Coffee Themed Basket & Other Donations for Camp

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Coffee Themed Gift BasketA few blog posts ago, I posted about making prizes & gift baskets for camp.

The golfing fundraiser was a success, apparently bringing in about $2000 for the camp after expenses.

My husband home-roasted coffee and I created these coffee cozies for our donation to the cause.

I found the basket at a second hand store, and we calculated the entire expense to us at about $15.  Not too shabby considering we could probably sell a basket like this for about $40.

I’ll be posting a future blog post for the coffee cozy pattern I used, but for now, I’ll just link you to Ravelry, where any number of amazing coffee cup patterns can be found: Coffee Cozy search on Ravelry.

I stitched a simple golf club and ball on the green-colored cotton yarn, and a simple white heart on the red cozy.  There are also French knots on the golf ball to create the textured look.

Golf Club Coffee CozyStitched Heart on Red Coffee Cozy

 

 

 

 

 

 

As I made up the patterns for the golf club and golf ball, I hope that this post inspires you to add embellishments to your crocheted coffee cozies!

Golf Club & Ball Coffee Cozy

The Starbucks re-useable cups were $2 each, and have made a great gift for teachers who love coffee.  I’ve given several of them away to our favorite teachers.

I also hand-stamped the coffee bags.  My hubby picked the bags up from Amazon, and we’ve been using them to give 1/2-pound bags of home-roasted coffee away as he roasts it.


StarbucksStore.com

One more thing I want to show off is the cute little hat I donated to the charities “for sale” table that they have up at events.  Its’ a beanie with ears.  I used a simple hat pattern from Ravelry, and stamped up a cute little tag to go with it using my Mason Row click stamps.

Cute Beanie with Ears



Heart Wreath with Felt Flowers

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Heart WreathValentine’s Day is around the corner!

My children and I have been busy getting ready for the holiday to make it both special – and cool.

This first project for Valentines Day is all for me, and it’s been sitting in my craft stash for at least two years….

My latest creation is once again, not by my own idea, but utilizing a crochet pattern and flower patterns I found off of Ravelry.  The wreath pattern I fell in love with is called Ruffle Wreath, by Kit’s Crafts Blog.  Thank you for your links and inspiration!

Materials Used

1Heart WreathIn an effort to use things I’ve already had in my home, I didn’t spend an extra dime on this project.  <BONUS!>

So – The pattern to create the first round for the wreath is the most difficult.

You can find the pattern here: Simple Statement Wreath by Good Knits.

I used TWO STRANDS of yarn for this and the first part of her pattern is what is really used to get around the heart.

3Heart WreathYou can see that the point on the bottom of the heart really doesn’t get covered up, until I purposely glued yarn to it after I was done crocheting.

The ruffle part of the pattern comes from here:

Ruffle Wreath by Kit’s Crafts

There are three rounds to this pattern, and I have a photo for each finished round below.

This is the end of the initial row, of getting the yarn around the heart wreath.

This is the end of the single crochet row, the first round of the ruffle pattern.

This is the end of the first round (Round 1) of the "Ruffle Pattern" by Kit's Crafts.

This is the end of the second round (Round 2) of the “Ruffle Pattern” by Kit’s Crafts.

This is the end of the third round of the pattern, the ruffle row.

This is the end of the third round of the pattern, the ruffle row.

After the crocheting is complete, I made some felt flowers to accent the wreath.

The rosettes were made from Little Things Bring Smiles blog.

Using a CD, I cut a circle from the piece of felt, and then cut a spiral into it. Starting from the center of a spiral with a bit of glue, I wound the felt up to make a rosette.

Using a CD, I cut a circle from the piece of felt, and then cut a spiral into it. Starting from the center of a spiral with a bit of glue, I wound the felt up to make a rosette.

Flowers2a Rosette

My first rosette.

Flowers 3 Small Rosett

This is a smaller rosette made with the outside ring left from the original felt circle.

Flowers - Rosettes together

Here are all three rosettes together.

The next flower I made is called the “S flower”and it had directions from The Fickle Pickle Blog.

I traced six circles from the bottom of a mug with about a 2″ diameter circle onto the felt.

S Flower Circles2Each circle gets glued as shown below, by first folding in half, adding glue and folding in about a third, turn the piece over as shown in step 4, and adding more glue before folding the last third of the felt “S” as shown in step 6.

Making an "S Flower." I ended up only using five of the “S” shapes to create my flower, gluing the pieces to a seventh circle and adding a pink button to the center of the flower at the end.

S-Flower Glue S Flower TogetherThe final type of flower I used on this piece had directions on the Kit’s Craft’s Blog.  She calls it an 8-petal flower.

8-petal flowerEssentially, I took eight (8) felt circles and sewed the folded tips of them together.  If I were to do it again, I would sew the button onto the flower PRIOR to gluing the felt circle on the bottom.

8-petal flower-buttonThe glue obviously (but not at the time) made it difficult to sew the button through all the layers of the flower and the circle on the bottom.

I could have easily just glued the button to the felt flower I suppose, but oh well!  So many ways to do it.

I struggled with the “leaves.” I really wanted to use existing materials, so I tried various colors of pink and grey yarn to make the small pom poms and nothing looked good.

I looked at the original post on Kit’s Crafts blog and she had a beautiful color of olive green for her felt leaves.  I wanted to use pom poms, so I made olive green pom poms and as soon as I made one, I knew I had to make the five I wanted to place on the wreath.

My mother in law helped arrange the flowers and the pom poms on the wreath and I was finally able to glue all the pieces down.

Here is the arrangement of flowers before the pom poms were glued down.

Here is the arrangement of flowers before the pom poms were glued down.

10Heart WreathAnother project done!  Here’s the link on Ravelry.  Let’s be friends there too!  Thanks for reading this.

Tune in for the Valentines I did with and for the kiddos!


Free crochet patterns - download today! 


On My Hook – Temperature Scarf

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Jan 20-Scarf Pattern-Day 16A couple years ago, crafting personality Vicki Howell posted that she completed a temperature scarf.  I searched high and low for a link and I couldn’t find one!  Instead, I found the link to Yarnspirations 2013 Temperature Scarf forum, if you want to read more about it.

At that time, I thought “How cool is that?”  But I knew that I didn’t have time to start one as my life was really complicated back then.

One could say that my life hasn’t gotten any less complicated, but I have plenty of yarn and I really want to do projects that are both meaningful and fun.  This seems like something I would really enjoy, and at the end of the year, I would know that this scarf would be one of my projects from the Year of Twelves.

Virtually all of the temperature scarf patterns I found were for knitting, but the idea would be the same for a crocheter like me.

Temp Scarf HighsI looked up a couple different temperature/yarn matrices, but in the Central Valley of California where I live, it hardly ever gets colder than a high of 30-degrees.

This led me of course to come up with my own temperature/yarn table, and I present to you the process I used to start, and hopefully finish throughout the year, my crochet temperature scarf.


Temperature Scarf by DeAndrasCrafts

Photo only for Temperature Scarf Colors, high temps of 30-degrees and higher.

Photo only for Temperature Scarf Colors, high temps of 30-degrees and higher.

Notes:

  • This Temperature Chart was created for places that don’t get lower than 30-degree F
  • I specifically used this chart in the Central Valley of CA
  • I used the high temperature of each day
  • I get my temperature history from weatherunderground.com under the “History” tab of my city
  • If you choose to use this chart, please tag it on public social media as #DCTemperatureScarf
  • See my progress on Instagram by searching for #DsTemperatureScarf2016
  • Please link up with me on Ravelry if you do one!

Last Note: This chart was created for personal use only.  That means don’t profit from the sale of the chart itself because it’s free.  Please use it to CREATE things from it and if you are able to sell the things you make, more power to you!

Temp Scarf YarnI picked yarn straight from my yarn stash.  That was the point.  I keep it all in one bag, with very simple labels wrapped around them.

I modified Vickie Howell’s Color Card Scarf Pattern for crochet.  (My photos, her basic pattern from the website link.)

Gauge: Gauge is not necessarily important but I am a loose-stitch crocheter.  I wanted a 6″ wide scarf so adjust the chain at the beginning of the scarf than what she stated in her blog post if you want it smaller or larger by three stitches.  She used a size I hook.

I used a Size H hook

Pattern is written for U.S. terms, acrylic (4-ply) yarn

Modified Single Crochet (mod sc) stitch:

Start with a single loop on the hook, pull a loop into the st indicated (2 loops on hook,) yo and pull through both loops.

See the photos for help if needed. Jan 20-Scarf Pattern-mod sc1 Jan 20-Scarf Pattern-mod sc2

The pattern describes “FRONT LOOP” as the front loop of the previous (or bottom) row to the row you are working.

Subsequently, the “BACK LOOP” is the back loop of the previous row.

Directions

Ch 24. Sc in 2nd ch from hook and to end. Turn (23 sts.)

Row 1: Ch1 (counts as sc in front loop), mod sc in FRONT LOOP of next st, *mod sc in BACK LOOPS of next 2 sts, mod sc in FRONT LOOPS of next 2 sts; rep from * until last 3 sts, mod sc in FRONT LOOPS of next 2 sts, mod sc in BACK LOOP of last st.

 Do not finish off or change color of next row UNLESS the temperature changed per the table for the next day-row.

Row 2: Rep Row 1.

Rows 3-366: Repeat last two rows, changing colors as necessary for each day of temperature change on the chart.

Finish off.

Chain 24.

Chain 24.

Two rows (two days of colors) complete.

Two rows (two days of colors) complete.

Pattern of scarf up to end of day 7.

Pattern of scarf up to end of day 7.

Temperature Scarf Pattern - Up to Day 11

Temperature Scarf Pattern – Up to Day 11 for high temperatures.


Miscellaneous Notes

I started out with eleven rows (first 11 days of the year) and picked up the piece about every few days to catch up.

I carried the previous ends into the next row to minimize loose ends to weave.

I hope to update the scarf on a monthly basis in a blog post and on Ravelry.

Cheers to your crocheting goals for the year.  I hope I can keep this up!

Name for Blog Posts


What’s on My Hook – Accidental Spiral Slouch Pattern Hat

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Accidental Spiral Slouch Hat with Pom PomIt’s Wednesday.

One of the ways I plan on tackling my goal of posting twelve blog posts a month, AND sharing what I have completed or will complete for crocheting projects throughout the year is on Wednesday’s, I hope to post “What’s on My Hook” posts.

Much like the “Hookin’ on Hump Day” trend that Moogly and Petals to Picots started, I hope to highlight my crocheted projects, whether completed or not, on a regular basis – primarily on Wednesday’s!  (Hence the catchy title….)

This week I’m showing off my latest hat using the Accidental Spiral Slouch Pattern.  (The link takes you to Ravelry.)

My pattern notes/changes:

  • Overall, the pattern is written very well.
  • I know I didn’t follow the pattern she wrote exactly, and I modified the body of the hat by doing a fptc working on the row below, not on two rows below as described in her pattern.
  • I didn’t make the hat as slouchy as described in her pattern.
  • I also did six rows of hdc’s (half double crochet’s) for the brim.
  • I used an acrylic yarn I had in my stash, and oh do I think I’ll be doing this pattern again. yarn used for my accidental spiral hat
  • It probably took me about 4 hours to complete this hat, and as you can see, I added a pom pom to brighten up the top of the hat.

Thanks for checking this crocheted item out! Accidental Spiral Hat with Pom pom

I found the link itself on Ravelry, after searching for things with the word ‘spiral’ in them.

Please feel free to follow me on Pinterest for more crocheted projects and things I do/want to accomplish with my crafting!

Name for Blog Posts


How We Made Our Fairy Garden

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DIY Fairy Garden for moms & daughtersOn my best days, I do crafts with my children.

Some crafts, as we all know, require patience, time, and a certain amount of creativity – but this is especially true when working with children.

My daughter is five years old as I write this blog post.  She and I spent some time together planning, finding pieces for and putting together the Fairy Garden pictured in this blog post.

As with most things, she had asked me weeks ago to create a fairy garden with her and in my kind-of “oh I hope she forgets about it” attitude, she continued to ask me to make one with her and in a slow work week, it finally happened.

My first stop (as with most projects) is Pinterest.

I think on a Wednesday evening, I sat her down at my computer and typed in “fairy garden.”

I ended up pinning a link from Homedit: Magical Fairy Garden Designs.

On Thursday we went to the craft store and picked out various odds and ends for the fairies to have as part of the little garden area.  The store I took her too had a huge clearance on Spring items, so the most expensive thing was the birdhouse she picked out for the fairies to live in.

She painted the birdhouse with her favorite colors and of course, “colors that the fairies like” as she told me.  I have glitter paint from a previous project, and she added that over the dried colors over the next couple days.

Painting the fairy house At some point in the week I took my daughter to the local garden/hardware store and purchased a small six-pack of Scottish Moss.  I re-used an 12-inch diameter pot that I had been keeping around and we already had the soil.

Moss & Pot

We started the process by adding the painted fairy house to the dirt area first.

place the large objects

Next we placed the moss around the house.

remove the mossplace moss

My daughter used her fingers to dig up a spot for the moss prior to placing it.

The next step was to place the odds and ends we found at the craft store.

The fence was placed first, around the house.

The fence was placed first, around the house.

My daughter placed the other accessories for the fairy garden in various places, including an ice chest (my favorite) and a lantern.

My daughter placed the other accessories for the fairy garden in various places, including an ice chest (my favorite) and a lantern.

I think the best thing about my daughter placing all the accessories was that her idea of what a home would look like came shining through.  She didn’t want bugs or butterflies per-Se, but she liked the ladybugs on the teeter-totter. She also liked the ice chest and picked out a ceramic fairy so that the “real fairies” know it’s safe to go in there.

I needed to do this with her.

~~~ I just didn’t know I needed to do this with her until after it was complete. ~~~

Fairy House Close-UpWe added the sign that fairies were welcome into the moss so it could stand up on it’s own.

I am so thankful that I took the time to create the garden with her.  She’s five.  It’s a hard thing for me to remember in my late 30’s what it’s like to be with my mom, let alone remember when I was five what it was like to be told “No, sorry honey. We can’t afford to do that” or “I don’t have the time.”

I made the time to do this with her and I’m so glad I did.

Blessings to those who read this.  I hope you can make your own. 😉


Yoda Purse – An upcycled story

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Yoda Purse w-VansMy love for Star Wars has come to the point where I made myself a Yoda purse.

If you came to find this blog because of this purse, let me assure you that I absolutely love this purse and use it.  And no, it is not for sale.

Showing off my Yoda purses.

My own husband photo-bombed my special moment of posing with the two purses I created.

I hand drew this purse, based off of an image I found on the net.  I made this one for myself (instructions below) and then one for my friend.  Her purse is pleather (or fake leather) and I used the same process here with a couple more steps.  You can see those instructions here: Yoda Purse – Upcycled It Is

I found the Fossil brand name purse at the Flea Market with the specific purpose to draw Master Yoda on it.  I paid $5 for mine (real leather) and it was really clean on the inside. The Fossil purse I found at the Flea Market.

I used drawing items similar to the following:

Pitt Artist Pens – Wallet Set of All 4 Pen Styles in Black

Sanford Sharpie Permanent MarkersPilot

Gold and Silver Metallic Permanent Markers

I also copied and pasted this drawing to have a copy of.   The copy of the Yoda image I found off the net.

First of all, I simply cleaned the purse using a dry paper towel to wipe up any loose particles of dirt or grime. I didn’t rub the paper towel too hard either, as I didn’t want the leather to get anymore scratched than it already was. img_4576

As this was a previously used purse, you can see from the photos that the corners of the purse were already discolored from use. img_4574

I tried using a pencil to sketch the lines out for the Yoda, but it didn’t work. I ended up free-hand sketching the lines with the black art pens. img_4585 img_4587 img_4588I started at the top of the head again and drew the ears, forehead details, eyes, nose, mouth and chin/jawline, in that order.

Next I colored in the details of the hair and eyes with the silver and gold permanent markers. img_4592 img_4594 img_4596

I highlighted his facial features in a green permanent marker, to give some depth to the black lines. img_4601

I colored in the robe with a brown sharpie marker. img_4603 img_4606 img_4610

Lastly, I gave some additional highlights to the face and robe using a wide-tipped gold scrapbooking marker I’ve had for years. img_4615

I DID NOT spray the purse with any acrylic spray, although I will admit I tried it on the bottom of the purse to see what would happen. Just as I suspected, the spray turned the purse a darker color.

The permanent marker has not smudged (yet) on the purse and I don’t expect that it will.

Overall, I love it. I have gotten photos taken of it by complete strangers, I have been asked more times than I can count if I hand drew the pattern and where I got it, the list of questions goes on and on.

0Both Purses

Thanks for reading this! I hope you try to upcycle a purse in the near future too!



The DeAndrasCrafts Contest on Instructables – Results

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I can’t believe I haven’t shared with you the results from my DeAndras Crafts Instructables Contest.

Wait no further!

I couldn’t have been more pleased with the entries and the winners.  There was a total of forty-six (46) entries and it was difficult to narrow down the list to the 10 winners you see below.  That was one of the things I had to do!

Prizes were listed in the previous post about the contest if you would like to see what they’ve won.

Grand Prize

Mixed Media Festoon Pendent by watchmeflyy
Mixed Media Festoon Pendent by watchmeflyy

Judges Prize – The best charitable project entry in my opinion.  I got to pick the winner!

First Prize Winners (3)

My notes: The hat is amazing as it uses a chain stitch glued onto a hat.  What a simple yet effective idea.  I also love the flowers in the kusudama and may make those for other reasons!

 

Crochet Kusudama by ChrysN

Crochet Kusudama
by ChrysN

Runner Up (5)

Out of the five patterns below, I think the crocheted whale is the cutest!  I love how the author incorporated little felt pieces as part of the face.

Crocheted Whale by Little Dragon and Company

Crocheted Whale
by Little Dragon and Company

  Embroidered Vintage Wall Clock by lindarose92

Embroidered Vintage Wall Clock
by lindarose92

 I hope you get to check out some of the Instructables above.  My passion for opening up the conversation about using your talents to serve others is ongoing.

Please let me know if you have a yarn-craft pattern that you would like to feature here on this site that you can share with others to give away for charity.  Have a blessed day!

 


Playing with Magic Nuudles

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Review of Magic Nuudles So what are Magic Nuudles?

It’s an interesting toy that sparks imagination.

We took them on a trip to Yosemite because I knew I wasn’t going to keep these kids entertained without electronic devices for more than an hour.  But that’s just me.

I bought them at JoAnn’s Craft Store for I think $8 or so, and they are also sold on Amazon for a similar price. They were a bigger hit for my 8-year old and 4-year old, more so than with my 3-year old.

Anyway, the kids enjoyed them and I give them a two-thumbs up for the following reasons.

Use a sponge to wet the nuudle(1) Simple to use.  A wet sponge or a wet paper towel is practically all you need to create and use your imagination.

Bio-degradable product - Magic Nuudles(2) They are somehow, amazingly biodegradable under water.  That’s a pretty cool aspect that I appreciated considering I think a squirrel took off with one thinking it was a snack.

(3) There’s no limits to a child’s creativity when given colorful building blocks (or in this case, building pieces of biodegradable nuudles.)

Here is a 1-minute plus video of my children using, creating and making up a “diddy” with these Magic Nuudles.  It’s just for fun!

You can also check out their website at www.magicnuudles.com.

Craftsy


The DeAndrasCrafts Yarn Craft Contest

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UPDATED: The contest is now closed and you can see the results here.  This post shows all the prizes that the winners received.  If you read this blog post and you were an entrant, I AM VERY PROUD OF YOU!


You know that feeling you get when you are both proud and excited?

Hopefully you do because it’s a pretty cool feeling.

I would like to present to you, along with Instructables.com, the DeAndrasCrafts Yarn Contest.

DeAndrasCrafts Yarn Craft ContestThe Contest itself was presented to me a little over two months ago, and I got to pick the prizes.  When I proposed the yarn craft contest to the Instructables folks, I was able to add a brief description of how important I believe using your talents for charities are.

In my case, and what the contest was able to reflect that was important to me, was two different charities.

The first charity is Senior Paws Elder Dog Rescue.

This is Jafari. Jafari from Senior Paws Rescue in FresnoHe is our foster dog from Senior Paws.  He was found on the street and was guessed to be about 10 years old.  He is completely blind and bumps into things more than I would have imagined.

But, he’s the sweetest, softest dog I have ever met.  I believe that taking care of this animal is part of my service to the Lord Almighty.  I know my own parents would disagree, but it’s how I feel.

I will write up a separate post about my experience of being a dog-foster mom soon!

The second charity that I got to mention is called Threads of Love.

The church I attend has a description of all the items that we accept, and small blankets to cover the babies are no exception. The site link is: College Church of Christ, Threads of Love Mission.

I wrote an Instructable on how to crochet the blanket you see here. Mini Square BlanketThe blanket is relatively easy to make due to its size, and I try to make one every month.  (I used to be better at it so I emphasize the word TRY.) Granny square style Threads of Love blanket example.I know there are so many charities that will accept handmade items, and although the contest is specifically for yarn & thread craft, I know many charities will accept sewn items.


A run down of the prizes is as follows:

Grand Prize includes:
Samsung WB250F 14.2MP CMOS Smart Digital Camera

Transcend 32 GB Flash Memory Card

Case Logic DCB-302 Compact Case for Camera

The Grand Prize, the Judges Prize and the First Prize winners also get:

Chemo Caps & Wraps
(Crochet Patterns)
Crochet Lite Hook, Size H & I, that you can find over at

I hope you check the contest out and please feel free to message me on Instructables for a free digital gift!



Busy Kids Camping Ideas

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We are going on a week long trip to Yosemite this year.Half Dome from Glacier Point

We’ve done this before, but my youngest two were much smaller (think 16-months and just over 2 years) so it wasn’t really a problem to make them take naps, pick up sticks and rocks and play in the dirt.Keeping Kids Busy Camping

I am one of those moms who loves electronics and devices and know people say my children will need therapy because they will probably grow up thinking thier mom didn’t care about them because I put them in front of a TV for entertainment…etc., etc.

Whatever.  Like YOU know what you’re talking about.

Anyway, the chance to get away from those things also means they will have to keep themselves entertained when my knee hurts or little brother has to take a nap.  As a true vacation from most electronics (we’ll still have cameras) I plan on keeping my various aged children entertained with good old-fashioned arts and crafts that the oldest won’t get too bored with and the younger two won’t be asking me to do all the work.

It’s harder than you think (or maybe some of you know!)

Right now I have a three-year old, a four year old and an eight year old.  The 8 yr-old can read, write, color, and do most projects on his own very well once taught.  The 4-year old is currently very frustrated with the fact that she cannot read and write, and scribbles (almost incessantly) so that she feels she has her words and lists and notes down like her momma.  The 3 yr-old just wants to do whatever his brother and sister are doing.

It’s exhausting some days to get these kids to play together.  My old knee “went-out” on me a couple weeks ago and I know it’s going to be difficult, yes-definitely challenging, to go on hikes and (forget it!) bike rides like we were originally planning on doing.

So here I am, planning on spending more time in the tent-cabin playing with my children.

Here’s the list of ideas I’m working with right now.  I will link back to this thread and post photos of what we actually did on the trip.  For now, it’s just a plan and I’m looking forward to going on vacation!

Note: Yosemite has multiple rules and regulations in the park.  We will be respecting those rules.  These ideas are just to get me started on the planning on what I can do with my kiddos, even if it’s around the house on a walk.

1.  Big Leaf Painting by Kleas

I love painting with the kids.  It’s messy and fun, and might as well preserve a memory of a cool leaf we found on the ground or maybe we’ll make stick paintings.  The ideas can go on and on if I remember to bring paint and a flat surface.  Right now, I’m thinking paper plates will do fine.

2. Personalized Nature Pals by Spoonful.com

A seemingly easy idea, I won’t bring a glue gun, but rather some E6000or Aleene’s tacky glue.  I was planning on bringing glue anyway!

3. Camping Scavenger Hunt by The Creative Homemaker or Outdoor Scavenger Hunt by Today’s Mama

I printed out both of these scavenger hunts, and if we have the chance, we’ll try to do both!

4. I hope to find the Easter eggs and we’ll make Fireflies from Apartment Therapy.

5. I’m going to make my own busy bags similar to these Easy Camping Bags by Capital B.

Mine will include puzzles and planned crafts, as well as standard coloring books.  I have to plan for three different ages of children that all don’t have the same capability, but ALWAYS want to do the same thing.

Here’s my list for my busy kids.  Please feel free to share it!  I know it could be used for more than just camping supplies. kids supplies list to keep busyHopefully, at least once a day, I’m hoping to ask questions about the previous day and get them to hold onto memories in an artistic format, as well as taking photos.

There are so many things I could bring that are small, such as beading supplies, but I’m trying to stick with basics of coloring, writing, and story telling, etc.  My hope is to create a scrapbook of their mementos they created while on the trip and place them with the photos when I get them printed.
This post is just a reminder post for the links I need to look up soon.  The week of vacation is coming by fast so I’ll have to get my bags ready pretty quickly!