Thursday, August 14, 2014

Art for Kids Hub!

Does your little one love to draw or paint? Ross and I have loved to do both since we were little tots ourselves so we couldn't wait to introduce Charlotte to art. At the beginning of this year, I discovered a very cool website - Art for Kids!

Mr. Rob is a very cool dad and an incredibly great art teacher. He loves creating new keepsakes with his three little munchkins and creates fun videos with them that shows the viewer how to draw or paint a certain object. He is one of those people that was gifted with not only an amazing talent, but also an easy way to describe shapes to young ones.

Ski Jumper (2/7/14) Age = 3

I was shocked the first time I let Charlotte follow along with a video. I had been pinning his tutorials for quite a few weeks, thinking it would be fun to do with C when she got a bit older. One morning we were upstairs and I just so happened to play the video for the ski jumper. I thought I would draw a few things and give them to her to color while we watched the Olympics later that evening. She quickly begged to draw along, so I gave her a Sharpie and sat back in utter amazement as she did her best to follow along. She was 3 and obviously started with a tutorial meant for older artist, but in my proud mommy eyes it looked like the best darn ski jumper I had ever seen. I showed it to everyone and so began our obsession with Art for Kids!

Hello Kitty (3/24/14) Age = 3

Mr. Rob posts new tutorials several times a week giving you lots of options to choose from and for several different age groups. I pin the ones we like and then just wait for C to mention that she wants to do an art project with Mr. Rob. She also knows all of the kids and talks about them like they are best friends.

Teddy Bear (5/13/14) Age = 3

Flamingo (5/13/14) Age = 3

Pooh Bear (5/13/14) Age = 3

Mr. Rob does a lot of drawings, but he also includes tutorials for painting and origami. We have been letting C paint with brushes since she could sit in a high chair. She would always paint something and explain what it was suppose to be. If you squinted an eye and tilted your head, you could sometimes see it, lol. I was so impressed when she wanted to try a few of the painting tutorials.  I love how these two turned out and you can definitely tell what the subject was suppose to be. Her confidence in her art began to blossom right around here. She would show off her work to family and friends and would just beam when they exclaimed how great it was for her age and could correctly identify what she was showing them.

Panda Bear (5/14/14) Age = 3

If you have followed my blog for awhile, you will immediately realize why I love this little panda bear. When we were expecting C, we decided to not find out what we were having. We started referring to my growing bump as our little panda bear. Ross came home, took one look at her drawing and quickly claimed it as his own. It's now framed and sitting in his office at work.

Happy Bee (5/16/14) Age = 3

Koala (6/4/14) Age = 3

I was excited when I saw this tutorial. It was a fun way to introduce Watercolor Pencils to C. We currently have this one hanging up in our entryway. That cute little koala makes me smile each and every time I see it!

Spider Age = 3

Rainbow Dash (6/10/14) Age = 3

I wish I would have taken a video when C saw that Mr. Rob added a Rainbow Dash tutorial. She reached decibels only dogs should have been able to hear. Needless to say, My Little Pony is big in this house at the moment.

Watermelon (6/10/14) Age = 3

Soccer Ball (7/8/14) Age = 3

Firework (7/8/14) Age = 3

Dragon (8/5/14) Age = 4

Mouse (8/14/14) Age = 4

She named hers Cheesy so I decided to call mine Gouda.  I have to admit that I love sitting down and working on a picture myself. It has definitely made me quite popular with the neighborhood kids when we have been outside doing chalk art and I bust out a design that we just learned.

Starfish (8/14/14) Age = 4

Most of all I love watching Charlotte blossom into a little artist. Watching the videos not only teaches her to draw/paint, but it's a good way for her to learn to listen and follow directions. We've noticed that it has changed the way that she draws on her own as well. She is more imaginative and loves trying to draw pictures of us, favorite Disney characters or objects around the house.

I can't say enough good things about Art for Kids! Go check out the website, pin some ideas, grab you kids and get to drawing. I assure you it will create lots of laughter, great memories and tons of precious artwork to treasure yourself or share with loved ones!!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Kiwi Crate - July 2014 Review

 Have you heard about Kiwi Crate? It is a monthly subscription box full of hands on projects for kids 3-8 years old. Each box includes all of the materials to complete two or three very fun and creative crafts. We loved our May Kiwi Crate and our June Kiwi Crate and couldn't wait to see what came in this month's box.

The theme this month was Beach Day! Everything was included to make two, very fun projects: My Crazy Crabs and My Sea Foam Painting.

Charlotte chose to do the My Crazy Crabs first. We recently went to the beach and actually came across a few real hermit crabs while we were hunting for shells so she was very familiar with them.

She needed a little help stuffing and folding up the hermit crab bodies, but then she had a blast decorating the shells with stickers.

A fun little beach ball was included in the box. We played crazy hermit crab soccer and volleyball for nearly 2 hours straight. Needless to say, this was a HUGE hit. Several friends have come over since we completed this project and Charlotte immediately has asked them if they wanted to play crazy crab ball.

The second craft included in this month's box was a fun sea foam painting. We've had several fun experiments with bubble art in the past. However, this one included a different technique.

The bubble solution and paint were included, as well as, a special one way straw. We were directed on how to blow bubbles all over our paper. As the bubbles popped, it left colorful, sea foam like patterns all over the paper. We both played with blowing many, many bubbles for quite a long time. I posted a video on Instagram last week if you want to see it in action.

A new set of chalk  was included so we used them to create an underwater scene on our new paper. 

The mini magazine was another hit this month. It included a short comic book like story about Steve the Kiwi (and mascot of Kiwi Crate) and his visit to the beach where he meets Clara the crab. It also included: a shape drawing activity, a dot game,  directions for making a sponge ball, a beach scene drawing, info about tide pool creatures, directions on how to complete a saltwater experiment, an egg boat recipe, directions for making an aquascope, and a cute shark puppet. 

Each box also includes two characters from the comic story that you can color, cut out and play with. As well as a themed sticker. Charlotte has enjoyed collecting these each month for her sticker book! 

Kiwi Crate is $19.95/month with free shipping. If you would like to try it out, here is a $10 off referral coupon: 

Click here to see all of our reviews about Kiwi Crate. 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Kiwi Crate - June 2014 Review

 Have you heard about Kiwi Crate? It is a monthly subscription box full of hands on projects for kids 3-8 years old. Each box includes all of the materials to complete two or three very fun and creative crafts. We received our first Kiwi Crate in May and couldn't wait to get our hands on this month's box.

The theme this month was all about camping! Everything was included to make two, very fun project: My Glowing Campfire and My Sunprint Backpack.

Charlotte was super exited about both of them. She decided to do the sunprint backpack first because she is all about bags at the moment. This was such a neat summer project to work on together. You paint the bag, place the stencils on it and set it out in the sun to dry. Once it was completely dried, it left a sunprint of the fun nature items. Charlotte's reaction when she lifted the first image was priceless. She has been filling her new bag up with all kinds of goodies and carrying them all over the place since we completed this project. She can't wait to take it to the beach.

We saved the glowing campfire project for a rainy morning craft. I love that the directions are so easy to follow and include step by step photos so Charlotte can "read" and take the lead.

I love how her campfire turned out! I took a video on Instagram, but a tea light was included so it actually flickers like a real fire. We immediately roasted our pretend marshmallows. The best thing is the campfire has encouraged so many pretend play moments. She has even set up the fire each night after sunset and asks us to sit around it telling stories! You have to love a project that encourages so much imagination.

The mini magazine was another hit this month. It included a short comic book like story about Steve the Kiwi (and mascot of Kiwi Crate) and his buddy Andy going camping. It also included: a shape drawing activity, a fun camping hidden picture, directions on making a chair tent, draw a campsite scene, learning about various outdoor activities, make your own silly story, directions on how to do a leaf rubbing, a recipe for indoor s'mores, how to make a canteen sleeve, and finally a fun scavenger hunt to do outdoors.

This month they also included a really neat Travel Journal full of even more activities. This is perfect to keep little folks busy and entertained in the car. It included: several pages with a drawing activity, a summer bucket checklist, a to-do list. a dot game, make your own silly story, tic tac toe, backseat bingo, secret code activity, jokes, and ideas for several travel activities. C won't leave the house without her journal. She has become fascinated with playing backseat Bingo. We went on a roadtrip last weekend to a birthday party and she played the entire way for 1.5 hours!

This month a special snack was included - a full size bag of dried cranberries and apple pieces from Nature Box. We joined Nature Box several months ago and absolutely love their healthy snack options. Charlotte is very familiar with this brand and was excited to try a new snack out. It was a huge hit and very tasty!

We both loved our camping themed Kiwi Crate. The projects were fun and the box was full of so many great activities that we have enjoyed completing. We now have something else to look forward to receiving in the mail each month.

Kiwi Crate is $19.95/month with free shipping. If you would like to try it out, here is a $10 off referral coupon:

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Kiwi Crate - May 2014 Review

Have you heard about Kiwi Crate? It is a monthly subscription box full of hands on projects for kids 3-8 years old. Each box includes all of the materials to complete two or three very fun and creative crafts. We received our first Kiwi Crate in May. Charlotte always watches me open my favorite subscription boxes for myself (Happy Mommy Box and Goodebox), so she was super excited when I told her it was her very own box full of goodies. She couldn't wait to get home from the mailbox and open it up.

There are several different themes that go out each month and we received Rainforest. Everything was included to make two projects: my jumping frogs and my rainstick!

Charlotte chose to make the rainstick first. She has played with them at the toy store before so she was anxious to have one of her very own. The instructions are very easy to follow and include pictures so even young crafters can follow along. She spent a long time finding the perfect spot for each and every sticker! She also really loved attaching the pretty feathers. She has been running around the house for the past month shaking and showing her handmade rainstick to everyone!

Next up was the jumping frogs. This turned out to be a great lesson for Charlotte. She was very curious about each frog and learning more about them. We looked them up on Wiki, read a bit about each and studied their colors before coloring our own. Ross was very shocked when he came home that evening and found her talking about Rocket and Clown frogs. The end project was a huge hit. We had fun seeing which frog could jump the farthest.

Both projects were fun to work on and have been played with numerous times since we completed them!

Each box comes with a fun little mini magazine! This one was 18 pages long and full of wonderful ideas and activities. It included: a story, 2 drawing activities, a hidden picture, instructions for making a terrarium, info about the rainforest, instructions for completing a colorful carnations activity, a recipe for chocolate dipped bananas, instructions for making a venus flytrap and a hanging snake to cut out. We have slowly worked our way through the magazine this past month. It was a great place to find some inspiration for our daily activities and to extend the rainforest theme for a few more weeks. The box also came with a summer calender and a pair of kid friendly scissors. She really enjoyed practicing her cutting skills on the scraps of felt from the jumping frog project. I also love that every box has a fun scene printed on the inside. Charlotte has used it for pretend play for the past several weeks. I know her My Little Ponies have visited the park often!!

Needless to say, we both loved our very first Kiwi Crate. The projects were fun and the box was full of so many great activities that we have enjoyed completing. We now have something else to look forward to receiving in the mail each month.

Kiwi Crate is $19.95/month with free shipping. If you would like to try it out, here is a $10 off referral coupon:

We have already received our June Kiwi Crate last week. I will share it with you in another post later this week! Are you and your little crafters already signed up for Kiwi Crate? If so, we would love to hear about you favorite project that you have completed so far.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Sending You Sunshine and Birthday Wishes!

Today is my sweet friend Tammi's birthday. I really wanted to make her a card because she has showered me with so many lovely creations over the years. Her cards always put a huge smile on my face!! Her great friendship has been an extra blessing. We've never met in person, but we have shared many years laughing through emails, telling stories, recommending books, talking about life, getting one another hooked on TV shows and crushing over certain celebrities. (Tammi - I still daydream about Russian rainstorms :) She just returned from a wonderful vacation in Hawaii so I knew I wanted to make her a little tropical birthday wish. I dug through my stash and this is what I came up with:

Tammi sent me an adorable little book full of sketch designs a few years ago. It's so nice to flip through and have on hand for inspiration. I followed SSS70 (The Sweet Stop Sketch Challenge) for this layout. I always did love layers. I of course had to add my own spin to the main image. I paper pieced her skirt and flower and added a bit of dimension to her ukelele. Quick, little card, but hopefully it surprised my good friend.

Tammi - Happy Birthday! I hope you have a wonderful celebration with that sweet family of yours. Mahalo for your friendship!!!!

Stamps: The Greeting Farm, sentiment - Garden Gnome (Whipper Snapper Designs)
Paper: Old Olive, Chocolate Chip, My Mind's Eye
Extras: Waterfall Stickles, dimensionals, Copics, tiny pearl and ribbon

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Felt Tea Bags

It has been awhile since I have shared any of my felt food creations on here. I still love making pieces for Charlotte to play with, especially for her play kitchen! Ross and I are huge tea drinkers. Iced or hot, we love it all and drink it often. I have been wanting to make some little felt tea bags for Charlotte for a long time and finally sat down and created a few this past week. 

I saw several different styles on Pinterest, but finally settled on this tutorial --- (here's my pin if you want to save it). I loved the shape and design. It just looked like a real teabag. Her directions were easy to follow too. Once I created the basic shape, I simply sewed on the "flavor" designs. Charlotte actually told me the ones she wanted. I filled each bag with tiny beads that I found in my crafting stash. This gave the bags a bit of weight to stand up on their own and made the bags look like they actually had something in them. I've seen several people use scraps of felt to achieve this look as well. I used a thick cord for durability and sewed a little decorative heart tag on the end to add to the cuteness factor.

Do you have a favorite tea flavor? This is Chai, Strawberry and Lemon.

I also made Hibiscus (my favorite cold brew tea), Orange and Mint.

See how they stand up by themselves and fold in like an actual tea bag! I love how they turned out!!! Charlotte couldn't wait to get her hands on them. She immediately grabbed her dishes and created a huge tea party for us. We spent a good portion of our morning trying new teas, discussing the aromas and taste, and giggling as we cheered to a fresh cup and enjoyed some tasty treats. It was pretend play at its finest!!!

Thursday, April 24, 2014


This past winter has been extremely long and fairly chilly for us. However, it did bring a lot of much needed rain. We never complain about rain in Texas!!! I get excited when we have really good wet winters because my mind is already anticipating Spring and all of the lovely wildflowers that will pop up all over the place.

Our state flower is the bluebonnet. They start popping up around April and stick around for a month or two. You often see families taking their Easter pictures in fields full of the flowers or spy cars pulled over on the side of the highways to snap a few shots. Here's a link to a post I did about the wildflowers several years ago.

I couldn't wait to take Charlotte out and snap a few photos of her. One afternoon, we just happened to be in the vicinity of a really good park that I knew had a huge field full of bluebonnets. Thankfully, C was wearing the perfect outfit so we made a detour and spent some time meandering through the sweet smelling field. I wish I would have had my big camera with me, but my iphone took some pretty great shots of her!

C kept wandering off and chasing these tiny, yellow butterflies.

Did I mention that it was crazy windy that afternoon? Like ridiculously windy! The poor girl's hair was all over the place.

You're not suppose to pick the bluebonnets, so C settled for a bouquet of other wildflowers growing in the same field. The red ones are another one of our favorite: Indian Paintbrushes. C calls them Alien Paintbrushes.

Several people over on Instagram really liked this one. C was starting to get restless from me asking her to smile and look at the camera for the billionth time, so I took off running through the flowers. At one point, I found a tiny slop and completely laid down on my stomach with the phone pointed up and ready to go.  I could hear her squealing with delight as she got closer trying to track me down. I snapped this the moment I saw her and thankfully it turned out super sweet and captured the playfulness of the moment!

Doesn't it look like she's sitting in a painting? I could have stayed out there all day, but we were over the wind and ready for a late lunch!