Quick and Easy Summer Mini Album

Quick and Easy Summer Vacation Mini Album

You don’t have to take an expensive Summer Vacation to have fun when your a kid.

Between Baseball games, Swim Lessons, Swim Team, Carnivals, Pie Eating Contests,

Fireworks, Drive In Movies, Swimming, Summer Reading Program, Mini Gardens,

Tie-Dyeing and just playing outside….there’s always something to do.

Because we have so many great pictures, I decided to make my grandsons a

Summer Vacation Mini Album to remember all the good times they’ve had this summer.

To Create my Summer Vacation Mini Album I used:                            (*affiliate links)

*Disclosure:  This blog uses ads and affiliate links.  If you choose to make a purchase using one of the links, I receive a small commission (at no additional cost to you) that helps offset the costs of maintaining this blog.  Thanks for your support!

With the help of my Xyron Creative Station* putting the album together was super easy.

  • Cut two 6″ x 8-1/2″pieces of decorative scrapbook paper for the front and inside of the cover.
  • Lay decorative scrapbook paper (design side up) on the  Xyron Creative Station* crank the handle to run the paper through the machine.  As it moves through the Xyron Creative Station it adds adhesive to the back side of the paper.
  • Easy to use and it doesn’t need any electricity.
  • I like using the Xyron Creative Station* when making mini books because you get complete coverage, no wrinkling, no bubbles!

  • Cut a piece of mat board 6″ x 8-1/2″.
  • Adhere the decorative paper on each side of the mat board.

  • The notebook die creases the center of mat board as it goes through the Big Shot Die Cutting Machine making it easy to fold the cover for your mini album.

  • Cut a 2 1/4″ x 5″ strip of decorative paper to use for the spine and run it through the Xyron Creative Station*.
  • The small “hello summer” graphic is from an old Bo Bunny collection that I hoarded and never used.  It was perfect for this album.  (sorry I don’t think you can find it anymore)

  • Cut 5 white cardstock pages using the notebook die.
  • Crease the cardstock on the center score lines.
  • Using blue and white twine, wrap the twine around the inside creases and around the outside of the book cover to secure the pages.
  • I did one page at a time tying the twine in a knot on the outside after each page.

  • After I had all my pages together, I tied all the piece of twine together in one knot on the spine and let the ends of the twine hang loose.

I wanted this Summer Mini Album to be all about the pictures. 

There are no fancy embellishments or special pages inside this album.

(just lots of fun pictures of my boys)

The hardest part about making this album was choosing which pictures I wanted to use.

I printed my pictures 4″ x 5.3″ instead of the usual 4″ x 6″.

I cut each picture 3 1/4″ x 4 3/4″ which left a nice white border around my picture when added

to the album.  I used my Xyron Mega Runner* to add adhesive on the back of the pictures.

I had all 21 pictures added to my album in no time.  (one on the inside back cover)

These are three busy little boys. 

They’ve had a great summer so far and they still have another month to go before school starts. 

Who says summer is about lazy days.  

The Summer Vacation Mini Album measures 3 3/4″ x 5″.

“This is a sponsored post.  As a member of the Xyron Makers Program I have been provided product and compensation in exchange for my creative ideas.  The views and opinions are my own.

 

Indigo Shibori Dyeing

Indigo Shibori Dyeing

We had a little fun this past week-end and tried something new….

My daughter asked me to purchase a Indigo Dye Kit* for her birthday.

She wanted to use it when she came home.  (I’m always up for trying something different.)

Shibori is a Japanese term for methods of dyeing cloth.  Similar to tie-dyeing you create patterns by binding, stitching, folding, twisting, and compressing.  In Japan, the earliest known example of cloth dyed with the shibori technique dates back to the 8th century where indigo was the main dye used.

Shibori Indigo Dye Kit from Made Kits by One-OneThousand*

The kit came with everything we would need:

  • Thiox
  • Soda Ash
  • Pre-reduced Indigo
  • Rubber Gloves
  • Rubber Bands
  • Acrylic Plates
  • Great Instructions

Everything except a very large bucket and items to dye.

It said right on the front of the box…”no chemistry degree needed”.

*Disclosure:  This blog uses ads and affiliate links.  If you choose to make a purchase using one of the links, I receive a small commission (at no additional cost to you) that helps offset the costs of maintaining this blog.  Thanks for your support!

My daughter had purchased a few new items to dye and we quickly added other items like…

pillowcases, old doilies, vintage linens, old jeans and other miscellaneous items.

The kit comes with great instructions on how to mix the Thiox, Indigo and Soda Ash with water.

It is recommended to use a 5 gallon bucket with lid.

After everything is mixed cover the bucket tightly with the lid and let it rest for one hour.

When you are ready to start dyeing, remove the cover.

The liquid will be a greenish-yellow in color and you will see a cluster of bubbles called

“the flower” and a film on top.  (It will have a smell, that’s normal, they said)

Carefully scoop out the bubbles “the flower” and set aside with a little of the dye liquid.

The instructions say that you can put “the flower” back in the bucket after your done

dyeing to keep the dye bucket going for future dye projects.  (hmmm.)

The dye can be used for several dye sessions if carefully stored.

It’s always a good idea to pre-wash new items with a mild detergent.

We used several different twisting and rubber banding techniques on the fabric.

FYI…The dye reacts best if your item is wet first.

When you lift your item out of the dye mixture it will be a yellow greenish color.  

As the air hits the dyed item, the indigo will gradually oxidize and the dyed item will turn blue.

The longer the item is in the dye, the darker it becomes once it hits the air.

They suggest ringing the item and letting it sit for 15 minutes and then re-dipping the item

in the dye for deeper hues.

Creating a Wax Resist

My daughter and her husband created dots on their shoes by using melted wax and the end

of a paintbrush.  (We kept the melted wax hot in a old mini crock pot.)

The melted wax creates a resist that will repel the dye.

They covered the souls of the shoes with removable painters tape to protect it from the dye.

A large brush was used to paint the dye on the shoes instead of dipping them.

Once dyed…we hung the items on a clothesline tied between two trees in the front yard.

My husband said it looked real classy.  I thought it looked beautiful.

We left them hanging overnight as they need 24-48 hours to dry and oxidize.

As with a lot of new techniques…there is a little bit of a learning curve.

We were pleased with the results and can’t wait until she’s home again to dye some more.

FYI…We used Shibori Indigo Dye Kit from Made Kits by One-OneThousand*

A Kid Sized Makeover

Mini Park Bench before

Mini Park Bench Makeover

Tucked away beside my porch next to my hydrangeas was a wobbly, forgotten little park bench.

It had been left out all winter and hadn’t weathered very well.

I picked up the little bench a few years at yard sale when it was still in good shape.

The bench has nice metal frame and a cute jungle theme inset. 

With a little tender loving care the bench could be almost as good as new.

I carefully took the bench apart and gave it a light sanding to get rid of rust and grim.

I painted the frame with Rust-Oleum Dark Gray Paint and Primer*.

*Disclosure:  “This is a sponsored post.  I have been provided product in exchange for my creative ideas.  The views and opinions are my own.”  This blog uses ads and affiliate links.  If you choose to make a purchase using one of the links, I receive a small commission (at no additional cost to you) that helps offset the costs of maintaining this blog.  Thanks for your support!

DecoArt Color Stain

I had a difficult time choosing which color of  I wanted to use so I created a color sample board.

In the end I went with white.    (bird poop doesn’t show up as much on white)

The wood slats were painted with DecoArt White Americana Decor Color Stain*.

DecoArt Color Stain has a semi-transparent, satin sheen for enhancing wood, concrete, terra cotta, and other surfaces that can be displayed indoors or out. Once cured, there is no reason to add an additional polyurethane or other sealant on top. The water-based formula makes cleanup simple while still offering a durable finish.

And because little details count…I also painted the screws.

Do you like how I used a long reach hole punch to make holes in my box for the screws to sit?

Finished Park Bench  (well almost)

The white color stain paint* allows the wood grain to show through giving my bench

a “worn look” with out being worn out.   (It’s hard to see by the pictures.)

When my husband got home and looked at the bench he thought the animals looked a little flat.

So…I rubbed DecoArt Champagne Ice Metallic Lustre™ Wax* on them to make them stand

out.  I added a little metallic lustre™ wax* on the bench frame as well.

He was right, it really makes a difference.

I placed the bench in the shade under the maple tree in the front yard.

All I need is a couple pint sized buddies to come over and enjoy it with me.

Shop Your Fav Brands at Scrapbook.com

Crafting with Kids…all about bugs

BUZZIN’ BUGS

The summer crafting adventures continue with Nick and Warren and the July Orange Art Box.

This months box is all about Bugs and I do believe it was Warren’s favorite box.

The kit came with supplies to make a bug jar, cute little felt bugs, bug stencils, stickers,

paper to make a bug book, plastic bugs, markers and several other fun crafty supplies.

Check out the boys video and the July Orange Art Box.  

(I’m starting to wonder if I should include their bloopers.  Never a dull moment.)

So…If you are looking for something different for your kids to do this summer

you might want to look into the Orange Art Box.

It’s available to purchase as a 1, 3, 6 or 12 month subscription.

Perfect gift for that budding artist.

Orange Art Box - Subscribe Now

The Orange Art Box is a subscription art box for kids.

*Disclosure:  “This is a sponsored post.  I have been provided product in exchange for my creative ideas.  The views and opinions are my own.”  This blog uses ads and affiliate links.  If you choose to make a purchase using one of the links, I receive a small commission (at no additional cost to you) that helps offset the costs of maintaining this blog.  Thanks for your support!

Dream Create Inspire Wall Decor

Dream Create Inspire Wall Décor

I have been working diligently for the last couple of months on my new craft room.

Moving, purging, organizing and very slowly decorating.  (so much stuff!)

I’m almost ready for a “craft room reveal” but not quite yet.

This past week-end I decided to add a little inspiration to my freshly painted closet doors.

I like the look of inspirational quotes on walls and decided to create one of my own.

With the help of my Silhouette Cameo Wireless Cutting Machine* and

Matte Removable Adhesive Vinyl* from Styletechcraft the project was real easy to create.

(getting a good picture of the final project not so easy)

*Disclosure:  This blog uses ads and affiliate links.  If you choose to make a purchase using one of the links, I receive a small commission (at no additional cost to you) that helps offset the costs of maintaining this blog.  Thanks for your support!

  • I measured the space on the door where I wanted the words to go and decided where the best spacing would be for all three words.
  • I cut the Gridded Vinyl Transfer Tape* to fit inside the space.
  • I used the bottom line of the grid and line on the door inset to line up my words.
  • Once you place your word onto your surface, smooth over word with the vinyl tool.

  • I found it easier to place the words Dream and Inspire first and then center the word Create in between the two.

  • I cut two small flowers using dark red removeable vinyl and placed them in between the words.

 

Did you know that Matte Removable Vinyl will remove cleanly for up to two years?

This vinyl  film is great for decorating a kid’s room, a classroom or just about anywhere

you just  need a temporary graphic.

“This is a sponsored post.  As a member of the StyleTechCraft Design Team I have been provided product and compensation in exchange for my creative ideas.  The views and opinions are my own.

You can now find the full line of StyletechCraft online at ATSM.

Shop Your Fav Brands at Scrapbook.com

Quick and Easy Golfer Gift

Monogram Golf Towel

Make something special for your favorite golfer using

Joy® embroidered iron-on monogram letters!

To make the Monogram Towel you will need:
  • Joy® Monogram Left Letter
  • Joy® Monogram Center Letter
  • Joy® Monogram Right Letter
  • Plain Golf Towel
  • Iron and pressing cloth

Instructions:
  1. Check care label of towel to check heat tolerance.
  2. Heat iron to cotton setting 300-350°.
  3. Position letters onto towel, heat seal side down, threads up.
  4. Carefully cover letters with a clean cloth.
  5. Using firm pressure, iron over the letters in a circular motion for 30 seconds.
  6. Turn towel over and iron the back for another 30 seconds.
  7. Let cool for a minute before handling.
Joy® iron-on embroidered letters and appliqués can be found at your local craft stores!

“This is a sponsored post.  As a member of the Joy® Design Team I have been provided product and compensation in exchange for my creative ideas.  The views and opinions are my own.

Shop Your Fav Brands at Scrapbook.com

*Disclosure:  This blog uses ads and affiliate links.  If you choose to make a purchase using one of the links, I receive a small commission (at no additional cost to you) that helps offset the costs of maintaining this blog.  Thanks for your support!

Gnome Gardening with Kids

Gnome Gardening with Kids

One of our favorite Summer traditions is creating our annual Gnome Gardens.

The boys and I look forward to making them every year.

I started the tradition of Gnome Gardening several years ago when Nick was only 3.

To create our gardens we use a variety of containers and objects we’ve picked up along the way.

For the plants, we use succulents and flowers that won’t grown too big.

I like using Asparagus Ferns to mimic trees.

As mini gardens grow in popularity… there several places you can find accessories

for your gardens.  We like to get something new for our gardens every year.

This year we added items picked up at  Dollar Tree.

*Disclosure:  This blog uses ads and affiliate links.  If you choose to make a purchase using one of the links, I receive a small commission (at no additional cost to you) that helps offset the costs of maintaining this blog.  Thanks for your support!

This is Nick’s 6th year making Gnome Gardens so he’s pretty proficient with his garden.

You can see Nick and my first Mini Garden here.

This is Warren’s 3rd year making a Gnome Garden.  

He lets me help him.   (maybe that’s why his is my favorite)

His garden is all about the house placement.

You can see Warren’s first Gnome Garden here.

I love seeing how much they’ve grown from their first gardens.

The extra credit award goes to my daughter-in-law (the boys mom). 

She found this little gnome house at Dollar Tree and repainted it with a Mario inspired look.

The tiny Camper and firepit was from last years garden and is available at LeisureArts.com.

Leisure Arts Mini Garden Supplies…        (*affiliate link)

You can see last years Gnome Gardens here.

This year was Emerson’s turn for his first Gnome Garden.

He always wants to do everything his big brothers are doing.

Water bottles are a great item to have when Gnome Gardening. 

It helps the boys control how much water goes on the garden, and they’re fun too.

This little stinker sprayed me as I stuck my head out the window for a quick pic.

(I may have sprayed him first.)

Creating mini Gnome Gardens is a fun and memorable project to make with kids.

We always have a good time.

It gives them something to take care of all summer long.

And…it adds a little whimsy to my front porch.

To create a Gnome Garden you’ll need:

  • Container for your garden. I like finding unusual items like the top of a broken wagon. It adds a little extra whimsy to the garden.
  • Good Potting Soil
  • Small Garden Tools
  • Gnome or Fairy Figures
  • Rocks, Twigs and other found objects
  • Store Bought Accessories such as the gnome houses
  • Succulents
  • Annuals that won’t grow too big or tall
  • I like to use Asparagus Ferns to mimic trees
  • Water Bottle
  1. Start the Gnome Garden by adding potting soil to your container.
  2. Allow the kids to loosen up the soil before adding plants.
  3. Small gardening tools are also fun to have.
  4. Add plants to the container before adding accessories.
  5. I like to add the largest plants first near the back of the container.
  6. Allow the kids to add their special pieces to the garden.
  7. Give the garden a good spray of water using the water bottles.

Crafts for Kids

A Special Thanks to LeisureArts.com for providing the Mini Garden Supplies. 

Learn More

If you are looking for something different for your kids to do this summer

you might want to look into the Orange Art Box.

It’s available to purchase as a 1, 3, 6 or 12 month subscription.

Perfect gift for that budding artist.