Christmas Craft: Air-Dry Clay Ornaments

So, I picked up a tub of white Crayola air-dry clay when I was at Walmart a couple of weeks ago.  I thought the boys might like to try making some Christmas ornaments with it.  Last year they loved working with salt dough so I figured that this would be just as fun.  And no baking!   That was a plus for me 🙂

It was really pretty simple.  I rolled out some of the clay on a piece of parchment paper.  It was probably about 1/4″ thick because I knew the boys would be stamping Christmas imprints and the ornaments had to be thick enough to withstand a heavy stamping hand…

We used my circle cookie cutter (the one I use to make round sandwiches for the boys’ lunch) to make a bunch of shapes.  The boys got sort of tired of simple circle shapes after a while and resorted to making some more amorphous, alien-looking ones.  Too bad I didn’t take any photos of them!

We got out my Christmas stamps and went to town stamping all sorts of holiday images onto the wet clay shapes.  You’ll note that the stamps were not exactly clean when the boys stamped.  I figured that the black ink would not be an issue since we would be painting the ornaments anyway.

I used a bamboo skewer to make holes at the tops of the ornaments and also to write the boys’ names on the back with the year.  We let our masterpieces dry overnight on the parchment paper.  The next day, Wildman was really sick on the couch and did not want to finish his ornaments.  Cutie Pie insisted that we do his though so I got out some scrapbooking paint in red and green as well as some green glitter.  Cutie Pie did a great job of painting the fronts of his ornaments and then sprinkling just the right amount of sparkle on top.

We let the paint dry over night then I added a bit of baker’s twine and a jingle bell to Cutie Pie’s ornaments.  I think they turned out great!  The grandparents are going to love theirs.  I know you can’t really see the stamps due to the copious amount of paint/glitter that was applied but I just love them!  Wildman will be decorating his as soon as he’s feeling 100% again.


Fall Craft: Autumn Tree Window Cling

This is my first post after our home PC decided to commit suicide last week.  J struggled all weekend to recover our data and put it onto our MacBook Pro.  It was a herculean effort given how difficult it was to access the files and the fact that we brought home a new (to us) boat on Friday that required a complete fence rebuild on our side yard for yacht storage.  More on that later though!  Just know that it’s a miracle that I’m able to be Internet-functional today.

The boys and I worked on a simple fall craft today in the form of a cute autumn tree.  Cutie Pie got started this morning by painting two sheets of construction paper with washable paint in fall colors.  It took a long time for his artwork to dry due to the monsoon that we’ve been experiencing this week.  My plan was to have Cousin B make a tree too but the paint hadn’t dried by the time he had to leave this afternoon.

The idea is really simple.  I cut out a tree form from black construction paper.  Then I cut out a bunch of leaf shapes from the pages that Cutie Pie had painted earlier in the day.  Wildman helped us adhere the tree and the leaves to the sticky side of a sheet of contact paper this evening.  Then we stuck it to our sliding glass door.


I give you our fall tree!  I love how it turned out!  It was a quick and easy autumn craft that I will keep in my mental file for years to come.

Melbourne Art Festival

This weekend was the 26th Annual Melbourne Art Festival in historic downtown Melbourne.  I took the boys on Sunday while J removed and cut up a tree that had fallen over in our backyard.  I have fond childhood memories of this festival that I hope I can pass along to my boys.

We managed to find a sweet parking spot right near downtown so our walk to get to the action was not too long.  Minimizing our trek is key when I have two small boys in tow…  There were over 250 artist booths set up along the tree-lined streets.  The air heavy with the scent of kettle corn and hot dogs.

Up first was a visit to the frozen lemonade cart.  Two, please!

Then we were on to look at some amazing works of art.  Here are some of my favorites:

This painting was glorious.  I would have this in my home if my money tree would simply grow.

Just look at the texture of the oil paints!  Heavenly!

The boys had fun checking out all of the artists’ wares as well.

There was an area of the festival designated just for children where they could create art to their heart’s content.  The best part was that it was absolutely free of charge.  So, I made sure to tip the wonderful people manning the stations generously.  Like the Balloon Guy who whipped up a couple of guns/hair dryers for Wildman and Cutie Pie:

I enjoyed the spin art station almost as much as the boys did.  It was so cool to watch the paint and glitter splatter out onto the paper.

I might just have to frame the finished products:

By the time we’d finished up in the kids area the boys were dragging.  It was pretty muggy out and the streets were crowded with patrons like this unlikely Rasta Man:

I was ready to call it quits too so we made our way back to the car with me balancing the wet artwork and encouraging my flock to stay together.  But we could not leave before purchasing a bag of yummy kettle corn for the road!

I don’t think there’s a much tastier snack out there than a bag of fresh kettle corn.

It was a wonderful couple of hours filled with nostalgia and truly magnificent art!  I’m so glad that Melbourne puts on this festival year after year.  It’s one of the events I look most forward to attending.

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