Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Iditarod Sled Dog Race is coming!

The Iditarod Sled Dog Race will begin this year on March 7th. It commemorates the famous 1000 mile mercy run of diphtheria serum from Seward to Nome in 1925. Today it is run from Anchorage to Nome. Known as the "Last Great Race," it is an exciting, dangerous adventure that kids love to read about. You can also follow it at this site. It has a special area for teachers and kids. They can follow the progress as the drivers reach each checkpoint and keep track of the weather. There are also links to show fantastic photographs taken on the trail.

Here are some great books:

Kiana's Iditarod by Shelley Gill, illustrated by Shannon Cartwright, published by Sasquatch Books, Washington. It is an exciting rhyming story with wonderful illustrations including maps.

Storm Run by Libby Riddles, illustrated by Shannon Cartwright, published by Sasquatch Books, Washington. Another wonderful book about the first woman to win the Iditarod Race. It has illustrations and photographs.

Born To Pull by Bob Cary and Gail de Marcken, published by Scholastic, New York. This chapter book tells everything you want to know about the dogs that are used to pull sleds. It shares short sled dog stories and is very informative about "mushing" in general.

Follow up Art Project:
For this project you will need a small cardboard box (like a matchbox) or you can cut one from card stock. You will also need two wooden craft sticks and two wooden coffee sticks (the ones used to stir hot beverages), hot glue or strong craft glue, and crayons.

Draw a simple sketch of a running dog. It doesn't need to be perfect! Cut out two identical images. Let the kids color them with crayons. If they are interested, they can go online to check the different breeds used as sled dogs and see the various colors and markings they can choose to use.

Hot glue the craft sticks to the bottom of the box. Glue the coffee sticks to the box and to the dogs. Depending the your child's age, they may want to do a little research and decide what things might be needed on such a long and dangerous trip and add those items to the "sled." They can also create a driver and add background scenery. Have fun!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Thinking Spring

Since I have loads of March and April birthdays and anniversaries in my family, I decided to use the SCS challenges to make some "springy" cards. Which is your favorite?

Friday, February 20, 2009

New Safety Recall- Old Navy Stuffed Toys

The Consimer Product Safety Comission has just issued a safety recall for stuffed animals sold at Old Navy stores. There is a choking hazard for the buttons on these toys. Please visit the CPSC link ( listed in my favorite links) for further information. Remember: There is NO SUCH THING AS BEING TOO CAREFUL!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Latest Cards

These cards were all made for challenges using either specific layouts or design elements such as circles or stripes.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Mother Nature's Bosom

Check out this terrific art show. Click here to see what some quilters did to bring awareness to breast cancer. Using these artsy bras as inspiration, we were asked to make a card. Here's my best effort for Mother Nature's Bosom.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Cindy's Challenge- Dramatic Flower

Here's my card, Cindy. It has all the elements: distressed PP, flower, glitter, die cut(leaves), one stamp, black ink, markers, ribbon, and matted circles.

Three New Cards

A card using my new Riley stamps by Hanna. Love 'em! It's for my sister for her birthday. Since we won't be able to be together, I thought this card showing us would be fun. (I'm the one knitting, and she's the one with the cupcake!)

A tiny gift card using two different fabrics as the background, foam dots for the snail and butterfly and Ranger glossy accents.

Another clean and simple card.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Grab Your Binoculars and Get Ready To Count!

Don't forget to participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count this weekend Feb. 13-16). It's a great family activity. For more information click here.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Some New Challenges

This card is another clean and simple style.

This card uses cut paper images as a background. It also celebrates Feb 22~ Walk Your Dog Day!

This card is using fabric as inspiration.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Love Is In The Air

Some reading suggestions for Valentine's Day are:

The Adventures of Frog and Toad, by Arnold Lobel, published by Barnes and Nobel Books, New York. These two crazy characters have all sorts of adventures and stick by each other through thick and thin. The stories are very funny and very heartwarming as they show the meaning of true friendship. Children love them.

How Do I Love Thee? by Leslie Kimmelman, pictures by Lisa McCue, published by Scholastic, New York. A lovely story about a parent alligator with their baby. It is also a counting and a rhyming book. A great bedtime story.

Follow up Art Projects:

Valentine Friends
This easy project can be a decoration or a card to exchange.
You will need two sheets of construction paper in skin colors, scrap pieces of white or patterned paper and one brad.
1. Help the children trace their hand once on each piece of paper. Cut the hands out. See first picture.
2. Cut small pieces of paper to be the "cuffs" and tape them to the wrists of the hands. They can color their own designs if they have white paper.
3. Overlap the hands, interlocking the thumbs so that the hands appear to be holding each other. Secure with a brad under where the thumbs cross. Now the hands can "shake." They can write their name on one and their friends or relative on the other.

Valentine Woven Heart
You will need 2 sheets of 9x12 piece of construction paper -two different colors ( I chose pink and red) cut in half (4 1/2 by 6), and one small piece of string or ribbon.
1-Fold each piece in half and draw a U shape reaching from the fold to the edge. Draw two lines spaced equally from the fold and cut without going all the way to the other side. See first picture.
2- Keeping the pieces folded, weave the top red over, then under, then over the pink.
See second picture.
3- Take the second strip of red and weave it under, then over, then under the pink. See third picture.
4- The last strip will be the same as the first. You can secure the ends with tape or you can slide the piece between the layers as you go if you want a very secure heart.
5- Finish by adding a hanging loop of ribbon or yarn at the top. See fourth picture.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Nursery Rhymes

You cannot overestimate the impact reading has on your children. Even the years before school are extremely important. Many parents and caregivers have gotten away from reading fairly tales and nursery rhymes to their kids, but that isn't a good idea. Mix up the fiction and non-fiction things you read with the old traditional nursery rhymes. They teach you child so much about language, and rhyming. Here is my scrapbook page for Feb 26. "Read a Fairy Tale Day."

Another challenge for today is using this sketch to make a card. I will be giving this card for an anniversary.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Then And Now

This layout was for a challenge for a Valentine's Day page using red, pink, brown, black or white. I chose to do a "best friends" page of my children. The early one was from a vacation we took to the Thousand Islands of New York. The current one was at my son's wedding. It is one of my favorite pages.

Monday, February 2, 2009

New Stamps

This card was just for fun! I just received a bunch of new stamps that I had ordered and I just had to "play."

This challenge was to take inspiriation from an chosen artist's work to creat a card.