Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Stain glassed window art

So a friend of mine passed this idea to me and I was instantly ready to plan it out for my girls.  Apparently, this is something that is trending around Facebook right now.  But, after our experience with it I thought I would share some tips and tricks to make it fun and not stressful.  Plus, share the how-to that I did.  

So let's get started:

What you will need: 

tempera paint or finger paint (we used both) 
plastic containers ( we used old yogurt containers) 
dish soap 
painter's tape 
scissors  (to cut the tape) 
wax paper 
paper towels (damp) 

First: Tape your design

Now depending on how you want it to look, tape off your window while your kids are sleeping or being entertained by something else.  This for me was the hardest part, I also only had thick tape so I had to cut it each time, but after a bit I just let it be how it was and in the end it turned out pretty well.  There's no right way to make designs, it's just how you want.  If your kiddos are older maybe they can design their own first.

TIP: tape the edges of the windows too, the paint WILL come off even after dry because of the soap and that its water based, but the less you have to remove later the better.

TIP: I also taped some wax paper to the bottom to catch any drips. (don't have wax paper, take the bag from a cereal box and use it, you can see my how-to on that here.)  We have laminate so it comes right off, but if you have carpet this will help, you can also add towels on the floor too. 

Look at all those drips it catches! 


Second: Mix your paint

Pick your colors and have a container for each color.  Then add a few squirts of soap to each container.  You can't really add too much, so if you are concerned add a little more. 

Third: PAINT! 

So I did add some towels to the floor because I just wanted to make sure, but we ended up with two containers spilling and it ALL wiped off the laminate just fine.  I haven't washed the towels yet, good thing I used old ones!  BUT, if you have carpet, I'd put something down, we did get some paint on the rug and it came out, but I didn't let it sit and it's hard to clean up as they paint.  BUT, this is the fun part, put on some old paint shirts, give them a paint brush and let them have a blast! 

Fourth: Clean-up 

So clean-up is pretty easy, the wax paper caught any drips from hitting the walls.  The floor wiped up real easily, as I said above and they used most of the paint I poured so it wasn't too bad.  The next day I found a couple spots I missed on the wood and it came up with a damp paper towel no problem.  

TIP: only use paper towels unless you want your washcloths paint stained.  Even though it's washable it might not all come out in the washer. 

TIP: If you have a enough paint left over, don't put it down your sink, mix it all together in one container and throw it away.  It will harden and clog the sink.  A little isn't bad, but make sure you use a lot of warm or hot water to keep it flushed down. 

Fifth: Ready to take down

Now we plan to leave ours up for awhile, but I wanted to include how to remove once you are ready to do so.  Years ago when I taught art we use to decorate the windows of our community building for our local Winterfest.  I used this same method for putting the paint on the windows and it was pretty easy to clean off.  

All you need is to first remove your tape. Then a simple window cleaner will remove it.  Or you can use wet paper towels and then wash your windows afterwards.  

Well I hope this helps and I hope you have fun with it rather than it become stressful.  It's one of those things you want your kids to have fun with paint, but it's easy to stress out about it getting places and being permanent!  Overall my girls enjoyed it! And it's really pretty to look at, at night from outside! 

Thursday, March 19, 2020

The "New Normal"

I just wanted to share our "new normal", as most of you are dealing with this as well.  It's crazy how much I'm seeing on social media.  I know that this COVID-19 has us quarantined for a bit, but then I watch Facebook, Instagram or even check my email and it's all over! So many families having to stay home due to this virus.  So much panic, so much fear!  BUT, amongst that there is so much love, so much joy!  I LOVE seeing all the funny posts about being quarantined with the family!  I LOVE seeing the posts of people offering help to anyone who can't get out of their house, or can't find childcare.  Most of all I LOVE that even though this can be scary for some, overall we are standing together and helping, encouraging and lifting each other up! 

Well, I was definitely lifted up this week as I took my girls over to their Nana's house.  This was day 2 of the quarantine and really my girls didn't no any different except that they weren't in school.  But, the stress was there.  We had a little rough morning, while we weren't keeping to my plan entirely, I thought I was making it flexible, but really I was still stuck on the time.  

The night that my daughters' school canceled I was on the computer typing up what I thought to be a great schedule.  We were NOT, going to miss getting anything done.  We were going to have all the important things on the schedule along with some fun activities.  We WERE going to make this work and get through it.  Honestly, I should replace the word we with I.  I was sure,  I was going to be that super mom that had it all together even though there was something big happening.  I mean, I didn't feel I needed to worry for our health we aren't in the risk area, so I just needed to keep things normal.  But, when the girls are used to going to school everyday, how was I supposed to keep it normal?  When the days they don't have school due to a snow day or vacation day, we don't have a crazy schedule, so why now?  But I felt we needed and I was going to make it happen.   

So anyways, I drop my girls off at Nana's and when she asks how the day is going, I break down.  All I could say was my schedule is not working and I wasn't sure why! I made sure I scheduled play time, book time, homework time, cleaning, and even snack time!  But it seemed I was always behind the time or something came up so I was trying to re-work it.  My mother-in-love is pretty awesome and so we were able to drink some coffee and talk through what wasn't working and try something different. 

See for me, I wanted to control the chaos.  If my schedule was planned to the T, then I knew what was coming next as would my kids.  BUT, since I planned out specific times for things it was hard to allow for change.  Or for a phone call I wanted to answer without feeling like I didn't have time because in 2 minutes we were going to do fill in the blank.  

Now, I have to say, in my everyday life a more structured schedule works well, because we HAVE to be at certain places at certain times.  J gets out of school at 11:30, A needs picked up by 3:45.  Those things are a given and so a normal schedule we have more structured time.  But, when we are quarantined and don't have a time we have to be somewhere then why make such a structured schedule. 

So, I left my mother-in-love's house, got my things I needed to do checked off an then I re-vamp-ed my schedule.  I am on day two of this new schedule and we have had less stress already.  Today alone, we did homework, played dress up, did laundry, took baths (which on the other schedule would have stressed me to try and find time for in the morning) got ready, ate lunch, read books, went to Nana's, made paper Easter eggs, baked banana bread, had supper, and played!

SO, I wanted to share all this to say, right now your "new normal" is only temporary.  We are going to get through this.  Don't be like me and stress yourself with trying to make things tight scheduled, enjoy this time, enjoy these extra days with your family if you don't normally stay at home all together.  Find something fun to do, and make a new vague schedule and see how it goes!  

Here are my two schedules, the first is the more by the minute schedule, the second one is a list of things divided by morning, afternoon and evening.  This way I can still get done what I want, but if the girls are playing well without me I go ahead and do my chores, or if they want to play with me then we have play time and I do my chores later.  Book time happens when it happens and homework is done when she's ready, which is usually right after breakfast :)