A Family, Beauty, Health and Lifestyle Blog
Are the school holidays looming? If you want your kids to take a change from video games, phones, and tablets, then you may want to go old-school. Don’t worry, what was fun for you as a child will still be fun today. In fact, kids of any age will still get absorbed in crafts and board games. So, consider the options below to keep the young ones occupied throughout the holidays.
If the kids are complaining that they are bored, then you can’t go wrong by bringing classic board gamesinto the plan. Participants will love moving around the board, buying property, and then trading amongst each other to complete a set. Remember, Monopoly can get pretty competitive (for both kids and adults) so make sure to mediate disputes and stop tempers from erupting.
Chances are your children have made a paper plane or two, so how about teaching them the art of origami. Start off with some basics designs such as a heart, dog or cat, and progressively work your way upwards. The young ones will enjoy the challenge of folding the paper correctly and being able to display their creative sides. In fact, they may end up getting better than you. To learn more about the art, take a look at Origami Way.
The classic world domination game is another excellent board game option. Kids will enjoy placing, moving, and attacking with their troops. In fact, strategy-based board games, such as risk, have been shown to develop a range of critical thinking skills. You can potentially turn the game into a geography lesson by teaching kids about different countries and region names.
How about teaching your kids some traditional card games such as 500 or hearts? These games involve the whole family, require teamwork, and require some clever thinking. If your kids have never really played card games before then, you will need to start with the basics. Make sure they know the difference between different suites and the picture cards. You will also need to teach them that in some cases the ace is of high value while at other times it is of low value.
From there, you will want to teach them the basics of any card games that you are fluent in yourself. Start off with just the simpler rules and gradually incorporate more complicated ones over time.
Getting your kids painting is another way to assure some (messy) fun. Don’t just let them throw colors everywhere. Consider organizing something specific for them to paint such as their friend, a pet, or a landscape. Teaching them how to mix different colors is a handy skill that they will be able to use in school art classes. You should also aim to teach them about different brush types and stroke techniques.
It's always a good idea to give your kids a break from the electronics and get them engaged in some old-school fun. Hopefully, some of these suggestions will turn out to be a hit that they will want to do over and over again.
School is out, and that means it is time to keep the kids busy on days (like today) when it happens to be raining. No problem! Dover Publications has the best variety of activity and DIY books that you can count on to make each day fun.
Dover Publishing's newest titles include crocheting characters from The Wizard of Oz, coloring Alice in Wonderland, and instructions on how to paint in pastel.
The Art of Stone Painting
One of my favorites is The Art of Stone Painting. Since school is out, (and when the sun is out) you'll have more time available to spend outside and find all sorts and shapes of rocks to paint. This is always a fun activity for kids of all ages.
Crochet Stories: L. Frank Baum's
Wizard of Oz
Follow the Yellow Brick Road to a charming combination of storytelling and crocheting! Suitable for beginning to intermediate crocheters, this book features a retelling of the classic adventure story, punctuated with nineteen patterns for L. Frank Baum's beloved characters, plus their settings and accessories.
The much-loved tale begins in Kansas and follows Dorothy and Toto to Oz, presenting patterns for the little heroine, her dog, and her Uncle Henry and Aunt Em. Storybook chapters of her arrival and encounters with the people of Oz follow, accompanied by patterns for a Munchkin, the Good Witch of the North, the Wicked Witch of the East (consisting of Dorothy's house with the witch's magic slippers sticking out from underneath), and a stretch of the Yellow Brick Road. Subsequent chapters introduce Dorothy's new friends — the Scarecrow, Tin Woodman, and Cowardly Lion — and those they meet in the Emerald City — the Wizard, the Wicked Witch of the West, a Winged Monkey, and the kindly Glinda the Good. In addition to these characters, the full-color patterns include key storytelling items such as the poppy, Emerald City spectacles, water bucket, and magical golden cap. A photo gallery of many of the story's characters provides a delightful conclusion to the book. Price: $18.95
Creative Haven Alice in Wonderland Designs Coloring Book (Adult Coloring)
Color your way through the whimsical world of Alice in Wonderland! These 31 original illustrations offer bold variations on theclassic drawings by John Tenniel, spotlighting Alice, the Cheshire Cat, Mad Hatter, and more beloved characters set against beautifully detailed backgrounds of hearts, flowers, playing cards, and more. Pages are perforated and printed on one side only for easy removal and display. Specially designed for experienced colorists, Alice in Wonderland Designs and other Creative Haven® adult coloring books offer an escape to a world of inspiration and artistic fulfillment. Each title is also an effective and fun-filled way to relax and reduce stress. Price: $5.00
The Art of Painting in Pastel (Dover Art Instruction)
When it comes to sketching from life and nature, pastel offers significant advantages: a technically simple method, it requires none of the cumbersome paraphernalia of watercolor or oil painting. The medium is currently enjoying a surge in popularity, and this vintage guide for intermediate-level artists offers timeless tips on creating still lifes, recapturing flowers and landscapes, and painting memorable portraits.
Unlike most other guides of its era, this volume is illustrated throughout with dozens of color examples that demonstrate not only good use of the color technique but also the solid underlying construction. Leonard Richmond was a British painter, teacher, designer, and author of over a dozen art instruction books. He and co-author J. Littlejohns were a major force in art self-instruction for half a century, and their richly illustrated techniques are an enduring source of guidance and inspiration. Suitable for professional and practicing artists, art teachers, and students, this edition of The Art of Painting in Pastel features an Introduction by famed muralist Frank Brangwyn. Price: $22.95
*Product received. All opinions are my own.
Spring is here, but April often brings its share of rain! Combat those Springtime shower blues and learn a new skill with craft books from Dover Publications. Dover Publication has everything including paper dolls, instructional books on how to sketch, and how to color like a pro!
Here are a few of my favorites:
How to Color Like an Artist
Improve your coloring skills with these simple, step-by-step instructions for techniques using colored pencils. Intended for beginning artists and coloring book enthusiasts, this guide is ideal for those without formal training but with some experience of coloring with pencils. A wealth of suggestions and exercises will show you how to take your skills to the next level.
Discover how to create volume with such shading techniques as crosshatching, long and short strokes, and color gradation. Learn how to form unique textures that add detail to images. Practice blending techniques and layering one color at a time to control values and colors effectively. Full-color photographs throughout the book illustrate each method as well as lessons in color theory. Eight practice pages from Dover's bestselling Creative Haven® series of coloring books provide the opportunity to test your new techniques.
Romeo and Juliet Paper Dolls
A vivid new paper doll collection pays tribute to the legendary star-crossed lovers! Shakespeare enthusiasts, paper doll collectors, and romantics will prize this charming homage to the Bard's famous sweethearts. Four dolls depict ardent Romeo, lovely Juliet, sympathetic Friar Laurence, and Juliet's jolly Nurse. Their wardrobe, consisting of 24 colorful and authentic Renaissance costumes plus accessories, is accompanied by quotations from the immortal play. In addition, the book's inside covers offer the perfect background: a rose-covered balcony.
About Sketching: The Art and Practice of Capturing the Moment by Jasper Salwey
Written as a sketching artist's companion, this guide by a noted author of art instruction manuals attests to the value of sketching as a distinct art form rather than merely a vehicle to achieve more polished works. Artist and author Jasper Salwey details advantages of many drawing media, from pencil to watercolor, and their application to depictions of interior studies, figures, landscapes, seascapes, and architecture.
Suitable for artists and students of moderate to advanced skills, the book makes a case for why the artist needs to sketch and the importance of sketching to the history of art. Salwey's advice and insights are illustrated by relevant examples that range from works by the Old Masters to those of his great contemporaries, including Frank Brangwyn, Dame Laura Knight, and John Singer Sargent.
I am completely smitten with all of my books from Dover Publishing.
I have always loved paper dolls, and so I have a wonderful collection of my favorites from Dover Publications. Since my daughters are all grown up, I am saving these to work on with my nieces when they visit.
Enter to win! One winner will receive 3 books of their choice from Dover Publications.
How? It's easy! Just enter to win using the Giveaway Tools form below. Good luck!
Learn more about Dover Publications here:
*Product received. All opinions are my own.
Life is very fast-paced and can get quite overwhelming with busy schedules. It seems like no one takes the time to sit back, take a deep breath and create something! I am talking about making good-old fashioned crafts. What ever happened to those days? When my children were little, I was very much into tole painting, sewing and making pretty hand-crafted items to decorate my home. I miss those days. Everything nowadays is too hi-tech. Everyone has their eyes glued to their phone screen, and families no longer interact with one another.
I have made a New Year's resolution (one of many) to learn a new skill or two. I really want to get back into crafting. I want to have at least one night per month where my family sits around the kitchen table and have a crafting night. I think I am on the right track thanks to Dover Publications. They have a book for just about anything you could possibly want to learn how to make. The end result is something that will have bonded your family closer together. You can choose to sell the items for a possible family vacation, or you can proudly give them as gifts. The possibilities are endless.
I selected several of my favorite crafting books from Dover Publications that I would like to share with you to hopefully spark your creativity!
Transform ordinary stones into colorful works of art with this easy-to-follow guide. Popular stone artist F. Sehnaz Bac, a seasoned archaeologist who markets her painted Sassi dell’Adriatico (Stones of the Adriatic) on Etsy, presents step-by-step instructions for creating 30 fantastic designs. Full-color photographs accompany directions for painting themes that range from trees, flowers, and animals to mandalas, geometric patterns, holiday motifs, and more.
Starting with the basics — including finding and choosing stones as well as tools and materials — the guide offers a variety of techniques, including painting stones with colors or inks, painting on natural stone, and sealing the finished work. Projects range from simple to advanced and include suggestions for indoor and outdoor display, as well as instructions on how to style wearable objects such as pendants. A complete selection of templates provides motifs for every project as well as ample inspiration for developing your own designs.
Contemporary rather than traditional, these easy-to-make wreaths look great in any setting or season — and you can make them in a day. A mix of materials, including paper and fabric, offer a pleasing variety of colors and textures. Even if you've never made a wreath before and have no previous crafting experience, you'll find it a snap to create these simple but striking-looking ornaments. They make lovely gifts, too.
Each book in Dover's Make in a Day series presents 15 projects with illustrated step-by-step instructions. The beginner-friendly projects are ideal for anyone wishing to whip up something simple but special. Creating your own wreaths adds a personal touch and a dash of handmade charm. Supplies are easy to obtain and readily available at major craft stores.
Victoria Hudgins is the mastermind behind the crafting website “A Subtle Revelry” and believes that crafts inject a bright dose of fun into an ordinary situation.
Legendary wood and leather crafter Lora Susan Irish focuses solely on leather pyrography techniques and projects for the first time in this book. She presents instructions for a dozen easy-to-make projects, including jewelry, wallets, journals, and belts, in a spectacular array of patterns ranging from American West and Celtic motifs to wildlife and tattoo-inspired imagery. The completed projects are perfect for gift-giving or personal use.
Moving from tools and supplies to pyrography and leather crafting basics; pattern techniques; leather selection; and the projects themselves, the book includes detailed, step-by-step directions with full-color photographs. Sidebars and tips offer helpful hints. This invaluable guide is ideal for experienced crafters as well as those who wish to acquire leather-crafting and leather-burning skills.
Add the perfect "Home, Sweet Home" touch to your dollhouse with these easy-to-make miniature quilts. This expert guide offers step-by-step instructions for foundation piecing, a machine-sewing technique widely used in the late nineteenth century and revived by today's busy quiltmakers. With foundation piecing, you don't need to handle tiny patches of fabric, so creating your 1"-scale masterpiece is remarkably easy.
Ten gorgeous patterns appear here: Watercolor Weaves (a variation of the ever-popular Log Cabin pattern), Southwestern Skies, Midnight Stars, Springtime T's, and six others. Blocks range from 1" to 1 1/4" square. Helpful layouts will assist you in determining color values and placement.
Even beginners can follow these simple instructions, and experienced quilters will savor the opportunity to try some lovely variations in a miniature format.
This innovative approach to bookbinding demonstrates an array of creative techniques that elevate handmade books into extraordinary works of art. Easy-to-follow, well-illustrated directions for more than 25 patterns explain how to make seven different kinds of books with pop-up panels and pages that "explode" from the spine as well as slipcases, tassels, and other distinctive features.
The guide begins with instructions for a simple accordion-fold book. Successive projects build on methods readers have already mastered and introduce new skills, including the pamphlet stitch, ideal for photo albums and scrapbooks; tacket binding, the versatile stitch of medieval Europe; and the Coptic stitch, employed by Christians of ancient Egypt. A full-color photo gallery, with contributions from more than 60 artists, offers further inspiration for enhancing and personalizing projects by using alphabets, bestiaries, botanical illustrations, and other designs. The author includes a glossary of terms as well as information on materials and tools. "Well-written, imaginative — and just plain fun to read. I learned a lot about ways to make books that I never dreamed of. Ms. Laplantz is a creative genius." — Bassocantor
The museum-quality dollhouse furnishings of noted designer Shep Stadtman have figured prominently in the miniatures industry for many years. Now this accomplished craftswoman shares her experience and expertise with you, showing you how to make your own high-quality furnishings.
Dollhouse Furnishings for the Bedroomand Bath offers miniature enthusiasts easy-to-follow instructions in the techniques of woodworking and sewing for small projects — plus clear step-by-step directions, patterns, and diagrams for 44 exquisite miniature projects in styles ranging from country to contemporary. Learn to make beds, bedding, quilts, pillows, night stands, draperies, shower curtains, covered headboards, braided rugs, towels, and much more.
In addition, you'll find directions for creating five complete bedroom ensembles and two complete bathrooms — each with a distinctive décor of its own.
No dollhouse is truly complete without a properly embellished suite of bedrooms and a tastefully appointed bath. Dollhouse enthusiasts will find in this marvelous book all the information they need to turn a miniature house into a breathtaking showpiece.
Expert toymaker Ted Menten shows how to make 14 cute little critters, each held together by snaps. The snappy approach allows mixing and matching of heads, arms, and legs—and it assists with attaching a variety of charming accessories, including such seasonal items as valentines, Christmas stockings, and Easter eggs. Well-illustrated, simple instructions make assembling these lovable toys a snap!
Beginners and veteran crafters alike will love creating these creatures, which include a puppy, lion, tiger, lamb, panda, squirrel, elephant, and other animals. Nothing expresses affection like a handcrafted present, and these adorable plush toys make wonderful, one-of-a-kind gifts.
Little princesses will adore the delicious products of this how-to book, which features 24 jewelry-making projects. Easy instructions and dozens of illustrations show how to transform pretzels, gumdrops, and other candies into radical rings and wonderful wands, princess pins and heavenly headbands, knockout necklaces and excellent earrings, and beautiful bracelets and glamorous glasses.
Students, designers, and craftspeople who want to create their own abstract patterns and designs will find this profusely illustrated guide one of the best books available on the subject. After an introductory chapter dealing with the geometric basis of design, the author goes on to discuss implements and their use (T-square, compass, dividers, ruling pen, etc.), borders, textile patterns, nature study, and treatment.
Over 380 illustrations include many diagrams, designs for title pages, border patterns, allover patterns, textile patterns, and historical examples from an extraordinary number of cultures and periods: Assyrian stone carvings, Greek and Roman jewelry, 18th-century English silverwork, and more. Thorough and comprehensive, Abstract Design and How to Create It will be an invaluable resource for anyone seeking to learn the principles and techniques of creating non-representative designs.
Transform simple balls and coils of polymer clay into fabulous wearable art! Just follow these full-color, step-by-step photos and clear directions to create more than 40 whimsical jewelry projects plus 10 types of beads. Playful possibilities include tempting food charms (cupcake, burger, and other favorite snacks); cute critter earrings and pendants (butterfly, dog, frog, penguin, and more); plus other fashionable tiny treasures.
Projects are graded according to level of difficulty, and each comes with a list of materials consisting of colored clay and common household products. Instructions feature numbers that correspond to color photos of easy-to-follow examples. Crafters of all ages will love these fun-filled projects and their charming results, which make great keepsakes and unique gifts.
"It's just an excellent book and so colorfully illustrated book with wonderful jewelry projects to craft up in clay. I would recommend this book for clay and jewelry lovers, it's perfect for everyone and so simple to create!
The most influential kitemaker you never heard of." —
American Kite. This thorough guide by an expert kitemaker includes easy-to-follow, illustrated instructions for creating and flying more than fifty kites. An easy and comprehensive introduction for anyone interested in these amazing flyers, the book opens with the history and science of kites, followed by a section on kite construction and flying. Organized according to kite types, Greger's book includes chapters on everything from simple bag kites to Vietnamese, Snake, Dutch, Dragon, Bullet, Delta, and Flowform flyers. She even tells how to make windsocks and toy parachutes!
The book is a great aid for classroom teachers, camp counselors, and parents, offering practical suggestions on everything from setting up a workspace and observing safety rules to launching the kites and bringing them in. " Kites for Everyone is like having a veteran kite maker in the classroom," says Science and Children.
Oh, the quality time you will spend with your loved ones as you embark upon the adventure of crafting together. The memories you will make will be immortalized in the crafts you create!
Enter to win! One winner will receive three books of their choice from Dover Publications.
How? It's easy! Just enter to win using the Giveaway Tools form below. Good luck!
For more information, or to discover the perfect crafting books for your family, go to: http://store.doverpublications.com/
* Product received. All opinions are my own.
Today started out hot, about 85 degrees. My little one awoke with a cold. He seemed to have had a fever during the night (I know because he sleeps with me (he has slept in between my husband and I his entire little life.) Braxton likes to go outside first thing after we take the older kids to school, and he likes to RUN.
He seemed to be acting alright, but he had some powerful volcanic sneezes! They were not allergies. The green snot confirmed that.
Braxton has always been very healthy, because he STILL breastfeeds. I think his current cold bug will be short lived due to his great immune system. (knock on wood.)
Braxton and I petted the horses and gave water to the goats, duck, baby chicks, dog and cat. Braxton played in the water, too.
At about 2:30 there was a thunder and lightening storm. Braxton was very scared of the loud thunder. He had never heard it before and he did not like it one bit. He was reluctant to go get into the car when it was time to go retrieve his sister from school, but alas, he fell asleep in his carseat.
We drove to the nearest craft store (about 20 miles away) so my girls could get supplies for their final school projects. Instead of spending under 20.00, we spent about 70.00. I couldn't believe how everything added up, but that is how it goes:)