Blessed Origami Owl Locket

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I love these little living lockets and I always get tons of compliments and inquiries whenever I wear mine.   Above is a little collection of some of my favorites and the “blessed” Mama” plates are ubber sweet.   They also make great gifts and I always look forward to gifting one around holidays or birthdays!  So far I have made four Origami Owl necklaces and it all started with these two lockets here.   However this particular one was a Christmas present for my sister in law which I had been planning on doing ever since she commented on mine not long before.   The most important things to her are family and faith, so that was the theme I had in mind when building it.   And with the help of her  younger siblings we came up with something that definitely represented that, while still leaving plenty of room for her to build on it.    This was the outcome:

Blessed Locket

Mommy Locket

And of course while shopping for a necklace for her, I had a chance to order myself some new pieces also.  This time I added a silver set for a change up from my current gold necklace. You can check out this post for more lockets here.

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A tiny french twist

Amelie has been rocking her mullet for quite some time now.    It is cute and all but I am getting anxious to actually do something with it.  While playing with her hair as we were brushing our teeth one morning, I discovered I can actually pin it up into a french twist.   Huh.  Turned out to be as simple as making a pony tail and only took one bobby pin.    This is exciting to me because I was never really able to do this myself as a kid, or even adult for that matter.  You see,  I had no hair until I was like, 3.   No, really.   We were toe head babies (white hair) and  just rocked a “glow” for the first year.   After that it was sort of like a muppet thing going on.  Second…well it pretty much goes back to the first.  I didn’t have much hair so I never tried anything creative, including braids.

 The Baby French Twist

It really isn’t a superficial thing at all.  I completely enjoy all our Mother / Daughter moments, and playing with her hair is definitely one of them.   My Daycare provider likes to joke about how her hair will be destroyed by breakfast, but she is completely missing the point.   It is my time with her before work, and even though I may be rushing through everything to get myself ready,  I slow it all down when it comes to Amelie’s turn.   It is the best time to talk to her,  giggle, teach her how to do things, tickle and laugh.   It is part of our morning ritual and I never skip through it.

Cartoons.   Juice.   Dress.   Brush Teeth.   Lotion.   Hair.  And hugs.

After her hair and when we are ready to go, I pick her up off the bathroom counter top and we look in the mirror.   For that moment I am not behind a camera,  looking at her picture on my phone,  or watching someone hold her.   But actually looking right at us.   Together.  Uninterrupted.  Cheek to cheek.  And I see me.  I mean I can actually see me in her face as she has it pressed up against mine, and we are smiling at ourselves.   That moment I am reminded, she really is mine.  That I love getting her ready.   And that I am having the time of my life doing it.

It is better than a cup of coffee to get the spirit pumped.

 

Chicken Wire Picture Frame

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Nailed it!  No, really.   This was such an easy an inexpensive project that can be used in any home from hanging pictures, messages, jewelry or hair accessories, notes to keepsakes.    I know I have plenty of uses for that, however this was not meant for me…it was in fact a prop for a country themed bridal shower which also doubled as a sentimental keepsake for the bride.

I started with the classic nostalgic photos of the bride and groom to be,  and had guests add pictures themselves and the bride as they arrived, which I requested beforehand in the invitations.    At the end of the shower, my bride had a beautiful collage of photos that she can now hang in her future home with her soon to be hubby.

I snagged a decent 24 x 30″ picture frame for $10 at my local thrift shop and picked up a roll of 20 gauge chicken wire and a can of Tiffany teal semi gloss spray paint from the hardware store.  Supplies done.

Now for the nitty gritty.   I trashed the glass and backing of the frame since this will not be needed at all.   Painting took all of 20 minutes to apply a couple coats before moving on to applying the wire.   I laid out the wire and stapled it to the edges of the frame with a hand held staple gun and trimmed the access with side cutters.   Some areas required  twisting to secure the ends.   Lastly, I added one last coat of spray paint over the wire.   Gloves would have been nice, but hey, I did not even require the assistance of my husband for this.  Go me.  He did however kindly buy me my own staple gun which I was very excited about because it was my first official tool.

cost of materials

24 x 30″ picture frame $5
Can of spray paint $4.99
chicken wire @ $1.50 worth
clothes pins $2

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Fun With Sponge Shapes

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Amelie and I have become big fans of sensory bins.   They keep her busy and seem to be more entertaining than most her other toys…and Mom loves to make them.    Speaking of keeping her entertained, one day she was simply restless and none of her bazillion toys pleased her.  After a quick trip to the store, and one purchase of soft sponges I was able to remedy that.

Sponge Bath Shapes or Sensory Bin:

1.  A dozen or more cellulose sponges
2.  Cut in assorted shapes and sizes
3.  Add to bath time, or bin/bowl with water
4.  Enjoy!

I used multiple packs of O-Cel-O Sponges in assorted sizes from $2 – $3 at Target.     I love these, they come in vibrant colors and as large as 7 inches which makes it easy to cut into any shape remain stackable.   These would work for lots of projects.  Amelie even enjoys to clean with them.

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More ideas for sensory play here

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Painting with colored shaving cream

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We had so much fun with Amelie on Saturday! I came across some great ideas for sensory play and after making the sensory bin I was looking forward to trying out shaving cream for a painting project.    The little sensors must go off in her head and her

tingle her toes because when I start setting up her activities she gets fidgety.    When everything is ready for her, it is as if we are standing at the starting line of a race, and someone yells….get ready…get set…GO!  And she is off.

This was a great project outside, and would actually be just fine inside with a bed sheet laid on the floor.  Amelie collected every toy and item she could find on the patio, and needed to somehow involve it in her creative outburst, but she wasn’t quite sure how.  She got most of the colors on herself, but eventually made some progress when I directed her to the sliding glass door.  I prefer something like this because I can get just as involved and paint along side her.  Watching her expressions and gestures as she discovers, thinks and creates is priceless.

This was great  All you need is a can of shaving cream, and some colorful paints.  You can use watercolors, eco-friendly finger paints, or make your own with this homemade edible paint recipe.

Are you ready for the instructions?

  1. mix shaving cream and paint
  2. repeat if necessary
  3. enjoy!

sensory-painting-supplies purple-shavingcream-mixshaving-cream-paintpainting-outside window-painting

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This makes a great project for the little ones and keeps them busy discovering textures, colors and color mixing, creativeness and fine motor skills using their fingers to paint designs.  Clean up was a cinch with a rinse in the sink and hosing down the back patio.

Here are other great ideas for sensory play or painting activities

pinterest_sensory_play

Making a Sensory Bin

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Got some great ideas on making your own activities to occupy your little one from Teaching Mama such as sensory bins or bottles, puzzles, and race tracks.   I immediately wanted to start making my own sensory activities for Amelie, and what do ya know I have the perfect set of bins from Ikea that originally came with Amelie’s chest which we turned into a play kitchen.  As for the rest, I set out to Big Lots for inexpensive finds.

Here is what I got for $25:

  1. 3lbs of pinto beans
  2. Set of measuring cups
  3. Plastic serving spoons for scooping
  4. Bag of plastic easter eggs
  5. Wooden box with 12 compartments for sorting
  6. Plastic serving platter
  7. Bag of 50 colored milkshake straws
  8. Set of window paints

To make the sensory bin I used 3lbs of pinto beans, a large serving spoon, plastic measuring cups and other items I had on hand; plastic bin, mini tin bucket, wooden puzzle pieces and an empty vitamin bottle.   All in all the sensory bin cost $10 to create.   I set aside the other items I bought for now with the intention of making a few different themed sensory bins and introducing a new one each week to change it up.

As soon as I placed the bin on her play table she immediately sat down and went to work.  It is tough to keep her attention on one thing for too long but this keep her occupied for the rest of the night.  Hallelujah!  Really I was just happy to see her so entertained and more so to know that I could provide that bit of joy for her.

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Sensory activities are important in development and an easy way to incorporate learning into their play. Making bins is a very easy, inexpensive way to keep them occupied, and teach them about colors and textures, while honing in on fine motor skills. You can add anything really; rice, corn, noodles, sand, water, shaving cream, cotton balls, toys, water beads…

Here are some more ideas for sensory play:

pinterest_sensory_play

Painting Wine Glasses

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I like to make gifts if I can.  For Christmas I wanted to make a set of personal drinking glasses for my brother and sister in law who love wine and beer.   They also have a beautiful credenza so whether they used them or not, I knew it would still make a nice display.  With a little help from the hubs, we actually whipped these up the night before Christmast and all it took was Martha Stewart Craft’s: italic alphabet stencil kitacrylic glass paints from Michael’s and and two sets of plain glasses from Target (you can use any brand you like, I just happen to prefer Martha Stewart Crafts).  I chose two designs to alternate on the glasses, both featuring B for the last name Barahona.    Once I had my colors and designs picked out the next steps were easy.

Instructions:

  1. apply adhesive stencil to clean glass
  2. lightly dab a few coats of paint over stencil with foam dauber
  3. peel stencil while paint is wet
  4. let dry and repeat.  Rinse adhesive stencil and brush in between each application
  5. bake to cure: place in cool oven and set to 350 degrees for 30 mins

you can find a more detailed glass painting tutorial here

We decorated ceramic coffee mugs with Amelie’s handprints using the same acrylic paints, which I will post shortly.  Check out more great ideas and inspirations for glass painting projects on my Pinterest board below:

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