5 minute card

28 04 2010

Happy Birthday, honey!

Today was my wonderful husband’s birthday, and being a procrastinator, I did not have a card for the occasion.  Making a simple card is about the easiest craft there is, so that’s what we did.  To say that either child helped in making this is a bit of a lie.  It’s a grownup craft, but a nice way to incorporate that precious artwork that is colorful and pretty but, you know, doesn’t actually look like anything.

While LB was napping, BB and I did some painting.  I painted flowers, while he just painted paper.  With colors.  If it was supposed to be something, neither one of us could tell.  To him, more colors = better, and I have to stop him before his page is uniformly brown.  Then during afternoon nap time, when both children are (theoretically) sleeping, I took a blank card, wrote Happy Birthday on it, cut out the letters with an exacto knife, then glued a piece of BB’s artwork (now dry) behind the open letters.  It’s a pretty effect, I think, and a nice way to make a card that’s “from” a child who is still too young to make a card on their own.  Watch out; if you are related to me, you will probably be receiving something like this for an occasion in the near future!

Easter Eggstravaganza

31 03 2010

Sorry, I couldn’t resist the bad pun!  In honor of Easter, we have been doing all kinds of egg-themed crafts.  First up, painted foil eggs, from Kids Craft Weekly.  This was great.  Just at BB’s level.  He loves to paint, and that’s really all this is.  I cut out the cardboard and covered it in foil, and he went to town painting the eggs.  Then, with a q-tip, we removed some of the paint so the foil would show through.  Easy and fun for a 2 1/2 year old, which proved not to be true of some other crafts we tried!

The artist at work!

Bonus: this is also a showcase of a quick sewing project… Remember the old flannel shirt I sadly sacrificed to be a smock?  Well, the sleeves were too long (duh) and it was dragging in the paint, so I did a little wardrobe refashion, made elastic-cuffed sleeves, removed a lot of fabric all around, and added snaps so it just snaps on.  So far it works a lot better than it did!

They were a collaborative effort.

Today we dyed eggs using natural dyes.  I found the instructions on Martha Stewart, so right away you know it’s going to be too much work.  But what the hey, we’re home all day!  So basically, you boil red cabbage to make blue dye (which looks purple, so confusing for a child), beets to make red dye, and turmeric to make yellow dye.  Now this was a LOT of fun.  Martha, I mock you, but you have the BEST crafts.  We did 6 eggs because that was all I could hard boil at once, but I can see myself making another batch tomorrow night after the kids go to sleep and just doing it myself.  I saved the dyes, so all the hard work and mess is done.  There is something insanely satisfying about extracting coloring from plants and then mixing it like an alchemist to get the perfect hue.  BB was just happy because he got to stir and things turned colors.  He’s easy to please!

Oooh, it's yellow!

After the first three, I decided to try wrapping one with a rubber band and over-dyeing it, but it didn’t turn out so well.  It’s interesting, I guess; it’s on the far left below:

So colorful! And not at all scary to eat!

You can change the depth of color by leaving the eggs in for different amounts of time, and like with all color mixing, you can get secondary shades by mixing the primary colors.  There are so many more egg-decorating techniques I would like to try (like all of these, especially the wax ones), but I think this year, just straight-up dyeing is as complicated as we will get.  The weather will be getting nicer for the rest of the week, so it’s time to start working in the garden, but we will have a few more Easter crafts to share!