Monstrously Cute Book Covers



This project is a great way to turn something as monotonous as covering school books, into something creative. Use craft foam shapes and paper scraps to make a crowd of silly monsters.

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Craft Supplies: Clementine Art

photo from Clementine Art

Have you ever seen such pretty art supplies? These paints, and the entire line of natural art supplies from Clementine Art, are the embodiment of good design, inside and out.
I discovered Clementine on a recent trip to Whole Foods and was immediately smitten with the pretty, spare packaging and the rich, natural colors of the paints, markers and modeling dough.
A visit to the company website revealed that Clementine products are non-toxic, made from recycled materials, and responsibly sourced. Lovely.
Non-toxic is one thing, but check out the label on the modeling dough. It reads like my weekly grocery list with ingredients like cream of tartar, turmeric and spinach -- love that!

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Lemon Bread




While I promised lots of summery goodness this week, I ended up with technical difficulties and spent much of the week drying out a soggy computer and trying to recover files. Remember, computers and water don't mix!
Anyway, here's a delicious little slice of summer. This is a quick bread with a tart and sweet lemony flavor that would slip nicely into a lunch box for a back to school treat.
I learned this recipe while baking for a wonderful little tea party catering company on Long Island. Paula Croteau, who owned the company, was an amazing cook and a skilled baker who taught me to love baking. I'm forever grateful to her.
You will be too - after you taste this yummy bread!

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Berry cute organizers


Summer is berry season and the farmers market is overflowing with baskets of juicy berry goodness. I take home a few pints as often as I can, but tossing those little green baskets is such a waste. I wanted to re-use the baskets but found them too flimsy. Enter the Popsicle stick! A few Popsicle sticks woven through the plastic makes these baskets sturdy, adding ribbon makes them adorable. Use them for stashing art supplies, hair clips and small toys or just for dressing up a desk.


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Glittery Seashell Barrettes

Happy Monday! As promised, this week is going to be full of fun ways to preserve summer memories. These glittery seashell barrettes are such a pretty reminder of those radiant summer days spent combing the beach for seashells. Use shells you collect yourself, or pick some up at a craft store. To assemble the barrettes I used glue dots, but hot glue or tacky glue would also work.

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This sweet picture of my nephew brings a smile to my face -- and I love that sun drenched open door. Doesn't it make you want to run outside and play?

Next week I'll be sharing some fun ideas for preserving these last few glorious weeks of summer. Have a great weekend!

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Hand washing tip



Teaching kids to wash their hands is a no-brainer, but preschoolers are masters at the soapless hand rinse and the lightning fast wash. How do you teach preschoolers to get a good sudsy wash?
Here's a tip from my days as a toddler and preschool teacher - to make hand washing fun, and to be certain they get a solid 15 - 20 second scrub, teach kids to sing a song while they wash. Songs like Twinkle Twinkle, the Alphabet song, or The Itsy Bitsy spider are good choices.

This soap dispenser is a cute way to remind preschoolers to sing their hand washing song.
I bought the dispenser at Target for a few dollars, and then added the Itsy Bitsy spider art with adhesive craft foam. I reinforced the foam with a bit of hot glue and then drew on my spider with a permanent marker. Start good habits now and by the time cold season rolls around you will be a step ahead.

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Button Bouquet


Keep a jar of buttons on hand and you will never run out of craft projects. Buttons are one of my all-time favorite supplies - colorful, classic, so easy to use. This sweet little button bouquet is a good example of just how versatile they are. All you need to make these beautiful buds are buttons, pipe cleaners and a little ribbon.

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Back to school pencil pocket





With September around the corner, and back to school supplies crowding store shelves, my brain is spinning with school-themed crafts.
Isn't there something wonderful about the promise of a new school year and a backpack brimming with shiny new supplies? If the kids aren't feeling so optimistic about bidding adieu to the care-free days of summer, some back to school crafting may be in order.
This pencil case is simple and easy to personalize -- perfect for beating the back-to-school blues.


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