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Friday, July 22, 2011

Want Money?

Sure you do. But, sometimes we need to spend it. I mean we need clothes, appliances etc. Hey, you can even save on toys, appliances, gift cards, jewelry and more.

Check out:

EBATES-online rebates and nothing to mail.

The way this site works is that they have a list of stores, that offer you a percentage back. Let's say your kid needs clothes. Go to EBATES and click on the clothing category. You will see a list of clothing sites with the percentage back that they are offering. Let's say you usually shop at Land's End. Scroll down the list of sites to Lands End and click shop now. An EBATES tracking ticket will pop open and take you to Land's End. Some sites even offer coupons in addition, just click on the store name before clicking shop now. Once you purchase an item, EBATES will send you a check or you can get it through paypal or even have it given to charity. What's not to like? Try it now, it's totally FREE to sign up and if you need to spend money why not save while you're at it. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Game that Needs a Name

This project kind of got changed as I went along. I had in mind to make a basketball game snow globe. I let the kids try it out while I was in the middle of making it. They said it's boring, you should put in shelves and add a scoring system. So I did. Because I changed things as I went along, I don't have pictures of every step. Don't let the long how-to scare you, I was just trying to make the steps as clear as possible.

You will need:
1 glass jar-any size,  I used a gray poupon mustard jar
6 twist ties
a bead-I cut mine off a mardi gra necklace
hot glue gun
pistachio shells
permanent marker(s) or paint
(tile, felt etc-some sort of scrap may come in useful when you are using the hot glue and need to hold the lanyard in place-I used a mirrored tile that I had handy, this way you can press and not burn yourself, the tile  or scrap will end up being hot glued to the lid of the jar)

1. Clean out the jar well.

2. Take twist ties and strip the paper off.

3. Take 3  of the wires from the twist ties that you just stripped and twist them together. This will make the wire stronger.

4. Repeat with the other 3 wires.

5. From both sets of twisted wire into a C shape.

6. Twist both C shapes together to form a circle.

7. You will need to measure where you want your wire circle that you created to be, and tie 2 even strips of lanyard onto the wire, on opposite sides.

8. You may need to knot the 2 lanyard strings together to glue the lanyard onto the lid of the jar. This may take a few attempts until you get it just where you want it. Cut off the excess from the knot and you may want to glue gun a top of the knot to prevent it from opening.

9. Wash your pistachio shells. Assign point values to the shells and write it on the side of the shell and inside the shell.

10. Hot glue gun the shells onto the walls of the jar assigning them places based on their point value. We did the higher numbers higher up in the jar.

11. Depending on how big your jar is, (or your preferences) you may want to bend the wire circle or squeeze it into an odd shape. Because our jar was small and our wire circle was almost as big as the jar, we decided to squeeze ours. However, if you are working with a bigger jar, you can always keep the circle round.

this is before we glued on the pistachio shells,
but it shows how we squeezed the wire

12. Place your bead inside the jar, screw on the lid and start scoring points make up your own rules or whatever.

It's completely optional if you want to glue gun the jar closed or not. If you have little kids, I would recommend glue gunning it shut because of the bead, but it's your choice.

Toddler Version

My original version might be more fun for toddlers. This version uses a super ball, googly eyes and no pistachio shells or beads  You will need to follow steps 1-8. Now to make it more fun, glue gun 2 googly eyes to the ball.  Screw on the lid and let your child try to get the ball in the hoop. (I was also going to add baby oil and glitter, but I didn't and I'm not sure if that would work.)

What can the kids do?

Kids can color or paint the shells all different colors and make a chart showing which color corresponds with which points. They can also color it and not have a point system.

They can decorate the tops of the lid with paper, felt, glitter, masking tape resist etc.
(Mom can cut out circles that will fit on the lid and have the kids decorate it while she assembles the game.)

They can paint the lids.

Short Video of the No Name Game (Please note, that the video has no sound)

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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Fun with Chalk

This is Monday's Post, I'm posting it early. Here are some of our chalk drawings. I used an image that I found through Google images as a reference and drew it freehand. The bird which is a condor I drew in gray chalk (that color doesn't show up so well, so it's good for drawing outlines.) I then let the little fellow who requested the condor color it in.

I would recommend having a spray bottle filled with water nearby in case of mistakes.

Now onto our fun project.
You will need:

black construction paper
clean hands

1. Let your kids color all over their hands with chalk, they can do all the fingers and the palm different colors. (Don't forget to take a picture of their colorful hands.)

2. Have them press their hands onto the black construction paper.

3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 with other hand

4. Write child's name and age/date.

no, they're not both the same hand, I drew the heart over the left thumb, because I mistook it for a smudge.
I'm talented like that.

That's it.

You can also just have them do fingerprints and see how the ridges appear or make fingerprint pictures. Have fun.

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Chewy Coconut Lime Sugar Cookies

I finally got to make something from my Pinterest board (Pinterest is like a virtual pinboard, a place to pin up stuff you like, you can also see what other people have put up and categorize it.) This is the site where I got the recipe from. Hopefully, I'll get around to making the other recipes, sometime soon. They are really yummy.

Chewy Coconut Lime Sugar Cookies

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 ½ cups white sugar
1 egg
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
zest of one large lime, finely minced
3 tbsp lime juice
½ cup unsweetened toasted coconut
½ cup sugar for rolling cookies

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. If you haven't already toasted your coconut just put a layer of coconut on a cookie sheet and bake it at 350 degrees for 5-7 minutes. Watch out. It goes from white to burnt really quick if you aren't watching closely.Yes, really watch it, don't take your eyes off it, this took less than 5 minutes in my oven.
2. In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
3. Using a mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until smooth and very fluffy.
4. Beat in egg, vanilla extract, lime juice and lime zest.
5. Gradually blend in the dry ingredients and toasted coconut. 
6. Roll rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into balls, and roll in sugar. Place on lined cookie sheets about 1 1/2 inches apart. I made mine too big and they ran together. These do spread quite a bit.
7. Bake 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until lightly browned. 
8. Let stand on cookie sheet two minutes before removing to cool on wire racks.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Cool Light Ups

I think this is a pretty neat craft.  I found it here, and I came up with my own version. I would recommend that you read through the whole post if you intend to make this. I came up with some improvements after making mine.

You will need:
a night light
soda can or beer can- rinsed out
sharp pin (safety pin, thumb tack, sewing needle etc)

colored printer paper

1. Decide what design you want to light up. If you want to put in your own design, make sure the design is relatively simple as a more intricate one will not work very well. I knew I wanted a butterfly, so I went to Google Images and printed out one I liked, but was still a pretty simple design. You can get the butterfly image here.

2. If you are choosing to paint your can I would suggest you do steps 4 and 5 now. If you want to paint your can, now is the time to do it. Paint it however you would like.

3. If using words or picture on the can, just stick your pin in, on the area that you would like to light up. You will be making a whole bunch of pinpricks. You want them pretty close together, but not so close together that they will form a bigger hole.

For your own template-make sure you are happy with the size, tape it down where you want the design to be. Pin prick all the black lines. Again, you want them pretty close together, but not so close together that they will form a bigger hole.

4. Careful: Stick a scissor in the back of the can to form an opening. You will need to cut a rectangle. Throw out the piece that you just cut out. Do it right away, so nobody gets hurt, as the area will be sharp and while you're doing that make sure nobody touches the can as there will be sharp edges on the can still.

Throw this piece out

5. Careful: Fold masking tape over on the sharp edges of the opening, so that the edges are no longer sharp.


If you want to customize the color of your light, cut out a rectangle about the size of your picture. Put colored printer paper in the can and position it right behind your pinpricks. Please keep in mind that if your night light is more of a yellow, then placing blue paper will give you green light, not blue and so on.

Note: The tin does get hot, it would probably be a good idea to cut a hole in the front to have access to the switch without having to keep removing the can. You would do this the same way you cut the hole in the back, making sure to tape over rough edges. Also if you are painting, cut your front access hole first. Cut your access hole and then position your template.
access hole added after painting

Please make sure you plug this in on a high wall outlet out of reach of little ones.

Someone suggested that you file down the sharp edges and spray paint the can for a more professional look, it's your choice.

6. Plug in night light and slide can over night light.

More Pictures and Coca Cola Version

This picture was taken with flash, therefore it looks lighter in the room

Oops, I shook the camera

The above four photos all have the same night light in them, the difference is that two of them have colored paper inside

pink paper inside the can

no paper



Have fun.
If you make this I'd love to see your versions.

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Crayon Resist

I had been seeing a lot of watercolor resist and the batik resist with the Elmer's glue. I didn't have any of that in the house, so I decided to make my own version of resist. It really came out nicer than I expected, (event though I ripped it a bit, next time I won't make it on scrap paper).

You will need:
Masking Tape



that's it.

1. Make a design or letter with the masking tape. I chose to make the letter Y as well as forming a border. Learn from my mistake and make sure that no tape is overlapping.
Do not overlap the tape as shown in this picture

2. Color it however you would like, I made random designs. Make sure to color all the white areas.
notice no white areas, it's okay if you color on the tape

3. Slowly lift off the tape to reveal your masterpiece.

I like the crisp edges made by the masking tape border. Those black lines are words on the other side of the paper. I told you I used scrap. Those rips come from overlapping the tape, pulling too fast and from using a really sticky masking tape. Hopefully your masking tape isn't extremely sticky like mine. That's it. Let your little artists at it. This method can probably also be done with paint.

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