Air Freshener

What you need:
• 2 cups water
• 4 packages Gelatin (plain)
• 15 to 20 drops Essential Oil (adjust to personal preference)
• 1 to 2 TBS salt
• Food Coloring

What you do:
• In a small pot, mix 1 cup water, essential oil and food coloring. As soon as it starts to boil, remove from heat.
• Completely dissolve gelatin and salt in the hot water then add the other cup of water (cold) stir well (gently so it doesn’t foam).
• Pour into jars and set aside for a couple days before using so the gelatin has a chance to completely set (you can refrigerate to speed up the process).
• Once cooled, cover with lids that have a few holes punched in them to allow fragrance to escape.

The salt in this recipe is used to help combat mold, please make sure to add it.


What you need:
• 10 sheets of 8.5 x 11 paper
• All purpose glue
• Used cereal box
• Scissors
• Ruler
• Hot glue gun
• Double sided tape

What you do:
• Take the paper portrait and glue it together creating one long strip of paper.
• Accordion fold the paper, making the folds about 1 inch wide.
• Cut a round edge on one of the sides.
• Fan out the strip in a round shape creating a circle and close it up using double sided tape.
• Cut out a circle of cardboard from a used cereal box and hot glue to the back of your pinwheel. This will give it stability and then you can punch a hole and hang it or press a thumb tack in to  stick it on the wall.
• You are done!

Chinese Lantern

What you need:
• Chinese Paper Lanterns
• Paint: Black, Red, Orange and Green
• Paintbrush

What you do:
• Assemble paper lantern by inserting brace to hold shape.
• Put small amount of paint on paper palette.
• Use tip of finger to paint small circles on lantern, mix shades of paint to resemble flowers.
• Add black paint with very small brush to create stems.
• Let dry.

Dahlia Painting

How to Sketch a Dahlia Flower
Step 1. Quickly sketch a rough oval to outline main flower petals, then draw a smaller shape in the center for stigma and anther. Now start working down the flower stem and create very light sketches of leaves. Learning how to draw a flower can at times be a matter of trial and error, so keep your first few drawing lines faint, especially if you use graphite pencil, to avoid any unnecessary erasing or cleaning up at the end.
Step 2.  Begin to get into details of flower petals. As you see, they look pretty much like the shapes of your leaves, but smooth and soft without rough edges

How to Color a Dahlia Flower
Step 3. Decide on your choice of colors and quickly fill petals, flower center, stem and leaves. To get soft romantic flowers, use light pink in combination with yellow – orange for the main flower, and dark green for stem and leaves.
Step 4. Now get directly into shading this flower with colors. Commence by first picking up the darkest areas first so you can easily see the big picture at a glance, then work your way from the center to outer edges of flower petals. This is how to paint a flower the proper and methodical way.
Step 5. Now do the same thing to green leaves and the flower stem. To easily make your flower painting look realistic, all you have to do is observe how dark and light areas are distributed in different parts of the flower. In this scenario, leaves tend to be darker at the base where it is close to petiole.
Step 6. Go back to painting flower petals. At this stage our beautiful flower has already had decent shape and colors, but it needs further definition. To do so, use pink paint (or whatever color you chose) to sketch petal texture, and remember to contour (follow the petal’s shape) to better depict its three dimensional quality.
Step 7. Grab another slightly different color paint – let’s say slightly more reddish tone and keep on sketching the texture of each petal. You can also work a little bit on the center area of flower as well.
Step 8. Grab yet another color – this time more purple in it and keep shading the tip of each petal.

How to Paint a Dahlia lower – Final Touch Ups
Step 9. Do the same for stem – leaves and your painting of a beautiful flower is done! To give it even softer feel and create some interest in your painting, consider covering the background with light turquoise touch.

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Gardening with Kids

Gardens are magical, fun, and always full of surprises. Watch a child pull a carrot from the earth, brush off the soil, and take a bite, or see the anticipation in the eyes of a youngster creating a bouquet of flowers he grew. There is a natural magnetic attraction between children and the earth, whether it’s making mud or discovering a germinating seed emerges from the earth. Gardening with children, from toddlers to adolescents, opens new windows in a world dominated by technology.
Memories last longer than one season. Adults who fondly remember a childhood spent in a garden often recall a parent, grandparent, or neighbor who guided and encouraged them to explore the natural world.
Incorporate planting and play, and kids become more comfortable. We can teach even the tiniest child garden etiquette, such as where to walk. Later, they learn the consequences of good (or poor) care: watering, weeding, cultivating.
Moreover, both kids and adults learn patience in the garden. We have to wait for nature to take its course. Keep kids’ gardens simple, and a manageable size, about 6 by 10 feet.” Begin with only a few seed or plant varieties that grow quickly, and give the children tasks appropriate to their age and skill level. Watering is a favorite and even weeding can be. The pathway to better health and nutrition is right outside the door. Of course gardening offers great opportunities for exercise, fresh air, and good food. Growing their own food expands a young person’s choice of foods, a key to good nutrition. If they have grown up on home-grown and homemade food, they can taste the difference.
Gardening is a powerful experience for children. Children have fewer and fewer chances to interact with the natural world, and the connection to nature is important for their development. Children who develop regard and concern for the natural world come to be good stewards of the land and its resources. Being responsible for tending a garden also fosters their sense of “nurturing” and helps them learn to care for other living things. Kids don’t often hear much positive feedback from adults, and creating and tending a garden also empowers kids because they hear that they have “done a good job” from other adults.

Tips on Gardening with Kids:

1. Kid gardens must be kid-based. This means that kids help generate the ideas for what will be there, help with construction and planting, and are responsible for maintenance. Grown-ups need to facilitate and show how, but not do everything. Focus on the process of involving them, and they will then take ownership.
2. Develop the garden to be appropriate for the regional conditions. Develop the garden so the features and plant choices are adapted to local conditions, so you are not “working against nature.”
3. Focus on functional garden design, not how it will look. Start the design process by determining what the children want to be doing and learning in the garden. Base the features on the practical functions they will serve, and don’t worry too much about aesthetics. Gardens that serve as hands-on learning laboratories for kids will be beautiful because they are well-used and well-loved spaces. Also remember that the children’s sense of what is pretty may not be yours; that’s ok because the garden is their space.
4. Be comfortable with dirt. All kids are washable, so let them get dirty.
5. Bugs and crawly critters are cool. Children aren’t inherently afraid of things that crawl and creep. They learn that these things are bad or scary or icky from adults. When you pass on an aversion to something because of how it looks, that’s called “prejudice.” Worms, caterpillars, grubs, insects, spiders and all sorts of wondrous creatures are out in your garden as part of the ecosystem. Please see them as integral parts of the system, and the kids will be amazed and curious, not afraid.
6. No chemicals. Given that you are gardening with children, this really should not need any explanation. Also in urban areas, it is advisable to have a basic soil assessment for lead and other urban contaminants to make sure your site is safe for children before the garden is developed.
7. Grow some things to eat. Children are much more willing to try and consume fresh fruits and vegetables that they have grown. In fact, they likely will try things they never have eaten before because they have tended the plants through harvest.
8. Keep it fun.

Bead Flag

What you need:
• 6 Safety Pins Varying Sizes
• 11 White Beads
• 6 Blue Beads
• 7 Red Beads

What you do:
Use five medium safety pins. Open one at a time and put on one white, one red, one white, and three blue pony beads.  Do this to three safety pins.
• On the other two pins put on one white, one red, one white, one red, one white and one red pony beads.
• Open large pin.
• Slide on one medium pin with blue beads. Use top of pin to slide onto large pin. Slide a clear bead next to it.
• Repeat this pattern with the 3 blue beaded pins and end with the red/white beaded pins.
• Close large pin and you should see the American flag in beads.