MARSHMALLOW PRINTS


Dave made a fire in the backyard the other night and Kinley was thrilled. She came screaming in the house hollering about marshmallows and going through every single cabinet that she could reach trying to wish some of those fluffy treats into existence. But, alas, no marshmallows appeared and she had to go to without her "smows".

When I was tucking her into bed that night she asked if we could buy some marshmallows at the store for eating and for painting with. I never, ever say no to a craft request (unless it involves glitter. I reserve the right to veto glitter crafts at my discretion 😉) but I wasn't quite sure what kind of painting she meant. I had just seen a really cool marshmallow painting idea from Bar Rucci on Instagram and thought maybe she had seen it over my shoulder, but no, she didn't want to paint on marshmallows, she said she wanted to paint with marshmallows. Genius, right?

I should mention that Kinley is a complete and total polka dot addict, so the fact that her sweet little dot-loving mind came up with a dot-making process all on her own is extra cool. I love that she is getting old enough to come up with her own ideas for getting creative.

We headed to the grocery store the very next afternoon and as soon as we got back home and walked through the door with our fresh bag of jumbo fluffy white sugary stampers, we squirted Kinley's choice of paint colors on a plate and got down to it.

BUBBLE WRAP FISHIES IN A PROCESS ART SEA


We are a family of unabashed fish lovers. They have literally had to kick us out of the zoo aquarium twice because they were closing and we had lost track of time watching those sharks and gorgeous finned-friends swim back and forth over and over again. This fishy fascination has led to many a sea creature craft over the past three years, but this new one was different and extra cool so I popped on over here to share it with you. Even if you aren't a serious fish lover, you can probably get down with bubble-wrap stamp fish, right?!

Kinley and I were talking about how ocean water is salty the other day, and it came to me--watercolors and epsom salt would make a perfect super cool texture-y sea! So, that's what we did.


We drew wavy lines on our own big sheets of white construction paper with a white oil pastel (crayon would work, too!) and painted over the top with all of the different shades of blue watercolors in Kinley's little box. This works really well with liquid watercolors, but we are completely out of all of our shades of blue, so we had to try a different method and it worked great. After we had covered our papers with blue paint, we dipped our paintbrushes in the plain water rinse jar and painted swaths of water on top of the blue paint. While there was still a puddle, we quick sprinkled epsom salt on top and repeated until we were satisfied, and when our paintings were all dry, we brushed the salt off and admired the really cool bubbly texture it left behind. Perfect!

The empty sea paintings were nice in their own way, but Kinley was antsy to fill up her little ocean, and cute little bubble-wrap fishies seemed like the perfect addition.

CRUSHED CEREAL ART


I made a sensory/fine motor/fun bin for Kinley about six months ago that was just basically one giant generic bag of fruit ring cereal, some plastic lanyard string for making necklaces and colored bowls for sorting and scooping. Ever since I cleaned that bin up and put the cereal back in the giant bag it came in, it's been staring at me and taking up some serious sensory shelf real estate. Time to figure out another use for that stale, rainbow-colored stuff!

I saw and saved a super cool crushed fruit ring cereal art idea on Instagram from sidebysidestudio.com a few weeks ago and it seemed like the perfect simple and fun solution.

I gathered up our IKEA rainbow bowls and hollered for Kinley to help me sort those loops by color. That girl loves to sort, which is a very good thing because sorting half a giant bag of rainbow rings takes some serious dedication. 😉

After we got them all neatly sorted, I broke out the meat tenderizer and she got really interested. We just dumped each color into its own plastic sandwich bag and smashed those rings until there wasn't a single ounce of rage or frustration in our bodies! What is it about smashing stuff that makes ya feel so much better I wonder? (I wanted to use our mortar and pestle for this step, but I have no clue which basement box that thing found its way into.)

Anyway, after we had turned our rainbow cereal into rainbow dust, we dumped it all back into each pretty plastic bowl. Isn't it just gorgeous?! Who wouldn't wanna get creative with this stuff?!

RECYCLED BOTTLE BRACELETS



Break out the crimper and pop a back-when-she-was-fun Madonna tape in your Walkman, baby, cause bright and crazy bangles are BACK!

Kinley and I have been on a recycled craft craze lately. It started with Earth Day and it's only gotten better (or worse?) since we've been participating in @get.creative.with's recycled container Insta-challenge this week. We recycled some of our own art into other kinds of art, turned a garbage box into a little tiny buddy sight-seeing cable car, and made a family of bees out of an old egg carton, but I think these bracelets are our best trash art yet!

So terrible mom confession time. I let K watch YouTube Kids. Don't hate on me. Everyone needs a little peace and quiet sometimes, right? She has a few favorite vloggers that she keeps up with and my favorites, of course, are the crafty ones. I glanced over her shoulder a few months ago and saw something incredibly cool -- someone in the vlog-o-sphere was making a bracelet out of trash and an iron! I've been wanting to try it ever since 💜

A BOOK & A CRAFT: ESCARGOT


Disclaimer: This post was written by a person who unabashedly loves both snails and all things French-y, so she may be a tad bit biased towards books with adorable French snails for main characters. Continue reading the following gushfest at your own risk. You have been warned.

Escargot: the tale of a little French beret-rocking snail in search of the perfect salad.

I mean, you guys, I just can't. This book was made for us.

Sweet little manipulative Escargot is on a mission to both make you love him and to get to the other side of the table where the salad of his dreams is waiting. He tries every method imaginable from showing off to telling sob stories to convince you that he is indeed the best kind of creature on the planet. Let me tell you, his tactics worked on me.

You win, you cute little guy! You're the best! Je t'aime Escargot. Now come here and let me huggle you. (Not a typo--that's just our special word for a snuggle with extra hugs 💗)

I really love snails. I had a pet snail my senior year of high school. One of my friends worked in a plant nursery and she saved him from impending doom (snails are not welcome where there are plants for sale apparently, who knew? 😉) and gave him to me in a little hermit crab house with a purple lid. I named him Mikey Chaos, and while I refused to touch him, I loved him. Those little tentacles, man! They're just SO cute.

TOP SECRET SNOW CONE SYRUP


Hey there! How are you livin'? Does it feel like summer in your neck of the woods already, too? Here in good old OH-IO we get a full two weeks of spring if we are lucky before the tornadoes and summer heat start rolling in. I've been trying to suppress my urge to whine and beg Dave to turn on the air already man, for the love of sweaty leg pits and in order to do that, I've had to get creative with my stay cool methods. I mean, twelve fans on high can only help so much, you know? ;)

My mom works in the office of a factory and in the summer, the factory part of the building is not air conditioned. In an effort to keep all those hardworking factory men happy, she goes in one night a month and churns out snow cones for those guys at top speed to help them cool down. But, obviously, snow cones require syrup and she was flying through the store-bought kind, so she came up with this recipe and, take it from me, it's a thousand times better than any of the kinds they carry at Wally World, plus the flavor options are pretty vast.

Now here's where I need you to swear on your favorite pair of flip-flops that you won't tell anyone the top secret recipe I'm about to fork over.

Just kidding,

Tell anybody you want, friend! And you're welcome in advance for your extra month of lower energy costs ;)

GORGEOUS (& CRAZY EASY) COFFEE FILTER FLOWERS



Get a load of those gorgeous flowers, would ya?! It's spring y'all, and more importantly, it finally feels like spring. When I was brushing Kinley's hair this morning she hollered LOOK MOMMA!! There are little tiny baby leaves on our big tree!! and what do you know, she was right! I have been missing those little tiny baby leaves and their fresh tiny baby leaf green -- my favorite shade.

Don't you just love spring colors? Bright and happy and perfect for getting creative with.

We are participating in another Instagram challenge this week. This one is from Tinkerlab and just happens to be another round of the challenge that initially got Kinley and I hooked on all things process art. If you are still unclear about what process art is, or are feeling intimidated about getting started, this is the perfect introduction. Rachelle explains everything in a super clear and concise manner and has everything, including supply lists, all planned out for you. All you have to do is read the emails she sends and get out the supplies. Easy peasy.

Yesterday's Tinkerlab project was absorbent art. K and I had just made some coffee filter and liquid watercolor Easter eggs a couple of days ago, so we switched it up today and decided to try making coffee filter flowers with our challenge art.