Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Duct tape to the rescue!

Yules has the Ikea Latt table and chair set downstairs in her nook. We painted it grey (of course) when we first got it! Somehow it got a big crack in one of the seats... I'm thinking an adult or big kid may have stood on it. So note to self, don't stand on it if you have one! It was totally still useable just a big eyesore! Anyways, what I'm getting at is that I finally addressed the problem! Yay me!

First I duct taped the crack on both sides... hahah problem solved!! Then I used an exacto knife and "beveled" (aka shaved off) the entire edge of the seat.

Next I added a little batting and leftover fabric and "upholstered" the seat, securing it with duct tape!! Haha soooooo ghetto! Then I slid the whole thing back together and voila, Yules now has cute upholstered chairs (just don't look at the bottom haha)!!!

Happy Papa's Day!!

Kalbs and Yules hope all the Papas had a wonderful day filled with lots of love and laughter!!!

Yulli made this lovely portrait for her dad! It took us a little while but I think it looks great! We spent lots of time talking about the different colours and shapes in his face. I helped her draw the shapes and she cut and glued them.

We also did our annual questionnaire!

 Here is last year's questionnaire for comparison!

He still likes watching hockey and still looks like a bear... but he's aged 15 years!! Hahaha

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Best Art Ever!

What happens when you leave the art supplies out and allow children to explore freely?

You get 3 kids who chose on their own to go and sit down to create something. You get 3 kids who created 3 different things on their own. You get a drawing of a butterfly. You get a mixed-media collage for his dad. And you get an architectural drawing of a playground! SERIOUSLY... this makes my heart so happy!!

Ditch the crafts and the instructions and the expectations and they will surprise you with THIS!! 

Monday, June 13, 2016

Happy Sunday!

Here's 6 random things that are making my heart happy this Sunday:

1. Books neatly organized and colour-coordinated!

2. This ice-cream!! OMG it's so yummmm and I don't even like coconut (except in Malibu of course). Super creamy and delish!

3. Peonies!! Oh man these flowers are so lovely... minus the tiny ants that apparently love them too!
4. Fresh veggies from Kim's garden!
5. Coffee dates with this girl!
6. And of course this big bear makes my heart the happiest!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Crafty creations!

My bestie and I have grand ol' dreams of making beautiful crafty things! Although we have a blast, they usually turn out less then stellar! Haha! Our latest creations were from a paint night and attempts at making terrariums!

Even though these paintings don't look that shabby, they are a far cry from the inspiration painting! Hah! I do appreciate that we were able to choose our own colours and that they all look so different and "unique"! I've since dibble dabbled at my masterpiece... attempting to make it better but it's a lost cause! My painting is currently hanging in the powder room, but probably not for long!

We also attempted to make terrariums with no direction or expertise and only the guidance of Pinterest! We made a billion of them and they are ALL "special-looking"! Haha! Even though they aren't as beautiful and Pinterest-worthy as we had hoped, it was definitely super fun and relaxing! Oh wait... maybe that was from the wine? Haha! Anyways, here's a few of the different ones we made! Hopefully they survive our brown thumb of death!

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Wall art!!!

Remember the giant blank wall in my living room? The one that has been calling out for artwork for the last 4 years? Well I am happy to report that we FINALLY put up a piece of art! I was able to score a GIGANTIC painting in the right color-scheme, with a frame AND on clearance!! Ummm... that's seriously equivalent to winning the lottery or finding a unicorn!! YAY us! Only took 4 years but whatevs! Worth the wait for sure!

Well actually, it sat leaning against the wall for a good few weeks and then we finally got around to hanging it up. I actually really liked it leaned against the wall... apparently leaned art and mirrors is super trendy now! Haha or is it only trendy to super lazy people like me?

Yulli People

I've been loving Yulli's drawings of people lately!! They are super adorable and creepy all in one! Totally love it!!

This one is of her family! Those are "buttons" in case you were wondering! Lol

 This is the "monkey" baby inside her aunties belly!! Not creepy at all =P

 These are some thank-you cards she made for her Chinese school teachers!

 This is an aunty... I have no idea which one! She just learned how to draw hearts and suns, so those are usually included in her drawings!

This is her cousin Eric. He is wearing a belt and a "boy" headband... "because boys can wear headbands too"!

This is me and the Kalbster!! And of course hearts and the sun!

Me again!!

Will you look at that... it's me again! Check out my fancy long lashes and teeth and even a tongue!

This one is of her cousin Kayla, walking her dog Sparky (green blob) and I think that's a castle in the background!

This is The Hunchback of Notre-damn ME again! Haha! I have a lovely flower headband and a polka-dot shirt! I also have giant hands and feet with lots of fingers and toes! But check out how skinny my arms and legs are!! Haha!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Snip snip Cut!

SCISSORS!! Someone commented on Yulli's cutting skills the other day, which lead into a whole convo about scissors... so naturally here is a whole post on scissors!!

If you really break it down, using scissors is super hard! You need hand strength, wrist stabilization, hand-eye, fine motor and bilateral coordination etc. etc. Yikes!! There is no better way to develop scissor cutting skills then exposure and opportunities to practice. Yulli started using scissors when she was 2 years old because she showed interest in it. Obviously every kid is different and I don't think they fully develop the skill until they are 6 years old. No need to push it or freak out but definitely give them lots of opportunities to try. You'll know whether or not your kid can handle it or not. It's important to set some ground rules like "stay sitting while cutting" and "cut paper only", and to constantly remind them of the rules. We've only had one hair cutting incident so far (knock on wood) Haha. Just keep an eye on them and they should be fine... or they might give themselves a fancy new haircut lol!!

Keep in mind that not all scissors are created equally! There is nothing worst than giving kids dull scissors just because you think they are "safer". Ughhh can you imagine how frustrating it would be and how much harder it would be to use dull scissors that don't cut properly and just kind of folds the paper. I would get discouraged quickly, so imagine how a child just starting to learn to cut would feel!

Yulli has a whole whack of scissors... all different types! Haha I bet you probably didn't know there were so many different types of scissors for kids. I always like to give her choice and exposure to different types so she can decide what she wants to use. Here are some of the different ones that we like and some things to take into consideration.!

The most popular type is probably the blue pair... with one small hole for the thumb and a bigger hole for the other fingers. I think these are called fiskar scissors... or is that just a brand? Or both? Anyways, notice in contrast, the pink pair has 2 holes that are the same size.

Another thing to take into consideration is type of tip. The blunt rounded tip is probably safest and best for little kids. When they're more advanced and can handle it, give them sharper tips for better precision or delicate cutting.

I also really liked the spring scissors for beginners. You just push that little yellow lever down and it helps the scissors automatically spring back open with each squeeze. These are perfect for when they are just learning and/or have limited hand strength and co-ordination.

 This green pair is my favourite! It is also a spring scissor but notice it has no holes. You just squeeze it together to cut and it will spring back open. So super easy to use and super great for beginners! It also has a lovely case and is nice and compact. I actually bring this one with me when we eat out at restaurants. It's perfect for cutting up her food! We gave her auntie who had braces a pair because she often found it difficult to chew. Her great-grandmother, who has no real teeth also has a pair too! Haha best scissors ever!

This super cute heart shaped one is also a spring scissor with no holes but also no lever either. It's really easy to use; just squeeze! Can it BE any cuter?

So there you have it, lots of different scissors!
Some other tips I have for you are:

-Remind them to point their thumb up since there is a tendency to turn their wrists for some reason. You can draw a happy face on their thumb nail as a reminder or even put a sticker on there if it helps.

-Start with thicker paper like construction paper or cardstock which is easier for them to hold because it's less flimsy.

-Give them narrow strips of paper to start because they can cut right through with one snip.

-Lots of people advise to draw little straight lines for them to practice cutting on and then advancing to curvy lines and then shapes. But no lines and no real "objective" is best in my opinion. Just giving them a chance to practice and have fun is best. If you give them a line to cut and they can't do it or it's not perfect, it can totally be discouraging. I think kids will naturally be attracted to cutting on lines but it's better if there's no actual pressure to. I remember giving Yules some paint chip cards that have lines that divide the different shades. She was playing with them one day and decided on her own to cut on those lines. Cutting on lines will come naturally, so no need to fret!

Ok that's all I think! Happy cutting!!

Row row row your boat...

Yules wanted a boat... so I made her a boat! It's just a standard cardboard box boat, but the oars I jigged up are pretty awesome and maybe borderline genius! Well I think so at least!! I simply used wrapping paper tubes, cut some slits and inserted another piece of cardboard! Sometimes the simplest designs are the best!!! Now the monster can go on boating adventures all she wants!