Sunday, June 22, 2008

Patriotic Pinwheels

Pinwheels. These are so easy to make you will slap your hand to your forehead for buying the ones in the store.

I did this activity with my 4.5 year old but he was more interested in constructing other things with the fancy paper scissors. A more goal focused 4 year old would like this and the 5-10 year old set would love this.

Ingredients needed: 12"x12" scrapbook paper, scissors, pin (a sewing pin or a long push pin), small craft beads, "fun" foam, pencil eraser or a wine cork (yeah, I know) and a straw.

How to:

1. Cut the 12"x12" piece of paper into (4) 6"x6" pieces. You now have paper for either 4 pinwheels or 2 pinwheels with decorative paper on both sides. If you want the decorative paper on both sides, glue 2 of the pieces together (blank sides together).

2. If you opted for the 4 piece with blank side and decorative side, do something to jazz up the blank side like writing something on the inside. For my patriotic pinwheels I wrote up the Gettysburg Address on a few and the Preamble of the U.S. Constitution and part of the Declaration of Independence on another. This would be a good way to get your child to study and read documents like this...make them copy it, it's bound to stick, right?

3. Fold the paper in half both ways (length and width) to mark the center.

4. Use a screw top from a water bottle to make a circle at the center of the paper.

5. Cut diagonally from each corner to the edge of the circle (4 cuts); this is where I like to use the cool patterned type paper scissors.

6. Take the sewing pin and put it through a small piece of foam, then through one small bead.

7. When you cut your paper you ended up with four triangles connected to the circle. Take ONE corner from each triangle and put the pin through the corner. If you use the left corner, use the left corner from all of the triangles.

8. Now that you have all of the corners pinned, put the pin through the center of the paper and you should now have something that looks like a pinwheel.

9. Put the pin through another bead and then through the straw and then sink it into a pencil eraser cut off from a pencil or a piece of cork from last night's wine bottle (the goal here is to keep the pin from poking you as you play with the pinwheel).

10. Now you have a pinwheel. If you want the pinwheel longer, put a long 14" lollipop stick (craft store) or a match (yeah, cut off the red strike area) through the straw.

You could embellish the whole thing by tying ribbon around the handle etc.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Tote Your Vote

Just in case you haven't been to my Etsy shop in a little while, in a few short hours I'll be uploading the first "Tote Your Vote" bag. The bags will be $12.50, of which, $5 from EVERY "Tote Your Vote" bag sale will go directly to the Barack Obama Presidential campaign. Once I hit my $2300 personal contributer maximum I plan, right now, to stop selling the bags. Since contributions to the primary campaign and national campaign each have their own contribution maximums, I am starting over at $0 so I should be making and selling bags from now until November.

Tell your friends! Buy a bag! Voting and participating in the electoral process is one of the most patriotic things you can do. You're sending a message that the right to vote is not being taken for granted. It wasn't always this way, we didn't always have the right to vote, particularly those of us who are women and minorities.

Oh, and thanks Mom for the "Tote Your Vote" slogan. I'm going to use it ad nauseum or to the point it makes everybody sick, whichever comes first.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Magnetism IV

I might have to sell this as a supply on Etsy. Take an adhesive backed magnet and apply the glue size to one of those pocket sized first aid kits. You now have a readily accessible first aid kit in your kitchen and won't have to scramble to the bathroom if you cut yourself.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Magnetism Part III

I found magnets on sale today when I went to the office store for foam poster board. Not good. I bought 23 packages of magnets. Each package has 50 magnets the size of a business card. Each package weighs about 1 pound....they're magnets, they're heavy. The best part of the story? I parked 1/2 mile away to get some exercise. As I was about to cross a busy intersection where tall buildings make an urban canyon, a guy walking by noticed the poster board and warned me that there was a fierce wind tunnel in the intersection and to be careful. Are you kidding me? I was weighed down by 23 extra pounds of magnets and I'm not piglet!

I'm just glad I wore sensible shoes today.