Browsing Tag

DIY

EDUCATION

Why I chose Kano screen + computer kits to build my son’s first computer

Kid-friendly computers for a 6 or 7-year-old usually come in two forms. Young children either inherit an inexpensive, used laptop, or they could get a DIY computer kit. Since I’m raising a maker, I chose the latter.

Although computer kits may sometimes be more complicated to operate, computer kits deliver a richer learning environment. A look at my son’s face before and after we assembled his computer and screen kits proved that I made the right choice. That night, my son proudly told his dad that I read him the story of his computer while he assembled it. Continue Reading

GIFT IDEAS

Want a Unique iPhone Case? Draw It with a Krillz Set

sketch an iphone case krillz

If you dream of showing off your own drawings, you will love this next idea. Designed for iPhone 4 and 5, a Krillz iPhone set comes with a 40 page drawing and a clear iPhone case.  There is a dye-cut iPhone cutout, that fits your model, on every page. 

Krizzl iphone case and drawing block
Where to buy: Krillz iPhone case for creative people at Neo-utility $35 USD

Keep it in mind for a creative gift for a teenager, for graduation or Father Day. If you draw well, why not customize the gift even further by sketch a case in the book?

+ photo credits: Krillz

ENTERTAINING HOLIDAY decorations

Daff’s Easter Bunny are Better than Ever

daff felt easter bunny

I introduced the felt Easter bunny by Daff back in 2009. They are nicely made in 100% merino felt. They now sell them in two sizes and more colors. Since then, Daff upgraded them by reinforcing it with cardboard.

Unfortunately for us, they still only ship in Germany. So, you still have to make your own if you want them on your Easter table. Don’t worry, we did our DIY version. Although cardboard reinforcing and sewing technique requires more work than our foam board and glueing method, the end result looks sharper.

Don’t miss my other Easter ideas.

LIVING

New Uses for Old Things: Converting a Frying Pan into a Ground Pod

diy ground pod

Ok, this one is not for everyone but I thought that it was a clever DIY project. Food and photography goes hand to hand. But this time, it is on an usual way. An inexpensive frying pan creates the base of your own custom made ground pod.

Besides the cost savings, the benefits are that it is lighter than the commercially available ground pods and that you can make it at the height that fits your body. If you are interested, the project is simple to make. Check the instructions at Digital Photography School and at Photo Migrations.

I try to remember this fun thing the next time I meet a serious photographer.

FAMILY GAMES and Toys

I Want: DIY Play Kitchen for a Boy

play kitchen for a boy

My husband can vouch how much I am dreaming about a play kitchen for our son. Most play kitchens on the market are too girly or won’t nicely fit in our home design. Which is why I want to create my own. I found my starting point for inspiration.

Ethan’s mom Becky designed a fabulous play kitchen for his little boy. Her DIY play kitchen is full on details and realistic functionalities. A magnet keeps the oven door closed while a motion sensor light turns on when the door is opened. Awesome! Continue Reading

LIVING

The Magical Coloured Bricks Igloo by Daniel Gray

rainbow igloo by daniel gray

This is one of most awesome igloos that I ever saw. It took  months of preparation and 150 hours of construction to engineering student Daniel Gray, with girlfriend Kathleen Starrie, family and friends, to create his icy shelter masterpiece.

making of coloured brick igloo

If you plan to try such a project, know that you will need to collect hundreds of milk cartons to make the 500 coloured ice bricks that are necessary to build the structure. Daniel uses food colorants to get the bright colours. Continue Reading

HOLIDAY decorations

A Round-Up of DIY Wall Christmas Trees

branch christmas tree

Whether it is because you don’t have the space to put a big Christmas tree or to use as a secondary tree, wall Christmas trees provide lots of possibilities to be creative with your holiday decorations. I created this round-up to highlight your options.

Lorena of Lalole likes to make craft projects out of her reclaimed wood. For her Christmas tree project, she upcycles woods that you typically found on the beach. The sticks are held together with sisal rope. Wash and let them first. The STRÅLA light chain at IKEA is similar to the snowflakes garland that she used to decorate her stick Christmas tree. Add white pompoms are your done.

mashi tape christmas tree
photo credits: Bodie and Fou

The easiest project is to draw a modern Christmas tree on your wall. Use metallic gold washi tape or glitter tape available in gold, silver evergreen, spinach and peacock. The tone on tone refines the design.

geometric paint chip chistmas tree

Designer, crafter, and maker Lisa Tilse created a geometric paint chip Christmas tree. You could reproduce her concept with gift wrapping paper, scrapbooking paper or other coloured paper. Visit her blog, The Red Thread, for the tutorial.

String Art Christmas Tree and Card Display
photo credits: My Poppet

The next project can be your holiday card display. It can also be a message center for all your holiday plans. Head to My Poppet to learn how to make Cintia’s string art Christmas tree.

christmas tree decal
photo credits: Subhuti Etsy seller

On Etsy, Subhuti was selling a Christmas tree self-adhesive vinyl decal with 8 Christmas balls. You could use it as inspiration to make your own with your kids.

Any of these are simple projects that you can make this weekend. And they will leave you plenty of time to do other things.

COOKBOOKS FOOD + DRINK

Free Printables: Holiday Recipe Cards

holiday recipe card printables with an handwritten recipe

holiday recipe card printables with an handwritten recipe

I am excited to share my first free printables of the holiday season. This year, I decided to design my own. I am starting with a printable project for foodies.

From cookie exchange parties to the office pot luck, the holiday season provides many occasions to share and exchange recipes. This is why it is a good idea to keep a fresh supply of ready-to-fill recipe cards. You will never be short on supply if you print your own. My holiday recipe cards are available in three patterns. Later this week, I will share the matching holiday gift tag printables.

capons and gremolata

I already found use for my batch. Last Saturday night, I attended a dinner at a friend’s home. She made a delicious squash and pear soup that she served in shooters with bacon chips. This was a hit! Several people asked her the soup recipe. She also made a delicious gremolata that she served with the capons. The next day, I wrote down her recipes into my recipe cards.

Instead of simply printing your menu for your holiday party, why not share all your recipes? The recipe cards can become a part of your tabletop. Tie them with a ribbon or a twine topped with a holiday ornament and display a pack on each guest plate. Your gourmet friends will appreciate this extra step.
holiday recipe card printables

Printing Considerations

If the recipe cards are for a gift, I recommend a cardboard paper because they look the best. You want a paper on which it will be easy to write. For that reason, it is better to select a matte paper.

On the other end, laminated recipe cards are easy to wipe off. Since I prefer to protect my own recipe cards with self-laminating sheets, I print the recipe cards that are for my own use on standard printing paper with a higher brillance level.

Feel free to print my holiday recipe cards. If you like them, share my link with your friends and family. The size of my recipe cards is 3×5 inches.

Click here to download my holiday recipe card printables.

If you are interested in the complete recipe, click here for the pineapple marmelade recipe.

 

FAMILY GAMES and Toys

Three DIY Toys that You Can Do with Your Kids

french postal truck toy

cupcake or ice cream truck
photo: cupcake or ice cream truck by Martine Camillieri

Crafting projects let you pass quality time with your kids. I wanted a project that I could do for my boy, who adore trucks. I found three project ideas fron France that repurpose things that you have at home.

french postal truck toy
photo: La Poste, French postal truck by Martine Camillieri

The first idea is from Martine Camillieri. This french woman has been transforming cleaning product containers into cars and trucks since 2007. Her upcycling creations appeared in a book and many exhibits over the years. Although she failed to provide tutorials to make your own, it seems that she affixed two caps to make wheels and used stickers and paint to decorate the vehicles. It is definitely a project that you can do with your kids.

diy pickup truck toy
photo: DIY pick-up truck toy by Martine Camillieri

The second idea is from a limited-print series called Bolides. I encourage you to explore your own boxy style. After a few trial and error, you could design your own templates. I would use mashi tape to create the various car or truck elements. Washi tapes come in a variety of colors and it is easy to reposition them. Cut a straw in two to support the wheels.

bolides

You could make your own paper tipi toy. Let your kids create their own patterns. Each tipi stands tall with 3 sticks.

make your own paper tipi toy
photo: Tipis by Morse

These are not toys that are designed to last. Nonetheless, they are fun to make. If you want to keep them longer, you could always tell your kids that they are making art pieces for their playroom.

ENTERTAINING HOLIDAY decorations

Halloween Pumpkin Ideas from the 2012 Great Pumpkin Ball

mascarade automnale

Kim in front of the biggest pumpkin contest
photographed in front of the biggest pumpkin winner. Its weights 1,630 pounds!

Each year, Montréal Botanical Garden organized the Great Pumpkin Ball. Visitors can admire the best decorated pumpkins made by the participants aged 6 years and up. We saw the exhibition last Friday with my son’s day care. If you are in town, the Great Pumpkin Ball is open until October 31st.

Topics were diverse. Recurring ideas include comic characters, superheros, sports and TV personalities.

garfield pumpkin
Garfield pumpkin from the 6 to 12 years old category

spider smurf pumpkin
Spider smurf pumpkin from the 6 to 12 years old category

Amongst the classic Halloween themes, I particularly enjoy the Dracula pumpkin, the magician and the beautiful mask lady pumpkin.

dracula pumpkin
Dracula pumpkin decorated by a family

mummy pumpkin
Mummy pumpkin from the 13 to 17 years old category

magician pumpkin
Magician pumpkin 

mascarade automnale
This masked lady pumpkin won first prize in the adult category

I will return to the Great Pumpkin Ball next year to admire the craft projects of our youth.