Black Authors -- #blacklivesmatter Series


Today we return to your Black Lives Matter Series. I am working through a list of Black people that some of my Black teacher friends suggested everyone should know. Today I am going to focus on three famous Black authors that my friends added to the list: James Baldwin, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and Toni Morrison.

DIY 1980's Doll Accessories -- A Crafty Sunday


Have you seen her yet? American Girl has come out with a new doll and she is from the 1980's. Her name is Courtney and I think I am in love. After all I'm an 80's girl. Although I'm not as in love with the actual doll (at least from photos) I love her outfits and accessories. I turned ten in 1980, so the 80s represent my teen years. I remember the neon, off-the-shoulder, leggings, legwarmers, rubber bracelets, walkman, denim, and scrunchies. Plus the Pac Man and Lisa Frank and rainbows. American Girl also added the Care Bears but I was a bit old for them. I decided to try to create some of the accessories for Hazel's dolls. 

New Latinx Books for Hispanic Heritage Month


Disclosure: I was sent copies of these books in exchange for honest reviews. All opinions are my own.

September 15 through October 15 is Hispanic Heritage Month. September 15th is also Mexico's Independence Day. This year I am seeing the word Latinx being used a lot and wanted to see how it was different from Hispanic and Latino/a. Latinx is a nongender word to use instead of Latino or Latina. It is a word that is mostly used by young women according to this article I found. The article says one in four Latinos have heard the word but only 3% use it. Have you seen it around this year?

Creating a Happy Place in Your Home


Disclosure: Artsy Couture sent me this metal print in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

With so many of the schools starting back up remotely this year, it is important for you to have your own happy place at home. Whether you are working from home or are a stay-at-home mom like me, you need a space that is yours for when you need some quiet time, alone time or just a place to bring you up a bit when you are down. I created one for myself over the summer. I have shared bits and pieces of it with you but want to share some of the things I find important in it. My space is a corner of our family room. Our family room is a room with lots of windows that looks out upon our backyard and thus my bird feeders. I find watching my outdoor critters so relaxing so this is why I chose this space. Steve helped me move the furniture around so I have two comfortable chairs facing the windows. We actually switched one of the chairs to the glider we had in Hazel's nursery. It is so comfortable and has become my chair now. One of the chairs has an ottoman so that is there. I also put a small folding tv tray table to put drinks and things on. Now it has our collection of gel pens in case I want to color. 

Besides the furniture I have decorated my happy place corner. I had a pillow made that literally says "This is My Happy Place." I have family photos as well as picture to remind me "Prayers & Love over worry & fear." I have sayings about love and life. My latest addition however is a beautiful metal print of my other happy place--my family vacation home on Cape Cod. This is the house my grandparents built and I spent most of my school vacations visiting when I was young. I took a photo of Hazel looking out over the marsh from the deck of the house. This is truly a happy place of mine. I love sitting on the deck and watching the animals and enjoying the breeze.

Since it is a metal print, it has a bit of glare and reflection issue when photographing it. However, I LOVE it!! The print is absolutely beautiful in person. I love sitting in my glider and looking at it. I can almost smell the marsh and feel the breeze. I definitely begin to breathe a bit slower and feel my body relax. It is a peaceful place and a wonderful reminder of it. Plus usually I am at it with my family: Steve and Hazel as well as my parents and my sisters and nephew. It is a place where there is love and where I know I am loved. This print has all of that in it as well as just being beautiful for others to see. 

I have had other metal prints made. I had a sunset print for my parents since they moved out of this house with the beautiful sunsets. I had scenic prints made to decorate the house we now rent out. I also have canvases and prints of family photos and memories from vacations. This is the first time I made one for me to remind me of a peaceful place that makes me relax and be calm. I love what it does for me. 

As we proceed through these strange times of social distance think about what makes you happy. Grab a photo of that place or memory and get a print made. Create your own happy space in your home. We all need one these days!

Ruth Bader Ginsburg -- Learn how she touched all of our lives


Today instead of doing a Black Lives Matter post I thought I would share a bit about Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Her death Friday night really affected me even though I have never met the woman. Her death brings about all sorts of unknowns for our country and how we go forward will make a difference. However worrying about things I cannot control like how the politicians will respond to her death so close to the election will not help me and I want to show my respect to this amazing American hero. Do you know much about Ruth Bader Ginsburg? 

Learning about the United States with the New National Geographic Kids United States Atlases


Disclosure: I was sent copies of these books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Schools are starting back up and so are homeschools. This has been a crazy year for schools. Most of my friends' children are still doing remote learning. Hazel is back in the physical school and the school is doing a great job keeping them social distant as much as possible. Hazel has told me she sometimes forgets she is even wearing her mask. I have not gotten to that point but I don't wear one for the entire day. Today I thought I would look at some educational books and lessons. I have the latest editions of the National Geographic Kids United States Atlases and I want to share them with you, give you some ways of using them and also have a round-up of map activities and lessons. Are you ready? First we will look at the Beginner's United States Atlas

Personalized Books for Boys, Girls, Teens and Adults -- Early Holiday Shopping!


Disclosure: In The Book sent me these three personalized books in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own. 

This year everything seems weird. I know many products are delayed quite a bit lately if they are not American made. I always begin my holiday shopping early and have begun quite a bit of it. One of my favorite things to give kids is personalized books. Kids love seeing their names and photos in books. This year In The Book Published by Signature reached out to see if I would be interested in doing a review. I checked out their site and was very interested. They have something for everyone!! There are books for boys and girls of all ages. There are books for teens and sport lovers. There are even books for adults including newlyweds!! I love the personalized anniversary books. A friend gave me an anniversary book at my bridal shower. We love it. Having it personalized would be even more special!

The True Story of Zippy Chippy -- Picture Book Review with Horse Craft & Activity Round-Up


Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

We have all heard of the little engine that could, but have you heard of the little horse that couldn't? Today I get to share with you a picture book about Zippy Chippy, the little horse that couldn't. The book is called The True Story of Zippy Chippy: The Little Horse that Couldn't by Artie Bennett and illustrated by Dave Szalay. 

This Is My America -- #blacklivesmatter Novel Review


Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

After George Floyd's murder there was a cry from white people to find resources to educate themselves about how the Black people in our country are feeling. That cry seems to have calmed down but now is the time that it is even more important to step up and keep the movement moving. And please note I am not saying the rioting, violence and looting is appropriate. That to me is not part of the movement but some other organizations or sick individuals who want to cause trouble more than awareness. I have no problem with the protests as long as they remain peaceful. I also support our police but not the ones who have stepped beyond the boundaries so they think they have the power to kill or be violent to someone because of their skin color. That said today I am going to share a young adult novel with you that is eye-opening to me, a white person. Now I have gone through many diversity trainings and advised diversity clubs, so I have some experience and views into life as a different race but today's novel takes me farther and really helps me understand the life many of the Black people in America are facing today. I will be completely honest, I have not finished the novel. I was going to wait to review it until I finished it but I honestly just can't wait to tell you about it. It is that good and that powerful! I am just past half way through the book. The novel is This Is My America by Kim Johnson.

Quilt Décor to get ready for the change of seasons


Disclosure: I was sent a digital copy of this book in return for an honest review. All opinions in this post are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for this review. The links are affiliate links where I will receive a small percentage of any purchases made through them at no cost to you. Thank you for supporting Crafty Moms Share!

The weather here is beginning to change. Hazel is back at school and I feel fall coming. Do you decorate for the different seasons? Since September is National Sewing Month, I promised myself to share some of my sewing books that I need to review. Since all the sewing I have done is on the quilt that I reviewed last week (and making more masks for Hazel to go back to school), I decided to review one that I won't be actually making. Today I am going to share Wintertime Shimmer Quilt and Table Runner by Jennifer Sampou. Now I am not trying to rush the seasons. I love fall and am going to make some suggestions to change these patterns for different seasons. The photos however are from the book so they are about winter. I am not making these because my digital review copy did not come with the pattern pages so I don't actually have the patterns to try them.

The Moon and the Sun -- Fun Facts, Books and Craft & Activity Round-Up


Disclosure: I was sent copies of these books in exchange for honest reviews. All opinions are my own.

I have some fun books sitting on my review shelf. One is about the Mid-Autumn Festival. This year (2020) Mid-Autumn Festival is October 1st. Then I received a cute book about the sun and moon for younger kids. And finally I am sharing the new National Geographic Kids Almanac 2021 because of course it has something about the sun and moon. It has something about everything! As I was thinking about these books I thought it would be fun to share a bit about the moon and sun as well as some crafts and activities to go with them. 

My Life in the Fish Tank -- Book Review and Teen Mental Health Resource Round-Up


Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Do you know that 50% of mental illness start by age 14 and 75% by age 24? (Source) How about approximately 1 in 5 adults in the United States suffer from mental health issues?  That's about 43.8 million people and nearly 40% of them do not seek any treatment or help. (Source) And then add in the pandemic and how things have gotten worse for people's mental health. There is a lot going on here. There is a stigma around mental health issues. People don't like to talk about it and many don't want to get treatment for it in fear of being shamed. It is something we need to talk about and we need to educate the next generation about it and what resources there are to help with treatment so we do not continue this stigma. Let's face just about everyone would take medicine for diabetes or cancer, but many people are ashamed to take antidepressants or antianxiety medicines or even seek therapy. Today's novel is about one middle school girl and her family's experience with a bipolar disorder in the family. The book is My Life in the Fish Tank by Barbara Dee. It is being released next week! (We have also had the pleasure of reviewing another of Barbara Dee's books which we categorized as a must read for all middle schools.)

A Place Inside of Me -- #blacklivesmatter


Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

It is Labor Day, a day for rest. I have been taking this weekend off somewhat so I can get Hazel ready for the new school year. It begins tomorrow and she is going back in person. After being home for six months it is a hard transition. But I wanted to continue our Black Lives Matter Series. Today's post will be different. I have had this book to review that is a poem meant to heal the heart from all the riots, hatred and wrongs going on in the world these days. As a white person I find it powerful to read and get a glimpse into what my Black friends are experiencing. I have been trying to figure out how I wanted to share this book with you. It is powerful yet simple. I knew I didn't want to group it in without picture books, because its message is too important. So here it is, A Place Inside of Me by Zetta Elliott and illustrated by Noa Denmon. 

Sensational Quilts for Scrap Lovers -- Crafty Sundays Review


Disclosure: I was sent a digital copy of this book in return for an honest review. All opinions in this post are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for this review. The links are affiliate links where I will receive a small percentage of any purchases made through them at no cost to you. Thank you for supporting Crafty Moms Share!

September is National Sewing Month. I have been sewing away this past week. I had to make some more masks for Hazel to take to school and I have been working on a quilt. The quilt instructions I found in Sensational Quilt for Scrap Lovers by Judith Gauthier. 

The Benefits of Doing a Puzzle and a Puzzle Review


Disclosure: I was sent this puzzle in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Are you a puzzle person? As the country shut down the sales of puzzles went up. In fact there was a puzzle shortage back in April. Puzzle manufacturers could not keep up. One company said that in one day in March they sold more than they sold in the entire month of December. (Source) I have always loved puzzles. However when Hazel was younger I often had Steve do them with her. She found out why a few years ago at my parents condo building. I become a little obsessed with the puzzle and will stay working on it for hours and hours and not go to bed because I want to find one more piece. My focus is completely on the puzzle and not much else. However we have started to do more puzzles as a family. Or at least they will help me a bit with puzzles now. I shared a new puzzle awhile ago as one of our stay-cation activities. (Which Hazel has found 1 of our missing pieces--under the chair cushion. Now we are just missing 1 piece. I know it will turn up.) Today I am going to share another, but before I do I thought it would be fun to look at some of the benefits of doing a jigsaw puzzle!

Back to School Picture Books


Disclosure: I was sent copies of these books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Back to school is going to look very different this year. Many schools are doing remote only. Some are doing a hybrid model and others are opening back up but with masks and social distancing. The decision on parents and teachers is a hard one. The kids will do better in person but what if someone gets Covid? Hazel's school is offering the choice of everything inbetween. Each day we can choose to keep her home to learn remotely or bring her into school. Since it is a small school and they did eight weeks of summer camp without anyone getting sick, we have decided to send her in person. Today we are preparing for her new student orientation. Since it is a new school and a strange year our anxieties are high. It reminds me of the years where many of the books I am sharing would have been helpful. As the school year begins teachers and parents turn to creative books to help put kids at ease. Today I am going to share some new ones of those as well as some books to help younger kids begin learning concepts. We will start with a book about getting to school on the bus and first time fears.

Black Athletes -- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Wilma Rudolph #blacklivesmatter


Today for our Black Lives Matter Series I have decided to share two Black athletes. I struggled today with whom I should share. I thought about writing a post about Chadwick Boseman. As I read about him I will be honest I wondered if I am doing these amazing people justice with my posts. I was wondering if I am making a difference. I decided there is so much out there right now about Chadwick Boseman that I don't need to feature him here. I know I am a small blog and I don't really expect to grow big because I am not willing to monetize and I am not about pushing my own work plus I accept our work as it is and don't make it perfect. But sometimes I wonder if you are really reading this and caring about what I write. If you are I would love a comment (other than spam). Anyway, today we are going to look at two Black athletes: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Wilma Rudolph and the roles they have played in our society.

Machine Quilting -- 2 Books to Help You--A Crafty Sundays Review


Disclosure: I was sent a digital copy of this book in return for an honest review. All opinions in this post are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for this review. The links are affiliate links where I will receive a small percentage of any purchases made through them at no cost to you. Thank you for supporting Crafty Moms Share!

This week it has been about quilting--machine quilting. Today I am going to share two books that will help you with machine quilting skills. The first book is for beginners as well as anyone who wants to learn some new skills and designs. It is Walk, Jog, Run: A Free-Motion Quilting Workout by Dara Tomasson. 

Who's In the Backyard? -- Squirrels -- American Red Squirrels and Eastern Gray Squirrels


This week I promised to talk about some of the other critters in our yard besides our birds. Although I love watching the birds. In our backyard we have squirrels and this summer we not only had our usually gray squirrels but we had some red squirrels--lots of them. Most of the red squirrels have moved on now but we had so many of them. I named them all Squeakers because of the noise they made at me and at each other. We do not have black squirrels but I have seen them in my friend's backyard in New York State. Now both types of squirrels in our yard chased their own kind all around and stared at me when I was in my hammock. The red squirrel even squeaked at me when I was reading and not watching him in the tree. 

Books to help kids train their pets -- National Dog Day is tomorrow!


Disclosure: I was sent copies of these books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Did you know tomorrow (August 26th) is National Dog Day? National Cat Day is October 29th and January is National Train Your Dog Month. In honor of these "holidays" I am going to share two books from National Geographic Kids about training dogs and cats. Since tomorrow is National Dog Day we will start with Fetch! A How to Speak Dog Training Guide by Aubre Andrus and Gary Weitzman, D.V.M. 

Ava DuVernay -- #blacklivesmatter Series


Last week I shared about two Black actors. Today we are sharing about a director, Ava DuVernay. If you missed it, yesterday I shared a tidbit about a Black teacher in my review of a quilt book. I may explore more about her life in the future. Today however we are looking at Ava DuVernay and the first thing I want to say is Happy Birthday, Ava!

Divided Hearts: A Civil War Friendship Quilt -- A Crafty Sundays Review


Disclosure: I was sent a digital copy of this book in return for an honest review. All opinions in this post are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for this review. The links are affiliate links where I will receive a small percentage of any purchases made through them at no cost to you. Thank you for supporting Crafty Moms Share!

Our country is divided right now. It is wearing on my heart. I usually try to ignore politics as much as I can. It keeps me more relaxed and at peace. However with everything going on right now and it being a presidential election year it is basically impossible to ignore. I have read articles about how our current politics are breaking up relationships--marriages, siblings, parent-child and friendships. This has not occurred before in our lifetime, but it did occur in our country. In fact our country had a civil war because of such differences. The Civil War divided families, neighbors and friendships. Perhaps that is what drew me to today's book. I feel we are in many ways at a similar point and finding a divide in our country. Today's book is Divided Hearts: A Civil War Friendship Quilt by Barbara Brackman.

Who's In the Backyard? Nuthatches & Chickadees -- Fun Facts, Crafts, & Books


The birds are beginning to slow at my feeders, but I am still enjoying them. I am doubling up this week because the summer is almost over and the birds that migrate are beginning to leave here. Today I am going to share about nuthatches and chickadees. I feel like almost everyone knows a chickadee but not everyone recognizes a nuthatch. Do you? We will start with nuthatches. I will be focusing on White-Breasted Nuthatches and Black-Capped Chickadees since those are the species in my yard.

Review of Ick! Delightfully Disgusting Animal Dinners, Dwellings and Defenses


Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Are you ready to be grossed out? Do you know a kid who loves disgusting stories and facts? Today's book is perfect for you or the kid. It is from National Geographic Kids so it has lots of amazing photographs and it is Ick! Delightfully Disgusting Animal Dinners, Dwellings and Defenses by Melissa Stewart. 

Women and Voting -- Books to Celebrate Election Year and 100th Anniversary of Women's Right to Vote


Disclosure: I was sent copies of these books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Did you know yesterday was the 100th anniversary of the passing of the 19th Amendment? The 19th Amendment is the one that gives and guarantees women the right to vote. There was a long fight for that vote. Yesterday President Trump pardoned one of the first women who tried to vote and was arrested, Susan B. Anthony. She was released from jail and fined but never paid the fine. Probably not what Ms. Anthony really wanted but it was a nice gesture. Ever since Hazel did a report and had to dress up as Susan B. Anthony in second grade she has had a big interest in the woman's right to vote and the fight that it took to get us there. Today I am going to share a historical fiction novel for middle readers (ages 8-12) that goes back to the Conference at Seneca Falls. I also have an alphabet picture book about voting and rights of United States citizens. Perfect for talking about women's suffrage as well as the big election coming this year. It is suggested for ages 3 to 6. We will start with the picture book.

Black Actors--Dorothy Dandridge & Canada Lee -- #blacklivesmatter


I decided to group a few of the Black people I am featuring together. Many of them are in the entertainment business and include actors, musicians, comedians and a director. I am breaking them into a few groups. Today I am focusing on two actors: Dorothy Dandridge and Canada Lee. Have you heard of them? We will start with Dorothy Dandridge.

Crafty Stay-cation Activities -- Crafty Sunday Review


Disclosure: I was sent these products in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

I have missed the last two Crafty Sundays because we were having a staycation. We had a wonderful week and I thought I would share with you some of our activities and ideas for a staycation especially the ones on the crafty side. My birthday fell on during the week and it was the big 50. My sister came and made me a birthday cake and dinner with her wonderful assistant, Hazel. It was a lovely social distant celebration. Then we set up a puzzle to work on for the week. I finally finished it except for the two pieces I somehow lost. Ugh! I always do that. The puzzle is Mount Fuji Japan Jigsaw Puzzle. I love setting up a puzzle and having it to work on with my family. We like to do this when we vacation at the Cape as well. 

Who's in the Backyard? -- Sparrows! Fun facts, crafts and book round-up


The weather has been so beautiful especially today. I have been enjoying my backyard and my bird watching. Today we are going to take a look at a bird whose name has become synonymous with common because they have been introduced to most places in the world (see fun fact #5). We are talking about sparrows, in particular house sparrows since that is what is common in my area. Check out these fun facts about sparrows. My favorite is #2.

The Stepmom Shake-Up -- a new middle grade novel about family and change


Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

This week I am back to work and going to start by sharing a new middle grade novel. Even on my stay-cation I did the Black Lives Matter Series and Who's In the Backyard? Series, but today I will bring back my book reviews. We will start with The Stepmom Shake-up by Niki Lenz.

A Look into Space with Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson and Dr. Mae Jemison -- #blacklivesmatter


#blacklivesmatter series

Last week we had a relaxing and fun stay-cation. Stay tuned for some posts on things we did. Today I return somewhat refreshed to get writing my posts for you. This week for Black Lives Matter Series I thought we would look into space with two famous black scientists: Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson and Dr. Mae Jemison. Both are on the list from my black teacher friends as people we should all know so here is your chance to learn about these amazing people.

Fun Facts About Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds -- Who's In the Backyard? Series


I may be on a staycation, but the birds in my yard are not! Today we will still have our Who's In the Backyard? Post. This week we are featuring the Ruby-Throated Hummingbird. We are lucky to have a couple of bushes that hummingbirds like to feed off so we have some in our yard. Since the only type of hummingbird that breeds on the Eastern coast is the Ruby-Throated Hummingbird, we know that is what we have. Plus I will be sharing some photos from my uncle's feeder that he was kind enough to share with me. Here is a fun one he shared. (All of our photos seem to be of females or juvenile males, so I found one on-line of a male for the photo above.)

Kamala Harris -- #Blacklivesmatter Series

My family is having a stay-cation this week so I may not post quite as often. I missed Crafty Sunday because I hadn't really crafted and was tired. We celebrated my birthday with my sister over the weekend. Hard to believe I am 50. Wow! Anyway, I do want to keep up my commitment to post about Black people every week. This week I returned to the list I received from my three Black teacher friends and am focusing on Kamala Harris. I will admit I knew nothing about her when I added her to the list, but of course she is in the news quite a bit now and maybe more so if she is picked as Biden's running mate. I will also add that I am not trying to make a political statement by featuring her. Although I tend to agree with the liberal side my husband is the opposite and yes the past couple of years have been tough when politics comes up more so than in the past. I usually can see both sides so I can stay somewhat neutral around him, but I have struggled with that recently. Anyway back to our post about Kamala.

Fun Facts About Blue Jays -- Who's in the Backyard?

Rhododendrites / CC BY-SA (

Today we are looking at who is in the backyard and focusing on Blue Jays! Blue jays are very common around our house in Massachusetts. Unfortunately the ones that visit tend to be a little camera shy and I cannot get great shots of them.

Review of The Elephant's Girl

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.


Today I am sharing a new novel that is the perfect summer read for intermediate readers (ages 8-12). Imagine surviving a tornado and ending up in the elephant enclosure of a zoo. You have no memory of who you are or who your parents are or even your age, but you are a young child. That describes the life of the main character, Lexington, in today's book, The Elephant’s Girl by Celesta Rimington.

Picture Books for Sensitive & Introvert Kids

Disclosure: I was sent copies of these books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Do you know a kid who is anxious or a bit of a scaredy cat? Or perhaps you know a kid who is an introvert. He or she needs time alone to recharge and get energy. My wonderful daughter is both of these. Today I am going to share two new picture books that are perfect for these type of kids. We will start with the one for kids who are easily scared. I know Hazel was scared when she saw other kids breaking a rule. Yes, I sometimes had to turn the tv off when watching Caillou or Curious George because their breaking a rule got her all worked up. She is very empathetic but it also made her very anxious and scared. This first book has a character like her. It is Do Not Go In There! by Ariel Horn and illustrated by Izzy Burton. 

Josephine Baker: Performer, Spy & Activist -- #blacklivesmatter

This week our focus for Black Lives Matter is Josephine Baker. She was a singer, dancer, spy and activist. Her story has a bit of it all. Read along to learn more about her amazing life and why it matters to us all.

DIY Wall Art Part 2 -- Crafty Sunday

Last week I shared some DIY wall art that was inspired by home décor that I saw at Michaels. Today I am going to share another one also inspired by what I saw at Michaels--at least the saying is. I picked up a cheap wooden wall art plague that said some summer saying including "floundering around". I then used Mod Podge and a recycled flower paper from a poster calendar from 2017 similar to this one. I bought it on clearance back then so I could use the pages for crafts. I finally used one!

Fun Facts About Finches with a Focus on American Goldfinch and House Finch

Today we continue our Who's In the Backyard? Series with a look at finches. We commonly have American Goldfinches and house finches at our feeder so I am going to share general finch fun facts as well as fun facts about each of these types. 

Two of the Big Six: John Lewis and A. Philip Randolph #blacklivesmatter

As I thought about who to do next for our Black Lives Matter Series I realized I should do John Lewis since he passed away this weekend. He was last of the Big Six leaders of the Civil Rights Movement to die. As I did my research I realized that A. Philip Randolph was as well so today I am going to share about both of them. The Big Six were Martin Luther King, Jr., James Farmer, John Lewis, A. Philip Randolph, Roy Wilkins and Whitney Young. They were instrumental in the planning of the March on Washington in 1963. 

Fun Facts about Lollipops with Craft and Recipe Round-Up --National Lollipop Day

I know it is Monday and I usually do my Black Lives Matter post, but today has been a bit crazy and I want to dedicate the time to make it a good post, so I will share it tomorrow. Since today is National Lollipop Day, I thought I would do a quick post sharing some fun facts about lollipops with a quick round-up of crafts, activities and recipes. 

DIY Wall Art (Inspired by Wall Art at Michael's) -- Crafty Sunday

It is Sunday again. Where did this week go? It is amazing how fast time is flying by even though we are mostly staying home. Last week I was looking at Michael's on-line (and then in the store) for a frame for my paint-by-number family portrait that I shared a couple of weeks ago. Unfortunately it is a weird size so I have to do something custom. But I was checking out the home décor. I found so much inspiration. Even though much of it was on clearance most was not at my local store and I hate paying for shipping if I don't have to plus I looked at some of them and said I can make something similar with what I have at home.  I have a Pinterest board where I pin my inspiration in case you want to see some of the other wall art I loved. I saw two similar blue and white inspirational ones and thought I could make something like them. I am not a talented enough painter but have a supply of beautiful craft papers from Paper Source from my time of working there. They occasionally go on sale and I would buy them on sale. Here are my inspirations.

Fun Facts About Northern Cardinals with Craft Round-Up and DIY Birdfeeders, Bee Baths & More!

During this pandemic we have been finding ways to enjoy our home. One of my favorite things about our home is our backyard and we do not spend enough time in it. Last year we bought some gliding chairs for the small patio off of Hazel's clubhouse. It is one of my favorite places to sit outside. It is almost always in the shade and just comfortable. This year we also added a hammock for me to lay in and read (if Hazel doesn't beat me to it). I also took back some space in our family room so I can sit in the corner and look out the window at my birdfeeders. I found most of the time outside I sat and watched the birds rather than read the book I brought out. Have you made adjustments in your house now that you are spending more time there? Are you spending more time there?

We Are Power -- a Timely Book for Kids Aged 10-14

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

This has been a crazy year. We are in the middle of a global pandemic and then the protests over the death of George Floyd and others began. I know Hazel has been watching the protests and riots with curiosity and questions. Today I am sharing a book about nonviolent activism suggested for kids aged 10-14. This book shares history as well as how nonviolent activism works. The book is We Are Power: How Nonviolent Activism Changes the World by Todd Hasak-Lowy. 

Mamie Phipps Clark -- #blacklivesmatter -- the Black Psychologist Who Helped End Segregation in Schools

Today we are continuing our Black Lives Matter Series. Today we are getting to know about Mamie Phipps Clark. She and her husband, Kenneth B. Clark, helped end segregation in public schools. Kenneth often said he piggybacked on his wife's research and tried to give her more of the credit, but he often is the one who is credited still, so we are focusing on Mamie. I find her work and life so fascinating. She dealt with racism and sexism throughout her life and worked towards what we are still fighting for--equal rights. Even now her husband gets more credit for the work that was originally hers which he decided to participate in after she started it. Plus her most famous study was a doll test involving white and brown dolls. Now I have shared one of my biggest regrets of not saying something to a young Black girl at a store when she thought the white doll was more beautiful than the Black doll. This one hit me personally. Plus her work was used to end segregation. I think back to my own years of schooling and think of how much learning about other cultures from my friends of other races added so much to my life and still does. Plus to my own classrooms and how the mixed races always made the classes more interesting and a better experience. So with those thoughts, I would like to introduce you to Dr. Mamie Phipps Clark.

Hoops Hooray! -- a Crafty Sundays Review
Disclosure: Leisure Arts sent me a copy of this book in return for an honest review. All opinions in this post are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for this review. The links are affiliate links where I will receive a small percentage of any purchases made through them at no cost to you. Thank you for supporting Crafty Moms Share!

Hoop art is extremely popular these days. It is so easy and fun to do too. I don't know if you ever caught any of the ones I featured in Crafty Weekends in the past. There have definitely been some creative and beautiful ideas shared! Today I am going to share a book with tutorials to make your own hoop art. It is Hoops Hooray! by Ashley Millhouse.

The Prettiest -- a Middle School Must Read

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are our own.

Tell me when was the last time your middle school age daughter read a 300-page book in a matter of hours? That is what happened the day I received the book I am sharing with you today. I literally opened the package and showed the book to Hazel and she couldn't put it down. She read it all before she went to bed. I was surprised until I got my hands on the book and started reading it. The book is The Prettiest by Brigit Young. 

The Discovery of Anime & Manga Review as part of our Explore Japan

Disclosure: I was sent a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Back in May we explored Japan with various posts to celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. Due to one of those posts Immedium contacted me asking if I would be interested in reviewing their newest in The Asian Hall of Fame Series, The Discovery of Anime and Manga by Phil Amara and Oliver Chin and illustrated by Juan Calle. I have reviewed many books from Immedium previously and have enjoyed them.