Saturday, May 28, 2011

Vintage Find & Inspiration - Child's Vintage Animal Quilt

We recently visited family in Minneapolis. While spending a glorious weekend at my sister Lisa's house, our daughters slept under this adorable vintage handmade quilt. Lisa's dad married my mom when I was 19, so I have never seen this child's quilt. I thought I would share it with all of you, as inspiration for your next children's project. These cuddly critters would look cute on curtains, appliqued onto t-shirts, painted on a bedroom wall, doodled and framed, the possibilities are endless...

...enjoy, and please let me know if you use these in a project. I would be happy to feature it here.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Magnet Winner in the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway

Wow, I had 191 entries in my giveaway! That is awesome! In order to win I asked entrants to "please leave me a comment below telling me the name and URL of your favourite blog. If you don't have a favourite blog then please tell me the name of your favourite craft book, children's book, or cookbook." Most people did indeed tell me their favourites and I have been having a ball looking at the blogs and have made a list of books to find at the library. Thanks to everyone so much!

Also, I was asked for my source for the images on the bird magnets. The vintage bird engravings are available through Piddix.

I used to have this magnet project here on my blog, but I wrote a tutorial for another blog that wanted me to only write for them. They have not posted the tutorial yet but I will link to it here when they do.

Ok, so now, the winner of my giveaway... Esther! Her favourite blog is Superlative Sewing. I have sent you an email, Esther, so you can claim your prize! Thanks to everyone who entered...

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Blog Giveaway - Sew Mama Sew

It has been awhile since I hosted a giveaway... Two years ago I hosted one in conjunction with Sew Mama Sew's annual giveaway, but last year I missed it. This year I remembered! If you are a fan of giveaways I encourage you to go to the Sew Mama Sew blog for your chance to win HUNDREDS of wonderful handmade items as well as supplies. Many items being given away are sewn but many more are not. There truly is something for everyone.

As for my giveaway, I am offering a dozen handmade bottle cap magnets featuring vintage illustrations of birds, like ones pictured above. I am also offering 24 pre cut images and instructions on how to make your own bottle cap magnets. If you are the winner you will be asked whether you would like to receive Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland, Western, kaleidoscope, or environmentally themed images. You will need to supply your own bottle caps, adhesive and magnets for completing your magnet project. These magnets make great gifts, as they can be personalized. They are also a great way to save some bottle caps from the landfill while giving them a second life as something useful.

In order to win please leave me a comment below telling me the name and URL of your favorite blog. If you don't have a favorite blog then please tell me the name of your favorite craft book, children's book, or cookbook. Please include your email address so I can notify you if you are the winner (if you do not want to leave your email address please check back on May 26th to see if you are the winner). You must enter by 11:59 PM on May 25th. If you would like a second chance to win, please Twitter about my giveaway. If you like my blog, please consider becoming a follower, but this is not required for a chance to win. On midnight of May 25th I will draw a winner using a random number generator. Your magnets will be shipped on May 30th. I am willing to ship this prize internationally. Thanks very much for visiting my blog... good luck!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

365 Days With Kiddos - #32 - Play Hopscotch

Can you believe that in our neck of the woods it is still snowing once and awhile? When we are lucky enough to have bare, dry pavement we like to play hopscotch. The combination of sidewalk chalk, numbers, and exercise make for educational and giggle-inducing fun. Hopscotch screams childhood to me, so I was surprised to learn that it was originally used as a military training exercise during the early Roman Empire in ancient Britain. Wearing field packs while clad in full armour, the foot soldiers took the games seriously in an effort to improve their foot work. Apparently the courts were over 100 feet long, something that might be fun to replicate someday. I can see giving that a whirl on the sidewalks of Banff with a bunch of local kids. Why stop at 100 feet, let's make it 1000! Anyway, children began to mimic the soldiers by drawing their own boards, making up rules, and soon all of Europe was in on the fun.

All you and your kids need to make a board is a piece of chalk. You can even make your own using the sidewalk chalk tutorial I wrote for Craftbits. Your grid can be whatever combination of single and double (side by side) squares you like. You can check here for some images to inspire you. One variation we like to use is to write letters instead of numbers inside our squares.

Here are the rules to hopscotch, for players of two or more, thanks to mmesichaskville by Amazon.
1. Draw a hopscotch pattern on the ground or use masking tape on a floor and number each square in order. Each player has a marker such as a stone, shell, bean bag, etc.
2. Stand at the beginning and toss your marker in the first square. Hop over square 1 (you must skip any square that has a marker in it) to square 2.
3. Hop through the grid on one foot unless there are two squares side-by-side, then you jump landing with one foot in each square.
4. Hop to the end, jump and turn around 180° without leaving the grid, and hop back.
5. Pause in square 2 to pick up the marker, and out.
6. Toss the marker in square 2, hop through the same way, then square 3 and so on.

You're out if:
• Your marker fails to land in the right square.
• You hop on a space that has a marker in it.
• You step on a line.
• You lose your balance when bending over to pick up the marker and put a second hand or foot down or hop outside the grid.
• You hop into a single space with both feet.

You then place your marker in the square where you will resume playing and the next player begins.

The player who is the first to hop all the way through the grid wins. I try to minimize the competition among my kids so we focus more on the fun than on who is the winner.

Do you and your kids play hopscotch? Do you play it using the rules above or do you have your own variations? Please leave a comment below if you want to share how your family likes to play...

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

365 Days With Kiddos - #31 - Jump into Puddles

Time to jump back into blogging with both feet. I feel badly that I have not been writing on a regular basis. Life is like that, eh? My mind is often on my blog but it is not always possible to make the time to write. I have been creating a lot of new art and have been travelling to see family all month. I saw one of my good friends last week and she had some nice things to say both about my blog and about 365 Days With Kiddos. It is time to add some more...

#31 - Jump into Puddles. Go ahead. Jump in with both feet. Put on your Wellies, rain boots, rubber boots, whatever you and the kiddos call them, and go jump in a puddle. If it is warm enough, go barefoot. If you are like us, there are many puddles around from the melting snow. Or you may have to wait until after a rain storm. Rather than dread the rain welcome it as it turns everything green and waters the gardens. Then, jump, splash, and play in the puddles!

Come on, Moms and Dads, Grandmas and Grandpas, get in the puddles with your kiddos, instead of telling them to stay out of them. Pretend that you are walking on water, or play a game that depends upon the size of the puddle, such as pretending to a frog crossing a big lake, or to be a large animal stepping over ponds. Watch your child experience pure joy as they splash knowing that it is ok. Turn a leaf into a boat. Throw pebbles into the puddle. Experiment with nature items to see if they sink or if they float. Talk about the water. There will be plenty of giggles, and when you are all done, go inside, have a warm bath, and draw a picture of the fun you had, or maybe write poem.

How do you have fun in puddles? I would love to hear your ideas. Please leave a comment below.

Before I sign off, here are a few good books about puddles...

Mud Puddle was the first book ever written by Robert Munsch.