Thursday, February 9, 2017

Valentine's Day Canvas Art for Kids-Great Valentine's Day Party Craft

My friend Mandy and I are the Room Representatives for our son's fourth grade class. We met one day back in January to plan the upcoming Valentine's Day Party. Planning kids class parties get harder the older the kids become. During research we found so many ideas for younger kids, and not as much for the older kids. We wanted to plan a fun and simple craft that the kids would not think was too "babyish" and one they would be proud to take home. We hope we came up with something they will enjoy.


--8x10 canvas (I found a good deal on a 10 pack at Michael's Arts and Crafts)
--various acrylic craft paint (2 oz bottles)
--cotton balls
--baby wipes (to wipe hands when done)
--shape cutouts (we chose a heart, arrows, and the word LOVE)
--painters' tape (to secure the cutout on the canvas while painting)

Step One. Make sure you have each child write their name and the year on the back of their canvas before they start to paint.

Each child will need to choose a shape and process to paint their canvas. We decided on a heart, arrows, and the word LOVE. We thought the boys might appreciate the arrows since everything Valentine's Day is so pink and hearts, etc. I cut the cutouts out of card stock on my Silhouette Portrait Machine, but you could also find shapes on the internet and print them onto card stock or trace them on cardboard. The last part of the prep step is each kid will need to decide on whether to use the pencil method or cotton ball method.

Step Two: Secure the cutout to the canvas with painter's tape. Make sure to get the edges secure so that the cutout does not slide around during the painting process.

Step Three: Paint!

Pencil Method: Have one pencil for each paint color. Dip the eraser side of the pencil in the paint and dab on canvas. Easy!

NOTE: Depending on the amount of time your kids have to finish the canvas they might not be able to fill the entire canvas with dots (it did take more time than the cotton ball method). However, it would still look cool to do several layers around the perimeter of the cutout to get the same effect.

Cotton Ball Method.  Have one cotton ball for each paint color. Dip the cotton ball in paint and dab on the canvas.

NOTE: You can also attach a clothes pin to the cotton ball for the kids to hold for less mess. The mess was still minimal without the clothes pin. The paint easily came off with a wet wipe when I was finished.

Step 4: Depending on the amount of time you have, you can let the paint air dry or bring a hair dryer to speed the drying process along. Our party is at the end of the school day, so we are planning on using a hair dryer so the kids don't leave school with a wet canvas and risk getting paint on clothes, car/bus seats and floors.

A fun Valentine's Day craft that any age kid will love!

Check back Monday for my favorite Valentine's Day childhood memory that I've continued with my own kids! It's a fun one!

Friday, February 3, 2017

Five Things Friday

Friday is here! Here's five things from me today.

one. Monday was the 100th Day of School! The first graders wear a shirt with 100 things on it and have a fashion show. Such a fun idea! He even had to fill out a card that they would read as he walked down the runway detailing his shirt and why he chose his 100 things.

Things don't always turn out as planned. Cooper and I came up with the idea to use 100 monopoly bills. I was so proud of Cooper, he helped every step of the way. He cut out every single bill on this shirt. I was so impressed with his cutting skills. He is an attention to detail boy like his momma!

By the time the bills were secured on the shirt, it was so stiff it looked like he was wearing a suit of armor. We all got a good laugh! I knew that it would not be comfortable to wear at school all day. So, I loaded up the boys at 4:40 pm on a Sunday afternoon (thankfully there was a craft store still open) and we headed out to find a Plan B. We went with a Googly Eye Monster. He loved how it turned out. Success in the end. The first shirt may still be salvageable as a Halloween costume, I'm going to see what I can come up with!

two. I have an my 28 week appointment today. I get to see the baby again via ultrasound! While I'm so excited, I'm praying everything looks good. There were two pictures they could not get at my 20 week appointment, due to the baby's position. Yay for me that he didn't cooperate! It will be nice to get a second confirmation that he really is a "he" before I begin all the preparations for his room, and we finalize a name.

Today is also the dreaded glucose screening. I have failed the one hour glucose test with every single baby. I don't have high hopes for passing today, but there is a first time for everything.

three. MOPS. I love my MOPS group. Better moms make a better world. Yesterday our meeting was all about "I Love My Man." Our speaker Elizabeth Winn shared such good information and encouraged us to be better wives. She challenged us with this question, "Does your husband walk around thinking that you think he hung the moon?" He should. I left energized to love my man better.

four. It's feeling like spring around here. The addition of my new front door wreath, this new Spring Garden hand soap with Olive Oil (it smells awesome) from Bath and Body Works, and my guys coming home from the grocery store with these beautiful pink tulips the other night (I'm one lucky lady), I'm ready for all things spring.  I know there are 44 days left until the official start, but I'm ready!

five. Valentine's Day fun coming to the blog next week. Check back in for a few ideas on making Valentine's Day special.

Have a great Friday and weekend!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

[VIDEO] Preserving Your Memories: Our Finished 2016 Family Yearbook

Last Tuesday I received an exciting package at my door. My complete 2016 Family Yearbook! This was the fastest turnaround of any book I have made (I'm usually a few years behind). I'm happy to say it is possible to keep up with documenting your family's memories. I would not have been able to do this without the Project Life App. You can read more about how I do that HERE.

Here is a quick video tour of my 2016 Family Yearbook!

You've made the pages in the app, now what?  It's time to PRINT! You can either print your pages out individually as 8"x 8" or 12"x 12," and then slide them into page protectors in a memory keeping binder or scrapbook. Or save them on your computer and print them in a book, which is what I do. I love this compact option and while its hard to wait to see the finished product until the year is over, it is highly worth it to me!

Here are the steps you need to take to get from digital pages to printed product.

Save. As you make your pages in the Project Life App make sure to save to Dropbox or Export them to your computer after you are done with each page. If your app is deleted your pages are not saved, so make sure to export. I've lost a few pages over time to little hands that accidentally delete my app from my phone (don't let it happen to you)!

Upload. Upload to your favorite printing company. My favorite is Blurb. I have used them to print four books and have never been disappointed. Open a new project in Blurb and begin importing your page layouts from your computer. It is very user friendly and their customer service is great! I have priced several printing companies around and Blurb wins every time, I have been a very satisfied customer.They run frequent promotions, so you can get your book all ready to go and wait for the next coupon code to come out, you won't be waiting long!

Once you have download the book wright tool on your computer (for Blurb) you will then open a new book and begin making selections. Book size, cover option, page options, etc.  You can save your pages in the app as an 8"x8" or a 12"x12." Since I have started using Project Life to document our family I have gone with the 12"x12" size and I love it. I choose the Image Wrap option for my cover, which means they print your cover art directly on the cover. This was also the first year that I upgraded my paper to the ProLine Uncoated Paper (a thick card stock paper). I really like the quality. My other three books were all the standard paper, which has stood the test of time too.

I want to give you a few tips and tricks that I have learned along the way.

1. Make sure that you check the cut off grid of your pages. You can turn this on to make sure you see where the safe zone is. I learned this the hard way in my 2012 book. I imported all my pages into Blurb and sent it off to be printed. When I received my book all the pages were slightly cut off on the sides. It pained me after the many hours I had spent creating the book over the year. Make sure you add a buffer around the edge (if using lightroom). Or, you can easily adjust it right in the blurb layout of each page. This is an important step!

2. Make sure you read over any journaling on each page before you export it to dropbox or your computer. It is much easier to fix any errors now, then to go back later.

Include a fun panoramic photo in your book!

3. The most important thing is to get your memories documented and printed. Whether they are from 20 years ago or 2 months ago. You don't have to have a lot of journaling, a page full of pictures is just as special. Having those precious memories in hand is the most important thing.

One of the things that I have loved even more than looking through these books myself is watching my boys' faces as they flip though and study each page. That has been priceless!

How do you document and preserve your family memories? I would love to hear!

If you have any questions about Project Life or printing a book, I would be happy to answer those below.  Now, go make some memories!