Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Holiday Ornament and Decoration Ideas

Look what you can make!

You can find the tutorial here at The Creative Place.
 I modified the project with craft wire and a slide paper cutter or scissors.  You can add charms to your paper lantern ball ornaments from the loops you create with the craft wire.  The charms were made by the kids with Shrinky Dinks at low cost also.  The paper I used were old xmas cards and empty card boxes.  Any cardstock around the house could be used.
The Creative Place has a great craft blog with easy to follow tutorials.  Go check them out.

One More....

Another Project I did was the Paper Shoe for an admin at the kids school who didn't have the time to make it for her desk.  I volunteered to do it for her and she gave me the materials to do it.  You could use these as favor holders at a party, probably be used at a wedding shower or birthday too (just choose dif. color paper).  The project took about 45 minutes.

  The Shoe Project tutorial you can find at Skip To My Lou here

Hope these are ideas you can use to create some cheap easy holiday decorations.


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Christmas (Holiday) Ornament From The Newborn Baby

The Shrinky Dink Christmas (Holiday) Ornaments

Looking for a cheap and easy Christmas (Holiday) gift your kids can do?  ...or you can do for your kids? 
Well this one is for any age group

Supplies you will need:
Pack of Shrinky Plastic (I get a 8.5x11 pack of 6 for about 3.50 at Pat Catans Craft Store)
You can get it here online
(There are a ton of craft idea's there too)
 Hole Punch 3mm (you can use the hole punch that is from the 3-hole punch (the holes shrink too)
Color Pencils or Pencils(recommended)
craft wire

Shrinky Dink Christmas (Holiday) ornament from the newborn

Hand or foot prints!  
Take that black inked foot and hand prints from the hospital.  Place the Shrinky Dink Plastic on top of the print and trace the image.  Make sure you capture all the little lines in the print....Other ideas are to trace the actual foot onto the plastic and shade that in one color.  I used a plain pencil against my print.
if you want to put a name and date on it, WRITE IT MIRRORED!

1. Start with your print (foot size was 3 x 1.5 inch)

2.Trace your print onto the Shrinky Dink and punch your hole (must punch hole before baking)
3. Place your Shrinky in an Oven according to your package directions

4. Wrap your craft wire through the punched hole (I used a 3mm hole punch)

 My finished charm was 1.25 x .75 inches (shrinkage was about 1/3)
5.  Turn your charm into an ornament, jewelry pendant or other craft item

6.  I turned mine into a pendant!

Hope you love it!
Mele Kalikimaka and Hau'oli Lanui!
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays (in Hawaiian)!



If your kids are like mine then they have loads of energy and drive you a little nuts around bedtime.  I wear out much quicker than they do, but one of the things I find has been helpful (to all of us) is the regular nighttime walk that finishes them off makes them sleepy.  Several things happen that benefit all of you. 

healthy exercise
It lets the kids get rid of the last of the energy before the end of the night
You get to meet the neighbors
You get a break from all those electronics that are sending radiation through your brain 
kids go to bed on time
 stress relief

So, go for a nice long walk!




I would encourage all moms (and dads) of school aged children to become involved with the school.  It has been proven that a child who has a parent that is involved with the school or classroom builds higher self-esteem and is more likely to be successful through out college.
(check out a reference on parent involvement and success in school here.)

My Children are in Kindergarten and Preschool in the Pittsburgh Public Schools.  When I am at the school I do volunteer tasks that range from taking the pictures the kids draw and put them up on the current bulletin board, go on field trips, and assist the teacher with classroom activities that the child may need extra help in completing.  I have taken projects home to complete, staple, or cut for the teacher which gives the teacher the ability to focus on teaching the kids, the curriculum, and have higher quality days.  You aren't just needed in your own kids classroom, see if they need you at the school library, office, or art room.  I have expressed that I am available to anyone at the school that needs me.  I should add that I have had my clearances with child abuse, criminal, and the school requires a clean TB clearance as well.  I have a background that includes working with children in a school setting as an Art Activities Facilitator with as many as 25 kids ages 5-10.  I know that being around THAT many children isn't for everyone, but even 1 hour in the school year is valuable.  For Pittsburgh Public Schools the time I volunteer also goes into an "In-Kind" account worth $25 per hour.  This means that when they are seeking grant money they have a value that can be matched by the donor.  I am pretty sure this is standard with public schools nationwide.  With education cuts across the board, it is important that we do all we can to increase the funding to our schools.  My goal is to reach between $500-$1000 in "in-kind" dollars this year (that's only 20-40hours), but I will probably have closer to 80 at the rate I am going.  I recognize that not all parents have the actual time to go to the school and participate in the same way I do, but all parents have at least 1 hour or more they can offer to the school in projects, events, and/or class time during a school term.  Maybe you can offer to seek donors for books, art supplies, or even hats and gloves during the winter months.  It all is needed and welcomed!

By the way, when you volunteer, your child is more likely to become more altruistic (generous, kind, empathetic) through modeling your behavior to give! 

With Aloha,

The First viewbymom post

Welcome to viewbymom! 

I am hoping to take this blog to talk about the things in life that help us moms make it all work.  I also hope to create a blog that can both be helpful to other moms out there and to learn about other tools moms use in their lives.  I am a mom of 2 girls,  I am back in college,  I volunteer at the school almost daily (except during finals week!) about 1 hour a day,  I am part of Parent Committees and Policy Council, and I work part time.
I am far from perfect, but try to recognize my flaws and learn to become a better parent through experience and advice from others.  Topics like "Volunteering" or "How will I stay successful in school, and still be involved with my kids?".....or even, "How a Smartphone, Ipod, or Tablet can make my mom life more successful".  It takes a community and I am just trying to become part of a successful community.