While cleaning Kitty’s desk, I came across this self portrait that she painted last year. It captures her 11 year-old self perfectly… that space between feeling like a child and and a grown up… still innocent and young but full of the possibility of future adventures that are sure to come her way.
I know this t-shirt she is wearing so well… a colorful unicorn. It doesn’t fit her anymore. Did I mention that she’s taller than me? By about SIX inches!
She’s so clever, isn’t she! I marvel at her work… and the fact that she’s found her talent at such a young age. She’s lucky!
An artistic upbringing has always been super important to me and I’m so thankful that I can see the seeds I sowed blooming in both of my artistic children.
Earth Day, April 22nd, is an BIG day in the Sunny House. We celebrate it as if it is Mother Earth’s Birthday. Raising environmentally aware children has been an important part of our parenting and My Good Man and I are proud that our children are truly and authentically earth-conscious. They refuse, reuse and recycle as if it’s the most normal thing to do.
Making a DIY nature mobile is a great way to get into the spirit of Earth Day. We made our Earth Day mobile as a birthday gift to Mother Earth and I’m sharing our easy and fun tutorial with you here.
It looks so pretty hanging in the Sunny House.
We started our nature mobile by going on an afternoon walk and collecting a basket-full of pretty gifts from the earth… flowers, leaves, ferns, seeds, sticks. We were amazed at how bountiful Mother Earth’s gifts are… and how beautiful too.
Materials needed for a Nature Mobile :
– Sculpey clay
– Nature bits
– a rolling pin
– a long twig
1. In our hands, we rolled the Sculpey clay into balls (about 1 diameter in size). Then we flattened them into circles with the rolling pin, making sure not to make them too thin.
2. We chose nature bits (flowers, leaves, sticks) from our collection and pressed them, firmly, into the clay.
3. When we gently removed the nature bits from the clay and gasped at the lovely imprints they had made in the clay.
4. Some of the leaves and flowers looked so pretty in the clay and so we decided to leave them there.
5. We used a stick to make holes in the top of each circle.
6. We baked the clay circles in a warm oven, following the instructions on the sculpey package (250 degrees F for 15 minutes.)
7. We removed the clay circles from the oven, letting them cool completely and then strung them onto the twig to make the most beautiful nature mobile.
I wasn’t sure that the leaves and flowers would stay beautiful through baking them in the oven… but they did. They hardly even changed color and are now dehydrated into the clay circles and will last for ages.
I couldn’t resist taking a photo of our nature mobile this morning as the run rose. Can you see the rays of early morning sunshine coming through the window to greet our pretty mobile?
Calling all English, tea-loving fairies… we’ve made the most delightful fairy garden habitat for you… in my favorite teacup. Please move in.
It all started when I broke the saucer to one of my favorite teacups. I wanted to cry. I’ve had this beautiful tea set for many many years. Each cup and saucer has a different English flower painted on it and the teapot is a combination of all the flowers together. I’ve loved it so much over the years.
And then, the other day, the saucer just slipped out of my hand and shattered on the ground.
Kitty to the rescue. Mom, don’t be sad, she said. We’ll turn it into something better. What? I asked with a quavering voice? A FAIRY GARDEN she said, always knowing how to cheer me up.
So, fairies, here it is… your very own miniature fairy garden in my favorite teacup.
I’m sharing our DIY tutorial so that you can make a miniature fairy garden in a teacup too…
– activated charcoal
– tiny succulent plants (we used Leafy Stonecrop)
Clean your teacup.
Ease the plant out of their container and loosen their roots gently with your fingers.
Put an inch of pebbles into the bottom of the teacup. These pebbles will help with drainage as our teacup has no drainage holes in the bottom. Put a layer of activated charcoal on top of the pebbles. The activated charcoal will help keep the roots toxin and bacteria free.
Plant the miniature succulents on top of the activated charcoal.
TIP:: Miniature succulents are the perfect plants for a teacup fairy garden. A teacup has no drainage holes in the bottom and therefore plants that require regular watering will not thrive in a teacup. The water will drain through the soil and stagnate in the bottom of the cup, rotting the roots.
Succulents require sparse watering and therefore excess water will not pool in the bottom of the teacup. The activated charcoal will protect the roots of your succulents from disease.
Leafy Stoncrop, the variety of succulents we used, is very delicate and needs to be planted with great care.
Adorn your teacup fairy garden with a few magical accessories to entice the fairies in our neighborhood to our teacup fairy garden. You can purchase fairy garden accessories from FairyGardens.com or you can make them yourself, like we did.
I’ll share the DIY tutorials for each sweet creation in the days to come.
Look how magical they are…
Kitty’s favorite is the glowing sunflower. Mine is the ‘Fairies’ sign. What’s yours?
Here are the tutorials to make the cute goodies you see in our teacup fairy garden,
I was recently visited by an inquisitive momma bird as I sat drinking my coffee. It was an unusually warm and sunny morning and the arrival of my feathered friend cheerfully announced what I had suspected…
Spring is on the way!
I love to watch birds build their nests and prepare for the arrival of new hatchlings. We have a tree outside our kitchen window that is home to a family of wrens. We love to see them
return each spring and enjoy tracking the babies all summer long.
The tiny baby birds are so adorable that my daughter often wishes she could hold one in her hand.
We remedied this desire by creating Simple Pom Pom Blue Birds. These sweet little birds live in a mossy nest atop our bookcase and are always ready for cuddles and love. They are perfect for an Easter basket or play time.
I’m happy to share the DIY tutorial with you below…
Simple Pom Pom Blue Birds
This simple pom pom craft can be made in minutes using basic craft supplies. Add a nest made from twigs and dried Spanish moss for an adorable woodland friend.
Blue yarn and cream yarn
Embroidery floss or thread
Hand sewing needle
4 mm black beads for eyes
Orange craft felt
Fabric glue or school glue
Lightweight cardboard (use an empty cracker or cereal box)
Pom poms are easy to make with a cardboard template or a fork. It may take you a try or two to get the hang of these techniques, but you will soon be a pom pom pro!
Step 1: Make the bird’s body.
Cut an 8 x 3 inch rectangle out of lightweight cardboard to use a a template. Fold the rectangle in half length wise and cut a slit 2/3 of the way up the center.
2. Cut a 8 inch piece of blue yarn or embroidery floss. Thread it through the center slit of the cardboard template. This will be the center tie to hold the pom poms together. (Tip: If your yarn is weak or prone to breakage use embroidery floss for your center tie.)
3. Wrap blue yarn around the cardboard template 50-60 times as shown. The more yarn the fluffier the pom pom.
4. Wrap cream yarn around the cardboard template 40-50 times as shown.
5. Knot the center tie around the yarn twice, pulling as tightly as possible. (Tip: Have a partner hold the string down with their finger as though you were
tying ribbon on a present.)
6. Slide the pom pom off the template.
7. Cut through the loops on both ends. (Do not cut through the center tie.) Trim the ends of the center tie the same length as the pom pom.
8. Roll the pom pom in your hands to shape it into a ball and trim into a perfect sphere.
9. Trim the sides and bottom of the pom pom so they are flat as shown.
10. Trim the pom pom front and top into a rounded teardrop shape for the bird’s body.
Step 2: Make the bird’s head.
Cut a 6-8 inch piece of yarn and thread through the middle tines of a fork. This will be the center tie to hold the pom pom together. (Tip: If your yarn is weak or prone to breakage use embroidery floss for your center tie.)
2. Wrap blue yarn around the tines of the fork 40-50 times. The more yarn the fluffier the pom pom.
3. Tie the center tie around the yarn twice, pulling as tightly as possible. (Tip: Have a partner hold the string down with their finger as though you were
tying ribbon on a present. )
4. Slide the yarn off the fork and cut through the loops on both ends. (Do not cut through the center tie. ) Trim the ends of the center tie the same length as the
5. Roll the pom pom in your hands to shape it into a ball and trim into a perfect sphere.
Step 3: Assemble the bird.
Use thread or embroidery floss to stitch the pom poms together. Try to get the needle through the center tie of each pom pom. (Tip: You can also glue the pom poms together, but thread is more secure.)
2. Trim the pom poms if necessary to make into the exact bird shape.
3. Use a needle to slightly fray the bird’s tail feathers.
4. Cut a two tiny triangles from craft felt for the beak.
5. Use glue to attach the eyes and beak. Make a small divot in the yarn to hide the glue.
6. Enjoy your pom pom blue birds!
More Pom Pom Fun
Baby birds are a sure sign of spring! Check out these adorable pom pom friends for your baby chick.
Want more creative pom pom tutorials?
Click the image below to visit Bren Did and learn to make this sweet little duckling.
This sweet Easter tutorial was brought to you by my friend Bren from the blog Bren Did. It’s such a lovely site with so many wonderful crafting, cooking and easy-home-cleaning tutorials. Please pay her a visit … you’ll be hooked on her like I am.
We are having so much fun in The Sunny House with our Christmas crafting. Each day, when the kids come home from school, we set about making new ornaments for our Christmas tree. We choose fun and easy projects that aren’t too involved and Kitty and Teddy are loving this new tradition we’ve started. Today, we made felt gumdrop ornaments for our handmade Christmas tree.
Don’t you just LOVE felt balls? There are sooooooo many fun things you can do with them. Felt balls and glue will turn just about anything into an awesome ornament!
vine balls (you can find them at your local craft store)
glue (hot glue works best)
hemp string (you can find it at your local craft store)
All you do to make these wonderfully colorful Christmas ornaments is put a little glue onto each gumdrop and stick them onto the vine ball.
Of course, you can color-coorodinate, using your favorite colors to match your Christmas tree if you have a color theme going on… or you can just add a variety of bright colors for a fun rainbow look, like we did.
Tie a hemp hanging loop onto each ornament and hang them on your tree.
They look so wonderfully fun and festive, don’t they?!