Sunday, July 26, 2015

Cardboard Castle


Earlier this summer, I made a quick and easy castle for my kids out of cardboard.

When I opened this box of glasses, I saw the following bits of cardboard packaging inside, and thought they would make the perfect castle, gate and drawbridge.

The first thing I did was draw some bricks, vines and windows on with crayons onto the main piece, which was going to be my castle.


Next, I added a few bricks to the gate.


And I drew some wood grain onto the two pieces that would make up my drawbridge.


I then cut four rectangular notches out of the top of the castle piece:


Here is what it looked like when I was done:



Then I arranged the pieces together.  Here is the gate in front of the castle, protecting it from the dragon I made earlier this year.





And here it is on the side:





Check back every Monday for new posts, including more info on green products and DIY toys.
And if you like what you see here, check out my Amazon Author page for my picture books, (including 12 Indian language books for kids, The Booger Fairy and Nishi Goes to India), and The Chosen One, my YA novel.   If you have a minute I'd love some more reviews.
 You can also click here to see my blog posts on The Huffington Post. 
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Sunday, July 19, 2015

Melon Cake #4

Today was our dog Limca's adoption anniversary.  So my kids made her some drawings and we decided she needed a watermelon cake.



You may remember some of the earlier melon cakes I made:





To make this simple cake, I cut the two ends off the watermelon.
Then I removed the skin of the melon until I was left with somewhat of a cylindrical shape.  I kept cutting around it until it was rounder and then cut the cylinder in half because the personal watermelon was on the bigger end and the cake would have been too tall.

I then cut two triangular ears and gave the dog a cherry nose and blueberry eyes.  I picked two different sized berries to give the eyes a comical look.



I then made a bone out of blueberries.

Finally, I put mango bits around the border to finish it.



This was a simple, whole foods, clean eating cake, made with nothing but organic and conventional fruits and no processed or added sugar.

Check back every Monday for new posts, including more info on green products and DIY toys.
And if you like what you see here, check out my Amazon Author page for my picture books, (including 12 Indian language books for kids, The Booger Fairy and Nishi Goes to India), and The Chosen One, my YA novel.   If you have a minute I'd love some more reviews.
 You can also click here to see my blog posts on The Huffington Post. 
Follow me on Twitter @soups25

Monday, July 13, 2015

DIY Toys: Crayon Tote

A couple years ago, when I first got my sewing machine, I made a crayon tote for my son using old 100% cotton shirts that were too damaged to donate.  When using men's shirts, I always make sure they are not wrinkle free, so that they are free of PFOAs.

To start, I cut a rectangular shape out the front and back of a men's shirt:

I folded its edges in and using a sewing machine, sewed the two pieces together into a rectangle.


I cut the sleeve off another old shirt, folded its edges in and sewed it to one half of my rectangle, sewing three sides down to form a pocket large enough for a coloring book to fit in.  Because it is a sleeve, it isn't a perfect rectangle, and is slanted on one side, but I just wanted a functional crayon tote to take to restaurants and outings so I did not mind if it wasn't straight or if it wasn't cute.
I then cut the front of a peach men's shirt to make a pocket for stickers, folded its edges in and sewed three sides down onto the rectangle with a sewing machine.  I left the buttons on it for decoration.
I folded the sides in on two more scraps of cotton (the green and purple rectangles below), and sewed down three edges of each.  I let them be a little crooked since the coloring book pocket on the other end was already crooked, to give the whole thing a similar whimsical (aka I can't sew) look.  I sewed lines down the two pockets to make compartments for the crayons.


Finally, I added a piece of velcro to the two sides of the rectangle so that it would seal shut when folded in half and the crayon tote was done:

crayon tote when closed
This was a great way to repurpose old shirts and the crayon tote really comes in handy at restaurants.

Check back every Monday for new posts, including more info on green products and DIY toys.
And if you like what you see here, check out my Amazon Author page for my picture books, (including 12 Indian language books for kids, The Booger Fairy and Nishi Goes to India), and The Chosen One, my YA novel.   If you have a minute I'd love some more reviews.
 You can also click here to see my blog posts on The Huffington Post. 
Follow me on Twitter @soups25

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Toy Logs Out of Old Clothes



Today I upcycled a torn cotton shirt into toy logs.  I always make sure the clothes we reuse as toys are not wrinkle-free, as those generally have harmful PFOAs on them.

First I cut the sleeves off the shirt.


I cut one of the sleeves in half to get a total of 3 logs out of 2 sleeves.


I then took some old fabric to stuff the logs.


I cut it into 3 pieces and rolled it to fit the log.  This ended up not being enough so I added some more cotton shirt scraps to fill the sleeves.
 

Here are the three sleeves, stuffed.


I took the ends and folded them closed, almost like gift wrap.




And then I sewed those ends shut.


Then I cut circles out of felt and drew on them with a black Sharpie Stained fabric pen.


I sewed the circles onto the ends of the logs with a blanket stitch and then used the fabric pen to draw wood grain onto the 3 logs and they were done!


Here they are with our Grimm's flames.



And here they are helping cook some of our playfood.


This was a quick, fun project that gave new life to a torn shirt.

Check back every Monday for new posts, including more info on green products and DIY toys.
And if you like what you see here, check out my Amazon Author page for my picture books, (including 12 Indian language books for kids, The Booger Fairy and Nishi Goes to India), and The Chosen One, my YA novel.   If you have a minute I'd love some more reviews.
 You can also click here to see my blog posts on The Huffington Post. 
Follow me on Twitter @soups25

Monday, June 22, 2015

Block Art

Every now and then my oldest kid and I like to make sculptures and other little works of art out of our Haba blocks and Grimm's Spiel and Holz Design Rainbow, Waves and Fire.  They are all vibrantly colored pieces of art in their own right but when combined, they can look stunning, or just fun and happy, and who doesn't like fun and happy?

Here are some of our latest creations:

A boat sailing under clouds on a moonlit night.

A rainbow gnome village, perfect for rainbow-thematic unit weeks.
(There are some PlanToys blocks in here as well).

A person with a ponytail.

Flowers

A despondent face (Thank you, 13 Words for making "despondent" part of my kids' everyday vocabulary).

Another face.

The sun.

A flower.

Check back every Monday for new posts, including more info on green products and DIY toys.
And if you like what you see here, check out my Amazon Author page for my picture books, (including 12 Indian language books for kids, The Booger Fairy and Nishi Goes to India), and The Chosen One, my YA novel.   If you have a minute I'd love some more reviews.
 You can also click here to see my blog posts on The Huffington Post. 
Follow me on Twitter @soups25