Posts tagged endlesssummerprojects
Endless Summer Projects: Super Soaker

Today is definitely an oxymoron around here. It's the end of Endless Summer Projects!! When the four of us conceived this series way back when, it seemed like August was worlds away.

Here we are.

Huge thanks to my collaborator girls - Melissa (the brains behind the series) of Lulu the Baker, Jen of Classic Play, and Alexandra of AlexandraHedin.com. We have something cooking already to help with the happiest holidays ever.... stay tuned.

Today's project is over at Classic Play, and it's such a great one to close the summer fun. The Super Soaker is made right from items you have in your kitchen, and your kids are going to love it!!

In my house, we're in T minus 6 over here for the start of third and first grade as well as preschool. All my kiddos will be at the same school this year, and it's getting me all emotional...and all excited that my commutes will be just a bit more efficient!!

I'm taking off tomorrow in blogland, but I'll see you here next Tuesday for the final Celebrate the Normal post. Please join in!! It's going to be a beautiful way to mark the close of summer.

xoxo, MJ

 

The Entire Series of Endless Summer Projects:

Mosaic Stepping Stones by Lulu the Baker

Weeknight Barbeque by Alexandra Hedin

Sharpie Dyed Tee Shirts by Pars Caeli

Endless Summer Projects: Shoebox Frames
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I cannot believe it. Here we are at my last Endless Summer Projects! We've been planning these and posting them for so many weeks now, that I can't believe we're at the finish line already. And that feeling of quick endings is all around us as we squeeze the literal juice out of the remaining two weeks of summer.

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In our house, August brings the start of school preempted by one of our favorite (made up) holidays, Siblings Day! To foster great relationships and celebrate the special people we have right around us, our family indulges in a special dinner, a lasting craft, silly games, some storytelling of great memories, and silly pictures together.

My children are 8,6, and 3, and although rather close in age, their ability levels and interests can seem light years apart at times. Lots of "he's not old enough" and "she's too big" get thrown around in conversation. I wanted a way for everyone to see each other on a level playing field... So we spent some time going through baby pictures as a family. Each sibling heard stories of the other sister or brother and their habits as babies, the toys they loved, the ridiculous noises and first words they said.

And each one selected a baby photo of their brother and/or sister to hang in their rooms. Sometimes it's good to remember that your bossy older sister was once an adorable baby, too. And that annoying little brother, well, he was super huggable with those pudgy cheeks.

Once we had our photos selected and printed, we were ready to get to work.

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Wanna make some, too? Super simple supplies for this one: sturdy shoeboxes, quality paint, brushes, photographs, scissors, and washi tape

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My daughters picked the box lids, and my son wanted the box bottom, (and either side can turn out quite nicely)! Have children paint the boxes, likey 2-3 coats, depending on the coverage.

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Once the box lid is completely covered in paint, assist your children in trimming the baby photos to all the same size. For the size boxes we had, I trimmed the photos to 3" x 3".

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Line up photographs on the long flat surface of the box or box lid, and carefully adhere to the box with washi tape. I also glued the photos onto the boxes to insure that the washi tape would have some assistance in keeping the pictures in place.

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Finished boxes make cute photo bricks on dresser and shelves.

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Add fun washi tape patterns to add some visual interest to your frame.

And don't forget to find a spot on the wall to show off your new creation.

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Endless Summer Projects: Spray Tablecloth

Just two more weeks left in our amazing summer series of Endless Summer Projects! We have had so much fun getting our hands dirty and getting crafty over these summer weeks. My kiddos start back Aug. 22 so we still have more days to enjoy before the fall routine hits.

I'll be posting some great end of summer activities and beginning of school ideas for you and yours so stay tuned!!

In the meantime head over to Alexandra's site to see her fabulous new tablecloth, fit for any kiddo celebration.

Have any projects you want to share? Add the hashtag #endlesssummerprojects to any of your tweets, instagrams, or FB posts.

xoxo, MJ

Endless Summer Projects: Marbelized Paper

Another Wednesday and another great Endless Summer Project to share with you! Today Miss Melissa of Lulu the Baker is whipping up some marbelized paper with her kids. If you have not had the experience of shaving cream + kiddos, you are in for a treat.
We plan on cutting giant letters out of these, and making a banner for one of the people we love the best!
An entire list of go-to Endless Summer Projects:
Next week we join in the party with Alexandra!
xoxo, MJ
Endless Summer Projects: Friendship Charm Bracelets
This Endless Summer Projects post is sponsored by OgoSport. Tell OgoSport your favorite playground, park or outdoor space to play and your favorite place to refuel with a bite to eat using hashtag #playrefuel or by visiting them on Facebook and you'll be entered to win a $250 OgoSport gift basket and other prizes. Contest ends August 31st. Unrelated to sponsorship (and uncompensated), we love our Ogo stuff. If you're looking for a fun summer birthday present, pick up some Ogodisks for the great kids in your life.
Jen over at Classic Play has this week's project, these adorable friendship charm bracelets! These creations turned out so cute. I love all the details that she's added. My oldest has been making anklets and bracelets for her friends and her sister this summer so these are right up our alley. Head over to Classic Play to check it out!
Here's a recap of all the fun of Endless Summer Projects:
Join us next week for a fabulous new project from Melissa over at Lulu the Baker!
xoxo, MJ
Endless Summer Projects: Memoir Boxes

Hi y'all!

It's time once again to offer you some fresh ideas on how to craft the summer away with your kiddos, and today I have a great rainy day project to engage the whole family. I hope you've been creating along with us and following the other amazing mamas: Alexandra, Melissa, and Jen (put Bloglovin' or Feedly to work and keep up to date with these go getters).

Have you ever returned from vacation or a great outing and wished that you could capture the entire experience? The why didn't I take some video? The I should have written down some of our favorite memories?

Let's write a memoir. Too daunting? Clear your head of the anthology, giant biography kind of dust collector and envision more of a memory collector, short and sweet. A friend and fellow teacher opened up my eyes to the beauty of memoir for capturing our children's stories (and I'm so glad she did!). And you can do it, too, through six simple, well chosen, words. Need some ideas for what I mean? Check out these great examples from Tara and this awesome collection of six-word memoirs.

Our first step was to narrow in on the topic. We chose our summer...so far. I asked my three kiddos (ages 8, 6, and 3) to think about all the activities, trips, and experiences we've had thus this summer. We talked as a group initially so that even my littlest could get some ideas of happenings before snacktime today. :)

For my oldest, she could and did write a whole list of everything she enjoyed and filled half a page with sketches and writing. My 5-year old wrote two large sentences, and we talked through a few more ideas as I wrote down some additional words to describe her favorites.

And my youngest and I sat down and drew pictures together of what made him smile about summer. He drew some elements, and I helped with more difficult concepts. See our masterpiece below with one of our butterflies, some squirt tubes, his new bicycle, and a castle.

No matter the skill level, everyone can find a way to enter into the idea gathering. Adapt for what's best suited for each family member.

Once you have ideas down, select 1-5 favorites. This was super tough for my crew, but with a little encouragement and prodding, we were able to find the best.

Here's the challenge! You now have a page of ideas from which to choose...but which ones do you capture? For us and our memories of summer, we decided we didn't need to be comprehensive but focus on moments that we will remember long after summer is gone.

This process was easiest for the youngest. He knew right away what he wanted, and all I had to do was make sure he could count 1-6 and confirm his final writing. My younger daughter needed some help with adjectives to add some interest to her list, but she got into the idea of playing with limited words and giggled through her version of cheerleading accomplishments that turned into "jumping marshmallows." And my oldest decided to go much more with a list with details coming only for her very favorite experience.

Once you have your memoirs written, the accordion book and box will be an easy way to store these treasures.

Find a box that you can use or re-use. We upcycled a brie cheese container and used it mostly because we all loved the circular shape. Each child added some color to the interior and exterior of the box as well.

For the pages of the accordion, I folded cardstock. Each writer used only the right side of the folded card, and we glued the left sides of each under the written-on right sides from another piece to make one long chain of words.

Once the glue dried, I refolded the chain to a back-and-forth accordion fold. I added an extra card on each end so that the expanse of book was a bit wider.

With the folded accordion now assembled, I glued the first and last flap to the insides of the box lid and base.

We added our title on the back as a sneaky way to display the project, without anyone else seeing our special memories.

And when we're ready to store our memories away, we have a great little box fllled with magic to hold them all.

Happy writing and crafting, friends! Don't forget to tag your projects with #endlesssummerprojects and come on back next week for the delightful Jen and her latest project (btw, head over to Camp Classic Play when you're done here. Lots of great ideas!!)

xoxo, MJ

Endless Summer Projects for big and little kids

Welcome to Wednesday, friends! We, Americans, have a dynamic holiday coming up tomorrow, and my family is looking forward to heaping helpings of berry trifle, hotdogs/hamburgers, and bowls of watermelon.

But before we bust out into full-out holiday fun, I have some great projects for you!

First up, a drawing challenge for anyone who's game. put out the offer to join her in the #30daysketchbookchallenge. That's right, every day for the next 30 days, the task is to sketch, photograph, and post with that hashtag. Simple, right?

At first I was all about cheerleading for these brave ladies like Kim of Design Life Kids. What guts do these women possess to share their doodles with the world, heh? And then it was me sitting with a legal pad and a great ink pen, scribbling away, and snapping a few shots. I am such a sucker for a good challenge. So, here I am, putting my brave on (no judging please), and I'll be sharing my sketches along with a growing community of others.

We are only on day 3 so there's still plenty of time to come along! The two shots above are my #1 and #2 sketches. I'm working on my prizes for AltNYC friends which will incorporate some of the best quotes from the conference along with some handlettering to make a great piece of New York that we can all keep alive!!

Following the brilliant lead of Elizabeth from the Note Passer, I've begun a Sketching Thoughts Pinterest board that you're welcome to follow for some drafting ideas.

What you see here below is what I'm calling: Persuasive Doodling. Yes, I just made it up. Here is my 30-reason manifesto as to why you should join the 30 Day Sketchbook Challenge.

Sorry for the lack of order. This is how my brain works.

Incorporating such nagging questions as - What is your go-to doodle? You know, the one you find yourself making when you're terribly bored in a meeting or stuck in a waiting room.

And great reassurances like, "Hashtags make things real, right?"

Check out #30daysketchbookchallenge to see all the sketches coming at you daily.

(And go ahead and add yours while you're there.)

And for the children in your life, the bubbly Alexandra has this week's Endless Summer Project with Bubble Painting! Bubbles are still great fun for all three of my kiddos, even at 8, 6, and 3. Swapping turns from bubble makers to bubble poppers, and chasing wherever the wind might blow.

And now Alexandra has a way for kids to create that pop of color with some fun outdoor art. This would make a fabulous addition to your family fun for the 4th.

Thank you so much, Alexandra!! I so love being a part of these projects every Wednesday, and I can't wait to show you what I have in store for next week. :)

xoxo, MJ

Pars Caeli takes on AltNYC - the cards

For me the people of AltNYC were the toppers. BUT a very close second were the business cards. I knew before I ever stepped foot in Omnimedia's offices on Thursday that I wanted to get them all. Business cards, the good old-fashioned way to exchange messaging and contact information, are a highlight of Alt conferences. These mini masterpieces are all shapes, sizes, textures, and even scents. With each and every card exchange, I felt like I gained another lovely bit of inspiration, and I got to tell my story to another eager listener (thank you attendees for that).

And after much labor and DIY-ing, I'm delighted to present to you the inaugural Pars Caeli business cards.

Highlights of their creation include printing on watercolor paper and adhering two layers to create the ultimate thickness and applying four layers of silver scratch-off paint. Hand painting each one of these was a commitment and a total joy. The process reminded me of the joy of freehanding. Granted, the glimmer of bliss began to wear off somewhere around coat two of silver paint, but I pushed on through that.

I went with a round design to reference the Alt logo and Martha Stewart logo (grabbing onto the coat tails of greatness). Pars Caeli is all about joy and celebration so I wanted every participant to WIN something. The thought: offer a scratch-off treat that reveals a very special website for attendees to grab a VIPrize.

I was so over the moon about these, and I eagerly handed my very first card to Paige in our Hotel Americano suite just before we were about to leave for our sponsored dinners on Wednesday evening. Paige, the ever-supportive enthusiast, quickly began to scratch at the silver paint.

Scratch.

Etch.

Scratch, scritch.

My stomach sank. As Paige scraped off the silver paint, off came the watercolor paper and the ink that posted the website that made the whole concept click. 

Seriously? What. am. I. going. to do. Time? 5:30 with dinner to begin at 6:30 where cards will be exchanged.

I could have bawled right there. I know it sounds ridiculous but part of me wanted to pull an all out fit, think 4-year old tantrum, and pout.

BUT, I had Paige. See angelic human below.

And one really great friend is worth more than a Times Square ad space.

Instead of pulling a childish fit, I laughed. Heartily and almost hysterically. And Paige laughed, too. And in 2 minutes we were brainstorming ridiculous solutions. And laughing at every turn.

I texted my husband on the issue. He urged me to rally. To pretty please rally. He offered the story that the lottery would not release the real solution/ingredients for the official scratch-off formula so this was a bit of a gag. Eh, I give him credit for storytelling in a second's notice.

Paige stopped her preparations for dinner.

Sat down with me and a great big pile of business cards and...

We began to handwrite the messages around the circle of the cards. "Head on over to parscaeli.com/win to grab your treat. xo" was written again and again. And you better believe that Paige will forever know how to spell her Latin terms.

We'd finished about 15 when we realized we had to get in a cab and get to dinner. I needed more than 15 for dinner.

Again, Super Paige to the rescue. In the backseat of the most tumultuous cab ride, Paige and I attempted to handwrite messages on every single card. With grace and wit, she set me at ease, got right to the task, and had me planning for when I might finish off the once overwhelming task.

And you know what, friends? I owned it. Every person who received a Pars Caeli card got a quick, funny recap of the escapade. Maybe the humanity of it or maybe the wit or even the sweetness of friendship will resonate with folks... and make my cards that much more memorable.

I know it's a story I'll be telling my grandkids. Friendship sticks...even when the silver lining gets scratched off.

And now to the rest of the amazingness, the cards of Alt NYC. First up amazing objects. Really ladies? You rock.

Catch that swimming minnow from Ellen? And that circle lovely from Amy?

I just can't help it - the charm of Paper Mama's wooden dog pin had me. Handmade. No, really.

And onto the color and photography cards. I received so many letterpress and fabulously thick cards (my fave).

Haeley over at Design Improvised even gave us the ingredients for an Alt business card garland. Genius!!

Alexandra's letterpress vintage charm was just gorgeous and right on message.

And the black and white set. Such great classic and crisp cards here. Theresa's washi tape envelope had me at wow.

Shall I offer a favorite? Or shall I pull a mom answer out and say I love them all, just differently.

Nope. Leslie Fandrich, your cards are even more beautiful in person than in stunning photography. Your hand-drawn illustrations brought to letterpress are gorgeous and my very favorite.

Who topped your list? I'd love to hear.

And before I forget, let me share with you another installment in the fun Endless Summer Projects series. This week Melissa of Lulu the Baker is creating mini masterpieces in an easy how-to that we can all handle with our kiddos. My older children are beginning to notice art more and more, and thanks to an art memory game we have, they've each established their own lists of favorite painters and illustrators. I know they'll enjoy creating some appreciated masterpieces to life for our home!

Thanks, Melissa!! Alexandra has a great project headed our way next week, and she's taking us right out to the backyard. Join in.

xoxo, MJ

PS. AltNYC friends, the site is open. Please go to parscaeli.com/win and enter your info so I can send along your prize!!
PPS. Take a look at Obsession Session's quick take on the cards via Vine.