Reusable, Comfortable, Functional

Saturday, May 7, 2011

My Review of Animal Yatzi

Originally submitted at Magic Cabin

Shake, rattle and roll out the elephants and monkeys! This fun adaptation of a classic favorite is just as exciting, but with a twist - the dice have tiny animals instead of dots! The game comes packed for travel in a tidy little tin. Made by Haba® of Germany.

For ages 5 and up.

Fun Game

By NatureMom from Michigan on 5/7/2011


4out of 5

Pros: Great Value, Entertaining, Fun, Interactive

Best Uses: Indoor, Young Children, Family Time

Describe Yourself: Stay At Home Parent, Education Oriented, Parent Of Two Or More Children

Was this a gift?: Yes

This was a gift for my 4 1/2 year old daughter for Christmas. We've only played it a couple of times, but it is a lot of fun. She originally took an interest in the adult version of Yahtzee when we played with friends, so I knew it would be a hit with her. I love that the dice are wooden and have cute animal shapes. It's nice that everything fits right back into the little container to store it, but I must say that I originally thought the container would be larger and the sheets of paper would be larger to make it easier for small hands to write their own scores. The container can be used to shake the dice in (it is about the size of an adult Yahtzee shaker cup). Honestly, my only disappointment is that I intended this to be a larger present, but it ended up being a stocking stuffer because of the size. Overall, I am happy with the purchase.


My Review of Peg Loom

Originally submitted at Magic Cabin

Children will soon discover the fun of making everything from dollhouse carpets to pencil cases on this simple, hardwood Peg Loom, furnished with a tapestry needle, wool yarns, cotton warp string and clear, concise instructions.

Made in the USA for ages 5 and older.

Make yo...

Nice Product.

By NatureMom from Michigan on 5/7/2011


4out of 5

Pros: Great Value, Entertaining, Fun

Best Uses: Family Time, Creative Development, Indoor

Describe Yourself: Parent Of Two Or More Children, Stay At Home Parent, Education Oriented

Was this a gift?: Yes

I purchased this as a gift for my daughter for Christmas. At the time, she was 4 1/2 years old. I was surprised that she took an interest to this product right away, I really thought it would be something I would have to push her toward. She enjoys weaving the yarns through the loom, but needs help with the "over-and-under" near the edges and beginning the next row, and when it comes time to add the next piece of yarn. I think this is something she will continue to enjoy as she gets older and will be a nice quiet time activity.


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A Special Handmade Christmas Present

While reminiscing about my childhood in the early 80s, I thought about the really cool sticker books that existed at that time. I was probably 4 or 5, and my older sister would have been 14. We were both ecstatic whenever we were able to come across new stickers to add to our books. I even remember the nearest mall had a store that exclusively sold stickers on large rolls and you could go in there and tell the employee which ones you wanted, and they would cut them off the roll for you.
I am now much older with my own children, the oldest being almost 5. She will often receive stickers from various places like the dentist, post office, even during the boat ride while heading to Mackinaw Island two summers ago. She adores each and every one of them, and instinctively wishes to apply them to SOMETHING.

My search for a sticker book similar to the one I had as a child turned up useless. I searched countless stores and online with no luck. So, being of the crafty kind, I finally decided to make her one myself. While designing the book, I had a couple goals in mind: 1. Keep the cost low - it is a sticker book. 2. Make it cute - I wanted to be sure she would enjoy looking at it. 3. Similar in style to what I remembered from the 80s. 4. Make it sturdy and strong so that it will last a lifetime.

I set out to find cute pictures from a children's book that I could photocopy, and came across several animals that I really liked. I brought the copies home and colored each with colored pencils and cut them out with an X-acto knife, then glued them to various colored construction paper. I ended up with 10 sheets for the inside of the book (20 pages), plus a front and back cover.

I wanted the paper to be strong and glossy like I remembered, so laminating seemed to be the best option. My husband dropped them off at an office supply store and had them work their magic. I really wanted a black plastic binder ring along the entire side to hold the pages together, but they said it couldn't be done. I'm assuming this is because I had so many laminated pages.

After I had the laminated pages back in my hands, I had to bind them together somehow, so I used my very inexpensive and weak 3-hole ring puncher to make indents into the laminated paper. I was then able to see where the holes needed to be and used my single hole puncher to punch each hole separately. I then tied jute string into each hole. I hope to find metal rings to replace the jute soon.

I added a sweet little note on the inside back cover to remind my daughter when she is older that I made this for her as a Christmas present, and I hope that she will take good care of it forever.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

A Trip To Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park

My husband and I were finally able to get away with the kids on a short family vacation. We had heard of the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Garden a while ago, and I really wanted to go. It is about a 3 hour drive each way from where we live, so we made it an overnight trip so we wouldn't be rushed and exhausted. We were fortunate enough to visit during the Chihuly Glass Sculpture displays and the ArtPrize.
I really like this sculpture of the horse.

Having a love of gardening, I really like this sculpture of the trowel. It was quite large - compare the size of the trowel with the trees!

This is an amazingly massive sculpture. My daughter said she wished it was a slide.

I don't like spiders, but this was a pretty cool sculpture. My daughter was a little afraid.

This beaver was interesting. Quite friendly little guy. Well, actually, he was pretty big.

I liked the animal footprints in the stonework. We enjoyed trying to guess the different types of animals the prints belonged to.

This is the TreeHouse in the Children's Garden. My husband and I took turns taking our daughter through it since our son was in the stroller. Lot's of fun!

This is a plant in the room with many variations of cactus. My daughter especially liked this one and said it needs a haircut!

Very nice sculpture. I can't imagine the time, sweat and patience it took to create this.

As a mother, I really enjoyed this one.
Overall, we had a great time and I am so glad we took the time to see this. Sometimes the best vacations are short and sweet, and close to home.

The Gathering Bag

This is the newest item available in my etsy shop. It is a Gathering Bag, a bag for collecting goodies from nature, an adventure bag, what ever you would like to call it. It is made of burlap, 100% jute, a natural plant fiber.

I love the rustic, natural look to this bag. It features a long strap that allows the bag to hang 16" from the shoulder. Perfect size for a smaller person or a child to wear across the chest.

Roomy enough to collect all that nature offers us. Pinecones, acorns, leaves, stones, seashells. Take it to the backyard, on a nature hike, to the park, or the beach.

This is the first being offered in my shop Customers may even choose any design from my shop to have stenciled on the bag instead of the word "Collect". This really is the perfect bag for the kid in all of us.

Stirring Up A Little Ghoulish Fun

I love Halloween. It had always been one of my favorite holidays as a kid. Of course, back then I loved it because of the trick or treating, but also because of something more. I loved how people would go out of their way to decorate and make their lawns scary. I loved the hayrides, pumpkin carving, leaf piles, scarecrows, apple cider and donuts. You name it, if it had something to do with Halloween, I loved it.
Now that I have kids of my own, I want to share with them some of the experiences I enjoyed when I was their age. As a homeowner, I had never really had the money to spend on the costly decorating Halloween involves. So I decided to make my own ghosts.

I have a lot, and I do mean A LOT of scrap material from all of my other crafting projects. What better way to use some of it up then on one of my favorite holidays? I used 2" foam balls and tore wide strips of fabric and left the edges raw for a "scary" ghost look. I draped the fabric, usually about 3 pieces per ghost over the foam ball and pinned it on with straight pins. After each ghost was made, my 4 year old daughter had a blast drawing the faces on with a Sharpie marker.

We made a total of 12 ghosts. After each was made, I used a large needle to thread embroidery floss (6 strands thick) through each ball and tied them to this pine tree...

...and this shrub. How "ghoulishly" scary!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Beauty of Summer

It has been a while since I have had a chance to blog; it has been quite a busy summer so far. I can't say that I have accomplished anything too extraordinarily exciting, but I have captured a few good shots this past month.
Each of the shots taken here were in my front yard, shortly after a rain storm. I was sitting on the porch, taking a break from house cleaning, and noticed the way the sun was shining and the raindrops glistened. I had to run into the house and grab my camera before I missed my opportunity. Pleasantly surprised on the outcome here.
The above 3 images will soon be available in my second etsy shop Meanwhile, there are other exciting images currently available. I love checking out other photographers on etsy as well. Some of my favorite photographers are:
That's just a handful of the wonderful photographic talent on etsy. I encourage you to check them out and enjoy what they have to offer.