Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Fun and Funky Placemats for Every Day

So, I'm apologizing for not getting this done and up last week like I promised, but I've been under the weather and life goes on anyway.  But, here we go.  

You'll need whatever size of cardstock you'd like for the backround (I've found that it makes a heavier duty placemat, although you could just use construction paper too.  You could use a larger size for larger mat, my kiddo's are still small, so we just used standard size.), contact paper (I found a roll where the width is just a bit longer than a sheet of paper/cardstock at Walmart for about 5 bucks), and markers/crayons/tissue paper/glue/paint....really whatever sort of medium you want to play with (well, maybe not playdough.....just stuff that will lay flat, unless you're not planning on using your piece of art as a placemat, lol), oh and a pair of scissors.

Let the munchkins go to town decorating their papers how ever they'd like.
and, yes, my 2 year old can't draw hearts and flowers yet, she had some mommy help.

 Rue decided she wanted a "hodge podge" of things, while the boy was drawing where all of his
meal things should go....he even went as far as to get the fork and butter knife out
to make sure he "drew" them the right way.

Rue wanted to add some tissue paper, so we spread a bit of glue and she put a thin layer
of tissue squares on top.


Now we're ready for the contact paper

Peel the corner of the paper off of the contact paper and then just one side and lay the contact paper over the top of your creation, and gently press down, smoothing any bubbles out as you go.
I did find out that if you start in the center and smooth outward then the bubbles go away much
better, but the boy wanted to help, so we just went with it.

Then flip and repeat.   

Then cut around the edges with your scissors to make a seal so that water and mess
can't get in to ruin your design (and the contact paper makes for easy clean up)

Ta da!  You're finished, and have some cool lookin' mats to protect your table from
food mess, and they're so inexpensive and fun to make you 
could make one for every meal, lol.

Thanks for stopping by and hanging out with me for a bit, I hope that you and your kids will have
tons of fun making some place mats that you both will love.
If you want, leave me a link in the comments section, so I can see your 
artsy mats in action.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Thought Provoking Tuesday

At least I think that's what it's supposed to be.....not thursday right?  We've been snowed in here for two days, again, so I'm a little jet lagged I think.  Anyways, I wanted to share about what the teaching was on sunday when we went to church, and I had the bulletin to reference the passage right up till about an hour ago.  I think one of the munchkins made off with it.  So, the teaching was out of Luke, and I'm going to try to set up the story for you, as I've misplaced my bible as well.  Anyway, Jesus and his disciples decided to go across the lake as they were tired, and wanted rest.  So, they came to the "non-jewish" gentile side of the lake, and found a man that had been demon possessed and shunned by all of society.  Long story short, the demons begged for mercy (even though they'd given the man none), ended up going into some pigs which drowned themselves, and the townspeople came to see the man who had been "cured" and was now calm, and because they were afraid they wanted Jesus and his disciples to leave.  The man wanted to stay with Jesus, but Jesus told him to go tell everyone who would listen about what happened and how Jesus had saved him. So, he did.

Now, the parallel the teacher was on, was that Jesus only had to speak, not ask God for help, therefore showing that he was God incarnate, and also that there are such things as demons and that they do exist.  They are not figments of imagination to be blamed away by silly excuses like maybe they didn't know what they were talking about way back then because they didn't have the diagnostic tools necessary to really figure out that it was just some mental disorder.....Really.  But, God pointed something else out to me along the way, on a different parallel.  I got stuck on the fact that Jesus left when the people were afraid so they told him they didn't want him to stay.  Our teacher also shared another story about another time where Jesus did a healing, and the townspeople welcomed him (that's something to think about to, would you be readily willing at the drop of a hat to have Jesus over?  I only say that cause most of us would say lets go somewhere else, because we're worried about being judged......) and didn't want him to leave.

The thing I thought was interesting, is the fact that God is right there waiting, from the first time you decide to let him in and accept his forgiveness so you can have eternal life, all the way till the end.  But, if you don't want him, he will not barge in.  He patiently waits for you to invite him into whatever you're doing at the moment, and will always be there when you decide that you need him, and he does know you and knows whats best.

How cool is that?

What do you think about this?  Please leave me a note and share what you've been chewing over this week...

Oh, sometime this week, I will post a cool idea/tutorial for some easy placemats for the munchkins to make.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Tissue Paper Rainbow Catcher

So, today I'm sharing something that my 2 year old especially likes, but it's also something my 8 year old enjoys as well.....You need different colors of tissue paper, scissors, clear contact paper (we found some in the aisle with the shelf liner paper at walmart), and some construction paper (if you want to cut out shapes to add in with the tissue paper)....

Before the fun begins, you need to roll out a square/rectangle of contact paper, cut it off the roll, and peel the paper off.  I usually try to just peel one end of the paper off at a time so I can tape the corners to the table the kids are working at, just make sure the contact paper is sticky side up.  You can either cut out squares (really it doesn't matter if they are all uniform, or really square) before or after you get the contact paper fixed to the table.  (This would also be a good time to do construction paper shapes if you decide you want to do them)

Then the kids can put the shapes and tissue squares wherever they want on the contact paper.  Just try to help them not put a pile of them in one spot, just spread them out.


Like that pile up there to the right of Rue's hand....don't worry we fixed it.
I just love watching those tiny fingers work their magic....and how every piece has a specific spot.

This part can be a bit tricky, but I've found that if you (once again) only unroll one end at a time it goes a bit better.  This time you want the sticky side of the contact paper down, so the layers sort of stick together.  Oh, I usually try to cut the top piece a bit bigger than the bottom piece underneath so it will overlap, and then it doesn't matter so much if you get all the edges lined up and perfectly matched.....trust me mine aren't....


As you continue peeling the paper from underneath, gently press on the contact paper so you don't end up with bubbles and lines in your finished project.Then you can either fold over the sticky edges to encase the masterpiece, or you can use your scissors to trim the raw edges off.

Rue decided that she wanted to hang her masterpiece in her big brothers window, because he did something to his blinds a few months ago and they ended up on the ground and they can't be fixed.  So, long story short, he's not had any sort of "window treatment" for a bit now.  So, we got the tape out and decided where it would go, and also that we were going to make another to go beside this one so the bottom part of his window would be completely covered with her art.  (I should've just rolled out a longer piece for her to work on, but you know how hindsight is 20/20, right?)  Sorry for the funky quality of the pic, way too much snow outside, and his light bulb had burnt out..... but you get the gist....

I wanted to show you what I did with the munchkins last summer.  I had rolled out a long piece and had the kids go to town, and we also used construction paper shapes (the hearts and flowers and stars, which you just put in between the layers of contact paper, when you do the tissue paper stuff) which aren't as transparent.  Really, for the older kids you could do a whole "scene" or picture this way.  

I didn't have anything covering the window in our backdoor that's in the kitchen, which was sort of creeping me out, and I didn't want to hang a curtain because I was afraid it would stick out too far as our steps downstairs are perpendicular to the door.  I tried that mylar sticky reflective stuff, which you're not supposed to be able so see through, but you can, and it's a pain in the butt to try to adhere or cut or mess with.  Long story short, I cut up their tissue paper design and taped (shh, we won't tell) the pieces onto the glass panels in the door.  It worked great, and I get that nice color which is so awesome about this time of year, with all the gray and snow and such.  Again with the funky pic, but really the colors haven't faded as much as I thought, because we get full sun on that side of the house, and it's been up there for at least 6 months.

So, do you have any neat artsy craftsy ideas to share?  Please do.....

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Kaleidoscope colors in the midst of the Snow

I've been meaning to share some fun things to do with the munchkins in your life for a while now, but just now remembered to take some pics to go along with the words.  Here's how to make beautiful tissue paper flowers that your munchkins will have tons of fun doing.

These are great for kids around age 5, prolly depending on the child.....my 5 year old son had a bit of difficulty with the stem wrapping part, but loved picking out the colors for his flower.

So, the supplies are relatively simple, you need tissue paper in many colors, and some pipe cleaners in green shades (or at least this is what my oldest insists on, really you can go as colorful as you'd like.) and some imagination.

Next, unfold the tissue paper and lay all the pieces on top of one another, and then cut strips about 4-5 inches wide (across the width, not the longest side.) and then cut those strips into 3 pieces.

Pick out at least 4 "squares" of different colors, but you can do as many as 10 or so.  Then lay all the "squares" on top of each other.

Next fold the stack like an accordion....


Then, take your pipe cleaner and fold the top 1-2 inches over the fold you just made in the tissue paper stack, and then twist the pipe cleaner together so it's now "holding" the tissue paper.... 


So, the pic up there is not behaving and going to the center....but oh well....Next you gently pull the innermost layer of tissue paper upwards out of the "accordion"and do that again on the other side.....then keep alternating sides until there's no more layers left.


That's it you're done, although my oldest insists that you must have a ribbon to tie you bouquet together with...


In the next few days, I'll post on how to make an awesome colorful display for your window....or rather something your munchkins will love to do that will brighten up the gray dreary drab feeling of winter....

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Thought Provoking Tuesday

So, I've seen lots of idea's for different days of each week, and I've decided to try to devote Tuesdays to share things that have grabbed my attention lately.  Particularly in the area of my faith and how God is working in my life.  Okay, I heard this song around Christmas time, and it really pulled at my heart.  It's one of those where if you really listen to the words it's very profound.  I really wanted to share it with you, just in case you've not heard it yet.  So, here goes......I haven't figured out how to import the whole little box to watch it here, so you'll just have to visit the link, I guess.
Downhere, How Many Kings