Saturday, July 28, 2012

Paper Airplane Races

Do you remember flying paper airplanes as a kid?  Folding them different ways and seeing who could come up with the best airplane?  Well, me and the boys checked out a book from the library that taught us the physics behind the fun.  Today we thought we would have a little paper airplane experiment and learn the different ways that lift, thrust, drag, and gravity effect the flight of the airplane.  Of course they don't remember them quite in those terms, but they did learn what makes the airplane go higher or nose dive, what makes it loop and what makes it go straight.  Elementary physics - check. :)

Just in case you can't remember how to fold a paper airplane here is a little refresher in pictures.  I think I missed one step in the pictures, but hopefully this will get you on track so you can have your own paper airplane physics lesson fun.

Note, the pilot in my son's plane?  They also learned about how far he could fly before autoeject takes place.  :)

We made our planes out of heavy duty cardstock because we wanted to anticipate the nose dives and hopefully save the plane for a little while.  After doing several run throughs with the plane folded like the above pictures we made a few modifications including adding a paperclip and trying it closer to the nose versus middle versus rear; folding up the sides of the wings; and cutting slits in the back.  We tried the rear slits folded up and folded down for different effects.

Cheap, easy, educational fun at its best.

**Dragonfly Designs Giveaway ends 8/2!  Don't miss out.**

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Super Mario Matchup Game With Free Printable

I'm not really sure how this idea came to me at this point.  Somehow in the midst of redoing the boys' room in a Super Mario theme this game idea just popped up, and the next thing you know I am working on it at my kitchen table.  It is a little twist on the old game, Memory, we all played as a child.  The only real difference aside from the pictures is that if you get one of the "bad guy" cards you lose a turn.

If you would like to make your own Super Mario Matchup Game this is what you will need:
  • foam board
  • printer & paper
  • craft knife such as Xacto and scissors
  • decoupaging medium like Modge Podge
  • Mario Game Printable
The first thing you need to do is print out the free printable from the link above.  Then you are going to cut all of the images out into squares roughly the size of the question mark boxes.  Next you need to use your craft knife to cut out your squares from the foam board.  If the edges are rough you can use your scissors to straighten them some.

Now you will glue all of the question mark boxes onto one side of all of those squares.  I believe there are 18 pairs in all.  The character squares will go on the opposite side of all of these squares so each one is two-sided.  Set up an assembly line and enlist your children to help cut out the squares (using safety scissors) and glue the paper to the squares.  Crafting knives are extremely sharp, so I would advise you do that part, though.  When all of the squares have had a chance to dry you will put a top coat of your decoupaging medium onto both sides of the squares (letting one side dry before coating the second side.)  The red color tends to bleed some so make sure to only do one light coat across it.

When they have all dried it is time for your kids to have fun!  And they aren't even glued to a video game, woohoo!

P.S.  Don't forget to check out our giveaway for some awesome handcrafted jewelry!  Entries end August 2!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Dragonfly Designs Giveaway!!

I am so excited to be hosting my first giveaway here on Pocketful of Dreams!  We have been growing by leaps and bounds and to thank you, my friend, Sonya at Dragonfly Designs is giving away a $25 gift certificate for your choice of jewelry from her shop! 

Dragonfly Designs is a new and rapidly growing jewelry shop that features unique, earth-inspired, handcrafted jewelry. Each piece is constructed with glass beads, high quality hooks/clasps, and thicker wiring, making their products virtually unbreakable.

Their inventory is growing daily.  Here are just a few of the options they have offered recently.

And that is not all, if you are not the lucky winner, Dragonfly Designs offers 10% off just for liking their Facebook page!  Good luck!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, July 22, 2012

When Life Gives You Lemons

As some of you may have noticed I have recently added to my etsy shop.  I have been doing etched glass mirrors and such, and started doing some tree of life stuff for custom orders.  Well, I had several custom orders come in this week, and one of the mirrors was giving me a particularly large amount of trouble.  No matter what I did the thing just did not want to etch properly.  I was not very pleased with the way it turned out so I set it aside.  I somehow resisted the urge to chunk it in the garbage despite my extreme frustration at that point.  After completing another tree of life (which turned out beautifully I might add) and after letting the mirror sit for two days, I looked at it in a little different light.  Go ahead and cue the spot lights and the angel singing in the background, because I had an idea.  Shocking.  I decided rather than waste this I would just paint the frame with the off white paint I used for the Super Mario TV Stand.  Add a little scrapbook paper, and turn it into something completely different.

This is what the mirror frame looked like before...

Pretty enough in its own right, but why not capitolize on my own misfortunate.  In this case, when life gives you lemons..... make extremely early Christmas decorations. 

Some time later remind me to tell you about how God spoke to me through this incident and how I learned a little bit more about myself in the process.  In the meantime, though, I think it turned out pretty cute don't you?  What do you do when you have majorly frustrating craft disasters? 

Friday, July 20, 2012

Bird Feeders

I signed the kids up for summer reading at our library and during our weekly library trip I decided to pick up a book on birds that are indigenous to our area.  It's just a simple field guide with lots of pictures to help you identify what you are seeing.  We have the most excellent vantage point to see the birds as our kitchen sits high up and there are trees right outside our sitting area window.  We have seen so many kinds of birds living here that I had never even noticed before, so I decided the kids might like to make some little bird feeders to hang on the limbs right outside our window and watch for the birds.  (Yes, I do know it is the wrong season technically for bird feeders.)  I thought it would be neat to do this project twice a year to see the different types of birds we get during warm and cold weather.  The field guide also tells us which birds are year round, migratory, summer, or winter birds for our area.

All you need is:
  • an empty toilet paper or paper towel roll tube
  • peanut butter
  • bird seed
  • field guide for local birds

Coat the paper towel roll tubes with peanut butter all the way around.


Then roll the coated tube in bird seed or mash the seeds into the peanut butter.

Now just find a nice viewing area and keep your book in that area.

See how good that view is??  Unfortunately, we still have yet to see any birds feeding.  We have had bad thunderstorms every night this week and it started pouring about an hour after we put our feeders up.  They are still up, but they haven't been needing as much to eat I'm sure as the worms are probably plentiful with this wet weather.  This may not be the best time of year in retrospect, but I think my middle child is learning a lesson in patience from this.  He has probably been the most excited of the kids about seeing the birds, too.

The birds finally came.  This is a tufted titmouse.  Bet you never heard of that before.  ;)


Monday, July 16, 2012

Super Mario TV Stand Transformation

I don't know how many of you are Craigslist junkies, but it totally rocks.  I have sold many things on there myself, and I recently found this TV stand for the boys' room makeover for less than half what you would spend in a store.

Nothing incredibly fancy, but it is for a kid's room so in my opinion you don't really want anything too fancy.  It is particle board and wood veneer, but it was still in good condition with a few scratches here and there.  Black would look great in our living room, but it just did not fit in their room, so I decided just to paint it and turn it into something the boys would themselves love.  This is going to be a big space saver in the long run.

The first thing I did was take a picture from the web like so...

And used this for my inspiration.  See the little whitish color line across the top of the bricks... black grout, and reddish/orangish/brownish bricks?  Well, I made my own version and got this...

I basically just free handed the bricks with a foam paint brush.  I even like how the streaks from the brush are in the brick.  I think it has a cool effect.

Then in the open spaces to the side of the drawer I wanted something else to fill in, so I bought a couple plastic containers, ie. Rubbermade, or Sterilite type.  I got back on the web and google image searched for the Super Mario question mark box and saved it and sized the image to what I needed to fit the box.  Then I cut it out and decoupaged it to the end of the box like so...

At this point it still wasn't dry.... it isn't really as streaky as it looks there.  Super easy project for all those toy bins your kids have hiding everywhere... Yeah, don't try to pretend you don't have them.

I still don't have it in the boys' room yet, so it hasn't been filled with their books and Legos, etc., but here is the finished product.

I am thinking I might possibly buy new hardware, and change out the drawer pulls.  I saw some really cute ones on Etsy!  Did I say it was finished??  :)

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Pattern Testing

This feels like it has been one nonproductive week.  Every project I have started has ended up taking longer than I anticipated, because one thing went wrong or another.  Please tell me I am not the only one who has weeks like this?  I was starting to think I had lost my crafty touch.  Starting this week full of projects has got to be better.  I started it off today with a bang by completing a pattern testing for Petite Kids Boutique on the cutest little sundress that she is calling the Haven sundress.  I'm betting you will see it in her shop in the next week or so.  It really was an easy pattern to follow and the results should just speak for themself.  ADORABLE!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Let's Get Social

Poofy Cheeks

As a part of's Get Social (Media) Party I wanted to tell you a little about how you can keep up with Pocketful of Dreams on the web.  You can follow via Google Friends Connect, Bloglovin, and Linky followers.  You can also add me to your RSS feed. 

I am on Facebook - Click Here

I am on Pinterest - Click Here

I have an Etsy shop - Click Here - that will have new listings in about a week.  Check back soon!

Check me out.  I'm just the social butterfly.  :)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

God's Promise

I know it is a story we learn as children, about Noah and the Ark.  How God sent the flood waters to destroy his creation because they had turned so far from Him and were corrupt.  For 40 days and 40 nights the rain continued until all the earth even to the tallest mountain tops were submerged.  Hard to imagine what life would be like trapped inside this massive vessel filled with livestock, and the same people day in and day out.  My kids fight enough on long car rides, much less 40 days and 40 nights!  This makes me thankful for rainbows.

We look at the world today and all the evil that exists in it, and surely we deserve the total destruction that occurred in Noah's day, but God promised Noah that he would never again send a flood to destroy the entire world at once.  He paints the sky every time it rains as a reminder to us.  I took these shots today with my phone.  It was the most perfect rainbow I have seen in a long time.

Genesis 9:12-16 (NIV)
12 And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: 13 I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. 16 Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.”

Monday, July 9, 2012

Invincible Star Gamer Hooks!

We are in the middle of a little redecorating and decluttering of the boys' room.  After 4 years in this house they decided it was time for something new.  They want Super Mario which is fine with me being a child of the 80's and all.  The room is far from complete, but I do have a project I would like to share with you in the meantime.

We found these great wooden star hangers at Hobby Lobby which seemed perfect to me and the kids loved the idea of painting them themselves. 

What would make kids love this more?  Glow-in-the-dark paint of course!  This is what we used.  It can be used on fabric or mixed up to 25% with craft paint, so there are tons of fun options of things to make with this stuff!

This was a great opportunity for me to teach the kids how to paint, and not a single drop ended up on their clothes!

Now we have these great little star hooks to hang on their wall.  They have decided it would be a great place to hang their Nintendo DS game cases and that sounds like an awesome idea to me!!  Maybe I will spend less time having to help them track them down before we hit the road next time.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Birdhouse Wreath Alternative

Well, now that the 4th is behind us and I never got around to making my patriotic wreath or any of the great flags or candle holders or banners that I saw around bloggy world I figured it was time to at least bring some summer to my front porch.  I didn't want to make a wreath, though.  I wanted something different completely.  Looking for inspiration I went to the craft store and walked around until I found myself in the unfinished wood aisle.  30% off signs no less, too, so that was very encouraging.  This is what I came up with....

I bought the unfinished wood birdhouse and had my husband cut an opening in the top.  I then decoupaged it with scrapbook paper and painted the top to match.  I created my little floral arrangement from gerbera daisies.  They are some of my all-time favorite flowers, but I always end up killing them, because I forget to water them, so this solves that problem, too.  :)

Aren't they nice and cheery colors, too?  This says summer to me in a major way.  The problem came to how we would hang it because it is a little too top heavy for a normal door hanger, and having a metal door rather than wood we didn't want to go banging holes all into it, so I came up with the idea of heavy weight magnets.  They worked like a charm!!  We just superglued those things onto the back and voila!  The birdhouse does not move an inch when the door is opened or closed.  Awesome!  And no holes in the door!

The little bird was my son's idea, and it worked out perfect to cover the floral styrofoam block in the opening.  Smart kid I have there.  :)

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Kid Art T-Shirts

I hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July!  We took the kids to see Brave and had dinner with some family, but otherwise the day was pretty calm and out of the ordinary which was much needed around here.  This morning the kids got out their art supplies and decided to draw, so we decided to make t-shirts to show off their happy work. 

Little sister cannot be left out as you can tell.

All you will need for this project is
  • Art supplies (paper, pencils, markers, paint, crayons, etc.) as you desire
  • T-shirts
  • Iron on heat transfer paper
A note on heat transfer paper - It can be purchased in regular or for dark colors.  We used the one for dark colors because our shirts were blue.  If you have a white shirt you can get the regular and it is usually a little cheaper.  It just depends on what you want.

To begin with you need a great piece of your kid's art work.  You will just have to scan into your computer or copy the art work on your printer depending on the options your printer gives you.  Read the instructions on the heat transfer paper to make sure you face it properly for printing, and print the art work onto that transfer paper.  Then you will just have to peel off the backing and iron it onto your child's shirt.  Super easy and very rewarding for your kiddos.  Mine love seeing their art work displayed, and my oldest is a planner.  He already has in mind something to design for the back of his shirt. 

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Handkerchief Hem Bandana Top or Skirt Tutorial

So you have waited until the last minute to make something for your daughter to wear to that July 4th BBQ and you are strapped for cash.  No worries.  I have a quick and easy solution and your little princess will strut her stuff Americana fashion, and it will cost you less than $5 to boot.  The instructions listed are for 12-18 month size and I will show you how to make a top or a skirt from the same pieces.

What you will need:
  • 2 bandanas
  • 7/8 in. grosgrain ribbon
  • 1/2 in. wide elastic
  • thread
  • sewing machine
The first thing you need to do is fold your bandanas in half so that they form a triangle like so, and iron them. 

Next you will unfold the bandana, and cut along the fold line left in your bandana.  This cut does not have to be perfectly straight at this point.  This is a very forgiving garment.  Do this with both of your bandanas.

After you have cut both of your bandanas in half you should have 4 pieces.

Next, you are going to take your first bandana half and measure in from each end 5 inches and cut off the end triangles.  It should look like this when you are done...

You will repeat this with all 4 halves.  Then you will take your two matching color bandana halves and place them right sides facing.  Using a half inch inseam you will sew down those short sides where you just cut and finish the ends with either a zigzag stitch or a serger.  These are the only seams you will have to finish.  Repeat with the other two halves and trim the excess.

Next you are going to put one of your bandanas inside the other centering the seam so that you will have 4 triangles showing.  Tip:  The color that is showing on the outside at this point is the one that will be underneath when complete.  You are now looking at the top or skirt turned inside out basically.  Pin the two pieces together around the straight edge.

Now you are going to sew a basting stitch around the top edge just to hold the two layers together while you finish.  This seam will not show so it doesn't have to be perfect.  Mine is terribly crooked.

Now you are going to iron down that top edge all the way around, where you just stitched, by a half inch, and then fold it over again an inch and iron again.  This will be your elastic casing.

Edge stitch around the casing leaving about a one inch opening to feed the elastic through in a few minutes.

Measure your child around her chest for the top or around the waist for the skirt and subtract 1 in. to get the length of elastic you need.  Making the top my elastic is 16 in. long.  Now you are going to feed the elastic through the elastic casing using a safety pin.

When you have finished putting the elastic through the casing you are going to overlap the ends of the elastic by about a half inch or so and zigzag them together.

Now you will put the elastic up into the casing all the way and close up the opening and turn it right side out.  This is what it looks like now.  If you are making the skirt you are done.  Put it on your child and enjoy.

If you are making the top, you will need to get out your grosgrain ribbon.  I cut mine about 7.5 inches long each.  Then you need to seal the ends of your ribbon with either Fray Check or with heat just enough to melt the edge of each end.  Decide where you want to place the straps and pin them.

Stitch across the top edge of your bandana top to secure the strap in place.  Do this for the front and back of both straps.

Now put it on your little angel and let her show her American pride.