Showing posts with label shells. Show all posts
Showing posts with label shells. Show all posts

Rocks, Shells and Minerals -- Review of book and a project


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

This has been an interesting summer. Here in the Boston area we are experience a very wet and cool July. This July is the third wettest on record in Boston and the wettest July in Worcester. There have only been a few days where no rain fell. As a result there haven't been many real beach days. But during the dry times it is still fun to walk on the beach and look for some beach treasures. To go with these walks is today's book from National Geographic Kids. It is Little Kids First Big Book: Rocks, Minerals and Shells by Moira Rose Donohue. It is recommended for ages 4 to 8. 

Beach Art -- Crafty Sundays


Every summer we spend at least one week at Cape Cod. My parents live there and my family has a house that we rent out but we get a week at the house every year. We always try to have at least one beach day and sometimes walk on the beach in the evening. My favorite thing about walking the beach is picking up shells and rocks. I love finding the pieces of quahog shells which is what wampum is made from. We have a rock and shell collection. Some are found, some gifts and some bought. I took a combination of our collection from this year and past years and made some crafts. I started with one I was inspired by the Coastal Seashell Wreath over at Amy Latta Creations. I saw her creation last week on Facebook and fell in love with it. I headed over to Michaels and found the grapevine wreath and a wooden plaque for about $6 total. I also picked up some wooden framed shapes for my other project. They were 99 cents each. So I took our collection and created these fun pieces of beach art.

Outdoor School Series Review


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

I am going to continue sharing books to get your kids learning while having fun this summer. Today we are going to look at a series of books that no only is fun and educational but also gets your kids outside and enjoying nature! The Outdoor School series features three interactive nature guides as well as three sticker books, and two essentials guides. Whether your family is interested in animals, hiking, camping, rock collecting and more there is something for everyone and these books all start by saying step outside no matter where you live there is nature out there. 

DIY Beach Tic Tac Toe -- a Crafty Weekends Craft & Link Party

Summer began last week. I am guessing people are getting ready to go to the beach and on vacations. Today I am sharing a simple craft that can be planned with purchased sea treasures or with found ones. The idea for this craft came from a tic-tac-toe game that I saw at our local Hallmark store. I didn't want to spend the money but loved the idea. The one at the store used sand dollars and starfish.

A Look at Wampum and How It Is Made -- Native American Heritage Month

November is Native American Heritage Month. This year I thought I would explore wampum and how it is made. Wampum jewelry is very popular on Cape Cod and this summer I was told how hard (and dangerous) it is to make. This is why it costs so much. 

Summer Craft Supplies -- a Crafty Weekends Review & Link Party

Disclosure: Oriental Trading sent me these products free of charge in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

Looking for ideas of things to do with your kids on those bad weather days this summer? Or perhaps just some things to keep your kids using their creative juices and crafting? Now I am sure you know about Oriental Trading and their fun party supplies and perhaps even their various craft kits, but do you know they also sell craft supplies? Hazel and I checked out their craft supplies together and picked some out to share with you. We chose some basic supplies like paints and washi tape as well as some things to use the paints and washi tape on like frames, a tray, diy journal kits and diy rubber ducks. We have been having fun with all these craft supplies as well as some we already had. 

Sharing Saturday 17-25

It is time for Sharing Saturday!! This is a link party to share all of your child-oriented crafts, crafts made for kids, activities and lessons as well as your parenting and/or teaching posts.

On Sunday night we also host Crafty Weekends for all your crafts (done by any age), patterns, and craft product reviews! It is the perfect place to share your creative side!! And for all of your cultural posts come share them at the monthly Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop.

Coastal Crafts -- Book Review

 Disclosure: Lark Crafts gave me a copy of this book free of charge for this review. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. They also sent me a copy to giveaway! As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation. 

We have been having a heat wave here in Massachusetts this week. It ended today with some much needed rain. However it made me not want to give up the feeling of summer. Hazel is back in school now and I actually took a part-time job to fill my days a bit while she is there, but I still want summer back. How about you? Well I found a wonderful way to preserve some beach memories and they are from Coastal Crafts by Cynthia Shaffer.

I fell in love with many of the crafts in this book. I love the candle on the cover, but could not find the right jar for it. I'm still looking. We do not need anymore pillows, so I skipped those for now as well. We did however enjoy making some stationary. Some of the book stationary are pictured on the back cover.

Themed Play Dates -- Oriental Trading Products Review

Disclosure: I was sent these items to review free of charge from Oriental Trading. All opinions in this post are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for this review. I am including links to the products for your convenience but do not receive anything if you buy from them.

Perhaps it is my love of planning parties and such, but I love throwing themed play dates for Hazel and her friends and Hazel really enjoys them. This summer we have had or will have three different themed play dates and we used some products from Oriental Trading to make them even more fun. The themes are fairies, mermaids and Bible stories: Creation and Noah's Ark. 

Shell Pictures

 Disclosure: I was sent these craft items to review free of charge from Oriental Trading. All opinions in this post are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for this review. I added links to the particular products for your convenience, but not for any compensation. 

Well, Hazel and I went to visit my parents this week and I got lazy on here. Sorry. I started writing a post last night, but never finished it. I'll safe it for next week. Of course visiting my parents always brings beach ideas since they live on Cape Cod. Although we did not go to the beach this trip, we did check out one of our favorite stores that always has fun shell artwork. We are inspired to do even more with these products that Oriental Trading sent us. 

Creative Mermaid Craft

A few weeks ago the free craft at Lakeshore Learning was this fun mermaid craft. We had seen one of the employees make the sample back in the beginning of May (or maybe the end of April) and could not wait for this fun craft and of course that was the weekend we visited my parents so we could not go to Lakeshore to do the craft. That Monday, I stopped by to see if there was a pattern for the tail and they happened to have the leftover pieces out and gave me the basic pieces. Hazel and I finally had time to make it and we made many and got rather creative. I splurged on a fun sparkly paper that I thought would be perfect for the tail. I was able to cut two tails from it. 

Beach Inspired Rock/Nature Art

Have you entered my current giveaway yet?

A few weeks ago when we were at Cape Cod visiting my parents, Hazel and I saw some really neat nature artwork in a store. We thought we could have a go at making them. When we went to the ocean, we collected rocks. I tried to collect small rocks, but Hazel really liked the big ones.
Hazel's Creations

I was trying to figure out a cheap background for these and came across a discontinued sample of a home dec fabric at Jo-Ann Fabrics on sale for $1. I bought it and we made homemade canvases with popsicle sticks. Then we began to arrange them. Hazel wanted to use all the big rocks on our little homemade canvases, but of course it did not work. We actually went and bought some larger canvases so she could have fun with the bigger rocks and I made most of the smaller ones. While buying the canvases, we noticed the river rocks and glass gems were on sale for $1, so we bought some and used them as well.
Our Animals: Whale, Turtle and Crab and Turtle

The original designs we had seen at the store included a turtle, a shell wreath and a map of Cape Cod. We copied these and made some of our own designs. I have a cousin getting married on Cape Cod this fall and thought they might like to have one of the maps. I put a red rock where they are getting married on  the map for them and used a store bought canvas. I am thinking we may give one of the other maps to my parents and of course keep one for ourselves.
We used a low temp glue gun to attach the rocks to the fabric or canvas and use the glue gun to make the canvases. Then afterward I glued some more popsicle sticks to them to be a frame. I also added some blue glitter glue to make the whale more recognizable. 
I also used some small shells I had bought ages ago to make the wreath and put a small star fish in the middle. Overall we had fun and it was an easy way to make something with the rocks we collected (and bought) to keep our beach memories alive.

Beach Trip and Beach Play Mat

Last week we visited my parents on Cape Cod. Now I headed up on Friday so my mother and I could drive to Connecticut for a family wedding. Steve brought Hazel up on Sunday when my mother and I were returning. He stayed for the day and Hazel and I stayed until Wednesday. I promised her we would go to the beach. On Monday Hazel and I took my mother to her rehab class (post heart surgery) and my sister and nephew came up. My sister was dropping my nephew off for his summer visit with my parents. They live in North Carolina and usually come north twice a year--for his July visit and Christmas. So with all the excitement of the crowd and everyone's ideas for what we should do each day, the beach did not happen until Wednesday morning. I knew we would only have a couple of hours there since we had an appointment at home at 3:15. And of course it was low tide that morning. Normally we go to the bay side beach near my parents house so Hazel can swim and play without much fear or waves. However at low tide you can walk for miles before being able to swim on the bay side. So we headed to the ocean side for her first time swimming with waves. She loved it!! Since I was holding her hand or her while we were in the water, I did not get any pictures of her in the water, but got some of her playing in the sand.
Now I have had an idea for quite awhile. I was inspired by crafts at the Jo-Ann Fabric's Cape Discovery Summer Craft Challenge. You may remember the jungle diorama I shared at the end of May. They had some beautifully crocheted sea shells and other sea things. They inspired me to make a beach play mat. With this in mind we have been gathering small sea life toys and shells, etc. My idea changed form several times and then I saw a large, stiff piece of sand colored felt at a craft store. I bought it and some blue felts. Then that night I pulled out my needle felting roving and decided to needle felt the water to the felt. My original plan was to glue actual sand onto the sand part of the play mat, but I never did and I think I like it this way (mess free) instead.
Now the felt was not wool, but it was easy to needle felt to it. I tried to use different shades of blue as well as make some texture for waves. Then I put the shells and animals on it and left it for Hazel. She loves it!!

I am happy with how it came out and am glad we have been collecting the various sea animals for it. I am thinking I may make her some peg dolls in bath suits next.

Mermaid Treasure Box

Sharing Saturday is still open. Please come share your child oriented crafts and activities with us and check out all the amazing ideas others have shared!

Upcoming this next week are the kick offs to two reading events. MemeTales Readathon 2012 and Virtual Summer Book Club for Kids (join me on Monday to share your Mo Willems book crafts), and we are participating in both!! I hope you will join us in them.
My frame and picture in my beach themed master bedroom

While thinking about our shell frames and picking up a few more wooden frames to make more, we found a wooden box that would make a nice treasure box for Hazel. She loved the idea and I let her pick out a blueish paint for it. I used this paint on the box and our frames. I decided I wanted to use one of the previous frames for the picture of Hazel at the beach and still wanted to frame my favorite mermaid picture. Hazel also wanted to frame another mermaid picture (her second favorite) and we had a piece of wood we covered in sand to make a sign for Steve. We glued some shells on it to say "Relax." Steve liked it and wanted it for one of his spaces.
 I let Hazel glue the shells on her frame after I had added some sand to the bottom. She of course wanted to put on as many as she could. We put this one in her room as well as the first one she did.

Now onto the box. While she was at my mother-in-law's I painted it for her including the inside. Then we picked out a mermaid picture. We chose one from The Graphic Fairy. I decoupaged a sparkly scrapbook paper first to the top of the box and then the picture on top of it and put a few coats of Mod Podge onto it. Then I added some sand to the bottom of the sides of the box.
After all of this dried  we put some mermaid stickers on the sides including bubbles and then I sprayed the inside and out with an acrylic sealer. Next I hot glued some shells, stones, and sea glass onto the top and sides.
Top View
Front View
Hazel could not wait for it to dry so she could put some treasure into it.
Back View
Finished Box
We will be sharing this over at Taming The Goblin's Mermaid Project. Have you shared your mermaid crafts there yet?

Summer, Beach & Mermaids

So my mother-in-law asked me to print her a copy of the picture above in as an 8" by 10". I did, but it got me thinking about beach frames. So while at Michaels the other day I picked up two inexpensive frames on clearance. I knew I would cover them with shells and such so I didn't worry about their colors. I also bought some more shells and sea glass. Then I saw the Mermaid Contest over at Taming the Goblin.

Over the weekend, we made the frames. We decided to start by covering the frames with sand. We had some from last year's fairy garden. So our first step is to spread some glue on the frames. Hazel loved doing this!

Then we did our best to cover them with sand.
At this point we should have let the glue dry, but I had an anxious three-year-old helping me so we went ahead. She could not wait to start gluing on the shells, rocks and sea glass. (Sorry the picture came out a bit blurry.)

Then we let the glue dry for a few days (and it still wasn't completely dry--guess I globbed it on a bit much). By the way we used craft glue. I called my mother who just made one of those shell wreaths to see what she used and she used a hot glue gun, but didn't recommend it with Hazel helping. She thought craft glue would work fine and it did.
Mermaid Taking a Nap Framed

While it was drying I looked for pictures of mermaids. I found several at Graphics Fairy, but they were more vintage and not as kind looking as I hoped for. I did a search and came across Deviant Art. My favorite there is Mermaid Taking a Nap. Of the four I showed to Hazel, her favorite is one I found on Graphics Hunt. There are so many out there and I tried to look for friendly and not too sexy ones.
Hazel's Favorite Framed
Then I hung them in the family room to get some pictures. After that I put Hazel's favorite in her room and I changed the picture in my favorite to the beach picture. After all this is what I bought the frames for.
I do think we are going to use some of the wooden frames I bought ages ago to make some more shell frames for our mermaid pictures and for her beach picture as gifts.

So how do you like our mermaid inspired craft? I'm off to enter it in Taming the Goblin's Contest.

This is where I share...