Thursday, June 28, 2012

Guess It Giveaway: Tote Bag or Throw Pillow: Closed

Hey there! I've decided to try something new. This will be my first ever Guess It Giveaway post. If you can figure out what I'm working on this week, you will have a chance to win it :) Just have a look at the picture above. Little C Bear has tossed something out of my project basket. It's a brown and white chevron "thingy" in the upper right. Take a guess as to what it is and leave it in the comments section below. I'll draw a winner one week from tomorrow (July 6, 2012). And just so it's not too tough, it's either a throw pillow cover or a tote bag. Best of luck!!

Monday, June 25, 2012

U is for Unearth

U is for Unearth. Today we unearthed dino bones! I snagged this cool 3-D puzzle set at a garage sale and it ended up being just the thing for our letter lesson. I don't know about you, but I never tire of dinosaurs and dino themed activities. Little P really seems to love them too. Still, next week I will likely be moving on. V is for Velociraptor might be overdoing it a bit.

Anyhow, P and I had loads of fun with this. We buried the bones underneath some mud (blocks) and used little shovels (spoons) to dig them out. Then we got to assemble them. I mostly did that myself but P did end up helping me out. I asked her for a leg and she'd hand me one. Same with the arms, tail and face. She got really excited about helping out which is nice b/c she can be difficult to motivate sometimes. It didn't take much effort this time though. Do I spy a budding paleontologist?

Friday, June 15, 2012

T is for T-Rex

T is for T-Rex! We're big fans around here. We've got quite the growing collection. When I started brainstorming for words that begin with the letter T, I had a hunch that Little P might like this one :) I found a finger puppet template HERE and used it to trace the image on some foam. (The paper I printed it on was flimsy. Trust me, it was just waiting to tear). Then I cut it out and let P have at it! She really liked her new T-Rex friend but didn't like the feeling of the foam around her fingers. So I made another version, this time with some legs and a stick. P seemed to like that one much better!

One drawback about this activity is that I ended up making it myself. I will probably save the template so P at least has something to color. We will probably do some letter tracing again too to work on fine motor skills together.

We also tried out our new discovery bottle. It was loads of fun. It ended up being the perfect tool for letter recognition. I just wish I would have found this out sooner. I got the idea from a new blog I found. It's called, Modern Parents Messy Kids. You can find the directions for the bottles by clicking HERE. They've got loads of other craft ideas as well. I'll likely be making some more bottles soon. C and P both seem to love them :)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Lemon Pasta with Roasted Shrimp: Dairy Free

I've recently had to give up dairy and with it, most of my favorite recipes. It's always been a challenge for me to get excited about cooking and there is always added stress when I know there are ingredients I have to avoid. Nothing annoys me more than scrolling through recipe after recipe, having to discard one after the next due to things like butter or milk or cheese. So when I find something new that's completely dairy free I get really excited! So excited, that I have to share :)

Granted, this recipe isn't actually dairy free (there is butter in the sauce). But thanks to one great reviewer, the modifying was already done for me. As an added bonus it took just 30 minutes to prepare and was, oh my goodness, the best thing I've had in forever! In addition to making one easy weeknight dinner for the fam, it would be great to serve up for company too. Just keep your recipe card on hand because people are going to want a copy. To make some for yourself, just click HERE for the recipe.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Shaping Stars

Sylvan Star Washcloth

This week I've been working up some star motifs. It's been really informative and fun. One of the things I love most about crochet is that there is a seemingly endless number of skills to learn and master. This week I ventured into the art of shaping. What's most amazing to me is that you can start out with one shape (like a circle or a square) and end up with something completely different when you're done (like a star). I really love that about motifs.

What I also love is all the great resources for patterns nowadays. I'm always discovering something interesting and new to work up. Above are some washcloths that I just made. I found the pattern over at Lion Brand. I made a few minor alterations. Instead of eight rounds, I crocheted six and I added a boarder of single crochets to finish off the edges. I'm pretty pleased with how they turned out. Below is a star motif that I stitched up from a book. It was a little confusing to follow at first, but I got the hang of it after a couple of tries. What's great about both of these patterns is that they are a nice way to scrap your stash if you've got some left over yarn to use up...and believe me, I've got lots of extra yarn.

Beyond the Square Crochet Motifs

Tinker's Creek

Last weekend N and I went to a new spot in the Metroparks. Well, it was new to me, not to N. He grew up around these woods so he knows them quite well. We had to trek up fairly high just to get to this spot but it was worth it for all the beautiful sights. There were loads of wide open spaces with little sprays of wildflowers. There were fields of tall grass with free standing ponds in the middle of them. There were odd little patches of broken concrete and an abandoned fire hydrant as well. Someone left behind a shelter and N and I had fun crawling and sitting inside. Everything about the place seemed secluded and abandoned, yet it was teeming with beauty and life. It was unlike any other place I've been and it's a place that I won't soon forget. I love treks like these w/ my husband <3