About Me

My photo
Columbus, Ohio, United States
I'm a stay at home mom and wife with a passion for family, creating and photography. I'm a little bit quirky and a little bit odd, but that's what makes me...well me. I'm a jack of all trades. So check back often because, to paraphrase Forest Gump's mom "I'm like a box of chocolates, you never know what your going to get.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Salt Dough & Shenanigans

I was surfing through Pintrest a few weeks ago and found a blog called The Artist Woman. She is a homeschooling mom who uses art to enrich her children's learning experience. In this entry they made Jurassic landscapes in salt dough for one of their projects for the section on Dinosaurs. They look like giant old coins.  Now I'm not a homeschooling mom much to my husband and best friend's dismay, but it inspired me to make a piece of art work that little man and I can create together.

 I want to redo his room, like a turn of the century paleontology site. The base of my plan is to create a wall hanging to look like it is a framed coin collection in Dinotopia. Very rustic, maybe a touch of Steampunk. I will discuss the completed vision as it comes into focus, but let's focus on one thing at a time for now. Just so you know, I don't do anything easy. So there are multiple steps to this project and I'm trying for us to make all the components ourselves.  I was going to write about it all in one blog, but nothing would ever get written if I did that. All my information would pile up and eventually I would get overwhelmed and abandon the project all together. So I've decided to do it in installments.

This is the first time little man and I are trying our hand at making an instructional blog. Luckily the coins are made of Salt dough which is easy enough for a 4 1/2 year to do with direction, so I thought I would seize this moment do a So easy a preschool can do it" style segment. I was shock a how much he really enjoyed doing this, making salt dough and creating the instructional photos. He loves to be the teacher, so when I explained his photos would be instructing other kids how to make the salt dough, he was all in. LOL!!! I love my little alpha male. He really took to this format. I would show him a step then he would repeat the step for the camera. We will definitely be doing this style of entry more often. He wants to do video, and have his own you-tube channel. I'm not ready for that yet. Plus he still needs some work with his words.

Well enough of my rambling! On with the instructions. This is a basic salt-dough recipe. If you wanted it colored just add some food coloring, but since we are going to be painting our dough to look like coins it was unnecessary here.

What you need:

1 cup of Salt
4 cups of  All-purpose flour
1-2 cups of  Water

In a large bowl combine the salt and the flour.

Gradually stir in water until the dough begins to clump. Try not to add to much water, or your dough will be sticky. If that does happen, add a little more flour to get it to a workable consistency.

On a well floured* surface knead dough until is smooth and pliable. They usually compare it to having a feel similar to that of your ear lobe. Dough can be used immediately or stored in the refrigerator indefinitely.

Something to remember, even though my son did help with each step he was supervised and helped with the stirring and kneading of the dough. Let them do some of the work, but remember especially if your working with young kids, you will need to make sure each step is properly completed for the project to be successful.

I couldn't believe how much he enjoyed doing this. In fact he was ready to move on the next step when we were done making the dough. Unfortunately for him, I wasn't prepared, because I had no intention on going on to the next step. I have learned to only do one section of the craft at a time, even if he wants to move on to the next step. That way he is excited about it. So instead of my having to struggle with him to keep his focus on the task at hand, he is eager and asking to do it. Since we've started doing these projects his attention span has gotten better. He is beginning to slow down and listen.  Hopefully this will travel over to school.

*When kneading dough of any kind it is important to do it on a well floured surface and with floured hands. Otherwise the dough will stick to your hand and counter top. If this happens it is easily remedied by adding  flour, but save your self the hassle by not skipping this step.

Wordless Wednesday---Losing My Marbles

The Daily Mental States of the Stay at Home Mommy 

I hope I'm not to late....

Thursday, February 16, 2012

You Color My World--Valentine project

Crayon Kids
This was my son's first year in pre-school. I wanted to do something special with him for Valentine's day that he could do most of the work and be proud of what HE did. Plus I hadn't done much for Halloween and did nothing for Christmas. I was feeling like a bad domestic goddess. Since he is only 4 getting him to focus on craft projects can be a challenge, so I usually  throw up my arms in frustration. I promised myself and him that I would work on my patience this year and we'd do more projects together.

I was looking through Pintrest and ran across several blogs about making shaped crayons to give for Valentine's day tokens.  I thought this could be something I  could get him interested in doing from start to end. The first step was showing him what I wanted to do, explain the process(with the help of some great photo tutorials) and made sure what we would have as an end product. He thought it was cool. So he was in. 

 What you need:

-Silicon mold
-Old cutting board
-Cookie sheet

It takes quite a few crayons to make these, so you may need to think about this part before hand. Especially if your trying to do this as an up-cycling project. I recruited my best friend's kids and their supply of broken crayons. This is a great play-date activity for all ages and if you start it when they first arrive it can be done before your guest go home. One thing though, make sure to give yourself time to peel the paper off the crayons. This might be silly to think about, but this is a tedious and time consuming task. Try to have wrappers removed before hand or you will lose the kids interest before you even start.

Coarsely chop the crayons (an adult should of course to this part). Be sure to use a cutting board designated for crafts, because the crayon is difficult to get out. Especially if you have a lot of crappy restaurant crayons. The first tray we made, the kids made on their own. I simply chopped the crayons and the kids stuffed the mold. My son had so much fun that his best friend couldn't distract him from the task at hand. An adult should place the pan on a cookie sheet and cook for.....

20 minutes at 215 degrees

We chilled ours in the fridge, to hurry the hardening process along. They simply pop right out of the silicon mold. It didn't take long for them to harden, perhaps an hour or so. The kids were so excited to see their creations. My son even came back to make more when I pulled everything back out to make some myself. He continued to ask to do it everyday for three days after. 

This is one of those projects that you are only limited by your imagination. You can be more deliberate with you colors, add glitters and sparkle, and experiment with molds. At Little sprout Creations they melted the wax first then poured them in candy molds to make these really cute dinosaur crayons. I though about doing it this way, but my son isn't ready for pouring hot wax, and I like to use my candy molds for candy. Let your imagination run wild. 

As for the cards. I did most the work. He's too young for the cutting part and although I tried to show him antiquing and inking he really wasn't very interested. So those tasks fell mostly on me. Which was fine with me, I need something to do. The color was his choice (purple is his favorite color) and he was allowed to pick the papers from a collection of papers I had already put together. The one part that he did part in was adhering the papers together.

Several years ago when I got into scrapbooking I bought a 5" Xyron sticker maker. It is one of my prized craft tools. He knows touching it will bring severe consequences.  I've been know to snap at him for just looking funny at it. The sticker paper for it is expensive so I use it sparingly and I get really irked when it is wasted. For this project, since there was a lot of piece work, I pulled it out and let him use it with me. He was so excited to turn the crank and cut the stickers off. I did center the circles but he placed all hearts. He also picked out gingerbread folks for each card  and told me exactly where to hot glue them.  He was so proud of what he had created and couldn't wait to share them with his friends. We had so much fun doing this and the kids loved them at school.  We've already began plotting out next collaboration........

Sunday, February 12, 2012

A Stitch in time

Part of my new resolution is to at least post one blog a week about something I do. This week has been a bit insane. I had my marathon boudoir mini sessions last week and only gave myself a week turn around on them. Not the brightest of ideas, but I needed to hustle some cash so I did what I had to do. I'm not going to talk about that though. I'm trying to let my mind settle off that for a while.

Something I like to do to change gears in my mind is cross stitching. I love to stitch it's a great escape with all that counting I can get lost for hours in the repeation of making the little squares. I would love to knit, but I need something I can literally throw down and easily come back.

This was the first major project I finished. I think I pick one of the hardest designs I could find, but every year when I pull this out I can't help being proud of it. It was something I bought on a whim. It spoke to me. I can't tell you how long it took to finish it. Probably 2 years. I would get frustrated with it and put it away, but when I got pregnant I finally got serious about it and finished it by my son's second Christmas.

The next big project I completed was a stocking for my son. This one was a lot easier that the first, but just as amazing. I'm still in the progress of finding the right one for my husband.

I've done several other small projects, but I haven't completed them. The stitching is done, but they are just hanging waiting to become completed projects.

Recently I finished a project for a friend. I actually started this to teach another friend how to stitch. She's a huge a Dr. Who fan so the pattern was her choice. I like Dr. Who but I would've never have done this one otherwise.

Well until next time......

Friday, February 3, 2012

The Artistic Mother

It's been forever since I've decided to sit down and actually read a book. At least since before my child was born (four almost five years ago). I've always been too busy. At least that's what I tell myself. I found a book call The Artistic Mother by Shona Cole at Barnes and Noble this past Christmas season while doing some gift shopping. At the time I didn't have the money to spend $28 on myself. Today all the payments from my first upcoming mini session marathon cleared the bank, we finally got rent on our rental house for the first time in 8 months, and we found out our taxes are on the way. So I decided to collect all my gift cards and treat myself.

I've just started reading it but I am loving her girlfriend approach to finding your artistic side, scheduling time to exercise your inner artist and controlling your inner critic. I'm so excited to read more. 

As I said I'm also preparing for my first marathon mini shoot. I have two tomorrow and four on Sunday. My subject will be boudoir, simply because there was a demand and client base for it. See a need, fill a need. Here is a photo from my pre-shoot with the woman hosting it. I'm so excited, but I'm nervous at the same time. Hopefully this goes well. I'm already in the planning stages of a spring woodland themed children's mini session marathon for Easter. This is going to be the year that I get my business truly off the ground. Hopefully the world doesn't end this Yule. =)  Just joking.