Posted in Joy

My Fairy Gardens

So far, this is a cool and wet spring here in northern Utah. With all the rain, some occasional snow showers, and a couple of hail storms, I’ve only managed to get outside to weed my tulip bed and set up my fairy gardens on my front porch for my craft girls to enjoy when they visit.

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Lil Lil told me she’s spring cleaning her cottage and guest cottage.

In fact, my SURF Club (Sweet, Unique, aRtsy Friends) is in the middle of a combined project this month. Each girl is contributing their creativity to two fairy gardens which our club will give to two grandmothers in our community. So far, each girl has made cards and painted rocks. This week, each girl will add her handprint to the outside of each fairy garden pot. I’ll post the final results when we are finished next week.

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You’ve probably noticed my blogging has slowed down. I am busy living life! My husband and I have decided to sell our house and in preparation for that, the kids and I have been decluttering, room by room. We have been donating or selling items we no longer need/want and packing other items in boxes and containers and moving them to a storage unit. It’s very time consuming. It feels great to declutter and simplify our lives. So many times in our moving around we have lived simplistically and it’s so freeing. Our material possessions really can tie us down.

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Sparkleberry has a wishing well in her backyard.

Our plan is to sell this house and buy an RV to live in for a year or so. I’ve always wanted to road-school (even though living in Peru and Canada has given us some world-school opportunities) and this is my last chance. I don’t blog much about our homeschooling now because there’s not much to show and tell in these high school years. Marcus owns his education and he’s very responsible. He loves the freedom homeschooling gives him. For me, it’s so nice to have him home and I love our morning time driving to and from Seminary (that is a youth scripture study class he attends in person) because we listen to audio books. We just finished Journey to the Fringe by Kelli Swofford Nielsen. If you are looking for an adventure and fantasy novel, this is a great one.

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Dew Drop takes care of the fairy playground and treehouse. She also feeds Halle.

My long term plan is to buy some land, build a house we can pay off quickly, and I have a dream to start my own craft class/party business. I’ve really enjoyed crafting with my SURF Club. We’ve literally created some wonderful memories together. 🙂

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Clover’s garden attracts birds and critters. 

♥ I do hope we get some sun here soon! How is spring shaping up for you? Do you have some fairies living in your gardens? Thanks so much for stopping by! ♥

 

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Posted in Craft Corner

Kid Craft- Hobbit Doors

This week, in honor of Tolkien Reading Day, which was March 25th, my SURF Club girls designed hobbit doors.

For this craft I supplied:

  • cake boards (these were donated to me, but they can be found in hobby stores in the baking section)
  • markers
  • construction paper
  • scissors
  • glue sticks
  • embellishments, such as buttons, sequins, die cuts, etc. (optional)

When I craft with my girls, I give them a theme and the supplies and maybe an instruction or idea, but otherwise I let them freely create as their hearts desire. Of course, I do have to put a limit on the embellishments because some of my cute girls would use up all my craft supplies in one go if I let them!

For this craft, most of my girls started by coloring the white side of their cake boards with markers. After that, some cut construction paper to look like bricks, stones, and the doorknob.

I just have to show off my daughter’s hobbit doors. She decorated each side of her cake board.

♥ Are you ready for April? We’ve had a lot of rain and snow showers here in Utah lately. I’m hoping there are some drier days next week so I can get outside and weed my flower beds. My crocuses are popping out of the ground and I’m excited for blossoms to appear on my trees. ♥

 

Posted in Craft Corner

The Great Ladybug Challenge

I am so excited to participate in this fun and unique challenge/exhibition! This challenge was inspired by Our Little Red House (Check out her beautiful ladybug beanbags!) and begun by Kathy’s Crafts and things, who painted the cutest ladybug rock.

I’d like to thank Starrcreative.ca for nominating me. She made a wonderful ladybug pin cushion I adore! Actually, she nominated me and my craft girls, also know as the SURF Club (Sweet, Unique, aRtsy Friends). These are several of my neighbor girls, ranging in ages from 3-16, and we meet up in my Crafting Cove (my beach themed craft room) and make all kinds of creations together, from lollipops to nature journals to penguins, and now, ladybugs!

Here are the rules:

  1. Thank the person/s who tagged you and create a link to their blog.
  2. Use “THE GREAT LADYBUG CHALLENGE!!!” logo banner on your post and copy and paste the rules on your post.
  3. Add a picture of your ladybug creation/s and maybe a how-to of how you did it and the supplies used.
  4. Create a link to Our Little Red House blog, so people can be inspired by her beautiful ladybugs! And check out her blog, she makes really neat projects!
  5. Tag 1 – 5 people that you think would be interested in making ladybugs and create links to their blogs.
  6. Notify your tagged people that you’ve tagged them through social media or in the comments on their blogs.
  7. This is a wide open ladybug making exercise! You can make them however way you want, it’s not limited to sewing them. Use whatever is your favorite crafting materials to make them. And you can even write poems or stories about ladybugs or paint pictures of them. Or make cards featuring ladybugs. Or you could even make ladybug cupcakes or cookies! Use whatever creative medium you are comfortable with!
  8. There is no time limit! Ladybug making should be relaxing, not stressful!
  9. Even if you weren’t tagged, feel free to participate in making ladybugs! Tag others and create links to their blogs so people can follow the links to see the ladybugs!

♥♥♥

My SURF Club made a multitude of ladybugs from a variety of materials. This first group was made from tiles. I was at Lowe’s one day with my husband and scored on a sheet of tiles on clearance for less than $1.50. I knew I could make good use of them.

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One of these ladybirds is mine.

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Sammie's Ladybug

For this project the girls used the following supplies:

  • White diamond tiles
  • Small black diamond tiles (these came with the white tiles)
  • Paint and paint brushes
  • Craft glue
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • Small googly eyes
  • Other embellishments such as small buttons, pearl gems, black twine, black chenille stems, glitter, etc.
  • Magnet buttons (We hot-glued these on the underside so they could be ladybird magnets).
  • Scissors

This second group of ladybugs was made from egg carton cups:

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Egg carton, paint, pom poms, tiny buttons, small googly eyes, stick on gems, black chenille stems

And then we have some one-of-a-kind ladybugs:

These ladybirds were made from bottle lids, an egg carton flat, a ladybug inspired key, little jars, and a sea shell. Pretty imaginative if you ask me!

Two of my girls designed homes for their ladybugs:

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This home was made from an empty lemon juice container.
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This adorable bug house was made from an empty cocoa container and half a t.p. roll.

And last, but not least, I found a ladybug coloring page online which some of my girls colored:

 

And there you have it! This was a really fun craft for my girls and they were excited to take part of this challenge. I hope some of my readers will also take part.

My nominations:

  •  Becky at Gazelle Sentiments. Becky makes the most amazing cards! Maybe she will delight us with a ladybug card.
  •  Patty at WhimziVille. Patty has the most creative ways of repurposing and upcycling.
  •  You! If you’d like to take part in this challenge, please do! We’d love to see more ladybugs, of all kinds!

♥ Thanks for stopping by! I hope your week is going great. ♥

Posted in Craft Corner

Welcome Spring Crafts (Flowers in Pots, Butterflies & Cards)

My SURF Club girls welcomed spring in this week with two crafts and some watercolor artwork. S.U.R.F. stands for Sweet, Unique, aRtsy Friends. This is a group of some of my neighbor girls who join me for crafting fun every week. They range in ages from 3 to 17.

Aren’t these flowers darling?

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For this craft I supplied the girls with the following:

  • pre-cut paper flowers, printed on cardstock
  • markers
  • green chenille stems (I happened to have four different greens)
  • flat wood craft sticks (optional)
  • little flower pots/cups (from the Dollar Tree)
  • river rocks
  • moss
  • scotch tape

I tried to find these flowers online, but I had no luck. I already had them on hand from an Easter printout I used at church years ago. Notice how the faces of the flowers are pentagon shaped. That allows for the petals to be folded in or out.

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First the girls colored their flowers. Then they created their stems. There were two different ways the girls created the flower stems. One was by winding green chenille stems around a craft stick, which gives a thicker, fuzzier stem that is unbending. I told the girls to leave a little space at the top of the stick to attach the flower, using scotch tape or a drop of glue. The other way was to wind a chenille stem around a pencil or marker to create a coiled stem (see photo above). The flowers were then “planted” into the cup/pot using river rocks and moss and scotch tape to secure them.

For the butterfly craft I supplied:

  • butterfly die cuts (bought from Michael’s and other craft stores)
  • pom poms in a variety of colors and sizes
  • craft glue
  •  markers (some of my girls used watercolor paints instead)
  • embellishments such as stickers and confetti
  • scrapbook paper (optional)
  • craft punches (optional)

I had two different butterfly die cuts because I had some prior, bought years ago (the one on the right with the antennas), and knowing I would run out, I found the other shape (on the left) from Michael’s. For each butterfly I had the girls start by gluing pom poms down the middle for the head and “body” (I think it’s officially called an abdomen if you want to get scientific). I had tiny pom poms for the butterfly pictured left since that particular die cut featured a skinny middle. Then the girls decorated the wings any way they wanted. Some of the girls glued their butterflies onto scrapbook paper for a background.

My girls love to make cards so they each created a spring scene on the front of blank cards, using watercolor paints.

For this project, I supplied the girls with the following:

  • plain white cards with envelopes (from any craft store; I got these in a box of 50 from Walmart’s craft section)
  • watercolor paints and paint brushes
  • water in little cups
  • green construction paper, scissors, and glue sticks (for grass; optional)
  • spring stickers
  • markers/colored pencils

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Many of the girls started out by painting pretty blue skies on the front of their cards. For some of the younger girls, I had pre-cut strips of green construction paper, the length of their cards, and showed them how to use their scissors to cut into it without going all the way through (I hope that makes sense!) to create grass. Then the girls added stickers and their own artwork to finish their spring scenes.

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♥ Thank you for visiting my blog today! I hope you’re seeing signs of spring where you live and that it inspires you to create something and get outside in nature. If you make these crafts with your kids, I’d love to hear about it. AND stay tuned for the SURF club’s ladybug craft reveal which is part of The Great Ladybug Challenge. I hope all of my creative readers will join in! Check it out and let’s keep the fun going. Bloggers may create ladybugs any way they wish, through art, photography, crafting, etc. Anyone is welcome to participate. Until then, I hope everyone enjoys their weekend. ♥

Posted in This and That

One of a Million

This is an insightful message from my son. He is my hero.

Yo-yoing With Zed

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Quite recently there was news that a study had revealed there to be more than twice as many people living with MS than previously thought (https://www.nationalmssociety.org/About-the-Society/MS-Prevalence). My dad was the one who first sent me a link to a news article talking about it and soon the news was popping up in my social media feeds, and I found myself reading through a few of the comments. One of the most common was the simple phrase- “I’m one of a million.”

Now most of my life I have heard the term “one in a million” in regards to being special, unique and rare and I’ve thrown the term out loosely when talking with friends without ever really thinking about it. Which definitely means I had never thought of being one in a million. And suddenly I find myself being not just 1 in around 400,000, but one…

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Posted in Snippet Corner

Snippets of My Life- Hygge Style

Greetings from Montana where it is still cold, but not as cold as it has been. Today it’s a whopping 20 degrees! As I mentioned in my last post, Marcus and I are here visiting my husband this month, and through the first week of March. We are definitely living the minimalist lifestyle here, which I love, and for me it feels like I’m on vacation, although in a hermit sort of way.

Here is the afternoon view from the front door

A blogging and homeschooling friend introduced me to a new word which could describe my cozy, relaxed life here: Hygge. I have no idea how to pronounce it, haha, but according to dictionary.com it means, and I quote:

Candles, comfy socks and a throw, good company, maybe a little wine or cocoa … gotta cultivate that hygge.
Hygge is a Danish cultural concept and value of warm, happy coziness and togetherness, which people make time for in everyday life. Outside of Denmark, hygge is commonly referred to as “the good feeling you get from a well-curated, cozy, and aesthetically pleasing environment.

Minus the wine, because I don’t drink alcohol, it’s pretty accurate. I sip hot cocoa every morning and hang out in yoga pants and fuzzy socks all. day. long. I even have an electric throw blanket. If the weather was warmer, Marcus and I would be taking walks in the neighborhood, but it’s just too cold to venture outside. We’ve become hygge hermits. 🙂

I start each morning with this devotional journal. A sweet friend gave it to me for Christmas. I’ve never used a journal like this before and I’m enjoying every page. I start out by looking up, and listening to the worship song or hymn at the top of the page. I’ve recognized a few of the songs, but most are new to me so that’s fun.

I am also in the middle of two Bible studies. One is a year study called, Come Follow Me. It’s a beautiful New Testament curriculum by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The artwork is stunning. Besides my own study throughout the week, as a family we have a Skype study session every Sunday after everyone’s home from church. 🙂

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Stained glass window in Nauvoo Illinois Temple, by Tom Holdman
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Sermon on the Mount, by Jorge Cocco

The second Bible study is an eight week study I’m doing with my friend, Audria. It’s called Altogether Beautiful. I am at the end of the third week, ready to start the fourth week. I’m enjoying this study as well.

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I watched Marcus’ English class with him this morning. He is reading Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice and today his teacher showed some clips from the play. I enjoy watching/listening to his history and English classes. In history today he was learning about the Red Scare. This school year is going smoothly for us. We are thinking of shaking it up next year by road schooling. I’d love to hear any reader’s tips for full time RV living, especially with a teenager. This is something we are seriously exploring at this time.

This hygge life gives me lots of time for reading and binge watching. One show we’ve recently discovered on Netflix (I have a like-hate relationship with Netflix, but my son pays for the subscription so we use it moderately) is called Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. I’m getting some handy tips for decluttering my home when I return next month. ♥ We just finished watching the miniseries, John Adams. This is considered fairly historically accurate. We’ve owned it for years, but never watched it ’til now. Go figure. I think John Adams sacrificed, as did his family, a lot for this country. I’d like to get to know more about other founding fathers. I have one book waiting to be read about George Washington. ♥ I’ve just begun reading a huge book about education in Colonial America. It’s going to take me forever to read, haha.

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Marcus bought me this fun 3-D beach art from Hobby Lobby, for Valentine’s Day. 

♥  I hope all is well with you. Is it snowy and cold where you live? I can’t wait for spring! Let me know a snippet from your life. ♥

Posted in Craft Corner

Valentine Kid Craft Party

Greetings from ice cold Montana! As I type this, it is -1 outside. Brrr! I’m here for five weeks visiting my husband who currently works here. Marcus is here, too, and we are especially thankful at this time for the freedoms and blessings of homeschooling. 🙂 It’s so nice not to have to get permission (or penalized) from a school to be together as a family.

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This heart craft was just for the older girls. I felt they needed an additional craft.

I couldn’t leave before giving my sweet craft girls a Valentine’s party. 19 of my 23 girls participated. I pulled it off with the help of my oldest daughter, Darcie, and the oldest of my craft girls, Sammie. Thanks, Sammie!

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My girls made Valentine unicorns, heart shaped bird feeders, Jolly Rancher lollipops, old fashioned Valentine cards, and paper plate hearts. Most of these ideas came from Pinterest. What would we do without Pinterest?

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I did a lot of prep work for this party because organization is key! I pre-cut and hole-punched paper plates; Darcie crushed up Jolly Rancher candies, by color/flavor; I cut foam shapes for the unicorns; we set up each craft station with the necessary supplies.

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For these old fashioned Valentine cards, I provided the following materials:

  • Heart shaped doilies in three sizes (these are inexpensive and come in a package of 20-24 from craft and dollar stores)
  • Glue sticks
  • Heart stickers
  • Markers
  • Pink cardstock

In the past I divided my craft girls into smaller groups (randomly) and they moved from craft to craft that way, but this time I let the girls move freely and the only stipulation was that there could be no more than five girls at a craft station at a time. This worked beautifully! We also provided a play space with games and coloring pages.

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Excuse some of my blurry photos! I have to be a quick photographer at these craft parties.

I kept the girls organized by providing each with a gift bag to hold their creations. As soon as a craft was finished, it was placed inside the owner’s bag before she moved onto another craft. When moms came to pick their daughters up, these bags were ready to go.

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Darcie had the idea to give each girl a stamp, either on their wrist or a card, to show they had completed a craft AND cleaned up after themselves. Once each girl had all five to six stamps (one craft was only for the older girls), she could show it to Darcie for a Rice Krispy treat. The girls thought the stamps were fun, and they really did help to keep the craft flow going.

Sammie headed up a surprise for me, a giant Valentine’s Day card which all the girls signed. Awww! 🙂

♥ This was a three hour party. We served the girls pizza (with grapes, carrots, olives, and pink lemonade) before we started crafting. When one of the moms came to pick her daughter up, she asked me why I do this and how I got started. I told her I’ve always been a crafty mom and when I moved there I became friends with one of the moms of four of my craft girls and I started inviting all of her kids over to make crafts at my kitchen table. Then, one December, my daughters and I decided it would be fun to host a Christmas craft party for my friend’s girls, and a couple of neighbor girls we knew. It was so much fun for us that we started hosting more seasonal/holiday craft parties and invited more little neighbor girls to join in the fun. And here we are, 23 girls later with a craft room and a craft club that meets regularly. ♥