Cloud Dough

So easy! So fun! Most people have the ingredients lying about, and normally we would too. Except we actually needed them so of course they were no where to be found. We hopped in the car and after a quick trip to Walgreens, and I use the term quick loosely – it was me, three kids and the dog – we were mixing up a batch of Cloud Dough!

You’ll need baby oil and flour. Yep, that’s it.

I gave the kids a half scoop measuring cup and they each got to make four scoops. This is not a specific mix by any means, so it doesn’t matter if the scoop is half full or heaping, but they each had approximately two cups of flour in their bowls. Then I used a quarter measuring cup to measure out the baby oil.

Then its nothing but fun! They decided immediately that it was too crumbly so we added an eighth of a cup more oil and then it was perfect. Its soft and maleable – like moonsand but not gritty! It vacuums up easily and the kids had about as much fun cleaning up as they did playing. πŸ™‚

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Glow in the Dark SLIME!!!

Uh-oh. Christmas break is looming! What am I going to do with the kids?!?! Well, of course I’m going to send them to Grandma‘s house for a while, lol. But not the whole time. I’m going to have to bust out the recipe book.

Today we make Glow in the Dark Slime!

Ingredients:

Borax

Water

Glow in the Dark Craft Paint (readily available at Michael’s craft stores)

4oz Elmer’s Glue

Two bowls for mixing (we’ll be making two separate solutions and then combining them!)

First, pick a bowl for the glue mixture. We’re going to squeeze that entire 4oz bottle of Elmer’s into a bowl! This is great work for little hands: they can squeeze to their little hearts’ content! If a mom were to do this by herself she *might* take the cap off the glue all together and dump it a lot faster, but kids do like to squeeze out the glue, and if they get tired (bonus) you can take the cap off for them, too. πŸ™‚

Then we’ll add one cup of warm water to the glue, and 2-3 tablespoons of the glow-in-the-dark paint and start mixing. We used a small whisk, but a potato masher or large spoon would work just as well! (*NOTE* The glow in the dark paint at the Michael’s by my house came in several colors, however it also came in a neutral, glows only, non-color. If you only have the non-colored glowing paint available to you, add yellow food coloring to give it a nice popping color when its in the light!)

In the next bowl we will combine 1/3 cup water and 2tsp borax. We added r two tablespoons plus one teaspoon of the borax solution to our glue mixture. However if you want a stiffer slime, add a bit more borax solution!

 

 

 

 

 

And voila! There we have it. Now shut your kids in the bathroom – you’ve got about thirty minutes before they get bored, go watch t.v. – something with a grown up theme! LOL

Halloween Sewing Frenzy is OVER

*WHEW* That was intense.

I opened my Etsy shop and, based on my experiences the last time I had an Etsy shop, I was prepared for a mosy-along approach to sales. I thought I’d make a costume here, another costume there, slowly build my options and it would be relaxed and fun. Well it was fun, but it was not relaxed! I made the gnome costumes first with no idea how much people love gnomes!!! So cool! Once the gnome costumes and accessories were in the shop there was no time for anything else. I had so much fun, and I learned so much in this crash course to the holidays on Etsy, I just wanted to throw a general THANK YOU out to the universe and my customers.

This year has brought a lot of progress for me in terms of my goals. As a stay at home mother of three preschoolers for the last six years I have slowly felt my edges blurring. I knew I was more than a mom, but I didn’t have time to pursue self-enrichment. And my youngest was born with a mitochondrial disease, pulling the focus of life even farther away from me. I was getting a little depressed. I think a lot of moms can relate to that. So took hold of my bootstraps and decided to get back on Etsy and go back to school. My idea is to get a BA in Business while building a business from the ground up. That way once I’m finished I’ll have more to put on a resume than I’m a SAHM who went to school while taking care of the kids! This holiday season on Etsy has certainly gotten me off to a great start. I fortunately decided to take only one class this semester, which is turning out to be the best ever choice. If I’d had more on my plate I might have taken a turn for the looney bin! As intense as the last two months have been, I am thriving. And I am thankful. There were times I got a little grumpy, but I reminded myself, “Hey! I asked for this!”

Now the question is, what do I ask for next, hmmm? My goals for the rest of this year include:

  • Coming up with Christmas gift ideas to sell.
  • Coming up with new dress up and costume ideas.
  • Running my first ever craft fair booth (at my daughter’s school’s Winter Festival!).
  • Establishing administrative polices for myself – don’t want to get behind on the paperwork!
  • Learning about taxes and how to itemize!
  • Re-organizing my sewing studio so the design is more friendly to what I’m going to call Extreme Sewing vs Home Sewing.
  • Build a website.

OH yeah, don’t forget continuing to care for my family, managing my medically needy son, maintain my house, be a substitute teacher for my daughter’s school, and make straight A’s! I’ve accepted I’m not capable of regular blogging activity, but my goals will be the topics I’ll be blogging on. So if you’re a SAHM who wants to get back into “it,” or a budding entrepreneur, or just curious, keep reading. I hope to share some useful information. Or check me out on Facebook! While I can’t blog on a regular basis, me and FB are tight. Its easy, and fun, to post on FB and connect with my friends and customers. https://www.facebook.com/WooWhoEtsy

Thanks again, Universe!

~Melissa

Get Yer Stitch On!

Had a wonderful time stitchin’ up a Pink Plushie with my leetle blue haired friend:

These dolls are totally create your own. I have body shapes to choose from, then ear shape, arm and leg shape and length. We tape together the pattern and voila:

The dolls can be time consuming, so we try to get the details of the face and body front finished, then if there’s perimeter stitchin’ left to be done when the time is up, the kids can take needle, thread and stuffing home with them. We talk about different stitching options. These dolls can also be machine stitched if hand sewing isn’t your thing.

There are lots of felt colors to choose from and a variety of crafty flotsam and jetsam floating about my table for design (decorating) options, and you are welcome to bring your own materials!

We have a good time!

New Costume Projects!

I resolved to be more than an occasional blogger, and yet its been ages since I’ve posted. Life has gotten busy, and I’ve been spending a LOT of time at my sewing machine working on items for my Etsy shop! Most recently I’ve begun on crowns and wands:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Felt crowns are deceptive. You look at one and think, oooh, that’s easy! Then you try constructing one. And while making felt crowns is not as difficult as sewing with slippery satin fabric, say, it can get relatively complicated depending on the applique and type of crown you want to do as order of construction is very important. You can’t skip any steps! A lot of people make them with ribbon ties in back, which is lovely in theory, but tying bows on the backs of kids heads is a nightmare. Their hair gets tied into the bow, its never tight enough and slips all around, and then you have children spending more time getting their crowns fixed than playing! Which is why I opted for an elastic band in the back for good fit. So anyway, I will climb down from my felt crown soap box and move on to other exciting ventures: The girls’ version of the gnome costume!

This one came about under pressure. I received notification thatΒ  I had had a sale from my Etsy shop (woot!) for the little boys’ gnome costume. Except the buyer didn’t want what she bought. She detailed in the notes to seller that she essentially wanted a custom order, a gnome costume for her niece, which is great, just not what I was expecting! Fortunately I had made this little gingham skirt to go with my daughter’s Red Riding Hood costume that was in the size she needed and it worked PERFECTLY for a girls’ version of the gnome costume. In the future, however, I’ll make an elastic waist-ed circle skirt instead of this simple A-line. Girls like to twirl! πŸ™‚

And finally, I finished the pirate costume props.

Hmmm…. As a costume I think it needs more, but how to do more and keep it simple? Decorative buttons perhaps. And the hats fit kids ages 2-4 the best.

 

 

 

I know I talk a lot about keeping things simple and I have to say: I’m not lazy, I swear! I have to keep everything I make on a certain level of simplicity or it will become a burden, instead of a joy, to do. And I’m doing this for my pleasure and not to add more pressure to my life! Sometimes I need to remind myself of that, too.

All my costume props are available in large sets for parties and wholesale, and I’m happy to teach you how to sew your own! Contact me to set up a time to take a lesson. πŸ™‚

 

Happy Crafting!

Bleach Resist T-Shirts and Original Kid Art

My kids are SO CREATIVE, its crazy, really. I’m constantly blown away by their resourcefulness and ingenuity. They find ways to use materials that are not only surprising, but delightful. So I decided to surprise and delight them for a change!

First I pulled from their closets two plain, solid colored t-shirts. I dug around and found some plexi glass, and a small piece of chalkboard chalk that I broke into two, because, well, four and six year olds aren’t famous for their ability to share. πŸ™‚

DD sketching design on t-shirt with chalk.DS chalking his desing onto t-shirt

We’ve all had bleach mishaps. How many shirts and pants have been relegated to the “weekend wear” because a surprise bloom of bleach spots appeared mysteriously? We’re going to be using bleach in this project, don’t want any surprises!! The plexi glass is the perfect size to slip into the shirts to keep the bleach from bleeding through. Its also a very sturdy surface and was easy for the kids to work on.

Laying Bleach Over Chalk Design

The kids literally sketched with the chalk a design onto the t-shirt. Once the kids were finished with their designs it was time for mom to take over. Beware, bleach pens smell like bleach, and while the fumes were not nearly so noxious as regular bleach, I’d still have a fan blowing or a window open if I were you. The bleach “pen” is actually a tube of gelatinous bleach and so it stays where you put it. I carefully laid a line of bleach gel on all of the chalked lines of the kids’ designs. You don’t have to lay it down super thick, but you definitely want coverage. After I was done going over the outlines on both shirts, we set them aside and went off to do “something else.” About twenty minutes later we returned and the kids were SURPRISED and DELIGHTED to see the shirt was changing colors everywhere there was bleach!!!

See the color changes happening at the edges of the bleach lines... Little harder to see, but the bleach is changing the color of the shirt...

When they realized their designs were becoming a permanent part of their shirts their eyes really started to shine. Like I mentioned, we let it sit for about twenty minutes, but you can let it stand for more or less time depending on the color you want the design to be. For example, with the green shirt, if we’d rinsed it ten minutes earlier my daughter’s fairy would have been yellow instead of white. Darker colors take longer go bleach than lighter colors, so if you want white lines on a black shirt you may have to let it sit for a l-o-n-g time.

We took the shirts to the sink to rinse. Be careful. The gel starts to set and actually flakes off. You don’t want to submerge the shirt and work the bleach out that way, you want to hold the design under running water and slowly flake the gel off.

Our freshly rinsed t-shirts:

We hung them to dry, but you could have just as easily popped them in the dryer.

Hazel proudly showing off "FAIRY" designby Walter, age four

 

 

 

 

 

They are so proud of themselves! And my son has worn his shirt three days in a row… πŸ™‚

Happy Crafting!

Materials for this project:

*Bleach Pen

*Solid Color T-Shirts

*Chalkboard Chalk

*Cardboard, chip board, or some other firm surface to put in the shirt as a work surface and to keep the bleach from bleeding through.

*Imagination, creativity, and a smile.

Circus Animal Pendants

I LOVE Anthropologie. That being said, Anthropologie is so far out of my price range I resort to perusing the catalog pages in search of something to copy.Β  A few weeks ago my searching and pining paid off, I discovered this:

Amazing circus animals swaying from long, golden chains! Totally made me think of the swaying motion of the animals in parade. They also made me think, “I can do that!!”

So I gathered my supplies:

Circus Animal Supplies

And got to work:

Zebra in progress

I discovered right away that the dremel wasn’t necessary. These little guys were of soft enough plastic that I could screw the eye-hooks directly into them with my fingers, no pre-drilling required! I love the gaudy gold and sparkle of parades and circus deco so chose gold craft paint for the highlighting. I highlighted Monkey’s fur with gold,Β  and Elephant received a pedicure. Zebra and Monkey are sporting large, pendant necklaces themselves, and ankle bangles adorn Zebra and Elephant.

I buy long lengths of chain so my necklaces are whatever length I like. The clasps I use are magnetic because I have a babe in arms – should sweet babe grab my dangling temptation and yank, it pops off and no harm done. Alternatively, if you like a lengthy chain for your necklaces the magnetic clasp is nice should they get caught on something. For future crafting, tho, I like the idea of using colored leather cording.

Some of my completed friends:

This project was a lot of fun and something I look forward to doing again.