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Unicorn Hot Chocolate Valentines

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This year, Miss L went for unicorn themed Valentines… complete with a DIY Unicorn Hot Chocolate kit!

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I’d showed her some photos of the ridiculous Unicorn Hot Chocolate from Creme and Sugar in Anaheim back in January, and she asked if we could make it at home. So when I started looking for all of the ingredients, I realized that we would have an excess of supplies on hand… so why not turn in into a gift!

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How to make DIY Unicorn Hot Chocolate Kits for Valentine’s Day (or any day really!)

First, we went in search of brightly colored hot chocolate. Upon finding bulk colored hot chocolate via the Internet, Miss L debated between pink, blue and purple. She settled on purple as the perfect color for her classroom Valentines and we packaged up single servings of 3 Tablespoons of cocoa in small glassine bags.

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Next, we made a batch of colorful mini-marshmallows. We started out with some crazy color ideas courtesy of Studio DIY’s tie dye marshmallows and bought food coloring gel online. Then, we followed Alton Brown’s mini-marshmallow recipe to create five different colors of marshmallow goodness. Miss L and I then added the goo to a large Ziploc bag, snipped the corner off, and piped row after row of marshmallow on parchment lined and cornstarch/sugar sprinkled baking sheets.  We sprinkled more of the cornstarch/sugar on the rows and then cut them the next day.

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We had also bought five colors of crazy colored jimmies from the same store that we bought the food coloring. So we dumped a little (OK – A LOT!) of each into a bowl and mixed them together.

We didn’t want anyone to be confused about what they were getting in their packet so we printed little instruction cards on how to assemble the Unicorn Hot Chocolate at home.

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Putting it all together

For the packaging, Miss L created some artwork by tracing a unicorn and added her own Valentine’s Day message.

I scanned the pencil art, resized it in Photoshop, then printed it on glassine bags. She added unique colorful touches to each bag using markers.

Then we filled each one up with a package of purple hot chocolate, colorful marshmallows, sprinkles and an instruction sheet, then sealed then with Valentine’s Day washi tape.

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We had a blast with making every part of these Valentines, especially the super sticky marshmallows!

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Now we hope all of those first graders love their crazy cup of Unicorn Hot Chocolate they get to make at home!

crafty

cookie cutter watercolor art

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Do you have cookie cutters in your house? And watercolors? Some watercolor paper? And maybe a pencil? Well then, my friends, you’ve got an easy afternoon of kid art ahead of you!

The rainy and dreary winter weekends are officially upon us, and I like to have some sort of art project available for Miss L during those time to brighten up the day in any small way. I flipped past a cute art project idea for Valentine’s Day with overlapping hearts on Facebok and from that came the inspiration for an artsy afternoon! 

Why don’t we use our vast array of cookie cutters as stencil shapes?

So, out came the cookie cutter box, along with a few sheets of watercolor paper and a pencil. She immediately grabbed to the Mickey Mouse cookie cutter and was eager to get started. I modeled the first few steps for Miss L in order to show her that we wanted to actually overlap the shapes just a little, and despite a bit of a protest, she obliged.
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She dutifully traced the outlines and after completing 10 Mickey Mouse heads, she declared that phase done. Then we moved on to the paint. We mixed up a palette of greens, blues and purples from our Watercolor set, and then I gave her a brush to have at it. I carefully explained that we wanted to color over the lines and mix the colors, which was initially met with a “MOM YOU ARE INSANE!” look. You see, we work really hard to get kids to color neatly inside the lines for so long… so when you tell them to break that rule they really look at you like you’re crazy. Eventually I convinced her it would work and be great, and once she saw the colors mixing, she was game!

So she painted to stay in the lines, but also painted to mix them up. And in the end, I think we came away with a pretty nice piece of art!

Over the weekend, we replicated the same technique with candy cane, stars, suns and Christmas tree cookie cutters and all with fabulous results. Watercolors can be hard for kid’s to work with as normal paints, so I enjoyed the outline/coloring aspect of this project! I think it helped Miss L really get a feel for moving the water and paint and she really gained painting confidence as she finished each page.

The next time you are caught looking for a quick and fun art afternoon, grab some cookie cutters and trace and paint away!

Project sources:

Reeves Water Colour Paint 

Paint Palette: Michael’s

Watercolor Paper 

Paintbrushes: Hand Made Modern Paintbrushes from Target 

 

crafty

how to recycle your Christmas cards into something more

I just packed up all of this years Christmas/Holiday cards from the front entry and put them in a pile. Soon, they’ll make their way to Target, where I’ll quickly scan them all and digitally plop them into a photo book for the year. And while that’s a great keepsake that we have, it made me think of what to do with our annual Christmas cards and how to preserve them, since paper isn’t always the best way to save memories!

In the middle of crazy Internet sales this past December, I saw one that caught my eye: 70% off of Ornaments at Zazzle.com. A quick thought flashed across my brain: that making an ornament using the images from our Christmas cards would be the perfect way to preserve them year after year! Unfortunately, it was close to midnight, so my time to get in an order for the sale was quickly closing. So, I quickly threw in the images, added the year, and pushed through the order just in the nick of time!

Turn Your Christmas Cards into Ornaments

So imagine my delight when the ornaments I received were just plain fabulous! I ordered the PREMIUM METAL SQUARE ornament and just uploaded my image into the field. For about $5 each, these were just perfect! I think I’ll take some time to create ornaments from all of the other cards and have them sitting in my account just waiting for the next amazing sale.

(p.s. Looking for what to do with all the cards you’ve received? Here are a few fun ideas!)

 

crafty

#KidArt: drawing books

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During a busy weekend of activities here and there, I stumbled upon a wonderful new drawing book that I knew Miss L would just adore: Step-By-Step Drawing Book (Activity Books for Little Children). When I showed her the pages and asked, “Do you think you’d like to learn how to draw these things?” she enthusiastically said, “YES!” Thus, the book came home with us and out came the crayons and markers and pencils when we got home!

  
Miss L has a couple of other step-by-step drawing books, but so far they’ve been a bit too advanced for her. If we sit with her and go through the motions together then all is well. But eventually she’d open a page on her own and we’d hear every sound of frustration echoing from the office and her art table. But when I flipped through the pages of this book, I knew that she could tackle any of these doodles on her own and be successful each and every time!

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And how well did she do? Well, here are a few of her doodles from this weekend:

  
As I write this, she’s currently drawing knights and castles and princesses and I really can’t wait to see how it all turns out! This book is a huge win for us, and I think we’ll look into getting their other two step-by-step books as well: Step-by-Step Drawing Animals & Step-by-Step Drawing People.

 

 

crafty

#kidart : fairy houses

Sometimes you head to the craft store with a mission, and other times you discover the best projects while you’re wandering through the store in search of something else.   

For this project, it was the latter. We were in search of eyelash yarn (for another project), when we came  across these tiny houses. 

“Momma, can we decorate a bird house?”

“Sweetie, those aren’t big enough to be bird houses.”

“Well what are they houses for?”

“Well, I bet they’d make perfect fairy houses?”

“Momma, can we make a fairy house?”

So we picked out 4 houses (at Joann’s), then went to the paint aisle and got 2 sets of paint packs (with 6 colors each) and set about making some fairy houses. 

Setting up the art space was easy: one brush for each pot of paint (no need to rinse the brush between colors), & paper towels.

Then it was up to Miss L to use her imagination! And boy did she!

 

Some had stripes. Others had dots. There was even a small depiction of her imaginary friend on the side of one! Each one was lovingly covered in paint, as I requested that there be no wood showing at all.

(There’s an added bonus when you’re using the coordinated passion sets as all combinations end up looking amazing!)

One they were done, we went in search of glitter spray to coat them with “fairy dust” and picked up some clear coat as well. Then it was off to the garden to become homes for some lucky garden faires. 

But, that’s not where this craft ends. Because after those were done, Miss L requested to get some more. So we did. And she painted them. And then she asked Daddy to buy done more. And he went to a different craft store (Michaels) and found new models and brought those home. 

And we are now officially housing more fairies than any other house in the neighborhood. Which is pretty cool!

Cost per house: $1-$1.50

Cost per paint set: $1-1.50/6 paint pots