About a month ago, I had a birthday.  I turned 28.  I never really did anything big for my birthday before...even when I turned 19 (legal drinking age in Ontario).  So I decided to throw myself a party this year.  I invited a bunch of friends to go bowling.  Three games and a few pitchers later, we all headed to my house for some more fun.  See, I had a surprise planned.  A surprise which led to these:

When your collection of buttons starts to get too big, it's time to find ways to use some of them up.  Especially the single ones, the tiny ones and the oddly shaped ones. 

You can make this project with a picture frame instead of a board or canvas, if that's what you have on hand.  For the background, either use a coloured page, or a page that you've painted.

As many of you know, my grandmother was a lady who never threw anything away.  Popsicle sticks included.  When we finished a popsicle, she would wash the stick with the dishes and let it dry, then store it away with all the others.  Eventually she had a large bag full of them, which now belongs to me. 

You can now buy popsicle sticks from the dollar store for like...a buck....hahaha.  So you don't have to eat a bunch of popsicles and save the sticks for a project like this (unless you really want to).  Just be sure to have plenty on hand!

There are some things we made when we were kids that we forget about until we have kids of our own.   Often when I remember these projects, I think of how much fun they were and so, I have my kids make them.  Like at the end of the school year when we would make Canadian Flags...

We made two versions of these, one with paint for the little guy and a slightly more difficult version using tissue paper for the older ones.

Flowers don't worry about how they're going to bloom.  They just open up and turn toward the light and that makes them beautiful.  ~Jim Carrey

Well said, Ace.  This painting is super simple to make.  The hardest part is deciding what (if anything) to do with the space in the sky.  You can certainly leave it blank, add your daughter's name and hang it on her bedroom door, add your favourite quote and hang it in your kitchen...the choice is yours.

Don't you just hate it when you have random bits of leftover tulle lying around?  I know I do...I bet it happens to everyone.  Well, maybe not, but it happened to me, so I found another way to use it. 

I was inspired by my daughter's recital costume hanging on the back of my bedroom door.  (Her recital is coming up and if I leave the costume in HER bedroom, she'll wear it 24/7 and it'll be ruined by the time she hits the stage.) 

Don't be scared, this is easier than it looks...

In a previous post, I showed you how to make stamps using potatoes.  Now I'm going to show you how to use that technique and incorporate into a piece of art.  We are going to make this owl painting:

For mother's day this year, since the kids are too little to come up with crafts to make me on their own, I figured we would all do a craft together!  And I get presents out of it!

Whenever I'm making crafts with the kids, I like to prepare the materials required in advance (usually the night before, after they go to bed).  Because there is 3 of them and only one of me, it's hard to help them all at the same time.  And since the 2yr old needs constant attention when playing with things like glue and scissors, it's best to make sure the older ones are pretty much good to go once we get started.  Preparing in advance also means that there will be less of a mess.  And that you can decide how much prep you will put into each kid's project. 

For example, the 6 year old can easily cut out specific shapes all by herself.  The 5 year old isn't as co-ordinated, so I will usually draw lines where he needs to cut.  The 2 year, can't follow lines yet when cutting.  So, if a specific shape is required to complete that project, I will pre-cut his shapes for him.  And since it will take him longer to paint, glue, etc. than the others, they'll all be done at pretty much the same time this way.

Spring is here, so I figured it would be appropriate to make some flowers to put in a vase.





Mother's Day is around the corner and as an adult it's sometimes a little harder to come up with original gift ideas for your mom.   Things like soaps and lotions are nice, gift certificates are ok, but it just seems a little easy.  Like there's no effort put in.  Here's something I got you at a store. Thanks for being my mom.  Done. 

Don't get me wrong, I love getting presents.  But as a mother, when you get something from your kid that they made especially for you, it's precious.  That should be true at ANY age.  Along with the present I am giving to my mom this year, I thought it might be nice to throw in a little extra something homemade.  And so, along came Bigfoot.

I was trying to think of things I used to make my mom when I was a kid.  Or even something that is common for a kid to make as a mother's day gift.  And the best one I could think of was the handprints and footprints.  There was nothing like dipping your hand or foot in some paint and stamping it onto construction paper.  There are a lot of crafts that can be made from these prints, especially hand prints.   But I wanted to keep it classic.

So if your mom has a sense of humour, she's going to LOVE this:

Materials needed:
Paint (kid's paint works best because it will actually wash off when you're done)
Construction paper
Paper plate
Clean hand and/or foot
Optional materials: glitter, pompoms, feathers, stickers, buttons, macaroni

*** Be sure to choose colours of paint, crayons and markers that will show up well on the colour of construction paper you chose.

When I was a kid, my mom bought me a series of craft books that each had their own theme.  One of them was all about crafts made with stuff from the kitchen.  In it was the idea of making stamps out of potatoes, carrots, turnips, parsnips, even citrus fruits, that you would use to apply paint to a project.  I've tried a few of these out and the potato is by far my favourite.  Its surface is large enough to get the details right on simple designs, and it's much easier to carve into than a carrot, parsnip or turnip.

The idea is to cut the potato in half and carve out a desired shape, dip it in paint, then go to town: