Sunday, January 29, 2012

Friday, January 27, 2012

Rocket Gift Tag

Last month my kids were invited to attend the most fun space-themed birthday I have ever attended! And of course, we showed up with a gift tag to match the occasion.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Bean + Plate Maracas

My daughter's kindergarten class had a Las Posadas party at the end of the year and I volunteered to come up with a quick and easy craft for the kids to do during the party. Bean and plate maracas worked perfectly for their Mexican celebration theme and they were so simple!

All I needed were disposable plates (I used plastic so the underside would be colorful but paper would work, too), streamers, dry beans, stickers, tape, and a stapler.

The kids decorated the plates with stickers, taped some streamers to the inside of one plate and then added a handful of dry beans to the plate.

An adult stapled the plates together.

And that was it: quick and easy bean and plate maracas!

If you have more than one stapler you might try them out to see if they squish the plates when you staple them together. The red maraca was made with my stapler at home and the yellow one was made with the stapler in my daughter's class.

¡Felices fiestas!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Maple Snow Toffee

As a girl, I remember reading "Little House in the Big Woods" and thinking the description of candy made by pouring maple syrup into snow was such a great idea! I always wanted to try it! Then I found this recipe on WonderTime and knew it was time to give it a go.

Vanilla Snow Shake

My kids decided to try pouring some juice over some snow and all they ended up with was cold juice. So I decided it was time to try out a recipe for Snow Shakes I found on

Monday, January 16, 2012

Winter Trees Paper Collage

It's snowing! For some of you this might not be that big of a deal, but for us up in the Seattle area, we only get snow every other year or so, so my kids are in heaven! When I heard snow was coming our way, I remembered my son had asked if we could do a winter version of our fall leaf collage. He was so excited when he saw me gather materials for the day's project!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Lego Head Gift Tag

I came up with a LEGO head gift tag to adorn a gift my son took to a LEGO party. Sometimes I wonder if people even notice these little details, but I can't help it -- I just enjoy the process of creating these things so darn much!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Mario Mushroom T-shirt

Technically, this isn't a t-shirt project.

For Christmas, I personalized a jersey jumper for my daughter using a freezer paper stencil. Freezer paper stencils are so easy and they produce very professional-looking results. As you can see, my daughter is quite fond of Super Mario. Since I'm a fan, too, I was pretty excited to try my hand at applying a "mushroom power-up" to the jumper. The same method I used on her jumper can be used on a regular t-shirt.

Monday, January 9, 2012

More Angry Birds Party Favors

I've had so much traffic from folks who need ideas for throwing an Angry Birds party. So I decided to tack on another post to include all of the other ideas I've run across for Angry Birds party favors. Enjoy!

Angry Birds card game
image via

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Hello Kitty Thank You Cards

It's been forever since my daughter's Hello Kitty birthday party, but I figured I should share the thank you card idea I came up with. It was a pretty simple idea this time around -- I printed out a bunch of Hello Kitty heads (see below) and some tiny dialogue bubbles I created using Word.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Sewing Kit Jar

I made this cute little sewing kit-in-a-jar for my mom this Christmas. It was small and colorful and looked like something my daughter put together at preschool. But all of this was part of the plan. Let me explain...

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

8-bit Cross Stitch

I have a love for all things pixelated. Heck, I even have another blog devoted to all things pixel-related. So it seemed pretty natural for me to fuse cross stitch -- an old form of creating pixel-based art -- with 8-bit characters from one of my favorite games, Super Mario Bros.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Creative New Year!

2011 was a wonderful year! 

I began taking photos and documenting some of my creative projects last Spring and then last Summer I finally broke down and began blogging. Yeah, blogging! I am amazed each day by how this blog has changed who I am: I am more "me" because of it, and I have so much more confidence about that "me."

In December, my tiny little blog surpassed 10,000 views. I'm so thankful to everyone who has stopped by to browse my little piece of the world! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Also in December, one of my posts was featured on I love ParentMap -- such a lovely little guide for parents and a wonderful free publication available all over the greater Seattle area. And they have great taste -- I'm particularly fond of the project they decided to showcase! Thank you, ParentMap!

As for the future... I have all sorts of creative plans for the coming year. I can't wait to get started on some of them, and I look forward to sharing them on this blog. I also look forward to adjusting my blogging to fit the seasons a bit better. As this blog gets more traffic, I find that I must begin planning my posts further in advance -- after all, no one wants to read about Valentine's Day cards after Valentine's Day. And while this will be a bit of a challenge for me in the beginning, I know it will be rewarding in the end!

Thank you so much for visiting The Contemplative Creative! I hope it inspires you to live a more creative life and that you stop by again some time soon!

Photo Journal (12/24/11 - 12/31/11)

12.24.11 - Cross stitch lessons.