7/7/20

Navigation for Travel Pages - DONE!

In June 2017, Steve and Trevor went off to Boy Scout camp and I spent the ENTIRE week alone creating what I called my Kid-Friendly Travel Resource. It was a huge undertaking but so worth it. I've done some tweaking and added a ton of content since then. But it took a pandemic for me to devote the time to adding the most important missing feature: navigation between each of the 51 travel pages (50 states plus Washington DC).

Now, when you scroll down below the craft ideas to the bottom of a page you see this:



So if you are on the Kansas Travel page, you no longer have to click back to the complete index to move to the next state (Kentucky) or previous state (Iowa). It works that way for all fifty states and DC now. 

I'd love it if you would pick a state (Hawaii? Louisiana? Missouri? Utah? Somewhere else?), scroll down, and click around using my new navigation buttons. You might find ideas for post-pandemic travel or craft ideas for the kids inspired by your home state or a past (or future) travel destination. 

I don't think I've ever been so happy to cross a project off my to-do list!

7/6/20

"The Case of the Missing Scoutmaster" - A Mystery Hike

I am REALLY excited to share something I've been working on for awhile now... a Scout-themed mystery hike! It combines elements from Urban Adventure Quests, the Clue board game, and the Encyclopedia Brown mysteries I loved as a kid (affiliate links). It's called 'The Case of the Missing Scoutmaster'. 


While it takes place in Fairfield, California and stars Scouts from Troop 482, everyone is welcome to play along. If you live close enough to do the hike in person, click here for the instructions for this 2.5 mile urban hike. If you're not local, click here to solve the mystery by using Google Maps. Enjoy!

7/3/20

Cereal Box Beach Mosaic

It's been a while since I've shared a mosaic, which is surprising because I love making mosaics. I find the process very relaxing. Oddly, I don't find beaches, the subject of today's mosaic, relaxing at all. Forests are much more relaxing to me. Anyway, I'd encourage you to give this project a try. 



Cereal Box Beach Mosaic



Materials:

  • cereal boxes
  • scissors
  • glue


Steps:


Cut a base from the inside of a cereal box. Mine is 5.5" x 6". You can make it whatever size you want, but keep in mind that if it is too small, it's very difficult to show details. If it's too large, it will take a lot of time and a lot of cereal boxes to finish. 

Sketch your design on the plain side of the base, then pick your colors. I cut chunks from a variety of cereal boxes to test what colors I thought I'd be using. I went with Rice Krispies Blue for the sky and the darker Crispix Blue for the water. I originally planned for the umbrella to have Raisin Bran Purple in addition to the Golden Grahams Yellow and Apple Jacks Green that I ended up using. I'd planned to use pictures of cereal for the sand, but eventually went with the sand colors of Cranberry Almond Crunch. 


It's easiest to start with the large sections that won't require special cuts - like the first four rows of the sky. Cut strips of blue, then cut those strips into tiles that are squarish. Add glue to a small section (I did one horizontal line at a time, starting at the top) then place the tiles into the glue. 

Continue working downward until you reach the umbrella. Cut angles off the tiles that touch the umbrella so that they neither leave a gap nor take the space of the umbrella. For now, leave empty spaces where the umbrella will go. 

Next, add the dark blue squares for the water. Again, leave gaps for the umbrella and trim tiles as needed to fit the spaces around the umbrella. 

Fill in the black umbrella handle (from the letters in Apple Jacks) and the purple towel next. 


Begin filling in the sand. Leave the space around the beach ball empty. 


Through trial and error, I discovered that the easiest way to do the umbrella and beach ball are to cut triangle tiles to the shapes you need. The last step is to fill in the remaining sand around the beach ball. 


In retrospect, I'm not happy with how I did the sand around the beach ball. It would have looked better if I'd stuck with square tiles, cut to fit around the beach ball vs. the triangular shapes I used. Other than that, I'm happy with my project and eager to try another cereal box mosaic. 

On a side note, you may be wondering why our family of three has such a diverse collection of cereal boxes. Ordinarily, we don't. We each have a few favorites, but when COVID-19 hit, I started using Amazon Pantry (affiliate link) and going to a store only for fresh or frozen items that wouldn't ship well. With free shipping and fast delivery for Prime members, Amazon Pantry was a no-brainer. In the early days of quarantine with people stocking up on dry goods, our favorites weren't always available, so we started branching out. Thus, plenty of colorful options for cereal box crafting!

7/2/20

Christmas 2017

Christmas 2017 is now in the album! 

Christmas 2017 (affiliate link)

I made a conscious effort to have this layout look different than the Christmas 2016 page I created last week, at least as much as possible with what amount to basically the same photos. I won't have that problem when I tackle my only remaining Christmas layout (2019), since we spent the holiday in New Orleans and our photos look very different!

7/1/20

Label Design for Crown Rose Brewing's Quaransteen Porter

Steve has been brewing beer since 2015 and is an active member of a local homebrew club. When he started, I came up with a name for his (strictly hobby) brewery. This week, he asked me to design a label for his most recent concoction, which he calls Quaransteen Porter.  


As you may have guessed, the first part of the name is inspired by the COVID-19 quarantine happening when he made the beer. The second part of the name is inspired by the (not) secret ingredient:

Steen's Pure Cane Syrup (affiliate link)


We discovered Steen's during our trip to New Orleans last Christmas when it was served with hot biscuits. YUM! Steve ordered some as soon as we got home and we've been trying it with all kinds of foods. It's a great replacement for anywhere you'd use molasses, honey, or maple syrup. And we can now confirm that it makes a really awesome porter.

Obviously, I mimicked the Steen's label for Steve's Quaransteen Porter. Using PicMonkey, I started with a yellow background, then added the text. I layered the coronavirus icon with the general prohibition sign for the main image. The red circle holds the date. Finally, I added the green and black accent lines and the striped border along the top and bottom. I printed them at home on normal copy paper, trimmed them, and attached the to the bottles with an ordinary glue stick.


Steve is really happy with how they turned out. He's started doing door drops for the members of his beer club and anxiously awaits feedback from his fellow brewers. My feedback? It's delicious! Order more Steen's!

Make great photos even better with PicMonkey