Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 Favorites

Man, this year flew by didn't it? It's been so fun for me to look back on the year and pick out my 5 favorite crafts we've completed.

#5 Sunflower Craft

I saw this beautiful sunflower on Meet the Dubians and we set out to make our own take of it. I love so much how the flower pops out of the page with the petals lifted off the page and the beads glued in the center. We used a fork to paint on the details of the grass.

#4 Parrot Craft
Every time I look at these colorful parrots I can't help but smile. I learned how to make these from Tippy Toe Crafts. I let my boys pick all the colors they wanted to use to make them unique and personalizing them with handprints makes them extra special.

#3 I Took the Moon for a Walk

If you could take the Moon for a walk, where would you go? I love when my children are free to use their imagination. I especially love seeing how my boys depicted their scenes of where they would take the Moon. This was such a fun book to read and I definitely recommend it.

#2 The Giant Jam Sandwich

If I had to pick a favorite story we read this year, it would be "The Giant Jam Sandwich". If you haven't read it, YOU MUST! A city overtaken by wasps must find a way to rid themselves of the pests and decide to make a huge jam sandwich to trap them. We made our own jam sandwiches and the boys chose what creatures they wanted to trap in them.

And then SNAP, the boys had fun trapping all their creatures in the sandwich. This is a craft that needs repeating yearly, it is that fun!

#1 Out of this World Craft

Oh how I LOVE these solar systems we created! They are my most favorite piece of art created all year long. They still hang proudly on my boys' magnet boards and both my boys have told me this was their favorite craft all year. I love the bright colors and the galaxy look created by spraying white paint on the black background. Such a fun craft to go along with a space-themed week.

It's been such a fun year! I hope you enjoy your New Year's Eve!

Happy Crafting!!

Saturday, December 31, 2011 by wiwik · 0

Friday, December 30, 2011

Top 10 Posts of 2011

If you haven't noticed, we have been taking a break from crafts at our house this past week while enjoying family, discovering all the new toys and me attempting to get my house back in a semi-decent order. Ha! So in lieu of a new craft today, I thought it would be fun to review the most viewed posts from this year. I've got to tell you though, I'm quite surprised at which posts have been most viewed because honestly, not even half of them were any of my favorites of the year. So tomorrow I'm going to review our favorites that didn't make the cut.

Each picture is linked to the original post and each post includes books we read to go along with the craft or activity.

#10 Sock Snowman
Our snowman sock family (we have a total of 5) still live on the couch in the front room. My boys enjoy rearranging them at least once a day and I often find them hurling them across the room at each other. Can't wait to add more to our family next Winter.

#9 Paper Plate Dinosaurs
This fun little creature is Luke's #1 choice of crafts we've done this year. We have made these paper plate dinosaurs every year since Andy was 3 years old, and even included them in our Dinosaur themed birthday party in January of this year.

#8 Mister Seahorse
The painting technique with shaving cream and acrylic paint made such a beautiful effect on this seahorse. I love how the yarn makes the seahorse come to life, not to mention that it helped us practice tying knots!

#7 Paper Plate Pirate
I saw the idea for this paper plate pirate in The Mailbox Magazine for Teachers. This was one of my favorite crafts we completed this year.

#6 Mr Shark Alphabet Chomper Game
Luke still LOVES this activity! Such a perfect activity for preschoolers to practice letter recognition. Another great find out of The Mailbox Magazine.

#5 Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Activity and Snack

FAVORITE snack of all time right here! Even as an adult, I LOVE eating fun food!  :)

#4 Life Cycle of a Chicken
So surprised this was in the top 10. When I was completing this project I actually thought people would think it was silly. One of my readers suggested making the baby chick out the child's handprint too. Love that idea!

#3 A Plump and Perky Turkey
These silly turkeys were so much fun to make. Definitely want to make these again next year but plan on adding accordian feet to finish them off. Wish I would have thought about that this year.

#2 The Very Hungry Caterpillar
These caterpillars were so fun to make using balloon prints. We added some blue into the green paint to make it look just like the book. My boys had so much fun painting in details around the caterpillar. They turned out so bright and cheerful!

#1 Owl Babies

These Owl Babies turned out even more cute than I imagined. The small details came together so perfectly on this craft, like the crinkled paper bag for the branch with the lines and knots drawn in. I even loved how we added gold glitter glue all over the paper which acted as stars in the sky. This craft was definitely in our top 10 of this year.

I just have to say how much I have enjoyed having a blog this year. In my wildest dreams, I never expected to have regular readers, let alone 500 followers. I know I don't know any of you (ok, there are like 5 people that I actually know IRL), but I can't help but feel like you are all a part of my life. This blog has been such a great outlet for me this year and I really want to thank you for all your comments and support. Really, I know people say that all the time on their blogs, but I seriously, REALLY mean it...Thank you!

**In case you missed the earlier post, come and enter the giveaway for a FranklinCovey Planner. It's a $24.95 value and is a great way to start off the year organized!  :)  CLICK HERE to go to the Giveaway. It ends January 3rd at 10:00am (MST).

Friday, December 30, 2011 by wiwik · 0

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Mingle With Us Blog Hop

 It's Time to Mingle!

Each week we will choose one blog at random to spotlight at the next week's blog hop.
This weeks guest host is Running With A Glue Gun

 There are no rules to this blog hop.  Just link up your blog's main page.  Then have fun reading new blogs and making new blog friends.  We would love for you to follow the hostesses in the first four spots and our guest host in the fifth spot.   We always follow back!!

Grab our button if you want to share our blog hop with others.  There will be a new list every Thursday, so be sure to come back every week. 

We hope you have fun and thanks for joining us!  We are so excited to find new blogs, share great ideas, and inspire each other.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011 by wiwik · 0

Why Every Blogger Needs a FranklinCovey Planner---Giveaway!

This Giveaway is now closed.
Congratulations to Comment #12, Amanda Joy, who is the winner of the FranklinCovey Planner! (Winner chosen randomly through

If I'm being completely honest I have to tell you how disorganized I have felt with my blog lately. Crafting with my kids is one of my most favorite things to do, but getting everything done that I want to in a weeks time and making sure I have all the correct supplies and books to read can sometimes be overwhelming. That's why I was so excited when The Organized Parent sent me a FranklinCovey Wire-bound Weekly Planner.

Instead of feeling disorganized for the upcoming month, I already have all our activities planned out. Here is a look at my January monthly calendar.

At the beginning of each week I have listed the book we will be reading and using during the week. Then throughout the week I have listed specific crafts and activities we are going to do. I also used the empty column to write down the sight words I will be working on with Luke during the week.

Have you ever been to the Library and all the books on your list happen to all be checked out? Isn't that the pits?!! Having my entire month planned out will now make my trips to the Library easier because if the books happen to be checked out I can always switch my weeks around. Also, I can easily attach a post-it note to the month with additional books on my list to look for at the Library. I can't tell you how much easier this made my trip to the Library this past week.

I have also broken down my schedule on the weekly section and I love it because this makes it so I can add even more details to the activities we are going to do for the week and I can write a list for myself of any supplies we will need to complete our projects.
The Classic Simplicity for Mom Style has extra columns on the left-hand side of the weekly pages where you are able to add even more personalization for you and your kids' schedule. The planner also includes forms for your kids' critical information so it's easy to grab at a moment's notice. I LOVE this planner! I can now see why FranklinCovey has been the leader in time management training and planning tools for over 20 years. And even though I am choosing to use it to organize my Blog schedule, it goes without saying that this is PERFECT for every day use.

The Organized Parent has provided me with a Botanica Wire-bound Weekly Planner to give away to one lucky I Heart Crafty Things reader (pictured below). The Botanica is a new style that is a perfect opportunity to get organized. There’s space for tasks and room for recording notes or appointments, all in a crisp, elegant layout. This planner is valued at $24.95!

HERE IS HOW TO WIN: Please make sure your email is on your profile, or include it with your comment. Only U.S. residents are eligible for this giveaway (Big apologies to all my International readers!). Make sure you leave one comment for each entry!
  1. Leave a comment on this post.
  2. Follow I Heart Crafty Things via Google Friend Connect.
  3. Like The Organized Parent on Facebook.
  4. Follow I Heart Crafty Things on Facebook.
Good Luck!

Giveaway will close Tuesday, January 3, 2011 at 10:00 am MST!

***The Organized Parent provided me with a FranklinCovey Planner free of charge in exchange for reviewing their product, but all opinions are my own.

by wiwik · 0

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Mingle With Us Blog Hop

 It's Time to Mingle!

Hosted by Happy Go Lucky, I Heart Crafty Things,
Joy in the Jumble and Keeping Up With Kristi.

Each week we will choose one blog at random to spotlight at the next week's blog hop.
This weeks guest host is Criss-Cross Applesauce

Criss-Cross Applesauce

There are no rules to this blog hop.  Just link up your blog's main page.  Then have fun reading new blogs and making new blog friends.  We would love for you to follow the hostesses in the first four spots and our guest host in the fifth spot.   We always follow back!!
Grab our button if you want to share our blog hop with others.  There will be a new list every Thursday, so be sure to come back every week. 

We hope you have fun and thanks for joining us!  We are so excited to find new blogs, share great ideas, and inspire each other.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011 by wiwik · 0

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Cutest Elf Craft you ever did see....

I have been so excited to make this elf craft with my kids. Especially after we made our annual trip to Gardner Village for the Elf Scavenger Hunt. They have elf displays throughout the entire Village and after you find all of them you can take your completed paper into the Candy Shop for a free peppermint stick. This year we invited some friends to go with us. Here they are in front of the elf selling Christmas trees.

And again in front of the photo studio with an elf waiting to take their picture.

If you live in Utah, DEFINITELY check it out! You can't beat a FUN and completely FREE activity!

We also enjoyed reading some Elf stories. First up, An Elf for Christmas by Michael Garland.

It's about an Elf who has worked so hard on finishing up making toy airplanes on Christmas Eve that he accidentally falls asleep in one of the planes and gets wrapped up and sent out for Christmas. When he wakes up he is surprised to find that he is now a little boys new toy for Christmas. He ends up using the toy airplane to get home and sends the little boy a replacement. It's a little lengthy so more appropriate for age 4-7, but it's a good read.

We also read Elton the Elf by Lisa Mullen. The story is about an elf named Elton who is lost. He ends up wandering through every holiday until he gets back to Christmas and finds his home. It's super fun for the kids to remember the holidays throughout the year in the correct order.

And then we got to making our fun elves!

To make our elf, we used a white lunch sack as his body. You can buy a package of them for under $2 at Walmart. We painted the front of the lunch sack with a red brick pattern.

I simply cut up a rectangle piece of a large sponge and attached it to a clothespin to paint with. You can see one of my boys pictured above dabbing on his pattern.

This is what it looked like all painted.

While the paint was drying, I printed off my elf pieces pattern on red card stock paper. I made my own pattern for the pieces and you can download it from Google Docs by clicking on the picture below.

Since I didn't want the face to be red, I used it as a template to trace it onto a tan/peachy colored paper and cut it out again. After you cut out your template pieces, you will also need to cut out a couple more pieces: two 1" x 6" white pieces for the arms, two 1" x 11.5" white pieces for the legs (I just used the entire length of a sheet of construction paper), one 1/2" x 6" black piece for the belt, and a 1/2" x 1" yellow piece for the belt buckle. You can see all my pieces pictured below.

Assemble the pieces together by gluing the feet onto the long white pieces, the mittens onto the smaller white pieces, the yellow belt buckle onto the black belt, and the hat onto the head. Make sure you tilt the hat on the head a little so one of the pointed ears is still visible. At this point the boys also drew their elf face on their head and added some hair with markers.

**Tip: I had my boys draw their elf face in pencil first just in case they wanted to make any changes. After they were happy with their face, they traced it with black marker.

Next glue all the pieces on to your elf body. The feet go on the bottom of the sack, the arms on the inside flap of the bag and the belt on the front. You can see in the picture below how I added a bow tie for my belt buckle since I was making a girl. I don't think it's necessary but I thought it was a fun little detail. I also reinforced by arms and legs with a piece of tape just to make them extra sturdy since I know what my boys are capable of. (hahaha!)

Once the pieces were glued on the bag (minus the head) we opened up the bag and stuffed it with a plastic grocery sack to make it nice and plump.

Before gluing the head onto the paper bag, fold down the top edges of the bag forming a triangle and staple it shut. Then just glue your head on the front of the white sack.

We added a couple more details to our elves after the head was glued on. We glued a small ball of cotton to the end of the hat. We also added lines in the hat and outlined them in red glitter glue.

You can also use red glitter glue to add some interest to the feet and mittens...

Or add more cotton to the feet...

I just love these little guys! They are sitting up on a shelf with their legs hanging down and I just feel so giddy when I walk by and see their legs dangling. So much fun I tell ya!!  :)

Happy Crafting!!

I like to link my posts up to THESE fun link parties.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011 by wiwik · 0

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