Archive for the ‘kids’ Category

One Sick Boy

November 3rd, 2011 by zoe No Comments

We are a bit feverish and illin’ around here. Oddly enough a high fever and hacking cough seems to be bringing out the charm in my sick boy. As in a 3 am bedside manner that goes something like this – “Excuse me Momma, my fever is back, can you please give me some more medicine?”

I am sure the foot stomping will resume as soon as he gets his spitfire sparkle back.

In the meantime we are snuggled on the sofa in the back room and I am reading actual NOVELS while he sleeps on my chest. Four years seemed to washed away and he is again an infant in my arms with pure sweetness. Having twins I relish these moments when there is simply one childs needs to meet – these rare moments of a calm quiet house with just one boy.

Of course – waking up from 3-5 am to  care for a sick kid makes me a total wreck but reading NOVELS all day with a droopy polite child feels like a holiday.

 

Making Masks

October 24th, 2011 by zoe 6 Comments

Halloween is just a week away!

I spent a morning at preschool making and decorating animal masks with 20 plus children. I cut the shapes below from recycled cardboard the night before and the kids painted, glued and glittered to their heart’s content. I somehow got a teensy bit busy and didn’t manage to snap any pictures of the wee artist mayhem. The theme was animal masks and I had several different shapes for the children to choose from. Secretly I am hoping the masks will inspire homemade Halloween costumes that aren’t princess and super hero based… doubtful, I know.  We make and decorate cardboard masks a lot around here and I am sometimes shocked by their popularity and longevity. I’d call it good clean fun but as you can see from the glitterfest below we didn’t quite hit the clean mark on this latest decorating project!!

Here are the patterns I made for 3D masks.

With these four templates you can make owls, cats, tigers, bears, dogs and butterflies.

Print pattern pieces and cut desired shapes out of cardboard.

Tape the nose  V shape together to get your masks to pop out.

Punch out holes and thread with elastic.

Decorate and have lots of FUN!!!

Click mask templates and save to file, print and use as a guide to make your own animal masks from cardboard.

 

 

House Cozy

October 20th, 2011 by zoe 2 Comments

The kids room is a constant work in progress. I tend to shift things around pretty often to reflect their latest passions.

Trains seem to be OUT but music is WAY IN.

Baby dolls sometimes, books all the time.

I had been wanting to make some forward facing book shelves for quite awhile but got lazy and bought these Bekvam IKEA spice racks everyone is talking about instead. Installing them proved to be a giant pain in the ass and of course they are not all level (Virgo’s avert your eyes)! If they actually manage to stay on the wall, as I have asked them quite politely to do – I like them.

If they fall off – I hate them!

But IKEA I forgive you because you invented this most wonderful fabulous toy —- that we L O V E! And I do mean love. Swinging indoors is oh so fun.

 

Story Blocks & Stones

October 13th, 2011 by zoe No Comments

These past weeks have been hectic and exhausting but now …. with some rest and relaxation I am feeling the happy groove of fall. My craft fair was a sparkly success, thanks to all those who came out and bought ALL my wares.

Ah… now I can relax by the fire, enjoy the fall colors and party under the big full moon.

Now I can get back to fun little projects with my boys!  We cut down a few small trees to make some natural log blocks. All I did is cut slices of wood and sand the edges. I have read here and there that a bit of bee’s wax makes for a nice finishing touch.

With all our gathered stones and the fabric scraps on the studio floor we made some story stones following the tutorial over at Red Bird Crafts.Then, we mixed it all up and made story blocks too.

With a handful of stones or wood slices you can easily make these too!

Simply cut little fabric or paper scraps into shapes.
With a brush coat your rock or wood slice in a layer of goop. Lay your story inspiration image,on and brush with another layer of goop.  You can use the real deal Mod Podge or make your own goop by mixing one part Elmers glue to one part water.After your story blocks and stones dry gather some folks together and tell  tales of the fox and snake on their way to get ice cream cones.

With the cozy indoor days ahead we are planning to make lots of story blocks and stones – nothing is quite as fun as building stories.

Make Your Own Twig Books

October 6th, 2011 by zoe 6 Comments

Years ago I worked in a factory building that had been converted to artist studios. Next door to my pottery studio was the studio of a world-class bookbinder. The bookbinder had a recycling bin outsider her space that was filled with scraps of the finest paper in the world. I collected stacks and stacks of paper and artwork from that bin — oh my!  My stacks have grown thin but last week I got out these small strips and the kids watercolored an adventure. After their little paintings dried and we turned them into stick books. Their stories were very interesting and the little books feel so substantial and arty made from such fine paper!

We got the idea for these sweet little twig books here. You simply take a hole punch to the folded edges and loop a rubber band through onto your stick ends. They make for great journals plus collecting the sticks makes for a good adventure too!

 

Out in the Backyard

September 27th, 2011 by zoe 2 Comments

We live in a tiny little town, what it lacks in population it makes up for in pride.

September brings apples, fall leaves and …. The Ashfield Film Fest. Yocals young and old are invited to create a 5 minute film that celebrates life in our little village. Entries are judged and awarded prizes at the big film fest shindig held in the old town hall.

This little film was done in our backyard and my little guys definitely steal the show.

You Don’t Have To Go To Colorado

It’s a big backyard. We bike, run,  ski and snowshoe there.

We make the most of this country living by adventuring right out the back door. Over the years the Mr. has built several miles of trails that wind through the woods with a few bike stunts too! Trail building around here borders on obsession, now our friends and neighbors have started to build trails and link them together. We love living in the woods and try our best to enjoy all it’s adventures.

 

My boys have been hiking out there since they could walk. Now they ride their “run bikes” on the trails and get into the action with the rest of us. I think these bikes have been their favorite toy for the last 2 years and I can’t say enough about how fantastic balance bikes are for little ones. There are lots of brands out there to choose from – wood ones, metal ones, super posh designer ones. My boys ride Strider bikes and they have worked out wonderfully for us.

Everywhere we go folks ask us about them and now all their little friends have them too! Some of the features we really dig about these particular bikes is they are super adjustable so a 2-year-old and a tall 5-year-old can ride them, they are metal and can take a rain storm without worries and they are CRAZY light making them easy to maneuver for small kids but also helpful if … your little rider has a full throttle melt down miles from the car and you wind up having to carry their bike(s)! I am not super into product pushing but we seriously LOVE these bikes. Even now that my boys ride two wheelers they still use their Strider bikes for trips to the skate park, mountain biking and fun at The Kingdom Trails pump track.

So many trails, so much fun to be had in the big woodsy backyard!