movie monday: a special announcement

Four from carissaabc on Vimeo.

Posted in baby stuff, kid stuff, video | 10 Comments

getting ready….

the baby room is pretty much ready, so i thought i’d show off a few pictures.  we left the queen size bed in there in case we have an abundance of guests sometime and because i learned the first time that having a bed in the same room as the baby can sometimes come in… handy.

IMGP6805i’m especially fond of these “clouds” created after i 1) found a big batch of embroidery hoops at the dig-n-save, 2) was inspired by this beautiful nursery and 3) had a “ladies craft night” at my house where friends generously created these works of art for me to display. IMGP6807


there’s sort of a cloud “theme” going on in the room, so i also made this mobile:IMGP6812

the art on this wall is a combination of etsy artists and my own work (done in my ‘craft lab’ program at the library)IMGP6813 IMGP6817

i also screen printed the curtain for the closet at work.  we got a new screen printing kit and, of course, i needed to learn how to use it, so i sketched out this design, burned the screen and the printed it onto a grey bedsheet.  i really love how it turned out!


and here’s a cute pillow i made:

IMGP6829 IMGP6830

of course, there’s still one or two things i’d like to add to the room eventually, but it’s feeling fairly finished at this point and i’m so pleased with how it’s turned out!  i hope new baby likes it too…

Posted in baby stuff, crafty stuff | 4 Comments

app review: tiny bang story

i’ve been meaning to blog about the app tiny bang story for quite awhile, but i noticed today that it’s currently free and i don’t know how long that will last, so go start the download now and then come back to read this review!  (also on android here, not free)

was it still free?  if not, i still think it’s well worth the price, and let me tell you why.  i first read about this app on digital media diet’s blog. to tell you the truth, i was initially drawn in by the illustrations and i happen to know the author of digital media diet and can trust her judgment.  also, i was doing a storytime about tiny things and this looked like a good fit for an app to go with that theme, so i thought i’d give it a shot.

turns out… i loved it.  as in, as soon as we finished the game i was trying to google “games like tiny bang story” because i just wanted to play more.  it reminded me of a (not so eerie) version of myst.  you’re dumped into a beautifully rendered world with no real instructions, but you poke around and pretty soon figure out what you’re supposed to be doing to move the game forward.  there are puzzles along the way and you eventually unlock different areas of the world to explore.  some of the puzzles were pretty challenging.  a few could be completed by the happy little dude.  we worked side-by-side for most of the game.  i let him do as much of the action as he could and we were both equally engaged and fascinated by this little world.  i’d set the timer for 30 minutes so that we wouldn’t just play the whole thing in one marathon sitting, but we still often went past our 30 minute limit trying to get to the next level.  i’ve found a handful of other titles that claim to be similar, but i’m saving them up for some occasion where we need some serious interactive distraction.  i’ll let you know if i find anything else that measures up.  in the meantime, let me know if you love tiny bang as much as my happy little family does.

Posted in apps for kids, fun stuff, reviews | 2 Comments

movie monday: games with grandparents

mr. happy stuff’s family loves to play games, so when his mom came for a visit last month, she and the happy little dude played a number of games together.  i caught this game with both grandparents on video for you to enjoy:


Games with the Grandparents from carissaabc on Vimeo.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

cloud mobile, a sort-of tutorial

those few of you who follow me on instagram have already seen this, but i thought i’d share it on the ol’ blog anyway.  last week, i decided to make this mobile.  i cut out all the little clouds (free printable templates at that same link) and then more closely examined the assembly instructions.  hot glue?  i tried it and was irritated with both the process and the results, so i decided to try sewing them together instead.  i still wanted the clear thread if i could get it and i wondered if i could just use fishing line in my sewing machine. turns out you totally can.  (i used white thread in the bobbin, then just cut away the tails and left the top line of the fishing line above the cloud.)  it’s way faster, gives a smoother result, and i think it will have a greater longevity as well.  also, you can totally use a twisted stick instead of an embroidery hoop if you want to.

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the mail station

long ago, i read this post on sew liberated and i’ve been wanting to create a mail station ever since.  i didn’t go back to re-read the post, so my actual set-up is a bit different than hers, but the idea is the same.  we bought envelopes, stamps, address and return address labels, a coupon organizer and a drawer to keep everything in and i cleared off (part of) the surface of one of the tables in my craft room and here’s the set-up:

IMGP6819i mocked up a sample envelope so he can see what goes where: IMGP6821i let him pick out his own postage stamps.  is anyone surprised that he chose the ray charles stamps?  the guys at the post office were impressed. IMGP6823this is the file where i keep the address labels IMGP6824 IMGP6825and he mailed his first letter today!  (totally forgot to get a picture of that, but someone lucky will receive it soon!)  i also put some rubber stamps on the table and a variety of writing implements.  he really  loves creating “real” mail and it’s a pretty cheap investment for a pre-literacy activity that keeps him entertained and will likely put some smiles on the faces of the recipients.

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movie monday: gabe skates

two weeks ago, i took the happy little dude ice skating on our local pond.  this was only his third time ever on the ice, but was the first time where he seemed to actual enjoy himself and start to get the hang of it.  we also bumped into a group of our friends who were playing hockey and he got to sub in for a point. enjoy!


Gabe Skates 2014 from carissaabc on Vimeo.

Posted in kid stuff, sporty stuff, video, winter | 3 Comments

making monsters

IMGP6587a few years ago, i made freezer paper stenciled monster t-shirts for everyone in my family for christmas.  it’s become a tradition now and this year, we expanded the artist pool and invited the kids to design their own monsters if they wanted to.  my oldest nephew drew this monster and i (painstakingly) cut it out.  i’m proud to say that i believe i stayed pretty close to the original drawing (i should have taken a ‘before’ picture before the drawing got all cut up to make the stencil.  note to next year self.).  and he loved it.  (so do i!)

Posted in crafty stuff, kid stuff, winter | 1 Comment

kid-made christmas gift idea

IMGP6794okay, this is post is a wee bit late, but it was such a successful project, i still wanted to share it with you.  when trying to figure out gift ideas that the happy little dude could contribute to, i remembered that i had these birch tree slices from a past project that never got completed.  i asked him what color he wanted to paint them and he chose red (with just a little yellow to mix in sometimes).  when they were dry, i glued magnets to the back.  i still wasn’t sure how to package them, but then i realized that as a cluster of 5, they made lovely holly berries, and the design was born!

IMGP6793of course, the holly leaves aren’t part of the magnet itself, but that makes these magnets perfect for year-round display.

Posted in crafty stuff, kid stuff, winter | 1 Comment

movie monday: an introduction to ray charles

one morning last week as we piled into the car, i said, ‘let’s hit the road, jack!’ and then (of course) i had to explain why i’d called the happy little dude “jack.”  he asked about the song again that evening when we got home, so i googled it and found this youtube clip of ray charles singing the song.  we listened to the whole thing twice, then watched a few of the cover versions and by the end of all that, he could. not. stop. singing. it.  didn’t help that he sort of gets stuck in an infinity loop and can’t find his way out.  we thought you might enjoy his rendition:


Hit the Road from carissaabc on Vimeo.


oh, and by the way, he had the hardest time saying “ray charles” for some reason and kept asking me about “rachel.”

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