Easy craft with popsicle sticks

The only materials needed for this craft activity are:

12 popsicle sticks per student/child

Some kind of ribbon

Paint

Glue

Hot glue gun

We started with laying 10 Popsicles ticks neatly under each other. Then we put glue on the remaining two and glues them across all the others to make them stay together. Then we attached a piece of ribbon to the two popsicle sticks sticking out.

When everything had time to dry properly, it was time to decorate it. I printed a few quotes for those that were uninspired on that day, but they were free to put on it whatever they wanted.

Here are some examples of what they chose and created.

Impressions of Secondhand treasures

Just a few impressions of corners in our house that make me happy. None of those things were expensive. They were either given to us, bought secondhand, built by us or picked in our garden. Most pieces have a history. Now they make me happy.

Reviving old sunchairs

Another one of those attic treasures. What appeared to be just a pile of sticks in a dark corner, turned out to be sunchairs. Well, somewhat sunchairs. The wood was in bad shape and they had no fabric on. But I decided to change that.

We took it down, cleaned them and clipped off some old nails. Next it was time to measure and cut the fabric that we bought at Ikea. I’ve never made sunchairs. No idea how much it has to hang through to be comfortable…But I decided to just give it go.

The sewing was difficult since the chairs were fully mounted and I had to sew the fabric directly into the chair while holding up the entire frame. But I had some help for that.

Half way through the second chair my sewing machine started eating the thread…It was nerve wracking…

But I fixed it and it turned out good. Both boyfriend AND dog approved.

Folks are like plants; we all lean toward the light. – Kris Carr

I have this new passion. Growing indoor plants…Multiplying them. Looking at them. Taking care of them. Right now I don’t feel like I can have enough.

Our apartment is absolutely wonderful but also very special. We have those two incredibly huge windows in our kitchen and a pretty long one in the bedroom. But that was pretty much it with space for plants. At least for plants that require a lot of light.

And experience showed that our plants are happiest in one of our two kitchen windows. It was quite crowded there lately. So I talked to my boyfriend about it. Told him that we maybe need a shelf in the window, so that I get another level to put pots on.

Well, he’s my handy man. And he built me a new level in that window. I’m in love with it and there’s space for more plants now 😉

Collaborative Artwork to promote diversity

Working with Children, it is very important to me to help them become self-steered, educated and open-minded adults. Especially with the current situation in our world, I’m trying to bring it into the activities I plan for them.

In this weeks’ art lesson, we made a collaborative piece of art. I found the printable on “teachers pay teachers”. It is a quote from Dr. Seuss. And I feel like it sums up what I try to teach my students every day.

Every student worked on their individual piece and used the colors and techniques they prefer. In the end we put everything together.

In the beginning they worried that it won’t fit together when they don’t use the same colors and pencils.

But when we put it together they realized, that the diversity made it specifically pretty. Which was exactly the point of this activity. Proud teacher!

It’s almost the end of this academic year. We decided to give this piece to the our PYP6. They graduate and will go over to the MiddleYearsProgramme. This message will be a decoration for their graduation party and hopefully inspire them in the future.

Make Every Day Earth Day

Throwback to Earth Day. As I mentioned before, I work in an international School. Wednesday afternoons I teach Arts & Crafts. All different types of activities. Also for Earth Day of course.

I like to think that we are doing our best to raise a responsible and caring next generation. In our school we try to raise awareness for sustainability and the responsibility all of us have and how even small things can change the world in the long run.

For this activity we reused a big piece of acrylic glas from an old picture frame I found in the storage.

Other than that we used acrylic paint, glue, and many many buttons. I sorted them before because we only needed the blue, green and red ones.

And then we started. We decided to make the world heartshaped. My students said that would express how much we love the world. The heart-world is held by hands and those hands are quite surreal. In form and color. But we didn’t want to chose a certain skin color to not exclude anyone. So the kids decided to use bright red.

First they painted all the parts. Then moved it to the sun to help the paint to dry quickly. They couldn’t wait to continue working on it.

Next we used glue to trace the outline of the oceans and continents to surround those with blue and green buttons. My students loved that part. There were a lot of discussions about whats enough and when it is too much. I ususally take a step back at that point and watch. They figure it out. They have a good eye for that and usually it turns out different than I anticipated it but also often a lot better than I thought it would.

So also in this case. In the end we decided to add a “slogan”. The kids decided that that would be my “job” because they love my writing.

Then they signed it and presented it proud to the rest of the group.

Next day it was completely dried and I decided to talk to our principal. The kids did such a great job with it and I wanted as many students and teachers to see their work. She agreed and we found a spot right by the dining hall to hang it. So every single person going to lunch would see what they created.

I had to cover their names to maintain their privacy but here you see it hanging, visible for everyone.

I didn’t tell my students about that and their faces when they came for lunch were priceless. So proud. I love to see when they are proud of their work. When they believe in themselves.

Low budget garden decoration for a wild garden

My favorite thing to do is to decorate our garden. And that without investing too much money. I challenge myself with using what we’ve already got. Since we have the summerhouse, we never throw away glassbottles and glasses. Because they are perfect vases and candleholders.

Here I used all my leftovers of hempstring to do some super simple and improvised macrame around small glassbottles to hang them in trees and fill them with flowers. Super simple but effectfull. Always makes me happy when they get hit by the sun.

Many years ago I got this little greenhouse from my mum. We forgot it out in the garden last winter and some of the glass broke. But its still beautiful. We had two odd flowers that we got in a sale that moved in here now. They don’t fit exactly, but I think that’s what I love most about it. I like it odd. The rest of the greenhouse I filled with rocks to make it attractive for insects to move in. Some of the rocks I decorated with colorful patterns.

This weird carrier on two wheels we found in the depth of the garden when we started digging up some bushes. Now it found use as a little table for candles, leaning on a tree. Further up I hung a little mirror candleholder. It needs to be windstill to keep the candle going and that rarely happens here. But it’s already a cute decoration without the candle being lit.

Those three things change the look of the garden quite a bit and together with the plants we bought it cost under 100kr (about 10€) altogether. If you like it wild and used and odd, you just have to use your imagination and you won’t really need money to have a beautiful garden.

If you have inspiration for me, I would be happy about some ideas in the comments 🙂

Ukulele Love

Half a year ago, my boyfriend bought a Ukulele for me. I was talking about playing an instrument for a while, but never really got started.

Now that Martin spent money on it, I felt the pressure to deliver some effort. 😉

He got me a beautiful Concert Ukulele. There are different types of Ukuleles:

Visa källbilden

(Source: youkulelenotes.blogspot.com/2016/ )

Mine is a Concert Ukulele from Ortega. She is beautiful 🙂

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So, since I got it, I tried to teach myself with the help of apps and Youtube. I started with easy songs and strumming exercises. I want to share a list of sources that helped me a lot to get started with it.

Apps:

Websites: 

Ukulele-tabs

Ukutabs

Youtube Channels: 

TenThumbs Productions

DrJillReese

TheUkuleleTeacher

I also realized that I have a hard time practising with the tabs on my phone or computer. I’m getting easily distracted by incoming messages and notifications. So I bought a small notebook where I collect the handwritten tabs that I copy of the internet. That works well for me.

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I know that I’m very fortunate when it comes to learning new things like languages or instruments. If I only stick with it. Sometimes I’m lacking stamina. But the Ukulele doesn’t bore me, even though it’s a big challenge and I can’t get the hang of some things. I practice at least 10-15 minutes every day. I have about six songs in my notebook that I play again and again to build up muscle memory in my fingers.

It’s funny sometimes how for several weeks it feels like I will NEVER be able to play a certain song or melody and then without me changing anything, I suddenly manage. I don’t change anything. You just have to do it again and again and again and eventually it will click. 🙂

I’m getting more and more confident about my skills. By now I even bring my Ukulele to work and play together with my students. Teach them simple songs or just play for them.

If you feel like you want to challenge yourself or always wanted to learn an instrument, I think the Ukulele is perfect for that. You can get quite cheap ones to start with and the current situation in this pandemic gives some of us more time to practise then ever.

Vertical Garden

Two years ago I had this beautiful that I decorated with plants and other things.

https://missjekyllslife.blog/2019/06/01/garden-dresser/

It was nice, but our Swedish weather took its toll. Also the wasps liked it a lot and had their nest in their last summer. And then it fell apart due to all the rain. So now we had this empty spot next to our deck.

And then my parents in law got a new kitchen delivert. That left them with some empty palettes. We took them to the summerhouse and after some Pinterest inspiration we decided to turn them into a vertical garden for our herbs.

Martin went straight to the construction work. It’s crazy how fast he turns my ideas into reality. He fastened floorboards under some of the rows, so that I could fill that space with soil. He fastened the whole construction on the wall so that it stands stable.

I had some yellow paint left that I used to upcycle our picknick table. And some blue paint from my mirror project. Both of them were just enough to paint the vertical garden. After painting, it had to dry for a day.

Afterwards I just simply filled it with soil and planted some thyme, dill, rosemary, tarragon, basil and parsley. That’s how it looked right after planting:

We have it running now for a few weeks and the herbs are growing beautifully:

Cooking is so much more fun now that I can just go out with a pair of scissors and cut some fresh herbs, happily growing in our own garden. 🙂

A new bookshelf

The old bookshelf we made was too small. Maybe a reason to stop buying books…

JUST KIDDING!

Won’t happen. I know that it is oh so convenient to use one of the numerous ebook readers. But you can just simply not compare it to having a book in your hand. Feel the paper, flipping pages…I love that.

Instead, my incredibly handy boyfriend was building a whole new bookshelf for me including a foam reading bed. The foam part he got at his old work, where it was going to be thrown away.

I didn’t help much during the building process on this project. My part came when it was time to sort books and decorate everything. Like adding the lighting and the mandala. I used acrylic pencils for the mandala.

I spend some time, checking through all my books and to find the right spot for each one of them. And I enjoyed every minute 🙂

I should become a librarian…

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