Sep 29, 2013

Pencil Dot Art treat bags

I have one more halloween treat packaging idea 
to share with you.

It's quick, easy and fun-approved by the kids. 

Pencil Dot Art

Here's what you'll need:

1. paper bags (fun size)
2. ink pads
3. new pencils with erasers
4. kids

pencil dot art supplies:
bags, ink pads, pencils with erasers!

This is NOT a messy project unless you have very messy kids, then you'll want to protect your work area.

Orderly or random stamping, your choice!

While the kids were busy stamping, I created some tags for the bags.

Tag supplies:
Spellbinders label die, Memento ink,
Ranger embossing powder, CM circle punches,
Stampin'Up background stamp and
Joy's Life Halloween Puns stamp set.

Stop by the Joy's Life design team blog to see more
Halloween bag ideas all this week!

Quick, easy & kid friendly crafting!

Do you have ideas for quick kid-friendly crafts?
I would love to hear about them.

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I wrote this post while designing for Joy's Life.

Sep 26, 2013

Inspire Me Fridays 122 - Anything Goes!

Welcome to this week's Inspire Me Friday link-up!

Thank you all for sharing SO much inspiration last week! 
Your creativity has me in complete awe!! 
and my 'to-do' list continues to grow. 

Inspire Me Fridays features...

Sep 25, 2013

A Day in the Life of a Homeschooler - Guest Post

One of the things I like best about blogging is meeting new friends! So today, I would like you to meet Laura Lane, a fellow blogger & homeschooler. Her blog is filled with frugal ideas, great tips and fun adventures. 

I've asked her to introduce herself and tell us what a 'homeschooling day' looks like in her home!

Hello!  We're the Lane Family.  I'm Laura Lane.   My husband, Lowell, works at a church.  My eldest, Matthew, graduated in 2009.  He attended high school after being homeschooled for 10 years.  I currently homeschool Emily, 16, Michael, 14, and Amy, 12. 

We're rather relaxed, eclectic homeschoolers.  I didn't really plan it that way, but life happens when you have a husband who is in ministry.  There's a bit of drop everything and go when he calls to our life.  Two years ago, our area was devastated by what the world knows as the Joplin, Missouri tornado.  We live about ten miles from Joplin.  A couple of days after the tornado, my husband walked in and asked Pastor Dan what he could do to help.  He walked out with a job as the coordinator and community liaison and a plan to house volunteers in the vacant house next door (about 400 over the summer by his estimates).   Though we no longer have volunteers staying with us, the kids and I have been on call to volunteer for the last two years. ~smile~  Things have finally settled down giving us the chance to settle down into a new autumn school routine. 

This is what our school days will look like this autumn, if all goes according to plan. ~smile~

We try to get most of our work done in the morning.  The first child out of bed gets the first chance to do math.  All of the children use Teaching Textbooks, a computer based math program.  There's a bit of competition between my two youngest children to see who's first. ~smile~  We eat breakfast and two children do dishes while the third goes on to start Bible.  The others start Bible when they're done.  Math is done as the computer comes available.  We will work all morning, then hopefully, be able to do some more creative activities in the afternoon.  Of course, if the lessons aren't finished, they'll have to be finished.

Where:  We homeschool all over the house.  I want my children to be lifelong learners.  I think that allowing them a little flexibility in where they do their lessons makes them less resistant to learning.  I also catch them doing what I jokingly call "unauthorized learning" once in awhile.  You know, reading a book or studying even if it wasn't assigned.  I make a big deal out of it in jest. ~smile~

How:  Much of our learning is reading based.   We read a lot of whole books.  I was attracted to Charlotte Mason's teachings but never followed her 100%.  We have used a combination of textbooks, workbooks, computer programs, videos and hands-on lessons over the years. We're still reading a lot for Science, but my older children will start Biology this year.  History and Latin are video based.  Michael and Emily will do history together.  All of the children learn Latin together.  Spelling, grammar and writing are usually a bit more mom intensive. ~smile~ 

Why:  To put it simply, God told us to.  I explain it all in detail in this post:  Why We Homeschool.

Helpful hints:
  • Pray!  God cares deeply for you and for your children.  He will guide you.
  • Read read read to your children from birth.  Keep reading even after they learn to read.
  • As soon as they can read, require them to sit and read/look at books for thirty minutes a day.  Perhaps after lunch.
  • When they graduate to chapter books, increase their silent reading time to an hour a day.  My children have become excellent readers as a result. 
  • Don't give up!  Your family is unique.  Your homeschool will be unique.  Don't try to do it just like someone else.  Pick and choose ideas and find what works for your family.

What I really want you to know:  You will not be perfect in your child training, your homeschooling, or your homemaking.  It's okay.  Pray, research the best methods for you, and be flexible in your implementation.  Teaching your child to love the Lord our God with all their hearts, minds, souls, and strength is ultimately the goal.  God wants that, too.  He'll help you.

Be blessed!

Laura Lane is mom to four children, ages 14-22.  She's homeschooled since 1996, is married to her high school sweetheart, and is debt-free.  She writes about homemaking, saving money through thrifty living, homeschooling, books, her family life, and her love of God and her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Find her at Harvest Lane Cottage.

visit Laura @ Harvest Lane Cottage

Thank you so much Laura for sharing your precious time with us today!

Sep 23, 2013

The Home Schooling Matters!

One of the reasons I've started this newer blog was to 'cross-over' from a craft-only format to a lifestyle blog. But old habits die hard. Although I've been posting crafts other than cards, I still haven't shared many articles about other areas of my life.

Our family homeschools!
And it's not just something we do, it's part of who we are. Homeschooling is a lifestyle.

We've homeschooled our four kids from the start and have really enjoyed the closeness it's brought to our family!

After 20 years of homeschooling four very different children, I've learned quite a bit and will be writing articles here & there to share some fun tips and great resources that have worked for us!

Stay tuned!

Be My Guest! 
If you're a homeschooling Mom and would like to share an article here at Five Simple Things, just let me know in a comment below and we'll talk!

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Sep 22, 2013

My Journal with Burlap Pen Holder

Whether you call it a notebook, journal or a Smash book we all need a fun way to keep track of our thoughts, dreams, adventures, experiences and yes, even our paint swatches.

you're more powerful than you know!
kraft paper book cover, scrapbooking paper scraps, Zva Creative bling,
Stampin' Up bird stamp (Nature Walk), button, initial sticker, burlap, 

sewing machine, re-purposed book and Joy's Life sentiment stamp (My Hero)

Here's my latest version!

I have so much fun making these, and this one has 
an added bonus...a pen holder.
When I saw Close to my Heart 
consultant Tresa Black's burlap pen holder
on Pinterest, I just knew I had to make one! No more
digging around my purse for a writing implement.
Yes, I'm a homeschool mom & yes, I should always
be prepared to jot down exactly what my children are
doing so I can 'count' it as school-time. But honestly,
I rarely can find a pen or pencil in my purse or 
anywhere in my house for that matter.
 They magically disappear!

So I'm lovin' this idea!

I ran my Martha Stewart punched border through my Xyron machine to securely affix it to the spine of my journal. 

My burlap pen holder was created with a scrap pc. of burlap leftover from one of my fall wreaths. It's a continuous piece that overlaps in the front than folds down to create a pocket. 

Be sure to checkout the Joy's Life design team blog all this week for more rustic inspiration!

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I wrote this post while designing for Joy's Life.

Sep 21, 2013

Upcycled toilet paper rolls for Halloween!

Welcome to our
Joy's Life
monthly blog hop!

Ready for some fun halloween ideas? 

Although we do not get any Trick or Treaters wayyyy out here in the country, I make up a few treats for family & friends with little ones.

Here's my super quick & easy treat packaging for this year!

The sentiments are from Joy's Life, Halloween Puns stamp set, 
I embossed the TREAT stamp & colored them 
with my Prismacolor markers.

materials used for this project:
toilet paper rolls
tissue paper
scrapbooking paper scraps
Washi tape 
Memento ink & Embossing powder
Joy's Life stamps (Halloween Puns)
Cricut cart-
A Frightful Affair (ghost) altered w/CCR software...

I stretched the tall ghost shape to widen him a bit to fit my project better. When cutting the shapes, I cut a white ghost with facial cut outs for my top layer then "hide" the contour lines of the face for a solid black shape and an additional white shape to layer.

I wanted to use by beloved Xyron to attach my layers but also wanted my ghost to have a "free flowing" bottom, so I used the masking technique with Post-It Notes and created "partial" stickers!

Smiley Be sure to leave a comment below 
for a bit of "crafty candy"! 
I'll pick a winner by next weekend.

Thanks so much for stopping by, 
you're next hop stop is our super creative Stacey

full hop list here.

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Sep 19, 2013

Inspire Me Fridays 121 - Anything Goes!

Welcome to this week's Inspire Me Friday Linky Party!

I hope you'll join in!  
We love seeing what you have to share with us!

Inspire Me Fridays features...

Sep 17, 2013

Wooden Leaves - Fall Decor

Time to decorate for autumn!

I've been wanting to include a few more autumn accents in my seasonal decorating throughout the house. When I saw these cute leaves, bingo! I knew I had to make some!

Hubby made me a few maple leaves cut from solid walnut scraps using Martha Stewart's template here

I found these beautiful rich tones in my K&K paper scraps (Que Sera Sera 2010).

Trace each leaf for a rough outline pattern to cut. It DOES NOT have to be perfect, you'll be sanding your edges.

Cut & glue down the paper all the way to the edges, smoothing out any air bubbles. (I used Aleene's Tacky Glue)

When the glue dries completely, sand off the excess paper around the edge with a sanding block or some heavy sandpaper.


I used my Joy's Life stamp set, It's All Fall Puns to add little greetings!  Be sure to stop by Joy's blog today, Joy's Life, to check out some great stamping inspiration @ the "It's All Fall Parade!"  

These will look so pretty scattered around the house on tables & windowsills.

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Sep 15, 2013

Autumn Scrapbook LO - Joy's Life

Autumn scrapbooking.

Nut'n is better
than being together!

I'm getting ready for our annual fall photo shoot
with this scrapbook page!

We're a bunch of nuts so this is themed perfectly.

Here's what I used to create this page.

Joy's Life sentiment stamps (It's All Fall Puns
Stampin' Up papers (Everyday Enchantment) & cardstock,
baker's twine, Memento ink, Martha Stewart border punch,
Creative Memories circle punch, gel pen, piercing tool,
Xyron sticker machine & Ad tech tape runner,
Cricut cartridges used:
 2013 (Something to Celebrate)
squirrel (April Showers)
Autumn word & acorns (Stretch Your Imagination)
hearts & scallop rectangle (basic cart on CCR)

My quick tip of the day!

Simply tuck your paper strip into your 
heart punch and nip off the end!

All this week, the Joy's Life designers will be showcasing scrapbook layouts, be sure to follow along on our team blog.

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Sep 12, 2013

Inspire Me Fridays 120 - Anything Goes!

Welcome to this week's Inspire Me Fridays linky party!

Thank you to all who stop by to be inspired and all who share to inspire others!

Inspire Me Fridays features...

Sep 8, 2013

To a Fungi - shaped card

To a Fungi! 
A mushroom shaped masculine birthday card.

The Joy's Life designers are creating fun shaped cards this week.

So many shapes, I couldn't decide what I wanted to make until I saw this...

...during our nature walk.  "Fungus among us" was mentioned and I immediately remembered Joy's fun sentiment in her Wild Life Puns stamp set.  ahh, a shaped card was born.

The kids even had me take a photo of the card against our tree (we have a tree in our great room) to depict this memorable moment. 

I hope you'll stop by the Joy's Life team blog to see the daily inspiration of shape cards this week. 

materials used:
Joy's Life Wild Life Puns stamps,
Memento ink (rich cocoa),
MME papers (On the bright side two)
Cricut cart: Groovy Times cut @ 6"

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I wrote this post while designing for Joy's Life.

Sep 5, 2013

Inspire Me Fridays 119 - Anything Goes!

Welcome to this week's Inspire Me Fridays link-up!

Join in, be inspired & help inspire others!

Inspire Me Fridays features...

Sep 1, 2013

Record this Day file box - Recycle

"Tell me something awesome about today!"

That is a question I asked my kids 
at the end of every day when they
were young!

It opened the door to many wonderful
conversations and I was able to "see"
into the hearts of my precious little ones!

recycled cardboard box, Washi tape,
Echo Park papers (For the Record)
Joy's Life stamps (My Hero)

With school starting, this would be a great way to encourage your children to talk about their day with a positive attitude.

"Tell me something awesome about today."

Let them think for a minute, 'good thoughts,' then jot it down on an index card or let them write it out if they're old enough.  

(helping the teacher pass out papers, encouraging a friend, sitting beside a lonely child on the bus, etc.)

Date it (month, year) and file it under the number date (1-31). 
You'll be creating a beautiful memory file over the years!

Record a Day file box - divider cards

Using my paper scraps, I created divider cards with number stickers and my Joy's Life, My Hero stamp set; so many encouraging sentiments!

The file card box was made with a re-cycled beverage box!

I hope you enjoyed my little project.  Be sure to check out  
all the back to school projects posted daily on the Joy's Life

How do you encourage a positive attitude 
in your children?

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I wrote this post while designing for Joy's Life.

I shared today's project with -