I’m a hooker!

I’ve started hooking, but I’m not that good yet so I’ve yet to get paid. I hope with practice, I’ll get the strength up in my hands and be able to do it all night instead of an hour here and there. Hopefully, I’ll get good enough for people to pay me just to learn how I hook.

Yes, I’m talking about my new hobby. I can do it anywhere and everywhere… no, not that! It’s crochet, of course.

I saw a book on how to make Amigurumi, which is the Japanese art of making cute little crochet figures, and could not resist the pull of extreme adorableness. Just look at it!

Keroppi Amigurumi

Keroppi Amigurumi by Kham Tran, via Flickr, CC by 2.0.

My fingers twitched in anticipation of completing my own teeny, tiny little creation. I purchased the book and after some trial and error, was actually able to make a fuzzy blue hamster. Why blue, you ask? I had some yarn left over from my knitting board projects (fuzzy blue, chunky yellow, and smooth purple) and the blue seemed the most hamstery (that’s a word, right?). I chose the hamster because it seemed to be one of the more simple projects since it was essentially an egg shape with tiny ears and an embroidered face. Unfortunately, I kept loosing my stitch count and my hamster ended up looking like a weird cat toy.

This is where the picture of my masterpiece “nailed it” result would be if I can ever find it (it’s currently lost in a box with a gazillion toys). For now, just imagine an peeled, boiled egg so moldy that the fuzz looks like an urban city landscape. Spray paint that moldy egg blue and you have my first amigurumi creation.

Do I have a future as an amigurumi extraordinaire? No, not likely, but I did have fun learning to crochet. If you’d like to get started learning to crochet, check out Ravelry for tons of free crochet and knitting patterns. I found an amazing jewel-tone mermaid blanket pattern that I’d really like to try making. Are you a soon-to-be or experienced crocheter? What project are you working on next?

How to make your own sensory water bag for babies

I found a great blog through Pinterest, called The Activity Mom, that shows how to make your own sensory water bag for babies and many other fun things too!

This tutorial is actually from my second time making this bag because I didn’t tape it enough the first time. Which if my family found out, they would have to check to see if I had been switched out for a pod person since I am known far and wide as an over-taper of gifts.

If you have an especially active baby like Squeaker, who was picking it up, dragging it around, and hitting it with blocks, then it will probably break at some point but it is totally worth the little bit of puddle for the huge amount of fun baby has with it. She played with the first one for 2 weeks before it sprung a leak, so I revamped my taping technique and hopefully this one will last longer. *Tip: If you want something more durable, try one of those larger, heavy-duty ziplocs.

Sensory Water Bag SuppliesFirst you gather your supplies. I just grabbed the bag and ran around the house looking for things to put in it that wouldn’t be damaged by water. That way when she did get tired of it, I could just take everything out and reuse it for another project.

On my fancy plate, we have a luggage tag, cup lid, straw, monkey teether, heart slinky, 3 foam dots, and an assortment of buttons, beads, and pom poms. If you have any foam letters, those would be great in this!

Next you just put it all in the bag! I recommend filling the bag just under halfway and then squeezing all the air out of it before closing it. *Tip: check the bag for leaks before filling with items and sealing, trust me. It’s not fun getting it all taped up and discovering a pin-hole leak.

Sensory Water BagAfter closing the bag, you’ll want to tape it up very well using clear packing tape. I taped it closed along the top and then folded it down and taped it against the bag. Then tape along the other 3 sides to reinforce them. You can not use too much tape!

Baby Playing with Sensory Water Bag

Viola! I had to look that up to spell it, it’s not wah la by the way. Ah, the joys of sleep deprivation, I used to know these things but now I can’t spell or do complex math …

Let baby at it and enjoy a few moments of rest while baby has the time of her life!

Top 10 kid craft supplies for every project A to Z

Since I actually have a kid of my own now, I’m just dying for her to be old enough to make macaroni art with me or really any kind of art project. I’ve spent way too many hours on Pinterest collecting all kinds of projects from handprint flowers (tutorial below) to paper plate frogs.

As a natural planner, I thought it was best to be prepared for all our crafty fun by compiling this comprehensive list of kids crafts supplies.

1. Decorations: Pom Poms, Google Eyes, Foam Sheets, Feathers, Popsicle Sticks, Glitter, Beads, Buttons, Pipe Cleaners, Yarn, Rick Rack, Stickers, Fun Pasta Shapes

2. Things to Mold: Air-Dry Clay, Play-Doh

3. Paper: Plain White Paper, Paper Plates, Construction Paper, Cardstock, Posterboard, Tissue Paper, Newspaper, Magazines, File Folders, Toilet Paper/Paper Towel/Gift Wrap Tubes

4. Sticky Stuff: Elmer’s Glue, Glue Stick, Regular Tape, Double-Sided Tape, Brads/Fasteners, Paper Clips

5. Tools: Scissors, Safety Scissors, Hole Punch, Low Temp Glue Gun, Ruler, Rubber Stamp & Ink Pad, Brushes, Stencils, Sponges, Compass, Decorative Edge Scissors

6. Things for Writing & Drawing: Crayons, Markers, Colored Pencils, Pens, Watercolors, Finger Paint, Food Coloring, Non-Toxic Acrylic Paint

7. Random Stuff: “Art Clothes” or a Smock, Splat Mat

8. Imagination (& Pinspiration)

9. Adult Supervision

10. Have fun!

This is the picture of a Handprint Bouquet that Squeaker made Grandma & Grandpa for Grandparent’s day. It sounds easy right?

Well, with an 8-month old it takes 2 adults and a proper set up to pull this off. First we stripped her down to her diaper and then the Gator was in charge of holding her up. I had already taped the paper down on the floor and squirted some paint on paper plates. Then I played patty-cake with the plates and splatted her hand onto the paper. The orange dots in the center of each flower are her thumbprints, awww. This would be a great gift for Mother’s Day too!

Did I forget anything? What items are must have for your arts and crafts projects?