Friday, February 10, 2012

Toddler Valentine's Cards

*WARNING* If you are a Lolli, Grandad, Nana, Papa, or Yia-Yia, don't look past the first picture! It will ruin your surprise!

Last year, when all the blogs were abuzz with cute Valentine's days crafts, I have to admit I felt a little left out. Ben was only about 14 months old and I think I'd barely worked up the courage to let him wield a washable marker. But this year, he's a self-proclaimed "big boy" with a few months of painting experience under his belt so we dove right into making some special cards for the grandparents. They are simple, sweet, and the right ratio of messy:easy to clean up.

You will need: White cardstock, paint, foam mounting dots (or just glue, if you don't have them on hand), a heart punch, envelopes to fit the cards in once done.

Step 1: Let your kiddo paint all over a piece of cardstock or two. I think the secret to success in making gift art is to limit the color palette so everything doesn't end up just brown. I offered him red, pink and purple and he went to town. While the kiddo is painting, fold some blank sheets of cardstock in half, as many as you want. The paint should be all mixed together by now, ready for step 2.

Step 2: Set aside the painted on pieces of paper to dry. Take a deep breath, dip your kid's hand into the paint, and "stamp" it onto the paper cards you folded. Be sure to make one for yourself!

Step 3: Set the hand print cards aside to to dry. Clean up all the paint and hands and walls and have a drink if necessary (ha ha). The toddler paintings should be dry by now. Use the hole punch and punch hearts out from the painted paper. Ben loved this part best, we made lots of hearts!

Step 4: Use the foam mounting dots or glue to add hearts to the card.
Step 5: Fill out the inside of the card with your message and send to your loved ones!

Bonus Round: Use leftover painted paper to make note cards with a heart punched out. Also, just go a little crazy with the heart punch. I know I did!

Ben really seemed to enjoy doing this. He kept saying "Dec-rate gift cards!". I have no idea why he was calling them gift cards, but it was really cute and made my day! It was a happy way to spend the morning.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The River Ombre

Pattern: Kalajoki
Yarn: Knit Picks Bare Stroll Sock Blank
(Post about dying this yarn here)
Needles: Size 2 dpns

I loved how these turned out! It was my first time knitting knee socks and my first time using a charted pattern. The chart was a bit daunting at first, but once I color-coded the symbols, it went smoothly. This is a relatively fast pattern, since most of it is stockinette. It was probably not the best choice for knee socks, since they seem to be a little saggy after wearing, but it doesn't really bother me since I'll only be wearing them around the house.
Oh, and I used the Streets and YOs Knee Socks! pattern to adapt the original. And, as usual, I knit these toe-up. That prevented me from continuing in pattern to the tip of the toe, but I think they still look ok. I'm happy I got them done in time to wear during what little cold weather we have left. It is not easy taking pictures of yourself in knee socks!