Archive for August, 2009

Frugal Fancy School School Supplies

Monday, August 31st, 2009

Well, today is technically (we homeschool so it’s not a date that’s set in stone or anything) our first day of school.  That time of year when I think to myself of all the stuff I could get done if I sent them off to ‘real’ school during the day…all day…every day….for 9 months…

So since we were getting back to schoolwork everyday the kids needed some new notebooks and folders.  Of course they wanted the fancy ones with pictures and designs on that cost twice as much as the plain ones.   I said no.

So we bought the cheap ones and decorated them ourselves over the weekend.

We broke out the modge podge, old magazines some old photos and the cars and princess wrapping paper (that you’ll recognize from some of our other projects like the tissue boxes because they just love cars and princesses).  It didn’t take long, and didn’t get too messy, and now they’re thrilled to have their own personal notebooks and folders to start the new year.  And I’m happy it was cheap and we recycled some old stuff that was laying around the house.

Sunday Scripture

Sunday, August 30th, 2009

For we are God’s workmanship,

created in Christ Jesus to do good works,

which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Ephesians 2:10

Colored Chalk Board Paint

Friday, August 28th, 2009

Break out the chalk!

I’m so excited. 

I planned to paint two walls in black chalkboard paint, but then I got to Home Depot and found this!   Tintable chalkboard paint!  

Forget plain old black or green chalkboard paint, think purple or blue or raspberry.  There’s 12  different colors to choose from.  I’m thinking chalkboards in every room.

 Ok, maybe not every room.

But, the Kitchen.  The inside of a cabinet door or pantry for a shopping list.

The Kids Rooms.  Big polka dots (like 12 inches) in fun colors to write in notes or reminders or chores.

The Bathroom.  The back of the door with reminders of brush teeth,  flush potty (at 7 1/2 you would think they could remember this on their own…but, they can’t), clean the sink, etc.

The hallway.   A coordinating chair rail height stripe to write in motivational quotes and sayings….or A,B,C’s for the little one.

Oh yes, this is going to be fun.  And yes, I will post photos when I actually use this paint.  But I was just so excited that I had to post before I even tried it.  ( I have used the black in the past).

For more ideas you can check out the Rust-oleum website here.  And no, this is not a promotional post.  I just happened to find this stuff on my own.   But if anyone wants to send any products my way, I’ll be happy to check them out.

Creative Links

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

Homemade girl scout cookies.  Mmmmm…I just have to make these.  Or maybe not, because then I’ll be eating them all.  Thin mints and samoas at Baking Bites.

And look at this wonderful site, Happy Together, I just found this morning.   Love this simple clutch purse, plus there’s all kinds of other super creative ideas that I have to check out when I have more time.

My girls and I will love making some of these fabric and paper flowers at Little Birdie Secrets Flower week.

Knit Rag Rugs - Recycled Fabric

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

 

The twins asked to do a craft show or two this fall to sell some of the things they make on kidoozy.  They love playing store, and we’re always trying to find ways for them to give a little to charity, so I said, “sure.”

The kids are making the majority of the items, with my supervision, and they do help cut the fabric for these rugs (give them a sharp dangerous object like scissors and they’re happy) but I do have to do the knitting for these.

You can visit my original post about a few months ago when I found out you could knit with strips of fabric.  I have been cutting up sheets and bed ruffles and curtains and tablecloths ever since and can always use an excuse to make more. 

It’s a fun way to recycle old fabric, and if you can do a simple knit and purl stitch you can make these.

As we make more things for the craft shows I’ll be sure to share photos.

And if you are family or friends reading this, remember I’ll gladly recycle all your old sheets and such and you’ll get a pretty rag rug in the colors of your choice in return.

Sunday Scripture

Sunday, August 23rd, 2009

Since you are my rock and my fortress,

for the sake of your name lead and guide me.

Psalm 31:3

Monarch Butterfly Cocoons

Friday, August 21st, 2009

An update on the monarch caterpillars that we introduced you to the other day

We consider these fascinating creatures our babies for a few weeks each summer. 

Five are currently in cocoons.  Six are hanging in their little ‘J’ shape ready to turn into cocoons, and the rest are happily eating all the milkweed I can find.

The two guys pictured at the top were the first two to go into cocoons a few days ago.

It takes them about 10 days to emerge as beautiful monarch butterflies, so these two should be out by late next week. 

We’re so excited.   

We’ll share plenty of pictures when they hatch.

Doorknob Organizer

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

The kids spotted a cute foam door hanger while paging through the latest issue of Family Fun magazine, and they just had to make one.

We modified ours a bit so it would be easier to make.  We only made two small pockets, and hand stitched them on to practice sewing.  

Craft foam, some ribbon or yarn glue a craft needle and a scissor was all we needed. 

We cut 2 pieces of 12 inch by 4 inches for the base.  (On Alex’s I only used one sheet and it seemed to flimsy so we doubled it up on the twins.  We cut two 2 to 3 inch deep pockets for each hanger.

 

They hand stitched on the pockets using yarn and ribbon. They glued the second piece of reinforcing foam on the back after the pockets were stitched.   Next they cut out their initial (2) one for the front and one for the back to make it sturdier and glued those on the tops. 

After they dried we cut out the hole to hang them on the doorknob and we were done.  Oh, and they embellished with paint, my kids will put paint on most everything if I let them.

Now they have someplace for us to leave little personal notes for them, or reminders of things they need to do.

Thru My Eyes - My Pool

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

My mom finally put up the pool I got for my First birthday.  Now I’m not real good at math yet, since I just turned 2 in June, but I’m thinking it took her a bit long to put it up for me.

It was lots of fun, kinda like a big see through tub with fishes on the sides.

Hopefully I get to go in it every day.  It’s really been hot out.

And daddy came home from work just in time to help me dry off.

Raising Monarch Butterflies

Monday, August 17th, 2009

It’s that time of year again, when the monarch butterflies arrive here in southeastern Pennsylvania and lay their tiny white eggs on the undersides of milkweed plant leaves and flutter around our yard.

We find the pretty striped caterpillars as they hatch out of the eggs and bring them indoors to raise them till they grow into big caterpillars.  A few days later they turn into cocoons and then hatch into gorgeous butterflies. 

To my husband’s dismay we bring in lots and lots of them because the birds and some other insects find them to be a tasty treat, and left outside they often get eaten very quickly.   It’s not uncommon for us to raise and hatch several dozen butterflies each summer, and have 3 seperate boxes full of them.

In case you want to raise some of your own.  This is our system. (I’ve been doing this for over 30 years when I first read about monarchs in a Ranger Rick magazine and found a caterpillar in the garden.)   

We cut a milkweed plant or two for the caterpillars and put the plants in a jar of water to preserve the plant as long as posssible.  Generally we have to add a fresh plant every 2 or 3 days.

We put the plants in a tall box and put a lid made from a wood frame and mesh (like from a window screen) to keep the caterpillars inside.   The screen acts as a super place for the caterpillars to hang and form their cocoons.

Monarch caterpillars eat only milkweed plants and will grow to about 1 1 /2 inches before going into their cocoon. 

We have two jars with milkweed plants and about 24 caterpillars so far this year.

I will post some picture as soon as a few go into their cocoons.

Monarch caterpillars can be found late July through early September in our area in Southeastern, Pennsylvania however in different areas of the country it will be different times of the year.  To find out more about Monarch butterflies you can look here.