Category Archives: crafts

New Sculpy Clay Lines

I apparently missed this last year when they announced it, but Sculpy, the people who make the really nice clay, came out with a bunch of new clays!

We found them because the kids got a sculpy art kit from CostCo for Christmas. It has tons of different clays (including the new ones), clay tools, cutters, molds, and a really nice plastic carrying case.

The first new like is the  Premo! line, which just has some really neat colors.

The second line is Premo! Accents, which has really neat glitter, granite, and translucent clays. They’re nothing like I’ve ever seen in clay.

And then there’s Sculpy Souffle, which is really lightweight and has some other different colors.

I’d love to make some ancient Greek column models with the granite.

Sculpy’s blog has a ton of pictures of the actual clays in use and mixed with other clays.

PS — No, I’m not being paid for this. I just really love clay and I think everyone should see how neat these are.

PPS — I buy art supplies at Blick. They have good prices and sales.

Ice Skate Decorations

On pinterest, I pinned a really cute looking ice skate ornament (or decoration). When I was ready to make it, I clicked it and, of course, the destination page didn’t actually have any instructions.

Pinterest sort of makes me crazy this way. It’s a great scrapbook for ideas, but sometimes the destinations are next to useless.

I decided to do a search — let’s find a way to make these things and maybe some different ideas for how to make them. I don’t have any procedures or instructions or anything, but some better ideas all in one place is nice, too!

First, an image that shows how to insert the paperclip, so you can an idea of how it’s made.


You can fill the ice skates with polyfill fluff.

I also like the little bell and the pretty gold thread.

Lace and embroidery makes this skate look very fancy!

You can personalize them for different people.

These also have minimal sewing, so might be easier for younger kids.

Using different colored paperclips is interesting, too!

How about matching mittens?

Or crochet them?

Or add glitter.

Or try other shapes!

I think we’ll have fun with this.

Unit Study: Color Theory

This summer, we seem to be falling into a routine of unit study. It really fits with our personalities anyway — we hear about something and then obsess about it and then suddenly you see it in everything you do and you investigate it until you’re sick of it and then move on to something else. Sometimes it’s just coincidence.

 I figured it would be fun to do a series of posts on some of our unit studies, such as color theory, fermentation (all of my postings about FODMAPs, making yogurt, making cream cheese, and so forth were part of that little obsession), and aliens. Yes, we did a unit study of aliens. Just wait, I’ll document that one too. 😉

So for Color Theory, we did a number of things.

First I introduced the idea with a neat poster. I just did a Google image search and chose this one because I liked that it showed many concepts that I wanted to cover: primary, secondary and tertiary colors; tints and shades; CMYK vs RGB; cold vs warm colors; color relationships; and cultural color meanings.

Then I drew a series of pictures of fish and birds and things with colors we chose, trying out analogous, complementary, monochromatic, and triad color groups. I have no picture of these, as they were destroyed by the baby.

Then we cut up strips of construction paper and grouped them in similar ways.

After that, the kids used the My Little Pony Creator to make different ponies using their new color theory knowledge. They were quite happy with their results, and I think they realized that they now had a better idea of why some colors looked better together than others.

Then I found an old box of crayons. The baby helped me peel the papers off of them and all three kids and I broke them up and mixed together our favorites, put them in muffin cups, and melted them down (200 degrees for about 20 minutes) to make new crayons. (Note: I still got wax on my muffin tin and it’s horrible to clean up).

First Try, before:

First try, after (flipped around):

Second try, some kids noticed they didn’t like the more mixed up colors:

They’re pretty fun to draw with. You never quite know what’s going to happen!

Trips Lead to New Ideas

One thing I’m really enjoying about the little trips we’re taking is that it really seems to help get the kids out of their rut and try something new. Last month we went to Mount Vernon and really had a great time. In the gift shop, The Boy picked up a nice little quill and ink holder set with a copy of the Declaration of Independence. Not only did he have me read him the entire thing, which I interpreted in the form of a break-up letter (It’s not me, it’s you!), but then we just had to get some ink for his ink well.
I didn’t really want him with permanent ink all over the house, so we made some. After checking around on the internet, we found a recipe using coffee. So we made that. Then we made one with tea. Then we remembered the beets we canned and how beautiful the beet juice was, so he drew with that as well!
So, for a change, he didn’t spend the morning playing on the computer, he spent it on a little chemistry, civics, and penmanship!

Ribbons and Bows

Pinterest. Maybe you’ve heard of it, maybe you haven’t. A lot of people have opinions about it — they seem to either love it, or just not get the point of it at all. Basically, it’s a visual bookmark and discovery service. So it’s a little like FaceBook — you can see what your friends are interested in. It’s a little like StumbleUpon — you can see what people are interested in in general and maybe find something new. And it’s exactly like a way to store ideas for yourself, like an idea board.

Personally, I like it. I didn’t understand the point for a long time, until I tried it out and saw the organization, craft, and school ideas. That’s what I use it for. I don’t have much use for pictures of quotes or anything like that. I just want a way to keep track of good ideas that I find on blogs or Facebook and to discover other ideas from people I know. But it really only works for things that are visual. I’m also using it for the weekly challenges from Free Play Life (caution: some “bad words” and occasionally turns into a lot of pictures of rear ends….).

But it’s totally safe to hop over to Pinterest and check out my boards!

Anyway, a couple weeks ago, I actually made some of my projects from my Crafts board. It’s easier to see it and decide to do something when I see a picture of it right there, instead of checking a boring list of bookmarks in my browser, or searching for printouts or any other way you might store craft ideas.

We made ribbon flower bows and ribbon fish and glued them to hair clips.

I have been collecting a box full of ribbon for a while and always wanted to do something with it and this seemed easy enough. And it was! I had the girls pick out ribbons they liked, then glued them all together with my hot glue gun, which I finally can find thanks to cleaning up the house (yay resolutions!).

I burnt my fingers a bit on the glue, but it was worth it to actually finish a project and make some pretty hair clips for the girls.