Thursday, January 30, 2014

New bows.

It's been very cold around here lately. Virginia has had some temps that have been breaking records with how cold it's been. Not really my cup of tea but it does make me stay home more and since I have stayed in the house a little more often, I've had some time to create some new hair bows. Just thought I'd share a few of these new creations. Stay tuned because in the next month or so I'm hoping to show some of the vintage line I'm creating!! Also, thanks to these two photographers who used my bows on their sweet little models. :) Lauren Owens Photography and CTR Image

Lauren Owens Photography

CTR Image

Monday, January 27, 2014

Kids Map Craft.

This past weekend I told the kids we would do an art project and once I share that bit of info with them, they don't let it go. :) They all love art projects and specifically painting. I think that's because it makes such a mess and what child doesn't love a mess? So, needless to say, I racked my brain for about three days trying to figure out a project before we were to get started. I know they love painting, maps and more painting. :) In the end I thought a cute hanging project would be adorable... something to use. So here it is, the map location project. 

What it is: 
In this project, each child picked a state that was "special" to them and then they each had to pic an image that represents that reason. Montana picked TN because that is where he was saved from childhood cancer while he was at St. Jude. Makenna picked MO because she was born there and Myla picked VA because she was also born there. It doesn't have to be anything super crazy... they were just ready to get ahold of that paint brush. :) 

While they were painting their canvas boards, I cut out the states. I actually printed out the state outline first, cut them out, glued them to the map and then cut the map out. It seemed easier that way. I then turned their chosen image into a heart shape and used construction paper behind to add contrast. You could do any shape and any color or kind of paper. I'm sure it would all turn out adorable. This project was realtively easy but the cutting of states does take some time. Once we had everything where we wanted it and the paint on the canvas was all dry... we applied modge podge to hold it all together. They all really loved that part. :) **Be sure to add the extra stuff before applying modge podge.. like sharpy dots and things of the such. 

These would be super cute if you applied some ribbon to hang them with. We didn't get to that part but overall.. great gifts even!! Happy Monday! 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Eastern State Longboarding.

Yesterday we received snow and so here we sit indoors waiting for it to melt except for the times my kids are trudging it in and out of the house. They are super excited so I allow it to happen because we very rarely receive snow here in Williamsburg, Virginia. I think in the end we received a total of about 3-4 inches. Not too shabby if I don't say so myself. Unfortunately this kind of snow is not the snowman building kind. It falls apart in seconds and snowballs disappear before they even get to their target but it's snow and so we will take it. :) It's been a long awaited day for the 3 little kids in this house. It's all I've heard since October.

The weather here is unreal this year, however. This is what we did the day before the snow came in and started building up on the ground... longboarding. The weather was a lovely 58 degrees, birds were chirping, and we spent most of the day outside, riding down hills. It amazes me what just 20 hours can do as far at temps outside. This is at a location called Eastern State. There aren't many cars (that's a good thing) and the roads are relatively smooth. I'm sure there will be more photos eventually but for now this will show the fun that we had. Happy Thursday!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Valentine's Day Bows.

Valentine's Day is almost a month way.. I can't believe it! In the crafting world we have to be ahead of the holiday in order to process orders and to make sure that our customers have their orders in time for photo shoots, parties and of course being absolutely adorable! :) The past two weeks I have been busy creating new hair bows and headbands for this purpose. Last year I was just starting my Etsy shop. I NEVER thought it would be what it is now but I am so grateful! I love creating new things and being artistic in a different avenue. Here are some of the bows that are new to the ETSY SHOP!! Enjoy.

Jessica Oatman Bowtique

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Valentine's Day Thumbprint Cards.

It's hard to believe that February is so close upon us and that we are already thinking of lovely little crafting projects for the kiddos. Each year and each holiday, as it gets closer, I run out of time. I never seem to have enough time to sit down and do the projects the week of. I find that we are usually out and about doing festive things with friends and family instead. So, we tend to be creative the weeks leading up to, which is totally fine in our books. :) The other day the kids asked to make something crafty and we came up with these cute Valentine's Day Thumbprint Cards. So to our family... don't look because you will most likely be receiving one of these in the mail. I know it's fun to get handmade kids art in the mail and we know that our relatives like it as well.

These cards were relatively easy to create. I cut out some different shaped hearts out of scrapbook paper as well as some that were on plain white paper. With the plain white paper, the kids could color anything they wanted on one and on the other, we had them make thumbprint hearts with pink ink. Afterwards, they glued them down however they chose to. I let them dry and then outlined them with black lines to "clean" it up. Wala... Thumbprint Valentine's Day cards. Such a cute, personal gift that could also be framed when done. Happy Early Valentine's Day!!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

jump roping circuit.

I've always known that jump roping was a good activity. You get winded fast, your legs can burn, your heart can feel like it's gonna explode and whipping yourself is not the best feeling, but it sure can be one heck of a good time. Back in the day, I was actually pretty good and had won a few jumping contests... yay for me! :) Well flash forward about 22 years and I've decided to pick up the rope again. This Christmas, Santa brought the girls their own ropes and a set of double dutch ropes. They haven't been able to put them down. Our son and the oldest daughter are now able to jump in with the rope already turning and have mastered jumping roughly 25 times without messing up. Needless to say, we have been impressed. It's been a great activity for the whole family to enjoy. We are so gonna bring the 80's back. :)

I'm happy the kids are enjoying jump roping but I've been personally wanting a workout fit for me and one that is a calorie burner. I've googled, searched and scowered pinterest looking for one that contains mainly jumping but everything I find is a mixture of jumping and strength training and most of the jumping is only for a short period of time. I know the benifits of jumping rope and want my workout to consist of mainly that. So in the end, I made my own. I've done it twice so far and it's been killer. The last minute consists of a little strength training because I do that each day as well and figured, why not throw that in there with it. Feel free to do less or more of the circuit to make it longer or shorter.

Another perk of course... is it's FREE!! You can do this anywhere, anytime and not have to join a gym. I do miss the gym and the pool of course, but with the kids, finances and time, I just don't get there as much as I wish I could. So it looks like it will be me and the rope and the road as I alternate between jumping and running. Happy New Year to you all!!

Oh and I found this awesome website that calculates how many colories you burn while jumping!! Sweet right? Check it out HERE!!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

More on un/homeschooling.

Found this entry from my other blog and thought I would share it with this blog. It explains more of our homeschool/roadschool/unschool lifestyle. enjoy.

It's official and I'm going to share it with you all. We... are an unschooling/roadschooling family. There, I've said it. I've known this for a while but just haven't shared it with everyone we know. What is unschooling? What is roadschooling?  Unschooling is known to be an interest driven, child-led, natural, organic, or self- directed way of learning. You don't learn the traditional way by having text books, tests and things of the such. You learn by what interests you and seek out the information you are wanting to learn. Roadschooling, is basically learning while on the go. Some people live in RV's and teach their children while they travel (my dream) while others may move from place to place ! I consider us to be the crossovers... a little bit of both. We are not traditional in the way we school the kids and if I had it my way we would never be home but rather on the road and learning along the way.  Finances and my husbands job of course, don't allow that at the moment but we don't let it stop us from taking our kids to as many places as possible to learn, see, and experience this little thing called life. There is no right or wrong way to learn. If you are living life... you are always learning.

When we "sit down" to school the kids it's usually to read and do some math. I use the term "sit down" lightly because I don't feel that my kids have to sit to learn. I don't need them to read the science books over and over when nature is right out the back door. Instead, we go to parks, museums, the woods, the computer, watch movies, etc. They learn everyday and they learn in a very hands on environment. We have memberships to aquariums, museums and zoos and the kids partake in many homeschool day activities when they are offered. Just last week they went to the Virginia Aquarium Homeschool day and learned about many extinct fish while watching IMAX. This week they will attend the Virginia Living Museum Homeschool day and take a class called "The Stars above Jamestown" at the planetarium as well as visit the many exhibits they will have. It's not like they aren't involved or they aren't learning. We just don't use a set curriculum. If they want the answers to something, they will find the way to figure it out just like you or I would.

Have you ever thought about just how much a child can learn with their own will to explore? Montana has been his own teacher on many levels. He comes to me alot asking questions on numerous subjects. He's very interested in geography, maps, flags and loves to travel. He remembers so much because of his hands on experience. How often do children get to experience things outside of the text books? He's been to Austria, Germany, the Domincan Republic, 26 states with two of those being Hawaii and Alaska. He can tell you what he saw in the Dominican Republic and was able to experience their way of life. It's important to my husband and I that our children are "learning" life. They need to know that everyone is unique and a gift from God. If my kids learn anything from life, I want it to be that everyone is different, we are all human and no one is any better than anyone else. They can't learn to love and give unless they experience and see it for themselves. When they are truly out there living and learning what they see and experience, that's when they are retaining the most knowledge and creating their life long memories. Those are the moments that can't be taken away.

We do alot together as a family, which is also an important factor in the way we school our kids. We go on bike rides, swim at the beach, go camping, play at the river and travel. And every one of those activities is a learning experience. For example, the beach.. they learn about rip tides, jellyfish, or learn an activity such as bodyboarding. When camping, they learn how to start a fire and what burns or doesn't burn, they learn how to cook, set up tents or even get a chance at whittling. Every single thing they do, they learn. It's just a matter of how you go about it. I like that my kids are getting to learn in a fun, loving and hands on environment. Not only that, I get to spend more time with them during the years that are so important and I get to create so many wonderful memories. Even though there are some hard and very difficult days, I'll never regret this time with them. The world is their playground and we are just helping them to explore it.

*handy dandy iphone at the Virginia Aquarium

Here are some the places we have seen and some of the things we have experienced while homeschooling. There truly is no limit to what you can explore and learn. Every situation, every place and every day gives us the opportunity to teach and share with our kids.