Felt Car City

My boys are obsessed with hot wheels. But hot wheels tracks never stay together and always seem to get broken. Plus, they are always racing their cars on the counters, on the floor, or up the walls. Sometimes they have me draw them a track outside using chalk. But it never lasts. Sooooo, I thought I’d make them something a little more permanent, but that doesn’t take up a ton of space like a train table.  I did a little search, and there are a ton of ideas out there, but I really liked this one by Oopsey Daisy.

My younger son was sick this week, so it seemed like the perfect project for us to stay home and do.  I bought two yards of green felt, plus a quarter yard of a variety of colors (though 1/4 yard was waaayyy too much!). As I cut and glued, he drove and parked his cars…for hours. Here is the finished project. It took two days, but well worth the effort, as they have already spent countless hours playing on it!

It’s certainly not perfect, but they don’t care! It does the trick and the best part is I can fold it up and put it away when they are done playing!

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January 29, 2012. Tags: , , , . Fun for Kids. 1 comment.

Boy Fun

I can’t say the weather in California has been bad. Because it really hasn’t. We’ve had a few cold days and a few rainy, but in preparation of some horrible weather, I searched the web to come up with some fun kid activities.For my day job, I’m a scientist. So, my discovery of Science Bob was very exciting. He gave us a few fun projects, like the lava lamp.

Start with a 2L soda bottle, with 1 1/2 cups water and fill with oil (we used canola)

Add a few drops of food color (we only had blue)

Let the kids drop in some alka selter tablets.

My pictures don’t do this justice. It was pretty cool:)

Our next experiment was making goo. We used the old Elmer glue/borax recipe, available all over the internet. We made a red batch with white glue and a blue batch with clear glue. They got mixed together, so now we have purple goo!

Finally, the ivory soap foam trick. This was the easiest. Just microwave the soap. The kids loved watching the soap grow before their eyes! Start with plain ivory soap

Microwave for about 2 minutes, or until you see this:

It’s firm, but flaky

What to to with all that soap? How about a car wash in the kitchen sink!

And we finished our fun with some pizza:)

January 27, 2012. Tags: , , , , . Fun for Kids. 1 comment.

Dusting off the sewing machine and breaking out the paint!

I used to sew when I was much younger, like Junior High. My mom sent me to “Barbara’s Sew Much Fun”, where I basically learned the basics. Then I never sewed again. Until now. My mom gave me her old sewing machine, and it was collecting dust and taking up space until I discovered Stumble Upon. OMG-I am obsessed with this site.  I stumbled upon this post, and decided I could create this pillow. She said it would be easy! And it was!! Here is the finished pillow.

I ended up making two of them. But then I saw this post. And I knew it would go perfect with my rosette pillows. But this time, I had a lot of ruffle strips to sew. So, I got help. This is my 5-year old son, insisting on learning how to sew. He did pretty good! I love how his toy jet is close by as he is hard at work:)

Here are all three together. I used an old dress shirt to make the pillow, as the tutorial suggests, but I wish I had dyed it a darker color first, since the white shows through. Oh well:) I’m still pretty happy with it!

But, now that I had new pillows, I needed some art to go with it. I found this post, and decided it would be perfect! This canvas painting was incredibly fast, I think I maybe spent 45 minutes on it.

Here are all three together. Its like a new bedroom!! And the best part, it was all done for under $40!! I still want to do some European Shams, but that will come later. I’m pretty happy with this for now.

January 25, 2012. Tags: , , . Sewing and Crafts. 1 comment.

Do you Zoku??

My Aunt Dellie is the queen of gadgets. She also always manages to find a gift suited for everyone. Its personal, clever, and always a gadget. So, she gave our family the Zoku pop maker for Christmas. Shockingly, I’d never heard of this before, but its everywhere, even Williams Sonoma!

Anyway, she also got us a character set, which allows you to make your pops into little people using little cutters and thinly sliced apple.You just cut your apples, then arrange on the handy face plate, then insert into your pop maker.

Brilliant. The kids love cutting out the apple shapes, and I love it, cuz they end up eating a ton of apples. Plus, I make the pop filling, so its made with fresh fruit and whatever else I decide to sneak into it:) This one was simple, apple juice and strawberries.

The finished product is too cute! And the best part…they freeze in just minutes!

Of course, you can get crazy with these…

January 23, 2012. Tags: , , . Fun for Kids. Leave a comment.

It’s Been a Warm Winter!

Its been pretty toasty here in California (though that has changed recently!), but I saw these cookies at Truly Custom Cakery, and had to give these a go! Mine are not NEARLY as cute as Stacy’s, but they were super fun to make!! I didn’t follow her recipe exactly. I wanted to make a super soft sugar cookie…think grocery store. I know I know, they look gross… but have you tasted these?!?! Amazing. So, I made some, using a recipe I found here and covered them in vanilla butter cream.  Yes…they are good!! And pretty cute too!

January 23, 2012. Tags: , . Cakes and other Treats. Leave a comment.

A Mighty Cake

My good friends, Jen and Chris, have a son who is obsessed with Mighty Machines, but mostly all things construction. He calls his “worker guys” on the phone, and is always digging in the mud with his tractors. So, for his birthday, Jen asked me to create a construction cake. She provided the tractors, and here is what I came up with!

The cake is vanilla with strawberry filling (birthday boy HATES chocolate…is that even possible?!?!).  The cone is Styrofoam covered in fondant.

All the rocks were chocolate, purchased in the bulk foods at Winco. I attached them (and all the tractors) with melted chocolate. The cake was a HUGE hit with the kids!!

January 23, 2012. Tags: , , , . Cakes and other Treats. Leave a comment.

CChalkboard Paint: Part 2

So, I guess I wasn’t quite done with the chalkboard paint. My husband is pretty sure the entire house will be a chalkboard by the time I’m done.

So, I had made chalkboard glasses, gifts, and a chalkboard for me, but I felt the kids needed one too. So, I had an old IKEA table out in our backyard. The kids had scratched it up, so I didn’t think it was worthy of being inside the house any longer. But, a fresh coat of chalkboard paint, and now they have their own chalkboard table, perfect to draw on, or do other arts and crafts activities.

I added some to the back of the chairs, so they could write their names, or anything else they thought was cool.

Alex hard at work
Jake making his own tic-tac-toe game board

January 14, 2012. Tags: , , , . Sewing and Crafts. Leave a comment.

My New Obsession: Chalkboard Paint

Talk about versatile! Its safe to say I’m obsessed! This stuff is amazing and can be used for so many fun projects around the house or for gifts. My first crack at chalkboard paint was for my father-in-law’s birthday gift. He’s into bbq and beer, so I decided to make him beer mugs. I added a strip of chalkboard paint to each glass so he (and his guests) can write messages or simply their names on their glass. No more guessing who’s who’s! I created my template using blue painters tape that I cut using a plastic stencil and an exacto knife.  I primed well and added two coats of chalkboard paint. Then I outlined each rectangle using a sharpie oil-based marker. And Voila! To make this gift even more special, I had the kids create some artwork for him, then I used mod podge to add to a 4×4 ceramic tile. Easy and personal birthday gift.

Now that I have a quart of paint and primer, I had to use it for more! So, I made some wine glasses for my BFF Sarah. I saw these on Instructables, and thought they were so much better than a wine charm! She used spray paint, but mine I brushed on. At first I didn’t like the brush strokes, but now I think it adds a little texture and interest.

The next project was to make a flower pot for yet another bday this month. I filled the pot with cake pops, but once the treats are gone, she can use the pot for flowers or herbs. I included some chalk so she can label the contents of the pot. I added a candle to one of the pops for the birthday girl!

Finally, a project around the house! I had scrap wood in my garage from a different project, so I applied some magnetic paint (skip this, it really isn’t all that magnetic) and some chalkboard paint, and made a message board for my pantry. I found some great, but very affordable, unfinished frames that come in virtually any size, so I picked those up at Michael’s. I busted out the power saw (I know, crazy!) and cut my board to the size of my frame. It was surprisingly simple to do.

To finish the project, I used binder clips and picture wire to make a space to store bday invites, reminders, or even the kids’ artwork (since the magnetic paint was a bust!).

I hope you enjoyed my very first blog post! I seriously need a new camera, since these photos leave much to be desired (my iphone ended up doing a better job with some of these pictures!!). I have so many more ideas running around in my head that I can’t wait to share with you! Thanks for stopping by!!

January 13, 2012. Tags: , , , . Sewing and Crafts. Leave a comment.