Sunday, June 5, 2011

Sunday School: Busting Summer Boredom

Good morning CraftyStealers!

My son officially ended his first year of school on Thursday. (sniff!)  These first couple of weeks will be fun, with the novelty of the pool and playing with forgotten toys (in jammies all day, of course!), but I'm fairly certain that soon, the lazy days will become "boring" and so I'm getting prepared for that day now.

Last spring, I heard about a book called Photo Freedom, by scrapbooker Stacy Julian. (If you clicked the link and are wondering why the price is so high, it's an out-of-print book.)  The book is about how to organize your photos in a way that frees you to get some actual scrapping done.  In it, I saw an idea for a way to jump-start your creative process.  Basically, you have a jar filled with popsicle sticks.  On each stick, a category was written (her system has photo filing categories such as places you go, people you love, etc.), and that was where you were supposed to start!

Seeing that jar, made me think about how I could tweak the idea for the upcoming summer with my kiddos.  So I made a crude version with a plain glass jar and popsicle sticks with a bit of ribbon tied to them.  My children and I brainstormed ideas that they would love to do: play football outside, play with PlayDoh, finger paint, and build a cushion fort.  I also looked through my Disney Family Fun magazines for craft ideas, and used those on popsicle sticks too (making sure to mark the issue and page I'd gotten the idea from). 

Turned out to be a fabulous plan.  When the kids got bored, they would ask to pick from the jar, and we'd get to work creating or playing.  It was great for me too, because it was a way to make sure I stopped and played along with them as well (in between the loads of laundry that never end).  After the summer was over, we got busy again and stopped going to the jar for activities.  Also at some point over the fall and winter, my daughter took a fancy to playing with (and subsequently losing) the popsicle sticks, choosing to draw on them with crayons, and basically disassembling our "boredom busters."

When I saw today's CraftySteal, the KI Memories Juicy Summer Collection, I knew it was the perfect kit to revive my sad little summer-saving buckets.  Today's steal comes packed with some gorgeous shimmer papers, (the photographs don't do the shimmer justice),
bright glitter papers,
fun lace papers,

and card stock letter stickers, epoxy stickers, and ribbons.

When I got my hands on it, I got to work re-making the jars that saved me last summer (in hopes that they will do the same again!).
Here's what you need to make your own summer boredom busters:

Buckets (I found mine in the Target dollar bins)
Patterned paper
Wooden Craft sticks
Ribbons and other embellishments
Adhesive (I used a glue gun for sticking paper to the metal bucket, and a glue runner)

Cut the patterned paper into strips (mine ranged from 1" to 1.5" wide).
Cut a strip to a desired length and fold it in half.  Unfold it, put adhesive on it, and wrap it around a craft stick.
Now you can pull out your edge punches, or dust off your decorative edged scissors (yes, I know you still have some!) and fancy up your sticks.  I also used stickers and ribbon to dress my sticks up.
Next step is to write down activities on the sticks.  (Make sure to get ideas from the kids!)
Now you can decorate your bucket (or buckets in my case - I made one for sunny day activities and one for rainy day activities) and fill it with the finished sticks.  (I filled the bottom of my buckets with glass stones to make the sticks stand up a little bit better).
Voila! Summertime boredom solved!  If you are looking for ideas about more activities to put on your sticks, check out this cool free printable of "101 bit of summer fun" made by Laura Winslow Photography (that I found via a link from the TomKat Studio):
Now, if you don't have to worry about distracting children this summer, you can make yourself a bucket of projects you'd like to do this summer, or maybe books you want to read, or movies you want to watch. Or even use this idea in its original form and use it to kick your creativity into gear, maybe listing trips or events you'd like to eventually scrap (and then actually having to start scrapping when you draw the stick!). 

Then, when you've finished this project, you can use the other papers and embellies from today's steal to scrap your sunny adventures, decorate for a summer pool party, or make a simple birthday card for a friend (like I did)...
Have a fabulous day, and Happy Crafting!


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