Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Fashion Designs with Paper

This winter, when we were discussing different careers, Brooke mentioned that she wanted to be a fashion designer. We did a little research about what designers do and how they do it. I also found some great books, called Paper Fashions by Klutz, that let Brooke and Taylor try their hand at putting some outfits together. The book comes with some tiny little coathangers that are wonderful to hang their creations, but where do you put all of them? I decided to make a "store" where the girls could display the outfits they made. I looked around the house and found the perfect sized cardboard box (this is always easy to do when you've just moved) and began to create.

I added some special features like this light fixture and doll house furniture.

Here is the result:

I am working on a blog that will have step by step instructions for any of the crafts seen on this blog. Since that may not happen for a while, if you are interested in making this and have any questions please let me know.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Our Reading Tent

Reading time is a special time in our house and the kids love it. I love it, too! It can be during the day, or right before bed, but it's always a relaxing, fun time with lots of wonderful books! During school, the kids have to read what I have them read, but during reading time they get to choose whatever they like. We visit the library every week to make sure they have lots of options and I have a fully stocked library for those weeks that we don't get there. Sometimes we make a special corner filled with pillows, blankets, and a have a cup of tea but their favorite reading times are when we make a tent and read by lantern.

Some of our favorite picture books are listed on the sidebar. I will be posting more of our favorite picture books soon along with chapter books for kids and some of my most recent reads!

Of course, reading time isn't always about the reading!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Vancouver Olympics 2010

We love the Olympics. Winter or summer, it doesn't matter. The Olympics promotes peace in our world, teaches geography, provides worthwhile entertainment on television and introduces us to some of the most talented and dedicated athletes in the world. It also gives us the opportunity to do some really fun things with our kids!

We started opening night decorating our table for dinner. I covered the table in plain brown paper (we didn't have white like I thought we did) and put a red ribbon down the middle. We stamped a couple of Vancouver 2010 signs along with some red maple leaves and added snowflakes. We traced some round things (cookie cutters, glasses) and made the Olympic Rings in the right colors. The kids drew the rest, including the flags, on their own.

What are the Olympics without the lighting of the torch? Here are some of the kids versions which are very easy to make. If you are interested, see the sidebar for the website with instructions. Brooke added blue to hers which was a really nice touch.

The best torch of the night (though it doesn't show very well in the pictures) was when we made Feuerzangenbowle (which is also known as the Flaming Fire Tongs Punch), a traditional New Year's Eve drink here in Germany. It is similar to Gluhwein but even better! The recipe can be found on the sidebar. We highly recommend it!

I hadn't really planned out a special drink for the kids and was feeling a little guilty since I had this warm and delicious rum-wine-carmelized sugar concoction that had just been lit on fire, so I came up with these:

I took some ginger ale (that we keep in the house in case someone gets sick), mixed it with some homemade lemonade, topped it off with whip cream and put it in these glasses and hoped they looked like torches. The kids loved them!

We needed some medals so we made sugar cookies, cut them in circles and let the kids decorate them gold, silver and bronze. D didn't want gold, silver or bronze. D wanted yellow. D loves yellow.

I found a great project on the website for downhill skiing. I made one like on the site:

Then we had a great idea, the kids would each make a jump and then we would make their skiers separate so they could compete at each other's jumps.



Here are the jumpers, if you look closely, you will see that Taylor made her skier from Germany, note the flag on his shoulder!

Here is D's skier visiting Brooke's ski jump:

Looks a little like Switzerland's Simon Ammann to me!

I will post the website for the downhill skiing and the torch project on the sidebar, if you need help making the skiers, just let me know!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Be Mine

You know what I like about Valentine's Day? Homemade Valentine's cards. I like that it gives you the opportunity to think about the people you love while you create something special for them. I just let the kids pick who they wanted to make them for and let them create with whatever they could find. The only unfortunate part is that the cards are still awaiting their postage!

Brooke made this for her special cousin, Elle.

Taylor made this for her Grandma. It was her own design!

The one in the middle here (Brooke made the others) was my favorite and it was made for a special person. I'm not telling who it's for, you'll know who you are when you receive it!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

A Boy in Yellow

D loves yellow. When I found this hat he immediately put it on and needed to have his yellow shirt on too. We had made it when the girls had field day last year at their school. He was feeling pretty cool so we snapped a few shots of them and thought we would share.

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