For most people, springtime means starting a garden. But since I am currently at war with a colony of squirrels that live in my backyard, I can’t just willy-nilly plant a garden. So, while we plan our high-security garden beds, I will make do with the easiest of all gardens, the sprout jar. If you’ve never sprouted beans before, I highly recommend it. It is super easy and satisfying. I wrote a blog post about it here.
Last year for Easter, I made up little sprout jar kits for the kids and called them “Baby Snake Gardens”, because the little sprouts remind me of tiny snakes sticking out their itty-bitty forked tongues. Very quick and easy. The kids in my family usually end up with a giant pile of candy and I just felt like doing something a little different. The kit was basically a jar, a piece of mesh to cover the opening plus a couple extras, a rubber band, a starter pack of mung beans and instructions for getting started. Here is the instruction sheet I made, so please feel free to print it out and make your own “Baby Snake Garden” gifts.
This year, I have added wheat sprouts to the rotation. Just use wheat berries instead of mung beans. They taste nutty and kinda sweet. The chickens like them too.
It was such a lovely Spring day, I decided to take my new bracelets out into my front yard for a delightful al fresco photo shoot. The light was just perfect, a little overcast but not too gloomy, and the pictures turned out just beautifully!
It never rains in Southern California but it pours. So says the song. Well, it rarely rains in SoCal and this weekend it is pouring. We need the rain but maybe not all at once next time?
I happen to love rain, and I really love rainy day crafts. This is a craft I made up for a kids’ workshop at Party Arty!, the art studio my sister & I had for a while. It’s super easy & kid friendly because it doesn’t require any cutting. The hardest part is remembering that everything you do to the stamp must be in reverse so it prints properly. It helps to pre-sketch or print your design in reverse and then copy or trace it onto the stamp. Then your brain doesn’t need to try to reverse the image, just copy what’s on your sketch.
All you need is “fun foam” or craft foam (preferably the self stick kind. That saves you the step of gluing the foam to the base and the time it takes for the glue to dry), and a rigid base. We happened to have some nice wood squares about 3″x3″ and one inch thick. Anything about that size that is smooth and rigid will do.
Ok, so attach the foam to the block. If gluing, allow to dry. Then with a pencil or a dried up ballpoint pen, draw your design into the foam. Wherever you draw, the foam will compress leaving a permanent groove. You can see in the example that I traced along the design for a sort of negative effect. Notice how it printed red where I didn’t draw and the design is the area that didn’t receive paint. It’s much easier than drawing on all of the negative space and looks pretty cool. Be very careful drawing the design because once the foam is mashed down by the pencil, it will not bounce back. There’s no erasing with this project.
When you are happy with your design, apply a light layer of craft paint to the entire surface with a wide brush then carefully lay your paper or card onto the stamp. Gotta get it right the first time because once it’s on there is no adjustment. Smooth it out all over with the back of a spoon, a popsicle stick or perhaps one of those fake credit cards they are always mailing out. Gently, because you are not trying to squeeze out the excess paint, you’re just making sure the entire surface of the paper gets printed. Now lift the paper and be amazed with the awesomeness of your print. This is an example of my favorite kind of craft; one that is so simple and yet you could get very creative and make it super complex and elaborate. And they are reusable, just wipe clean after stamping!
With these stamps, you can easily make someone a very special birthday card, one that they will treasure forever. I used this stamp to make an anniversary card for my dear husband, Greg and he keeps it on his shelf.