Saturday, October 15, 2011

Re-purposed Washer Pendants

Another wonderful idea I got on (find me!) using washers to make pendants. so easy, so fun, and I've worn them many times already!

You need...

Scrapbook paper
Mod Podge
Washers (4 pk or 3pk for $0.97 at Walmart)
Triple Thick Diamond Glaze ($1.99 at Michaels)
Beads (optional)
String of your choice (I bought hemp)

Ok,  now the fun part! (and easy part!)  Trace the washer onto your favorite scrapbook paper and cut out--you'll need a front and a back).  Now,  Mod Podge the paper to your washers and trim as necessary. Now, liberally apply the Triple Thick glaze to one side and let dry (about 12 hours--i know, so long when you are waiting on something!) Then,  flip over and glaze the other side (although I did not on the first 2 I made because I was too excited and just wanted to wear it! Once dry,  cut the cord, leather, hemp, string you chose to the length youd like,  giving a little extra room for tying off. Loop the string through the hole in the washer (youll be able to see how I did it in the picture to follow)  I then added a wooden bead,  sliding it all the way down to sit on top of the washer,  and knotted the end. And there you have it! A super cute necklace that costs only a dollar or 2 (well...depending on your string choice--i started with a $2.40 pack of string that I only got 2 necklaces out of,  but today bought a $4 ball of hemp that I should get good use out of!)  I also found today some Shell Pendants on sale at Michael's for $2.99 that the washers will fit inside of,  so Im going to try to pair a couple for a different look! Possibilities are endless! If you try some, please share with me!

Here are the pictures....

Turn a photo into a canvas portrait!

Well...I was on and found this idea. It was instructions on how to take a portrait and turn it into an amazing portrait on cavas to hang on your wall.  It was so easy and I absolutely LOVED it. I can't wait to do more! (again--NOT my original idea)

What you need:

A canvas of any size. (I used 11x14...on sale 2 pk for 7.99 with a 50% off coupon = I paid $3.99!!)
A photo of your choice.  (I took my memory card and brought it to Walmart and printed an 11x14 poster size photo for $5.50--it was a color picture, but I chose to print in black and white)
Glue. (I tried tacky glue--but had to go back with super glue)
Mod Podge
Brush (I used a foam brush--got 20 for a $1 at Michaels)
Black Paint

What you do:

Ok,  first,  paint the edges of the canvas whatever you choose. I used black acrylic paint.  Then put the glue on the canvas and lay your photo down,  pressing gently to smooth out any bumps or bubbles and let dry a few minutes.  Next, check to see if there are any areas hanging over the edge that you need to trim. I did not but it may happen. Now take the modpodge and spread it liberally across the photo with the foam paint brush.  I spread the modge podge going in one direction--across the photo as opposed to up and down.  And it is OK to use a lot...remember, mod podge dries clear!  Now, of course let that dry. Once that is dry,  you can take a sponge, cloth, or another foam brush and apply the color of your choice,  I used black because it was a black and white photo--and dab the corners of the picture to blend it into the sides of the canvas.  The BEST part of this part is, since there is mod podge on the photo you virtually can NOT mess it up--if you put paint down and want to fix it,  simply wet a cloth and wipe it away! its that easy! And have a great portrait on canvas to hang on your wall!!

I was so impressed with this project and fell in love with making these. I made one for my sister for her birthday using a photo of my niece, Kourtney. 

Here is the photo I used....

This is the final product:

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Applause Worthy Preschool Science =)

I have been trying to incorporate a science experiment in my morning circle with my students at least once a week & I have tried all kinds!  Some...did NOT hold their attention.  Of course,  they are 3-5 years old. Why would they care to compare the feeling of different items? But others,  had them clapping and cheering in their seats & made me laugh to myself.  Which ones got that reaction? The most simple experiments which had them guessing what the outcome would be. 

First one....Layering liquids to make a "rainbow" in a jar.
I took a small glass container and brought in 4 plastic cups filled with my mystery rainbow ingredients.  First,  I poured into the glass container some Karo Light Corn syrup with which I mixed in blue & red food coloring to make purple.  I then asked the children what they thought would happen if I poured in some blue dish soap.  Most guessed it would sink or mix.  To their surprise, I poured it in, and it floated on top! So next up,  some green water. Again,  I asked them what they thought would happen and they all shouted out similar sinking & mixing answers....waiting impatiently for me to pour it in.  While waiting I noticed they all were sitting right in their seats in circle,  fixated on the jar. It was nice to see them all focusing and involved! So,  in went the water...and it sat right on top of the dish soap. So now I had 3 layers.  Lastly some yellow vegetable oil!  that went in and I held up or rainbow (missing some orange and red) and they all cheered and clapped and asked me to walk around and show them.  It was a great activity for them because they did not know what would happen and were so excited to find out what was to come. I loved it, they loved it and I was so happy it went well!

Second one....Exploding Milk!
For this one I poured some milk into a shallow round pan,  maybe half an inch worth.  And dropped in various colors of food coloring spread out throughout the milk.  Then I took out my milk dish soap. I asked the children what they think would happen if I dropped some dish soap in. I got lots of answers! Many about sinking, floating, disappearing.  So....I had them all lay on their bellies and get ready to watch....and dropped a drop in,  right in the middle of the pan.  As I did the food coloring drops flew across the pan and started swirling around.  They never mixed, the colors stayed very distinct and it looked great! They loved it and even asked a very scientific question "Kristin! What will happen if we put in ANOTHER drop??" So we tried it,  observed, talked...they all cheered and clapped and were all smiles. It was a great experiment because they  had no idea what to expect and the element of surprise kept them right with me the whole time!

These are great because not only are they great for school, but they are both using things that can be found at home!   Here are a couple of photos....(not from mine unfortunately, just google images to give you an idea.)

Test = T-shirt Headband Result= Success!

I had previously posted about this....Re-Purposed T-shirt Headbands <3 and said I would give it a try,  given the rainy cold New England day I see outside my window,  I finally gave it a shot.  And....drum rollll....I love it! This is such a GREAT project and it is so EASY! It did not take very long and the directions were fabulous and followable for any skill level. I would however, recommend you do use a thick, smooth, classic t-shirt.  I tried to use a black, finely ribbed, thin shirt I had laying around and it came out great, but I dont think it looks as great as a nice thick, smooth tee would have! Here are pictures of mine....I cant wait to try more!


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Great Advice.....

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be

The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by
scientists whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable
than my own meandering experience.
I will dispense this advice now:

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth.
Oh nevermind. you will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded.

But trust me, in 20 years you’ll look back at photos of yourself and
recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before
you and how fabulous you really look.

You’re not as fat as you imagine.

Don’t worry about the future. or worry, but know that worrying is as
effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing
bubblegum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing everyday that scares you.  Sing.

Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts.
Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.


Don’t waste your time on jealousy.
Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. The race is long, and in the end, it’s only with yourself.

Remember the compliments you receive....forget the insults, if you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters. throw away your old bank statements.


Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your
life…the most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they
wanted to do with their lives. some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don’t.

Get plenty of calcium.

Be kind to your knees, you’ll miss them when they’re gone.

Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t, maybe you’ll have children,maybe
you won’t. M
aybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky
chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary.

What ever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either – your choices are half chance, so are everybody else’s.

Enjoy your body, use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it, or what other people think of it, it’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.

Dance…even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room.

Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them.

Do NOT read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents, you never know when they’ll be gone for
Be nice to your siblings; they are the best link to your past and the
people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go,but for the precious few you
should hold on.

Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle because the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.


Accept certain inalienable truths, prices will rise, politicians will
philander, you too will get old. And when you do you’ll fantasize that when you were young prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don’t expect anyone else to support you.

Maybe you have a trust fund, maybe you have a wealthy spouse; but you never know when either one might run out.

Don’t mess too much with your hair, or by the time you're 40, it will
look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but, be patient with those who supply it.
Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen…

"always wear sunscreen"--Mary Schmich

Sunday, September 25, 2011


Today I was feeling kind of tired and for my craft project of the day I took a magazine,  an old picture,  a piece of paper, & some modpodge and went to town! I made a collage and loved every second of it! I love using 1 product that can both be an adhesive & a finishing gloss.  It is one of the single most awesome products you can use when doing arts and crafts.....a must have! I even used a 50% off coupon at Michael's Craft Store so I only paid $3 for the whole container.  My question of the day is....What do YOU like to use modpodge for?? I would love some other ideas as to what I can do with it! Please share your thoughts, ideas, & experiences! Id love to hear from you =)

Friday, September 23, 2011

You watched what?

I spend all day just about everyday conversing with 2-5 year olds.  So naturally,  what they watch in their free time at home comes up quite often.  It also is evident in their play quite often.  It general involves "hex girls",  "power rangers", "buzz lightyear" & Miley Cyrus...and lots of running, yelling and fighting.  I occasionally hear "My mom & dad dont let us watch Sponge Bob...they dont like it!".  I kind of have to laugh to myself and think back at our play as children. 

How different it was! Our mom would send my sister, my neighbor and I outside all the time. We rarely ever ever got to play inside.  And we of course immitated what we watched. But,  I can't say I remember myself,  or anyone I knew...playing like I see now.  And this is not a stab at parenting,  this conversation has nothing at all to do with parenting.  It is just what children's television has come to now.  It amazes me the adult jokes, underlying meanings,  weapons, violence, and "snotty-ness" I see & hear about on the shows geared towards younger children! I am thinking about these stories and seeing this play (which we strongly discourage at school....we tell our children to use their own brains,  come up with their own superheroes or their own games & ideas) and I have to think back to all of the shows we watched as kids. Of course in their own way can be argued as bad influences,  especially when referring to disney (which i personally LOVE...but am well aware of all of the controversies involving the disney films)....but I just think about how DIFFERENT they were.  Fun, Musical,  Light hearted.  As I gave this some thought....I few old favorite of mine came to mind.  Do these bring back memories for anyone?  What is your opinion of this on going arguement?   Let me know!  (and i hope some of these bring you back to you childhood moments!)

Rainbow Brite

The Popples

David The Gnome

Eureka's Castle

Lady Lovely Locks

Fraggle Rock!!

Ok, really,  they are obviously shows I watched as a little GIRL...boys may have seen some different shows in the early 80's....what were your favorites!! I want to hear all about them!