Friday, January 30, 2009

Groundhog Day Activity For Children

Reading Recommendation: "Bear Shadow" by Frank Asch, published by Prentice Hall. This is the classic story of the little bear who tries to escape his shadow. Might get the kids interested in reading his other terrific books too!

Science Activity: Give the kids a flashlight at night or in a darkened room and let them make shadows on the wall. They can work together to make the hand shapes look like animals or hold common objects in front of the light to see the images on the wall or ceiling. For added interest, see if they can figure out how to make the images get bigger and smaller by adjusting where they hold the light and object. Let them observe things on your windowsills when it is a sunny day to see how the shadows move throughout the day as the sun's position changes.

Art Activity: For this activity you will need to draw the shape of a groundhog on copy paper or card stock (you can also look for some clip art online). Let the kids color it, cut it out, and tape it to a drinking straw. You will also need a foam coffee cup.

Help the children cut a small hole in the bottom of the cup large enough for the straw to fit through. Cover the cup with brown construction paper. Insert the groundhog into the cup, putting the straw down through the hole. The children can now hold the bottom of the straw and have the groundhog pop up out of his hole and then go back down again by pushing and pulling on the straw.

Clean and Simple

Here are cards for a challenge called Limited Supply Cards. This is my favorite style!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Love Much

Worked on this card yesterday. The challenge was to use a sketch already created. The fun part here was chalking the edges of the flower (from the Martha Stewart Collection) to match the patterned paper in the background. I also like the pale pink vellum strip behind the flower. It was a fun card to do.

Ink Your Own Paper

For today's challenge, you were asked to use alchohol inkers to make your own background paper. I had never done this before but I like the way it came out. I used SU Bliss Blue and Forest Green. Next time I think I will wear gloves! LOL The little fish are silvered with Martha Stewart glitter. Thanks for looking.

Sending Awards Your Way!

I did a lot of visiting and it is so hard to decided to whom this award should go. We have such creative paper crafters out there. This time, I will be sending the Kreative Blogger Award to:


2. Becky

3. Cindy

4. Joanne

5. Rosie

6. Wendy

Congratulations and keep those cards coming!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Second Blog Award! Wow!

I want to thank Alfred, a wonderfully creative artist, for giving me my second blog award. For this award, I have to list six things that make me happy. It's such a good thing to review all the wonderful gifts we have been given so here are mine:
1. My terrific family which I love and enjoy so much.
2. Sharing my cards and scrapbook pages online with all my new friends.
3. Having time now in retirement to knit, quilt, and sew.
4. Volunteering with a Labrador Retriever Rescue Group in my area.
5. Really good chocolate and really good coffee.

I also need to nominate 6 new blogs for this award. Stay tuned for my new picks.

Backyard Friends

This scrapbook page was for a challenge to find unique ways to frame your pictures. For inspiration, I used photos of all the wildlife that I see from my windows. Living in the country provides me with lots of opportunities to see deer and turkeys who love to eat at my bird feeders. There are some bear around but none have found me yet...and I guess that's a good thing.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Thanks, Barb!

I just received my first Blog Award from a new blogger friend, Barb. I love her blog and have it listed as one of my favorites that I visit often. In order to receive the award I have to list 5 additions I have so here goes:

1. Coffee first thing in the morning
2. Doing the weekly crossword puzzles.
3. Buying great children's books.
4. Knitting or quilting while I "watch" TV.
5. Buying great stamps, terrific paper and beautiful emblishments for making cards and scrapbook pages.

I will pass this award onto five other bloggers. Visit their blogs and see why I enjoy stopping by:

1. Joni
2. Yuki
3. Felicia
4. Laura
5. Lisa

Car Safety For Children

Helpful information to keep your children safe inside and outside your vehicles are located at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. They also have rated car seats and locate sites close to your home where trained personnel check to see that your car seat has been properly installed.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Julie's Card

For Julie's challenge we needed to create a card with butterflies and glitter. That's such a great combination and so fun to do. I used SU Winged Things stamp and sentiment. SU ink is Rose Passion. The beautiful ribbon is from Home and More Classic Collection, the punch is from EK Success,and the glitter is from Martha Stewart.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Chinese New Year And Other Reading Topics

Additions to the children's winter reading list are:
For the hockey lovers- "Z Is For Zamboni" written by Matt Napier, illustrated by Melanie Rose, published by Sleeping Bear Press, Chelsea, MI. This is a wonderful alphabet book using all things related to the game of hockey. Especially helpful for enticing little boys to read!

For the animal lovers- "Winter White" written by Joanne Ryder, illustrated by Carol Lacey, published by Morrow Junior Books, New York. This is a beautiful fable set in the artic about a fox and a lemming.

To celebrate the Chinese New Year which will be celebrated on Jan 26th for the year 4707-
1- The fabrics of Fairytale, retold by Tanya Robyn Batt and illustrated by Rachel Griffin, published by Barefoot Books, New York. This great book teaches children about different fabrics told through fairytales from around the world. The one from China is called "The Silk Brocade." It is a nice introduction to Chinese culture.
2- "Daisy Comes Home" written and illustrated by Jan Brett, published by G.P. Putman's Sons, New York. In this story, children follow the adventure of a little hen, while seeing life in China.

Chinese Lantern Art Project
Using a 8 1/2 X 11 inch piece of copy paper, fold it in half lengthwise. Cut slits from the folded side about every inch or so stopping about one inch from the top. Open flat and fold in the top about 1/2 inch on both edges.

Form a tube and staple it on the top and bottom. When you stand it up, the middle
(along the original foldline) will bulge out forming the lantern shape.

Add another strip of colored paper or some ribbon, yarn, or string to make a handle. You can then hang it up. It can be decorated with pictures of your choice. Especially pretty is the use of gold metallic markers. Older children can even copy actual Chinese alphabet or symbols. Another option would be to draw a dragon, lion or anything of your choice on the paper after it is folded in half but before the slits are cut. I have also seen them done with double sided patterned paper which it lovely. Hanging several in a row to form a garland it just terrific.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Working with Complimentary Colors

This scrapbook page taxed my brain! I don't usually use complimentary colors (opposites on the color wheel) when I do any color work, scrapping, sewing, knitting or quilting. The charge was to make this page using only complimentary colors so here is my best effort. It came out better than I expected, but I don't think my taste will ever change this much!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Valentine's Day Card Challenge

This card is for a challenge using a minimum amount of supplies. It needed to be easily replicated 30 times for a child to give to classmates. You could only use red, pink white or black. It was quite a challenge, but I am happy with the results.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

January- New Techniques

This scrapbook page was a challenge using a button border and sewing. I have frequently used buttons and always enjoy embellishing my work with them. I have never tried to sew on cardstock however, but now that I have tried it, I will continue to use it in my work. I sketched a flower stem and leaves first as a guide and then used my sewing machine.

This card is for a challenge using inspiration from a child's book, TV, or cartoon character. I chose Dorothy from "The Wizard of Oz." I decided that a terrier mounted with foam dots on a rainbow colored background was perfect. The red glittered "Believe" seemed to be the perfect sentiment. It was a fun card to make.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Snowflakes Everywhere!

It is so cold here, but not as cold as in many parts of the country. We have lots of snow and I decided to take advantage of that idea for some new reading and simple art projects with snowflakes.

My suggested reading for this will be:

Fiction- "The Hat" by Jan Brett from G. P. Putman. Many of you might be familiar with her book "The Mitten" which is certainly a favorite of many children. You may not be as familiar with her other story of winter fun. It takes place on a farm with animals using a child's clothing to have hats to wear in the cold snowy winter.
- "Down The Hill", a Frog and Toad story from the book "Frog and Toad All Year" by Arnold Lobel, published by Scholastic, Inc. We see the famous duo in another hysterical story about riding down a steep hill on a sled. The kids just laugh and laugh during this wonderful winter tale.

Non-Fiction- "Zoo Flakes ABC" by Will C. Howell, published by Walker & Co. This is a superb book for teaching children the alphabet using gorgeous cut paper snowflakes showing animals. The kids and adults as well, will enjoy admiring each piece of art. The bonus is that you get the directions for making your own six-sided paper flakes in the last few pages of the book.

Art Project
1- Following the directions mentioned above, cut some great paper snowflakes to string and hang at the windows.
2- Make some fingerprint flakes. Using blue construction paper folded in half, cut (from the folded edge) a simple pattern as in my sample. I used white so you can see it easier. When unfolded, let the children dip their index fingertip into white tempera paint (if mixed with a small amount of liquid soap washes off more easily), and make finger prints on the flake. You can follow up with some silver glitter if you wish, which really looks nice. Another option is to use white paper with blue paint. Either way, they have fun!

3- The last idea I have is using popsicle sticks. You will need three uncut sticks and about three sticks which you will cut into smaller pieces. An adult will need to use pruning shears to cut three sticks into quarters. Then you crisscross the three full size sticks and glue into place. Let dry. Next, you use the small pieces to glue to the ends of each sticks at an angle. As you can see in my sample, I then painted the snowflake white. You don't have to do this step but it really enhances the look. Then, find all those unused buttons you have around and decide how to arrange them. I used buttons I bought at JoAnn Fabrics since they comes in large bags or coordinated colors. I also use them for making cards and scrapbook pages. You can also use the extra buttons you get with blouses and sweaters that you rarely use and the mix of colors and sizes adds interest. Glue them on and then add a hanging ribbon. These look great at the window, in doorways, and if you like planning ahead, on Christmas trees as ornaments.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

More January Challenges

This card is for Obscure Holiday Challenge January 19th- National Penguin awareness Day. It was made with paper from DCWV, stamp from AC Moore, watercolor pencils and Dazzling Diamonds glitter from Stampin' Up.

This card is for Obscure Holiday on January 23rd- It's a Cold, Cold, Cold Day. I used paper from DCWV. The stamps and watercolor pencils are from Stampin' Up. I used glitter from the Martha Stewart Collection.

This variety scrapbook challenge was inspired by the current weather. We were asked to come up with a layout using blue and the word "cool." My page used DCWV paper, items from Stampin' Up, including stamp set- Bundle Up, glitter- Dazzling diamonds, and Staple Bars from Fasenater. The letters were cut using the Cricut machine.

New January Safety Recall

The Consumer Product Safety Comission has issed a new recall on a Fischer-Price portable play yard. Please visit the CPSC site listed in my favorite links for detailed information.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Japanese Tenugui Challenge

Tenugui is a Japanese art form done on cotton towels. It was the inspiration for today's challenge at Splitcoaststampers.



Friday, January 9, 2009

You are the sunshine in my life

This card is a challenge for a non red, pink or white Valentine's Day card. I chose to do mine in yellows. It is accented with yellow iredescent paper, gold cord and punched with a Martha Stewart border punch.

More Snow Day Activities

We are expecting more snow this weekend in the Northeast, so I thought it might be helpful to add some more books and another craft for children. This time I am recommending two snowman books.
First, "A Snowman Named Just Bob" written by Mark Kimball Moulton and illustrated by Karen Hillard Crouch, published by Ideals Children's Books, Nashville, Tennessee
It is a wonderful rhyming story about a boy who is friends with a snowman which has come to life. It reminds the children of the importance of friendship.
Second, "Snowmen At Night" written by Caralyn Buehner with pictures by Mark Buehner, published by Dial Books for Young Readers, New York. It is a fanciful rhyming book about the secret life of snowmen. Most children will find it very funny to see the snowmen playing in the park. Another unique feature is that the readers are asked to search for special items hidden in the wintertime scenes. How fun!

Follow up Art Project- Paper Plate Snowman
1- Supplies: You need two paper plates, one small (head) and one large (body), scrap fabric, pipe cleaners or wax craft strings, construction paper-one small piece of orange(nose)and any other color (hat), markers or crayons
2- Use markers or crayons to draw a face on the small plate. Attach it with glue or staples to the large plate. Cut fabric for a scarf and tie around where you glued or stapled.
3- Cut any style hat from any color construction paper and glue or tape on top of small plate. Decorate it with any embellishments you have at hand, buttons, rickrack, or ribbon.
4- Cut a carrot shape out of orange construction paper and tape or glue to the face.
5- If you choose, you can decorate the body with buttons or draw on a vest or a coat.
6- Use pipe cleaners or wax craft strings to make the arms. You can also use real twigs. Attach to the sides of the body with glue or tape.
Use your snowman to hang or place on a door or window,

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Obscure Holiday Cards

Thank You Day is January 11th-
This card was embellished with felt flowers attached with purple brads.

Bald Eagle Appreciation day is January 14th-

Take a walk Outdoors Day is January 20th-
This card was made with the bear stamp cut out and applied with a foam glue dot to give a three dimentional effect.

To take part in these fun card or scrapbook challenges visit the Splitcoaststampers site listed in my favorite links.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Grab a Button! — Great Backyard Bird Count

This is a great activity to do with school age children. Visit this site and read all about it. There is a place to learn about backyard birds, download a record sheet and prepare to help survey the kinds of birds that visit your feeders. This weekend event is coming up in February and it is a wonderful project that is both educational and fun.

Grab a Button! — Great Backyard Bird Count

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

January Scrapbook Challenges

This page was for a honeybee theme challenge. It is of my son and granddaughter.

This page is for a transportation theme challenge. It is of my granddaughter in her new pink convertible car she received from me for Christmas.

This page is for a two color limit challenge. I will be using it for Valentine's day pictures.

December 2008 Product Recalls

Please visit the Safe Kids Worldwide website listed in my favorite links to review the numerous recalls of children's clothing and products that pose safety hazards to children.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Another Winter Art Project

Now that the Holiday decorations are down, most rooms are looking pretty boring. To brighten up a child's room, how about a snowman chain? Start by cutting a 12 inch by 18 inch piece of white construction paper in half to get two 6 inch by 18 inch strips. Divide each strip into six 3 inch sections. Accordion fold the paper. Draw a simple snowman shape on the top section with the arms ON THE FOLD. Cut around the shape through all the layers, but don't cut around the ends of the arms.

Unfold the paper and let your child decorate each snowman with markers or crayons. Repeat with the other strip and connect the two together. Put them above the window, around a mirror or anywhere you want to brighten up the decor.
Math connection- Ask you child to put a specific number of buttons on each snowman, or make them consecutive from one to six. Ask older children to make a pattern with the clothing. For example, with buttons, with buttons, with a scarf, with a scarf, with buttons, with buttons,as in my example. They can also be used to teach colors and ordinal numbers, as in give the third snowman a red hat.

National Bird Day

Here is a card I made for National Bird Day. It was submitted for the Split Coast Stampers Obscure Holiday Challenge.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

New Scrapbook Pages

I have added some new scrapbook pages to my granddaughter's album.
These are from her first airplane trip to Florida.

These are from her first Halloween. She was a little lamb!

These are from her first Christmas.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Vaccinate Your Children

I just read a great article in American Baby by Norine Dworkin-McDaniel about the importance of vaccinating your baby. She not only reassures parents that vaccines are safe but also gives a handy table of all the vaccines and when they should be administered. For more information so you can separate fact from fiction, get a copy of the January 2009 issue or you can also visit a helpful website - Every Child By Two. Additional information can also be obtained from Safe Kids Worldwide (see both postings in my favorite links.)