Tag Archives: crafts

Dreaming of a Homemade Christmas

Our kids had a lot of fun this year making gifts for each other.  Alex helped Bee make play dough, which she scented with essential oils, and she also helped Zee make bubble blow and shaped bubble wands out of coat hangers. She also helped the two little ones make coupon books for me and their dad.

She made a tin with three kinds of candied popcorn for Dad, activity coloring books for both Bee and Zee, and a little pocket sized book of games and puzzles for J. She made Bee a ballerina tutu and we picked up a leotard and ballet slippers to go with it at WalMart. She also made Zee a science kit with several experiments all measured out and ready to go, but the best part was that she gave Zee her time and helped him complete several experiments, including an erupting volcano, experimenting with cornstarch, making borax crystals, and extracting the DNA from spinach. She made me some lip balm, and she made gifts for her cousins — I’ll update this after she gets a chance to deliver them.

J made a chess board for Zee, and an army fort with catapults out of craft sticks with toy soldiers from the dollar store. He spent the last two months knitting a teddy bear for Bee, and he made her several hair clips — her favorite have jingle balls on them and she bobs her head and says “listen! My hair rings!” He also made a set of homemade barbecue seasonings for his dad, and put together a bath kit for Alex out of items from the dollar store – a back scrubber, a cleansing cloth, some bath gel and body spray, and some pretty bars of soap. I helped him make gift baskets and they looked really cute.

I made Alex and J each a two booklets, one with how to draw techniques, and another with origami folding instructions. I bundled J’s with a book on how to fold napkins that I found at the goodwill for .25, which he has been asking how to do for a while now, and a package of origami paper to practice with. Alex got a beading kit with tools for making her own jewelry, and some starter beads and findings, and I made Zee and Bee each an “I Spy” game out of felt and clear plastic vinyl.

I love this because it gave each of the kids a chance to really focus on something special that they could make and give to each other rather than what they were going to GET, and I am still not quite sure which part they enjoyed the most!

Building a Homework Center

Over labor day weekend, I built a homework center for my kids. On Friday morning, after kicking my kids out the door on their way to school (they were running late because I had to spend 45 minutes looking for Zee’s shoes) I was looking at the pile of shoes (some with only 1/2 of the pair) on the floor by the door in the kitchen, with the fresh memory of backpacks strung here and there, books, papers, and jackets everywhere, and I thought “please God! There must be a better way!” and then I had a vision . . . well, more like a really great idea that popped into my head. I would build a homework center. Hey, it’s not an ark, but I still think it was inspiration.Homework Center

It has four cubbies, each with two hooks inside where they can hang their jackets. They can put their shoes on the bottom, and then there is another large hook right on the front, where they can hang their backpacks. On the top, I put a three drawer storage unit, where they can put school supplies and homework that needs to be checked off and signed by moi. Then, on the wall above it, I put a cork board, a white board and a large desk calendar. And, it matches all my other furniture, also made by yours truly. The only thing it needs now are engraved nameplates . . . well, we’ll see 🙂