Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Christmas Ornaments DIY - Star of Paris - Tutorial

Once again, I was inspired by Pinterest to make these holiday Christmas ornaments.

They cost about $4.25 for 6 ornaments. 
$1.50 - clear plastic ornaments 
$2.75 - acrylic paints 

Here is the link to my YouTube tutorial :
A great gift or any grandparent :)

Also, the fingerprint snowmen add a lot of cuteness to this project :)

Labeling Storage Boxes for Garage Organization - Star of Paris

This has really helped in organizing our garage !!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Freezer Paper T-Shirt Printing - Pregnancy T-Shirt

I have been wanting to do this project since I found out I was pregnant but never had the time. Finally, this week when I was ready to toss an old t-shirt out, I decided to paint it. 
I used the freezer paper method. Maybe an hour to print the image, cut out, iron and paint. Definetly glad I took the time to do this project :)

This is the link to my you tube tutorial: DIY - Freezer Paper Stenciling Tutorial - Star of Paris

Art time at our house - 2 year old

At our house art time is a whole day process. I do it every month and will be trying to do it weekly now that the cold weather has set in.

How I set up..
First, we have so many coloring books we could open a store. I take old and un-used coloring books and tear the pages out.

Then, I tape all them all together and make one huge coloring page floor area.

Finally, I take out markers, paints, pens, crayons and color pencils.

He can now color to his hearts content !  
It keeps him very occupied and loves to use all of his art supplies. 

As an added bonus I give him stickers to embellish his artwork. 

Friday, December 20, 2013

Too many toys ??

I took my son this week for development testing. I don't have any concerns but I did want to know if there were any areas we could improve. To my surprise there were two main tests he failed.
First: imagination
They asked if he pretends to play with other toys. While he does pretend to cook he never pretends one toy to be another. For example using a block as a car. It's true we have a garage full of toys so he has never had to pretend. If he wants a car he has a box full of them. That was when I asked myself if my child has too many toys? Is it limiting his imagination ? I have taken out toys and rotate them monthly. Maybe just a cardboard box for a week to try and get him to pretend more ? 

Second: pointing at images on books and naming them.
In our house we have 30 library books plus bookshelves and closet full of books. Reading has been our primary goal since he was born. Before nap and bed time we read him an average of 10 books. Now, I'm asking myself it have we been doing too much reading and not enough interacting ? If you ask him to point to a item he does, if you ask him to repeat a word he does but he never voluntarily names items out loud. He will look at books and say he's reading but he never reads out loud and points out items. Not sure how to improve this. If you ask he will answer but how do I get him to talk without asking? 

I'm glad I did the development testing, it made me look at him from a different perspective and now I'm re-evaluating my daily activities to get him talking more. Having kids is hard, there might be millions of books to teach you how to raise a child  but with limited time, which are the right books and what activities are best for your child. Back go the drawing board for me :)

Monday, December 16, 2013

Baby Proofing The Christmas Tree

When we had our first baby we decorated the tree with lovely "Baby's First Christmas" ornaments. Then the year passed and my baby started exploring more and more. Finally, last Christmas, I had to admit my ornaments were no longer child safe. So, I went out and bought new ornaments and childproofed as best I could. Here is some advice when you're planning your first kid friendly Christmas tree.

New Christmas ornaments:
Replaced with non breakable ornaments. Purchased stuffed animal ornaments, paper ornaments and made origami ornaments. Ornaments that were delicate and we wanted on the tree were placed at the top of the tree, out of reach.

Hanging Christmas ornaments:
Removed all metal hooks from ornaments and replaced with thread.

The light outlet is behind the tree and we don't let our toddler see it. We turn the tree on/off when he's not watching. He's in a phase where he wants to plug and unplug everything if given the chance.

Purchasing a small tree. We bought a 4'-5'ft tree. Mostly I like that small tree's are easier to decorate and fit in my son's playroom. Another bonus is that he's not tempted to climb it. His favorite stuffed animal ornaments are at the bottom so he can move them around as he likes.

A Christmas tree skirt is the best way to deter my son from looking under the christmas tree. Make sure the tree skirt doesn't have any decorations that can be ripped off and become a choking hazard !! Especially those with bells.

Most of all, remember less is more. Try not to over decorate the tree. For sanity's sake, know how many ornaments are on the tree so no little hands take and hide ornaments for entertainment later.


Here are some more pictures of our Christmas tree. I can't wait for christmas morning :)

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Elmo birthday cupcake wrappers tutorial ~ 2nd Birthday ~ ELMO

I have been getting ready for my son's 2nd birthday. This year will be an Elmo themed birthday. I have been recording my decoration projects as I go.
This is the first of several projects I will be sharing on YouTube too. Lol I have learned a few things along the way and hope they can help you too in your party planning :)

First lesson learned, should use smaller circles for these cupcake wrappers. Too late but good to know for next time :)

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Rainy day art activity : painting with a sponge brush : age 2

Art time at our house. Age 2

I cut a small yellow sponge into strips and wrapped the strips around a paint brush with a rubber band. 

Easy project which definitely added some fun to regular painting. I used a paper plate as a paint pallet. My son enjoyed mixing the colors on the plate more than painting on paper. 

Great activity for a rainy day.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Turning a king size down comforter to a twin size comforter

Last week, I purchased a king size down comforter for my son. My first plan was to fold it in half and stuff it in a twin size VITAMINER BIL duvet cover I purchased at ikea.

Good but bad idea. Although the fluffiness was great, the weight of it was too much. My next idea came today...cut the down comforter and place one part in the duvet cover; and the other on the mattress. Best idea I've had in a while!
Here is how to cut a down comforter should you dare to try it to. Warning: feathers are bound to fly and if it's not done right, it can lead to a huge mess and a ruined comforter.
Note: A king size down comforter is sectioned off 7 squares horizontally by 6 squares verically.
I cut 4 squares horizontally by 6 squares vertically for the duvet cover.
Leaving me  3 squares horizontally by 6 vertically to cover the mattress.

Step 1:
Hand stitch along the verical line of your down comforter with bright thread. You will need to do 2 parallel lines so you can cut in between the lines.
Note: I tried sewing this first with a double needle. Bad idea, the comforter was too big and I made huge mistakes.
Note: don't even think of just cutting it first and then just sewing the edges closed!!! Worse thing you can do !! I tried it and lost a lot of down and it was extremely hard to sew.

Picture 1: can you see my hand stitching in red thread? Two parallel lines so I can cut in between the two lines

Step 2: now you can cut between the hand stitching. Do it quickly and make sure that the entire comforter is laying down so there is less movement an less down loss.

Picture 2: cutting between the two hand stitched parallel lines.

Step 3: carefully sew the edges closed by using a zig-zag stitch all along the edge. Be careful and try to keep the down from getting out.

Picture 3: zig-zag stitching the ends.

Step 4: fold over the edge and sew a straight stitch all the way down. Hiding the edges and keeping down from ever escaping. 

Picture 4: folded over the edge and sewed a straight stitch to hide the edges.

Done !!

If you're wondering why I didn't just return the king size down comforter for a twin size comforter. It's because I paid $119 for it on sale at Macy's vs. the $480 original price. The warmth of the down is amazing! It's like you're in a comfy sleeping bag without the sleeping bag restrictions.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Table mate children's chair and activity table

Why I like it :
Easy to store.
Don't really care if the plastic is painted or colored with crayons.
Light enough to move around easily.

Why I dislike it:
It's plastic, I don't like plastic furniture.
The chair is to big for my son.
There is no real storage space for all the art supplies we have.
The bag around the chair does not really help.

Why I'm keeping it.
It was a gift and while it might not be my first choice in desk. The plastic makes it easy to use for messy art projects. My son also loves it.

The zoo stuffed animal storage tutorial

If you have kids, there is a good chance that you have a large collection of stuffed animals. I have to admit that 90% of the stuffed animal population in our house are my own childhood toys. So, once my son's bedroom became over populated I added one more project to my husbands to-do list. 

I found it of coarse on Pinterest. Little zoo keepers is the original product site, if you would rather purchase one.

I still have to finalize a you tube video for this project. It took my husband a whole day to finish. I helped assemble it, so I can honestly say it's an easy project.
Tutorial Link

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Costco find : Baby Playmat

I found this at costco and couldn't resist purchasing it. At first it was just because I liked it. Now, it has really proven to be a great item to have with a toddler.
First, it was a great mat to sit on when doing puzzles. Rather than carpet which can be uncomfortable after a while. Then, it became the place to practice gymnastics. It's soft and forgiving material so when he lands there's no rug burn or rough landing spots. It also looks adorable. I just wish it came in a larger size. If you see this somewhere and consider purchasing it for yourself or as a gift; I would really recommend it. Especially if your house has hardwood floors. And when you have a baby learning to crawl, really wish I would have had this mat then too!
It's also two sided, so you have image options depending on your room decor.

Fleece headband - my first attempt

My baby is due this winter so I've been trying to figure out how to make fleece headbands ... this is my first attempt.

First lesson, fleece does not stretch as much as t-shirt material therefore you need longer pieces than a regular headband.

Second, I googled the circumference of a newborn and found. 
"The average newborn’s head circumference measures about 13 3⁄4 inches (35 cm), growing to about 15 inches (38 cm) by one month. Because boys tend to be slightly larger than girls, their heads are larger, though the average difference is less than 1⁄2 inch (1 cm)."


Therefore my fleece material should be cut larger than +14 inches to accommodate the first month at least.

Third, the most you can stretch fleece is 1.5-2 inches and that is by pulling the material. So, be prepared to use more material than usual.

Here are my first steps: 
This should fit a newborn.

Step 1:
Cut a piece of fleece 14 inches by 3 inches.
(Top-piece pictured is stretched out to 16 inches. It was cut 14 inches just like the bottom piece.)

Step 2:
Took the ends and sewed them together by hand. 

Step 3:
Made a bow by cutting two fleece squares. One slightly larger than the other one. Mine were 2.5" and 2.75 inch squares.
And cutting a strip of felt to tie them together.

Step 4:
Wrapped the bow around the site where I stitched the headband together. Sewed the ends to secure the bow.

That's it. This is my first fleece headband.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Ikea hack the kura bed... The beginning of this project.

The Kura bed project:

Yesterday, we went to ikea and purchased the Kura bed. We had seen this bed on our last trip to ikea and knew it had potential. Then, on one of those Pinterest nights I found our new project....

Over the next few weeks I will keep everyone posted on the progress of this project. I have to admit we are just going by this image for instructions. My husband will have to figure out everything as he goes. 
First, since we are out of garage space and we live in a two story house. We have decide to build the bed in my sons room and add pieces to the bed there. I have to admit building is the easy part; painting will definetly be a challenge. 
Wish us luck, we need this bed done ASAP.
We have another baby on the way who needs my son's crib :)

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Baby headband tutorial

Now that my sons birthday party is completed. I'm ready to focus on the baby. My first priority is of coarse heabands. I took pictures along the way, to see what worked and didn't work. I love these projects and are worth the time and effort. Hopefully she will be born with hair like my son !

1- Elastic scraps
2- Flowers
4/5- Needle and thread 
6- Hot glue gun

Step 1- cut a piece of elastic 12.5 inches and sewed right sides together.

Step 2 - Embelished my flower by adding a rhinestone center (hot glued) & glued a felt circle to the bottom of the flower.

Step 3 - Glued the elastic between the felt glued to the bottom of the flower and the extra circle I cut out. 
Covering the elastic point where I sewed it together.

That easy! I made 3 headbands in an hour.

See the difference a rhinestone in the middle makes !

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Teaching my son how to count - Abacus & a puppet

My son recieved an abacus and muppets for his birthday. I really loved the abacus and wanted to teach him how to use it. Of coarse, he rebelled and wanted to just push the beads back and forth. Finally, I got the idea to use his puppet to push each bead and count. Amazingly it worked !! He loves that the puppet pushes the beads, counts and then cheers hooray. It's educational entertainment. Definetly considering making a puppet theater now. 
My son is almost 2, so perfect time to get started on his math lessons. He counts from 1-3 then skips some numbers and counts 7-10 lol

Elmo Birthday Party Decorations - Sesame Street

Here as some pictures of our birthday party. I have to admit the hardest work was the balloons, we were up to 2 am and it took 100+ balloons! I'm lucky the streamers survived, my son loved to pull on them. Overall, it took a month of small projects here and there to get this done. I taped most of the projects for you tube so please check out my YouTube channel or older posts for videos. 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Elmo birthday up cake stand - wrapping paper trays

I wanted to have cupcakes at the part but finding a display tray was hard. And of coarse I didn't want to spend any more money. So, I used some leftover cake circles from my baking days and some cans. Voila! A cupcake tower for an elmo birthday party!!

Elmo birthday t-shirt - Sesame Street- etsy inspired project

I loved the elmo t-shirt I found on etsy. It looked so easy to make I couldn't resist making one. The patch was purchased on ebay about a month earlier, it came from China and shipping can take over a month. So, buying a patch early was crucial!!
I love the way it came out and I love that total cost was $8 :)