Sunday, March 31, 2013

Green Apple Supply is Awesome! And GIVEAWAY!!

I have found my online shopping heaven and I am excited to not only share it with you, but also give you the opportunity to win a $25 gift card to join with me in my eco-savvy artful shopping bliss. The founders of Green Apple Supply strive to bring eco-friendly products to all families by keeping cost down and prices low.

"By utilizing economies of scale, wholesale purchasing power, and personal product experience, we endeavor to make it easier for anyone to purchase Earth-friendly products.  We are keeping overhead low and this is a non-profit effort.  Products are sold as close to cost as we can, while still keeping the lights on. Why? Because we think it’s the right thing to do."
-Stephanie and Robert Tobor, fonders of Green Apple Supply

 Green Apple Supply was nice enough to send me a few eco-friendly art supplies to try and I have to say I am very excited to discover this wonderful paint kit by Glob. These natural paints are made from fruits and vegetables and smell delicious!
 Look at those colors, so beautiful. Emma loved mixing the paints herself. This set came with 6 colors, 6 compo-stable jars and lids and 2 bamboo brushes all for $12.60 (msrp $18!)
The Faber-Castell watercolor pad was the perfect addition to our paints and they happen to be one of our favorite art supply companies. You can find the paper and more of their products for almost half off on Green Apple Supply. 
 Another Faber-Castell favorite of ours is their beeswax crayons. Such a joy to color with beeswax. Have you tried yet?
We also had the opportunity to try these great recycled crayons. Emma loved that they had no paper wrapper and she could use any side of the crayon she pleased. The "Recycle" Stick Crayons also come packed in a super sweet box. They would make a pretty great gift.

I am so impressed with the great trustworthy products Green Apple Supply not only offers, but offers at the lowest prices I have seen, ever!

Enter here for your chance to win a $25 gift card by visiting here, Green Apple Supply and telling me in the comments below what Eco-friendly art supply you can't wait to get your hands on!
*Contest ends April 8th 2013 at 7am.
*Open to U.S. residents only.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Homemade Spring Gifts

 We love to decorate for each season and holiday. Spring is a favorite for the obvious reasons, sweet baby animals and pastel colors that just make you smile.
 These vintage animal scenes were found in an old children's book we had. Search the thrift stores for a good one or you could always find some vintage inspired scrapbook paper to use. 
 With a little mod podge and a few tiles we have a set of spring decor to decorate our home or give as gifts. For all the details on this craft, head here....Vintage Spring Tiles.
 This cool egg block was made with some festive floral paper and wood scraps we found at a local hardware store. We pulled out our letter stamps to make it in even more precious. Here are the details, Egg Blocks.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Homemade Easter Baskets

 Homemade Easter baskets are a great spring craft and a wonderful tradition to leave out for the Easter Bunny to fill. Less consuming and more creating! Yes!!
 Do you like the focus on my little guy? Yes, he's a serious crafter.
Dig through the fabric scrap drawer for this one. They finally have a use.
 With a little mod podge and a lot of dry time this sweet Easter basket came together.
 This was the best part for the kids!
For full details on my fabric scrap Easter basket check out my full tutorial on Kiwi Crate.
 This cool popsicle stick basket would make a great party favor or a sweet way to carry a couple colored eggs. Best of all, it starts with a recycled  paper cup.
 Each stick can get a personal touch with markers or paints.
Some glue and a pipe cleaner handle are the finishing touches. Check out the details here, Craft Stick Basket!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Lavender Playdough

 If there was an ambassador of homemade playdough I think I would own that title! I started making my own playdough when I realized how sensitive little ones can be and with no words to verbalize their feelings sensory play is very therapeutic and relaxing.  Making my own playdough allows me to create something that is not just fun to play with, but very calming as well.
 I first made lavender playdough for Emma when she was having trouble separating from me during her first year of preschool. After very emotional days she would come home and we would relax with our lavender dough. She loved it and I surely didn't mind my home smelling like a peaceful retreat while I played with my children!


Lavender Playdough Recipe
2 cups + 1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
2 tbs. cream of tartar
3 tbs. oil
4-6 drops lavender oil 
1-2 drops or liquid watercolor paints or food coloring (optional)
1 cup boiling hot water
 dried lavender flowers (optional)

 1. Add 2 cups flour, salt, cream of tartar, oil, lavender oil and food color to a large mixing bowl. Start with a few drops of lavender oil. You can add more later if you want a stronger scent.
2. Pour your water into the bowl and mix away.
 3. Once your dough looks like this, sticky and starting to form a ball-- you can dump it onto a flat surface to knead. Adding a little of the remaining flour at a time until it is no longer sticky. The dough is very soft and firms a little bit as it cools. You don't want to add too much flour and lose the softness.
 Once you have your dough to the right consistency you can knead in some dried lavender flowers if you desire to do so. This touch may have been for me...I just love lavender.
 We love using walnut shells and cookie cutters with our playdough.

Wishing you a peaceful day of fun!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Plantable Paper

Why send flowers when you can send paper that will grow flowers? Cool, right?! We are so head over heels for this new craft and I will give you the quick run down, but as always my full details are over here, at Kiwi Crate!
 We added some paper scraps and newspaper to our blender and let it sit in hot water for a few minutes.
 Next, I blended it up to make this lovely mush.
 The kids loved smashing it all down on sheets of felt on top of paper bags....this stuff was soaked!
 Seeds of life! I used a packet of wild flower seeds and we pressed them into our sheet of paper.
 With a few days of drying which included a felt transfer on day two we had a beautiful sheet of plantable paper.
 We cut sweet shapes from our paper. Some got planted and some got gifted.
But, we had to leave one out to water and watch as our little seeds sprouted. Very beautiful.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Spring Critters

 I love spring crafts because we get to create adorable little bunnies and chicks. There is not much sweeter than that! The kids love creating these little "pets" too. They usually end up with names and little homes made from Amazon boxes (yes, I am a little bit addicted to Amazon, it could be worse, right?)
This so-darn-cute cotton bunny started with a toilet paper roll. Check out the full details here, Cotton Bunny.
 I love when I sit down with Emma to make a sweet little chick and she chooses the hot pink pom-pom for hers. Her colorful spirit is inspiring! Here is how it all came together, Spring Chick in a Basket.
 You can never have too many chicks...or can you? This is Jill and Henry (named by Emma) and here is how you make your own Jill and Henry, Pipe Cleaner Chicks.
 Today the chicken came before the egg, but we can't have a spring crafting post without the nest and eggs. You will not believe how easy the Paper Bag Nest and Tissue Paper Eggs are to make!! Click the titles to see.
Happy Spring! 

Dying Easter Eggs Naturally

I knew there had to be a way to naturally dye our Easter eggs without spending an entire day boiling onion skins and pureeing spinach. I spent an afternoon experimenting with several different staining type foods. The best results I had were with coffee, beets and turmeric.
 With these few ingredients and some vinegar I was able to make safe natural dyes for my children to use on our eggs this year. For my full instructions check out my article on Family Sponge.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Minty Green Playdough

St. Patrick's Day is tomorrow! I can't wait to celebrate with a day full of green everything, yummy food and treasure hunts! I will definitely be whipping up a new batch of green minty playdough. This is really easy to make and so much better than store bought dough. Bonus-the kids love to get involved in making the playdough too!
 This recipe is a super easy one...flour, salt, cream of tartar, oil, hot water and of course the "secret ingredient" a frosting creations packet. Check out my full recipe here... Minty Green Playdough.
My kids use everything from birthday candles to rocks to play with their playdough. These things definitely win over any plastic toy tools.
Have a wonderful "green" weekend!!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Making Kale Chips with Kids

 My kids are always in the kitchen with me. They both love to be a part of every step as I cook. We usually put on some nice music and enjoy time together. Not only is this time a special part of our relationship, but it is also the first step in teaching them to make healthy choices and to lead a healthy life.
 One of our favorite snacks is homemade kale chips. They are so easy to make and who wouldn't want their kids snacking on kale?! Emma loves making these are can pretty much do it all on her own now, besides the oven part, of course. For our simple recipe check out my Kale Chip tutorial on Kiwi Crate.