Week 2 – Children’s Literature

*OK everyone.  So I am a SUPER lame-o this week.  I tried to get the post together too fast and didn’t look closely enough at final poll numbers.  Although Mandy’s Bathroom hook were awesome, Jessica @ Running with Scissors was the true winner last week.  I feel so so dumb for having made this huge oversight and apologize profusly to all those involved!  I’ve now edited the post to reflect the true winner.  Sorry!*
Well, here we are at week two!  I was so excited about this weeks theme I wanted to make it one of the first of the season so that there would still be a lot of crafters and I could see more ideas.  But before we get to that, lets review the winner of last week.
Jessica @ Running with Scissors was our winner of the Organization challenge for her Clutter Crates.
How great are those!  No matter how hard I try to keep all Abbi’s toys in either her room, or the play room they all end up scattered all of the house.  And let’s be honest, I’m usually too lazy to pick them up and trudge back to their proper place so they end up piled in a corner for way too long.  But to just wheel the crate over the the mess and have it look stylish too?  Now that is genius!
Since we started the season with fewer crafters than planned due to the last minute drop outs, no one will be eliminated from last week. That means your task of choosing a winner this week stays just as difficult.  And if your a book lover like me, especially one of Children’s Literature, one less fabulous project to choose between would have been most welcome.
Remember, you only have until Friday night to cast your vote for your favorite.  And just like last week, the poll is in the sidebar for easier access.
Good Luck!!

Wild Things Bowl

*Project  by Deidre @ A Craft A Day for the Children’s Literature challenge of season 10*

It is inevitable, if you have children, that you have wonderful books that have torn or missing pages.  They are no longer useful for their original intent.  Those books often make their way to the garbage.  Instead of throwing it away, here is a great way to make use of that wonderful book.

Made from the book Where the Wild Things Are, this paper bowl is more sturdy than it used to be.  It makes a great decoration that can be used for so many things.
 It’s a fun project you can do with your children, making it a great recycling lesson.

Courious George Shower

*Project  by Kirstin @ KoJo Designs for the Children’s Literature challenge of season 10*

My husband often says that our kids have more books than anyone he knows. Between the stash I’d collected from my years teaching and the fact that children’s books seem to be the one purchase I cannot refuse, we have bookcases teeming with Kevin Henkes and Robert Munsch and Patricia Polacco and Mem Fox. Narrowing to a project for this week’s theme, then, proved to be quite the challenge. Luckily, I had a themeless baby shower to throw- and a Curious George theme was the perfect match.

The shower decor was heavy on the bananas, sock monkeys, and yellow hats (and ties!), with all sorts of book page accents thrown in as well (a couple of buntings, one batch of cupcake wrappers, the treat buffet backdrop and the stands for all of the signage were made from the pages of a falling apart Curious George book that I found at a thrift store). I’ll have several of the decor related how-to’s up on the kojodesigns blog this week.

The crown jewel of the shower, however, was the “Bananas for Treats” All Store Bought Treat Buffet! Since treat buffets are a fixture at most of the parties I help with, but are not at all low-maintenance, this little gem was a revolutionary time saver. It was inexpensive, a huge hit with the shower guests, and pretty to look at (a how-to is in the works). For more Curious George Shower details, come on by!

Roald Dahl Table and Stools

*Project by Jessica @ Running with Scissors for the Children’s Literature challenge of season 10*

My favorite children’s author is Roald Dahl,  the World’s Most Scrumiddlyumptious Storyteller.
He wrote Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, The Witches, and more.

Most of his books were illustrated by Quentin Blake, who uses a sloppy sketch style of illustrations.

I was a nerdy little kid that loved books and reading.  In 4th grade I loved Matilda so much I actually sat on my little sister so she couldn’t run away as I read it out loud to her….she didn’t fall in love with the book like I expected.

Roald Dahl’s stories and Quentin Blake’s illustrations were a huge part of my childhood, and now I’ve enjoyed reading them with my own kids.  Over the years I’ve been collecting his stories and have a few copies of each now.  I just can’t pass them up in the thrift store when I see them.

For this week’s challenge I chose to paint vignettes from my favorite Roald Dahl books on a children’s sized table we use in our toy room.
Table Leg 1: James and the Giant Peach
Table Leg 2: The Twits
Stool 1: The BFG
Stool 2: Matilda

All my paintings are original compositions, but they’re all based on Quentin Blake’s illustrations.  So I look at his original characters in the novels, and use them to sketch and paint my own.  His has an easy style to mimic as it’s sloppy and basically just sketches.

Painting the table legs pose a challenge, because they’re so long, skinny, and faceted.  James and the Giant Peach portrays the peach high in the sky, with all the bugs hanging on a string.  This painting is composed to seem like you are getting closer as you go down the string, due to the size of the bugs getting larger as they near the base of the table leg.  The other table leg I painted The Twits, which is a really funny, quick read.  Mr. Twit is trying to get rid of Mrs. Twit by sailing her away and out of his life with a bunch of balloons.  Above in the sky is the rolly-polly bird with the monkey. 

The tops of the stools had more room and were easier to compose the scenes.
The BFG (Big Friendly Giant) is huge, so to include the main character Sophie, I painted her in the giant hand, with his head peeking into the scene above.  He’s also holding a jar containing a dream.
The last piece was the other stool, and on it I painted my favorite parts from Matilda.  This was my absolute favorite childhood book.  Front and center stands Matilda.  To the right are her parents tugging on her father’s hat Matilda glued on his head.  Opposite in the desks are her friends Lavendar and Bruce Bogtrotter (eating a huge piece of chocolate cake of course).  Behind Matilda is sweet Miss Honey and the Trunchbull freaking out over a newt on her chest.


To protect the paintings, I added 2 coats of polyurethane to for durability.  So far my son loves sitting on the paintings.  We’ve only read James and the Giant Peach from these particular books, and he was excited to identify the characters.  Just a fun way to add art to our reading nook.
More detailed photos of each painting on my blog!


A Dress for Alice

*Project  by Kim @ A Girl and a Glue Gun for the Children’s Literature challenge of season 10*

oh…children’s literature. I could have done about 100 different books…and hated to have to narrow it down…but i chose one of my favorites…

and a classic..i just love the silliness and randomness. reminds me…of, well me.  “Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

and since my daughter has big blue eyes and long blonde hair…..she was shoe in……


i had so much fun making this dress… i used three yards of blue…and the sleeves threw me through a loop..but i got it all figured out and i love it so much. i seriously wouldn’t let me daughter change and took her to walmart so random strangers could admire her…..
we are going to try to get my daughter a job at disneyland!

Wizard of Oz Tree

*Project by Charlene @ eWillow for the Children’s Literature challenge of season 10*

I have always wanted a “Wizard of Oz” Christmas tree.  (It seems fitting, since I have Wizard of Oz bank checks, a Wizard of Oz wrist watch, a Dorothy key chain, a ruby slipper pillow, the Wizard of Oz Barbie collection, the Wizard of Oz trivia game….you get the idea.)
A few years ago, McDonald’s came out with Madame Alexander Wizard of Oz Happy Meal toys.   I was able to collect all of them.   Fortunately, at that time, I could just buy the toy for about $1.00 each.  I didn’t have to eat a dozen Happy Meals.  I was so thrilled to have them all.  And then this happened:

NOTHING!  Yes, you guessed it.  They sat in a bag on my shelf for almost four years until I remembered them when I read the challenge for this week, “Children’s Literature.”  The idea popped into my head that there had to be a way to transform these darling little dolls into Christmas tree ornaments.  Thanks to advice from my husband and my dad (who know how to do everything,) I followed my own yellow brick road and made Christmas tree ornaments out of Happy Meal toys by adding hooks and ribbons to all of their heads.  Best part?  It was so easy!
Visit my “Paper Clips” blog HERE for the tutorial.

“For the Love Of Books” kids’ bathroom

*Project by Angie @ The Country Chic Cottage for the Children’s Literature challenge of season 10*

Angie with The Country Chic Cottage here with my take on the theme Children’s Literature.  The first thing I began to think of was all of the books that have been my kids’ favorites over the years.  I really wanted to incorporate every single one of them into a project.  So I did!  My “For the Love Of Books” kids’ bathroom.  I took some classics, some favorites, and some that I personally just love.  They all became decor in the upstairs kids bath…

I added in some wall vinyl and some inspirational Dr. Seuss prints.  Plus I took every opportunity to reinforce the love of reading in our house.  Each picture holds a special memory for me and the kids.  There are books that reflect each child at different stages of their childhood.  It is like a trip down memory lane.
Now don’t freak out.  I did not rip up any of our beloved childhood favorites.  I either printed the images from the net or bought used books from the thrift store for this project.  One of those thrift store books became a runner for the dresser I have in the room.  Books mixed with some beach themed accessories to create a lovely bathroom for kids of all ages.
I hope you enjoy this room as much as I do.  I hope to add favorites to the collection over time and as the kids grow.  It keeps the lovely memory of favorite books alive in our house.  Which in turn, I hope, will keep the love of books alive!


No Sew Finger Puppets

*Project by Mandy @ Sugar Bee Crafts for the Children’s Literature challenge of season 10*

I had a hard time deciding what to do this week.  Mainly deciding on a book to focus on for Children’s Literature – I was thinking something classic.  But finally I realized I wanted to make something my child  would actually use – so his favorite book (Five Little Puppies) is a lame one, but that’s okay because it’s true love with my toddler – see:

The books counts down as several puppies are adopted.  He can follow along to the book with his finger puppets.  It’s so fun to see him act out the story and have him even more involved in the book.  I love that last picture – he’s like “YES! all the puppies are adopted!”
This is a simple and doable craft – it’s NO SEW!!  And it can be tailored to any book – just make the finger puppets to go along with the main characters of whichever book you want to focus on.

Here’s hoping for your vote!!  You can see more details over at SugarBeeCrafts.com