Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Christmas Tree from paperback

This was a unique Christmas Tree made from a paperback book. Its adds a shimmering touch to the mantel. Found this in a Magazine and decided to give it a try. This craft was by Suzonne Stirling.

Followed the instructions from the book. 1) Tear off the front and back covers of a paperback book, leaving the binding intact. 2)Take the top of corner of a page and fold it down to meet the binding. 3) Then fold the same age down to meet the binding again. 4) Turn up the resulting triangle at the bottom of the page so that it is even with the bottom of the book. Make the same three folds (steps 2,3,4) on the next pages. Repeat the folds on every page until the tree looks generously proportioned - about 150 pages. (I had only 90 pages or so). To make things easier clip folded pages together as you go.

Glue first and last pages together so the tree fans around and stands on its own. To decorate you actually need to spray paint with silver color , but I decided to use a silver color ribbon and used a glue gun to stick it on the tree and some sticker beads to decorate the tree. My Son helped me fold some pages in a book and my daughter (4 1/2 yrs old) helped me put the sticker beads on the tree.

I tried this out first with Macy's coupon booklet (the picture to your right) which you get many during the holiday season. Then I tried out from a magazine (family circle) with has at least 80 - 100 pages.

I kept both this tree on the mantel (above the fire place) and then in the middle arranged all the greeting cards we received this year for Christmas and New Year !

Turned out to be a nice decoration for this year ! IF anybody wants to try this out and want clear instructions, I will be very happy to teach them !

Friday, December 23, 2011

A Gift/card holder designed for teachers

Its his time of the year where I usually make unique gifts for my kids teachers (one for my son's teacher and 3 for my daughter's teachers). Since our family was going through a season of flu and all taking turns in falling sick, I could not paint or craft anything for them. Due to lack of time, decided to gift them a gift card so they can use it anytime in buying what they want. Did not want to keep it very simple , so I used my creativity in packing the gift card.

Gift card holder Jar: Asked the kids to choose a jar from the craft store. My Son chose penguin jar and my daughter chose the snowman jar. I bought gift card holder which can fit inside the jar and placed the gift card. I thought surrounding the gift card I wanted to fill something. So I thought of a wonderful idea of filling the jar with nice Christmas quotes and New year quotes which they can read during the holidays.

Instead of printing them on plain white paper, I bought Christmas card stock paper. They had different designs. Printed about 9 nice quotes or sayings on 2 different prints of paper. Cut them into 9 strips, and used a crimping tool to create a texture to the paper. Then the kids rolled them and placed them inside the jar. I made the kids roll them so they can be a part of it too !

Quotes/Sayings which I used are...
There is no surprise more magical than the surprise of being loved.
It is God's finger on man's shoulder.
~Charles Morgan.
From home to home, and heart to heart, from one place to another
The warmth and joy of Christmas, brings us closer to each other.
~Emily Matthews
The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree:
the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other.
~Burton Hillis
May the spirit of Christmas bring you peace,
The gladness of Christmas give you hope,
The warmth of Christmas grant you love.
~Author Unknown
Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.
~Alfred, Lord Tennyson.
Year's end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on,
with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us.
~Hal Borland
For last year's words belong to last year's language
And next year's words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning.
~Author Unknown
The color of springtime is in the flowers,
but the color of winter is in the imagination.
~Terri Guillemets
Winter is the time for comfort,
for good food and warmth,
for the touch of a friendly hand and
for a talk beside the fire:
it is the time for home.
~Edith Sitwell

Very simple craft but it was indeed very much appreciated by all the teachers ! They just loved reading all the quotes they said.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Navarathri Festival, Rangoli and World Racers creation

This Festival is celebrated for 9 days where we arrange Indian dolls and its a religious function. To go along with the Indian dolls, we had a tradition (when I was growing up) to build something and keep it for those 9 days. My whole Family used to participate in creating or building some theme and be excited with this event. My son was super excited this year and built a farm 2 years ago and so this time he wanted to do something. I wanted to make my 4 year old daughter participate so I did a Rangoli design on a white card stock and took her help in painting the design and used her help to stick the flowers stickers.

I have explained the whole things as 3 projects, the center (Navarathri dolls), the Rangoli (as you see on the left side ) and World Racers Event (as you see on the right).

Navarathri dolls : As you see in the center of the photo, is a stand. We have placed all the Indian Dolls used for this tradition. There are some important dolls which are a must, some are Indian Gods and some are Indian Dolls representing a story behind them. They are all arranged to fit in that shelf. Each year we buy one new doll to add to the shelf.

Rangoli project - In India we draw designs (Rangoli) on the floor and use color powder and color them. Here, I drew a Rangoli design on the White Card Stock, and My daughter and me painted the design with acrylic paints and drew a border with red sketch pen. My daughter chose the colors for the Rangoli and also in buying the artificial flower to decorate the rangoli and fill the white area.

World Racers Event - called by my Son as a project. He used 2 Lego boats called the "world racers". He built those Legos all by himself. He created a race event between the 2 boats he had done with Lego's and people have come to watch the final race event. I've just explained his project in 5 parts.

Part 1 of the project - He used two shiny glitter blue card stock paper to make it look like water and placed the 2 boats. With Lego's he built the deck and placed it on the side. He also used a 3rd boat from his regular Lego's and used it as a Police boat on water. To surround the water we put wooden fence (we used clay and put the wooden fence on the clay so it stands).

Part 2 was to build a road and parking lots. So in front you will see a gray card stock which he used to build the road and yellow lines to create a 2 way traffic. The road goes inside the building where the event takes place into the parking lot. The parking lot was with black card stock and he drew white lines to divide the car space. He added some orange Lego cones to indicate the exit.

Part 3 was to build the ticket counter, Lego store and restroom. So we put the artificial grass (for the lawn) , and created a path way for people to walk to the seating area. First on the right hand side we put a box and created a ticket counter and a Lego Store. Then we used another box and built a restroom. On the right hand side, you will notice a canvas painted by my Son (as one of his summer activities). The painting created a scene of lot of buildings (movie theater , bank, hotel ..etc) so we used this to create a background effect. The painting also had a gray road which we connected to the road we built so it was all connected.

Part 4 - was to create an audience. For this my Son he folded black card stock to build stairs where people can be seated. He put a green big card stock at the back wall and stuck the stairs to it and placed the other end to another box. He built a Lego stairs and connected to this box so people can climb to it. For people he drew people and colored them and I helped him sticking it on the stairs.

Part 5 - The Green board was completed by adding Lights, score board (this was my part as he was in school and I had to finish all this in one day). He had colored the "welcome sign board" which I stuck it in the middle of the green board and I wrote the 2 team names "Red skin vs Great white sharks".

To make it complete we put the fence (with tooth picks) on the audience stand, and also near the parking lot, also added some pots (with flower bush) to decorate the empty area.

The idea came from him and he took my help. This project looks hard but was very easy and simple. The major parts were done when he had a holiday one day. Then another day to arrange everything.

Indeed started of with a small thing, but by doing all this our hearts our filled with true satisfaction and felt like a grand one.

Summer Crafts - ceramic crafts and clay projects

During Summer the kids got to spend time doing doing crafts apart as their indoor activity and little bit of watching TV. I got to spend lot of time with them doing clay projects (Terra Cotta and regular colorful clays) and taking them to Color me Mine a studio for painting ceramic items. Apart from outing, they did lots and lots of coloring and drawing on paper, which they always loved to do. This blog mentions about the ceramic project and clay project.

Color me mine Activity- As you know I'm a big fan of ceramic paintings and done a lot of them. I also have taken my Son many times for him to paint. I started this year with my Daughter and got her introduced.
My Daughter - Its her first experience this year. She started with her 1st one with painting a cup pink and purple inside. The second one she did was a fish with orange and black.

My Son - This was his 5th project and he chose the ship/boat. He was very comfortable doing this one as he has done it multiple times.
They also did small items like the cupcakes and a candy by my Son and a cupcake and Hippo by my daughter. So they just loved doing all of it.

Clay Projects Kids got to try different types of clay -terra cotta, regular kids play dough and also a sculpy clay which you can mold and bake in the end.

Sculpy Clay The sculpy was fun for them to try out play with them. In the end we took few of them baked it in the oven as per the instructions and they saw the clay could harden and they were amazed to see the texture before and after baking.
Terra cotta Clay Kids loved the mud like effect of the clay. My son did a football, I did a basket and my daughter did a birds nest with eggs inside. They just loved doing.

Other activities was canvas painting, drawing and coloring, playing with the soft toys and playing with their tent inside.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

My Creation

I wanted to make an ARTWORK where I can bring out my creativity. This piece of artwork is very simple. I always wanted to do something with my scribbles and designs and this is just one of it.

If you see the background is black in color, and did a design with white pen. I did not want to do a very detail design, as it will not be visible from far. To bring out its beauty I added few colors surrounding the main/center design, and added colors to the flowers (you see surrounding outside). Did not want to put too much color where the main design gets hidden but a touch of colors here and there. Basically the 7 colors (Red, Blue, Yellow, Orange, Green, Purple and Pink).

The design is a combination of Mehendi/Henna design and adding color by cutting the black part and put a color paper below to bring out the colors to the front.

This frame I already had was black , just added an inside mat (french white) to add more depth to my design.

Not to forget mentioning - My family who helped me with this artwork. My son whom I can depend on to choose the colors (we tried out different combination's of colors before we chose this one) and my husband who wanted the inside mat for giving depth and for helping us hang this picture in our family room. My daughter who appreciates all my work all the time always with a smile.

For my other similar posts refer to My scribbles which grew over years into design.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Canvas Painting - For our Wall

To try out something different, I decided to try out my second canvas painting with acrylic paints. This is still new to me but worth the try. This project took several months to complete as I did little by little and finally completed last November.

I wanted to mix two colors on the canvas and divide the canvas, so painted the left hand side in BLUE color and RED on the right hand side. I wanted to put white flowers, but another friend gave me an idea to put colorful flowers instead of only white. I had stopped there and did not get time.

After several months, decided to continue this project and then in November when my Mom visited me decided to finish this project. So My Mom and me painted the different color flowers on the right. On the left (blue side) my Mom gave me an idea of putting small flowers instead of big ones and she gave me the idea of arranging the flowers as shown. To give its shine I put a glaze paint over the piece.

Very simple one but this is hanging in our family room and I'm definitely proud of this piece as I did this with my Mom - some memories to cherish.

Also wanted to add this is right now goes with our family room details of red carpet and blue curtains and the colorful flowers add more color to the room.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Teacher Appreciation Week 2011

Its again this time of the year where we appreciate our kids teachers for all their effort. This time I wanted to bring it out from the kids with very little help of mine. Since my daughter has started going to school, both my kids have done for their teachers.

My Daughter's Work :
We did 5 things giving her 1 per day. I kept it very simple ,and wanted her to color and draw.
1) drawing1 and drawing2 - very simple, wrote Thank you , she colored it, and I did the border with different colors. Idea is from my daughter, she in a blank paper keeps coloring different colors (think lines), so thought of using her idea and coloring different colors around for border. Her idea but I did the coloring as it was a lot for her to do.

2) drawing 3 - When I asked her to draw something for teacher, she drew 4 balloons. So instead of 4 I asked her to draw 7 for each letter in (T E A C H E R). Then came up with some describing words for each letter. [T-alented, E-nergetic, A-ctive, C-aring, H-elpful, E-xtraordinary and R-esponsible.]

3) drawing 4 - Asked her to draw an apple and color it (helped her with drawing of apple) but coloring is her work. I wrote the happy teachers appreciation week in pencil and she wrote on top of it with a black pen.

4) The last gift was a 8X10 photo of her class doing a silly pose. It was very cute and I thought they bought out the best in them, this can be a good memory for them to keep.
Just to add "She enjoyed doing all of it", and that's what makes me HAPPY !

My Son's Work :
It was from May 9th - May 13th and we again did 5 things 1 for each day. He wanted to very similar to his sisters but a little different.
1) Drawing1 - very simple, wrote Thank you , He drew and colored it, and He did the border with different colors. Idea is from my daughter,but he liked it and wanted to do it exactly similar.

2) Writing1 - We got this poem from the web and thought it was very appropriate for his teacher. I wanted to give each letter (describing her) each day to make her special, but my Son had forgotten to give her the first 3 days. So we just gave this sheet on the third day.

3) Drawing 2 - When I asked my Son to draw something for his teacher, he drew kids , and he drew 20 of them to represent all the kids in his class and he wrote " You are the best". This was totally his idea.

4) Drawing 3 - He also drew a Robot and wanted to give it to his teacher, so I asked him to write "From Pranay" And thank you on it. He loves Robots and wants to be a Robot, so why not represent this drawing to be him ? It was his idea of drawing this Robot but my idea of "representing my son as Robot".

5) The last gift was a 8X10 photo of his class all of them dressed up as 101 dalmatians. It was very cute and I thought She bought out the best in them, this can be a good memory for her to keep.

It makes me happy when I make the kids do it for their teachers. This is very little effort we put for all the efforts the teachers put throughout the year.

For my other appreciation crafts done by kids refer to the post "Teachers Appreciation 2010"

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Proud of my Son - Won 4th in Yearbook contest

Proud of my Son - He has won 4th prize in YearBook Contest in his school.

Year Book contest is a contest conducted by my Son's school open to all students every year. They need to draw a page telling what their school is about and if they win it will be printed up in front page and 2nd, 3rd and 4th winner's page will be at the back page of their year book. I could not wait till year book comes out to share this exciting news. But I am eagerly waiting to see where exactly they will print his name in this year's YEARBOOK.

Definitely have to give him credit for this. As my effort was only in motivating him to participate this year again and getting him to focus to do a wonderful work. I'm glad I asked him to do it.

My Son has participated last year in two such events (yearbook contest and red ribbon week) which involved drawing and coloring and also this year in the language school (Tamil school) - (Pongal festival contest) which involved drawing and coloring.

I would like to just end- Participating is not new for him but WINNING is definitely NEW !

Details about his Drawing

At the top - They were supposed to write a caption representing who they are. He also put a gold trophy representing that "we are number 1".

At the center - He likes drawing people. So it was not too hard for him. He has come a long way from last year from simple to adding more details.

He designed a star and put a star in purple and added a face with eyes, nose and mouth and was particular he had glasses and smiling. Then he wrote S U P E R each letter on 5 sides of yellow star and above the purple wrote STAR (saying SUPER STAR).
Then he wanted to put all events of his school- pumpkin panic, reading club, running club , walkathon and science fair, so he drew the events around the star as it was difficult to put it inside the star. Then he drew 2 games - 2 square game and wall ball which kids play a lot during recess representing recces time too !! Added a computer lab too as he loves computer lab. Labeled every drawing representing them.

At the bottom - He loves colors so he wrote the school name and year in different colors. If you notice the "Stevens" in rainbow colors and "Creek" he used different colors which he did not use before. For "2010-2011" he said that it was GOLD (like the trophy on top)

Finally finished the page with some coloring as he did not want to keep the page white.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Woven Heart Basket for Valentines Day !

This was indeed a very nice craft to do. I made this for my Son's and Daughter's teachers. I wanted to make this for putting a gift card and few chocolates for the teachers.  I got this idea from the following website :

I would really like to thank them for this wonderful Idea. This is very simple but very elegant to hand out gift cards to the teachers.

Steps to go about doing this craft can be taken from the above mentioned website or for convinience I've pasted them below too !.
Materials for this project are :
  • Printable patterns (see Step 1)
  • White or colored paper
  • Markers or crayons (if using white paper)
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  1. Print two copies of this template. If you are printing the templates on colored paper, print one of them on pink paper and the other on red; otherwise, print both templates on white paper and color them as you wish with markers or crayons. 
  2. Fold the printouts in half. Carefully cut out the shapes and cut along the dotted lines. The weaving steps will be a bit easier if, as a crafter has pointed out in her comments below, you cut a bit further up the inner dotted lines than indicated. Go slowly -- the more precise your cuts at this step, the better the basket will look.
  3. Time to start weaving. Orient the two halves, still folded, at right angles to each other, as shown in the photograph. Be sure that the "bumps" on the strips on each half point away from you.
  4. Now thread the left-hand strip furthest away from you through the right-hand strip furthest away from you.
  5. Thread the right-hand strip furthest from you through the next left-hand strip, the one second-furthest away from you.
  6. Now thread the next left-hand strip, the one third-furthest away from you, through the right-hand strip furthest away from you.
  7. Thread the right-hand strip furthest away from you through the left-hand strip second-furthest away from you.
  8. Finally, thread the left-hand strip closest to you through the right-hand strip furthest away from you. Whew! One pass down, four to go.
  9. Snug the right-hand strip up towards the curved end of the left template as far as it will go and smooth everything down (a process you should repeat after each round of weaving).
  10. Thread the right-hand strip second-furthest away from you through the left-hand strip furthest from you. See the pattern? Continue alternating your weaves either through or around the other strips until all the strips are finished.
  11. Glue on a paper handle if you like.
follow steps1 & 2.
follow steps  3 & 4.
Follow steps 5-10.

Final View

Valentines Heart Decorated by Kids

Wishing Everybody a "HAPPY VALENTINES DAY"  from our Family to Yours !! These valentines were decorated by my kids. It was my Son's  sharing at school where they had to decorate a valentine heart and he made it so that the Teacher can hang it in class. We cannot do this project without my daughter's cooperation, so we asked her to decorate one too. We decided to hang this at our door.

Red heart to the left:-  Crafted by my Son. Cut out the red heart from a card stock. My Son wanted to use shiny beads, sticker beads and feathers. In the middle he wanted to write "Happy Valentines Day". So he drew 3 borders to mark the space for each of the 3 items he wanted to paste. Then he applied glue on the stock and started sticking the shiny beads and feathers. Then he added little of bead stickers in the end. Then he added gold glitter glue to the borders where the pencil drawing was shown. Then wrote "Happy Valentines Day" in pencil and darkened it with a sharpie pen.

Red heart to the right :- Crafted by my daughter. My son cut out the red heart for her. She wanted the 3 butterflies so we made a hole and attached the butterfly for her. Then I applied the glue, but she was too good in sticking the shiny beads. Then I asked her to write happy Valentines day, and she wrote "Happy Happy Valentines Day" in pencil and darkened it with a sharpie pen. I guess this was one of her few projects and she got excited to do this. Then gave her little bead stickers to stick in the empty spaces. Added a little glitter glue around.

This was indeed a short and fun project to do with them. Thanks to my Son' school for this Idea.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Terra Cot Pot Painted - Birthday Gift for my Son's Teacher

The was a Terracotta Pot Painted by me for my Son's 1st grade Teacher for her birthday. We had purchased a gift for her to place inside this pot and wrapped it up. My Son also made a greeting card for his Teacher.
The Terracotta pot was painted Dark Purple. 

Then painted small squares (each square is painted different color) to have a letter of her name.  Outlined the squares with white paint. Then painted some flowers on the top of the squares and bottom of the squares and some celebration lines with different colors to finish off in the middle and on the empty space. The rim of the pot was painted with Golden metallic paint. Wrote her "name" and said "class" in white paint. Lastly gave the pot its shine by painting a glaze paint. The inside of the pot was also painted dark purple and a glaze paint to give the pot its shine.

Hoping his teacher will like this pot and will be used well inside Class.

Refer to some of my Terracotta projects for detailed descriptions. 

Bookmark - For sharing

Bookmary By My Son :- January of 2011, My Son had a project which he needed to make or share something with everybody in his class . He decided to give out bookmarks made by him.  Since he has started using computer, wanted him to practice some of his computer skills here. !

Very simple to make it, buy the bookmark (plain red color) from Micheal's craft store.  Using a computer software he created stickers and I printed them out on a sticker sheet. So all he had to do is cut out the stickers and paste them accordingly as shown in the picture. This was a very nice project.  We chose "Super Reader" sticker at the top, a star sticker for the center and smiley sticker at the bottom. He also wanted a small sticker "bookmark" to indicate its a bookmark.

Embroidery bookmark by me :- One in the center bookmark was made by me for his Teacher.
Since he was giving out to his class, I decided to do the embroidery bookmark for his Teacher. This was chosen from my previous designs so it not too tough. Pre-pricked the embroidery design with a special piercing tool and pricking pad. Completed the embroidery and came up with my own ideas to finish it off with a heart embroidery on the top, and glued a flower in the middle.

It was a nice project again to do with my Son and one for myself for his Teacher.

For our embroidery bookmarks projects refer to the blogs
"Bookmark by my Son" , "Embroidery Bookmark", "Bookmark and Quilling project".