Making Butterflies

Mariposa. Mariposa. Mariposa.

All my daughter seems to talk about lately is butterflies or since she learned the word in Spanish class, Mariposa. “Say it with me mom, Ma-ri-posa.” So this week’s craft is a butterfly.

You will need:

  • Paper Towels
  • Food Coloring
  • Clothes Pins
  • Marker
  • Small Bowls
  • Water

  1. Fill the small bowls with some water and add a few drops of food coloring to make the desired color. Much to everyones surprise, we went for a light purple, light pink and yellow. This was a great lesson in creating color and how we mix colors to get other colors.
  2. Take the paper towel and fold it up. We tried a few different ways, folding it as a square, a triangle and even crumpling it up. We got a kick out of seeing how the different folds made new patterns.
  3. Dip the paper towel into the colors. Depending on how much liquid they absorb you may want to wring the towel out a bit before moving to the next color.
  4. Unfold them and put them out to dry.
  5. Take the clothes pins and with a marker make a face for the butterfly. Yes, I gave a Sharpie to a toddler.
  6. Once the paper towels are completely dry you can assemble your Mariposas. Gather the center of the paper towel to make the body.
  7. Secure it with the clothes pin.
  8. Enjoy your own butterflies.

Thanks for playing.

Window Boxes – Project Three

It was the first real warm day last weekend so the whole family took advantage of the sun to complete the first outdoor projects of the year.

My husband revived his quest for the world’s best bubble machine, much to my daughter’s delight.

My daughter’s project was to make these seeds sprout flowers overnight. Much to her disappointment I did not buy the ‘magic’ grow overnight type of flowers she had hoped for. This is a project about patience.

And my first project, replanting the window boxes. I have a front porch that gets direct sunlight for most of the day, which means more than once a season I have to replace the flowers. So after trying every type of flower, special soil and fertilizer.

I am trying something new this year.

Succulents.

I took a trip to the local garden store and bought:

Soil

Window boxes (with good drainage)

A few different styles of succulents

The planters look great and are thriving.

Cross another project off the list.

The Guest Room/Office – Project Two


Even with 24 useable hours in every day there is bound to be something that falls through the cracks. My dirty little secret is my guest room/office. It has become the room in the house I ignore as I walk down the hall. I had good intentions. As my mother always told me “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”. Guess where I arrived?

Over the years my ‘good intentions’ have turned into a room full of unfinished craft projects, clutter, and unrecognized vision. I have the ubiquitous “junk room”.This is where it stops. I am embarking to take back the room and make it into a useable space for crafts, an office, and a guest room I can be proud of.

Here is what I am starting with:

  • A Desk
  • A Bed
  • A Closet
  • Bookshelves

A desk that has no workable space and shelves cluttered with memories and mismatched things.

A closet so full of things, ‘tetrised’ in there. Removing one scrap of paper the whole thing would collapse.

My bookshelf complete with the remnants of college curriculum. Books never read. The complete Harry Potter and Twilight series, more dirty secrets. It is important to note the craft projects spilling from the bin on the floor. Yet another failed attempt to organize the room. Also I will finally have to find a better place for the front part of my daughter’s crib and the long since used baby gate. How did I let it get this bad?

Finally, the bed, that is too big for this space. It did fit years ago…..

Let’s start making some lists.

Chalk Wall – Project One

I decided this was the year to get projects done. One of my numerous ‘To Do’ lists. I started with what I knew would be a victory to keep me moving, The Chalk Wall. I installed it for a few reasons. Great place to do the week’s menu and to do list, did I mention I LOVE lists. It would replace the easel that was taking up precious real estate in my dining room. Win. Win. Win.

I find the best way to start is finding your brother in law, who has already installed a much larger chalk wall in his own home, get detailed instructions, borrow all the things you need, and learning from his mistakes. If this does not apply to you proceed on:

1. If you have textured walls you will need to lightly sand them down to get a more even surface.  You are not looking to make the wall completely flat at this point. I used a small electric hand sander for this part of the project. Ensure that while sanding you wear a mask, safety first.

2. You can then use a All Purpose Joint Compound to even out the surface. I used these large spackle knives to apply the compound to the wall. When applying the compound it does not need to be flat on the first application as you will be sanding it later in the process. Allow the compound to dry per the manufacturers instructions.

3. Once the first coating is dry, you can spend countless days trying to fill in the smaller uneven parts. Per my brother’s advice, “This is like frosting a cake, just call it at some point.”. Again wait for it to completely dry.

4. After you have completed leveling the wall you will sand it down. You will want the wall      to be completely smooth at this point. I used a hand sander for this. Again, safety first so wear a mask. We used a low dust product but it still creates quite a mess. Best done without the assistance of your children and prior to your husband steam cleaning the floors.Sanding Wall

5. I brushed the remaining dust off the wall and then taped off the wall for painting. You will then apply a coat, or two, of a primer, I used a latex based paint. Allowing it to dry per the manufaturers recommendations. Try to keep the paint strokes as even as possible. Base coat

6. I then used Hudson chalkboard paint which comes in a variety of colors. I went with the standard elementary school chalk board color. It took three coats of paint. You will then need it to set for 5 days, or a lifetime to a three year old, prior to using the wall.

http://www.hudsonpaint.com/chalkboard-paint-colors/

7. Enjoy. And the first victory of my project list is accomplished.

* It is important to note to use just regular chalk not the sidewalk chalk on the wall. I use a wet towel to wipe it off after use.