Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Altered Composition Journal

So I've tried three times to get this posted. Between life, and winter storms knocking the power out, I've not managed it until now.
I know I promised I would keep my page current. I'm trying I tells ya! Ha ha. Seriously though. I'm teaching a knitting class on Tuesday nights. Wednesday nights are church nights for my oldest two. The rest of the week features my vain attempts at keeping up with housework and Laundry. Sunday mornings are church and visiting. Excuses! I give you excuses! I am working on being better at time management, but hey, I've heard it said that creative people are horrible time keepers. With all of that blather said, on to what I do have finished!

As for items I used, first off you of course need your Composition notebook. I just used a basic 88 cent one from Wal-Mart.
Secondly you need some pretty papers. I used scrapbooking papers, but you can use wrapping paper, pretty napkins, construction paper, whatever your little heart desires. Just remember that it must be opaque enough to cover the pattern on your notebook.
You also need some sort of adhesive. I used regular old clear school glue, and spread it thinly with a paint brush.
I also used a pencil for marking, and a ruler to help smooth things out. Go gently with it though or you'll tear your paper.
I haven't embellished or covered the front inside cover yet. When I get that done I'll add pictures and some details of what I did.
First I gathered my materials, then I decided which papers I wanted where. After that I traced out the covers on the white side of the papers and cut them out.

Next, I lightly spread some glue onto the cover.
Then I spread it all over using a paint brush.
I only did one side at a time. I placed a paper towel under it so when I weighted it down to absorb any glue. I should have used waxed paper, but my kids have used it all for playing with play-dough.... Yeah, so, anyway.
I used this giant box of crayons to weight it down. If  you are using book binding adhesive, or double sided tape you won't have to add weight while it dries because it isn't a wet adhesive.
These are the front and back cover that I have done. I have the back inside cover, covered in green and white polka dot paper which I will share in my next installment.  I hope this shows you just how easy it is to make a custom journal! :)

Friday, February 12, 2016

Stretchy Button Bracelet

So today I was playing around with the idea of making a bracelet of buttons. I wanted it to be stretchy so anyone could wear it. Here is what I used: an assortment of buttons. I got mine from an estate sale in a big box of buttons.
 Size 6/0 seed beads in your color of choice. (I recommend coordinating them with your buttons.
 I used about 12 inches of the clear plastic cord from the bottom of this pack. Not sure what the size is.
 This is the first stack of buttons I used. I went up from under the bottom up through the two buttons, then put a seed bead on, then went back down through the two buttons.
 Next I chose another of the smaller buttons and came up through the bottom, and then down through the other hole. I did the diagonals on 4 hole buttons.
 Continue on doing stacks and singles until you get your bracelet the length you want. I did mine about 7 1/2 inches long, then I slightly pushed all the buttons closer together. I then did 3 over hand knots and put a drop of super glue over all of  the knot. Trim the excess cord, let dry and ta-da! you have a gorgeous bracelet!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

DIY watercolors

So, my kids are always wanting to paint. I do think that I have a couple of budding artists in my girls.  The problem with that is that art supplies can be expensive. I usually try to buy extra when the school sales are on, but it's never enough!  I ran out of watercolors, and was wondering if I could do it myself. I found lots and lots of recipes, but they're all pretty much the same. We tried it and they work pretty good for a child's palate. I'm not sure how long they will last, or how colorfast they are, but the kids loved them and that's what matters.
So here's the recipe I used, and it filled up two ice cube trays.  More than enough for 2 girls to paint with.

1 cup baking soda
3/4 cup vinegar
2 tablespoons corn syrup (I didn't have any so I used pancake syrup, and it worked fine.)
1 cup of corn starch
food coloring (powder or gel work better.)

In a medium mixing bowl pour in the baking soda, and mix in the vinegar 1/4 cup at a time. This will fizz, so watch out for it. When the fizzing stops and the mixture is smooth, add in the corn syrup and corn starch.(now would be a good time for a corny joke, ha ha! ) Mixing will become pretty tough. I bent a metal soup spoon and had to switch to a wooden mixing spoon. Once the mixture is thoroughly combined you can start adding it to the ice cube tray or what ever little pods you're going to store your colors in.  I did this using a measuring spoon, and put about a tablespoon and a half of mixture in each well.  After that you get to add your food coloring to each one and mix it in well. After that it's just a matter of letting them dry. Well I guess you wouldn't have to let them dry, you could use them immediately if you wanted to.

This is my oldest daughter's first try at using the paints. She tried mixing a bit, but it would work much better on watercolor paper. This was construction paper, and it worked okay, but it was colored so the watercolor's true colors didn't pop as well.

If you try this recipe, leave a comment and tell me how you think it worked!  Hopefully by next week I will have my DIY Journal done and I will take pictures to show you how I did it.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

I'm back!

Hey every one! I know, YEARS since I've posted. To be honest, I've had another baby, started and ended a business, changed emails, and lost my account info. I usually keep everything in my handy dandy notebook, but something happened to that. :( 
Well anyway, I'm back, I'm going to do better. I've decided that I will have to do better.  I need to keep myself going. After having child number three, we've also decided to do homeschooling. I didn't really know what I was getting myself into when I chose to homeschool my girls ages 11 and 5. You have to know how to engage your child. For my oldest that isn't that hard. My youngest however still wants to play, play, play.  So we've devised ways to keep her going without her realizing she's being taught.
My first new project is simple, Word Bingo.  We are using a phonics based reading program that allows you to move at your child's pace. Each unit has a list of words that the child is learning. I took the words from all of the units that she has finished and made a list. From this list I randomly wrote nine of them on 3X3 grid I marked on a 4X4 square of paper.  I did this until I had used all of the words at least twice.   Then I wrote the words again on smaller squares of paper to call from like Bingo Balls. For markers I just cut squares of construction paper big enough to cover each word.
This game allows reinforcement of her beginning reading, and she loves it. If she's having a particularly hard day wanting to homeschool, I just pull this game out, and she's ready to go.