• MJ

Holà Summer!

Few excuses to get on the arts and crafts mood at this time of year! We've got international mother's day; then father's day; and then end of the school year as well as summer holiday to think about. As the borders are finally opening up, we need to drag our feet to start planning for the the 9-week school holiday! As this is our first year back in Europe with Pipsqueak, a road trip sounds like a wonderful idea ... as far as we can go, with the pandemic still lingering in the background.

A lot of talk about plastics and what it has done to environment lately, and Pip's school is no exception in raising awareness on this subject, one of the projects is collecting plastic straws, which got me thinking that we can actually do quite a few things with them. This edition of e-Zine will focus on the use of drinking straws as the main ingredient of our craft ideas.

We also collected lots of random LEGO pieces during our annual Spring cleaning that we recycled for this year's father's day theme.

This LEGO clock is Miss E's proud accomplishment, really quick to do, though I still had to do the drilling for her. All we needed was a board base, any random pieces of LEGO (here we used some figurines and those really annoying tiny little round pieces) and clock mechanism that we bought at a local DIY shop. Just drill a hole at the centre, connect the hands and the mechanism through it, then let junior arrange the clock and put the batteries in ... and tick tock tick tock ... it's ready to go!

Here is another simple idea to recycle your LEGO figurines, the hands fit iPhone/iPad/Mac charging cables perfectly! They make a great charging station on the wall or the edge of the desk. All you need is one of those self adhesive 3Ms to stick those little men on the wall.

Time flies and seven more weeks to go before the last day this school year. Pip always wants to make something for the teachers IF she enjoys their classes and this year is one of those years ... they all girl teachers this years, it makes it easier as we just need to come up with one idea for all of them. And this year's theme is colour pencils. I came across a photo of an exhibition I saw years ago (and I can't even remember the name of the guy). He did this madly impressive sculptures made out of pencil shavings! That gave some ideas of the perfect teacher gifts for this year.

I made this jewellery set from some of the many mini coloured pencils we collected from our favourite pizza place down the road. We got lots of pencil shavings out of these to make the cards too. As it involved cutting those pencils with Acto knife, this was more of my work, MIss E's involvement was only limited to sharpen them and filing the ends of the pencils before I string them on jump rings and earring hooks.

We then hang them on another simple idea to make use stuff to don't need anymore. This cheese grater is awful, we bought another one that works better and this was about to go in the bin. Pip was playing with it and put one of the finished earring in one of the holes! Well, that was when the idea came, we could've painted it but we decided we'll leave it as it is, just put a ribbon on top and it does make a nice holder for the set.

Now the shavings, these were the finished cards:

Above was her version, and below was mine ...

Finally, I have to come up with some ideas to avoid packing a load of toys and entertainment for the trip over the summer (fingers crossed the borders will remain open!).

I wanted most of things for the road can fit in this box from something we bought from Amazon. Well, after a bit of tinkering, few DIY things can actually fit in the 15X12cm box:

Mini pencils and crayons, origami and doodling papers, plastic straws building blocks, mini LEGO set, tangram and tetris (I created printable that you can print from the Summer 2021 e-Zine edition). Click here to request your free copy.

Well, that's all folks! Apart from making travel plans, I have finally pulled myself together and rounded up few activity kits that hopefully be ready by the time the next edition is issued in October. Until then I wish everyone have a great summer.

You will find the complete tutorials and templates of all the above projects in the latest e-Zine, request a free copy here if you haven't been on our mailing list.

Enjoy summer holidays and see you sometimes in October!