Showing posts with label Crafts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Crafts. Show all posts

Thursday, June 21, 2018

DIY Mercury Glass



It's time for a DIY project for the true romantics out there.  Is there anything lovelier than fresh cut flowers in an antiqued mercury glass vase?  Perhaps the reason mercury glass is such a popular centerpiece at weddings is the nostalgic effect it has on us.  I absolutely love the understated beauty and elegance of silvered glass.  The look, and the effect, is way too wonderful to save only for special occasions.  

I invite you to follow along with me and transform your own gorgeous flower vessels.  It takes very little time and money to create the beautiful mercury glass effect presented here.  In less than an hour, you can be enjoying your own timeless centerpiece.  If you're like me, you'll get hooked and create any number of these mercury glass vases for yourself and for gifting to friends and family.  This is a gift you can be sure will be used and appreciated.


What You Will Need
* Glass vase
* White vinegar
* Water
* Misting pump bottle
* Paper towels

Optional
* Tarp or plastic drop cloth
* Wooden dowel rod
* Gloves

Steps 1-5
  1. Mix one cup of white vinegar with one cup of water.  Pour into misting bottle.
  2. Use a paper towel or soft cloth to wipe your glass clean.
  3. Protect work surfaces with a tarp, newspapers, or a drop cloth.  
  4. Test mister to ensure you will get a very fine spray.
  5. Shake up your spray paint for two minutes.

Step 6
Depending on the type of glass container you are painting, you may find it very helpful to use a dowel rod.  Supporting your vase with a dowel makes it easy to mist and spray all of the surfaces at the same time (without getting paint on your hands or fingerprints on your vase).  It also enables you to spray the bottom of the vase without waiting for the paint to dry on the sides of the container.

When I was painting the test tube vases, I used short dowel rods that I stood on end in an old piece of wood.  All I did was drill some holes in a two-by-four.  Then, I stacked each test tube on a dowel, leaving enough space in between to give me room to maneuver with the mister and spray paint.



Steps 7-8
Spray a very fine mist of the vinegar water on your vase.  The key to success is to start with a very light coating of the mist.  If you get large, running droplets, go ahead and wipe it down with a paper towel and start again.

Immediately spray over the mist with a light coat of the Looking Glass spray paint.  You will repeat these steps two to three times, so it is important not to try to get all of the silvering done all at once.  Light layering is essential to getting the desired vintage look of mercury glass.






Step 9
Very gently dab all over the misted and painted surface of the glass with a clean and dry paper towel. You want to blot up all spots of water and any larger droplets of paint.  This step creates the aged look of the silvered glass.











Step 10
Repeat the misting, painting, and blotting process until you are happy with the final effect.  I repeated the process three times on the vases pictured in this tutorial.


Step 11
Once the paint is dry, experiment with arranging your favorite flowers in your gorgeous mercury glass vases.  They look really nice in groupings of various sizes and shapes.

In this example, I placed three mercury glass test tubes in an antique bed spring.  The addition of a beveled mirror base created stability and an interesting reflective quality.  Peonies seemed just right for this type of vintage floral arrangement.















Mercury glass centerpieces don't have to be expensive to look like you spent big bucks at a floral shop.  Use the glass you already have at home.  It is so easy to upcycle any ordinary jar or cheap vase into something extraordinary.  There is something incredibly satisfying about giving a face-lift to a common, plain item.

We all hold the power of transformation in our hands.  Let's go create and share some beauty today.



Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Saturday, June 9, 2018

A Review of Creativity on Review This!

(c) Kimberly Austin Daly, Artist*
Creativity Lives in Everyone!

My daughter is an artist.  She studied art in college, graduating with a degree in Fine Arts. But her creativity in this field has been present since she was old enough to hold a crayon.  All her life she has been compelled to draw & paint.  I've always admired her artistic ability because I can't draw a straight line with a ruler! :-)

*Artwork is the property of Kimberly Daly, Artist/Illustrator.  Copyright: Do not copy.  Permission granted for display in this story.






My hubby was a fine musician, having studied the violin for 14 years, then played the guitar for many more years and even had his own 'trio' during the 'folk music' era of our college days.
Today my son plays guitar and several other instruments and has his own local band with a group of fellow musicians.  I can't play any instrument and have no musical ability.

My brother sings and plays guitar.  My mother and sister could sing up a storm. I can't carry a tune in a bucket!  

Coastal Crochet Crafts on Etsy

I used to say to my talented family that I had no 'talent' for anything, until they reminded me that my crochet and needlework crafting was MY creative ability.  






Creative Talent is in Everyone


You don't have to be able to sing or dance, play an instrument or draw to be talented.  Creativity in ANY area is a talent all its own.  It was a nice reminder that we all have some form of creative talent, whether its in the arts & crafts field, music or dance, or simply being a wonderful cook.  Being able to express ourselves in writing is also a creative endeavor.  


Highlighting a Few Reviews Written by Our Talented Contributors on Review This!


Our team of contributors who write for Review This! review many products and do music, book and movie reviews, in addition to a wide range of other topics.  They are also very creative, sharing a variety of crafts, tutorials of DIY projects, cooking and baking recipes, and photography and gardening tips.  The following are a few examples of this team's creative talents.


Crafts Reviews



(c) Dawn Rae
How to Make Easy Christmas Tree Ornaments by Dawn Rae.  Dawn gives us easy step-by-step instructions on how to create with your children these simple, yet lovely, ornaments for your holiday tree.







(c) Bev Owens

For crochet crafters, Bev Owens tells us about this easy pattern you can use to create your own handmade poncho in her review titled Reviewing A Crochet Poncho Pattern.






(c) Wednesday-Elf

Wednesday-Elf loves to crochet, particularly stuffed animals.  Handmade crafts are her favorite, as shown in this A Bird in the Hand-i-Craft article.  In addition to her own crochet crafting, she enjoys sharing the creative talents of many other fiber art creators on Etsy.










DIY Projects


(c) RenaisanceWoman2010)
Clever & creative Diana (RenaissanceWoman2010) gives us a tutorial for a DIY Mason Jar Bird Feeder using a regular canning jar, a pretty plate or bowl, and a few other simple supplies (glue, wire, and a chick feeder base). Then just add bird seed and watch the local feathered friends in your area flock to your new bird feeder. 







Photography Tips



(c) mbgphoto
Several of the Review This contributors are photographers, but Mary Beth Granger (mbgphoto) goes one step further with sharing her fabulous photography tips for all of us to learn to take even better photographs. She shares the tips she's learned from taking photography classes and doing LOTS of practice. I would imagine Mary Beth seldom goes anywhere without a camera. Her favorite subjects are lighthouses! Check out her Review of Photography Tips for some helpful advice for your own photographs. 





Recipe Reviews



(c) Sylvestermouse

Sylvestermouse is our creative baker here on Review This! She loves to put together fancy cakes and cupcakes.  A quick look at one of her favorite cookbooks for baking (the Cupcake Cakes Cookbook) will give you an idea of some of the fun and clever ideas she often incorporates into her baking.








Gardening Tips



Olivia Morris is one of our resident gardeners.  In her How to Grow Your Way to Happiness and a Great Garden, she shares some tips for your spring planting. 




Articles on Creativity


For more articles on these creative reviews, click on each subject below:






What do you consider your 'creative' talent?  







(c) Review of Creativity by Wednesday Elf


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Thursday, June 7, 2018

Modern Masters Metal Effects Paint Review

If you were to offer me something bright, shiny, and new, or, on the other hand, something with the rich patina of age, I would choose the luster of an item that shows signs of life every time.  The best example I can give is that of a copper weather vane.  I have always loved the verdigris patina of weathered copper.  So, when I discovered Modern Masters Metal Effects paints, I just knew I had to explore the possibilities of being able to speed up a process that normally takes place over many years.

I was given a custom-made folk art weather vane many years ago.  Because of the loveliness of the wood grain, and because I didn't want to risk ruining what was a very meaningful gift, I'd been reluctant to paint or stain the weather vane with ordinary finishes.  Until I found the right product, I decided to leave my special art piece unfinished.

When I recently came across some online videos of how Modern Masters paints and patina activators had completely transformed normal household items (like vases, frames, furniture, garden statues, and planters), I knew the day had come to give my weather vane the finish it deserved and had waited for all this time.  I stopped by Hobby Lobby to pick up the Modern Masters copper paint and green patina kit and got started right away.

My first experiment with patina application.
You can finish a small project in a couple of days.  First, you apply two coats of their uniquely formulated primer.  Once those coats have dried, you then apply the first coat of your metal effects paint.  For the second application of copper paint, you work quickly to spray on the patina activator while the paint is still wet.  Then the really fascinating process begins.  Over the course of a few minutes, you will begin to see evidence of oxidation taking place.  The green patina begins to appear and will become more visible over the next several hours.  Your painted item will become more and more lovely with time.  The patina continues to evolve just as it would if you left copper outside to weather naturally.

Patina brushed in the direction of the grain.
Though I followed the directions, and spritzed on the patina activator as instructed, my first results were not what I wanted.  The verdigris patina was too speckled for my taste.  I decided to brush on a new coat of copper paint and begin again.  That is the beauty of this process:  you can redo until you are satisfied.  It doesn't take long to figure out what works best given the vision you have for a piece.  I found that lightly brushing the wet patina solution in the direction of the wood grain produced the best results.  It created a sense of movement and freedom that honors the true spirit of this horse.

I have been asked about whether or not the metal effects paint must be sealed.  The copper and bronze finishes are self-protective (no topcoat needed).  You are encouraged to seal the iron paint with rust patina.  There is a Modern Masters product specifically made for that purpose.  It is called Permacoat X-Treme Sealer.

The wonder of this product is that it works on so many different materials (wood, metal, plastic, stone, paper, etc.).  You have the choice of copper, bronze, and iron metal effects, along with green, blue, or rust patina activators.  I have purchased all three kits and have more projects currently in progress.  At the moment, I am restoring two vintage portholes recovered from ships.  They are getting the bronze treatment just as soon as I finish removing all of the salt, rust, paint, and caulk from their surfaces.  I will post photos throughout that process.

My other ongoing project involves the iron paint with rust activator.  I am refinishing some reclaimed doors I purchased from the Habitat for Humanity ReStore.  Those doors are going in the She Shed I built a while back.  I'll keep you posted with the results of that experiment as I determine which direction I'm heading with that design.  I'm thinking I might try a mixed media approach or play with some stencils when activating the patina.  And, of course, it won't stop at that.  I've been going through my jewelry box with the thought of giving some items a new look.  Check out my Pinterest Modern Masters Metal Effects board for inspiration.

As you can probably tell, I am totally sold on Modern Masters Metal Effects paints.  I highly recommend this creative medium.  You can purchase the product in kits or individually.  The paints and patina solutions come in a number of different quantities, making it easy and affordable to customize based on the size of your project.  Go have some fun with your own metal effects adventure in patina painting!  You will be amazed.


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Thursday, May 17, 2018

DIY Mason Jar Bird Feeder - Tutorial and Product Review

One of my favorite things in all the world is to spend time observing and photographing wild birds.  Most avid bird-watchers and photographers know that providing food is one way to ensure a steady stream of visitors and photo moments.  For some time now, I have wanted to make a new feeder for the birds that bring me such great pleasure.

Right away I knew that a mason jar bird feeder would be perfect for my country home.  Who doesn't love the charm of the ever-popular mason jar?  I thought I would share this project and a few tips for those out there who might also enjoy treating their feathered friends.  It is likely you already have most of what is needed for this easy do-it-yourself craft.  Let's get started.






Supplies Needed

  1. A regular mouth canning jar.
  2. A chick feeder base.
  3. A bowl or plate for the canopy over the jar.
  4. E6000 glue (or another super strength clear adhesive).
  5. Birdseed.
  6. Chain or picture wire (plant or basket hanger).
  7. Optional: Decorative knob.
Step One:  Acquire a regular mouth canning jar and proportionately sized dish for its canopy.  You can find inexpensive mason jars at thrift stores, any of the dollar stores, craft stores, etc.  Though I already had some canning jars at home, I fell in love with The Pioneer Woman's embossed Betsy mason jars.  In addition to being especially lovely, the jars are 32 ounces, which means you won't have to fill your bird feeder as often as with smaller containers.

Step Two:  Buy a screw-on chick feeder base that fits a regular mouth mason jar.  Most feed stores will have them, or you can purchase one online.  I get mine locally from either Tractor Supply Company or Big-R.  Typically, I pay $2.99-$3.99, depending on whether I buy a plastic or a galvanized metal feeder.  There are usually a few colors from which to choose.  My store has red, green, yellow, purple, and the galvanized silver feeders.


Step Three:  Determine if you are going to hang your feeder or place it on a post.  If you plan to hang your bird feeder, you may wish to use a decorative knob on the canopy (to provide an anchor point for a chain or hanging wire).  The ceramic knob I chose couldn't be glued on, so I used my Dremel and a tile bit to drill a hole in the center of my canopy dish.  The bit worked perfectly and created a very neat little hole for the screw that holds the knob in place.  Tip:  Keep the surface wet and go slow while you are drilling.  Angle the bit slightly.


Step Four:  Insert a screw and use two washers (one for the interior screw and one for the exterior knob) to protect the bowl's surface.  I used a 3/4-inch long machine screw (#8) that fit the thickness of the bowl and the knob threads.  Tip:  Be careful not to over-tighten the screw.  You wouldn't want to crack that beautiful bowl (part of the vintage floral pasta bowl set by The Pioneer Woman).  *You can skip steps three and four if you choose a scalloped edge bowl and hook your plant hanger chains between the rounded curves.







Step Five:  Apply E6000 glue on the bottom rim of the mason jar (around the entire rim).  Follow the instructions on the glue label to ensure the best adhesion results.














Step Six:  Center bottom of mason jar inside canopy bowl and apply gentle pressure while the glue is bonding.  Set aside for the glue to cure.  Depending on the temperature and weather conditions, curing time can take 1-2 days.  It's important not to rush this step.

*In this photo, you are looking down inside the open mouth of the jar.  You can see how it is centered over the screw for the canopy knob.  Tip: Use a flathead screw so the jar rim can sit flush on the bowl.










Step Seven:  After the glue is fully cured, fill mason jar with birdseed.  I used safflower seed.  Supposedly, squirrels won't bother a feeder with this kind of seed.  It is also said to keep bully birds from hogging all of the seed.  Safflower seed attracts the kind of birds I am hoping to feed.  I plan to hang my feeder, but decided to wait one extra day to ensure the glue is totally cured.

Because my hummingbirds are attracted to red feeders, I am thoughtfully considering the best location for this bird feeder.  You can see from the introductory photo on this page that the first bird to check out my new feeder was a hummer.

I love how my DIY mason jar bird feeder project turned out (so much so that I am making more than one feeder).  In addition to the Betsy mason jars, the dishes I purchased for the canopies are a part of The Pioneer Woman Collection.  The pattern on the red bowl matches the embossed pattern on the glass jar.  I bought everything at Walmart.

Now I'm excited to see who shows up at the feeder today. 



















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Saturday, April 28, 2018

Crobots – An Amigurumi Robots Crochet Pattern Book Review

Pixabay Image w/Text by Fotojet
Robots have fascinated people for many years and are especially popular with children. No doubt the favorite robot in recent years is R2D2 from Star Wars!  The robots, androids and artificial intelligence we have seen are machines made of metal or some other hard material which are fascinating to watch and fun to look at, but not to hold. 

How about if we made playtime toy robots out of something soft, such as yarn?  If you were to crochet a yarn robot, it might be called a CROBOT





Crobots


Crobots: 20 Amigurumi Robots to Make
In this crochet pattern book called Crobots by Nelly Pailloux, there are instructions to create 20 tiny creatures which are cute and cuddly and adorable. 

Each Crobot pattern includes a color photo of the finished 'robot', an ingredients list showing you everything you need to match the photos in each section, along with instructions for creating them.  Each Crobot is crocheted in sections, then joined together. The instructions also include a Blueprint page showing you how the sections fit together. 




Many of these crobot creatures are decorated with beads, sequins, buttons, jewelery fasteners, and even nails & wire springs. 

Big Bot Created for an Anime Shop
This is Big Bot made using sequins for eyes and a spring nose.This version of a Crobot looks really cute if you are making it for an adult Sci-Fi, Steampunk or Anime Fan to perhaps decorate a work space or give as a unique gift.  

Thinker I call Snow Bot

But I crochet primarily for children, so my version of these crobots are finished with simple embroidery to keep them soft & safe all over. Whichever version you choose, these tiny Crobot robots are fun to make in crochet. They include a Space Mouse, a Cosmic Bear, a Dogbot, a Catbot, a Zombiebot, a Geisha Girl, a Ninjabot, an Alienbot and a dozen more.  They each take very small amount of yarn and are fun to make. 


A Few Examples of Crobots I Created from this Book




The Thinker


This quiet little doll is called THINKER in the Crobot crochet book.  I decided he looked like a Snow Bot and crocheted him in white acrylic yarn filled with soft polyfil toy stuffing. He has burgundy ears on his large Amigurumi head, and embroidered features. His spindly embroidered arms and sweet wistful face show off the fact that he is a thinker who likes to sit quietly and figure things out. He's the perfect companion for a quiet child. He'd also sit quietly on someone's desk at work to help them concentrate.

Sammy the stuffed snow bot robot doll measures just 5 inches tall. He's soft and sweet and ready-to-ship. 


Matryoshka the Housekeeping Crobot



Burgundy Babushka Robot Doll

In the Crobot pattern book, Matryoshka is described as having a babushka mother and a robot for a father, making her quite technical at heart with the rivets, dials and switches shown in the pattern.  I decided she'd make just a sweet babushka doll, so her features are embroidered.  My version is round and soft and comfortable for little hands to hold.

My cute little Babuska doll is hand-crocheted in burgundy acrylic yarn with a white face with embroidered features. She is softly stuffed with polyfil toy stuffing and measures just 4 inches tall. 

Burgundy Babuska doll will fit nicely in a pocket for a child to carry around to play with. She is very squeezable in her round shape and would fit perfectly on someone's desk at work as a cheerful presence. She could also make an excellent stress ball and wouldn't mind at all if you squeeze her. :)

Burgundy Babuska would also make a cute Valentine's Gift, stocking stuffer, or a cute gift for little girls for a birthday or anytime gift.



Geisha



Geisha Girl Amigurumi Doll
This is a Geisha Girl Amigurumi Doll who is a sweet and shy little doll dressed in Geisha Girl style. 

She measures 6 inches tall and has a sweet hand-embroidered face. 

Her elaborate hairstyle has red ties and she is wearing little sandals on her feet. 

Geisha Girl Doll is hand-crocheted in acrylic yarn in black and white with a Sunshine print Kimono. 

She is filled with new polyfil and is ready-to-ship to a toybox near you or be a friendly companion on your desktop.  






Past Examples



A few other examples of Crobots (a Baby Bot and a Sumo Robot Doll) I have made from this book are shown above.  These have sold, but can be recreated by a request through my Etsy Shop, Coastal Crochet Crafts.



Crobots Summary



Crobots Craft Book is Available on Amazon

This is a unique and interesting little crochet pattern book for crafters who like to make little dolls, especially with a Sci-Fi or Steampunk theme to them. 





(c) 2018 by Wednesday Elf







Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Monday, March 19, 2018

Reviewing Locking Stitch Markers

Locking stitch markers.
People who crochet and knit know that accuracy plays a role in having a good-looking finished product. I have crocheted off and on for years but only just discovered these fabulous and inexpensive stitch markers. I have noticed that using these little gadgets improved the looks of my finished items immediately and gives them a more professional appearance. Stitch markers completely take the guesswork out of the next round or next row.


Locking Stitch Markers


While watching a video crochet tutorial, the talented crochet artist was using stitch markers to mark the beginning of her round.
Note: when you crochet in circles, such as some ponchos, slippers, etc, that is called a round. Round is a row that connects the end to the beginning. 
The light bulb went on. That was a huge Aha moment for me. I've always had trouble connecting the rounds correctly - ending up with too many or too few stitches, or having a section that doesn't look like the other sections.

This flower is an example. It may be a very small issue that some would not notice, but the inconsistency in the appearance bothers me. The arrow shows where I joined the row, but didn't join it to the correct stitch. Every time I look at the flower, I notice that irregularity.


The little green stitch is not joined to the correct stitch

Prior to owning these little gadgets, I'd typically not mark the stitch at all. That led to problems with the finished item not looking correct (like the photo above). Or I'd use items like a paperclip or a piece of yarn to mark a stitch.  The problems I had with using those things were that I'd end up crocheting over the piece of yarn and make a mess. Or the paperclip would snag my item... or just fall out of the place it was meant to mark. 

Using stitch markers has already improved the looks of my finished items. 

I prefer the little plastic "safety pin" (locking) type. They stay in place, don't snag the yarn, and are easy to use. You simply use it like a safety pin, marking the first stitch in a round (which typically is the stitch you join the last stitch of the round to). 



Of course, there are other varieties if you don't care for the locking style. Other styles include: split ring, bulb safety pin, and even bulb safety pins with Swarovski crystals - for a little bling with your yarn.
Crystaletts stitch makers

Related Links:


Bev Owens shares a review of the Crochet Plain Blanket Pattern. It is a gorgeous two-color plaid blanket. In that review, she shares how to find both the free written pattern and the video tutorial. I agree with Bev, Yarnspirations and The Crochet Crowd are great places to get wonderful crochet patterns and instructions.

Wednesday Elf shares a review of a book Baby Crochet. I know that the internet is a quick and easy place to obtain crochet patterns and instructions, but I've had favorite crochet patterns that are lost because the site is no longer available. Avoid that problem with your own printed copy of the crochet patterns. 

My crochet adventures are located on my own blog Treasures, Travel, and Tales. There you can find an eclectic collection of how I spend my time, as well as the crochet flower pattern review from the photo above. You can also find a post about my newest passion, round loom knitting. Making hats for the grandbabies is great fun!


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Saturday, February 17, 2018

Reviewing Hide & Seek Rock Painting Kit by Creativity for Kids

Hide & Seek Rock Painting Kit
While working part time in a retail shop over the holidays,  I checked out a 'grandmother' and her purchase. The minute I saw what she was buying for a grandchild ~ this Rock Painting Kit ~ I knew immediately that it was the perfect Christmas gift for MY grandson as well.  Naturally, by the end of my work day, I had purchased my own kit to send to my artistically inclined 8-year-old grandson David. 

David loves to draw, color and paint, and is a very creative child, so it is not surprising that 'Creativity for Kids' has a variety of creative kits that appeal to kids like him. 




Creativity for Kids Company


Creativity for Kids is a division of the Faber-Castell company, established in 1761 by the cabinet maker Kaspar Faber and  is one of the oldest industrial companies in the world.  

The company is the world’s leading manufacturer of wood-cased pencils with a varied range of products for writing, drawing and creative design.

Faber-Castell acquired Creativity for Kids, the leading U.S. specialty manufacturer of creative activity products for children of all ages, in 1999 and is now headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio.  The next year (2000) the company introduced Children’s Art Products, which are a line of playing and learning art supplies for children.  

The creative kits include a wide variety of artistic play from painting, jewelry making, garden crafts, lighting crafts, science-related invention kits, and a host of other kits in many fields.

You can see the whole range of kits at their website.


Hide & Seek Rock Painting Kit





The kit I chose for my grandson, David, age 8,  was the Hide & Seek Rock Painting Kit.  



Image from Amazon of kit contents
The kit comes with 10 River Rocks, 8 paint colors, 2 paint brushes, 20 transfer designs, tracking stickers, a transfer sponge and instructions.  

This rock painting kit is called 'Hide & Seek' because you can hide the rocks outside and leave clues on the company's Facebook page for people to go and find your rocks. The online link is printed on the package.

I thought this would be a fun project for David & Tyler who love to spend time outside in parks in their area. And when they finish painting all the rocks that came in the kit, they can find more rocks in parks and woods to continue using the kit.


David & Tyler with their painted rocks (c) Elf
The age group for this craft activity kit states it is for children 6 years and up, but David's little 3-1/2 year old brother enjoyed 'painting' the rocks too and both  enjoyed the projects (as you can see in the photo).

The company's motto states:

“Rock Painting is a fun way for you, your friends and family to spread kindness, encouragement and happiness throughout your community – one rock at a time."

Creativity for Kids helps develop children's problem solving and critical thinking skills. I found this rock painting kit to be a fun and delightful educational toy for my young grandsons.


My Grandsons' Collection of Painted Rocks!






More Toy Reviews can be found at: 



(c) Wednesday Elf 2/17/2018






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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Amazing Hobby Kits That Will Encourage Dexterity and Fun! A Hobby Review

Kids love to use their hands! Let's Review how to help them make beautiful and fun things!

Christmas is just days away and everyone, kids and grown ups too, are looking forward to those fun family times that they can spend together.  Making great memories is all part of the fun at Christmas time.  Those memories are made up of the times we play together, learn together and just have some fun together. So let's get down to Reviewing some great ways to make memories and get those children using their creative juices in fun and crafty ways.

I can't think of a better way of making lasting memories than sharing what we love!  It's so easy to do, with a little foresight and planning your children and grandchildren will be so engaged in something new.



hobby kits, sewing, crafts, review this
Crafts that keep their hands busy are especially wonderful.  They will learn new skills  and make something that they can share with their friends too.  These crafts like embroidery, can easily be taught to those children in the 7 to 9 year range or older.  They have enough dexterity in their fingers to handle the tiny details.  They can try to make something extra special with several different kits that you can put together yourself or there are kits available that have everything needed to complete a project from start to finish.

Whether it's knitting or sewing, origami (paper folding), or needlepoint, little hands love to try and we as parents and grandparents love to share!  Premade kits are available and generally they have a great range of ages that are capable of following the instructions!  You don't want to overwhelm them with something too difficult for their little hands to accomplish.

I personally love this kit from Amazon!  You see I was a dressmaker for many, many years and my love for sewing started out when I was 7 or 8.  I made pillows and little critters for everyone.  My mother whose 86 now, still has a pillow that I made for her!  So if sewing is one of your favorite pastimes, this kit would be a perfect way to share that love!

So many projects and they are all very interesting and creative too! You don't have to invest a lot of money into a craft, just find out if that particular craft resonates with your young ones. If not, then they will still have learned a lesson in creativity!

Maybe your little one's hands aren't ready for those really small motor skills or they are much more interested in putting their visions and ideas onto paper!  One of my granddaughters is a master at drawing and loves to do that more than anything.


hobbies, making memories, family time, review this
Her poor dad is always running out of computer paper because my little Miss Addie, has drawn on each and every page available to her.  We needed to find something for her so that her Dad could keep his paper where he needed it and she could draw to her hearts content.  We found a great compromise and she is over the moon about it too!

Have you heard of Boogie Boards?  They are similar to the "Etch-a-Sketch" that we had in our day, but easier to use.  Kids can draw on the pad with a stylus and then erase it at will.  It's great for long road trips when you know the children will get restless, and a great way for kids to use their hands creatively.

Now if you have a budding scientist in your midst, then I would suggest one of the many kits that are available for them too. They can Tumble rocks or grow their own crystals, or even make their own soaps and beauty products. There are kits for knitting and crochet, macrame and T-shirt printing. Anything that is hobby related has a book or several books to give children ideas and projects that will keep their hands busy.

Grammie Olivia's Hobby Central
This is one of my favorite pages on Amazon. All of my grandchildren will be getting something special from these pages, because there is just so much to choose from.  Please let me know if you find that special something for your children or grandchildren!  Have fun making memories and great crafts too!

My friend Bev, just did a great review on a Science Lab that would be perfect for little girls too, you can check out her Review right here!


pictures are courtesy of Pixabay.com




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