Archive for November, 2010

“What is paper made out of?” Tristin and Tyler have asked me this question every once in a while since we spend so much time recycling and crafting with different paper products.  My answer has always been: “Paper comes from trees”, but thanks to a very informative “tweet” from New York Family magazine, I was finally able to answer that question and show them the paper-making process from start to finish at Wave Hill in Riverdale this weekend.

My husband, the boys and I invited a couple of friends to join us at Wave Hill for the paper-making party.  We rolled up our sleeves and were ready to get started.  Each table was equipped with bins filled with water and cotton.

Then the kids submerged two paper-making screens into the water and let the water filter out until the screen was completely covered with cotton.

Tristin and Daddy submerging the screens

Tyler draining water from the screens

This part takes a lot patience because the water drains very slowly through the cotton so we gave each screen a little shake to move it along faster, so you might want to talk to your child and encourage them to hold on a bit because perfection takes patience! 🙂

Then the top frame comes off and you flip the “paper over” (see below) and press the frame down to squeeze the remaining water out of the paper.  You can use a sponge to soak up all of the excess water.

Then you can remove the screens and carefully move the paper to dry sheets of newspaper to dry for about twenty-four hours – yes, I said twenty-four hours!

The paper after the screens were removed

Tristin designing his paper with leaves

The fun part was being able to take leaves, branches and other outdoor foliage to add to the papers.  The kids loved adding to each paper because they now had something unique and they were excited to say “That’s mine over there!”

This was a really great family event for us.  We were ALL able to learn something. The kids use so much paper on a day to day basis, so it was enlightening for them to see how much time it takes to make something the use so fleetingly.  Now they have a better appreciation for paper and its conservation.  They have even started drawing on both sides of paper instead of just one side and tossing the sheet.

But, I must admit, as with all kids…they did get bored after making two sheets each and moved on to coloring.  What can I say, kids will be kids!

The kids moved on to coloring...go figure!

But hubby and I continued to enjoy ourselves, check out some of our creations below!!




Read Full Post »

Happy Thanksgiving EVE!!!

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I love my family, but I’m pretty sure the real allure of the holiday is the fact that I can eat, eat, eat and then eat again the next day because of all of the left overs.  So, in honor of thanksgiving, Tristin and Tyler wanted to make Native Americans!

As you know, I love to do crafts, but in order for it to work with our busy schedule, I always make sure the project is quick, fun and easy to clean up. This craft is no exception!  So, while you wait for the turkey to cook, keep the kids busy with this upcycling craft!

Let’s get started!


1. Different color construction paper

2. Paper towel or toilet paper rolls

3. Scissors

4. Glue stick


First, ask the kids which color paper they would like (they will love mixing and matching different colors) and then cut a strip of paper about three inches wide so that it covers just three quarters of the paper roll.  This strip will be the clothing.  Then, cut another strip about an inch wide which will be the Native American’s headband.

Then cut feathers in another color. The more colors and feathers the better.

Attach the band you cut to the roll using the glue stick. It should go all they way around the roll.  This will be the Native American’s clothing.

Then attach the thinner strip (the “headband”) to the top of the roll the same way, and add the feathers.

Now the kiddies can draw a face on the cardboard and TA DA!! A little Native American!

Easy set up, clean up and the kids will love to play with what they’ve created!

Happy Thanksgiving!!


Read Full Post »

Art that feeds hungry New Yorkers — what an amazing idea!

This weekend Tristin, Tyler and I went to see the Canstructon Exhibit which is at the World Financial Center through November 22nd.  Not only was the art and creativity extraordinary, but since T & T love to recycle and donate, artistically designed cans of food that will be donated to the hungry made the boys say “WOW!”  We also had an opportunity to donate cans of food ourselves, which the boys hoped would end up in another exhibit!  Maybe next year, boys!

Let’s see if you can figure out what each one is supposed to be (I had trouble with a few of them myself).

Which is most creative and/or inspiring to you?


A bite of blueberry pie anyone?

A bite of the Big Apple!

Tristin and Tyler were painting the town red!

An ant made out of a Pom bottle! So creative

Do you see what I see? Mario! Just like Tyler's Halloween costume!

Remember these guys?

Read Full Post »

Upcycling!  Yes, Tristin and Tyler have done it again! An egg carton into a ladybug.  This is a great craft from Crafts By Amanda! Check her out, she has amazing ideas. This craft is great because it’s quick, easy to clean up and kids really have to focus to make the ladybugs look good,  so while they craft, you can get some quiet time.

Tristin and Tyler thrive on taking something old and turning it into something new!  Actually, they love taking anything and turning it into anything (including a messy room), but I digress…back to crafting!


1. Egg Carton (no eggs in it please, LOL!)

2. Black Pipe Cleaners (or any other color to make it fun)

3. Acrylic paint  (black and any other colors you want) and paint brushes

4. Pom-poms for the heads

5. Hot Glue Gun

6. Mini Googly Eyes

Step 1 –  Cut the carton so that you only have the portion of the carton that holds the eggs.

Step 2 – Paint the carton whatever color you like.  Red is traditional, but Tyler loved his yellow bug — scroll down and check out his “I’m so cool because my shirt matches my ladybug” smile!  What a QT!

Step 3 – Let the “bug bodies” dry for about 20 minutes or so.

Step 4 – Paint the black dots! (the kids may need help with this one).

Then after all is dry, moms and dads can use the hot glue gun to attach the pom-pom head, googly eyes and pipe cleaner antennas.  Also, please remember to keep the hot glue gun out of the kids’ reach.  The gun can get ridiculously hot.

Let me warn you, I fought a long, hard, intense battle with the hot glue gun.  The glue stuck to my fingers, the pom-poms, my shirt – just about everywhere.  So take your time when gluing the ladybugs together.

Anyway, the battle (and all of the stickiness that came along with it) was well worth it because the boys LOVED their ladybugs which still sit happily on top of their bookcase for all to enjoy.

Please send me pics of your lil’ ladybugs,  I will definitely share them with my world!

Happy craftin’


Read Full Post »