Kindness Rocks

Monday, March 18, 2019

Several years ago, while on our annual trip to VA to visit family, McKinley found a rock at his feet. But this wasn't any ordinary rock, it was what we refer to as a Kindness Rock. It had a sweet little saying "Always Try", which was so fitting at that time. McKinley used to always tell us, "But we can try." So this rock was meant for him. It currently resides on his bookcase in his room.

Fast forward to earlier in the month when McKinley and I created several different kids crafts for a March segment on Better Kansas City. It's spring break in these parts, and we're all looking for kid friendly activities that help get us all off of our screens and doing something creative! McKinley and I discussed different types of projects we have worked on in the past, making a list of which ones would be better for the segment, and the Kindness Rock from VA was mentioned. And because of spring break, it was the perfect time to create a few rocks so that we can leave them at local parks around the neighborhood. Want to create your own? The read on to get a list of materials you need to complete the craft!

You need rocks, of course, so head out into this gorgeous spring weather and pick up some flat oval rocks. If you can't find any, pick some up at your local craft store. I found these at Michael's. They are smooth, flat river rocks in black. You also need acrylic paint in a variety of colors, paints pens, paint brushes, and any surface for painting. I love paper plates, but use what you have!

I painted all of the rocks white so that the acrylic paints would be vivid on the rocks. If you leave them black, that's fine, just know your paint won't be as bright in color. Paint the fronts and backs.

Paint your rocks in a variety of colors. Again, paint the front and back.

Next up, it's time to write on those rocks! We used paint pens, again found at Michael's. Pick complimentary colors, if you want, or go with whatever color speaks to you like McKinley did! No rhyme or reason for him. And let your kids get creative with their sayings. And if there are misspelled words, so what, it's the thought that counts!

Here are the completed rocks! I love them and I love that his heart is on each of these rocks! Again, he picked all the sayings, wrote them all himself, and I'm so proud of him! To finish them off, make sure you coat them with an outdoor  protectant so the paint doesn't run if they get wet. Head out to a local park and place them in friendly areas. Make sure they aren't in places that people will trip over them, but find them organically. 

If you decide to create Kindness Rocks of your own, please post all of your works of art on my This Kansas Mama Facebook page! We would love to see your inspirational sayings! Everyone needs a little kindness in their lives!

Check out the segment here for additional kid craft ideas or come back soon for more posts to come!


DIY Wine Glass Updates - Stenciling on Glass

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

If you're anything like me, you might have a few, or a lot, of stemless wine glasses cluttering up your bar. I've "collected" them over the years whether they were gifts or ones I've purchased. I'm guessing I'm going to have a cocktail party of 40, I jest, but I do have several plain wine glasses so I decided to jazz them up. 

I've been obsessed with pink flamingos for several years now and I still adore them. They are just so cool! And to be 100% honest, I would love to get my hands on a couple of plastic lawn ornaments to adorn my backyard. So when I started thinking about what I wanted to put on my wine glasses, immediately I thought of pink flamingos. When I found this stencil pack, that also included palm trees, it was a no brainer. How cute will these be over the summer when we entertain our friends on the patio! Or during the winter while dreaming of summers spent on the patio. Either way, they are darling!

Here's what you'll need:

A wine glass, acrylic paint for multiple surfaces, your stencil of choice, and a stencil brush.

Place a small amount of paint onto a plate. A little bit goes a long way. As for a plate, I've used paper in the past, but I decided to for a more reusable painters plate this time around. 

Place a small amount on your stencil brush and then dab off some the access.

And because you're painting on glass, the paint can smear. Make sure you dab a little off on a paper towel as well. 

If you've never stenciled before, it's super easy. The technique is different than actually painting though. Instead of spreading the paint, you dab the paint on the surface in small bursts. This will allow the paint to adhere to the surface and not smear. You would apply this same technique on any surface you're working on, not just glass. You can apply a second coat, but only after the first coat has completely dried. If you go over the wet paint, you will actually remove what you've applied. (Side note: it's nearly impossible to take pictures of yourself painting so I'll try to get a small video up soon.)

Now, when it comes to removing the stencil from your project, do so while it's white. If you wait until after the project has dried, the area in which you've stenciled could possibly pull away from the area and you'll need to start over. I know, so many details, but they are all so important.

If you've found that the stencil paint bled, that's okay, you can fix it. Take the sharp part of a toothpick and clean up around the areas that smudged. It's tedious, but so worth it. 

Here's your finished product!

Are these not the chicest wine glasses! I love them! The colors are so bright and happy and they just make me happy. I can't wait to have girlfriends over so we can toast to pretty much anything! Wine might not have tasted so good until after sipping out of these! 

Because you've painted on these glasses, you will need to make sure you cure the paint before washing. Place your glasses on a cookie sheet inside a cold oven and then heat to 350 degrees. After you've reached the desire temp, let them bake for 30 minutes, and then turn off the oven. Let them cool completely inside the oven. You are now good to wash! I'll probably do so by hand to be a little more delicate with them. 

What do you think? Ready to tackle this project? If so, share with use your afters! Can't wait to see what you do.


Valentine's Day Fashion DIY

Monday, February 4, 2019

How many of you have seen the darling sweater with heart elbow patches floating around Instagram? I see it all the time and it inspired me to create my own version! With Valentine's Day around the corner, and McKinley's class party that afternoon, this little sweatshirt is going to be perfect! 

The top that inspired it all! Isn't it too cute?

Here's what you'll need:

A sweatshirt, a red sweater, a heart shaped cookie cutter, and a pen. This will get you started.

I found the sweatshirt at Target on the clearance rack for $9 and the red sweater at Savers for $3.99. I had a 20% off coupon at Savers from our last donation so I actually spent a little over $3 for the sweater.

Turn the sweater inside out that you're going to use to trace your heart. This way the pen mark won't be on the right side of the garment.

Place your cookie cutter on the sweater. I placed it as far down on the sweater as possible so that I have the remainder of the sweater for a different project. Also, make sure your sweater is a tightly woven fabric. You don't want it to fray once you cut it.

Guess what! The pen didn't show up so I switched to a Sharpie. 

Cut out your heart. Oh, and with the fabric doubled over, you will have two hearts! You need two anyway, right?

Two hearts!

Even though the fabric is a tight weave, I went ahead and used Fray Check to keep the hearts from fraying. Allow to dry for a minute or so before using your hearts.

 You will need someone to help you with this part. Try on the top to pin the hearts in the place you want. I knew I wanted mine slightly above the elbow. My mom measured the bottom of the heart to the top of my elbow so that each heart was as centered and roughly the same height as possible. Pin them in place with a safety pin.

Once pinned, start gluing. I left the pin in place and glued around it. I started in the center and moved around the edges and bottom of the heart and pressed down. From there, I removed the pin and glued the heart from the center up. You want to use a fabric glue for this so you can wash it and the hearts won't come away from the top. You can always go back and do a loop stitch to secure it even more.

The glue dries clear so don't worry if any seeps out the side. I tried to clean it up a little, but you won't see it in the end.

Here is the end result!

I love it!! It turned out exactly how I imagined it would! I can't wait to wear it next week! It's so soft and warm to boot. I've always known it, but now I can tell everyone that I truly wear my heart on my sleeve!


Holiday Bucket List - Crown Center and Union Station

Friday, December 21, 2018

I've always loved Crown Center at the holidays, but it wasn't until we started taking McKinley that I truly appreciated its magic! The lights at dusk, the larger than life tree, the squeals of children as they play on over-sized wooden toys brings the holidays to life.

For McKinley's first Christmas, we made our way at dusk to Crown Center and carried him around the giant play area to let him sit on a few things before whisking him off for a good nights sleep. As he's gotten older, we go earlier in the year, and more frequently, so he can take full advantage of all the things this area of wonder has to offer. 

And now our tradition includes Union Station! We've always gone for the train ride around the Grand Hall and checking out the enormous train exhibit they create every holiday season. But it wasn't until last year that we took part in the Holiday Train that arrives at Union Station the week before Christmas! And I'm not sure why we've waited so long. It's so wonderful! Each car is decorated in a different holiday theme and McKinley is mesmerized by it all! And to be completely honest, so are we! My husband is just like a big kid walking through, pointing out something here and something there. It's truly a family evening you need to mark on your calendar for next year!

 Here are some highlights from this years train tour! 

It's four days until Christmas! After the holidays, I'll be moving into the Winter portion of the bucket list! Tonight is our city light tour, however we're going to make it a two night excursion this year since we'll be on the downtown end of the city tomorrow. Check out this link for all the neighborhood light displays! It's definitely the best one I've found. If you're working on the list, how are you coming along?

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