Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Solution to Summer Confusion

Days of the Week shirts for the boy! He wore Monday yesterday and got lots of laughs. Dollar store Ts, freezer paper and paint. Now, if I can keep up with the laundry, we might have a fighting chance at knowing what day it is this summer!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Rainbow Suncatcher

This is the project that won runner-up in The Color my Summer Contest. Wanna make one, too? Here's how:

Ever feel bad about throwing away plastic cups? And during the summer, with all the birthdays, pool parties, BBQ and picnics-- well, that's a whole lot of cups! Since most events that we are attending this summer are pot-luck, I volunteer to bring the cups. That way, I can buy the right ones (wink!) and use them for this awesome project!

Which ones are the right ones? Well, type 6 recycling plastic is the same as shrinky dinks! So I bought a rainbow of cups in the transparent colors (about 25 per pack). After a couple of events, and with a bag and sign for recycling the cups, I had enough to make this sun catcher!

First, start with clean cups. The kind I had were octagonal but had a circular base. I punctured the base with pointed scissors and then cut around the circle to take the base of the cup off.

At the top of the cup, I used a hole punch to put two holes directly across from each other. These will allow you to string them together later. I used jelly roll pans and an oven at 120 degrees celsius (250 degrees farenheit.) I lined my pans with parchment paper and placed the cups TOP SIDE DOWN with the hole from cutting off the base pointing up. You don't have to space them out much-- they don't really spread as they melt. If your oven is already hot, it only takes about 2 minutes or so for the cups to melt. If they aren't completely flat, just use a spatula right after you take them out to flatten them. I have granite counter tops, so I just scooped them off the cookie sheet and let them cool on the counter. They are still a little flimsy right out of the oven, so I wouldn't use a cookie rack to cool them.

Once cooled (which only takes a second), I used gold yarn to string them up with an outer circular layer and an inner one. For the top of the chandelier, I used a clock box from Ikea, spray painted yellow.

Since it was octagonal, I decided that it would be easiest to have 8 strings of discs for the outer ring and 8 (staggered in between the original 8) for the inner ring. . The outer ring has 5 discs (one of each color) and the inner ring has 7 discs, so that they would hang down a little more.

I used a different order for colors for the inner ring so that the colors would mix between the two layers.

So- all total you will need 8x5=40 cups for the outer layer and 8x7=56 for the inner layer, or total 96 cups.

It's not evenly distributed between the 5 colors, so decide on your color scheme first to see which colors you'll need I left one end of the string of discs a little longer (tied the other end to the last disc) and then used a needle to thread it through the painted box. I tied adjoining strings together using a square knot, just to keep them from slipping out. Well go back and hot glue everything in place once everything is attached to the box.

Since clock boxes have a central circle, I used an extra plastic ring with yarn tied to it (and hot-glued into place on the box) to hang the whole contraption by stringing it up through that hole.

Then, hang by a window and enjoy!
*****UPDATE***** My sister made this project during her time in the UAE.  When she showed me, I found some small transparent cups and was able to melt those, but I haven't done any since, so I am not sure where to get them.  I have seen some transparent cups at the dollar store but now sure if they are #6 or not.  I hope you can find some cups since this is such a cute project.  If you do find some cups, please let us know where you got them.  Thanks :)

Friday, June 3, 2011

Artists Collection

My wall is filled with end of the school year projects brought home this week. Munchkin is getting upset that her pictures got bumped.
I told her she just had to draw me a new one and we would tack it up.

Craft Fail...and Redemption

I was at the dollar store yesterday getting the last of the fillers for my summer bucket and I saw the t-shirts. I picked up 5 different colors for the boy. I thought it'd be funny to make him day of the week shirts. Since he wore the back one today, it became the Friday shirt. And since it was black I wanted to bleach the stencil on it. I got a little over zealous with the bleach and had to retouch the black with paint and sharpie! Oh well, he likes it!

But I redeemed myself with Wednesday's shirt.

Paint is easier than bleach today.
Only three more shirts to go.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Last Day Love For Teachers

Tomorrow is the last day of school. Hurrah for summer! We wanted to leave our teachers with some end of the school year love. I made them some M&M cookies and found this cute poem online.

Put a pretty ribbon on it and you're good to go! We have loved the kids' teachers this year. I am super sad that Thumbelina won't be able to have the boy's teacher next year since she is moving to a different school. And I knew how to be her room mom!! Happy Summer teachers!!

Summer Starts Tomorrow

We are homebound this summer since hubby is nearly out of vacation days. So I bought one of those giant buckets and filled it up with fun summer stuff for the kids to do.

We are also having theme days. One day we will go to the library, one day the pool, one day will be a cooking day. All of the kids will have a bit of schoolwork to do each day. Reading and math for the school kids. Beginning reading for Munchkin. We are making a reading chart for the summer where the kids can color the number of minutes they read each day to earn certain prizes at certain levels. I think the grand prize will be Lagoon at the end of the summer.

Hopefully, with this plan I will make it through the summer with my sanity!