Posts Tagged ‘tutorials’

Easy Painted Signs

June 8th, 2011 by zoe 4 Comments

The Mr. in these parts has dreamed of building a treehouse for MANY years.  This particular tree house book has been dog-eared and gazed upon with dreams for the future long before there were any tree house occupants in our lives.  One week last summer the DaDa in these parts got into his favorite sort of mischief and made his “fort in a tree” dreams come true. With a fair bit of reclaimed lumber and recycled windows he built a fabulously sturdy house 8 feet up, between the crook of two evergreens. Complete with a ladder swing, rope hoist, doors and gates. It is truly a treehouse palace!  This week the boys and I got to work on some of our ideas to make it extra special.  On a scrap of wood we used masking tape to spell out “kids only”. I gave them some paint with instructions to cover the wood all over.  We were impatient so we used a hair dryer to get the paint to tack up and when the paint was just a tiny bit dry we pulled off the tape to reveal our new sign.  Next the boys decided they needed to fly a pirate flag – with a bit of fabric scraps I sewed one up with simple zig zag stitching and embellished it with skull and cross-bone applique.  I’m thinking this tree house is looking mighty cool!

Poppy Seed & Balsamic Coleslaw Recipe

June 1st, 2011 by zoe 1 Comment

Summer is here and every weekend is ripe with activity and festivities.  Bonfires, parties, picnics, celebrations, parades, potlucks, camping and more….

We New Englanders wait all through the long hard winter for this, it’s time to come out of hibernation, mingle and feel euphoric. We come outdoors and plant our food praying for a good crop, we open the windows and let the freshness blow in off the rolling hills,  we pretend the black flies don’t bite!  We soak in the sun and pack in much fun.  We rejoice in how simple summer life can be, for right now the shift in seasons is oh so grand.

Thank you for the beauty and bounty of this land! Thank you for those who in each and every way strive to keep it pure, clean, safe, and true – Thank you.

(Oh and thank you for throwing candy in the street because,  if you are 4,  that is almost as cool as the sky raining ice cream cones!)


Make a Toy Rocket

May 29th, 2011 by zoe 3 Comments

I have been a bit obsessed with tape lately.  I found out about Japanese Washi Tapes and spent hours drooling over the patterns and colors. The washi tape is simply beautiful but a bit too precious for most of the kid projects. I did splurge and get a few rolls but hid it from my little crafters, which means… I will now forget where I put it and it will be missing for upwards of a year!  What works great for my boys is this colored masking tape, in big, cheap, sticky, bright rolls.  Oh so FUN!  I bet you will see it popping up a lot around here.

This project was inspired by a four-year old friend of ours and his super cool vinegar baking soda rockets. Every time we visit his house he has a new space ship made from recycled bottles and cardboard.

We crafted our small rockets from cast off Play Dough jars. We make most of our own “fun dough” but somehow we still manage to collect quite a few of these cool little containers. Next we tackled a big orange juice container rocket and it fit a whole bunch of astronauts and friends inside.

Yesterday at our house, plastic bottles got new lives as – Toy Rockets!!

5,4,3,2,1, Blast OFF!

Click directions, save to file, print &  make your own Recycle Rocket.

Critters & Kids – Dog Biscuit Recipe

May 20th, 2011 by zoe 2 Comments

I think just about every kid has eaten a dog biscuit – didn’t you try one once!

You love the dog, you love the kids, why not make a homemade biscuit good for everyone.

Babies & Bow Wow’s Biscuit Recipe

Heat oven to 400 degrees


1  Cup water

1/2 Cup vegetable oil

1/2 Teaspoon salt

1 1/2 Cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup white flour

1/2 Cup cornmeal

1/2 Cup rolled oats

2 Eggs

2 Tablespoons vanilla

3 Tablespoons Peanut Butter or tahini


In a large bowl mix liquids, add peanut butter or tahini

In a medium-sized bowl combine and mix dry ingredients.

Toss everything together and mix until fully blended. Should be tacky but not too wet, add more flour or water if needed.

Optional – add a bit of sugar-free carob chips, raisins or honey.

Roll out dough with a sprinkle of flour and as many little rolling pins as you have on hand.

When it’s less than 1/2″ thick cut  with cookie cutters, or the lip of a mason jar.  At our house we really like heart-shaped biscuit’s.

Place on cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or to desired crunchyness, flip if they get too brown.

Brush with butter and jam for an extra pop!



Rainy Day Toy Boat Tutorial

May 17th, 2011 by zoe 2 Comments

The forecast is calling for RAIN all week.

These wax paper boats give you one more reason to find big puddles.

Ours held up to quite few big trips to the stream.

Click photo, and print to make your own Rainy Day Toy Boats.

parachute toy

May 8th, 2011 by zoe No Comments

We had a blast yesterday!  I thought it would be fun to design a better version of those cheap parachute toys out of recycled tyvek fed-ex mailers.  It sewed up in minutes and an older child could probably make this project all by themselves.

The boys and I tried every stuffed animal and toy to see who flew best off the back deck and the top of the tree house.  In the end with the help of a plastic cup it became a hot air balloon and a little doll house girl got the very best rides of the day.  See which of your favorite toys parachutes best!


Click pattern, save to a file, and print directions to make your own parachute toy!