Friday, February 17, 2017

Yarn Heart Greeting Card and Yarn Flower Gift Wrap

Ever use yarn to make a card?

How about to wrap a gift?

I used the Gelato Sweet Roll by Premier yarns for both the card and the gift wrap. I love how they turned out. 

From February 19-25, JoAnn stores will be selling Gelato and the other 'flavors' of Sweet Roll Yarn at the low price of 3 balls for $10. What a deal!


Yarn Heart Greeting Card


  • cardstock
  • scrap paper
  • yarn
  • scissors
  • glue

Fold the cardstock to make a card base. Fold the scrap paper in half, then cut out a heart that fits nicely on the card base. Trace around the heart with glue. 

Remove the heart, then add yarn to the glued area.

Let the heart dry completely before continuing. This prevents the heart from shifting when you add the inner layers. 

Put glue in the center of the heart and add the next piece of yarn. You can alternate colors or make the whole thing a single color. Continue adding yarn until the heart is filled.

While the heart is drying, use a small loom to make a flower. It's so easy! 

Finish the gift by wrapping yarn around the box, then tying the flower around the box. If the ends aren't long enough to tie it all the way around the box, just tie it to the yarn that's already looped around the box. 

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Explorers' Grog

To wind up our unit about the Age of Exploration, I taught the fifth graders how to make grog. Not the watered-down rum that sailors were given, of course, but a non-alcoholic version that's quite tasty. It's chock-full of Vitamin C to prevent scurvy. 

Explorers' Grog


  • 1/2 gallon apple juice
  • 1 container of Limeade concentrate, defrosted
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3-4 whole allspice berries
  • 3-4 whole cloves

Put the apple juice, limeade and spices into a large pot. You can put the spices into cheesecloth or a spice bag, or just put them loose in the liquid. Heat the mixture until it is warm, but not boiling. This recipe makes eight 8-oz servings. For the classroom, double the recipe so that each child can have a 4-oz. sample. 

Cheers! May your lives be long and free from scurvy.

This wraps up our study of explorers. On to Colonial America!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Diamond Dotz

One of my favorite things about attending Creativation is discovering new (or new-to-me) craft supplies and techniques. This year, I fell in love with Diamond Dotz. This new craft uses faceted dots to 'embroider' a design on fabric. Their booth was filled with spectacular, sparkly, eye-catching designs. I spent about 15 minutes trying this addictive craft before I needed to pull myself away to get to a class. They sent me home with a starter kit for Trevor to try. Here's what he made:

The kit includes the printed fabric (coated with adhesive and covered with a protective film), Diamond Dotz (sorted by shade), a stylus, craft tray and wax caddy. 

It couldn't be easier. You poke the stylus into the wax, then use it to pick up the rounded side of the Dotz. Touch the fabric, and the Dotz cling to it, releasing instantly from the stylus. 

After working on it for around 15 minutes, Trevor needed to leave for Cub Scouts. He simply recovered the fabric with the protective sheet and was able to come back to it the following day.

After about 15 more minutes, he finished the design. He picked out wood-grain patterned paper to mat it, as you see at the top of the post. 

Trevor and I both love Diamond Dotz and look forward to working on another design. Much like a jigsaw puzzle, it's a great activity to do while chatting or relaxing. We talked about how cool it would be to get one of the large designs and bring it along to our family reunion this summer, where family members could work on it while they catch up and enjoy each other's company. 

We also talked about what a neat birthday gift this would be. At $4.99 for the starter kits and $7.99 to $12.99 for the beginner kits, Diamond Dotz are an affordable gift that would appeal to boys and girls of a variety of ages. In fact, I told the folks at the Diamond Dotz booth that they should add a beginner-level cupcake or balloon or other birthday design and I'd buy one for each of Trevor's friends on their birthdays! I know I'm not the only one who would. 

As of now, Diamond Dotz are only sold through their website. And unfortunately for me, there is no affiliate program... yet. If you do buy through their website, there's a spot in the checkout called "Order Notes." Please do me a favor and tell them that Cindy deRosier referred you! 

Tuesday, February 14, 2017


In honor of Valentine's Day, I scrapped the photos of my valentine and me celebrating our 12th anniversary last May. I love how it turned out. (And it's been long enough that the memory of my Segway disaster has faded...)

Happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Exploring North Dakota Through Little Passports

This post contains affiliate links. 

Our latest adventure through Little Passports took us on a virtual journey to North Dakota, another state that neither Trevor nor I have actually visited. We started with the activities in the travel journal, learning about agricultural jobs and crops in North Dakota, as well as the huge oil fields there. We did a word search using vocabulary related to paleontology and spotted differences between illustrations of two buffalo. Next, we did an activity based on the Lewis and Clark Expedition. We looked at photos of sculptures by Gary Greff along the Enchanted Highway. Then we wrote about the qualities we value in friends, inspired by the International Peace Garden on the border of North Dakota and Manitoba, Canada. It looks beautiful and we hope to visit in person someday! 

We jumped right in to the science experiments next. The activities explore how water bends light and makes objects look different. Trevor saw a penny in a bowl of water disappear and 'magically' reappear and then saw a fork 'break' in a glass of water!

The experiment was inspired by sun dogs, something I'd never heard of before. I'm not exaggerating when I say that I always learn something new from Little Passports!

While I cleaned up from the science experiment, Trevor built the model. It's a buffalo.

The next day, we tackled the recipe from the North Dakota journal: knoephla soup. Yet another thing Little Passports has introduced to me! It is a broth-based soup with flour dumplings of German origin. It is pronounced 'nip-fla.'

We made our dumplings a bit too big and the potatoes could have been cut smaller too, but no matter - the soup was delicious. Perfect for a rainy day, and we've had a lot of those recently. 

Our final activity from the North Dakota Little Passports was making dream catchers. Their version uses paper plates; we opted to use the two parts of an embroidery hoop for a more elegant looking dream catcher. 



Embroidery Hoop Dream Catcher



Separate the two parts of the embroidery hoop. You only need one half for each dream catcher. Paint it brown and let it dry completely. 

Select the beads. Trevor and I each used 16 wood beads in various shades.

Cut a piece of yarn approximately 6 feet long. Tie one end to the dream catcher and trim the tail close to the knot. Wrap a piece of scotch tape around the other end of the yarn to make an aglet. Wrap the yarn across the hoop, then across again in at a different angle. Occasionally, thread a bead onto yarn. Continue wrapping until you are happy with the shape you've made. Tie the yarn to the embroidery hoop. 

Before trimming the tail, thread the remaining beads onto the yarn. (This way, you don't have to make aglets for each piece of yarn that dangles down.) Adjust the beads and cut the yarn into three pieces. They can all be the same length, or the middle one can be longer. Tie each piece of yarn to the bottom of the embroidery hoop, adjust the beads where you want them, then tie knots at the ends and trim the excess yarn. Add a dab of glue to the end of a feather and insert it into each of the lowest beads. The feather will hide the knots. 


Thanks to Little Passports for another fantastic virtual voyage! We learned so much about North Dakota and can't wait to explore the next state together.