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Book Review: Make in a Day Crafts For Kids – Fun Projects

Crafts For Kids

By: Cintia Gonzalez-Pell

Kids love crafts. Every kid I’ve encountered, including my own sons and grandsons love to make things out of paper, string, paint, glue…pick any medium and they have probably used it. So I was very excited to see a book of 15 fast and fun projects.

Definitely written with older children in mind, these crafts include Painted Animal Gift Boxes, Colorful Yarn Dreamcatchers and Decorated Wooden Bangles. Each project will require adult supervision as well as a list of supplies.

Younger kids could probably make some of the crafts, but will need more than a little bit of help. I would say the easiest is the Artist Abstract Painted Canvas. For this you will need a small stretched canvas, acrylic paint, removable stickers, painter’s tape and of course brushes, water and something to protect the table you are working on. Your child will begin by painting a colorful abstract background. When it dries, apply the stickers and painter’s tape. Then paint over the entire surface with white acrylic paint. When dry, remove the tape and stickers and your child will have a really cool abstract work of art to hang or their wall or give to a loved one as a gift.

Older children might like to create Fruity Plant Pots. Using paint markers, they can create these one of a kind works of art. If they don’t want to use the designs in the book, they can create whatever makes them happy to keep for themselves or give as gifts. Younger children could create these with a bit of help as well.

If you want to make something for the youngsters in your life, the Painted Animal Gift Boxes are adorable. This craft requires sketching the faces, painting the background, and then adding details like pompoms, felt ears and googly eyes. As previously stated, an older child may be able to create these, but younger kids might be frustrated with the various steps and fine motor skills needed.

Over all, there are some great ideas in Crafts For Kids. Kids and adults will love making gifts and decorations for their homes.

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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Thanksgiving=Christmas Craft

Quick, what do you think of when I say Thanksgiving? Turkey, dressing, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie, football, relatives, thankfulness, pilgrims, Indians (oh stop it, back when I was a kid no one even heard about PC and besides my grandma’s grandfather was a full blooded Indian) and everything else that has to do with a great (sorry if yours isn’t great) day of family fun and food.

Maybe you just think of Thanksgiving as Black Friday Eve. While I admit I am going to read those ads after the table is set and the house is filled with the wonderful smell of holiday food.

My first thought is Christmas Craft!!! About 15 years ago, we went to my Aunt’s house for Thanksgiving dinner. As the guys settled into comfy chairs to watch a bit of football, she pulled out a bunch of paints and plain glass Christmas ornaments. She was putting up a Christmas tree for the first time in years, and shades of Days of Our Lives (if you watch it you know every year they hand ornaments with each character’s name on it on a tree with lots of flashbacks) she didn’t have any ornaments.

We had the best time painting them with our names, snowmen, trees and all sorts of things to make the ornament different and fabulous. My one aunt had such a hard time getting hers “right” she kept wiping the white paint off of her blue ornament. The paint was partly dry so it left a white smear. She painted her name over it and called it a snow storm. Ah we are not only a crafty bunch, we share a crazy way of looking at life and a sense of humor that can’t be beat.

The next year, all the cousins started asking what the Christmas craft was going to be. A tradition was born. We’ve painted t-shirts, made snowmen out of tube socks (that was a hoot) and painted glass ornaments. Now each person takes his or her craft home for their tree, mantle or garbage can depending upon the outcome.

One year we made gingerbread houses out of pieces I’d baked the day before. That was lots of work for something that doesn’t last past one season. But it is more about the fun we have with each other than the finished product – which turns out adorable most of the time.

The craft is kept a mystery until Thanksgiving afternoon. Then the person in charge hauls out the clay, glue, fabric, ribbon, small clay pots, etc and picture of the craft. This year’s craft will hopefully include empty pop bottles, paint, fabric and maybe some googly eyes.

I found it on Pinterest, and it is adorable. Since we only have a few hours, prep needs to be done before Thanksgiving. I often spend more time in craft preparation than I do in food prep. Seriously, frying a turkey isn’t that hard, the rest of the stuff only takes a few hours at the most.

Anyway, I have to cut each pop bottle and glue two together with superglue. How hard can that be? Manicure scissors turned out to be the easiest thing to use because that plastic is tough to cut straight. So, that means 30 bottles (I’ve been begging my friends to save them for me at work) had to be cut. Then they needed to be glued together. That was the simple part. Super glue is the best for plastic and it was a snap. 

Now for the hard part. Each one had to be painted black. Have you ever tried to paint a smooth, slippery plastic bottle? Not good, not good at all. I had a spongy brush type thing and finally patted about 3 coats on on bottle, letting each layer dry. Seemed ok, at least it didn’t slide around like trying to brush it on, but as it dried it cracked.

So I asked my hubby to try spray paint. So far, the one he painted looks WAY better than the ones I tried to paint, I am hoping this will be the way to go.

So after the thanks have been said and the dishes have been done, we are going to haul out the crafts and have a few laughs. We always have so much fun it is really something I look forward to.

I don’t know how you spend your Thanksgiving, but I hope you are planning something you’ll enjoy. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours however you spend your day.

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What Color is Your Aura?

Do you believe in seeing auras? I would like to jump into mystical magical happenings, but a teeny part of me is too cynical to totally get on that bandwagon.


It is easy for me to question psychics’ credibility when so many have been proven wrong. Is it all smoke and mirrors for our entertainment? Possibly, and that is cool with me. The thing that crosses the line for me is when someone’s life is altered in a harmful way be it psychologically or physically or by some scammer taking money from an innocent believer.

Back to auras. My cousin used to say she could see colors around people’s heads. If it was black, they were bad, white they were good and the only other color she said she saw that I know of was bright goldish yellow emiting from a man during a sermon.

It seemed kind of odd at the time, and this woman turned out to be a bit of a truth “stretcher” so who knows what she was making up or really seeing.

I checked out this website for a bit of aura history: http://www.thiaoouba.com/see_aura_color.htm or http://www.worldtrans.org/spir/aura.html which has different ideas than the first site. One of them states when someone is about to die, their aura turns white, the other says it turns blue. My guess is 1o different websites will give you as many different answers or explainations.

For sake of argument and information, I’ll go with the first website.  According to the author, anyone can tap into the auras of others. You just have to put them in front of a white background (other colors will make the aura a different color than it really is) then stare at the center of their forehead – looking for the inner eye of the soul – and bingo, you can begin to see the color around them. It is like knowing what they are thinking before they say it. Hum. I think I sounded less unusual before I knew more about it.

Then it is recommended to close your eyes to create a “snapshot” of the color. Double hum.

Ok, lets’s go on to the meaning of the colors, also gleaned from this website.
Purple is supposed to mean the subject is having spiritual thoughts. It will appear as clouds or flames surrounding the person. This is not a strong aura (at this point, I am not sure what makes an aura strong or weak).
Blue auras indicate relaxed, balanced energy. Survivors are emitting blue. Sounds very nice until the blue becomes electric blue. This can override all other colors and indicates the person is telepathic. Uh oh, the naysayer in me is jumping up and down now.
Turquoise auras surround people that can do many things simultaneously and are good organizers. Think moms and administrative assistants. Maybe turquoise should also indicate tired, because most multitasking people are doing that because they have way too do and it is necessary.
Green is restful and healing. Think green thumb.
Yellow auras are around joyful, contented people. Beware if the aura is more than a few inches around them, because giant yellow auras are reserved for Buddha and Jesus. (Maybe aforementioned truth challenged cousin read this or did she really see something around the guy in church??)
Orange means power or control.
Red – think Madonna. Material girl.
Pink is rare, so as a newby to auras, I can only say it is considered perfect balance, so you probably won’t see it anyway.
Now we get to talk about the “dirty colors” these are muddier instead of a nice glow.
Brown is lack of spirituality. Gray is depressed or the dark side of a personality. Sulfur is anger (I’d be mad too if all the pretty colors were around other people and I got stinky old sulfur.
White, contrary to said cousin’s proclamation of “good person” means something much more sinister. It is said to signify serious disease or someone on drugs.

Now I know way more than I ever wanted to know about auras. All because it was the first thing that came to mind for this week’s fresh pressed challenge of writing about color.

I could have gone to the colors in my home – no boring beige for me. No “neutral tones”. All of my rooms vibrate with life and color. I do admit to color mistakes – the lilac dining room and crayon basic green for our bathroom were not my best choices. But paint is cheap and my hubby doesn’t mind painting over my mistakes so life is good.

If you believe in auras – good for you. If you don’t good for you too. If you are on the fence like me do some research of your own to see what you find out. Or not. Relax, be mostly blue with a bit of yellow around the edges. Add a bit of green if you like to garden. Whatever color you have surrounding you, be at peace.

(once again – tks Google images!)

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