🐸My Etsy Sh🌎p🐸

Friday, July 24, 2015

Craft Day Tuesday - Paint Chip Neighborhood

 As we strolled through the neighborhood, we couldn't help but notice the houses and the buildings on our block.  We talked about the word neighborhood and what it meant.  When I saw these paint chips at Lowe's, I knew exactly what we would do with them.
I let them pick a few paint chips - their choice of colors as I had grabbed up a few - and then, it was all them.  They drew doors and windows on the paint chip houses.  Then, it was time to fill in the blanks.  They drew a road and trees and a sun and of course a rainbow.

Easy and creative and free!

Have a fun and playful day

Imagine the Possiblities Play like an Artist the Wonder Room

 The Columbus Museum of Art has an amazing kids' space.  Their focus is play.  And everyone knows, I am all about play!  We visited this week to create, explore, and make.  One of the first things you see this this invitation to play beautifully arranged and full of simple materials.  Imagine the Possibilities is the title.  Kiddos are invited to create anything they want out of twist ties.  They can take their creation with them or leave it on display at the museum.  I think the idea of "displaying" their art is a confidence boaster to children.
 I like the saying Play Like An Artist.  In this invitation to play, children are given beads, mesh, tape to add on to two giant sculptures.

 In the Wonder Room, kiddos can dress up like forest creatures.  These are not your typical dress up clothes. No, sir.  Wonderfully created with scraps of different fabrics like some crazy quilt, there are fur feet and clawed hands and cloaks and masks.
 In another invitation to play, children are given a variety of materials to create their own bird nests.  I couldn't resist snapping a few photos of nests that had been created and left behind.

 Below is the bird nest creating table.
We will go back and explore some more soon.

Have a fun and playful day

New Mountain Playscape

 Check out my etsy shop (button to the left)!  New wool felt playscape play mats added all the time like this one.  Set on a 12 inch round base, this playscape hosts mountains, mushrooms, river, a cave that can be repositioned as well as a pine tree with 3 bears and a bird hiding in it.
Have a fun and playful day!

Feeding time for the animals

"The animals are sooo hungry.  It's wedding day and they need to eat.  I am going to give them all of their favorites today on this special day." -G, almost 5

I had to smile. 

I love documenting days like this.  Someday, this will be what we look back on and remember.  Little moments.  Quotes.  A line of animals and play food.  Because this is her play.  This is how she plays.  It's her play - unique to her and I want to capture every moment.

Have a fun and playful day

"Fairies must live here."

 Early in the morning, we took a hike through the forest.  I say "hike", but when you are with a 2 year old and 5 year old, it's more of a...meaningful meandering. And that's okay.  Because if we would have been going any faster, we might have missed the glorious rays of sun and the velvety clumps of moss and...
 It's okay to go slow.  Life lesson.  Ha! Right?  Life tends to get busy, but sometimes you just NEED a meaningful meandering.  Kids need to not be rushed in order to learn and observe and explore and play.  Adults do, too.
 We happened upon this hollow stump.  G said in reverend hushed tones, "Fairies must live here."  Maybe so.  Maybe so.  I love her imagination.
 They wanted to touch the moss and smell the flowers and collect the sticks.  Our objective was to get to the river and watch the ducks.  Guess what?  We never made it to see the ducks.  And, again, that's okay.  What we discovered and explored was better and more meaningful to them.
I think we will do more meaningful meanderings soon.

Have a fun and playful day

ThimbleStump Hollow come to play on my playscapes

 My brother in-law went to San Diego Comic Con and brought me back these designer vinyl creatures called ThimbleStump Hollow.  I adore them!
They decided to play on one of my newest playscape play mats.  This one hosts purple mountains, a babbling brook, a vegetable garden, a cave that kiddos can move around the play mat, and a woodland animal filled pine tree that can be moved all about, too.

Have a fun and playful day.

A little bit (okay, a lot!) obsessed over globes

(These images found on pinterest and are not my own)

I am a little bit (okay, a lot!) obsessed with globes.  I always have been.  I remember in the 3rd grade, Mrs. Chapman had a globe in her classroom and I found it...fascinating.  All of us people and animals and buildings and oceans on this ball.

I have a small collection.  I think I am up to 8 globes - old, new, doesn't matter.  I just like them.  When my mother in-law suggested we throw a bridal shower for my soon to be sister in-law, I was like yes!  The bride to be is throwing a Disney's Up inspired wedding and reception.  Taking a hint of that, I decided to do a map theme shower.  I will add photos soon.

Have a fun and playful day

More kind reviews for my etsy shop

It warms my heart to hear these kind words about my playscapes.  It really does.  I sometimes wrestle with should I continue? is this working?  Then, I see words like this and know that my mission of inspiring play is working.

Have a fun and playful day

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Purple Mountain Playscape

I have been posting less that regularly as of late. August is overly booked. Nanny girls big horse birthday party, my birthday, moving my mother-in-law, my daughter moves into a dorm while the other starts her senior year, and a bridal shower at the end of the month. Whew! I am exhausted thinking about it. AND I have been battling migraines as well.

So I apologize and will do better.

I did finish this new Playscape. It is now in my etsy shop. Purple Mountain Playscape with a babbling brook, vegetable garden, rock quarry. Also, I made the cave and pine tree movable - not attached to the play mat - so that kiddos can change up their landscape.

A playscape is a landscape of play possibilities. I see almost every day. It takes 4-6 hours to create one. And I have a mental list of play mats to make.

Have a fun and playful day

Friday, July 17, 2015

Stick Pony Tutorial

 What's a horse themed party without stick ponies? Well, we are making these stick ponies as a craft project for the kiddos to do at the party. Then, they will get to take the ponies home as a favor.
 We made 30 felt horse heads.  They are finished to a point.  All the kids will have to do is stuff them, cinch the bottom closed, then insert the dowel rod.
 Here's how I did it.  I freehand cut out a horse head shape.  I cut out 2 of the same color.
 We chose a different color for the mane.  Just a thin strip of felt fringed.  I used pinking sheers but you can use regular scissors.
 Pin the two pieces together.
 Sew around the whole head.  If you don't have a sewing machine, you could hand sew. Or you could hot glue around the edges.
 With a large needle, do a basting stitch around the "neck" - this will make it easy to close after it it stuffed.
 I hot glued the googly eyes on.
 I folded the ear in half and glued to give it more dimension then I glued the ear onto the head.
 All you have to do now is stuff, cinch, and insert the dowel rod.
 Here, I made a different version - Unicorns!!!
30 stick ponies done. Whew!

Have a fun and playful day

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Gnome Love

I love gnomes. Not sure why. Maybe it's because when we were in Michigan one summer on vacation, we found funny t-shirts that said "Hanging with my Gnomies" or because Jess stole Babbette's garden gnome on an episode of Gilmore Girls or maybe just because they are cute. I just ordered 2 of these little guys from Safari Ltd. I can't wait to play with them on my playscapes.

Have a fun and playful day

Stick Ponies

What's a horse themed birthday party without stick ponies?

What was this nanny thinking when she volunteered to make 30 of them?!?

Actually, they are easy to make - just a little time consuming.

I will do a tutorial very soon.

Have a fun and playful day

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Sleeping Beauty Castle

This Sleeping Beauty Castle Playscape was just bought from my etsy shop. I am sure it's going to a good home in Utah.

Have a fun and playful day

Calico Critters Now at Joann

You know me. I love everything little - little toys, little animals, Dollhouse, etc. Today, I went into Joann for some scrapbook paper and almost squealed with delight when I discovered that they now carry Calico critters.
The best part was that they let me use a coupon for this triple bunk bed! I got it for $7.50!

Have a fun and playful day