Monday, April 30, 2012

Nickelodeon Gak & Floam Review

Child of the 90s?  Remember Nickelodeon's Gak and Floam?  Well, they're back!  We've been having a blast playing with them.  They're great for playtime, creative fun, and have been updated with a new formula to make them easier to use and clean up.   
Gak has an unusual smooth texture and is made for squishing, twisting, squashing, rolling, flattening, twisting and all around hands-on fun!  It's available in Blue It, Yakkity Yellow, Goo Green, Tickled Pink, Purple Panic, in addition to the Rebel Red version we're playing with in our pictures.
Guess what Gak also does?  When you squeeze it, makes little cracking and popping noises.  Twisting and poking your fingers into it, will also get it to make cool sounds.  When we pushed our Gak back into it's container, ER couldn't stop giggling over the noises it made.  So if you kids get a kick out of that sort of thing, let's just say, they'll love Gak!
Have I mentioned you can also stretch it?  Stretch it, into really, really, long ropes?  You can also hold it up in the air and let a little drip out of your fingers and watch it stretch out into a thinner and thinner line of Gak all the way down to the floor. 
But the way we most liked playing with Gak was, using it to blow bubbles!  All you have to do is take a little bit and stick a straw into it.  Create a seal around the straw by pushing the Gak around it.  Then blow.  Talk about cool!  Now, I'll admit I was kind of skeptical about this working.  I was amazed by how well it worked.  ER had fun blowing bubble after bubble.

Gak easily passed the kid test, ER thought it was just the coolest thing.  So did it pass the mom test?  Yes but with the warning that it's for play with parent supervision.  The good news, it was pretty easy to clean up any bits of Gak left on our play mat with a damp paper towel.  It washed off hands easily too.

The downside is there is no way ER would've been able to clean up by herself.  Gak is sticky and slightly tacky.  If all the Gak wasn't wiped up right away, I would be worried it wouldn't come off at all.  I don't know what would happen in that case, and with the bright colors I don't want to find out!  ER was so excited to play with the Gak, blowing bubbles til the burst, slapping it from hand to hand, etc.  I could see bits flying around and getting stuck in odd places if I wasn't there to oversee the play and keep it from getting crazy.

Also, no matter how hard we tried we just couldn't get that darn Gak to bounce for us.  Whenever we tried it would just hit the play mat or ground with a thud and spread out.  This actually wasn't a problem for me.  I could just see bits of dirt getting suck in the Gak whenever it hit the floor...and it bouncing places it shouldn't, like onto the carpet.  My advice is have fun, go crazy, but wear play clothes and use a play mat like plastic place mat or a sheet of aluminum foil.  And always, clean up right away!
Now onto the Floam, a reusable molding compound you can create wth over and over or let let harden overnight into a creation you can keep forever.
Use Floam to mold, fold, flatten, and roll into shapes or free form sculptures.  ER enjoyed using her favorite cookie cutters to make a Blazin' Blue Poodle and an Electric Yellow Heart.  She loved adding a little face. 
The pebbly, sticky texture is fun to feel.  It can be molded onto things you have around the house, like picture frames, flower pots, pencils, or toys to transform it into a Floam masterpiece.
Available in Rockin' Red, Blazin' blue, Electric Yellow, Glimmer Green, Posh Pink, and Purple Power.  Each comes in an air tight container to store it in, with a mini shaper like this itty bitty star. 

Bottom line, ER loved making stuff with Floam.  She can't wait to shape more things!  I liked it a lot too, it was definitely something different and unique from the other molding compounds we've used.  I also felt more comfortable letting her play with this indpendently.  I could set out the Floam and let her keep busy with molding, shaping, and sculpting while I get some cleaning done without worries.

Gak and Floam are non-toxic, non-staining, phthalete-, latex- and BPA - free and are available at Target, Toys R Us,, Bed Bath and Beyond, A.C. Moore and Walgreens.  Both have a suggested retail price of $6.99.


Disclosure: Complimentary samples of both Gak and Floam were provided for review via Team Mom.  The opinions and experiences expressed are personal and unbiased.  No other compensation was received.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Thumbprint Flower Brooch for Mother's Day

When I got the Riley Blake fabric from Oh My Crafts, one of the first things I wanted to make was a big shabby chic fabric flower.  I knew it I knew it would just be beautiful and I was so right!  I just finished this gorgeous flower brooch. With a very special thumbprint center, it makes an extra special Mother's Day present...for um, myself.  Ya, ya, I know...but if I don't make it I won't end up with a keepsake like this.  Cause you know my hubster may be a smarty pants and very sweet but I can't see him whipping out the sewing machine, not in this lifetime!
When I went to figure out how to make the flower, I didn't have to look any farther than A Crafty Soiree, the weekly linky I co host.  Melissa's burlap bows and flowers caught my eye, her flower was exactly the look I wanted.  I pretty much followed her directions for the basic flower so I won't recap here, not when you can go check out her very nicely done tutorial.  Just a note, the circles I used are 3 inches and 3.5 inches in diameter.

I did make a couple of changes.  I decided to outline the circles for my flowers with a thin tip pink Sharpie.  I thought this would give the circles the look of being "inked", a look I really like in scrapbooking.  I also sewed on the folded up circles to the brooch, to make them lay flatter.  This allows the thumbprint heart to be attached more easily.  I love seeing all the stitching, it gives it such cool artsy look.
The best part of this project is that it's a mother daughter creation and I wind up with a keepsake of my little girl ♥  To make the thumbprint heart:
  1. Take some white Crayola Model Magic and stamp directly onto it with a pink ink pad until you like the shade. 
  2. Mixed both together, transforming the color from white to pink. 
  3. Rolled out onto wax paper.
  4. Cut out a heart with a cookie cutter.
  5. Ink thumb with a slightly darker shade of pink. 
  6. Press thumb into the Crayola Model Magic twice to make a heart.
  7. Let dry overnight or several days, it will harden but still be slightly squishy.
  8. Gently peel heart off wax paper.
  9. Add a thin coat of clear nail polish to protect your heart.
  10. Glue to center of fabric flower brooch.
I also added some green leaves, that I hand cut and then stitched, poorly as you can see, to felt backing.  Don't worry if bad stitching happens to you too, just hide that part beneath the flower and no one need ever know.  Like how the stripes alternate and are both horizontal and vertical?  Yep, I actually did that on purpose, and was quite pleased by the funky look they give the brooch.  I was kinda worried it would look ridiculous, isn't it nice when things work out the first time?  Use some fabric glue to stick them on, hot glue if you're in a hurry, and a few stitches if you want it to look pretty.  Guess which way I went.

To finish up, since you've already got the hot glue gun out, just glue a pin backing onto the back of your flower, near to top so it hangs properly when worn.  Then enjoy a punch of color on your lapel, handbag, or wherever else you can think to pin it on!  Now you can wear your kids over your heart ♥
Fabric used for this project include:
Disclaimer: Riley Blake fabric provided by Oh My Crafts.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

A Crafty Soiree #87

Thank you for joining us!  I am so excited to see what you've all been up to.  You guys rock!  I visit each and everyone of you each week and love getting to know you!  Leave me a comment with the number of your linked up project and I'll make sure I leave a comment on your post.
Guess what?!  I'm officially an AUNT!!!   My brother in law and sister in law just had a baby girl and we are all so excited and happy for them.  Aren't these baby shoes from Collective Creations just darling!  LOVE!  It was hard to pick just one pair of itty bitty baby shoes to feature, she's made a whole slew of super sweet ones, go oooh and ahhh over them right now :)  And if you've got older girlies, she's got the prettiest crayon wallets e-vah, or as my daughter would say, "For reals!"
To continue on our girly theme, check out the ultimate home spa party at Sunny Sweet Life!  It's the dream party for any 12 year old and Angela's step daughter is one lucky girl!  Angela photographed all the table settings and details so beautifully.  The guests also got to try out a slew of really fun beauty products, I bet that is one party talked about for a long time!
The Project Queen made these gorgeous chevron frames for her friend's baby nursery.  Giada is going to be one lucky little girl, surrounded by a very sophisticated and girly room.  These frames are the perfect touch!
Speaking of nurseries, since we have a soon to be nine month old baby boy, I couldn't leave out a more gender neutral option.  This DIY Animal Silhoutte Wall Art from Mae Armstrong Designs was inpsired by the book Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? and is very stylish, with it's fabric animals and hand stamped banners.
Emily at Naptime Creations has made a cute transportation themed alphabet and even provided a free printable!  She also used Spoonflower to turn her graphics into fabric, that's a preview of it above, that would be super fun for so many little boy projects!

Party Guidelines
1.  Link up to four of your creative projects (No Etsy stores or other linky parties pretty please).  
2.  Add your link to the specific posts not the main URL.
3.  Add a "Crafty Soiree" button to your blog or posts.
4.  Please comment on the post linked up in front of you.  All partygoers love meeting new friends... don't just stop there...if you see something that catches your fancy-- stop by and say hi!
5.  Your hostesses would love it if you'd follow us. You can find Malia here.
Let's Party!


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Creating with Oh My Crafts: Rolled Flower Clips

After making the baby gift set for my friend, with the fabric sent me by Oh My Crafts, I had a couple of long strips of Riley Blake Dainty Blossoms striped fabric scraps.  They seemed too small to do much with, but then I remembered all the rolled flowers I've seen various other bloggers do.  I did a quick search to find a how to and liked the one from My Sparkle.
Her's are finished a little more nicely than mine, but no one is going to see the bottom since it's hot glued onto an extra set of barrettes we already had on hand.  A  blue bead hot glued to the center give them a little bling and now ER has a new set of hair pretties.  I love the unfinished shabby chic look to the frayed fabric, so fabulous!

***I didn't notice that odd mark on the top barrette until I uploaded.  It's glare or a weird shadow because there isn't anything actually on the bead.  I checked :)

Disclaimer: Fabric used was provided by Oh My Crafts.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Project Life: Week 15

Week 15 came together quickly after I decided to ignore chronology and put Easter in a Design F page protector on the right side of the spread.  Yes the second half of the week is shown first but since the otherside is just Easter, I think it works.
For the first time I decorated the weekly title card, using some thumbnail pictures I got on the index print from my photo order.  A Martha Stewart crafts label, vellum sticker quote, and Dear Lizzie stickers complete the cluster.  I used the free photo template set from Persnickety Prints again, love how the collage of the dress we got from my friend Steph's store Sew Fierce turned out.

FYI: I posted the Crayola Outdoor Color Bubbles Review and there's a giveaway too :)  Still time to enter and win a fun product for your kids or grands to play with as the weather warms up!
I got this adorable sheet of paper with little journaling cards, that fit perfectly into Design F made by Jillibean Soup.  It's from their Southern Chicken Dumpling Soup line and I hope I can find more of the line, it's super cute!  Most digital elements from Spring Into Easter by Jady Day Studio.
This week's insert features some of the random doodles my daughter is constantly making, everywhere and anywhere.  The labels and stickers are applied directly on top of the page protector.  On the other side is a worksheet she brought home from school that helps me record how much we're working on sight words with her. 


Shared at The Mom Creative

Monday, April 23, 2012

Creating with Oh My Crafts: Baby Gifts with Fat Quarters

My best friend from high school just had her first baby!  I had to make her a little handmade goodness to celebrate and had the most beautiful fat quarters from Oh My Crafts to use for them.  My little gift set includes a plush burp cloth, first initial onesie, and fabric covered brag book for all the photos sure to be taken of the first grandchild in both of their families.
Check out the Riley Blake fabric they sent me to work with, I love how they all work so well together!  It was so exciting to get the package because Riley Blake is my favorite fabric designer :)

You can mix and match the smaller packs to get exactly what you need or you get the Dainty Blossoms Fat Quarter Bundle with all the patterns.
Here is a closer look at each of the items, the burp cloth shows more of the gorgeous colors.  This was my favorite print and I was so excited to use lots of it!  The reverse side is a thick textured dotted fabric I picked up locally to help make sure the burp cloth would be extra absorbent.
The onesie has an /e/ for their little one's first name, which I especially love since I have a great aunt with the same one.  It's the first time I've tried using my machine to stitch on the monogram and let's just say that if effort equals love, then this was made with a lot of love!  It's a little wonky but I know Melissa will appreciate it.  I tried to give it a random crafty look by going around a couple of times, it kinda worked but you can still see the oops on it.  Everything was ironed on nice and good so I had to work with what I had.  Normally I hand stitch the monogram and I think I'll go back to that method.
I used an inexpensive 1Up photo album bought on clearance, it was soooo ugly before! To play it safe I used all iron on for the fabric covered brag book.  This won't be sent through the wash so it should be fine, I used the heavy duty kind.  I'm going to package up everything and send it off with a gift card to the new parents.  I hope they love it!
We know of another baby girl coming soon and I also made a burp cloth with the green floral fabric to have ready for the birth.  I paired it cute wipes container, so easy and no sew!  The flowers, centers, and leaves are all ironed on.

Thank you to Oh My Crafts for sending me an awesome selection of their fabric to create with!  I have some more things planned and am excited to share them with you.  Look for how I used up some fabric scraps this Wednesday and get ready for another giveaway I'll be hosting for them real soon!

I am linking this project up :) I will add individual links when the baby is asleep, for now see my parties page for where!

Disclaimer: Riley Blake fabric provided by Oh My Crafts.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Crafty Soiree #86

Each week when I go through the links to visit all of you, I wind up getting very hungry and ready to craft all night!  You all really get the creativity flowing!  Thank you for choosing to come party with us!  Here is what caught my eye last week.
Isn't he the sweetest?   Oh and the tie and suspenders wedding onesie is pretty cute too!  Just love this, what a fun project from Pretty Providence for little boys, which now that I have one...I realize that it's much harder to find great things for them. 
Just to be fair, here's an equally sweet little outfit for the girls.  I love everything about it, the cropped sleeves, darling swiss dot fabric and of course I love, love, love the little birdie.  EmmylouBeeDoo swears she made it in just thirty minutes!
Now that we've prettied up your kids, here's something for your home.  Daisy Mae Belle's Dream Big Pillow features pretty little details like hand stamped letters and texture from burlap and a beautiful fabric flower.
I thought this felt flowers button snake at Craft Buds was such a fun way to help your kids practice buttoning.  I love clever but simple ideas!
The Disney freak in me could not pass up sharing these Mickey Mouse washer necklaces from A Creative Princess.  All I could think when I saw them was !!!  We just went but I so wanna run out and buy the circle punches just so I can make some of these!

Party Guidelines
1.  Link up to four of your creative projects (No Etsy stores or other linky parties pretty please).  
2.  Add your link to the specific posts not the main URL.
3.  Add a "Crafty Soiree" button to your blog or posts.
4.  Please comment on the post linked up in front of you.  All partygoers love meeting new friends... don't just stop there...if you see something that catches your fancy-- stop by and say hi!
5.  Your hostesses would love it if you'd follow us. You can find Malia here.
Let's Party!

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