shamelessly stolen tutorial

first tutorial post ever...yay! huge disclaimer: this idea was 100% borrowed from NiceGirlNotes and her original post can be seen here. she's mad cool. now on to the tutorial: Cute Magnets for My "Niece"

my gorgeous cousin Lindsey is having a baby girl in Jan and I have the distinct honor of helping her get the nursery ready. so excited to meet my new second cousin (though we're just calling her my niece because it gets really complicated otherwise). and Lindsey, being an awesome soon-to-be mom has chosen a rad color scheme - light and dark purple with bright orange. i was skeptical too, but it's looking awesome so far.

so...taking a huge creativity note from Roo (via NiceGirlNotes), I decided to make a tri-color magnet set for Reece. I got some wooden discs (2" in diameter to meet child safety standards) and 3 sample jars of paint from Lowes. Then, I divided the total pieces by three and painted them front and back with two coats each.
notice my was-once-pretty-blue-and-gold-but-is-now-really-faded rug? fancy, i know

Once dry, I put black scrapbook letter stickers on the front of each piece. I know in the original tut, she used rub-on letters but that seemed too time consuming so I went straight for peel & stick. Important note: make sure you are using letters with a standard font...a child-recognizable alphabet is more important than cute on this point. Then, I used a tiny bit gorilla glue (crazy strong stuff) to adhere magnets to the back of each disc. Another important note: when buying craft magnets, make sure to check the strength, I had to do a little searching but I ended up using #3 strength. #1 won't hold the discs to a surface and #6 seemed a too strong for little hands...plus, the too strong ones had a snapping-together quality that made me worry about pinched fingers.
obviously a stellar quality photo. sorry!

The finished set included 26 regular uppercase letters, numbers 0-9, and a second letter for A, I, O, D, as well as 2 additional Es. I would've done another U but I wanted to make sure she'd be able to spell out her name. And I love that someday she'll be able to use the three colors as a sorting activity too.
Reece Isabella...I cannot wait to meet you!

Final step: I used modge podge to seal the letters to the front of each disc...no peeling up stickers here! And an fyi, for any other over-zealous crafters out there, once I had all the materials, this project only took one day to complete. Well, that's all...leave a comment if you have any questions. I hope you like them! 


imagination canvas

I’m loving this quote today and I must say that Thoreau was a pretty snazzy guy. Not literally…he was a pretty crunchy dude...all about some “nature!” (in the voice of Will Ferrell’s Robert Goulet)

Really though, I love this quote. I have always loved the idea of imagination bleeding into reality (Hogwarts and Narnia are my top dream honeymoon destinations). Kids are particularly great at seeing things this way, however, as most of children’s literature will tell us, adults seem to lose that sense of wonder, creativity.

Just imagine if you could paint the world, if you could pick up a paintbrush and just color things in. Or paint over things to make them better. Lost your keys? Draw some new ones. World hunger? Paint up some food. Unfortunately, life doesn’t work like that (unless, of course, you live in a clan led by a tough kid named RUF-I-OOOO).

remember this scene from Hook? so cool!

Thoreau only knows exactly what he meant, but I’d like to think he was sitting on a dock somewhere with his toes in the water, or dotting the last period at the end of a poem, or listening to live jazz in a downtown coffee shop with the man of his dreams…wait, that last one was me…oops. Nature, art, or love…in their own way they're kinda like splashes of imagination on a canvas. Maybe?


patience spectacles

I know the more trendy choice is a “life pause button” but that feels cliché…and doesn’t really accomplish what I’m looking for. A pause button stops things, freezes time indefinitely (and on my VHS, makes wiggly grey static waves everywhere)—not helpful. Patience spectacles—that's what I need. They could be exuberantly introduced by Billy Mays or a lady named Carol on QVC with impeccably manicured hands. “Just slip on these glasses, available in your choice of 3 stylish frames, and there you have it—normal life, with patience.” Nothing slows down, nothing changes…just a sense of calm so you can enjoy the day-to-day stuff. No pressure to get somewhere fast, no impending sense of deadline doom, no kerfuffle (such a great word!) over keeping up with whomever, Jones’ or otherwise. I need these glasses.

In a somewhat recent discussion with my mom, she pointed out that I’ve always been on the fast track. Everything I do is set in relation to its utility later on or how it fits into a larger plan. Not that I’m driven or even ambitious…just that I always seem to have my eyes set on the next step. How dumb.

I don’t know why I feel such an overwhelming need to always look ahead, but I do know that I want to stop. The thing about it is...I’ve become that cartoon character that’s crossing a river and is so focused on the opposite bank, it’s halfway across before it realizes the “stepping stones” are actually alligator heads. Then, of course, comedy steps in and our misdirected character is soaking wet, narrowly avoiding a pair of sparkly chompers—hilarious but undesirable.

So...I'm stopping…just standing still and enjoying where I am, looking around instead of only forward, making sure I don't miss all the great stuff along the way (disclaimer: this decision would be ill advised if one was actually standing on an alligator head, but hey, the metaphor only goes so far). Here would be a great place to make some kind of proclamation or resolution to do better, but frankly, I’m not great at that sort of thing so let’s just say I’m gonna try to actively be more still (which sounds like a total contradiction, but bear with me). Anyone else feel this way?

Remember this from Peter Pan...sometimes, that's me.