you super-moms out there who never take your eyes off your children and whose children have never gotten hurt or eaten something they shouldn't have, would you please give me lessons??  Ok, I'm over it now!! :)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

From Christmas Tin to Travel Bin

I was cleaning out a cabinet the other day, and I found this tin that someone gave me full of cookies at Christmas.  Well, you know I can't just throw something like this away, so I put it on the counter and decided to use it to hold all kinds of fun stuff for Russ to use while we are in the car. 

I decided that I would paint it (so it didn't look so Christmas-y), and immediately I thought of the left-over chalkboard paint hiding in the back of the closet.  So, I took some sandpaper and buffed it to make the paint stick better, and then I grabbed the chalkboard paint and  painted the lid while Russ used craft paint on the rest of it (I can't paint without him).  I used the chalkboard paint on the inside and the outside of the lid. 
After the lid was painted, I thought it looked like a road, so I painted some yellow lines on it.  Then, I went digging through Russ' room and found a few little plastic cars we won in the arcade.  I took a strip of magnet, cut small pieces, and stuck them to the bottom of the cars.  Now, I had a racetrack with cars that would stick to the tin so they wouldn't fall off and get lost.
The only thing left to do was fill the little travel kit with fun stuff (including chalk, fruit snacks, pad and paper, etc.) and put it in our car.
I'm really happy with what we ended up with, and my son has really enjoyed having something new to play with in the car!!
(Wanted to say he doesn't have his seatbelt on because this was a staged pic in my driveway.  Notice the open door.  hehe)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Easiest Teether Ever

I was blog-surfing earlier today and saw the cutest little teething ring ever!  Its a wooden ring with pretty fabric and ribbons attatched around it.  I knew this was something that my little one would love to play with; she loves ribbons and tags, and the wooden ring just looks like it would feel good on her little gums. 

Well, I happened to have a bunch of wooden rings in my craft closet (I think there is a little bit of everything in there), so I decided to make one.  Because I already have too many projects going on right now, I decided to simplified mine a little (if you want to see the much cuter inspiration, check them out over at Patchy Apple).

So anyway, here is what I ended up with.
Basically, I took an unfinished wooden ring and tied little pieces of ribbon all the way around it. (You were right, Abbie.  There was a use for all those little pieces of ribbon left over from making hairbows).  I tied the knots as tight as I could get them, then I grabbed a needle and thread and stitched them so that they would stay put.

AND THATS IT!!  Told you I did it the simple way.

Now I know this isn't the prettiest thing in the world, however, my daughter is in LOVE with it!! She wouldn't put it down.

  I think I may make a couple of extras and keep them in the car and diaper bag.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Hello Mr. Sewing Machine

After monthes of closet time, I finally pulled my sewing machine from the closet and got it all set up.  Its been away partly because I hate dragging it out, setting it it up, and having to keep the kids off of it, then putting it right away (since I have no sewing room, I use my kitchen table) and partly because I lost the cord for awhile. 

I've made the most of this time together with my machine and have kept myself sewing most of my spare minutes the last few days.  Spare minutes with these two rugrats are few and far between, but I've managed to get some time in. 

I have a babyshower to go to this weekend, and I wanted to make a few gifts for the soon-to-be-born little boy.  I went with the kids to the fabric store and let Russ pick all the fabric.  I think my 3 year old has a knack for this because I love all his choices.

So, I figured I would share a little of what I've been working on.

Here is the first set I made.  Russ picked out the animal print and I picked the material for the back.
And of coarse Russ had to get some John Deere material.
I thought this one would be cute for the 4th of July (even thought the baby won't be born until August.  He can wear it next year).
And of coarse I had to make something for Lexi!!

I made a few other things that need a little finishing up.  I made a couple of things for me, a few for my kids, and a few because I don't know why.  Hopefully, I might get some more pictures up soon.