Archives for September 2010

Themed I-Spy Bags

In case you missed my guest post at Blue Cricket Design here are my I-Spy bags!
It might be the teacher in me, but I adore the idea of I-Spy bags!  What a clever idea to keep those kiddos quiet and happy in church, at the doctor's office, or in the car.  Plus they are educational!  That makes Mom happy, too.  My Little Man can always use some fresh ideas to help keep him quiet and occupied.  

You will need:
* Vinyl.  Just a few inches will be plenty.
* Fabric scraps.
* Poly pellets.  
* Small toys or items to be "spyed."
* Wonder Under (not pictured).
* Sewing machine and supplies.
First, cut out your fabric.  I chose to make themed I-Spy bags, so I cut out a barn to spy farm animals.  I folded my fabric in order to cut out a front and back for my barn.
To create the window, I folded the front part of the barn in half and cut a square shape.  You can make this as large or small as you choose.
Now cut out a piece of vinyl that is at least an inch or two larger than the window on all sides.  This will make sewing the vinyl much easier!

In order to hold the vinyl firmly in place while sewing, I ironed Wonder Under scraps all along the areas where the vinyl overlapped the fabric (shown by arrows).  Without the Wonder Under, the vinyl will simply stick to the foot of your sewing machine!  The Wonder Under will become your best friend.
Next, sew the outer edges where the vinyl meets the fabric.  I sewed a straight line and reinforced it with a zigzag stitch all the way around.  To prevent fraying, I also sewed the inner square right around the window.  Again, sew a straight line followed by a zigzag line.  You will need to do all of your sewing on the wrong side of the fabric.
Now for the fun part!  I decided to embellish the front and back of my barn.  I used some ricrac, ribbon, felt, and fabric scraps.
Let's make a barn!  Pin wrong sides together, and sew all the way around leaving an opening to turn the barn inside out.  Be sure to sew a ribbon scrap into the seam.  This will hold your "I Spy" list. To turn your bag inside out, use something long and pointy like a pencil to punch out the corners as much as possible.
Now, add your toys to the bag.  Be sure to keep a list of what you add because you'll want to tell your child what to look for!
Add the poly pellets.  I think the easiest way to do this is by using a funnel.  Less mess, less stress!  You don't need to fill the bag too full, but you do want to cover the toys inside!
Now, sew up your opening with a blind stitch.
Now create a list of items inside the I-Spy bag.  I laminated mine for extra durability.  Punch a hole in the corner and thread it through the ribbon.  Sew a ribbon loop to keep the list nice and snug!  All done!
This entire project took me about 45 minutes from start to finish, with a few "oopseys" in between and documenting the process as I went along!  This project was so simple and so fun, I had to make another one!  I made a fish I-Spy bag with ocean animals inside!  I already have plans to make an ABC bag and a transportation bag in the near future, too.
Helpful Hint
You can vary the difficulty of a I-Spy bag by varying the following:
*The size of your window 
* The size of the toys inside (very small toys and very big toys are harder to detect!)
* The amount of toys and poly pellets
Happy crafting!

Mommy School Week 2: A is for Apples

First off, I just have to say THANK YOU so much for the kind comments on my Mommy Week post last week!  I honestly didn't realize that so many of you would be interested in seeing learning ideas for your toddlers!  It really made my whole week... as I was working with Little Man, I felt a collaborative effort!  It motivated me just a bit more.  So thanks!  Keep up the comments and questions.

This week's theme was a bit selfish!!  Every year I taught first grade, I did an entire Apples theme during the second week of September.  I really wanted to continue the tradition with Little Man!  We had a busy apple-filled week!

I definitely don't think up all these ideas by myself!!  There are so many geniuses out there already planning amazing activities, so I am linking up where I found quite a few ideas.  Here is the picture peek of our A week:

Letter of the Week:  A
Target Vocabulary Words:  Apple, airplane, ambulance, ant, abacus, alligator, animal crackers
Theme:  Apples
Numbers:  Introduction to numerals
Color/Shape:  Introduction to shapes
Nursery Rhyme:  Hickory Dickory Dock
Theme Activities:
* We made apple-pie scented playdough.  We played with animal crackers in our playdough.
* A is for Apples art.  We used an apple stamp to decorate a letter A.  (See #10 above)
* We made an apple smile snack with apple slicks, peanut butter, marshmallows, and chocolate chips.  (See #9 above)
* We painted an apple tree by stamping the end of a wrapping paper tube in red paint to create apples.  (See #4 above)
* We made apple muffins.  Scrumptious!  (See #3 above)
* I made several apples of different sizes and Little Man put them in order by size.  (See #5 above)
* We told and re-told the flannel board story of "Five Little Apples."  (See #8 above)
* We made crockpot applesauce!  Little Man helped me put all the apples into the crockpot, and we stirred it together all day as it cooked.
* Every day, we would play a little apple game.  I had a basket of paper apples, and we would act out this song (sung to the tune of "London Bridge is Falling Down):
See the apples falling down, 
Falling down, falling down
See the apples falling down
Down to the ground.

Throw the apples up in the air
Up in the air, up in the air
Throw the apples up in the air
Up to the sky.

Numeral Activities:
* We read Ten Apples Up On Top and created a picture of Little Man with ten apples on his head.  I helped him trace the numerals on the apples.
* All week long, he played with apple magnets with numerals on them.  He would drive his matchbox cars to a specific number.
* We read The Ants Go Marching and sang "The Ants Go Marching" and marched around with the appropriate numerals.  (We marched with a poster of a "!" when we sang "The Ants Go Marching one by one...)
* We did some M&M counting.
* We played a fun "Worms in my Apple" game.  Little Man had to count the number of holes in the paper apple ,and thread a green pipe cleaner (caterpillar) through the apple for each hole.  (See #6 above)
* We read Chicka, Chicka 1, 2, 3 and retold the story using magnet numbers on a cookie sheet.  See here for more.  
Field Trips:
* We went shopping to pick out our apples for making applesauce!
* We went on a walk, playing with our play airplane, and looking for airplanes.  (See #7 above)
* We went on a field trip to a local airport!  (Mr. Oopsey Daisy is a pilot, so this was a fun family outing!)
Shape Activities:
* We read Mouse Shapes by Ellen Stoll Walsh.
* We used shape mats while playing with our apple-pie scented playdough.  (See #1 above)
* We played with pattern blocks.
* We found different shapes that I drew inside an apple.
* We did the shape hokey pokey.
Other A-themed activities:
* Little Man's name starts with an A.  We created a special picture book spelling out his name.
* A is for Alligator.  We read Snip Snap, What's That? (by Mara Bergman) and created an alligator out of a letter A.  (See #2 above)
* We also sang the "Five Little Monkeys" song and acted it out.  Little Man LOVED that I was the alligator and would chase him and catch him!
* We created an airplane out of a wrapping paper tube and cardboard.
* We acted out being airplanes and flew around the house!
* We created an airplane snack using string cheese, apple slices, and chocolate chips.  (See #11 above)
* We counted bead on our abacus.
* I also created this adorable Ants at a Picnic file folder game, although it's a bit over Little Man's head right now.
Whew!  Busy, busy!  I had even more activities planned, but we ran out of time!  Here are a few more picture highlights that I wanted you to see--with BIG pictures.

This is the "Ten Apples Up On Top" activity we did.  This is one of my favorites!!  In first grade, I would have the students draw a picture of themselves doing something (riding a bike, doing karate, etc.) with 10 apples on their heads.  For Little Man, I just pasted a picture of him on there!  We traced the numerals and glued them on together.
I was really tickled with how our airplane craft turned out!  We used a wrapping paper tube, cut slits in the sides, and slid in a large piece of cardboard.  We trimmed up those wings and added some tin foil for the windows!  It was a family effort... Little Man loved it!
Here is our A-themed Muffin Tin Meal!  The "apple trees" were especially a hit!!
Enjoy your weekend!!
You can find more fun apple ideas at Delicious Ambiguity, Mommy's Little HelperThe Crafty Crow, and more from The Crafty Crow

Blog Swap With Lil Luna

Happy Friday, my friends!  I am taking the day off today because today is actually my birthday!  Mr. Oopseey Daisy and Little Man are spoiling me rotten today.  I am thrilled to celebrate with Kristyn from Lil' Luna!  I am over are her blog today sharing a birthday craft with free download.  Stop by and say hello!  In the mean time, here is Kristyn with a little party inspiration!

Hello there Oopsey Daisy Readers!

I'm Kristyn, and I blog over at Lil' Luna.
It's a place where you can find fun, cute and inexpensive ideas, crafts and recipes for all occasions. Go check it out!

Alison and I have been exchanging emails for the last few weeks and thought it would be fun to do a swap.  (Thanks Alison for letting me guest post today!!)

Today, I will be showing you how to make some adorable and inexpensive

The kiddos are turning 1 and 3 within two weeks of each other.

I thought it would be so fun to throw them a joint birthday party.

I decided on a Circus/Carnival Theme,
and have been going crazy coming up with fun ideas and decorations for the big day.

My daughter is currently obsessed with party hats, so I told her I would make her some FUN hats this year, hence this post
(ALSO fitting since it's Alison's b-day TODAY - Happy Birthday, Alison!)

-Plain Party Hats
-Vinyl Dots or Scrapbook Paper Dots
-Hot Glue
-Scrapbook Paper
-Crepe Paper
-Sewing Machine
-Mod Podge


1. I used my vinyl machine to cut out 1 inch circles of different colors. If you don't have a vinyl machine - no worries! Just cut out (or punch out) circles of scrapbook paper to glue on.

2. Add dots to hats in a random pattern. Set hats aside

3. Grab 2 crepe paper rolls. Put pieces together, back stitch the first inch or so and then sew along the middle. Each hat required about 4 feet of SEWN crepe paper.

4. Grab the unstitched piece of string at the end of the crepe paper and slowly pull, scrunching crepe paper as you go and pulling it towards the end that you started sewing at. You will continue to do this until all the crepe paper is gathered.

5. Once crepe paper is gathered, you can cut into the crepe paper making sure you don't hit the stitch so you can make it look more frayed. Take this piece and hot glue around the base of the party hat.

6. With your leftover crepe paper, hot glue around the top of the party hat.

7. Now you will make the piece that goes onto the hat. To do that you will need to cut TWO 12 inch long and 1.5 inch wide strips of scrapbook paper. You will fold the paper back and forth until you come to the end of the piece. You will then hot glue the ends together as well as the other ends so that it makes a zig-zag circle.

8. Then you will push the edges of the circle in so that it forms an accordion flower. Hot Glue the center and hold. Do the same for the back side of the flower.

9. Now you will need to trace out your number onto chipboard (or cardstock).
Cut out, mod podge the front and add glitter.
Let dry.

10. Hot glue your accordion flower to the front of your hat. Also hot glue your number to the middle of the flower.

Now you have a SUPER CUTE, ONE-OF-A-KIND
Party Hat!
You can even use the same concept for other parties/holidays, like I did for this Halloween Version:

These things are so fun and can cost about $15 A HAT on ETSY and other party sites.
I bought 12 hats for $5, and had all the other supplies at home.

Gotta love it!!

Be sure to come on over to Lil' Luna and say hi.
I'd love to see you there!

Thanks again, Alison, for letting me post, and for being a craft inspiration.
AND - Happy Birthday once again!!!

Have a great day!!

Is she fabulous or what?!  And incredibly sweet, to boot!  You will love Kristyn's adorable blog!  

Dress It Up WIth Vinyl! {Part 1}

My love for vinyl has been growing over the past few months.  It's amazing how a little bit of vinyl can change everything!  Lately, I have been fascinated with the effect of adding vinyl to everyday items!  A bit of vinyl turns the shabby into chic.  Drab to dazzling.  Plain to priceless.  (I could go on...)  Enter my new series:  Dress It Up With Vinyl!  For the next couple of Thursdays, join me for some adventures in vinylizing (yes, I made up that word!) your home!
As I anticipated our first real family reunion last month, I really wanted to create keepsakes for our family.  I wanted each family member to have some kind of souvenir to capture the fun family memories.  My parents had declared Helaman 5:12 {"the rock of our Redeemer"} the theme of our reunion.  Our first day, we took a family bike ride.  At one point, we stopped, and I asked everyone to pick out a good-sized rock.  Later that day, we scrubbed them until they shined!  Then my Mom, sisters, and I applied vinyl decals to each rock.
This is my brother's "bachelor pad" rock.  I love those dark colors!  Each family was able to take home their own souvenir rock, and we have all proudly displayed them in our homes.  My Dad even has one in his office!
Who would have thought that a ROCK could become a keepsake with a bit of vinyl?!  Sweet, simple, and meaningful.  Now that's my kind of craft!

Wednesday’s Wowzers: New Favorites!

Hello, my friends!  I am so glad you're here today!  I hope you are enjoying this lovely fall season! We are in the midst of another crazy-busy week here in our home, so it's always nice to stop and take a break!  Here is a little bit of inspiration for you today from other fabulous bloggers around the web...
You won't believe all of the adorable Halloween projects at Crafts by Amanda!  How creative are these recycled bread tag monsters!  Now here is a project that you could do with your kids that doesn't take anything but bread tags!  Very frugal.  Very fun!
Owls are really growing on me.  Cap Creations' made these incredible bottle cap magnets.  LOVE them!
Holy cuteness!  I found a new favorite blog, and I know you're going to love it!!  Paint It Sew It Thrifty sewed an entire giant M&M package.  Little Man would love these.  He can't get enough M&M's!  So cool!  PLUS...
Amanda also made this clever meal planning tin.  I love the idea of just pulling out a meal idea when I need it!  
You know I love a good bunting/banner!  Candy corn are just too cute, so I love Funky Polkadot Giraffe's candy corn bunting.  I just might be making one of these!!  Thanks for the fun idea!
I was so thrilled when I stumbled across this idea at The Creative Crate.  I have a magnet board just waiting to be used, so I loved this magnetic calendar from The Happy Scraps.  Love those chipboard numbers!
Thanks for making Oopsey Daisy part of your day!

Create With Me: Fabric Pumpkins

We all know and love the fabulous Kari at UCreate!  Well, she had a brilliant idea!  She plans a craft each month that everyone can make and share--just like an online craft club!  She calls this "Create With Me!"  I adore this idea, and my jaw dropped when she planned September's craft:  Fabric pumpkins!  
I actually followed this very tutorial to create my own fabric pumpkins last year.  I think of these pumpkins so fondly... they are my 7 happy little friends.  Last fall, I really ventured into my "crafty" side, and these pumpkins really made me fall in love with crafting.  I even whipped up another set of pumpkins for a friend!  So they are definitely among my favorite craft of all time!  Just looking at them makes me want to make more...
This is my favorite pumpkin!  I love how the fabric gives it texture.  It's the perfect pumpkin size, too.... I want to pick a real pumpkin just like this one!  🙂
I didn't use the fancy fabrics that Holly originally used in her tutorial!  I shopped JoAnn's red tag fabrics, and I love all of the variety of colors and patterns.
Don't they just look happy sitting on the strand of leaves?!
Each pumpkin is tied with a little ribbon bow.
Okay, if these pumpkins don't make you feel "Fallish", I don't know what will!!  You can follow Holly Brimhall's tutorial by clicking here.  These are fun and easy to sew!  Have fun!


Oh me, oh my!  I am already drooling on my keyboard as I type this recipe!  I am such an Italian girl!  I could eat pasta, pizza, and bread every day of the week.  Stromboli was always a family favorite growing up, and I recently discovered  the recipe!  I begged my Mom to send me the recipe, and I finally made it for my own family this week.  It was a BIG hit!  
If you love pizza, you will love stromboli!  Essentially, stromboli is an inside-out pizza!  You pile all of the gooey cheese, tempting toppings, and perfects spices and bake it inside a loaf of bread.  It is surprisingly easy to make!  Come along and see!
1 loaf Rhodes frozen bread dough
Mozzarella cheese (8-12 ounces)
Ham, thinly sliced (8 ounces)
Pepperoni, thinly sliced (8 ounces)
Green pepper, chopped
Onion, chopped
Basil (to your liking)
Oregano (to your liking)
1 beaten egg
Allow bread to thaw and rise.  Roll dough out to about 1/4 - 1/2 inch thick in an oblong shape.  It should be about 7-8 inches wide and 15-18 long.  It should look something like this:
Brush dough with beaten egg.  Place Mozzarella cheese down the center of the dough.  Follow with ham and pepperoni or your choice of meats! I think stromboli tastes best with salty meats like salami.  I have also used Canadian bacon.  Cover meat with green peppers and onion or your choice of vegetables.  (We often use olives and mushrooms, too.)  Sprinkle with basil and oregano.  Top all with more cheese.   Be careful to leave plenty of room around the edges to eliminate mess in the nest step!
Bring up the long sides of bread and pinch together.  Pinch ends together.
Brush with egg.  Turn seam side down on a greased cookie sheet and brush top with beaten egg.
Bake at 400 for 5 minutes.  Then turn to 350 and bake 15-18 minutes more.  Cool and slice.
This is yummy served with green salad and fruit!  I am ready to make another batch right now!  I promise you--you won't be disappointed with this recipe!  Enjoy, my friends!!

Beadboard Pumpkin

FINALLY I have something to add to my fall decor!  
Meet my beadboard pumpkin... my lil' pride and joy!
I bought the wood at The Wood Connection--man, I want a jig saw so I can create projects like this without having to cross state boundaries to gather my supplies!  
I began by spray-painting the beadboard and wood layers and gorilla-glued them together.
I hand-painted the leaves with acrylic paint.  After letting them dry, I used plastic wrap to sponge darker colors onto the leaves.  One of my favorite things about fall is the gorgeous red and orange leaves, so I gave them a lot of tender lovin' care!  I threaded them onto the pumpkin stem using wire.  There is just nothing happier than curly wire!  I curled it by wrapping it around a pencil.
I also wanted the pumpkin to look natural.  In other words, it needed to look DIRTY.  So I sponged some brown acrylic paint around the edges.  As a finishing touch, I painted some orange glitter glue over the entire pumpkin.  It really made the whole thing pop!  A little ribbon was my finishing touch!  So now I feel like I can welcome the fall season!
Happy fall, y'all!

First Week of Mommy School!

This week I started "Mommy School" with Little Man!  It was a lot of work to prepare lesson plans and materials again.... and it was a bit different than teaching first grade!  We did our learning in short, rapid spurts.  I aimed for about a half hour in the morning and a half hour in the evening!
Here is a little picture sneak peek into our week:
Letter of the Week:  C
Target Vocabulary Words:  Car, caterpillar, cat, cow, cookie
Theme:  Cars and Trucks
Number:  Introduction to counting
Color/Shape:  Introduction to colors
Nursery Rhyme:  One, Two, Buckle My Shoe
Theme activities:
* We played in a sensory tub with sand, blocks, cars, and trucks. (#2 above)
* We painted a car by driving matchbox cars through paint and then onto paper. (#4 above)
* We experimented with texture by covering car ramp with aluminum foil, saran wrap, sand paper, etc., and discovering how it affected the cars' speed. (#5 above)
* We drove cars and trucks through play dough. (#7 above)
* We made and ate race car snacks.
Field Trips:
* We took a field trip to Costco.  This was the highlight of the week!
* We went on a picnic and counted how many blue cars we saw, how many red cars, etc.
* We went for a walk and used sidewalk chalk to draw roads and a town for Little Man to drive his matchbox cars.
* We went to the car wash!  Little Man "drove" the car while we vacuumed.  We came home and had our own matchbox car wash in the bath tub! (#8 above)
Color Activities:
* Went color shopping by taking a basket from room to room and finding objects that were a certain color.
* We created colored ice cubes with food coloring. (#9 above)
* We graphed matchbox cars by color using car color cards.  (#1 above)

Counting Activities:
* We counted cars to learn one-to-one correspondence. (#3 above)
* We made a caterpillar out of paper circles and counted them with chocolate chips.
Other C-themed activities:
* We created a "C" word wall with pictures of family members and logos (like Costco!) that start with C.  
* We made cookies in the shape of the letter "C" after reading If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.
* We taped a giant letter C on our kitchen floor using painters tape.  Little Man traced the C with his cars.
* We played "Who Stole the Cookie From the Cookie Jar?"
* We learned about caterpillars.  We made a caterpillar out of the letter C using pipe cleaner, google eyes, and pompoms.  (#6 above)

We also had our first Muffin Tin meal.  Little Man LOVED his C-themed meal in his little muffin tin!!  We will definitely be doing this again!
I am so excited with how our first week of Mommy School went!  Little Man woke up every morning, eager and thrilled to discover the "C" word wall and couldn't wait to learn more!  It required a bit of hard work, but a definite success!

Quiet Book Templates

Well, you asked for it... you got it!!  Today, I have 9 quiet book templates to share with you!  I am definitely not an artist, so with a little tracing and some help from my trusty ruler, I got to work!  I included the Mr. Potato Head and Chicka Chicka Boom Boom pages per your requests!  Here is a little preview of our spud friend:

You can download your set of 9 quiet book templates here.   (Update:  As of 8/2/12, this link IS working!!)

I hope this will give you a bit of a jump start to beginning your own quiet book!

Be sure to e-mail me photos if you make these pages!  I would absolutely love to see them!  Enjoy this little treat on your Friday.

PS I have had a couple of people ask if I would possibly sell quiet books.  Thank you for your kindness!  Well, because  I spent about 4 hours per page on my book, I would have to charge a fortune to make a profit!  Unfortunately, I think I will just celebrate that my book is done!
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