Feb 112017

Disclosure: I received Thin Stix by Kwik Stix to review. I was not compensated for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

The Reality of Art Projects

“Mommy, can we paint?”

In my head –  “Ugh.  Not paint. I will have to find newspaper for the table. And where did I put those shirts we were using for smocks? And then there’s the wet paint on everyone’s hands.”

What I say –  “Wouldn’t you rather play outside? Or color with crayons?”

“No, we want to paint.”

In my head – “I really should let them. Kids should be allowed to experiment with different art media. It’s ok if they make a mess. If they were in school, I bet they’d have more chances to paint.”

“OK, Give me a few minutes to get everything set up.”

15 minutes later…

“Everything’s ready. You can paint now.”

5 minutes later…

“Thanks Mommy! Do you like my picture? We’re going to play outside now.”


Art Time

Does anything about my story sound familiar? I want my kids to have fun doing art projects. I want to be a “Yes” mom. But extra work and extra mess goes against my nature. Sometimes I just say yes and deal with the mess. But other times I just say no. Not now. And that’s ok too. However, I have found a solution to those times when the kids want to paint, but I don’t want the mess..

Thin Stix by Kwik Stix

Thin stix

The solution is Kwik Stix! Kwik Stix are tempera paints in a stick. There are no brushes to clean and no liquid paint to spill. There is no need for smocks. It dries in 90 seconds so there’s no running, smearing or smudging.

I received a package of Thin Stix by Kwik Stix to review. I opened them up and gathered my review team. They immediately went to work creating a variety of pictures.

The paint goes on smoothly and evenly. The colors are vibrant and the stix are easy to use. You just twist up more when needed, like chapstick.

Is it painting? Technically, no. But it is art.

These are great for school projects like posters. It is so much easier to write letters with Thin Stix than a paint brush.

Interested in trying Kwik Stix? You can purchase at Amazon.com and select retailers such as Books A Million and Target.

Thin Stix Art Gallery

Abstract Art by Lizzie, age 10

Flower by Anna, age 16

Rainbow by Andrew, age 6

Bob and Larry by Andrew, age 6

Sunny scene by Anna, age 16


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Nov 292015

Kwik Stix Logo Christmas

I’m sure I’m not alone. I want my children to be creative and have opportunities to be artistic. But finding time to do art projects with my younger ones is tough. And letting them have free access to paint? No way.

So most of their art consists of coloring with crayons or colored pencils. I’m not saying that I feel guilty about that, but well, maybe a little.

Kwik Stix 12 packThat’s why I jumped at the chance to review the new Kwik Stix Solid Tempera Paint. It’s tempera paint without the mess. No liquid to spill. No paint brushes to clean. Sign me up!

Kwik Stix are about the size of a glue stick. They’re easy to use and dry in 90 seconds. The colors are bright and the coverage is good. While it’s not the same as painting, it does have a different feel than coloring with crayons. I think they will be especially handy for making posters for school projects.

Kwik Stix would also make great stocking stuffers. They are available directly from The Pencil Grip, Inc. and from Amazon.com. Be sure to enter the giveaway at the end of this post.

My two youngest children, Lizzie and Andrew (9 and almost 5) were very excited to try out Kwik Stix. And yes, they are wearing pajamas.


Here are their completed creations.

Kwik Stix artwork 1


Green hillside

Green hillside

Sunny day

Sunny day



***Disclosure: I received a free package of Kwik Stix in order to write this review. I was not compensated for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Dec 062013

I love making decorations for Christmas. But it’s hard to spend extra money on craft supplies at Christmas with an already stretched budget. (Really, I SHOULD think about Christmas crafting all year long, but I never do.)

But if your house is anything like ours, you probably receive tons of catalogs this time of year. Why not use them for something instead of throwing them away?

How to Make Catalog Christmas Trees

This is a great project to use some of those catalogs. They do need to be fairly thick to make a full enough tree.

Here’s how you do it.

1. Fold the page down from the top corner, making the top even with the center of the catalog.



2. Repeat for every page in the catalog.



3. Fold  page in half again making a narrower triangle.





4. Repeat for every page.

5. Tuck end inside of fold.


6. Crease and repeat for every page.



7. Stand up and fluff it out. Here’s our finished project spray painted gold.

Catalog Christmas Trees

I’d like to make a whole “forest” of different sized trees for my mantle!

May 292009

I don’t have a schoolroom. Most of the time I don’t really want one. I like for our school to be just another part of our home. Right now my children do their seatwork in the dining room and the adjoining kitchen. The only reason that I am somewhat envious of those who have schoolrooms is their ability to keep school in one room and not have the rest of the house looking like a school.

This is the baker’s rack in the corner of my dining room. I keep it relatively neat and organized, but when we have guests over I would like it to look less schoolish. I saw on someone else’s blog (that I can’t find now) how she had covered cereal boxes with fabric and was using them to store workbooks.

That gave me an idea. If I put pretty fabric around boxes, then my shelves wouldn’t look quite so schoolish. So, I decided to give it a try.

Obtain an empty cereal box (warehouse club size).

On the short side, measure 3 inches from the bottom of the box.

Draw a line across the front to mark 3″.

Next, draw a diagonal one the longer side of the box from the previous line to the top of the box. Repeat on the other side and then cut along the lines.

Here’s the box after cutting off the top flaps, and along both the diagonal lines as well as the front line.

Cut the fabric wide enough to cover the back and sides with about an inch of fabric to overlap onto the front.

Cut the fabric long enough to cover the back and front of the box with enough extra to overlap about an inch.

I used every crafter’s favorite, Tacky Glue, on the back of the box. Set the box down on the fabric and use a ruler to smooth the fabric.

Put glue on one side of the box and pull the fabric over it. Next smooth with the ruler as with the back. Repeat with other side.

Put glue inside the box and fold over the cloth to the inside.

Cut 2 slits in the fabric to separate the front from the sides.

Fold the remaining triangle of fabric across the side, into the middle of the box, like wrapping a gift.

A close-up of the way the fabric overlaps on the side.

Glue the lower side fabric onto the front.

Repeat for other side. Then glue the front fabric on, overlapping into the box.

fabric covered magazine holder

Here’s the back of the finished box.

fabric covered magazine holder

Here’s the side of my finished box.

Will somebody please comb my hair?

fabric covered magazine holder

Here’s my new box on my shelf. I like the way it turned out. Now I just need to make some more. One thing to note, the large cereal box is not as deep as I need because I want boxes that will hold all my binders. I will be on the lookout for cardboard display boxes the next time I’m at Sam’s. Also, I think a corrugated cardboard would be sturdier. I plan on covering the box  that’s to the right of my new box as well.