6/11/2018

The Portable Dollhouse/Fire House Pattern and Miniature How-to's





Hi friends!

It's been a while since I've done a pattern, and I felt like it was about time for a new one!  My family is obsessed with miniatures right now, and I couldn't help but make a dollhouse tote version of the house I made for Ellie a few months ago.


We made two versions, a firehouse and dollhouse version, and both are included in the pattern and which is now available in my shop. The tote itself is about 13.5 inches tall and 7 inches wide when finished.  It has a zipper on one side, and is fully lined.  It's a relatively straight forward pattern, so it doesn't require a lot of advanced skills.  I actually think that Lu is going to make it with me as a sewing project!  In this post though I'm going to show you how to make all the little dollhouse goodies that go inside that house--keep reading!!! Lots of tutorials coming your way!


 I'm going to show you what I used to make all of these miniatures and how I made them today!  (I'll also include a short appendix to the pattern with all of this info, but that part really isn't meant to be a pattern--more of an idea of furniture you could make.)  I imagine that there will be lots of dolls used, so I didn't want to make a specifically sized bath tub for example.
What I love about all the things in this dollhouse is that everything can be neatly folded up and placed inside the dollhouse...It's the perfect toy for travel! Today I will show you how to make sleeping bags, a mattress, foot stools, a stove, a bathtub, a lamp, and cardboard  portable walls. The small white table pictured was from the center of a pizza box.  Don''t you love it when you can recycle things like that?

Who is ready to make some miniature-sized furniture?  Ok, let's get started!

6/10/2018

Summer Rules.....

Hi friends,

I hope your summer is off to a great start!  In our house summer has started off with a new set of summer rules, which I thought might be fun to share here, in case anyone else would like the printable.  I saw several of these on Pinterest, and made my own version. 

 You can download it here! 


Sometimes the beginning of summer can be a bit of a difficult transition, so I'm hoping this chart helps a bit! 

Be back here soon~

XOXO,

Jill

6/06/2018

New things are coming...



Hi friends!

Summer is here, and I just can't believe it.  I love the beginning of summer because there is just so much potential--so many things that we hope to do, and crafts too!

Would you like to see a sneak peak of what we've just started working on?

There is a new pattern in the works, plus lots of tutorials... Our house is infatuated with small things these days, and I think think this might be our theme for the summer.  I can't wait to share it with you!!

Be back here soon!

XOXO,

Jill

5/19/2018

Teaching Robotics to Daisy Girl Scouts!

 

Hi friends!

A few years ago I did a meeting for my Daisy Girl Scouts to introduce them to coding.  It was before Girl Scouts came out with their STEM programs, so at the time I pulled the content together from lots of different sources.  I decided to revisit my coding meeting with Ellie's Daisy troop last week. We did some things that we did before, and some new things too.  I worked within the context of the Robotics curriculum provided by Girl Scouts, with a few tweaks and additions.  And I LOVED how it turned out!

In my opinion the new Girl Scout Daisy Robotics curriculum is relatively basic--there isn't much too it.  There's some drawing activities and talking prompts that are good, but the activities I supplemented with are much more hands on and interactive.



Today I'm going to share with you 4 activities that we did.  The first two are totally low tech.  The last two use two robots that are aimed at teaching kids how to code.  Our local library has robots available for check out which was awesome! I was able to check out a DASH robot and an Ozobot.  Both of these robots are really great tools for making computer science accessible to kids.

The  low tech activities that I did were variations of some activity ideas from the book, Hello, Ruby. This whimsical picture book gives kids an intro to computer science basics, but I feel like the real jewel is the great activities at the back.  I felt like the story was too long--and covered too many topics--for a single hour lesson, but the activities were great! 

We started out the meeting by talking about how robots know what to do, and what a computer program is.  We then took turns pretending to be a software engineer and a robot.  I gave each pair of kids a bag with a set of instructions that they could put out in a sequence of their choice.  They took turns telling each other what to do.




The next activity was a mental exercise to design a robot. I loved the idea from Hello Ruby of making paper dolls to illustrate computer science concepts!  I drew up my own templates a couple of years ago when I did the similar lesson for Lu, and I used them again this time. If you'd like the paper doll printable, you can find it here
 This time however I also asked the kids to design a Dressing Bot Robot.  The ideas was that they had to design a robot that would need to dress them in the morning.  The robot would need to know what to dress them in and be capable of possibly storing or handing out clothes.  The kids had to think of all kinds of sensors and information that the robot would need as well as what kind of mechanical features the robot would have (wheels, arms, etc.). 


The kids thought about how it would need be able to sense the weather, and know their calendar. Ellie made her robot like a armoire, where all the clothes could be inside.  The kids designed arms for dressing, a clock to tell the time, and more features that I am probably forgetting right now!  They were very creative! 

And then they practiced how they would code the robot to know what to put them in, using their paper doll clothes. 



After that we broke the girls into two groups and let them play with a DASH robot or an Ozobot…(and then we switched groups.)


For the Dash robot they worked on making their robot do different things using my ipad to control it.  The girls played around programing it with the app, making it dance, light up and more.  It's pretty much drag and drop, so it's pretty simple to use. 

The principle behind the Ozobot is that it will travel along black lines, and then a sequence of colored lines will tell it to turn directions or turn left or right.  Ozobot has lots of lesson plan ideas, which make it really easy to teach with. 
 

 


We used this Ozobot mother's day worksheet, and the other worksheet we used was here, on page 20, in this guide for K-2 students.  What's nice about both of these worksheets is that the kids just had to fill in the code part (and not draw the lines themselves, which can be a little tricky for Kindergarteners because they need to be nice and thick for the Ozobot to follow it.)

And that's it for this meeting!  I love how it turned out, and I hope my "lesson plan" helps you design your own awesome robotics meeting!

If you're looking for more girl scout activities, here are a few other of my posts below.

Have a great week everyone!

XOXO,
 Jill

Courageous and Strong Petal Activities

 I did this STEM themed meeting for Girl Scouts: 


 Here is a free Kaper chart and other free printables for Girl Scouts.


Have a great week everyone!!

XOXO, 

5/06/2018

DIY Dried Flower and Succulent Crown


Hi friends!

I never really expected this to be a blog post, but I love how this flower wreath turned out that I couldn't help but share! I made this for my daughter's first communion, but I think it would be lovely for a wedding too.  

I can't believe how big Lu's getting!  I keep just wanting to slow life down a bit...but I guess it doesn't work that way!  This spring has just flown by!  Yesterday was a special day for her...

But let's talk about this flower wreath for a bit.  Do you love it as much as I do?

 It's made of real dried flowers, with a few fake ones added in to give it a bit more color.  Then I added in a few real succulents from my garden. I think they are my favorite part!

This flower crown was inspired by the crown that my mom had made for my own first communion.  Mine was a little bit different, but I remember thinking it was really special.   For my first communion I wore my mom's first communion dress, but that wasn't possible for my tall girl to wear!  But at least we continued the tradition of the flower crown.


 I thought it might be nice to include some pointers about how to make your own wreath, so I've included some comments below.

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