Tuesday, July 29

Christmas In July Party Time Tuesday Challenge Example with Dapoppins

Just a quick share of a tag I did as inspiration for the  Party Time Tuesday, Christmas in July Challenge #183

It was quite a challenge for me because, despite a stash that is slowly spreading from one corner of my bedroom to the other, I don't have many Christmas themed papers, and I couldn't find any in these colors.  I had to get a bit creative with some older Tim Holtz papers, and a cute little die-cut from Pretty Little Studio. I love these "vintage" images, but this one was so clean and new, it didn't go with the papers.  I had to age it up a bit with Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist, Color Bloom Spray (I want one of these in every color.  LOVE THEM.)  Mist in Gold foil, some calk inks, and Perfect Pearls embossing powder.

 I also tried out some Art Anthology Dimensional Paint with a triangle stencil and used a white sharpie for the holly because it just needed "something."

Christmas In July, Dapoppins

If you love paper arts head over to Party Time Tuesdays and join in on the fun.  There is always inspiration and a challenge every Tuesday!

Monday, July 28

Flubber Recipe

This is a Mom's adventures of not totally paying attention to directions.  My first attempt at making the rubbery, gluey, fun stuff known as flubber.

Fubber Recipe

The wrong recipe:

1 cup glue
2 teaspoon dry starch
1 cup very warm water divided
food coloring as needed

Search all over town for the cheapest glue. Consider just getting the little bottles. Go to teacher supply store and shell out $12.99 for 1 gallon of Elmer's glue. Go to grocery store for dry starch. Find twenty kinds of spray starch, no dry starch. Go to another store, find spray starch and liquid starch. No dry starch. Remember that there must be a way to make flubber from liquid starch. Convince children your not nuts, Liquid starch should work. Argue with know-it-all eight year old all the way home form the store.


New recipe (Still wrong!)
1/2 cup of Elmer's white glue
1/2 cup of liquid starch
Mix ingredients together. Keep mixing together. Chase three year old around house because her hands are sticky, slimy. Wash Three year old hands. Keep mixing. Pour out excess liquid. Keep mixing. Send five year old to bath to wash goop out of his hair. Keep mixing.

Reassure oldest child that yes, this is working. Spend one hour making flubber, forty five minutes cleaning up flubber, and ten minutes play with flubber before throwing the whole mess out.

Third Try!

Ingredients No. 3

Dry starch is Borax 20 Mule team. Buy at Target.

1 cup glue 

(there is plenty left over from first attempts. Apologize to husband for having to clean up mess of spilled glue in the garage. Salvage remaining glue for further experiments)

2 teaspoon Borax. Tell son that yes, this is the right stuff.

1 cup very warm water divided

food coloring as needed

Friday, July 25

Fairy Whimsey

 My husband took this picture of my daughter years ago and I have been using it in one or two projects. I am thinking of hunting it down and using it to create more sweet fairies.  I've been hording the rest of those pink foil wings for ages.  -thinking of attempting my first fairy house assemblage.

 - for some reason, my boys aren't interested at all in having their pictures attached to fairy wings.

Thursday, July 24

Mixed Media on Canvas Board with Dapoppins - Adorable Wall Art Made From My Daughter's Drawings

I stepped out of my comfort zone and applied to be apart of a design team for the Party Time Tuesday blog

A design team (if you don't know,) is a group of ladies (and sometimes men) who present project ideas and inspiration.  Sometimes for a specific product, and often just because making art and sharing art is fun.  I never thought in a million years they would except me -I've never done anything like this before and I don't really, have an art focused blog.  

If you don't know what my focus is either, I decided that in 2014 my FOCUS is Storytelling!  

This is my first post as part of the Party Time Tuesday's design team and I thought I'd share with you one of the projects I made with my daughter's help.  This mixed media canvas board is also entered in the Berry 71 Bleu Pattern Palooza challenge.   This is my first challenge ever and there are a lot of great entries.  It's time to put myself out there and see what others think of my personal passions. 

My daughter is ten years old.

She was practically born with a pencil in her hand (and yes, that's really painful.  She had to be delivered by C-Section because pencils are not made for the birth canal!)  I think she's on her way to becoming a wonderful illustrator and comic writer.  Most of her pictures come with a story and her characters have such great expressions you can always tell what they are thinking. Her work is imbued with her quirky sense of life.  The girl just cracks me up. 

Sometimes I ask her for drawings.  Here I asked for a dragon reading a book, and I got dragon's reading cookbooks  and getting ready for dinner.  I should place a coin next to these.  Her ability to draw tiny details blows my mind.  I usually have to get my reading glasses so I can see everything she did.

Needless to say, the girl inspires me.  I asked her if she could draw me some larger animals, so finally, after much coaxing and bribery, she did.  My little angel is going to be wise business woman -already knows the value of her work.

I printed out her drawings and used gel medium to adhere them to thin cardboard, (packaging form
scrapbook embellishments works great.)  The little birds are pre-cut chipboard left over from another project.

I then take the cut out images and use more gel medium to add them to my prepared canvas.

This is not a process I can do in one day or that I really plan out.  I had some idea where I was going, and how I wanted it to look in the end, but to be honest, I'm never sure, or very confident, about where I am going to end up.

I knew there were going to be animals and about the size I wanted.  I use a computer the resize her drawings and usually end up printing multiple images.  To prepare the canvas board, I started with the landscape.  This mix of patterned papers are from Studio Calico and Crate Paper. There are a few other papers in there mixed in from my scrap bag, the tambourine is actually from a 6X6 Basic Gray paper pad.  I just use whatever I think fits.  The clouds are sheet music, I left the sketchy lines because I thought it complimented the child's drawing feeling of the piece.  The sky started out sunset orange, with some Tim Holtz tissue paper, but I changed it to blue with some craft paint, gesso, and an old expired credit card.

I'm still really experimenting with mediums. The outlining is done with a charcoal pencil.  I bought a lot of of the Distress Paints on sale, and have some mixed brand 99 cent craft paint, nothing special, and these are what I am using right now.  I have a supplies wish list a mile long.

Have you ever been inspired by your kids or by a child?  What is something they do that promotes your own sense of creativity?

Thanks for joining me today, and if you have a love of paper crafting check out Party Time Tuesdays for their Tuesday challenges.  It's a great opportunity to share your work and win prizes.

Monday, July 21

The Nanny Reads: A book about a Patient Crocodile and His Prankster Friend.

This is a story that had been waiting for just the right publisher and just the right time to come into being. The illustrations by Giuliano Cucco are bright and interesting, with a genuine nostalgic feel because they were created in the early 1960's. 

Author John Miller creates a story about the friendship of the patient crocodile, Winston and Winston's prankster friend the crocodile bird George. 

Author John Miller doesn't stint on descriptive and fun use of language.

"I...I thought I saw a danger prowling through the jungle," George stammered. "A dangerous danger, a very scary dangerous danger."

With a great read aloud flow and kid friendly topic (preschoolers through second grade  love creatures with sharp teeth!) the story will keep kids interested until the end. 

Sometimes it's hard to have a friend who finds humor at another's expense. Kids who think practical jokes are funny will understand the message and take it to heart without the story seeming preachy or moralistic. The friendship between the two creatures is just endearing enough that I hope there are more Winston And George books to come. 

A good length for bedtime reading, with an great read aloud quality, this is a book I would recommend for the keeper shelf.

Thursday, July 17

What Is Dapoppins about?

As promised last year, I've been in the slow process of trying to change the direction and focus of my blog, and in some ways my life.  I've never really kept this space as a personal diary, but instead posted things I wanted to share, with an audience in mind.  However,  it's always been random things connected to my life and my passions.

I'm passionate about a lot of stuff, people.

I had a meeting with a person who looked at my blog and offered some really helpful tips.  It's always nice to have a 3rd party with unbiased eyes look at your work.  It was a positive experience.  But, true to form, as soon as someone told me what to do, I suddenly didn't want to do it any more.

I know there are other people out there who do this.  We look for advice on a project, reassurance we are headed in the right direction, and as soon as we get it, all the motivation drains away. Since blogging isn't a job, and I'm accountable to no one to get it done, I just kinda, frittered away my time schedule.   Gahh!

Procrastinate much?

Change, Procrastination, Dapoppins

My intention, because I feel a need to explain myself, is to turn Dapoppins into a brand of sorts.  What does Dapoppins offer?

My  Point of View: which hopefully is occasionally inspiring and entertaining.

Nanny life and loves -things like books, kid-items, and crafts that I do with kids.

Kid book reviews.

Some paper-craftiness thrown in, because it is one of my Passion's that I love to share.

My blog is about telling stories.  Telling the stories of my life, my career, my passions, and encouraging others to tell stories.  With a more than 20 years of "Umbrella Magic"  and Nanny wisdom thrown in.

My husband made the new header for me.  Poor guy.  We looked forever for free fonts.  Then I told him I wanted water color splashes.  First the umbrella was too big.  Then too black.  Then I didn't like one of the color splash colors.  I'm a "I'll know it when I see it," kind of person.  He is a, "Can we just finish this," kind of person.  But we finally got it to the point where I felt satisfied.

So, that's my FOCUS for 2014. And the FOCUS for Dapoppins.  Thank's for reading.

Monday, July 14

Teaching Storytelling and The Writing Process to Preschoolers - Nanny Activities

Storytelling is a great skill that can be taught to preschoolers that will help them later in life. Having been a Nanny for ten years before having my own kids, I discovered some of the early childhood skills that would help for later development. Storytelling is one of those fun, easy skills that can be learned and shared almost anywhere. 

One of the things I have done with three and four year old's as their scribbles turn to shapes is write down what they tell me they are drawing.  This is one of the first steps of teaching them to tell stories. 

While I am always  sharing stories by reading aloud, parents and Nannies can encourage creativity, confidence, communication and an understanding of cause and effect by making story telling a game.  

Storytelling is a required skill in third and fourth grade, and it can be intimidating.

Teaching storytelling for toddlers, games, activities, stories, writing, 3rd grade
From Stephanie at 3rd Grade Thoughts

This graphic doesn't even include third grade requirements for strong adjectives and verbs, limited use of the to-be verb, and progression that includes a beginning, middle and end. 

By exposing preschoolers to some of the steps of the writing process at an early age,  Gathering Ideas, Developing an Idea, and Publishing The Idea, children will begin the process with creativity and confidence already at their disposal. 

I came across this wonderful little "Tell A Story" game while working as a Temp Nanny for a local family. 

Not only did I think it was a great idea, I loved the graphics and sturdy chipboard pieces. The product description on Amazon says it "...is a game for two to four players, participants spin for a hero, treasure, rival, means of transport, helper, magical object or fairy tale places. The person to collect them all first wins and gets to use all the elements in a story."  The three of us played it twice before bedtime. 

This company also makes story cards, which can be used somewhat the same way, or as a creative idea starter.  (I discovered the cards while with a different nanny family!)

+Children's StoryBook originally shared this link to 50 Story Telling Ideas  from Inspiration Labs.  It is a great comprehensive list of links, many on how to make your own story cards, (or story shakers, story stones, etc!)  For parents and Nannies who need sit-down, calm, and transitional activities for Preschoolers during the day, this is a must save list of links.

Practically speaking, I know that little girls, who tend to communicate earlier than little boys, may seem more inclined to storytelling activities than boys.  Which is why this skill is doubly important for teaching to pre-school boys.  If we listen, little boys have plenty to say.  (They can be absolute chatter boxes. I have actual proof of this!)  Boys may not want to sit, draw, and craft, but if you hand them blocks, cars, and army men, you have just given them a story to tell.  Many boys are drawn to physical and action based learning. I have found if we act out the story first, they don't mind writing (with my help) and drawing afterwards, just so they can remember and share it later.

If you do one of the activities, already have the Fairy Tale Spinner game, or just want to share a story with me, let me know in the comments!  I love to hear how other people share stories.