Tag Archives: children crafts

Book Review: Beautiful Press-Out Butterflies – Taking Paper Airplanes to a New Level

Beautiful Press-Out Flying Butterflies

By: Richard Merrill

Beautiful Press-out Flying Butterflies takes paper airplanes to a whole new level. By following the simple instructions on the first page, you and your child can create a squadron of brightly colored, detailed butterflies. Each of them has information as to where in the world that particular butterfly lives as well as interesting facts.

Not all butterflies eat the same nectar. For example, the Julia butterfly can be found from Brazil to Texas and Florida but in the summer migrates to Nebraska. It usually eats nectar from the Lantana flowers, but also alights on caiman’s heads (relatives of crocodiles) irritates the caiman’s eyes with their proboscis then drinks the tears. That is one brave butterfly!

Each page will teach your child about butterflies. Then with a few simple folds and a coin (to help balance your butterfly when it soars, your child will spend countless hours flying them indoors and outside.

Merrill dedicates his book to his late grandfather, Dr. A. I. Good, who was an avid lepidopterist (butterfly expert). Thanks to Dr. Good’s inspiration, we can all learn about and enjoy butterflies with this enchanting book.

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy from Dover Publications in exchange for a fair and honest review. Copyright © 2019 Laura Hartman

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Book Reviews: Two New Craft Books to Entertain and Delight

Origami of the Sea

By: Dover Publications

Beginners and those who already love the art of Japanese paper folding will enjoy this book of sea creatures. It begins with the basics. While there are 200 sheets of beautifully colored sheets of origami paper included, there are also guidelines to purchase additional sheets at your local stores. The proper way to fold the paper is also outlined in clear, easy to understand instructions. There are additional pages of techniques that have diagrams to ensure your success no matter what your previous origami experiences have been. There are also video links at the top of each page of instruction to assist you if needed.

Soon you and/or your children will have a sea of creatures created from nothing more than paper and a few folds. My personal favorites are the simple fish. Make a school of them to hang from your child’s ceiling. The boat is simple and colorful and the shark would be fun to play with while imagining undersea adventures.

The only drawback is the pages are loosely bound so that the Origami paper can be easily removed without tearing. That also makes the instructions easily removed. I would suggest either popping the instructions into a Ziploc bag or use a hole punch and yarn to keep them together and prevent them from being misplaced.

Thanks to the following for their contribution to Origami of the Sea. Vanda Battaglia, Pasquale D’Aurai, Francesco Decio, Marc Kirschenbaum and Nick Robinson created the diagrams, videos and text. The beautiful photographs are courtesy of Dario Canova and Nick Robinson.

The Royal Stickers

By: Eileen Rudisill Miller

Children love Princes and Princesses. Disney has assured a steady stream of fairytales that are beloved by all. But real life Princes and Princess are even more fascinating because they are actually real people.

Ms. Miller has created a cute little book of stickers that feature William and Kate and Harry and Meghan. Beautiful wedding gowns and dashing military uniforms as well as tiaras, rings and bouquets.

The Royal Stickers will make a great addition to your children’s Easter Basket. I usually have small books like this tucked away for my grandchildren. It is fun to surprise them with small treasures like this book.

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy from Dover Publications in exchange for a fair and honest review. Copyright © 2019 Laura Hartman

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Book Review: Easy Bird Origami – Fun Facts, Beautiful Birds and Origami to Create

Easy Bird Origami

By: Tammy Yee

Easy Bird Origami is not your ordinary origami book. Each page has a full color picture of the bird for you or your child to create. There are instructions for flying birds and standing birds. Each sheet will specify which type of bird you are creating, and both flying and standing instructions are clear, easy to understand and have illustrations to help you picture the correct way to fold your birds.

The thirty pre-printed bird designs are colorful and detailed. But before you start creating your flock, be sure to read the information on the back of each page. It will tell you the name of your birds, the place in the world they are found and interesting facts about each.

These are not your ordinary sparrows and robins. Not so say there is anything wrong with the everyday birds I see at my feeder, but it is fun to learn about new birds that we might see on vacation far from home.

From Tanzania to New Guinea, to the Americas to Africa you will learn about interesting birds and their habitats. For example, the Sociable Weavers live in historic nests on the African Savana. Some of the nests are up to 100 years old and up to 500 birds live together in these huge communal nests year round.

The Common Bullfinch can imitate songs. In fact, a bullfinch named Bullie was famous for greeting guests by whistling “God Save the Queen” for visitors as they entered Lawton Hall in Cheshire England. Upon his death in 1853, a poem was written and placed on a tombstone that still stands today for tourists to read outside of the old hall.

A little closer to home, the American kestrel can be found from the Arctic Circle to South America.  These are one of the smallest hawks in the world, very colorful and are designed for speed. The can dive at speeds up to 65 miles per hour and during courtship perform complex flight maneuvers to get the female’s attention.

The beauty of each bird is highlighted on each page. Maybe you and your child will create a flock to hang from their bedroom ceiling. Or maybe you will use each detailed bird as Christmas decorations on your tree next year. Perhaps you will set a few on your dresser or on your desk at work.

Easy Bird Origami will make a wonderful gift. I plan to get a copy for my seven-year-old cousin. She loves every animal and bird. Since last summer she has gotten into origami and now it is one of her favorite things to do. As a new reader, she will enjoy the fun facts about each bird before making her flock.

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy from Dover Publications in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Copyright © 2018 Laura Hartman

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Book Review: Lazy Crafternoon – Tons of Cute, Affordable, Easy Crafts

Lazy CarfternoonLazy Crafternoon

by Stella Fields

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy for free from the publisher in connection with NetGalley  & Capstone in return for my review. Copyright © 2016 Laura Hartman

Lazy Crafternoon made me want to pull out the craft supplies, call a few friends and have a fun crafty day. Fields has compiled a collection of crafts that are easy to make, useful and don’t cost an arm and a leg.

She begins with explaining supplies and how to use them. They are common in most if not all households (scissors, glue, paintbrushes) or easily purchases at your local craft, hardware or even grocery store. The most exotic thing she discusses is decoupage glue, so you won’t have to order something from an expensive craft house to complete her projects.

The projects are divided into different sections:

Accessories includes headbands, decoupaged shoes (I cannot wait to do this to a pear of my favorite flats that are looking tired!) and a diffuser necklace that uses essential oils to name a few. There are a total of 10 crafts in this section.

Decorate gives the reader instructions for ribbon wreaths (think Christmas gift!), no sew pillows and cute flower pot makeovers. There are a total of 14 crafts in this section.

Study is the section of school supplies that can be used for many other purposes also. My favorite in this section is the cinch sacks – they can carry so much more that books – think knitting! They are perfect for the project on the go. There are a total of 10 projects in this section.

Celebrate is all about party decorations and gifts wrappings. The coolest trick to make wrapping paper with a lint roller will absolutely be used this Christmas in our house! You can celebrate with all 11 of the projects included here.

Food is the final section. Why food in a craft book? Remember the title is Lazy Crafternoon and in order to have a Crafternoon you have to add friends and food to complete your day. There are 7 crafty type recipes that look yummy and perfect for your crafternoon or for giving or just plain enjoying yourself. The one I can’t wait to try is sun tea in mason jars. How fun to personalize each one for the person that is going to enjoy it?

Overall, this is the best, most versatile craft book I’ve read lately. The ideas are fresh, easy and Fields reminds us how fun it is to spend time crafting with good friends and of course good food. This is written for teens/young adults but adults will find plenty of projects they will want to do – I did!

Watch for Lazy Crafternoon at your local bookstore or online, it is available on August 1, 2016 but can be pre-ordered now.

 

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