Monday, October 25, 2010

Sneak Peeks

Posts coming very soon (like this week!) about the following:

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Bug Infestation!

When is having bugs a good thing? When they are the mechanical variety, come in colorful colors, and keep your kids entertained for hours! A big thanks for Mom Select for sending us a party kit for the new Hexbug Nanos, which arrived just in time to use for my oldest son's birthday party.

In our party kit were enough bugs to keep ten kids busy, along with plenty of tracks and hex-cells to build to their hearts content. And my favorite part: ideas for party games, refreshments, and activities. We started with decorating some paper bags for the party guests to keep their loot in - I set out markers, stickers, and a bunch of Hexug Nano images in various sizes and colors. The stickers came in handy for the boys to mark their Hexbugs during the party, to avoid accidentally (or on purpose) making off with their friends bugs.

Then it was on to party games, where the boys pitted their Hexbug Nanos against each other in tests of speed, strength, and intelligence.

After the organized games we brought out all the habitat pieces and let our little bug owners build and re-build to their hearts' content.

We finished with a bug-decorated cake and sent all our little guests home happy.

We love these little bugs and every child who has come to play since the party has enjoyed them too. Even the little babies love the vibrations. These battery-operated Hexbug Nanos are much faster than I anticipated and we lost a few under appliances that were a pain to recover. The habitat pieces are easy to connect and seem pretty sturdy - we haven't broken anything yet. The Battle Bridge is fun - my boys love the multi-level aspect and pit their bugs against each other all afternoon. I worry about the battery life though, because they get continuous play for hours, and you need new batteries after few sessions like that. But if you're looking for a gift for a child 1-10, you can't get more versatile than a Hexbug Nano and a habitat set. They even come in pink!


Monday, October 4, 2010

Craftin' it Up

I am not into scrapbooking. But I love all the cute papers & have amassed an amount in clear excess of what I need. And over the past few years I have spent entire days downloading free digital scrapbooking kits from various websites. And I don't use it often either. But this weekend I finally got busy. I read about Lua Nova via Barefoot in the Kitchen, whose author, Stephanie, is kind of a new friend of mine. Stephanie's sister is in Sao Paulo, Brazil working with this non-profit and they are in need of scrapbooks for the young, unwed mothers there. Read all about it here. When I found some cute, clearance 3-ring-binders at Michael's last week I decided to put all my crafting supplies to good use.

And I had the perfect complement: new crafting supplies from Elmer's and X-acto! I recently received a box of supplies to try out, thanks to Bzz Agent, and they were invaluable for my weekend project. I holed up in my office as long as my husband would allow, put General Conference on my large computer screen, and sat on the floor cutting, punching, and gluing.

This stuff was completely the bomb! I used the Elmer's Permanent Tape Runner exclusively until it ran out. I was using it for paper to paper, but it would work well for photos on paper too. I will be buying more of these in the future.

Then I tried the Craft Bond All Purpose Glue Stick, but it didn't seem right for my project. I was worried about the heat my pages would experience being shipped to Brazil & imagined all the decorations unsticking from the pages before they arrived.

Next I used the Craft Bond Clear Dual Tip Glue Pen, which was easy to use, but the more liquid glue made my paper wrinkle up. Maybe I need to learn to squeeze softer & use less glue. But it would be perfect for light-weight, non paper projects. I have a few in mind.

X-acto sent some decorative edging scissors and a corner-rounder, all of which I put to good use to make my sometimes boring pages a little cuter. I don't do anything fancy, but here's a shot of my stuff.

Stephanie is collecting scrapbooks until Nov 1st so there's still time for you to put one or two together. She lives in the same city as I do, so I would be happy to collect any made locally & deliver them to her.

All of the Elmer's and X-acto supplies are available at Walmart.

The end.