Country Style Counting / Family Wall Art

 

This past week was one we’ll remember for some time. Our oldest son injured his arm from falling off a slide at a local park on the last day of preschool.  It was certainly a stressful time. We are so thankful it was just his arm.  Like the old saying goes, ‘when given lemons, make lemonade!’ Even though  lemonade is not my favorite drink (way too much sugar, but that’s another story), we’ll try to make the best batch ever.  That’s how we choose to roll.

This blog is about boys and creative adventures they can have.  I can honestly say, falling off a slide resulting in breaking an arm which required three pins during surgery is not the type of creativity I was hoping for him!  With these boys being so active, things are going to happen, but consequently, I do feel my lifespan shortening at an accelerated pace!  So, the wheels are turning in my head at a rapid speed looking for ideas of things he can do while his arm is sporting a cast for the next several weeks.  Summer vacation has begun and now we’ll need to explore some different opportunities for him. Stay tuned for more on this topic in future creativedirtpile.com blogs.

For our family, he is our Humpty Dumpty…with a happier ending.  With all the stress we endured, I must say when it’s reading time we’ll leave that story book on the shelf for a while.

~Angie

 

Countin’ Numbers Country Style!

I was searching for more ways to help our boys with their numbers.  We’ve got books, flashcards, etc., but they seem to get bored with those often. So, I made number flashcard sticks out of foam core and paint stir sticks.  The sticks can be found at any store selling paint and are FREE (isn’t that word great?).  I was able to pick up several at Wal-Mart while shopping for groceries/other items. Foam core can be purchased at any craft or discount store too.  I recently saw foam core at The Dollar Tree which is a savings of about $2-3/sheet compared to other stores!  Overall, I like using this product because it’s thicker than poster board but still easy for me to cut by myself!

How to make them:

I cut the foam core into about 5″ x 7″ pieces with an exacto knife, and then I used gorilla glue to adhere the pieces together.The last task was making the numbers with a simple black marker.

It was easy to do, and here’s what we did next:

For fun, we take these outside and stick them around the yard.  The boys love it.   Since we’ve got a newly 3 and almost 5 year old, there’s a difference in learning. For our oldest, we put individual sticks together making them bigger numbers.  He’s loving the challenge of it!  For our youngest son, I’ll say, “Where is that number 8?  Where did he go?”  Then, the hunt is on!

 

Fingerprint Artwork

Back in December, I was at Hobby Lobby and found a 2′ x 5.5′ wall mirror on clearance.  The reason why the price was significantly lower was the mirror had broken.  The store had removed all the broken mirror pieces and besides some glue residue in certain small spots, the remaining wood was free to the imagination.  I had envisioned this as a great chunky frame for our dining room.  I wasn’t quite sure at that point what design it would be, but I knew I could paint with acrylic on canvas fabric. So, I purchased this item and bought canvas fabric at Hancock Fabrics. 

From time to time, I check out things on pinterest.com and see what’s out there.  Like so many others, I love to get inspired by so many different categories of ideas.  After initially viewing various fingerprint artworks, I  came up with my own twist:  a family tree.  On sketch paper, I had drawn a tree with an extremely long branch to coincide with the size of frame which was going to hang horizontally.  I then sketched and painted the background and tree on the canvas fabric, and then let it dry overnight.

On January 1st, all members of the family got to have fun with the painting.  We each selected a color of acrylic paint (purchased at Michael’s craft store) which we put on our thumb.  My husband wanted red, I chose a yellowish/orange color, our oldest loves blue, and our youngest is over the moon for green.  Our thumb prints became leaves for the tree.  Here and there, it’s a subtle mixture of bright colors for our painting. How fantastic it was to have a one-of-a-kind piece of artwork the entire family got to play a part in creating!

We let the paint dry, and the next step was attaching the canvas to the frame. At first, I thought we (that’s right, I said “we” –  this is the point when I roped my husband into helping me with the attaching phase) would need a staple gun.  It turns out, a simple stapler worked better for the space allowed.  Once the canvas fabric was all in place, it went up on the wall!  We did write on the back of the painting the date and how old the boys were when this took place.

Memories in the making!  Priceless!!!

 

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