Pages Menu
TwitterFacebook
Categories Menu

Posted by on Mar 12, 2014 | 2 comments

Family Craft: Making a Peeps Diorama

Family Craft: Making a Peeps Diorama

We love the Washington Post Peeps Diorama Contest, now in its eighth year. This will be the first time we throw our hat in the ring and create our own diorama. It took us the better part of a week, off and on, to create our entry. We started by brainstorming some ideas and looking at past winners, oohing and aahing at the impressive creations. We loved the various Downton Abbey dioramas especially. After much debate, we decided on a scene from the movie Gravity. First, we found a box and then gathered all sorts of craft supplies from our craft closet, not sure quite what we’d end up using but wanting a lot of options. And, of course, we purchased a package of Peeps — the bunnies rather than the chicks — so we’d have more room on their heads for space helmets. We looked at images online of scenes from the Gravity movie and picked one to depict, with a sliver of the Earth showing on one...

Read More

Posted by on Mar 4, 2014 | 2 comments

Tips for Inspiring Your Kids to Read: A Consult with Melissa LaSalle

Tips for Inspiring Your Kids to Read: A Consult with Melissa LaSalle

A few months ago, we introduced you to Melissa LaSalle, an Alexandria resident who writes the very thoughtful and informative blog What to Read to Your Kids. In addition to the blog, Melissa also provides in-home consultations as way to help parents decide what books are the best for their particular children — what is appropriate for their reading level, what will challenge them as they get older, and what will inspire their imagination and, hopefully, a life-long love of reading. I tagged along on one of her recent consultations with Mary and Chris and their 7-year-old daughter Alora. Before diving in to Alora’s collection of books, Melissa listened attentively as Alora told her what she’s currently reading and what other types of books she likes to read. Just as you would do a deep clean of your closets and basement or attic every once in a while to figure out what you don’t need anymore, Melissa suggests doing the same with your kids’ books. She carefully sorted through...

Read More

Posted by on Feb 26, 2014 | 5 comments

A Bungalow Designed for Art and Play

A Bungalow Designed for Art and Play

Last week we showed you Kay’s creative and serene home office where she runs her holistic interior design business, Oikasa. Before that, we featured the fabulous wallpaper she installed on her stairway. And today, we bring you the rest of her house which she shares with her husband Stefan and their two active young children. In every room of their home, we see Kay’s design sensibility at play — simplicity, uplifting colors, handmade and natural elements, and an organized and efficient use of space. In the middle of the front room, a child’s-sized grand piano atop a green shag rug was the last thing I expected to see. But, given that Kay teaches music lessons to young children, a room dedicated to musical instruments makes perfect sense. Next to the front door. you can see an illuminated canvas Kay made. She painted the leaf design on a stretched canvas and then poked Christmas lights through holes into the canvas. She says that her youngest music students love to gaze at...

Read More

Posted by on Feb 7, 2014 | 1 comment

A Valentine Card-Making Extravaganza

A Valentine Card-Making Extravaganza

With Valentine’s Day just a week away, I pulled out a ton of craft supplies so my daughters could make their own Valentine cards. I also bought a few items from Del Ray Variety such as construction paper and heart stickers. Our card-making endeavor is an artistic free-for-all, after we get our juices flowing with a little inspiration from Pinterest and other crafty blogs. Ana cut out some hearts of different sizes and sewed them on a card she had cut out from the construction paper. She’s much better at threading embroidery floss than I am, so she also helped me as I sewed a heart row by row starting with a white heart on pink to use as the pattern. Working with embroidery floss is slow going, just be warned. It would go faster with yarn, but you’d need to use a thicker paper, like cardstock, or else you’d probably poke the heart right through the card. The back looks just like the front with little ends tucked...

Read More

Posted by on Jan 24, 2014 | 0 comments

DIY Kids: Learning to Knit

DIY Kids: Learning to Knit

I discovered April’s knack for teaching kids how to knit when we were knitting together at our daughters’ Daisy meeting and a little girl came up to her and asked how to knit. April showed her a knit stitch using the most perfect rhyme: “In through the front door, around the back, peak through the window, and off jumps Jack.”  We got to talking about her experience teaching kids to knit and April was more than happy  to come over and teach my daughter Nadja (age 5), J.P (age 6), and Gigi (age 9) how to knit scarves. She had them all working diligently and making real progress by the end of the one-hour lesson. April starts out by showing the kids what the knit and purl stitches look like in completed or work-in-progress, how the knit stitch looks like a V. She explained how the kids would be knitting garter stitches, which meant they’d knit all rows one after the other, showing them what that looks like in...

Read More