Category Archives: DIY

Learning To Draw By The Sea

The ocean is an amazing thing.   Did you know water covers over 70% of the earth’s surface?  Scientists claim they have only explored 5% of the ocean so far.  That leaves a whole lot of mystery about this beautiful habitat that is so vital to the world in so many ways.  I would encourage everyone to visit the ocean at least once if they get the opportunity. Your senses will be overwhelmed and rejuvenated by the experience.

It is amazing to listening to the roar of the waves, get your feet wet or go for a swim, wait and watch for fish or dolphins to breach the surface, to observe birds swooping down to catch a fish, or sighting an occasional fishing boat out to sea.  The ocean is always changing and you could spend hours watching it.

Our family loves to visit the ocean!  We are usually blessed to take a day drive and visit the sea a couple of times a year.  Sometimes we drive several hours just to get out and walk the beach and splash in the waves for two hours and then get back in the vehicle and drive several more hours back home. Depending on which beach we visit, it takes us about 4 hours to get to the closest one.  It is a long ways to drive, but it is free to use the public beaches. If we pack a cooler with food and water, then the only cost involved is the fuel to drive there.  With a large family, getting to do something fun for FREE is a big deal.

On a few occasions, we have been blessed with the opportunity to spend the night instead of driving there and back all in one day.  Those overnight experiences by the sea have been exceptional.  It is hard to describe the amazing way you feel when you wake up to the ocean, and get up with the sun rise, spend the day in the salty air, then get to observe the sunset, and listen to the waves in the dark of night as the stars twinkle overhead.  It is wonderful!

Learning To Draw By The Sea.

We recently had the opportunity to stay overnight on a visit to the ocean. We spent the morning and evening playing on the beach, but in the heat of the day, we needed something else to do to avoid getting a serious sunburn.   We did not bring electronic games or computers that are part of our normal homeschooling day.  Instead, we played board games like chess, put together fun puzzles, and spent part of our time learning to draw with the art kits we recently made.

It was so nice to have our portable DIY Art Kits.  Be sure to check the story with information on how to make one for your family.

The kits were small enough to go just about anywhere with us, yet they were big enough to hold just about everything we needed.

For some reason that I can’t remember, I didn’t get pictures of the kids drawing.  I guess I must have been so excited about the view, and the opportunity to sit there and draw, that I failed to get up and take pictures of what the others were making too.

For this project, I used the watercolor pencils.  I had hoped to make a project with paints too, but I didn’t have time to accomplish both on this trip.  My older son chose to use charcoal pencils from his kit, and the younger kids used crayons.  I pulled out a small table onto the porch to hold my drawing pad and pencils.

It was a bit windy on this day.  I separated the pencils colors that I wanted to use from the case holding the pencils.  I set them beside my drawing pad, however the wind kept blowing them off and I was constantly having to get up and down to catch a pencil before it rolled off the porch.  I realized the next time I take this art kit on a trip, I will need to bring something better to hold the colors I am using.  Perhaps something as simple as a rubber band or a small tray with sides would have solved my problem.

From the porch where I sat, I could see a long ways in the distance across the ocean and the beach up and down the coast.  To the front of me was ocean as far as I could see, and to the left was a small fishing vessel that soon disappeared while I was drawing.  I tried to capture both in my drawing.  The waves were the most difficult part to draw because they kept moving. Drawing the ocean wasn’t easy because even though it appears the same, in reality each and every moment it keeps changing.

Learning to draw by the sea was fun and it is an experience our family will never forget.

“And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.”  Genesis 1:10

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DIY Art Kits

Here is a fun and affordable DIY Art Kit for travel, hiking, art classes, or to use around the house.

We have two birthdays coming up and both birthday kids have requested a set of Thin Stix paints for their birthdays.  We recently reviewed these fun tempera art sticks and the kids had a lot of fun.   Be sure to read about our experience reviewing Thin Stix.

So in addition to adding these to our art supplies at home for art classes and crafts we make, I have also ordered additional sets for both birthday kids.  I ordered the Neon Colors pack for my daughter and the Creative Colors pack for my son.  I am hoping they arrive in time to add into their art kits I made for their birthdays.

These Thin Stix tempera paints are “take anywhere” and “mess free” so they are perfect to take on the go in the car, or to a game, to sit outside and paint a scene from nature, or if they want they can even color in bed.

DIY Art Kits are portable, can be easily carried, and are light weight so the kids, or mom (I want to make a kit for me too) can sit anywhere and have the basic art supplies they need to create something beautiful.

Watch this short video about using Thin Stix tempera paint sticks from The Pencil Grip, Inc. to see why these are such a great addtion to your art kits.

DIY Art Kits:

For these kits, I used a re-purposed container. I saved a see through zippered plastic pouch from a bed sheet set. This container is the perfect holder for their kits, they can see everything in it at a glance, and they will fit nicely in a shoulder bag or backpack.

DIY Art Kits we made include: Thin Stix tempera paints, Mixed Media Sketch Paint Pad, Charcoal Pencils, Graphite Pencils, Colored Pencils, Pencil Sharpener, Eraser, Ruler, Gel Pens, and a small Watercolor Kit, various Paint Brushes (not pictured) and a sponge.

You can add crayons and oil pastels, a protractor, origami papers, colored tape, glue, various colored tissue papers, and and exacto knife if desired to this kit still and a fold-able easel if desired.

These costs will vary in making these kits.  Two of the kits I made cost about Art Kits $30 +/- and a larger kit I made for my older son that included more Thin Stix colors cost about $40 to include everything.

Some of the individual costs of items to put this together for example included:  Sketch Pad $8, Colored Pencils $8, Thin Stix 6pk of Neon Colors $7 and the other kit included Thin Stix 24pk of Creative Colors.  Some of the other items came from the Dollar Store and the outer case was repurposed for free.

The outer case is a zippered plastic cover that came on a couple of sheet sets we purchased a while back and I saved the covers thinking I might use them some day.  Sure enough, they are great for holding these art supplies.   Some items will cost a little more if you purchase them online from e-bay or a lot more if purchased from an art supply store.  It is up to you what you include, and the ages and needs of your kids, so costs will vary.

The paint brushes for the DIY Art Kit are back-ordered, and I am hopeful they will arrive in time for their birthdays. I wanted to keep these kits mess free and easy to use. Thin Stix are wonderful for keeping them mess free, but sometimes you want to use watercolors too. These brushes will help watercolor paints to be less messy because they hold water in the handle of the paint brush. For the watercolor brushes all you do is squeeze the brush then dab the brush onto the dry watercolor and use it.   Then to clean it just squeeze the brush again so water reaches the brush and wipe off on the sponge before you get your next color.

I think my kids will really enjoy using these homemade portable DIY Art Kits. I am thankful for the opportunity to try out the Thin Stix 6k Classic Colors tempera paints and we are excited to include them in our portable travel kits and our art supplies in our home.Stay tuned for pictures of other projects we make with our Thin Stix! They are a lot of fun, mess free, and so easy to use!

I found a cute method for downsizing all of this into one small bag that is taped (using cute paterned duck tape) to the art pad so you can hold all of this on your lap without loosing anything.  I don’t have my kit finished yet. But check out this video by Coloring Pages Bliss so you can see how to attach your zippered pouch of supplies right to your art pad and an extremely light weight easy access portable art kit.

I made two of these kits for birthdays we are celebrating next month.  I liked them so much that I made one for myself too.  And now the other four kids have requested them too.  So that is a future project.

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Building Beds

Well the big boys have outgrown everything, including their beds.  

They have asked for loft beds.  We searched everywhere for the right beds and couldn’t find an affordable option that could hold their “near adult” size.

So we set out to design and build our own loft beds custom made to fit each one.

Here are a few pictures of Daddy teaching the boys the beginning steps in how to build their beds.

Sanding boards smooth is a lot of work.  It took more time to sand than most of the other steps.

The boys are learning hands on carpentry skills from a master carpenter. These lessons will last a lifetime.

Be sure to check out the next story about DIY Loft Beds.

 

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