Great lighting advice

The dark days of winter are on their way.  Who am I kidding?  Here in mid-Michigan we have the dark days of spring, summer, fall, and winter.

And with a house that does NOT take advantage of ANY natural lighting, I'm always searching for good lighting solutions.

Here are some great lighting tips from Diana Vreeland at In My Own Style. It also includes a link to some freebie magazines!!

What can you do with discarded plastic VHS cassette tape boxes?

Responding to a craigslist add for some storage boxes made me the lucky winner of an overflowing shopping cart full of old VHS cassette tape boxes.  Technically they were for audio tapes so there are small prongs inside to make the small cassette fit into the large box.

Savvy 'n Sassy Ribbon was excited to get them too...her stash below is considerable smaller than mine!

My initial idea was to use them to make the zillions of learning game kits and materials for centers like Ms. Powell (now Mrs. Watson) from Cornerstone Teaching uses. She uses zip top baggies but I thought these cases would be much more sturdy and perfect for the job!

I figured I would also be able to use them for storing small crafts like Materials for the Arts has done.

But with this abundance I need to tap into some more creative juices.  Here are some ideas others have already found:

The librarians had the most ideas!
- Detective kits for reading program "Get a Clue" theme
- Book safes
- Decorate for treasure box
- Pencil and school supply holder (and can be checked out for use at the library)
- First aid kits
- Zoo in a box kit
- Scrapbook kits
- Travel game box

You can make an impressive cover for your logic analyzer or project boxes.  Unfortunately I have no idea what that is. I clearly have no need for this but it looks really cool!

Now this is more like it!  Here's the tutorial for turning the VHS case into a purse!

How about a "dummy" key holder?

Back to School Crafts & Projects

A pile of things I'm itching to create and make to capture the end of summer, embrace the new school year, and think ahead to Christmas gifts:

Kicking off the school year

Marking Milestones. This modern take on paper cut-out silhouette and the painted growth chart, from the crafting chicks, let you capture the unique attributes of your child at the beginning of each school year.

Making back to school wardrobe accessories.  Here are some fun craft projects to enjoy making together before the back-to-school crazy schedule begins.  The washer necklace and flower hair clip are from the crafting chicks, and the recycled ruffle headband is from instractables.

Enjoying fun food treats. Capture the essence of summer with these faux watermelon jello treats or tickle their funny bones making these edible crayons from Gourmet Mom on the Go.

Looking ahead to Christmas and winter birthday gifts

Toy Kitchen & Laundry. These spectacular DIY projects, including a toy refrigerator, sink, stove, and washer/dryer, are from the amazing Ana at Knock-off Wood who makes every wood working project look super easy with her fabulous plans and drawings. There are also plans for a little library, post office and others to complete the little city.  There are more play kitchen designs from the Apartment Therapy Ohdeedoh website, many from repurposed furniture.

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