Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Inkjet Printer Craft: Display Kid's Art with DIY Shadow Boxes @Staples

Full disclosure, Staples provided me with this HP Envy to review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. To see their full line of HP printers,visit Staples online

My kid's generate a lot of great art work. They are prolific artists with daily access to art supplies in our home art studio. Drawing is one of their favorite things to do -- the girls can usually be found drawing after breakfast and at the kitchen table while I'm fixing dinner. My refrigerator is covered in artwork that we share regularly with friends, family, and neighbors but,
 I'm always looking for new ways to show off some of those extra special pieces of art! 

"C" (my 6 year old) is really into the Rainforest and large cats right now. 
She draws these rainforest and jungle scenes regularly. 
"E" (my 10 year old) loves the ocean and has a particular fondness for squids. 

When my generous friends at Staples sent us a beautiful new
the girls and I had a great time brainstorming new ways to incorporate it into our art-making! 

She (Yes, we think our HP ENVY  printer is a SHE) 
looks very pretty sitting next to my computer here on my desk! 

It was easy to set up, we just plugged her in and she found my computer immediately. 
 I do have to admit the 10 year old had it up and running and was printing out her homework with it before I even got a chance to try it - that's how user friendly she is. 
Staples even sent us one of their "EASY" buttons. The girls think it's hilarious
to push the button and hear the voice say, "That Was Easy!" 

For this project, we made color copies of the girl's original artwork on white card stock paper.
I printed 2-3 copies of each drawing so we could cut out different layers and parts.

pink and green mama blog

Then we raided the kitchen recycling and cut the side off of two cereal boxes
to create shadow box frames. I was planning to gesso and paint them but my brilliant 10 year old suggested that we use decorative duct tape to cover the outside -- that was EASY! 

pink and green mama blog

pink and green mama blog

Then we painted the inside of both boxes with a quick layer of washable craft paint. 
The paint dried within 15-20 minutes. 

pink and green mama blog

While we waited for the paint to dry, we cut out all of the little pieces of their copied drawings.

pink and green mama blog

Then it was time to start gluing. 

pink and green mama blog

We started with Elmer's glue but realized it would be faster and easier to just use
a glue gun so that's what we did. Start by gluing the back layers of your drawing and critters
to the back of the cereal box (make sure your paint is dry first!) 

pink and green mama blog

Then to make everything 3-D and help it pop out, we glued white pony beads 
between the layers of copied artwork and drawings to create little bead sandwiches. 
Bigger pieces of the drawing needed more beads.

pink and green mama blog

pink and green mama blog

It looks really neat with the layers of artwork peeking through...
the girls loved it and so did their mama! 

pink and green mama blog

"E"s adorable squid and coral. 

pink and green mama blog

"C"s three toed sloth and tiger in the Rainforest - so friendly!

pink and green mama blog

The end results look awesome. The girls can't wait to make more!

pink and green mama blog

Right now they're on a shelf in our playroom but we may mount them to the wall. 
I could see a whole gallery wall of kid's art displayed this way with 3-D 
vases of flowers, animals, self portraits, and landscapes! 
I love the way we preserved the original artwork by making copies with our inkjet printer
and found a fun new way to display the girls' artwork! 

So grateful to my friends at Staples for our fun new toy - 
we've got lots of new inkjet printer craft ideas brewing! Thank you!

pink and green mama blog

Happy Shadow Box Making! 

pink and green mama blog

Pink and Green Mama, MaryLea

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Monday, June 24, 2013

Mermaid Sensory Writing Tray - Practice Letters and Mark Making With An Ocean Twist!

My girls are both home from school for the summer and we've been spending 
our time at the kitchen breakfast table with some "mom school" morning work. 
My youngest daughter, C, is moving on to first grade this fall and we're reviewing 
spelling, handwriting, reading, and simple math this summer. 
I've been trying to find some sneaky ways to incorporate fun into our summer learning 
and this seems to be doing the trick! 
A mermaid themed writing tray to practice letters and numbers, spelling words, and math problems.

While visiting Michaels craft store this week for some fun summer craft supplies, 
we spotted this beautiful sheet of 12"x12" iridescent blue scrapbook paper. 
I remembered seeing The Imagination Tree's Fairy Dust Writing Tray and thought it would 
be fun to use this pretty paper to make a tray for my little mermaid lover! 
When we got home, I placed the sheet of paper in the bottom of a shallow 12"x12" plastic scrapbook paper storage box from my art studio and we added a cup of play sand 
from our outdoor covered sand table. 

Then we added a few seashells and two of our homemade clothespin mermaids
* NOTE * If you want to make your own clothespin mermaid, 

We are planning to add some larger seashells and 
some plastic "pearl" beads to work on math problems  (I saw the original lovely idea for it here.)

The best part about this little tray is because of it's small size and built in lid,
it is portable and easy to clean up. She can work with it on our deck, 
at the pool, the kitchen table, or playroom!

Happy (sneaky) Summer Learning! 

Pink and Green Mama, MaryLea
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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Easy Canvas Prints Review and Greyhound Love. @easycanvas

Sponsored Post Disclosure: I have been compensated for this post, however all opinions are my own and truthful. 
This post does contain paid links.

When Easy Canvas Prints contacted me and offered me the opportunity to try out their website and make my own canvas I was super excited. Then I realized I was going to make one of my kids very unhappy if I picked a photo of one child and not the other. 
I could not find a recent photo with both of my children smiling that I wanted on a canvas 
so instead I picked my "furry kid" and avoided hurt feelings. 

We adopted Pippi, our retired racing greyhound rescue from Florida this fall. 
Her racing name was "Wild Pipsqueek" hence the name "Pippi" now. 
She is the best dog in the world and we are all madly in love with her. 
She is my best buddy and spends the day glued to my side. 
The girls adore her and everyone who meets her remarks 
about how sweet and gentle and quiet(!) she is. 

Then, I looked through our recent family photos and liked this one of sweet Pippi
hanging out with the girls in the backyard. It's one of the rare photos where she isn't sleeping!
This wasn't the prettiest photo background with my chipping outdoor furniture and dead grass
but I loved her sweet face.
 The website lets you design custom canvas prints anyway you want, 
so I switched the color to sepia and cropped the whole photo.  
Once the crazy background became neutral, Pippi became the star attraction (that she is) and 
I really liked it! I selected a 12" x 12" canvas with wrapped black edges. I love squares (and circles.) 
I find that size and shape very comforting -- probably because I've been a scrapbooker for years!

See that weird white speck? I thought it was something stuck on Pippi's head 
(like a piece of fluff from the yard) so it wasn't until I uploaded the photo to the Easy Canvas Prints website and edited my picture to make it "Sepia" that I realized there was some crud stuck on my camera lens. Whoops. Couldn't take it off the photo but I don't mind it. 

Everything arrived in perfect condition. 
They did a great job of packaging the canvas so it wouldn't slide around 
and the corners were protected from getting smashed on the UPS truck!
My canvas arrived quickly and in great shape. 
I put the canvas on a floating shelf in my bedroom 
with another piece of artwork from Mod Dog Shop on Etsy
and a little ceramic greyhound I picked up on clearance ($6!) at Target this fall. 

My mini greyhound shrine --- I look like a crazy greyhound lady.
But, I guess I kind of am. She really is the BEST. dog. ever. 
Now, I'm planning to paint my floating shelves with some Annie Sloan chalk paint
and give our room a mini makeover to match our cute new artwork! 
I couldn't be happier with the way my print of my sweet fur baby turned out. 

Any other greyhound owners (lovers) out there? 
I even have a greyhound board called 50 Shades of Greyhound - har! 
You can see what Pippi is up to on my Instagram page

Pink and Green Mama, MaryLea

Disclosure: Products for review were provided by Easy Canvas Prints. 
The opinions expressed herein are my own and are not indicative of the opinions of Easy Canvas Prints. 

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Monday, June 17, 2013

ALEX Toys Craft Kits Review and Giveaway! @alextoys #alextoys

Sponsored Post Disclosure: I have been compensated for this post, however all opinions are my own and truthful. 
This post does contain paid links.

My friends at ALEX Toys were generous to send some of their super fun craft kits
to me and the girls to play with this month! The girls had a blast with them and we wanted to share the fun with you by offering a giveaway from ALEX Toys to Pink and Green Mama readers.
If your name is drawn by, you may select one of the three craft kits we sampled
to Create, Play, and Explore with your own kids!
ALEX's mission is to provide children with creative products to help them learn and build confidence, personal expression, and self-esteem -- I couldn't agree more on how important that is!
ALEX sent us an Eco Scrapbook kit to play with.
My oldest daughter, "E" (age 10) got into the Eco Scrapbook kit immediately.
She has been working on it for several weekends and is still working on it.
She is making a scrapbook about our backyard and taking photos with my camera for it.

She loved the fun alphabet stickers, the cute papers, and the suggested layouts shown on the box cover.
She's having fun adding her own touches like "faux woodgrain"contact paper trees, washi tape, and nature drawings. She's also using mommy's scrapbooking trick of marking her layout pages with post-it notes to remind her of which photos she wants to go back and add later!
It's so fun to watch her creative process.

ALEX sent us the Super Window Sticker Art kit to play with. 
"E" also loved the Window Sticker Art Kit. But it was too challenging for her little sister, "C" (age 6.) 

The kit comes with black and white line drawings to use as patterns
 but my girls wanted to make their own designs so they sketched some drawings 
with a black marker on white paper and used them instead. 

"C" really wanted to try it though so her big sister took one of C's drawings of her favorite stuffed tiger "Hobbes" and made her a custom Pink Tiger face window cling for her bedroom window! 

"E" loves squids so she made her own squid window cling by outlining a custom line drawing. 
She used the kit's flower, fish, and "BFF" patterns to make some clings for friends. 

DIY stained glass with a personal touch! Love it. 

They were also generous to send us the Sweet Treats Jewelry kit, 
we are planning to play with that one this weekend! We ALL love shrinky dinks! I bet you want to play and create with some ALEX kits as well. 

Pink and Green Mama, MaryLea

Disclosure: Products for review were provided by ALEX Toys. 
The opinions expressed herein are my own and are not indicative of the opinions of ALEX Toys. 
ALEX Toys is not responsible for how the winner is selected, 
or for the manner in which this giveaway is structured (that is solely up to me!) 

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Thursday, June 13, 2013

DIY Nature Journal for Kids With Tombow Art Supplies #Tombow100

I was contacted by Tombow products and asked to participate in a special program 
to show how crafters and bloggers use their "Tombow Time." 
The best part is that it helps give back to a cause I feel strongly about -- Arts Education. 

 In March of this year, Tombow kicked off its "100 Days of Tombow"program at the National Art Education Association Conference in Forth Worth, Texas. They promised to provide up to $10,000 of Tombow art products to the Council for Arts Education, a national nonprofit dedicated to promoting and supporting art education and quality art programs nationwide. They asked 100 different bloggers across America to share a project using Tombow's products. For every submission by a blogger, Tombow donates $100.00 worth of products to the Council for Arts Education. You know I'm all about art supplies and getting them to art teachers to use in their classrooms! 

Tombow was established 100 years ago, in Japan in 1913, as the wood case pencil provider for Japanese students. Since then, they've grown their company to provide adhesive tapes, ballpoint pens, drawing pencils, dual brush pens, glue sticks, and other scrapbooking and art making supplies. 

Tombow sent my family some lovely colored pencils and dual brush pens to play with. 
My Kindergartener, "C" (age 6) is a little naturalist like her big sister and wanted to make her own Nature Journal to record her bird drawings, leaf rubbings, and other sketches. She loves making her own books as she is learning how to read and write. 

It was a very basic and simple book construction method. 
We folded piece of lime green card stock to use as the cover.
Then, I folded some white printer paper in half and drilled two small holes in the fold with a large needle. I laced some twine through the holes to bind the pages. We cut out a simple tree silhouette from "woodgrain" contact paper and she did the rest - adding words and drawings to her journal. 

Happy Creating and Exploring! 

Pink and Green Mama, MaryLea

Disclosure: Products for review were provided by Tombow. 
The opinions expressed herein are my own and are not indicative of the opinions of Tombow Products. 

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If you are looking for even more ways to have fun with kids in your own backyard this summer, 
check out my "Backyard Fun" ebook
(With 13 Arts and Crafts Lessons to make cool stuff for your own yard!)

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Easy Kid-Made Father's Day Gift: Popsicle Stick Fix-It Sign

My hubby has a late May birthday so we always have birthday gifts
 that run into our Father's day gift timing. The girls made their daddy some sweet homemade gifts
this year that would be perfect Father's Day gifts too, so I'm sharing them here with you today!

"C" my 6 year old made this Daddy Fix-It sign for my husband. 
He's a homebuilder and a very handy guy to have around, he really can fix anything. 
Don't know what we'd do without him around here!  
We loved this project from B-inspired Mama and it was the jumping off point for our own gift!

She glued popsicle sticks together and wrote the message with sharpie.
The tiny popsicle sticks on the side are from Michaels' "Creatology" brand. 

She made a Duct Tape card to go with it - I love the rainbow heart. 
Then, we picked out some cool looking and colorful hardware goodies and do-hickies
from daddy's tool box and I glue-gunned them to her sign. 

Daddy's special sign is hanging in a place of honor in his workshop! 
For more great Father's Day gift ideas, click here to check out my 

Happy (Homemade) Daddy Gift Making! 

Pink and Green Mama, MaryLea
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Last year's Back Rub t-Shirt Was a Huge Hit too!
Click HERE to see how to make your own. 

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