Friday, May 28, 2010

moustache day (and a printable template)

There are many ways to make a good moustache if you cannot grow your own.

Here is our method (PDF template). If you cut this out of stiff paper, it should clip right to your nose. If that doesn't work (or if you'd like to use felt instead) then just attach it to a string or elastic and tie it around the back of your head. No one will recognize you....

You can also draw one on with face paint, you can buy a wooden one on a stick from collage collage, or a plastic one from a kit from dandelion kids.

If you want to make a very realistic moustache, Martha Stewart has very thorough tuturial, which is probably the best one available online. You can even get a tasty chocolate moustache and eat it when you have finished wearing it!

If you happen to have the actual ability to grow a real moustache, you can grown one for charity with Mustaches for Kids.

(top image from Regional Assembly of Text)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


The rain is raining all around,
It falls on field and tree,
It rains on the umbrellas here,
And on the ships at sea.

—Robert Louis Stevenson
A Child's Garden of Verses, Golden Press
Stitchery by Virginia Tiffany

Monday, May 24, 2010


Joseph Wu makes fantastic origami. You can find many origami diagrams to make at home at his web site, including original Joseph Wu designs or look for anything you can think of at the origami database.

The images here are from a collection called Warai, which means laughter in Japanese.

Friday, May 21, 2010


At this time of year it's hard to plan activities. One day it is a perfect beach day, the next it's rainy and you need to put on a sweater and jacket. A hootenanny is a good activity for inside and outside.

If you need some instruments, you can make a shoebox guitar and cup-shaker (PDF link) from Sunny.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Making little stickers

This is a very easy, little project. It's so quick, you will have lots of time leftover to go outside and play! You can make your own stickers out of your doodles. If you're not sure what to draw, this is a perfect opportunity to make some Ed Emberley doodles or thumbprint drawings.

·Unsealed envelopes (maybe you can reuse envelopes from greeting cards you've been given, which are often nice paper and unsealed)
·Pens, pencils or crayons
·Tape (optional)

Draw a little doodle on the bottom-back of an envelope flap (the sticky part of the envelope has to be on the reverse side of your drawing). Cut out your drawing, preferably in a nice shape, lick back, stick. That's it! If you would like your sticker to be glossy, you can place some clear tape over your drawing before cutting it out (we didn't in these pictures). You should get 8-10 stickers out of an envelope.

We experimented with different surfaces and envelopes to see how well they stayed fast. Stickers stuck very well to uncoated paper, unvarnished wood; medium well to coated paper and poorly to hard surfaces like plastic and stainless steel (they fell off after a few hours).

Have fun!

Monday, May 10, 2010


Miyako Kanamori: Part 2

From Orion Books, an animated series starrring Miyako Kanamori's creatures.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Sock fish

Miyako Kanamori: Part 1

Sock and Glove: Creating Charming Softy Friends from Cast-off Socks and Gloves by Miyako Kanamori is a very good book! (Phew...out of breath from that last sentence.) As you might guess from its descriptive title, this book gives you patterns for making little softies from socks (mostly long socks) and gloves. The patterns are quite simple and you can use a machine or hand sewing for the projects. This is a good book for your bookshelf; it has a lot of easy, fun projects.

One little note: most of the patterns involve a pair of gloves or a pair of socks, and they need to be in fairly good condition (toes and heels are often part of the pattern), so this won't help you use old socks. However, all you need is a pack of work socks and you're off. The gloves in the book are mostly rough work/gardening gloves, which you can find in Vancouver for about $2, so that's quite economical.

Anyway, we'd like to show a couple of projects from the book, beginning with sock fish. These fish were not the very cutest project, but they are very simple, quick, and they only use one sock (and they are great for baby socks, which often lose their mate and remain in good condition even after wear).

Kanamori's fish has a button eye and uses a sock with a contrasting colour for the toe, which looks very cute. However, we didn't have any socks like that, so we tried adding a little blanket stitching to separate the head from the body (and to make a little fin). Because these are for babies, we stitched on felt eyes which are safer.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Paper bag space helmet

Here is an activity inspired by the moon in our last post. This idea comes from the NASA web site (you can see the original instructions here).


Paper bag (big enough to fit over your head)
transparent plastic (office supplies or cellophane), preferably red
decorating supplies (any kind you like)

1. Try on your bag and estimate where you should cut the hole for your eyes. Cut a rectangular hole in your bag, roughly 3 and 1/2 by 4 and 1/2 inches. (Cut the bottom off your bag if it's too long for your shoulders).

2. Cut a square of transparent plastic about 4 x 5 inches.

3. Tape the plastic over the hole. (If, like us, you attach it from the inside of the bag, you will have trouble folding the bag flat to draw on it, so gluing on decorations in the next step will work best).

4. Decorate. You can experiment with different types of helmets. We tried one with an antennae and one with a microphone. Have fun on the moon.