Friday, March 24, 2017

Plans for 45

My 45th birthday has come and gone without mention here on the blog. For the past 5 years, I've blogged on March 12 about my upcoming birthday project, then shared my progress throughout the year. I've had so much fun with each of the projects I've done.

Never say never, but I don't think I'm going to be blogging about a project for 45. I'm still finishing the layouts for the 40-4-Steve project, with 13 more to make and share. I am actively working on CONNECT, my One Little Word for 2017. I still need to make the migration from Blogger to Wordpress, and there are many other things I want to do with my blog. I have some personal goals and plans as well that would not make very interesting blog fodder. In short, you can still expect to see the same kinds of things I've always blogged about (kids' crafts, scrapbooking, rabbits, food, parties, and whatever else strikes my fancy) five days a week, but it probably won't take the form of a birthday project. But like I said, never say never!

On a whim, I entered "45th birthday" in the Amazon search bar and came up with some fun stuff. You can get each of these for any age. They'd make great gifts.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Exploring Rhode Island Through Little Passports

This post contains affiliate links. 

On to our next adventure with Little Passports! This time, Trevor and I did a virtual visit to the nation's smallest state, Rhode Island. Rhode Island, nicknamed the Ocean State, has a lot of coastline. So it was no surprise that the model was a lighthouse. 


We did a hidden picture activity while learning about the Rhode Island School of Design. We also learned that their museum displays collections of paintings, furniture and costumes from around the world. I had no idea! I'd like to visit it sometime. 

Next, Trevor and I invented our own whimsical 'Big Nose' creatures, inspired by the Big Nazo Theater Group of Providence. What fun! No surprise that Trevor's was a big-nosed rabbit. We read about the Vanderbilt family and The Breakers in Newport, which was once a home and now a museum. Through a dot-to-dot, we learned that Rhode Island has many claims to fame, including the oldest flying horse carousel, the first schoolhouse, the oldest water-powered cotton mill, the oldest Fourth of July parade, and the first circus in the United States. 

Time for a craft! The 'Animal Garden' activity was inspired by the Green Animals Topiary Garden in Portsmouth. The directions included patterns for an elephant and a unicorn, but we made our own patterns. Any guesses what animal we made? Here's Trevor trimming his bunny topiary. I'm going to show you exactly how to make your own in a separate post during our upcoming Bunny Week


The science experiment in the Rhode Island journal was a twist on the disappearing eggshell experiment Trevor and I did back in August. This time, the goal is to drop the naked egg from an increasing height until it breaks. Messy, but fun and so interesting. Give it a try, if you dare!


The Little Passports Rhode Island Journal is loaded with fun and educational activities. Trevor and I learned how to build toy sailboats from milk cartons, then read about Colt State Park in Bristol. We did a word search about the Italian foods that are prevalent in the Federal Hill neighborhood of Providence. We learned about important events in the history of Rhode Island, including 1790, when it became the 13th state. 

Finally, it was time to cook. The recipe was for johnnycakes. Yum! 


I've made johnnycakes in the classroom with students and know how prevalent they were in Colonial America, but I didn't realize that Rhode Island is famous for them now and even has a johnnycake festival!


Thanks to Little Passports for another fascinating virtual journey! Trevor and I enjoyed every minute.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Wrapping a Gift with a Coloring Book and Pens

This post contains affiliate links. Thanks for supporting My Creative Life!

I came home from the Creativation show in January with a bunch of samples of new products, including this coloring book and gel pen set from Leisure Arts:


I really like the patterns in this book and the gel pens are fabulous. They'd make a great gift for anyone who loves arts and crafts. In fact, they'd also make good gift WRAP for anyone who loves arts and crafts! 


---------

Coloring Page and Gel Pen Gift Wrap


Materials:



Steps:


Select a page from the coloring book and tear it out. Using the paper trimmer, remove about 1/8" from the length and width of the page.

Assemble the shirt box and fill it with art supplies or whatever else you're giving the recipient. Put the lid on, then adhere the coloring page to the top of the lid.


Cut a long length of curling ribbon and tie it around the box. Do not trim the extra ribbon.

Remove the pens from their container and gather them in a bundle. Set the bundle down on the ribbon and tie the ribbon securely around the pens. Curl the ends of the ribbon and it's ready to go!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

PicMonkey Membership: Premium vs. Supremium

This post contains affiliate links, because I love PicMonkey and you will too. 

I am a rabid fan of PicMonkey, as you probably know. I started with the free version of PicMonkey a a few years ago and loved it. It's ridiculously easy to learn and use. But I kept noticing all the cool features of the Royale membership that I couldn't access. I started the free trial, loved it, and signed up before the 7 days ended. I use it multiple times a week for my Fun Family Crafts job, as well as for my own blog and my crafting and I can't imagine not having the access to all of the editing tools, special effects, fonts, touch-ups, overlays, and everything else. They recently added templates (like this one) and I've become addicted to the speed and ease to using them.

PicMonkey just announced that the Royale membership is now Premium and they've added another membership tier, called Supremium. Here are the differences:



There are no changes between the Royale membership I had before and the Premium membership that it became. Touch-up tools, overlays, fonts, templates, limited storage... check. The Supremium membership adds unlimited storage of re-editable pictures, as well as a better way to organize them. Here's how the costs compare:



I currently have 20 projects in Hub, including my blog header, logo, business card, and headshot. I can definitely see the appeal of keeping all my edited photos in PicMonkey. I'm going to stick with Premium for a little while, but I'm pretty sure that as soon as I have 50 projects in Hub, I'll make the switch to Supremium. 

If you do any photo editing at all (or would like to give it a try for the first time), head over to PicMonkey for the free trial. Let me know what you think!

PicMonkey Photo editing made of win

Monday, March 20, 2017

Quilled Mother's Day Card

Mother's Day is coming up. Here's an easy card a child can make for Mom, Grandma, or a godmother. 


Quilled Mother's Day Card


Materials:

  • cardstock (lavender)
  • paper trimmer
  • copy paper (purple and pink) or precut quilling paper
  • round toothpick or quilling tool
  • craft glue

Steps:


1. Cut the cardstock to make a card base. 

2. Use the trimmer to cut the copy paper into strips approximately 3/8" wide. You'll need one pink strip and two purple strips.

3. Start with the heart. Fold the pink strip in half, then use the toothpick or quilling tool to quill each end in toward the folded point. Adjust the heart to make it symmetric. Add a tiny amount of craft glue to the edge of the heart and attach it in the center of the card.

4. To make the M's, fold the purple strips in half. Fold each end to make the peaks of an M, then use the quilling tool to shape the ends. Glue the M's on either side of the heart. 





I made this project as part of Craft Lightning. To see lots of other quick Mother's Day crafts, check out Happy Hour Projects, The Country Chic Cottage, and 30 Minute Crafts each day this week!