Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Taking a blogging break with summer guests!

     Summer visitors finally arrived, and I took a break from blogging. We enjoyed the grands while their parents moved house. Then, super niece and nephew, Brittany and Alan Clayton, arrived from Texas. We swam and ate lobsters. Interested in American history, the siblings hit the Freedom Trail, the new MFA wing, and JFK Library among other fine sites. What fun!

Click to enlarge photos.
      When David and Erika stayed with us one weekend, I had a craft found all over the Internet that interested both children...making racing cars from empty TP tubes. We collected tubes for about 4 or 5 cars. They painted the tubes in fast-drying acrylic colors. To make the wheels, I used circle cutters from my TV craft days on ABC's The Good Day Show; but all you need to do is draw circles in cardboard and cut them out (I used some black foam core) .

      You will also cut circles for steering wheels and hubcaps. Attach wheels with pronged fastening brads. Help the children mark and cut the seating area by drawing and cutting an H on top. Check the many Internet sites for varied instructions. Making cars was a lot of fun and a source of pride to the children.

      At the same time, a friend said she was hosting an octopus birthday party. Abby at While She Naps offered a free pattern for an octopus! I had some spotted fleece which I cut up, as she suggested, into 16"x 16" squares,. From that, I cut out 5" squares in the corners. Abby suggests you cut 6 strips on each side and then secure and tie up a  3" styrofoam ball with string. The children braid two legs on each side for a total of 8 octopus legs. If you buy 16" of fleece off a bolt, you'll  have enough left for small blankets. Those 5" square corner leftovers make doll pillows. Abby once encouraged me to blog, saying it encourages productivity.You will enjoy scrolling through her site.

       For the parents' viewing, I left out the cars, octopuses, pillows and blankets, drawings, as well as some Sculpey clay pieces. I got in a little beading. I love vacations.

Sketching and lobsters at Summer Shack



  1. What a fun post! I LOVE those race cars! I think my 3 boys might like them better than making those stitched and painted canvas quilts! Loved the pictures of the children and your niece and nephew. The octopuses were cute, too. Or it is octopi????

    1. Haha. You know I looked up the spelling of "octopus" plural! I found three versions.

  2. Thanks for printing info re the octopus again as I never got around to buying the needed supplies. I had told Savannah about it and she thought it was "awesome."

    Now, I can follow-up before her next visit. KB-B

  3. Oh, I love the cars--may make a couple just for me. Fun! You know how to have a happy, busy summer. (I think happy and busy go together!)

  4. Linda, I totally love your cars. Erika and David are darling as usual. I know Liam and Chris would love to make those cars. I have several months to prepare. Your niece and nephew are darling, too. Wonderful family.

  5. What a fun idea! ES

  6. Your sketches were wonderful, quite realistic!