DIY homework caddies

Professional organiser Harmony Seiter has provided a step-by-step guide to creating an at-home homework station.

A homework caddy is great for small spaces, multi-purpose spaces, and for kids who love to do their homework on the floor or away from a desk or table.

• Find a caddy or a tray you like.
o You can find caddies of all shapes and sizes in many sections of a retailer (such as baby, bathroom, kitchen)
o You may need to add other containers to separate supplies

Watch the video here.

• Your needs will vary depending on the age of your kids.
o Primary grades may need crayons, scissors, glue sticks, pencils, pencil sharpener, erasers, colored pencils, a ruler, tape, paper, and possibly subject folders.
o Middle schoolers and high schoolers may need a calculator, pens, pencils, highlighters, pencil sharpener, erasers, stapler or paper clips, paper, glue sticks, loose leaf paper, sticky notes, tape, and subject folders.

• Place your homework caddy in an easy to reach spot for your student. It’s easily mobile, but make sure it`s brought to the same spot at the end of the day so homework time is always easy to manage.

Whether you keep it in your dedicated office or your kitchen pantry, a homework station will give your student all the tools she needs to successfully finish the day’s assignments.

Source: www.fox13now.com

 

The ultimate hobby machine

Say goodbye to unnecessary cords and create more space to work on your projects with the ultimate DIY machine from Cricut. The machine is hailed as all you need for craft hobbies like scrapbooking. The machine retails at approximately $300 (R3 800).

There are so many ways you can create with Cricut Explore Air. Design with the 50 000 images, projects, and fonts in the Cricut Image Library, or upload your own images and fonts for free.

Make party invitations, decorations and favours. Create seasonal home décor or personalise wedding gifts. Add embellishments to your favorite photo memories.

Cut what you want
Upload and cut your own images and fonts free; works with .svg, .jpg, .png, .bmp, .gif, and .dxf files
Cut or write fonts already installed on your computer
Buy images starting at $0.99

Design and cut with the iPad app
Design here, there, and everywhere! Cricut Design Space app for iPad works seamlessly with the Cricut Explore Air machine. Design on your iPad and send the project to cut, wirelessly. The free, easy-to-use Cricut Design Space software system gives you access to all of your images and projects from any compatible computer or iPad. It’s cloud-based, so your projects are always synced across all your devices.

What can I make?
Make all your birthday and party invitations, banners, decorations, and favors. Create distinctive seasonal home décor or personalise DIY wedding gifts with a quick monogram for that perfect touch. Add embellishments to your favorite photo memories. And give Family Game Night the ultimate make-over with fresh and fun games month after month. Don’t forget those last-minute school science fair projects, book reports, or the ‘All About Me’ poster. Satisfy all your DIY crafting needs, whether you use the Cricut Explore Air as a vinyl cutter, die cut machine, or fabric cutting machine.

What can I cut?
The Cricut Explore Air cuts a wide variety of materials, including paper, cardstock, vinyl, iron-on, poster board and fabric for DIY projects. Upload your own images or choose from the Cricut Image Library – the only limit is your imagination.

No settings required
Forget the complicated materials settings. Now you can get the perfect cut on nearly any material, just turn the Smart Set dial. You can even create custom settings for different materials.

Clean cuts, big or small
The Cricut Explore Air features patent-pending Cut Smart technology. Cut all sorts of shapes with exceptional precision in sizes ranging from ¼ to 11½ inch wide x 23½ inches tall.

Cut and write in just one step
The Cricut Explore Air machine can cut a card and then write a personalised message exactly where you want. It can also cut a box and score the fold lines in one step.

Art by eraser

Artist Milind Nayak is presenting his graphite-on-paper for the first time at the Modernists of Bangalore exhibition, currently on at Art Houz.

He thinks the black-and-whites are hard to sell. But he makes art for himself, not for others. So it doesn’t matter to him if not many like his works.

“I always used to draw, bind the sheets and keep the books,” he says, talking of his love for art. “These works are independent of colour. They are my biggest treasure.”

Only recently did he feel it was time to show some of the display he had made in 2008.

Nayak has worked with graphite sticks and an eraser. “Graphite is the purest form of carbon. It has got a sheen that other materials don’t. I got addicted to it,” he says.
But he has created these pieces using the eraser more than graphite.

He adds, “I draw first, and then begin working with the eraser until I get what I want.”

Nayak is inspired by nature. The vivid hues in his work speak of his audacious flirtation with the colour palette and the enjoyment he derives from it.

He constantly tries to reinvent his technique, and has experimented with different media, like watercolour, oil, oil pastels, graphite, photography and digital printing.

He says he has been in and out of the art movement. He took a break between 1983 and 1999.

“I quit to support my family,” he says. “I did photography. I learnt a lot from the process. I am not into the ideological format. I stand alone, paint alone. I was going bald. So I thought it was time to come back.”

Nayak is among the few artists across the world who have seriously explored oil pastels as a medium. One of his most cherished experiences is working with a palette knife.
The artist explains that the elusiveness, force and intimacy that entail ‘painting’ with a knife are unlike those of working with a brush.

In such works, Nayak tried to move away from formal representation and step closer to abstraction. He did not, however, dispense entirely with the formal structure.

He says, “The knife technique evolved with the need to remove colour. I used it for erasing. It creates more tones and adds grace.”

Nayak likes to live and paint dangerously. “You can’t be static throughout life. You need to evolve,” he says.

Nayak was born in Udupi in 1954, and is a self-taught artist. Over the last 15 years, he has established himself firmly on the country’s visual art scene.

He says the only artist who has impressed him is his mentor G S Shenoy.

“He taught me that to become a good artist, you need to be a good human first,” he says. “I owe all my works to him. We were good friends even though I was 16 years his junior. When I took a break, he was very angry with me.”

He has had over 35 solo exhibitions, including three in USA. He has also participated in several group exhibitions in India and abroad.

By Akhila Damodaran for www.newindianexpress.com

Crafty ways to re-use wax crayons

It may not look like it, but a basket of worn-out wax crayons can be an incredible find. There are so many things you can make with these colourful little wax cylinders, apart from of course carefully colouring in those detailed drawings in a grown-up colouring book.

crayons-300x300

Repurpose crayons? Well – you could for example:

  • Drop a candle wick in an old mason jar, melt down a handful of crayons, mix in a few drops of essential oil, and create a beautiful, fragrant candle.
  • Melt the old ends of matching colours together by cooling the wax in the bottom of a muffin tin to make it round.
  • Melt the wax and layer it to make rainbow crayons, cooling the wax in anything from ice cube trays to cookie mould tins to make unique shapes. Your imagination is your palette. Colour your world.

Repurpose with a purpose: crafting a scarf

Repurpose an old scarf into a beautiful tapestry of colours using – you guessed it – crayons. It’s a fun, fashion-forward DIY idea project you can do at home.

This process is pretty much a take on batik fabric dying. By melting the wax and applying it to fabric, then removing the wax, we can create gorgeous patterns and breathe new life into old garments.

diy-crayon-scarf-final-600x600

You can break your crayons up and sort by like colours in a muffin tin. Heat some water over the stove and float the muffin tin in it until the wax melts. Then, paint the melted wax onto your garment using disposable paint brushes or Q-tips. Since the wax tends to harden when taken away from the hot water, I just did my painting in the kitchen near the stove. However, if you have a crockpot, you can fill it about halfway with water and float your crayon wax muffin tin in that, instead, to keep the wax melted while you work.

You can grate your crayons, sorting by like colours, and artfully arrange the granules on your garment. Once everything looks good, you can melt the crayon over the fabric by layering it between sheets of aluminium foil and either ironing it or using a blow dryer set on high heat.

If your pattern is rather “free”, like ours was, you can quickly do a light melt of the wax with a blow dryer or iron, then roll the scarf up tightly between sheets of aluminium foil and set the whole kit-and-caboodle in the oven on warm (about 170 degrees) for five minutes until the wax is really melted.

If you don’t have the time to grate each crayon down to a melt-able size, you can do what I did and use the “shred” disk on your food processor, being sure to remove the paper wrappings on the crayons before you drop them in. The waxy leftovers come off the equipment after a good soak in some hot water, though it does dull down the blades just a touch.

The next two steps are entirely up to you. Unless you’re incredibly careful with your scarf, the cooling wax will break here and there, leaving little spider veins of the scarf’s original colour in your final product. You can choose at this point to increase that crackle effect by scrunching up your scarf once the wax is dried, or just leaving it as is.

Dye the rest

If you want to dye the entire scarf instead of just adding colour to it with your crayon work, you can finish the rest by dying the whole piece with fabric dye. Just follow the instructions that come with the dye, particularly paying attention to the fact that you only need to use hot water, not boiling water, for the dye process. Hot water shouldn’t affect the crayon wax while boiling water, might cause the wax to melt.

Remove the wax

Once the wax has cooled, it’s time to remove the dried-on wax to reveal the colour underneath. To do this, grab a stack of newspapers or old paper bags, layering one underneath your garment to soak up any melting wax, and placing another piece on top. Slowly run an iron over the paper until the wax melts through, making sure any steam function is turned off.

Do this repeatedly until no more wax melts through the paper. For me, this took about nine sheets of paper per section, though I’ve done a couple garments that took up to 15, depending on how thick the wax is.

Once the fabric feels soft and wax-free, run it through the wash one time on its own just to make sure everything is set and you’re done! Wear your scarf proudly, knowing that you took something old (crayons) and something not-quite-your-taste and turned them into something wearable and lasting. And if you had a chance to do this fun project with a loved one, you not only have a lovely new scarf and the memories of time together, but a precious new keepsake, as well.

By http://www.earth911.com/

 

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