Monday, December 15, 2014

Pom Pom Garland DIY

Over the past few years, I have had a great time collecting and making my own unique Christmas Decorations!  My tree is decorated with the colors, beauty and whimsy of a child's dream tree...which works out well now that there are little hands helping me adorn our walls during the holiday season!

So, you can imagine my excitement when I saw this bright and colorful garland over at Peach's Blog!
The project was actually VERY simple, and completely do-able while cuddled up in a blanket and watching a good ole Christmas movie!

Here's what you'll need:
1. Pom Poms of your choice! This would look great with just the traditional Christmas colors, but you know I had to add some neon :)
2. Black and white paper straws- cut into 1/3s, or smaller if you want!
3. Button Thread- thicker and waxier than regular, all purpose thread.
My bags of pom poms came with 3 different sizes, so I actually separated the biggest ones into one bowl, and the medium ones into another! (I've saved the tiny ones for some garland for Doll Baby's tree!)
Cut the straws into thirds or fourths, depending on how long you want them to be between your pom poms.  I cut them into thirds, and it worked out great with the number of pom poms.
I began my strand by threading the needle, and tying a knot to keep it on the thread.  I started the garland with a large pom pom to keep the ends in place.  I didn't cut the thread or tie it off until the whole strand was done, so just keep scooting your poms and straws down as you go!
Alternate poms and straws until you have reached the length you want!
I made 2 strands with the supplies that I showed you, and it was long enough to perfectly drape my fireplace!

 I love this garland so much that I think I'm going to hang it in my studio as soon as Christmas is over!! Such a fun decoration!  Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Thankful Tree!


Our Thankful Tree is becoming one of my favorite activities to do with the kids!!!  This year I am finding as many "teachable moments" as possible to incorporate into this project!
To make your own tree, you will need:
1. brown packing paper (I got my roll from the Dollar Tree!)
2. brown paint, markers, or crayons
3. construction paper or leaf doilies (which i found at the Dollar Tree years ago, but can't find any more :/, so now we make our own leaves!)

First, tape your paper to the floor, and draw a tree on it!  Don't worry about how you think it looks.  ALL trees are different, and yours will be unique to your home! ...plus, it will eventually be covered in leaves :)
Next, confine any smaller children to a chair so that they won't run through the paint and drag it all over the house :D  Then, have your child(ren) paint/color their tree! 
I think this may have been the first year that T-Man was actually excited to do this whole project :D
It's ok if the paint or marker gets outside the lines of the tree because you'll be cutting it all out!
I knew that we would be making our own leaves this year, so while T was at school, I let Livie paint!  I had put her painting projects on hold for a bit because she was wanting to eat the paint more than putting it on the paper (*sigh).  Thankfully, this time, she loved dipping her brush in the water, and then the paint!
I drew leaves onto the paper, and then let T cut them out!  His teachers had recommended letting the kids cut at home, like cut anything and everything, so BAM! cutting we will do! :D  He loved it!  I think he's thrilled any time I let him use scissors!
He was really into doing each step of this on his own, by himself, and then presenting me with the completed project at the end with a flourish and celebration! ...I have no idea where he gets that from ;)
Next, we began talking about what it meant to be thankful.  This has continued to be a difficult subject to convey to tiny people, but T is doing much better with this concept.  We talked about things that we are glad that God has given us, things that we are happy we have, people who we love, and so one.  
So, I asked him what he was thankful for, to which he responded,
"going bowling!"
:D
It's working, right?! ;)
So, we continued.
He listed more, and then wanted to write them all on his leaves!!! (More school practicing!!!!)
I watched in awe as we spelled the words together, and he wrote the letters all by himself!  Yes, some were backwards, and some were not made perfectly, but he was practicing, and improving, and I love it!
Next, tape the tree to the wall! (Please pardon the horrible pictures!  We recently rearranged the toy room and moved our tree spot next to the window :/ Great to look at, not great to take pictures of!)
Remember that other child being restrained and throwing every Cheerio available on the floor?!  There she is!  She's as thrilled as T, because although she wasn't physically involved, she watched and celebrated, and totally thinks she made the whole thing! :D  Man, I love that girl!
And, there you have it!  A Thankful Tree in a morning! :D 1 project, many steps, covering many learning concepts! :D  We will continue to talk about thankfulness and hanging leaves on our tree daily until it is covered with colorful blessings!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Explosions!

As we are springing into summer, my mind is exploding with creativity, and my hands can barely keep up!!!  So, in between trips to the pool, library, and friend's houses, I've been wearing out my studio!  It hasn't seen so much of me in a long time!!!

For starters, T-Man and I played around with watercolors in a new way!  He had so much fun blowing through the straw and watching the colors spray everywhere!
I have been experimenting/obsession ;) with texture up in the studio!  I love to not only see the vibrant colors of the paint, but I love that these pieces make you want to TOUCH them!!!  Oh, how I love the rough edges, but the softness of the drips and dribbles!!!



My palette has practically become a creation of it's own!  Look at those gorgeous colors!!!
Then, all of a sudden, my brain switched to sewing!  I've recently bought an embarrassing amount of patterns, and I've been dying to use up some of my delicious fabrics...so...
Livie gets (another) new dress!!! :D  It's not quite done, but I'll save the buttons and bow for tomorrow :)
I am just soaking up this feeling of creativity, creation, and am feeling very blessed with the talents that the Lord has placed in my hands!!!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

A Fairy Princess

I guess I've been a bit busy since my last post! LOL!!! After mailing out all of my post cards from the Swap, I received 10 gorgeous post cards in return! Oh, how fun it was to actually receive FUN mail every day!!! It was so exciting to WANT to go get the mail! :)

Ok, onto my tiny princess!!!
My niece, Story, just celebrated her 2nd birthday with a Princess and Knights party!  I had been dying to pop open one of the new patterns that I just got at Hobby Lobby's $1 sale, and one of them was a Disney Fairy dress!

Oh, how I envisioned #dollbaby in a fluffy pink dress...made by me!...you know, something like this:

EEEEEEEEKKKK! I still can hardly believe that I actually made this thing! The bodice was made with pink satins and a lining, with some trim on the front.  The petals were made from organza...the hardest material EVER to sew!...I think...I really haven't tried ALL the fabrics, but you know, when you can't sew a straight line on a fabric, it can be dumped in the "hard to sew" pile :)  Anyways, finally, the lower skirt was made with 6 yards of tulle and a lining to keep it soft on her legs.

I love the length on it, which keeps her from tripping, and I added velcro in the back to make it easier for me to get her in and out of it.
Well, it was exactly as I imagined it!  She was a beautiful fairy princess!!!!
I love you, baby girl! :D

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Post Card Swap

I joined iHanna's Post Card Swap with my mom as a fun way to make some art, and get some really cool mail! :)
You may remember that I began these cards back at her last swap.  I was whipped these suckers out with a strong creative flow, and then realized that I had missed the sign up deadline! LOL!!!
So, "Kel!" :)
So, anyways, Mom and I were ready this time when the project opened back up!!! I made 10 postcards, and sent 7 of them across the country, and 3 to Australia, Canada, and the UK!!! 
I absolutely loved the stitching that I did on the cards, and couldn't bare to cover it up on the back side because it looked so cool...but also made it SUPER hard to write on them!!! So, if you receive on of my cards, don't think I'm weird, just realize it's part of the art :D
A few of the ladies who I mailed cards to ALSO share my love for Washi tapes!  So, it seemed an appropriate decoration for the cards!  I ended up putting them in envelopes because I was afraid that the thread might cause the paper to be destroyed as it went through the system!
I will be sure to post pictures of the cards I receive! I just can't wait to get that beautiful mail!!!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Washi Tape Easter Cards

I am always looking for ways to teach Tucker how to think of others, share kindness, and give of himself to help someone else.  I usually take advantage of holidays as great times to make things to give to teachers, friends, and family...if I'm on my game...which I was not for Valentines Day or St. Patrick's Day.  :/

Anywho!  This morning I decided that we should make Easter cards for his Bible Study teachers, and little treats for his classmates to help celebrate the most exciting news of all!!!  JESUS IS ALIVE!!!  HE IS RISEN!!!

We have been talking about how Jesus died on the cross for our sins, and 3 days later arose from the grave and is now in Heaven with God!!!  I am trying to reinforce those truths in as many ways as possible, so he has been sharing the Good News with those around him, and now through this craft!!!

So, onto the project!  It really is VERY simple to make!!! 

1. I folded a piece of card stock into 3rds, and and then cut it in half to make 2 small cards.
2. I drew an egg shape on the middle piece of the tri-fold, and then cut it out. 
3. Next, I laid out all of my washi tapes (which is quite a bit!!!), and let Tucker choose which ones he wanted to use!!!  He laid the pieces of tape on the page to the left of the egg cut out.  I told him he could put them whichever direction he wanted, and however he wanted!!!
It's ok if the pieces overlap, it just adds to the design!!!
4.  When he was all done with the 3 cards, I applied glue with a glue stick around the egg cut out, and then folded the left flap over.  (Turn over to see your cool egg design through the front!!!) To ensure that it would stick, I added a piece of tape to the middle of the card, too!

I just love the excitement of this verse!!!  It really captures the joy that the women must have felt when they opened the tomb and saw that Jesus was not there!!!  "He is not here; He has risen, just as he said!"  Matthew 28:6
5.  I added a yellow outline around the egg to make it stand out, but you can decorate it however you like!!!  Tucker also signed his name inside each card, since we have been practicing writing his name. 
Enjoy!  And, Happy Easter! :D

Friday, April 4, 2014

Tips for Painting with Your Toddler

Painting with your kids can be SO much fun!...if you know what you're doing, so your house doesn't become a toddler museum :)  I LOVE painting with the kids, but realize that a lot of my friends struggle with this for a few reasons.  Soooooo, I wanted to share some tips to help you be SUCCESSFUL with your kid's art!!!
1.  BE PREPARED!!!  No matter what project you are doing (painting, play dough, stickers...), prepare your space, supplies, and clean up tools before you introduce the project to your kids.

Cover your surface with newspaper, a cheap vinyl tablecloth, or some old rags.  Lay out your supplies, keeping the actually messy part (paint, dough...) out of reach until YOU'RE ready to hand it to your child!

2. Only Give a Few Options.  Now that T-Man is older, I ask him what color he wants to use...he will usually choose orange.  :)  So, instead of giving him ALL of the colors to paint with-which will turn BROWN very quickly :/, I give him orange (the color he chose), red (a darker color next to orange on the color wheel), and yellow (a lighter color next to orange on the color wheel).

I place his color choices on a paper plate, plastic plate, or any other "pallet" that you have available.  This way, he is not mixing all of the beautiful colors IN the containers that they came in, and I'm only giving him a small amount.

Use the Color Wheel below to help you choose your colors!!!

Livie painted for the first time yesterday!!!  I chose pink for her :)  So, she was given pink, red, and white.

3. Give Suggestions.  To maximize your child's creative freedom, merely give suggestions and encouragement while they're painting.  I hand them the paintbrush, and tell them to get some paint on their brush.  If they get all 3 colors, great!!! They will blend well together, and give beautiful contrast as they paint!  

As they paint, I will turn the canvas/paper as they go to make sure they can reach all parts of the painting.  This also helps keep all areas interesting :)  

Remind them to get more paint on their brush as they go.  You can also point to an area of the canvas that doesn't have paint on it yet to move them from the same spot that they've been painting in.

Leave some white showing on the canvas!!!  It acts like an additional "color!"

4.  Work in Stages. Once you've completed your first layer, let it dry completely!!!!  One of the most common approaches with kids is to let them use all of the colors at once.  Well, mixing all of the colors together makes brown...which is probably not the look you were going for :)

Once Livie's pink layer was dry, I gave her yellow, orange and white on her pallet.  Yellow is very transparent (see through), so layering it on the pink made it's own orange anyways, but again, the 3 colors together made a more beautiful color!!!

The other benefit to working in stages is that you're playing into your child's short attention span.  You should know now that each step that I've explained here will take minutes.  Yes, MINUTES!!!  You will spend more time preparing and planning than watching your child actually paint!!! LOL!!!  But, trust me, it's worth it :)

You can add as many layers of color as your heart desires, or stop when your desired "look" is completed!  Either way, this will be a memorable activity for you to share with your kids, AND a way to creative beautiful abstract art for your home!  

For more details, be sure to check out my other posts HERE and HERE!!!

Be sure to follow me on Instagram: kelbelle810  and use the hashtag #toddlerpaintings to show off your creations!!!