Aiming Arrows

Musings of a Mommy

Category: Craftiness


I love crafting with my kids.

This morning we started our day with some painting.  We made these Paper Hugs that I found here.

Graceanna painted her hands and face and even gave it a taste.

I love watching Gunnar concentrate on his project.

He told me multiple times, “I’m doing some good work today.”

Graceanna went with the red I suggested for our Valentine project.  (She didn’t have much choice.  It was the only option I gave her.)

Gunnar didn’t like the red.  He chose an assortment of blue, yellow, and white.

Soon glitter glue was required for our Heart Hug.

Graceanna sat and crafted at the table for over an hour!  She loves to cut.

I love giving them a craft idea and then watching their imagination and desire to use as many supplies as possible turn our craft into something completely new.

Gunnar’s completed Paper Heart Hug

Graceanna’s completed Paper Heart Hug

After completing her craft, she got a little carried away with cutting.  Thus the Heart Hug with no hugging ability.



Our New House

Our New House

Windows on the first floor and the second

A draw bridge door with handle access on the inside

A sun roof – moon roof – hatch thingy

Even Sadie wants to try out the new house, or maybe she’s hunting goldfish crackers

Yep.  I’m pretty sure it’s the crackers

Now, this is the way to protect your snack from the dog


You could sit at the table

Building and Creating with Legos

About this time last year, a dear friend brought me a whole bunch of gifts including a paper grocery bag more than half full of Legos!  Her two sons had outgrown these things so she passed them on to me.  I put the Legos away for a few months because I knew Gunnar wasn’t quite ready for them.  When I pulled them out of hiding Steve was thrilled!  He couldn’t believe all the Legos!  He sifted and sorted and even built a few things.  We gave them to Gunnar late in 2009 and he’s played with them a lot.   For a while he used them as objects to scoop with his tractors and piles to crash into for his cars.  I love this box of Legos because all the creations are his own imagination and he has spent hours upon hours creating this summer.  I can always count on some kind of vehicle with lots of shooters!

This next collection of Legos is special to me as well, because they were collected by my grandma.  According to my research, the Fabuland sets were produced between 1979 and 1989.  I thought my grandma had collected all of them, but it sounds like there are at least 90 sets!

I love these sets for several reasons.  One being they are just so darn cute!  Each set has a least one animal character.  Gunnar has done some of his own creations with these sets too.  Often he likes to build them exactly as they are shown in the picture, which is not as easy as it sounds for a 4 year old.  Then he loves playing with the scene, like having the police officer bear riding his motorcycle. 

Steve and I surprised Gunnar with this next set of Legos for no reason other than we knew he would love it!

He has built and rebuilt these two Star Wars vehicles countless times.  It’s a really excellent set because it has two vehicles and multiple shooters!

Speaking of shooters, Sunday after church Gunnar showed us his ladybug craft.  (I’m not sure what kind of significance had to his Sunday school lesson…)  This ladybug was extra special because its antennae were actually shooters!  Steve thought they were shooting lazers but I thought they sounded like machine guns.  Who knew a sweet ladybug could be so lethal!

Developmental Things

I’ve read multiple sources each talking about the motor skill development being different in boys and girls with girls tending to develop the fine motor skills several years sooner than boys.  Looking at the crafts K and Gunnar bring home from school have made me suspect this was true in Gunnar’s case.  Last weekend I had a front row seat to see these differences play out.

I picked out a flower craft for us to do.  I was just in the mood for flowers since we are experiencing some warm sunny days.  Gunnar was not impressed when he heard it was going to be a flower craft, “I don’t like flowers.”  I’ve never heard him say that before.  I didn’t pick the craft because our friend is a girl.  I just wanted to do flowers.  I had no idea he would protest.

K was immediately excited about the flowers and she quickly began coloring her petals.  Soon Gunnar joined the fun presumably ignoring the fact that we were making flowers.

The first thing I noticed which pertains to motor skills is that K was able to color the tiny petals with no problem.  G had marker all over his hands and the counter.

Next, I noticed that K’s was pastel colors and G’s was almost exclusively dark colors.  K also picked a pink background for her flowers while G picked white.

K & G were both excited to add the glitter glue to our flowers giving them a bit of sparkle.  The glitter glue is a bit difficult to manage I must say, but K seemed to do fine.  She followed my instructions to just put a line down the middle of each petal.  G couldn’t control how hard to squeeze the tube, so he has very nice round blobs of glitter.

And, the final thing I noticed was that Gunnar decided to make it a race to see who could complete the craft first.  All the while, K is intently coloring and glittering her flowers.

Gunnar declared himself the winner since he completed the craft with 2 flowers and K was still finishing her 5 flowers. 🙂

Oh.  One more thing that I found interesting.  Gunnar wanted his 2 flowers in a straight line right next to each other but K wanted hers to be spread around. 

I find the differences in people so interesting!  I just love to watch G and his friends interact.  Their individual strengths, preferences, physical development, and personality are continually showing up, and I love it!

PS – I realize most of the things I listed are not related to motor skills or even boy vs girl differences.

Crafts with Lucy

Yesterday we had so much fun with our friend Lucy.  We played outside, ate lunch, and made some crafts.  Sometimes things can go awry during playdates (or even just by ourselves) but today was not one of those days!  Everyone ate well, everyone was kind, and it seemed we all enjoyed each other’s company.  Yay!

Our first craft was to make a dinosaur.  A Stegosauris to be exact.  Gunnar told us all that a stegosauris is a herbivore which means they eat plants.  Ok, so he knows a little about dinosaurs…   Then, I asked Gunnar if he knew if dinosaurs lived before or after Jesus was born.  I thought we might discuss it some, but his answer left no room for follow up.  He said, “They lived before Jesus in the Jurasic Period.”  Ok then. 

Lucy picked pink for her dinsosaur with brother Gus looking on wishing his Momma and I would loosen up and let him get after it with the big kids.  Gunnar picked green and his sister did get a good handful of paint.

When Allison saw the clothes pins, we were both excited and said, “Oh yes!  Those are for those bumpy, spiky, er things on their backs!”  Gunnar said, “It’s for their plates.”  It’s nice being schooled in all things dinosaur by a pre-schooler.  Miss Allison told Gunnar he was really smart.  He said it was because he had a big brain in his head.  You kind of had to be there for that one, but to Gunnar’s Momma there’s not much cuter that listening to him talk – about anything really.

Our next craft was putting some buds on the tree I had drawn for them using q-tips and water color.  We talked about the buds that show up on the trees in Spring. 

Of course, neither of these crafts were my own idea.  I found them at No Time for Flash Cards.  As I do just about every craft I make with G.

Letters, Friends, and a Warm-up

Gunnar wants to learn to read.  He knows all his letters but is still learning what sound each letter makes.  So, we’re making crafts as we talk about each letter, reading books about subjects that start with that letter, and we even had a few special snacks to correspond with each letter.  (Almost all of the letter crafts and book recommedations, I copied from this blog.)

As Gunnar has become more comfortable with our crafting he has taken great liberties with my plan.  The “H” is definitely not what I had planned.  Gunnar traced my hand as well as his own, but I picked the pink paint that makes it appear I have the measles in addition to a very infected thumb and forefinger.  The tiny little pink hearts just add another element of craziness to the letter “h”.  But, I will tell you the boy knows how “h” sounds!

We’ve also been playing outside some.  We’ve had a few really warm days.  Even the birds seemed to think Spring was here.

Notice there is still ice on the deck.  So, it’s warmer, but definitely not toasty.

Aren’t they so cute!

So, we went from cold to warm and back to cold again.

Ok.  Not really.  This is acutally from a few weeks ago.  But, it’s felt pretty darn cold to me.

We’ve also been playing with friends.  This is a picture of Graceanna with her friend Rose who was born one month before her. 

I’m sure we’ve been doing lots of other things, too, but these are the only pictures I have, so I’ll just leave it at that!

Gingerbread Houses

I hope making gingerbread houses becomes an annual tradition for our family.

If you look closely you can see Gunnar’s favorite part of building a gingerbread house written all over his face.

The builders worked hard sharing ideas and technique.  The Big House, planned and constructed by Neenie & Grandma, even had cool ice cycles.  
(Gunnar with his Neenie, Grandma, and Daddy)   

Gunnar and Daddy precisely crafted their Little House which even included a garage door on the back.

The completed houses.  Both are works of art!  I think the consensus is that we will do Little Houses next year rather than the Big House.

This last picture (courtesy of Neenie!) shows the houses displayed on snow which really did make a cute finishing touch!

Some of you may be wondering what Graceanna was doing during all of this gingerbread activity.  Watching the baby was my job.  But, you can see what I was doing.  Taking pictures!  I found Baby Girl doing whatever she wanted, which was basically just exploring the tree and all the shiny (and breakable) decorations.  Oooops.  I didn’t really do my job too well.

My Painting

I’ve never painted before aside from the water-color and other fun painting I seem to do regularly right now.  Even more wild than the fact that I painted this huge canvas is that this crazy idea was for someone’s wall!  Definitely risky. 

Now, I would NEVER paint something for someone else’s wall, but when I visited my friend’s new house I saw this painting in my mind and I couldn’t get it out!  (Not a normal experience for me.)

I thought I would buy a canvas, sit down, and start painting.  Thankfully, my wise husband gave me some guidance.  “Why don’t you plan it out on the computer first?” 

So, my first painting is very calculated and exact, not exactly the way I envisioned painting.  But, I’m so happy with the result.  

I painted this in many separate short sessions.  Covering the canvas alone took about 5 different sessions.  There’s the base coat, the edges, and then several tecture layers.  All the dots had to have 3 coats and since some overlap, I broke them into several short sessions too.  It was really gratifying because in at the end of each session – maybe, 20 minutes – I could see the progress I made!

Here’s the finished version.  Their last name is painted through the middle of the canvas with turquoise paint.  I put this rectangle over it in Photoshop for my blog, because I don’t like identifying information especially last names on my blog.  So, you’ll have to work a little to “see” the final painting.

So, the big question.  Did she like it?  She sure did say all the right things and made me feel like she liked it!  She said it was the right style and the right color.  (That’s good as I went to Sherwin Williams and bought a little container of their exact wall color!)  I think she did.

Gunnar painted with me.  He gave them to our friends as a gift.  (Notice her turquoise accent wall.  Love it!)

I “ooohed” and “aaahed” over Gunnar’s paintings and asked him to paint one for me.   

Then, he painted one for Daddy.  Hmph!

I really enjoyed this project even though I was hoping the act of painting would be some romantic type experience where the emotions deep within me flowed out the end of my paint brush.  Not so much. 

I have one more painting planned.  I’m going to use this same idea with slightly different dimensions and different colors.  I’ve been wanting something above my fireplace for a long time.  But, you see, I can’t just go buy something because I have some strange prerequisite for all my wall art: it must be sentimentally significant for who created it or what it represents.  Weird I know.  Anyhoo…This one is 24×36 and mine will be 24×30.  Also, I will probably use a red background and maybe black letters.  I don’t know yet, but as I don’t have any turquoise in my home, I probably won’t use that!  I’m not really sure when I will get to this, but maybe sometime in 2010.

Right now, I have to  get off the computer because a 40″ tyrant says my time is up.  I hope the “story” makes sense and there are not too many grammatical errors.  Until next time blogger friends!

Thanksgiving Craftiness

I made this super cute Thanksgiving craft with the help of my mom and the inspiration from this blog.  Basically, it was more than just inspiration, I totally copied this idea but made some modifications.

All of my letters and leaves are stamps from Close to My Heart (my mom is a consultant for CTMH stamps and scrapbook stuff) and the base of it is a placemat.  I have 3 extra placemats if anyone is interested.

I used a 3×3 envelope template to make the little pockets.  (The original idea was made using bags which the blogger said she got from Target.)  Inside each pocket is a piece of cardstock to write down our blessings and all we give thanks for this year!

On the top right corner of each envelope, I wrote the date.  We are going to start our Give Thanks the day after Gunnar’s birthday every year.  That’s why my calendar starts with November 12th.  If you want to do the whole month of November, you will need a larger placemat (this one is actually on the small side) or use a smaller envelope/bag.

I wanted my Give Thanks calendar to be transferable from  year to year, and since Thanksgiving Day is on a different date each year, I had to figure something out.  I ended up stamping this “Happy Thanksgiving.”  It’s attached with a spiral clip (I love those spiral clips!)   Since it’s not attached with any adhesive, it will be easy to just clip it on to another date next year.