Thursday, July 25, 2013

Crayons From Crayons

This is not a new craft, but it is the first time we have done it. So, therefore, it is new to us!

Over the last couple years I have noticed crafty moms making fun shaped crayons for Valentine's gifts for their kids' classmates. I have only 2 of my 3 kids home this week, so I thought I would try something different. Pinterest is a great starting place for inspiration. Yesterday, I made a Pinterest cookie recipe. Today, I tackled a craft. So, at one completed pin a day, it will take me just under 10 years to make all my current pins. This doesn't include pins I may add tomorrow! Hey, one is better than none!

This pin - Crayon Hearts - is the cool crayon pin that inspired me to make crayons with my kids tonight.

Here are the steps...
1. Preheat the oven to 250 or so
2. Start with some crayons (the good kind... Crayola!)
3. Peel the paper off
4. chop them into bits
5. drop the colours randomly into the mold. (The instructions I read said to fill it only 1/3 full, but next time we are going to try filling it to the top to get fatter crayons).
6. Put the silicon mold on a cookie sheet and put the whole thing in the oven for about 15 minutes. It went faster for my oven.
7. Remove tray carefully so the colours don't slosh together while they are still in liquid form.
8. Let the crayons harden for about 30 minutes in the mold. Keep your kids back, these babies are hot and it looks so inviting to touch... 

 9. After they had been allowed to cool for about 30 minutes, I carefully took the crayons out of the mold and laid them out to completely cool.

In the morning, we will try them out on paper. If nothing else, we have created some cool puzzle pieces. The silicon mold is designed for ice cubes, but now we will just use it for crayons and crafts. The crayons really stained it. I found they are too big for ice cubes, anyway.

This was such a simple little project, but the kids were giddy with excitement to see the transformation of their crayon bits into one big crayon. And, you don't have to get a whole bunch of supplies to make it. Most people with kids in the house have crayon bits in drawers and craft cupboards. The mold I used is from IKEA, years ago, but you can get similar things from the dollar store, I believe. Make sure it is a heat resistant mold!! Otherwise, you will have more than just crayon art happening in your oven!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Authentic Jazz Music

During the Spring and Summer, my husband drives a semi truck on runs between BC and Alberta. At the beginning of the summer, I got to go on a trip with him while our kids were at my parents'. Last week, he took our daughter (she celebrated her 7th birthday on the road with daddy. Last year, she was on the road for her birthday, too... this is becoming a tradition!) and this week, he has our middle son along (he's 9). Next week, Steve will take our oldest son on his trip, and then he will get to drive the rest of the summer in peace and quiet! He really enjoys having the kids along, but he sure likes the break after they've all had a turn, too!

While it was just the boys and me at home, last week, we did some pretty fun things together. One such thing was attending a concert in the park. Apparently, these Summer "Jam in Jubilee" concerts have been going on for the last 9 years, but I must have been living under a rock, because this was the first year I have ever heard of them! Some friends of mine make up the group, "Courteney Rodda and the Other Guys". It's a Jazz ensemble, and they make beautiful music together. 

You will feel like you've stepped back in time as this group performs. They are authentic, not only in their sound, but in their appearance, as well. Some of the kids in the audience just couldn't help themselves, and they began to dance along to the sounds of Jazz. The band plays classics as well as original pieces that Courteney has written.

I gave the camera to my boys for a few of these pictures, and I think they did a fun job of capturing the evening. Since the musical focus of the group is the 1940s - 1960s, I added some vintage filters to a few of the pics. If you want to know more about this group, or hear some of their jazz music, click on the link above. You can also find them on Facebook.


Beautiful Things

Blessed are those who see beautiful things
in humble places where others would
see nothing.
~ Camille Pissarro

One of the reasons I am very excited about teaching Kindergarten, this Fall, is that I will be able to discover things, again, for the first time. Children have a unique sense of wonder that we often lose by the time we are adults. None of my own children are kindergarteners, anymore, but they are still in the "child" phase of life. 

Last week, while doing some local exploring, my 9-year-old picked up this pine cone and said, "Mom, look how cool this is! Can you please take a picture?" I had to agree that it was a very cool find, indeed. And, like a true discoverer of wonder, I took out my camera and captured the moment for him. What a beautiful creation a pine cone is. Do you stop to enjoy pine cones? I once made a nut and pine cone wreath to hang on my front door at Christmastime. The only problem with that was that the local squirrels thought I was providing them a scrumptious buffet, and I had to take my creation down early. Christmas cheer!

This flower is fascinating. I will have to look up what it is called, but they were growing like weeds where we walked the other day. As I walked passed, the splash of orange caught my eye and I crouched down for a better look, and of course, for a picture (or 3!)

I love reflections. I took about 15 shots of this guy because he kept turning his head. I was more concerned about the perfect reflection than what the actual elk looked like!

Shadows are another fascinating concept. Anytime I see a shadow of a child, the song "Me And My Shadow" runs through my head!

We were driving home from the lake, the other night, and the moon was incredible! I made my husband pull over TWICE for pictures. I pushed for a third time, when the moon was so perfectly sitting atop the snow covered Mt. Baker, but there wasn't a safe place to pull over, so I didn't get that shot. I will just have to keep that image tucked away in my mind.

Big things, small things, everything in between - when you take the time to look, you will see beauty in everyday things. The petals on a flower, the intricacy of the flower's centre, the face of the Man in the Moon - all of these give testimony to the great God we serve.

 For since the creation of the world 
God’s invisible qualities
—his eternal power and divine nature—
have been clearly seen, 
being understood from what has been made, 
so that people are without excuse.
~Romans 1:20

Monday, July 22, 2013

Zoo Eyes

I love Summertime for its lazy days and late nights. One thing we love to do as a family is go to the zoo. We have zoo passes and the zoo is only about 10 minutes from our house, so we go often.

On our most recent trip to the zoo, I found some eyes. Not all in obvious places. I find it fun to look for different shapes and take excessive amounts of photos of them! One time, while on the ferry, I took my kids on a circle scavenger hunt. Absolutely anything we saw in the shape of a circle, we took a picture of. The kids had to find the circles, and I took the pictures. Now, they are a bit older, I share the camera :)

Here are a few of the pictures I took of eyes at the zoo.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Granville Island

I am taking a summer course for teachers this week. The topic is curriculum writing. There are about 65 teachers from all over BC, and a few even came from Alberta. Today, we got to go on a field trip (in busses, even!!) to Granville Island in Vancouver. We were given an assignment which involved taking pictures. Of course, in true Sarah fashion, I took way more pictures than I needed to. I took over 100... If I had been on my own, and not given a strict time frame, I am sure I could have easily doubled that number!

I thought I would share a few of the photos I took. I'm not going to write about them, I'm just going to post them. You can form your own stories to go with the pictures, if you would like!