Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Learning Treehouse

If I remain a stay at home mom, my entire house will surely be replaced by cardboard. Where there was once a vintage side chair and marble side table, here is another corner of my dining room that is now occupied by a cardboard structure. I created "The Learning Treehouse" so my kids could have a special place to play with their Melissa & Doug educational puzzles, their Alphie Robot and a world map.

Underneath the window, on the inside of the treehouse I placed two cardboard boxes (stuffed with Styrofoam packing peanuts for strength) for the kids to stand on and feel like they're "really high up".

As with "The Reading Castle" I involved my children in the creative process by letting them help me paint the trees and leaves and gluing them on.

On the corner wall inside the treehouse, I taped a world map that I use to teach Delilah and Justin where their favorite cartoon characters live and come from. I also included a picture of the kids so they know where they live in relation to everyone else. You can write the answers on the backs of the pictures.

To make the pictures stay on the wall, I placed tape on the backs so the kids could place them right onto the map where they belong. (Tip: to prevent the tape from ripping the paper of the map I placed the tape onto a piece of clothing first. This makes the tape "less sticky" and not so permanent.) When I get a chance, I'll transfer the whole thing to magnetic sheeting.

Here are some of the cartoon characters I used if you'd like to re-create the same project for your kids or as a gift to one. (BTW: Not sure of all the origins so I guessed at some of them like Dora, who I put in Mexico). I also printed out some polar bears for the North Pole but I'm still missing someone who comes from Canada. Do you know of any?

Ariel - Off the coast of Europe
Belle - France
Bubble Guppies - Atlantic Ocean
Diego - South America
Dora - Mexico
Max and Ruby - Mid West, USA
Mulan - Eastern China
Nemo - The Great Barrier Reef
Olivia - Western, USA
Peppa Pig - England
Feifel - Moscow
Happy Feet - South Pole
Kai Lan - Western China
Lilo and Stitch - Hawaii
Madagascar - this is a hard one
Prince of Egypt - guess?
Simba - Australia

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Cupcake Toppers and Slimey Worms

Last weekends Craft Fair at the New York School for the Deaf came and went without much "hoopla". I sold more than half of my old stock of greeting cards!, so that was good, but I didn't sell much of anything else. It seemed to be the same story for all the other one-of-a-kind artists so I didn't take it personal. I just don't think the crowd was the right audience for our kind of merchandise. But I must admit, the organizers were amazing and it was one of the best vending experiences I've ever had. With that said, if you sell items like greeting cards, felted wallets, knit scarves, ornaments or anything else priced $10-$40, I'd suggest you look into it next year. It's a very small venue but worth the entry fee. Plus they have great raffles every hour with proceeds that go to the school.

Whatever I didn't sell at the show has just been added/replaced on my ETSY shops. This includes some new cupcake toppers at my Watermelon Party Shop, and the last of my Slimey Worms at my M Ann M Creations shop.