Curly Crafty Mom

Monday, September 26, 2016

A New Spin on Creativity with Pottery Cool!

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! It is still pretty warm here, so we've been enjoying some activities outside under our new pergola! Autumn loves anything crafty and hands on and really had a fun time creating animals and even a bowl with her new Pottery Cool set! I encourage the kids to get outside versus playing inside on their electronics. She really enjoyed working on this two evenings outside. One evening she spinned the pottery out on the turntable and then worked on it with the cutter/smoother tools afterwards to finish off her masterpiece. Then we let the pottery pieces dry for a day and the next evening she painted them! So much fun!

First I set up everything under some scrap paper for her on the table outside. You can tell by  her smile in this photo that she can't WAIT to get started!

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The Pottery Cool set came with individually wrapped clay. I had Autumn unwrap a piece of clay and set it on top of the pottery turntable, that lets gravity do the work. She then misted it lightly with water and turned on the wheel. She took her hands and molded the pottery exactly how she wanted it.

Your hands do get a little messy, but Autumn didn't care one bit!

She then took the pottery off the turntable and cut off the excess clay, so that she could use it to make little face parts, such as eyes, nose, etc. for her cat.

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The Pottery Cool set comes with several cutting and smoothing tools to help you mold and shape pieces to add to your clay. You can use the mister to help add a little moisture to them if they get dry.

We let the pottery pieces dry overnight and then the next evening, I set up the table again for Autumn to paint!

There were ten different colors that came with the Pottery Cool set, which gave her a huge variety in how she wanted to paint her pottery. 

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She had a lot of fun painting her cat. She loved the metallic silver color!

Autumn is really into animals and polka dots, hence her creations. However, Pottery Cool can be used to make some other really COOL items, such as iphone (or smartphone) speakers, jewelry holders and so much more!

Autumn's pottery pieces look great! She had so much fun and she wants to spend another afternoon creating some more pottery.

You can also check out these how to videos, for more helpful tips and tricks:
Video 1: Jewelry Holders and More
Video 2: Tips and Tricks
Video 3 - Cool Cell Phone Speaker & More

If you are looking of REAL pottery that your kids can actually do themselves, then be sure to check out Pottery Cool at Walmart!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

The Creative Corner Link Up Party & Weekly Recap - 09/25/16

Welcome back to our DIY/Craft Link Up Party! Thank you for stopping by every week!

Today's Feature is DIY Halloween Bandana Pumpkins
 by Sadie Seasongoods.

I like to share a little recap of my week at the start of each party:

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{Left} I've been whipping up a lot of meals this week with Hello Fresh! I can't wait to share them with you later this week. {Right} My boss gave everyone in my group a couple of gifts for our graduation run. It was so kind of her! Chicago Marathon is now TWO weeks away! Eek!

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I've had a couple of fun mentions for the blog this week. Stitch Fix pinned one of my fall outfits to their Ladies in Stitch Fix board AND @hometalkteam on Instagram shared my Fall Planter Box.

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{Left} The kids have been really busy this week! They had their second meet (the two before this one were rained out!) and you can find Nathan in the yellow shirt. {Right} They also had a limo bus take them to Incredible Pizza for a pizza buffet and games since they did so well on magazine sales for their school.

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Check out what my fellow bloggers have been up to and don’t forget to check out my feature for this week as well.
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The Creative Corner link party | Come to inspire, stay to be inspired. Share your latest DIY, craft, and home decor posts! 
Ready to share what has been motivating you this past week? Link up a recent post of yours that motivates you to create or just be awesome! Our goal is for this link up to focus on craft, DIY, & home posts so please try to remember that when linking up.
  • Limit three links per week and remember to link directly to your post, not your blog.
  • Do not link stores, giveaways, or other link parties.
  • Be sure to hop around some of the other posts that have been linked up to share the love and get motivated by what others have been up to.
Each week, your hosts will choose a post to feature from the previous week. If you want a chance at being featured, you must follow all of the hosts in someway. By linking up, you agree to let each host share your photo and link back to your site, as well as receive a weekly e-mail letting you know when the party is live. We will never give your e-mail or info to anyone, nor will we spam you! The Creative Corner link party goes live Sunday 6pm PST and ends Thursday at 5pm PST. I'd love for you to grab The Creative Corner button in my sidebar to put on your own blog if you want to help spread the love!

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Now hop over to all the other cohost’s blogs and see what caught their eye this week. You just might be featured there too! Don’t forget to grab this button if you’ve been featured.

The Creative Corner link party | Come to inspire, stay to be inspired. Share your latest DIY, craft, and home decor posts!

Join my Monthly Newsletter - Curly Crafty Mom News!
I've created a monthly newsletter for this blog and I would LOVE for you to join my mailing list! I plan to add topics to the newsletter that aren't on the blog, including a blog tip of the month, an oldie but goodie (I'll share one of my old posts that was popular), a featured blogger of the month AND more! You can subscribe by entering your email address in below and hitting 'Subscribe'!

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Friday, September 23, 2016

Italy Vacation: Venice

Venice was such a beautiful city! I wish we could have spent a few days here, but we only had one day and part of it was tied up with travel. I am still glad I got to see Venice and what all the hype is about with this flooded city. This was our last full day in Italy and you can find my other recap posts below:

Rome, Day 1 recap HERE.
Rome, Day 2 recap HERE.
Rome, Day 3 recap HERE.
Florence, Day 1 recap HERE.
Florence, Day 2 recap HERE.

Our last hot breakfast at the Plaza Lucchesi hotel.

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We then headed to the train station and took the train from Florence to Venice. I love how the trains in Italy give you complimentary snacks and drinks during your travels. I had water and some lemon cookies (from Rome to Florence it was Nutella cookies).

We stayed at the Londra Palace in Venice. This was my second favorite hotel that we stayed in while in Italy. 

The flowers by the entrance to the hotel were so pretty!

When in Venice, you can't miss the St Mark's Campanile, which is the bell tower of St Mark's Basilica.

It was lunch time by the time we checked into the hotel, so we decided to check out food in Venice and found a nice restaurant close to our hotel in St. Mark's Square called Ristaorante Quadri. You'll see that I enjoyed a Bellini. :) They brought out some Italian bread, chips and nuts for us to munch on while we waited for our food.

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We had a bottle of rose (I promise you, we do not drink this often at home!), a fresh salad and the best, best, BEST lasagna I tell you that I've ever had. That lasagna may not look like much, but OH it was good! 

Then I finished off the meal with a nice slab of chocolate cake, a cappuccino and some tiny little cookies. This meal was our most expensive during our entire stay in Italy. We found things to be just a little more pricey in Venice versus Rome and Florence. However, every bite was worth it!

After lunch we started our 'Best of Venice Tour including Grand Canal Ride'. Here we are at the top of St. Mark's Basilica, our tour guide took our photo. However, no photos were allowed inside St. Mark's Basilica, so I don't have any to share.

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You could see salt on the brick of the buildings and a lot of the buildings were built in a way so that they could withstand some movement. In the photo on the right, you'll see a cross above the archway. This cross marks the place where Marco Polo’s house was in Venice. It’s believed by some historians that this is where he was born. The courtyard is called Corte del Milion in Italian, because Marco polo was nicknamed ‘Il Milione’.

Pigeons in St. Mark's Square.

Our tour included a boat ride in the Grand Canal and it lasted for a good hour! I took so many photos, too many to recap here.

Bridge of Sighs - called that because the bridge became the path by which the prisoners were transported from the prison to the inquisitor's office. It was believed sadness and sighs of condemned prisoners occurred as they were led through it to the executioner.

After our tour, Brian and I did a private gondola ride for an hour! It was my favorite part of the day! It was romantic, relaxing and so many sights to see!

Another photo from the gondola ride... once again, I took a million photos and too many to share here.

This fire escape sign was funny!

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After the gondola ride, we were famished. We had dinner at a pizzeria called Rossopomodoro, which means tomato red in Italian. The salads were so fresh in Italy, that I decided to go with salad and pizza for dinner... oh, and wine!

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For dessert I had an espresso granita (sort of similar to the one I had in Rome) and I believe tiramisu. 

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Its hard to not stop and just eat everything while in Italy! Popsicles on the left and on the right is pizza dough with funny faces.

St. Mark's Square at night. So pretty.

The next morning this delicious breakfast awaited us! Did I mention this was included in the price of our room?

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The view from our breakfast table outside was of the lagoon. I really loved the little glass flowerpots filled with fruit!

And, that's it!! Recapping this trip was a lot of work! I hope these pictures encourage you to see Italy someday if you haven't (or to go back). It really is such a neat place with lots of history, charm and delicious food (and drink!).