Monday, August 31, 2015

Back To School: String Wrapped Pencils {& Washi Tape Mechanical Pencils}

Sophie wanted to do a back to school project and so we decided we would jazz up some pencils. When brainstorming ideas we decided we wanted to wrap them in string. On our trip to Guatemala we took this summer, Sophie got her hair wrapped in string. She has been begging me to learn how to do it. So we thought it would be fun to practice on our pencils. 

A couple of disclaimers before we begin: 
First... We did this little project in the middle of packing and I had to use my Iphone to document. Sorry, not the greatest pictures. 
Second... the strings can be a bit difficult for little hands to manage. They tangle easy. So I had Sophie help pick the colors she wanted, and help me cut the string after I measured it out. Then once I got the pencil set up, by doing Step 1 & 2 below, then I let her proceed with the wrapping. It took a bit of practice, but she got the hang of it pretty quickly. 

Things You'll Need...
Embroidery Floss: various colors

Step 1: Cut the pieces of embroidery floss in the colors you want to use, each measuring about 3 times the length of the pencil. {Aprox. 30 in.} You can do more colors than that, but you also don't want it to end up too bulky. 2-3 colors is just right, 4 max!
Step 2: Align the tops of the strings and tie them in a knot around the middle of the pencil. Now hold all of the strings down tightly against the pencil. 
Step 3: Grab the color string you want to start with and wrap tightly around the pencil, heading toward the eraser, in a clockwise direction. Be sure to cover it up the other strings as you wrap. Also, be sure to line up each wrap right next to the wrap before. Pick a number of times you want to wrap each color. I went with 10; an easy number for my littles to count too and keep track of. Then switch colors. 
Step 4: To switch colors, simply place the color you are using down against the pencil with the strings you weren't using. Then grab a new color and start wrapping where you left off, going in the same direction. Again, be sure to cover the strings that are not being used. 

Step 5: Repeat the wrapping technique, alternating thread colors until the pencil up to the eraser is wrapped. Then tie off all of the strings in a tight knot and cut the excess off.

We did a basic pattern where we wrapped each color the same amount of times. We kept it simple since it was our first time doing anything like this. But you could easily get fancy and mix up the number of wraps, or wrap with two colors at a time to get a striped look. 
Another fun idea is washi tape. Washi tape comes in so many fun colors these days! It's also a bit easier for the kids to manage than string. We used this for our mechanical pencils and they turned out awesome!
We also loved just adding this sparkly silver washi tape to the tops of our regular pencils...simple and cute!
I hope all of your kiddos are heading off to school and enjoying their time in the classroom! 
Happy Back to School! 

Monday, August 17, 2015

The New Children's Museum & Things To Do In San Diego

Now that we are leaving San Diego I wanted to make list of some of our favorite things to do here. 
At the top of the list is The New Children's Museum. I took my kiddos for one last visit before our big move. 
What I love about this museum is that it promotes creativity and imagination in children. Every thing there to play with, climb on etc. is a piece of art made by local artists. 
The museum changes their entire exhibit up every year and so it's a whole new experience every time we go. The theme this year is "Feast: The art of playing with your food." 
They have this colorful playroom with giant fruits and vegetables to climb all over and play with. Sophie and Brandon had so much fun hiding in the giant water faucet, rocking on the avocado see-saw, playing in the watermelon sail boat and carrying tomato slices all over the place. 
They also loved the Food truck station where they got to order play food from a truck and haul it around in little cars. 
 There is a giant chalk wall, a sand pit for pretend cooking, dress up station, bubble station, block table, play house, painting, drawing, clay molding. If it's artsy and creative, they have a station for it! 

This is a must-if you are in town with littles. 

San Diego List of Fun Things To Do
Torrey Pines State Beach and Hiking Trails
San Diego Botanic Garden: There is this giant tree house park that the kids love running through!
Powerhouse Park and Del Mar Beach: We love flying kites here and playing at the beach. 
Balboa Park: Lots of Museums to visit here! San Diego Zoo, Air & Space Museum, Rueben H. Fleet Science Center, 
Birch Aquarium in La Jolla
LDS San Diego Temple
USS Midway Museum
Old Poway Park
Carlsbad Flower Fields: April - May
Carlsbad Strawberry Company: Strawberry Picking is April - June
Coronado Island: Most beautiful beach ever. Small town feel with lots of shops and restaurants. 
Kayaking Through La Jolla Coves: You can also see lots of sea lions. 
Old Town San Diego: Mormon Batallion. There are also a lot of Mexican Restaurants and 
Padres Games at Petco Park
Little Italy: Lots of Italian restaurants. We love Filippi's Pizza Grotto!
Belmont Park
Del Mar Race Track
VG's Donuts
Phils BBQ
Miguel's Cocina Mexicana
Hodad's: Burgers & Shakes

Monday, August 10, 2015

Tutorial: Fringe and Tassel Dowels & Beaded Tassel Banner

I made these for my friends baby shower. {Check them out in action here!} But afterward, she took them home and hung them up in her nursery. 

What you'll need: 
Yarn in your colors of choice
Wooden Dowels - 1/4 in' diameter and 12 in' length.
{mine were 12 in. but any size you want will do.}
Hot glue gun and glue sticks
150 wooden beads {Or more if you want a longer banner.}
White string or fishing line

Wooden Dowel with Fringe Directions:
 Step 1: Pull yarn in a zig zag at arms length about 20 times. I did it here on a smaller scale to show you what I mean by zig zag. But I wanted my fringe to be pretty long so I just went with arms length. 
 Step 2: Fold layers of strings in half and drape over your dowel. Then take 1 string that is about the same length as your yarn and tie a knot right under the dowel. 
 You could also do a knot with the entire piece where you make a loop under the dowel and pull all the strings through itself. It just depends on the Look you are going for. I wanted a more subtle look so simply tied it off with 1 string. 

 Step 3: Straighten out the fringe and cut it off at an angle meeting up in the middle. This part is fun. It feels like you are a hair-dresser or something. 
 Step 4: Lastly, cut a piece of yarn or string to use as the strap to hang up your fringe dowel. Simply put some hot glue on each end of the dowel and wrap the string around the dowel making sure to cover up the glue. {You also can just tie on the string. But I like the subtlety of just wrapping it around and not having a tie or a knot poking out.}
 Wooden Dowel with Tassels Directions: 
Step 1: Follow my Tassels Tutorial and make 2-3 tassels in each color for each wooden dowel you plan to make. So if you have 4 colors of yarn, you will need about 10-12 tassels per dowel. Be sure to make the string you tie the center of the tassel with {In Step 2 of the tassel tutorial} really long so that you have flexibility in layering the tassels at different lengths. 
Step 2: Once all your tassels are made and ready to go, lay them out in the order you want them to go. Figure out which ones you want to be long or short etc. Then place a dab of hot glue on the wooden dowel and wrap the yarn the dowel is hanging from around the dowel a couple of times. Be sure to cover the glue up because that is what hold it in place. Place each dowel an equal distance apart on the dowel {I did about an inch} and at various lengths. 
Step 3: Lastly, cut a piece of yarn or string to use as the strap to hang up your fringe dowel. Simply put some hot glue on each end of the dowel and wrap the string around the dowel making sure to cover up the glue. 
Beaded Tassel Banner
Step 1: Make 4-5 Tassels in each color. 
Step 2: Using your string or fishing line, string on beads in sets of  8 {or any equal number of your choice}, tying on a tassel in between each set of beads and alternating tassel colors.
Now find a fun place to hang up your new decorations! 

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

We're Moving... Goodbye San Diego!

We're moving to Utah! It's been in the works for quite some time and we're finally getting sent off. PJ got an amazing opportunity with work that we just couldn't pass up. We feel extremely blessed! 
We have loved San Diego so much. We've come across so many incredible people, made some awesome friends, and had a blast exploring this great city! We especially love the beach. Besides family and friends, I think that's what we'll miss the most.
We're also excited for what Utah has in store for us. We're looking forward to the seasons. {Except for the cold, definitely not excited about the cold! Except for the fact that I can wear cute boots.} We're looking forward to all of the fun festivals and rodeos, being by family we don't get to see as much, meeting up with old friends, and hopefully eventually buying a house. 
Sophie is also starting Kindergarten this year and it's a big deal in our family! 
 We will be living in Daybreak in South Jordan.
Here's to a new chapter in the Sanford Family book! Adios San Diego! 
{Skirt: Anthropologie, Top: H&M}

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Animal Spelling Puzzle Busy Bag - Free Download

At the beginning of the summer a friend of mine organized a busy bag exchange. It was a fabulous idea that gave our small group of moms a bagful of educational games for the littles. I had hoped to get this posted back in June but didn't get the chance. I used these all summer but these are great to have around all the time! I especially love them for waiting at the doctor's office and for keeping the kiddos quiet at church. I often find my kids taking the busy bags out to play with all on their own at home. This of course made me so happy! 
My contribution to the exchange was the Animal Spelling Puzzles, which I designed myself. My 5 year old is learning how to read and so I thought a something along those lines would be fun. My 2 year old loves all things animals so he can appreciate the game as well. 
I found some of the links to the busy bags or similar ones. 
Download Game by clicking on Image below. Print on good quality cardstock. I didn't have the chance to, but I recommend laminating it! However, I did glue a magnet sheet to the back of my game board and to the puzzle pieces. {This way the puzzle pieces stay in place.}

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