Wednesday, June 19, 2013

VBS 2013

This year our church did SonWest Roundup for Vacation Bible School.  That means that we were in charge of coming up with craft projects with a western theme for 300+ kids, ages ranging from 3 and 4 year olds to 6th graders!  The curriculum came with a book of ideas - which is always a great starting point - and from there we searched Pinterest and other online resources to find projects that we thought were unique, "doable" for a large group (both cost- and time-wise) and would last for at least week post VBS and not head immediately into the trash can once making it home!

This year not only was there NOT the usual week in between Iowa Arts Fest and VBS, but me and my family also moved to our new home.  So planning and purchasing was all Green Girl Laura's doing- and I'm so thankful she was willing to do it!

Here are some pics from our prep:

wood biscuits, used in cabinet making

112 Men's Ties, donated from friends near and far!  There were some doozies - one had rhinoceroses on it!

The weekend before VBS was the Iowa Arts Fest - so the week leading up to everything was.....busy.

Mama Winger sacrificed a finger, but kept on working.


Metal Brads

Here's what we did with all those supplies above.

First we made test products.  Wouldn't want to send any faulty mustaches out into the world.
My five year old was our test subject.  The unicorn was all his idea.

Then we made the crafts with the VBS kids.

On Monday we made ten gallon cowboy hats and mustaches with the younger kids.
Pastor Dave sporting a polka dotted 'stache.

We put together popsicle stick harmonicas with the older kids using this tutorial.

My 9 year old testing his harmonica (above) , me (below) leading a group through the steps.

On Wednesday we made snakes, snakes, and then we made some more snakes.

The younger kids made their snakes from wooden biscuits.  God Bless Laura and her hubby, who spent HOURS drilling holes in preparation for this project.
Some kids didn't like how bumpy they were to color on, so I told them it looked like snake scales - problem solved!
The older kids made their snakes from old men's neck ties.  (Thank you to all of you who donated ties for our project!)
We ran a wire inside the lining of the ties to make their snakes bendable!
On Friday we made climbing lizards with the younger kids:

You tape 1 inch pieces of straws and a penny (for weight) to the back,  run your yarn through, and hang over a door knob (or around your neck!)  When you quickly alternate pulling the strings outward, it skitters up the door!

And string art crosses from Oriental Trading with the older ones.  They can't ALL be prep-intensive projects, so these ready-to-go kits were just the ticket!
It was fun to see what designs they created, while others followed the sheet it came with.

We also designed a "color-yourself"photo frame to put everyone's class pictures in.  

Always a fun crazy week!

Thanks to our craft team for all their help, the laughs, and all their hard work!

How about you guys?  Do you and your kids do vacation bible school at your church?

It's always a fun way to kick off the summer and my 5 year old thought it was very unfair when he discovered on the Friday of VBS that it only lasted a week!!!!  So they must have had fun!!!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Iowa Arts Fest 2013

The Iowa Arts Fest was last weekend in our hometown, Iowa City!  It's always a really fun time because there are always tons of old friends and new to visit with!

This year the festival celebrated its 30th anniversary!

Here are some pictures from our booth!

We always prominently display our sign at the front of our tent - it explains that we are a {Crazy} Family of Mixed Media Artists, Sisters and Mom, and the Creators of the DEMDACO line, This Thing Called Family!

We love it when people ask us where our messages come from or what inspires us.  God gave us the opportunity to share our story with complete strangers. We tell them how important faith and family is to us and how we create these pieces with these particular reminders as much for US as for other people.  They are messages that WE need to hear - daily - because we so easily forget or fail short.  We tell them that we believe your home should be a reflection of who you are and perhaps more importantly, who you are becoming.  When people tell us a piece speaks to whatever they're currently going through too, it's always a precious time with these kindred spirits and it never gets old!  

We had one day of sprinkles.  The other two days were GORGEOUS!  On rainy show days, we use one of the sides of the tent as an extension canopy off the back of our space and use pvc pipes that my husband rigged up for us for the legs.  Works pretty slick!

Monday, June 10, 2013

New "This Thing Called Family" for Summer 2013!

We are so excited to announce a new collection for our Demdaco line, "This Thing Called Family!"  It is an abc set so that you can personalize your home or space with exactly what you want to say!

Each letter is sold individually, along with a few special key words to help you spell out the perfect welcoming message that fits your life and your family.  

Along with the individual alphabet program there is also some great new abc art designed by Mama Winger, in 2 unique sizes.

3 versions: Home, Family and Spiritual
The skinny abc's are incredibly cool because they are so narrow that you can put them just about anywhere!

This collection was first inspired by Green Girl Laura's home and her real live welcome wall!  

Laura's Real Wall!

Here's the story: our Demdaco friends came to visit us in Iowa City one time and fell in love with Laura's decorating style and the eclectic wall that welcomes people into their home.   The brainstorming began on how to make something similar become a reality for "This Thing Called Family!"  We're so pleased with how it turned out! 

Here's another example from a Demdaco conference room of a wall that uses the new pieces to make a unique family statement:

Look closely and you'll notice that there is a matching photo frame to personalize your wall even further!  (Actually there are 5 fun new frames that coordinate with the collection!) Not pictured are 2 sizes of displayer shelves in case you'd like to display your message that way.

Love the displayer and sign!

*If you are interested in purchasing any of these new items, head over to Gabby's Gifts!  They now have the alphabet program and the skinny abc's up on their website! 

OR ask your local gift and specialty stores to carry "This Thing Called Family's" new alphabet collection! We're starting to see it show up in shops already!


Retailers -we hope you are as excited about all of the unique possibilities as we are!
This collection has all kinds of crazy potential!  
Contact your Demdaco rep ASAP or visit one of the DEMDACO showrooms this summer!!!

*As always, it is our pleasure to share your store on our facebook page!  Since we can't be there in person, anybody visiting any of the markets this summer who shares photos of "This Thing Called Family" displayed in the DEMDACO showrooms (especially the new ABC collection!!!) will get some very special "shout-outs!" Be sure to post photos (right to our Facebook wall!) as your business page (if you have one) and tell us what you ordered so we can promote your shop!!! 
***EXTRA brownie points if YOU are in the photo too - we'd love to see your smiling faces!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Iowa Arts Fest 2013!

Join us this weekend for the 30th annual Iowa Arts Fest!
We're getting ready for an amazing weekend!

Downtown Iowa City - we're booth #25, on Washington Street!  


5-8pm Friday 
10am-7pm Saturday
10am-4pm Sunday

Lots to do for the whole family! 
Head over to our facebook event page for more details and links!