cookieOptions = {...}; Kent Heartstrings: April 2014

Fairy Garden // DIY // QT time with my daughter

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

My daughter loves being such a girly girl.  Pink, ribbons, dress-up, princess and so on is her life.  She loves fairies too, so as a fun and basically free project we made a fairy garden.  My husband has been telling Gigi for sometime now that growing fairies come to her at night and make her grow, thats why she has gotten so big recently...duh?!  She of course is sold on that idea, so it came at a perfect time when I suggested that we make a home for them to visit when they come to see her.  She was IN TO IT, wow, if only I could bottle that enthusiasm up and channel it towards cleaning her room or eating her dinner, ah well. 

It was fun to have a project to work together on and spend only me and her time, since Charlie is always around and the needs of a baby are such that my attention is always on demand for him when he needs it, I fear she gets neglected. But she is a champ and is a very understanding, sweet girl.  It was fun to see her imagination come alive, and she thought of things I would not....she made sure there were blankets (leaves), pillows (flowers), and a broom to sweep up (a feather). 

It took very little effort and no money.  I already bought a miniature garden set a few years ago, I cut succulent clippings for the garden and we literally just walked around our yard collecting scraps of things here and there that would suit our (and the fairies) needs.  I also had a few left-over things from her fairy themed birthday party a few years ago- a few small bunting flags i made, moss, small flowers etc..

Here is the end result:

The happy little sprite =)

Linking up:

Burlap Rag Wreath // DIY

Monday, April 28, 2014

I have been eyeing this Burlap Rag wreath for sometime now, so I decided to attempt it for myself. I loved it so much I had it be one of the featured crafts at Kreative craft was a huge hit! Here is a simple tutorial on how to make one for yourself.

Step 1: Attain all your materials

Choose the size wreath you desire and buy a wire form, the one featured is a 12inch, but the one on my door is an 18inch (which is a standard wreath size). Have sharp scissors or roller cutter (like a pizza cutter, but for fabric) to cut Burlap into stripes...and of course Burlap, lots of Burlap.  For an 18inch wreath you need about 3 yards of Burlap.  

Step 2: Cut Burlap 

You will want to cut your yards of burlap first into large sections of 12inch wide Burlap and then cut your strips about 1-2 inch thick.  For a very full wreath you want 250-260 strips or for just a little less full 165-170 could suffice. 

Step 3: Tie up your strips

The wire form is broken up into 4 rows of wire around and then there is a vertical piece that stabalizes them, therefore making little sections- for an 18in wreath form there are 9 sections.  So for every little section each row of wire you will want to tie 6-8 strips per row for a very" full" look OR if you do not want to put so much work into it, but still have a good looking wreath you can save a little time and effort and combine the 2 wires in the middle as 1 wire (aka you will only have 3 rows across to tie strips instead of 4).  I double knotted each strip, that aided in creating a "fuller" effect.

Step 4: Repeat Repeat Repeat

The wreath is really starting to come together and take shape, then before you know it....Boom!

It is done!  Fluff the burlap, add some extra strips to any holes until your happy with it. All in all this takes an hour and a half to accomplish, including all the cutting and tying of the burlap strips.

Step 5:  Embellish ... add YOUR flare!

Since it is close to summer time, I chose white sea-stars to embellish my wreath and of course a 'K' for a personal touch (it's the first initial of our last name).  What is SOOO great about this wreath is it's versatility. It acts as a blank canvas to fun things you want to put on it- ANYTHING looks good on it- therefore it could stay up all year... just add things to fit the season or holiday.  You definitely get the most bang for your buck with this wreath!  I am seriously in LOVE with mine!  Check out some cute picks from Kreative craft night Here and see this wreath come to life by the women who attended that night!

Homeschool // Preschool CO-OP

Thursday, April 24, 2014

The year 2013 brought many changes for our family and for many of our friends, namely a handful of us moms are now either stay-at-home moms or only working part-time.  For our family we are blessed for me to be at home full time with the kiddos.  My cousin, Diana, came up to me sometime over the summer and asked about getting together for some preschool thing with our kids.  I got really excited about it and in one evening Diana and I had punched out a tentative schedule and outline of what the days would look like.  Diana blasted out an email to all the moms we knew that could make it work, we got two responses, so all together there was four Moms and four preschool aged kids (plus we all now have #2 in tow as well).

Its the perfect number, 4, since we meet only once a week (Thursdays), we are able to evenly spread out the lessons in a given month.

So here is the breakdown:

  • We meet once a week, Thursdays from 9:45-12ish
  • Whoever is teaching the lesson is also hosting the event at their house
  • Every month has an overlying theme and each week we break it down
  • Mom pack a lunch so that after the lesson (11ish) the kids can play and have lunch before heading home
  • We do NOT drop the kids off, this all for one- one for all participatory co-op

This is an example of what we did our very first "Semester" just to give you a visual

September theme: SEASONS

September 5th-Summer--host: Cassie
September 12th-Fall--host: Sarah
Sept. 19- Winter--host: Steph
Sept. 26th- Spring--host: Diana 

October theme: Transportation

Oct. 3rd-cars/buses--host: Cassie
Oct. 10th-train/trolley--host: Sarah (field trip taking Trolley downtown)
Oct. 17th-planes--host: Steph
Oct. 24th-lesson on the saints--host: Diana
Oct. 31st-NO CLASS  

November theme: Animals 

Nov. 7- Mammals--host: Cassie
Nov. 14th- Amphibians/Reptiles--host: Sarah
Nov. 21st- Insects--host: Steph
Nov. 28th- NO CLASS  

Theme for December: Advent 

Dec.5- Meaning of Advent (Advent chain)--host: Diana

Sample of Lesson Schedule:
9:45- Arrive/Prep
10:02- Intro to lesson
10:15- Lesson/Story
10:35- Snack
10:45- hand on experience/craft
11:00- Play time!

As a side note some of you might be wondering what is happening with the other siblings while the lesson is happening, and well its really a week to week thing on how we handle it.  Sometimes all other moms that are not the teacher take all the kids out to another room or outside to play/distract the kids. Or we let the 2yr olds somewhat participate as long as they are quiet.  The trickiest part is the sibling whose mom is teaching that day, because depending on their mood they only want mommy, so those days the 2yr old sits on the mommy's lap during the entire lesson.  We all try to help each other out and manage as best we can, its not an exact science, just organized chaos- we survive. 

 It really is simple, low-key and fun.  I encourage anyone that has a group of moms with young kids- at any age- to get together and learn something together! I know it takes alittle more effort then get togethers at the park, but it is so worth it!  Its been a fun bonding experience for both the kids and the moms, plus its a great feeling that you are giving your kids an educational and intentional experience. *Insert a well deserved pat on the back* mommy moment.

We are now in our spring semester and it is going great! Its a lot of fun for the kids, and the moms! I think we all kinda have the hang of it, figured out what works well for our group, figured out the attention spans of the kids and are really starting to hit our stride with confidence. All enjoy getting together, getting out of the house, breaking up the week and learning something fun and exciting!  We will reevaluate for the next year how we will do it or if we can do it all, since family dynamics change all the time (Gigi is the oldest so she will actually be in Kinder in the fall), but for now we are all super excited that this has worked out as well as it has!

Here are the cute little students that we have:  Gigi (4), Michael (4), Sammy (3), Jonny (3) (siblings in tow are Charlie (4months), Gabriel (2), William (2) and Noah(2)) 

DIY Craft // String Art // State of California

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

So just to be a little "Punny" my first DIY Craft is a spin of the Blog's namesake.  A "heart-string" project.  I did this for Christmas gifts for my family 2 years ago, and it was a big hit, plus an extra bonus its super easy.  Here is the finished project:

The original inspiration for me came from Pinterest....lets be honest, everything comes from Pinterest =)
The original inspiration came from  here, but since I don't live in Ohio I adapted it for California. I tried the technique where all the string leads to the heart, but since the heart wasn't as centrally placed, I felt like it didn't look as good as doing a scattered version like above.  We bought a plank of wood, my husband cut and routed them into shape, I stained and stringed it and...voila! there you have it.  

TIP:  For extra definition I strung the entire outside and also painted the tips of the heart nails red to make it really Pop!

This artwork in our home now resides on our dining room wall:
I found this project to be very quick and easy once all the materials were gathered, I highly recommend it to add a fun accent to your home!

Introduction // Welcome

Monday, April 21, 2014

Well this is it, the first post of what was a long overdue start to my blog.  For too long fear of the unknown stopped me from doing this. It is a little intimidating, but here we go.  Duc in Altum...into the deep, diving in!....  What I love about "Blogs" is the opportunity to share, relate and be a part of someones life whether you know them or not and it therefore connects you with another- a string, a heartsring. Blogs can remind us of humanity and has the opportunity to unite us in a shared community.  I am not a great writer, I don't always spell things right (thank you spell check!), am grammatically incorrect most of the time and my husband is always kind to point out my improper use of words in incorrect contexts.  So you have been officially warned to read at your own risk. I am putting pride and perfection aside in order to share my heart, life, let others in, be vulnerable, be raw, be real, love, and learn.  We can only be impacted and learn from others if we let them in, I hope to let you 'IN' in order that I too will be let 'IN' to your life so we may grow and learn together how to handle life's adventures. Whatever form posts take on this blog I can only hope that ultimately my musings will create a space for joy, inspiration and love. Welcome. 

We are the Kent Family, nice to meet you.

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