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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
If you have read Rae Grant's previous book, "Crafting Fun," you know she adds just the right touch of nostalgic panache to her crafts. Perhaps you will find crafts you did yourself as a child and want to introduce them on those dull rainy days when your youngster is yelling that there is nothing to do. For example, most grandmothers remember learning how to put together a simple pinwheel or patiently learning how to thread a needle in preparation for an introduction on the basics of hand stitching. How about making some little blueberry tarts for that tea party or a wooden tool box to store your treasures in?

In this book you will find a wonderful blend of the old and new and crafts that vary from woodworking, sewing, to crafting, and cooking. The whimsical illustrations in this all purpose craft book will take the reader from a fairy tale land and down memory land to Dick and Jane like portraits of days gone by. For each craft or recipe, the reader will find a list of materials needed, complete instructions, and, when needed illustrated directions. For example, when making rolled paper beads you can visualize how to cut the paper to make unique beads. The ring binding, covered by another secure binding for easy storage on any shelf, will lay flat for quick visual access when working on a craft. Simply said, this is a delightful mini version of a Martha Stewart craft book for the younger set!

Get ready to start your traditions or renew the old with these memorable crafts or recipes:

HAND SEWING AND EMBROIDERY

Recycled Containers
Sewing Equipment
Sewing Terms
Repurposing
Good Stuff to Repurpose
Rules for Hand Sewing
Threading a Needle
Making a Knot
Running Stitch
Backstitch
Creasing and Hemming
Buttons
Useful Embroidery Stitches
Up-and-Down Stitch
Straight Stitch Flower
Stem Stitch
Blanket Stitch
Crisscross Stitch
Chain Stitch
French Knot
Jelly Jar Lid Pin Cushion
Bluebird Ornament
Lunch Money Wallet
Embroidered Pillowcase
Placemat Roll-Up Pouch
Washcloth Puppet
Tooth Fairy Pillow
Soft Toy Bunny

PAPERCRAFTS

Paper Flowers
Paper Garland
Paper Lantern
Butterfly Wind Catchers
Beaded Cards
How to Address a Letter
Wall Art Calendar
Moon Journal
Simple Bookmarks
Folded Picture Book
Be an Author
Little Friendship Book
Critter Cutouts
Envelope Animals

MAKING JEWELRY

Salt Dough Beads
More Play with Salt Dough
Rolled Paper Beads
Button Bracelet
Bottle Cap Pin
Friendhship Pin
Reversible Leaf Brooch
Leaf Art Journal
Acorn Jewelry
Owl Badge
Folded Paper Jewelry

BAKING

Baking Basics
Irish Soda Bread
Popovers
Busy Morning Biscuits
Cheese Pizza
Baked Pretzels
Olive Oil Bread
Double-Crust Pie Dough
Decorative Edging
Peach Pie
Pinwheels
Little Blueberry Tarts
Sunshine Cake
Mix-and-Match Frosting
Simple Decorations
Fancy Cupcakes
Sugar Cookie Cut-Outs
Colored Sugar
Cookie Icing Paint

BUILDING THINGS

Wooden Toy Box
Bottle Cap Name Plaque
Coffee Can Bird Feeder
Paper Sailboat
Cardboard Box Playhouse
Shoebox Dollhouse
Berry Box Doll Furniture
Clothespin People

TOYS, GAMES, AND PASTIMES

"Escargot" Hopscotch
Big Bubbles
Bubble Polo
Paper Cup Telephones
Silhouette Portrait
Shadow Pictures
Marbles
Clothespin Croquet
Jumping Rope
A Few Rules and Rhymes for Jumping Rope
The Ferret Runs
Musical Water Glasses
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on August 6, 2010
I don't how other parents are faring in the creativity department, but sometimes I find it difficult to come up with projects for our kids. They are drawn to the television like moths and it's up to me to sideline them with cool projects that shake them free from the strings of technology. I have a few blogs bookmarked online to check for ideas, and failing that, cookie baking is our old standby. Some days, I desperately need a boost of creativity and this book is a treasure trove of ideas.

This book has an old-fashioned feel, with retro illustrations and soft colors. The whole look is a perfect match to the projects inside. The intent is to offer parents a way of connecting with their children the same way that families used to do years ago. Instead of video games and the internet, everyday life used to mean putting an emphasis on the homemade way. These are classic crafts and activities, a throwback to simpler times.

There is something here for everyone, as evidenced by the division of six chapters: Hand Sewing and Embroidery, Papercrafts, Making Jewelry, Baking, Building Things and Toys, Games and Pastimes. I like that there seems to be a pretty big age range. The Coffee Can Bird Feeder was great for us, but the Wooden Tool Box will have to wait a few years. Some are so simple that you may think to yourself "Why didn't I think of that?" Heck, I made a handful of these in my childhood, and it never occurred to me that they would be perfect projects for my kids. Once I started looking through the book, I was reminded of the button bracelet I had once made and my homemade Tooth Fairy pillow.

You may be surprised by how much your kids enjoy activities that are far simpler than what they (and you) are used to. Some of the the most basic ideas in the book were met with the most enthusiasm. Shadow Pictures, Paper Cup Telephones and Big Bubbles were all popular at our house, with even more pages ear-marked for the future. It's true that kids don't need the latest and greatest gadgets. We found that some basic materials and a bit of direction will bring much more satisfaction. Take a step back into time and try your hand at crafts, games and toys that have been around for generations - true classics!

Rae has previously written two related books: Crafting Fun and Cooking Fun. She's obviously a super creative person who is helping the rest of us.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 29, 2010
Wonderful book for the whole family! There are beautiful crafts, cooking recipes and activities that are perfect for the whole family.

Loving this book, as well as the authors prior books!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 26, 2011
What a gem ! The ideas presented in this book are seemingly old fashioned. But, with the current trend in DIY they are totally modern!
All that you need can be found around the house . Tune in to your imagination and let it fly! Your child will love this book as well as
the adult who might be guiding them.
I teach an art program to preschoolers and some of the classic crafts can be referenced easily in this book.
It's a must have for all new parents and a great boredom buster for grandparents!
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on October 12, 2011
I really wanted to like this book, and had hoped it would be a good rainy day book for my kids. I think I've done one project out if it. I have three young boys that have absolutely no interest in making/doing anything in there. Very basic, very blah.

Cute illustrations, but that's about it.
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2 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on July 15, 2010
The book contains simple, easy-to-follow ideas, and the author is also a book illustrator, so there's a distinct style to it. The only thing missing are photos to see how the ideas turn out. And photos would combine beautifully with the illustrations, and wouldn't interfere with the own creativity of the readers to create their own versions
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