Sunday, December 21, 2014

A New Year and A New Blog

I started my New Years resolutions early this year.  One of them was to clean up all my blogging and social media sites.  Not a simple task.

I wanted a clean line and consistent look.  Branding I believe is the official term.

With all of this I have a new web address:

I took the best posts from this site and added them to the new.  I will be adding new content weekly, so visit often.  If you are an email subscriber I would ask that you go to the new site and sign up here..  I would be most grateful!  The subscription does not transfer.

All of my social media sites are still up and running.  Come take a look!

Thank you for all your comments and 'likes'.  I will see you over at Sunshine by Channon.

By the way, it is the same blog name, just a new address. :)

Merry Christmas to you and a Wonderful New Year!

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Thursday, December 4, 2014

Decking the Halls with Perler Beads

Perler Beads have become the craft of choice in our home these days.  I think I enjoy playing with them as much as the kids.   It's fun to be gathered around the dining room table working on things together while we listen to Christmas songs.

We decided to use our love for the 'beads' and turn them into ornaments for our twigs and branches tree.  They added a fun pop of color and shape to our dining room.

Have you used Perler Beads before?  If not, I encourage you to get some.  You can find them at most craft stores.  Amazon has a nice selection of Perler Beads and the accessories that can go with them  This site offers ideas and kits to make hundreds of different projects.  The projects can be simple or more intricate, but the basics always remain the same:

Here are a few close-ups of our ornaments.

If you have little ones, the size of the beads can become a bit frustrating.  But, they do make Perler Biggie Beads which are much easier for little hands to grab and place on the boards.  These ornaments would also make fun homemade gifts for friends and family.  The skies the limit.  You can add initials or numbers into your designs to make them really unique.

For more Christmas projects and ideas, visit me on Pinterest:

Follow Sunshine by Channon's board Christmas Decorating and Ideas on Pinterest.

Happy Crafting!

Join me at these Blog Hops and Link Ups.
I am an Affiliate with Amazon.  When you make a purchase through clicking on my link, I receive a small commission, which I plan on using to buy more Perler Beads :) Thank you!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Feathers For Lunch :: Drawing Project

Learning about and identifying birds is a popular pastime at our house.  I have been trying to capture a photo of a pair of Bluejays for a week now.  Their vibrant color stands out so much against the dreary background outside.

If you are looking for an easy, colorful fun read for your little ones, even for yourself, then you want to read Feathers for Lunch.  We have read and re-read this book.  The Littles love to call out the bird's names before I can read them out loud. 

For a fun drawing project to go with the book, I had them pick out their favorite bird and then traced the shape.  They filled in the detail and colored them as close as they could to the original.  An easy, quick project that they really enjoyed.  

I have found that they can become frustrated quickly if their drawings aren't turning out the way they invasion.  Providing them with the basic shape makes the process a bit easier.

Feathers for Lunch also provides basic information about each bird.  The bright illustrations and easy to learn information make it a great resource for budding ornithologists.

To learn more about Lois visit the Lois Ehlert Author Study.  It's really informative and offers a lot more projects and resources to try with your children.  This link also provides you with links to many other author studies.

If you take a stab at this project, please share it on my facebook page.  I would love to see your creations!

Lois Lenski's Christmas Stories

When I think of Lois Lenski I automatically think of Strawberry Girl.  A book that at first was a book to be avoided by my boys, because there was 'girl' in the title, but ended up being a really fun read aloud.  I have to mention here that some of the dialects in the book can be a bit challenging.  But, overall really wonderful.

When I was browsing the Children's section at the library I came across this book of short stories and poems for Christmas.  One of the first things I do when I pick up a new book is look at the copyright date.  Quirky, I know. Some of the stories go back to 1939.  For some reason the older the book the more I am intrigued.  This was worthy of my time.  Here is one of the poems:

A Day For Gladness

Oh, not a day for toiling,
And not a day for work;
Unlike all other daytimes
When man must never shirk.

Oh, not a day for weaving
Or tending cooking pot;
This day, of all time's passing,
Such things must be forgot.

Oh, not a day for shadows,
For weeping and for grief;
And not a day for jailing
A scoundrel or a thief.

Oh, not a day for scolding
The child who breaks in song,
Who runs instead of walking,
Unconscious of a wrong.

Today a day for gladness,
For happiness and mirth;
A day made for rejoicing,
For 'tis the Christ child's birth.

What a sweet, wonderful poem.  It touches on the basics of our days, but then puts them in perspective.

The book is full of short stories that inspire and leave the reader with thoughts to ponder for the Season...and the whole year.  Titles like "How Christmas Came To Blueberry Corners," "The Christmas Fake," and "The Uninvited Guest" give just a snippet of the fun, intriguing stories in this book.

Along with the writing are Lois's simple, charming illustrations.

Add this to your Christmas reading list.  It is time well spent.  I will leave you with one more poem.

The Extra Plate

Set the table, Do not be late;
Be sure to put on an extra plate.
An extra plate for the stranger new,
The unknown guest passing through.

How little we have we do not care;
But that little is ours and we'll always share.
The unknown guest - who will it be?
Who will pass by - we must wait and see.

A sailor, a tramp? A thief or a cheat?
Yes, with us he may sit and eat.
A poor old woman, a rich young queen,
A ghost to scare - or a great big bear!

Yes, no matter who, no matter where;
Anyone is welcome whoever he be -
Our portion we share....  Thankfully.