DIY KID’S RIBBON RAINBOW WALL HANGING

Hello Lovely,

Ever since my niece was born, I've been obsessed with finding the cutest DIYs for her. She wasn't the friendliest at first, making it really hard to get a good photo of her, but around 2 months she really started to open up, smile more and even light up for the camera! It's been a joy creating things for her the past three months. One of those is this whimsical rainbow ribbon wall hanging! Kid stuff always feels like it can be more playful and fun and you can do just about whatever you want! 

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Supplies:
-60 white cotton balls
-8 x 11 white cloud printout
-8 x 11 cardboard
-hot glue gun
-ribbons or tissue paper in rainbow colours (ribbon will hold up more to a grabby baby)

Optional supplies: -glue on jewelry bails, jump ringsgold chain, and jewelry kit

  1. First print out a white cloud, cut it out then glue it to your cardboard. Cut around the shape of the cloud. This will serve as your base. 
  2. Glue cotton balls onto cloud filling up all of the white space. For an 8 x 11 cloud, I used 40 cotton balls and for an 11 x 17 cloud, I used 60 cotton balls.
  3. You can either glue a string to the back of the cardboard cloud or use your jewellery pliers to attach jump rings to each bail. Cut a length of chain with your jewellery cutters to attach to the jump rings (mine was about 8″ long) and connect your jump rings with the chain.
  4. Decide how long you want your ribbons to hang down from your cloud and cut 3 of each colour ribbon a few inches longer than that measurement (I made mine 20″ long). 
  5. In colour order, glue the colours across the bottom back of your cloud and make sure to reverse the order from how you want it to appear when hanging.
  6. Hang your rainbow in the spot you want it to go and then use fabric scissors to trim the ribbons at an angle with the longest ribbon in each set being the one at the back and the shortest ones being the ones hanging in the front. That’s it! You’re done! 

So sweet! I love how the ribbons hang down and the cotton balls above look so puffy—I just want to poke them! The cotton ball clouds would be a great item to add a few drops of essential oils onto to keep a delicious scent in a kid’s room as well (just keep in mind that peppermint oil should not be used around children under the age of 6 and eucalyptus oil should not be used around children under the age of 10).

 

 

If I Could Have Any Super Power, it Would Be...

Hello Lovely,

This week I'm teaching my kids about tapping into their inner superhero. Last year we learned about Growth Mindsets so I thought it would be perfect to start the New Year off with this cute Arts & Crafts project made from recycled materials. All it takes to make this cute superhero accessory is one toilet paper tube, construction paper, glue and markers. I made mine first and showed up in costume to get the kids excited. After they got all of the giggles out of their system, I explained what they would be doing. They had to bring in their own toilet paper rolls to decorate, then come up with a super power, a name, a back story on how they got their power, and how they use their powers for good! Since I'm a Guidance Counsellor, I told them that I have the power to heal people from the inside out, my superhero name is Amethyst and I got my powers from the Amethyst stone, since it's my birthstone. 

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How to make Superhero cuffs using toilet rolls tubes

You will need –

  • Toilet rolls x 2
  • Coloured paper
  • Glue stick
  • Scissors
  1. Begin by covering your toilet rolls in your favourite coloured paper. You can have your child colour the toilet roll using coloured pencils too. 
  2. Decorate the toilet roll with your child's super hero logo/symbol in the appropriate colours. You could use glitter, feathers, pompoms….the possibilities are endless. 
  3. Once you allow the cuffs to dry, simply cut the toilet roll down the back and fit it over your child’s arm. 

My kids loved this activity and came up with some really creative ideas. I had so much fun planning for this. I was always dressing up as a kid so it felt great to do it for my job! Would you like this try this activity? If you could have any super power, what would it be and why?

DIY Geometric Hand Dotted Wall Art

Hello Lovely,

I noticed that the walls of my office were a little bare and in much need of sprusing up. I decided that since I have so many love notes from students on my wall, a handmade artwork would fit perfectly with the decor theme I already had.

This project is really simple and fully customisable. I used the same hand dotted technique that I used with the Tumblers. All you need to make your own is:

  • 3-4 different complimentary colours of paint
  • Cotton swabs
  • 2 pieces of white cardstock 
  • Paper cutter
  • Glue/adhesive
  • Photo frame (desk or hanging)

Directions

  1. Start with one piece of cardstock. A fun alternative to this would be to cut multi-coloured pieces of cardstocks into fun shapes and designs then glue them onto your white cardstock.
  2. Dip your cotton swabs into the various colours and create your design. Maybe you want hand dotted, maybe you want to paint a design. It's completely up to you!
  3. Allow to dry completely. Fold the paper in half until it can't fold in half any more. Then using your paper cutter, cut into triangles. If you want to use a different shape, cut out those shapes from your paper.
  4. Arrange your pieces on the other cardstock in a design that you like, then glue in place. Allow to dry completely before placing inside of your photo frame, and that's it! Show off your artwork in your office or around the house. You can even get the kids involved in this project!

I think this can hang in a museum, don't you? Which designs would you make?

DIY Colorful Hand-Dotted Tumblers

Hello Lovely,

Gather your friends for a fun afternoon of crafting while making these colourful and unique hand-dotted tumblers. Along with being easy to create, the finished tumblers cost under $2 each to make. Pick up tumblers from your local resale shop or dollar store for a serious deal. Use enamel acrylic paints from your local craft store for longstanding colour, and you're on your way to festive gifts for everyone.

What You'll Need:

·        Any colour enamel acrylic paint you want

·        Glass tumblers

·        Paper towel

·        Cotton swabs

·        Sheet pan

·        Parchment paper

Directions:

1.      Gather the materials for creating the dotted tumblers. Use an enamel or all-surface acrylic for long-standing results. You can purchase small containers at your local craft store for around $1 a bottle.

2.      You can dip your cotton swab directly into the bottle like I did or use a paper towel. Squeeze out a small dollop of each colour of paint and then mix together to create additional colours for your tumblers. You can create different tints of colours by adding white. Or experiment with mixing the primary colours to create greens, oranges, and purples. Place a length of parchment paper on a sheet pan, and then place the glasses upside-down on the pan.

3.      Press the end of a cotton swab in one colour of paint, and dot around the base of the glass. Continue dotting with other colours to create a first layer of dots, and then let dry while working on the rest of the glasses.

4.      Press the end of a cotton swab in one color of paint, and dot around the base of the glass. Continue dotting with other colors to create a first layer of dots, and then let dry while working on the rest of the glasses.

5.      Let the finished dotted tumblers dry for an hour, and then flip them over on the sheet pan. Place in a cold oven and bake at 350°F for 30 minutes to set the paint. Turn off the heat and allow the glasses to cool in the oven for an hour before handling. Or you can use plastic cups that look like the real thing. No oven-time required.

6.      Give a set to someone special, or gift individually as party favours after a holiday gathering. Although the hand-dotted tumblers are ready for wear and tear, they will last longer when gently hand-washed and allowed to air dry.

 

How a Trip to the Salon Nearly Ruined My Life

Hello Lovely,

It's funny how one day before I was supposed to do something to cheer up my soon-to-be step-sister, I was in desperate need of cheering up myself. Wait, what? You're probably wondering what happened and who this soon-to-be-step-sister is. Calm down! Let's back-track shall we?

So I work in a school as a secretary. Not glamorous but it pays the bills. My dad's girlfriend, now fiance, has two daughters who both go to this school. They're only a little over a year apart with the youngest daughter being 13. Ouch! I know! Very difficult years to navigate! Well on Friday the youngest came into the office to call her mum because she had a bad day. After she hung up, I pulled her to the side to talk. Now I know it would be very easy to ignore this situation as we are nothing to each other. But I'm the bigger (older) person and I have to set the tone for how our 'relationship' will be, i.e. whether or not we'll even have one. I should mention that before this, we had never spoken. Even during the photo shoot, I just took their pictures and communicated through my dad. I didn't expect her to say much of anything to me (she's a teen, they're tough to talk to). But as soon as we were alone, she immediately opened up and began crying. Anyone who knows me, knows that I'm awkward around tears (despite also being an MFT Intern). I either start crying too, or completely ignore you. I listened to her, shared some of my own relevant experience and in a last minute effort to win her over, I offered to come by on Sunday after church to do some craft projects with her. This really got her excited and we even hugged on it!

I was really proud of myself for answering God's call to lend a helping hand to someone in need. But this joy didn't last long. On Saturday, I went to my mum's hairdresser for a wash and TRIM. I emphasize the word trim, because it seemed simple enough, yet I walked out of there with more than three inches less, than what I walked in with. As angry as I was with her, I was angrier with myself. I knew that she tends to cut instead of trim, but I still went to her because the service was being paid for by my mum. I had a feeling that she was cutting off more than she should have, but I didn't stop her. I didn't demand that she turn me around so that I could see in the mirror exactly how much she was cutting off. I didn't speak up.

And trust me, I have watched enough episodes of Law and Order SVU and read enough textbooks to know that the victim always blames herself even though it's never the victims fault, but I couldn't help it. I cried all night. Even when I thought I was over it, I cried again. My mother, dad, brother, boyfriend, best friends, even my boss (when I ran into her after the incident) tried to console me and shared in my anger. I think what made this even more difficult was that back in 2009, after getting my heart broken by my first real boyfriend, one of my best friends helped me to dye my hair at home, and then like an idiot only one month later, tried to perm it at home. You're probably thinking it couldn't have been that bad, could it? Oh it was bad trust me! The bottom right side of my head was bald and the rest of my hair was thinning out. I had no choice but to cut it in one of the ugliest haircuts I have ever seen (a little on the top, practically nothing at the back). That was definitely in my top 5 traumatic experiences ever! So when my hair got cut again, it definitely brought back flashbacks and major PTSD. I was ready to skip out on Church and the crafts on Sunday, but I made a promise to her and at her age, broken promises make you good as dead to them.

So on Sunday, I wrapped my head in a scarf, ready to hide my shame, gathered my craft supplies and headed out the door for church. I wasn't crying any more over the haircut, but a dark cloud still loomed over me. But get this. When I stepped outside, I noticed that the Hibiscus tree was in bloom. And so were my mother's Lilies. Fresh flowers that weren't there the day before! It was a miracle. I knew instantly that, that was God's way of smiling down on me and letting me know that everything would be okay. Imagine. While my world was in chaos, the outside world was still functioning and better yet, BLOOMING! My mother's lilies hadn't been in bloom in about a year. I was struggling with my outer beauty, when there was so much beauty around me.

Sure I still had an anxiety attack at church and practically ran out of the room before crying again, but that was the last of it. Having dinner with my step-family and bonding over painting mugs and bowls was really therapeutic as it allowed me to get to know them better and create something beautiful. 

Now I am not an expert artist. Painting is not my forte. Nor my step-sisters. But we had a blast fudging our way through it. I think my mug turned out pretty decent and I'm proud I was able to produce a bowl to match. Sure the bowl looks a little tribal, while the mug is more like a cow skipping through an asymmetrical garden. But everyone loved the design and I think my grandmother will love it as a Mother's Day present! (I was originally going to give it to my mother but she reads my blog so that would totally ruin the surprise).

This is the beauty of healing through art therapy. In art therapy, words are not always necessary. A mere lump of clay or a blank canvas can be far less threatening than giving voice to painful feelings, words, or images. The simple act of a scribble on paper can likely bring light to darkness, ignite conversation, or be a release for a depressing thought. I leave you with this verse to encourage you throughout your week:

Isaiah 41:10

10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.