Saturday, September 24, 2011

Garden Party

A look at summer flowers as the weather turns chilly. Dahlia Festival at Wollam Gardens

Monday, September 19, 2011

Jellyfish in a Bottle

The photos are much better at this original post which has been knocking around in Pinterest for a while. And now I have read a Thai blog - how cool is that! Don't worry, the post is in English and is simple enough to follow even in Thai.

This little jellyfish really does float to the top whenever you invert the bottle. We made a big one and a little one. I put a few drops of grape koolaid in for coloring - be sure to color the water gently or it will be too dark to really see the jellyfish (ask me how I know!) Although that can be a cool effect too - jellyfish at night!

The other part of this activity I loved was using recycling to craft. Last summer we went to the Sciencenter in Ithaca NY and played on their recycling table - they have barrels full of cleaned out plastic containers, ribbons, and other "trash" plus glue, scissors, staples and other materials to create new things - plus examples of paper plate masks, decorated plastic boxes, and so on to spur your child's thinking on what to make. J has been raiding the recycling bins ever since for "robot materials" but jellyfish materials will do nicely too.

While on the subject of kid activities I want to mention a new favorite book we found at the Borders going out of business sale: Totally Irresponsible Science Experiments While probably for older kids, we've found tons of fun and frugal experiments that we can do with things like salt, pepper, balloons, and of course vinegar and baking soda. The kids LOVE this book and beg to do something new from it almost every day. We've only had one project total fail so far - which was a teaching moment in itself since that is what happens to scientists in real life.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Summer Car Knitting - Blanket for a Boy

This is my take on the mitered crosses blankets from the fabulous Mason-Dixon Knitting - all the money from the $5 pattern goes to Mercy Corps Japan for earthquake relief and they've raised over $16k so far! Yay for knitters! (you can buy one too! Check the button on the upper right of their site!)

This is stash yarn mostly plus the oatmeal llama wool from Scott Farms. I have twelve squares, and you can see below I had to push the black square to get even that!

I have no more blue for the seams, so ... the seams may become a design feature.

Let the sewing begin.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Before and After - Sofa Slip Cover

Well, this sofa bed seemed like a good deal at Ikea, discontinued and discounted. After a few days we realized why - the fabric was awful, attracting stains and lint seemingly out of the air. And it was like a big black hole sucking light out of the room too.

Pretty. And a busy print hides the occasional spill, and sections of it can be taken off and laundered without removing the whole thing. A big project but worth it, especially with double wide quilt back fabric on sale.

Thursday, September 8, 2011


Yup, still haven't painted that chair. But look what I did paint! Red!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Rainy Day Indoor Balloon Jet Rockets

It has been raining. It is going to keep raining. We've been working on some science. This one was easy - tape, string/yarn, balloons, straws.

Stretch the string across a room. We discovered that tighter works better. Thread some straws on the string (I used a skewer to push it through). We tried both a full straw and a cut up piece of straw about 4 inches long - shorter worked better.

Attach the string to the walls at toddler height. Blow up a balloon. Have toddler help you tape it onto the straw. Expect to use lots of tape (my toddler was surprisingly good at this step and found it made him feel important and essential to the experiment).

Count down. 3....2....1....blastoff!!!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Tea Towels

I've been re-thinking garbage this summer - trying to be more thoughtful about the compost and gardening, trying out worm composting, and trying to cut down on packaging with the things we buy. Not always easy, like the big jar of applesauce that got moldy because I forgot it - those little applesauce cups are so convenient! But little by little we keep trying to reduce, reuse, recycle.

I never really used paper towels when I was single - I'd go through a roll in a month or so - but man, with little kids I sure started using them a lot. In an effort to get back to a reasonable amount, I made myself some brown linen tea towels for the kitchen - for cleaning up glasses, tables, etc. Really wet or gooey messes I still reach for paper. The old icky tea towels are getting recycled into floor cleaning up towels, stored under the sink (thanks to an idea from SouleMama).

These tea towels couldn't have been easier to make and I made three out of only 3/4 of a yard of linen (on sale). Hem up the sides and fray the tops and bottoms and you are done. Plus you get a nice handful of threads for birdsnests next spring - I recycled it out in our hedge.

Related Posts with Thumbnails