Crafts for kids

We went to the countryside with a mission: draw scary monsters to ward off evil critters from grandparents backyard!

We walk the hills and the woods catching stones, and while searching for the perfect stone to draw a mosnter we walked and talked and saw plants, herbs and insects.

With many stones available to paint, they had work for several days, depending on the will and creativity of the moment.

Even hubby helped and Sofia made us company!

Once painted, the stones were used to make a flower bed in the backyard of grandparents.

And still there were many rocks to paint!

This activity is perfect for these hot days, it’s almost inexpensive and can be run almost independently by children. It keeps kids occupie enough time and is a good way to keep them busy during the dead hours of the day, especially while the smaller ones take a nap or while waiting for lunch or for dinner. Another good aspect is that stimulates the taste for walking in the countryside and in the woods, looking at nature and learn it in a fun way. And best of all, it’s an activity that extends in time, they will always want to paint so every day they picked the brushes and painted more stones. You know how it is: happy children = rested adults!

If you take beach holidays you can enjoy the sea stones, some are quite interesting to draw monsters or animals that can turn into a wonderful gift for Christmas or build a small fairy garden with the tiniest stones.

We should have used acrylic paints to paint the stones, but it was impromptu and so there was no where to buy. We bought the a kind of tempera paint, washable with water and we added some white glue, in a ratio of 2 parts of ink to 1 part glue. After drying we should have applied one layer of white glue to fix the ink or even varnish. We did not have time for that so if the water washes the stones next time we’ll have to paint them again! But I think they will not care and I’m sure Sofia will want to help!

The good part is that there was not a single spot of ink on clothing!

I’m so glad for these days of sunshine and warmth … Fells like summer!

DIY Easter Ideas

This year I wasn’t on the mood for Easter celebrations. If it wasn’t for the girls I think I would have ignore it, but Mafalda insisted on making gifts for family and little by little there she ended up convincing me.

After a long period of indecision about what to do they eventually choose a game of checkers. Very fast and simple to make, and almost without my intervention .

To make the board we used canvas and the squares were made ​​with adhesive tape. It can be done in two ways and I think both ways are ok. The first way is to make a grid with the adhesive tape, we made it 5cm squares (the width of the adhesive tape), then we paint and let dry, remove the tape and glue more tape over the painted squares to make the remaining part of the grid and then paint again. This method forces you to do the painting twice which can be good if it’s only one child painting this way doesn’t get bored so quickly .

In the second way you glue 7 lines of adhesive tape and with a ruler and X- Act cut perpendicular columns over the tape with the same width. In this version the mother has more immediate work because you have to remove the tape squares to construct the grid. But it has the great advantage that it’s ready to paint and then dry and take the rest of the tape out and then cut the margin and it’s ready. I used a zig- zag scissors to prevent fray, but you can use white glue, as also gonna use for the game pieces.

We made 4 checkers games and the girls were entirely responsible for the choice of colors. The boards are made with 7 rows and 7 columns .

The pieces can be made ​​in many ways using materials you have home. You can use metal coffee capsules, plastic bottle caps, and so on. We used felt and old buttons and glue the buttons with white glue on the felt. Each player has 12 pieces, so the full game has 24 pieces of two different colors . We use different colors in the pieces but always chose white buttons and dark blue or black buttons , to keep the white and black pieces .

But there was still a gift we did not want it to be the game of checkers. And if you think the drawings of children do not make good gifts you are sadly mistaken. A drawing in a frame looks completely different, and if you change slightly the materials then it becomes even more special. They draw on a piece of canvas I cut with the same size of the frame I wanted and then they draw with Giotto fabric pencils, which are fantastic for these things and that you can use for other crafts with them.

Our gifts were put in baskets made ​​of small wooden boxes (boxes from the strawberries we bought for jam). In addition to these gifts our baskets also had orange cake, coconut cake or lemon and coconut cookies, chocolate bunnies and chocolate eggs and gums we made at home.

And this time it was their turn to make my Easter special. Thank you my precious girls!

Meias Marias 2nd Birthday


I’ve been writting on this blog for the past 2 years and I feel it’s time for you to know me better. Today I want to sahre with you 22 random things about me, that do not define me as a person but are a part of who I am.

1. My zodiac sign is Capricorn and my ascendant is Libra. This makes me a person that…in some days is almost bipolar!

2. I love sweets and I have an obsession with gelly gums.

3. I love to sleep, though my girls rarely leave me!

4. Since I can remember I have always wanted to be a mother… of 5 kids.

5. At the age of 6 I wanted to be an astronaut and soon after a veterinary.

6. I like big dogs, the bigger the better.

7. I really like cats but my mind is eclipsed after a while and I just want to bore them!

8. I love to read and I read very quickly. I like to read so much that in the stress of my days I’m happy just to read a bedtime story to the girls.

9. There are two people in my life to whom I do not need to say anything.

10. I am a very direct and frontal person and I hate small talk because of this some people find me arrogant.

11. It hurts me… that some people are no longer part of my life… but our paths diverge and that’s just the way it is.

12. I believe in Karma , I believe that positive thoughts create positive events, and I believe that everything we do will return to us, good and bad.

13. I like horror movies and whenever I’m in hotels I’m always waiting to see Jack Nicholson running is the hallways just like in The Shining.

14. I’m not a fan of driving because it forces me to have my mind focused on the road and in what is around me… and my mind is always elsewhere. Besides I like to see the views and

cannot that while driving.

15. The worst book I have ever read is “The magic Cowry” and was the only time I felt that my time had been irretrievably lost.

16. I’m more productive in the morning. I’m always sleepy in the afternoon.

17. I believe that vote, more than a right is a duty, and I’ve never failed an election.

18. The hardest thing to get used to in motherhood was having company in the bathroom!

19. My favorite food is lasagna . I’m like Garfield, I could eat lasagna all meals (and lie down to sleep on the couch after that) and I would be a very happy person.

20. Much of the bad decisions I made in life led me to find what is best and most precious things I have now, so I think I do not regret them.

21. I’m the youngest of 3 brothers and this gave me a huge ability to argument! And this has been very useful!

22. The worst thing you can do to me is … lying. I much prefer a hard and ugly truth than a lie. For me lie has short legs because the truth always finds me.

And that’s it! Are you surprised?

How to dye cotton fabric

I’ve been on a crusade. Mafalda asked me to make her a backpack with a purple zipper. Really purple. Maybe I shlouldn’t let her play so much on my sewing room with my supplies!

I needed to choose two fabrics that have some purple. The first was easy, and it was so easy that eventually made the second choice harder.

I started with this cotton fabric.

I needed to find a fabric heavy weight fabric, like denim, twill or couduroy to match with this fabric but it was hard, because it seems that beyond me and Mafalda (sometimes I think it’s just to make me happy!) Nobody else is a purple fanatic!

And so, after much thinking on how to solve this problem it occurred to me the solution! If there isn’t such a fabric to buy then I’ll have to make it! And off I went to my dye box, wich is always forgotten, and I fund myself dying a white courduroy and turn it into a Purple courdoroy.

The process is really easy, and if the fabric is initially white, it is easier and faster too. All you need to do is dissolve a portion of the pouch in boiling water and add salt. The amount always depends on the volume of fabric to dye. So far I’ve never had a problem with this method and with these dye. It is a messy process and takes patience to clean up spillage so it doesn’t harm anything.

The fabrics are immersed in the dye bath after they are wet, to avoid being spotted, and stay there until it has the color you want. You have to mix it every now and them to prevent stains and ensure it is evenly dyed.

When you have the right color wash the fabric until the water is clear.

And it only took a minute to find the right purple!

Now I have a perfect match!

And since I had my hands in the dye I end up dying a baby onesie and changing it from pale pink to something much more colorful! But this is another project …