Monday, December 30, 2013

The Squishable Baby's Best of 2013 Homeschooling Picture and Children's Chapter Books

I am so honored that the Wunderkind Family children's chapter books were chosen by the Squishable Baby to be in their Best of 2013 Homeschooling Children's Picture and Chapter Book list for 2013! Lisa, the Squishable Baby mom, is a homeschool mom of three (two boys and one girl).  What I love about her is that she truly cares about the meaning of family and the importance of raising kids in a family environment. Something I believe in too!

In 2013, the Squishable Baby family read and reviewed many children's picture and chapter books by such talented authors and illustrators and has created a list of the best! (and, yes, I am SO excited that they selected mine! I feel like Christmas came again!) The books they selected were chosen based on at least one of the following criteria (many of them meet two or more)...
  • Great storytelling with an overall promising message of hope.
  • It presented factual information in a fun and unique way.
  • Excellent illustrations which engage and promote an interest in reading.
  • Provides excellent educational experiences in unique ways.
  • The books can be enjoyed again and again.
  • Fantastic writing.
  • The authors are overwhelming supporters of early childhood literacy.
  • Books that will enrich the lives of your children.
  • I am able to recommend the book to anyone, and they come back and tell me how much their children loved it.
I hope that you will take a moment to read about why she selected the Wunderkind Family children's chapter books and other such wonderfully written and illustrated children's books!
Wishing everyone a Happy New Year!

Monday, December 16, 2013

How to Paint Wine Glasses - What You Need to Begin! (Part One)

Ever wonder how those wine glasses with all the fun sayings and creative designs are created? Well, if you like to paint, why not create your own?

Over the next few blog posts, I'll be teaching you how to create your own masterpieces on any glass piece you chose. You can paint fun designs on glass cookie jars, glass bowls, and even Martini glasses. But painting is just one step in the process. The finishing touches - a little glitter and a few gems- are what gives the glass piece it's true beauty.

First, what you will need to purchase (supplies) and where.

  • Enamel Acrylic Paint. When purchasing your paints make sure they are enamels. Also, make sure you read the label. I ended up purchasing Martha Stewarts translucent glass paint once, so I tried it out. It wasn't my favorite look for a wine glass. I also wasn't a big fan of her red glitter paint. There just wasn't enough glitter in it, so I resorted back to putting the glitter on using Clear Gloss Glaze. Any of the below brands work great!
    • FolkArt Enamel Acrylic Paint available at Michaels.
    • FolkArt Multi-Surface available at Michaels.
    • Americana Enamels available at Michaels.
  • Paint brushes.
    • Plaid One Stroke paint brushes. These are my favorite. I've tried Martha Stewarts paint brushes and a few other brands. The Plaid One Stroke is still my favorite! I these at Michaels Arts and Crafts. But I have found them online at Amazon and Blicks.
    • Line paint brush is a must. I use this to write words on the glass.
  • Glass paint markers: These make writing on glass easier. Sharpie Oil-Based Paint Markers and Pebeo Vitrea 160 Glass Markers work great. There are other glass paint markers on the market that I haven't tried yet like DecoArt. So far I've been pretty happy with the Sharpie Oil-Based Paint Markers which come in lots of different colors. Heads up though...they are much more vibrant than glass paint and typically will not match enamel paint color, so test and plan before you begin creating your masterpiece. Also, sometimes the paint comes out of the Sharpie pen too fast, making the paint run down your glass. And it can come out too thick. I've also had to put the clear glaze over it, so it doesn't wash off. If you use these, take your time and practice.
  • Glass & Bead platinum bond. This is a clear adhesive glue that comes in a tube. I use this to adhere the gems to the glass. It smells awful, so good ventilation is important.
  • Clear Gloss Glaze - Air-Dry PermEnamel. This is a must! It seals the bottom of the glass, making sure the paint doesn't chip or get scratched up. I also use it to adhere glitter to the glass.
  • Mod Podge: Another alternative to adhering glitter to glass and sealing the bottom. Both Clear Glass Glaze and Mod Podge work wonderful. You have to put one coat on glass, first. Then sprinkle the glitter. And then, when the first coat is cry, I highly recommend putting one more coat on to keep glitter from coming off.
  • Glitter. You can purchase any glitter, but the finer the better. My preferred glitter is the Creatology brand. The glitter is more fine.
  • Wine glasses. Most of my wine glasses were purchased at Bed Bath and Beyond using a 20% off coupon. I use the Libbey brand which comes in a box of 12 pcs. I've purchased some from Pier One's clearance section in the past, but found it was too hard to get them all to be the same size. Walmart also has a lot of different glass pieces available.
  • Rubbing Alcohol. I use this to remove mistakes and clean the glass.
  • Paper towels.
Other supplies:
  • Stencils. Martha Stewart now has stencils available that stick on and peal off. I tried them and they just didn't work for me. Paint leaked through and some pealed off when I took the stencil off the glass.
  • Gems. I purchase them when they are on sale at Michaels. Usually they are in the scrapbook section or on display in the middle of the aisles. Every holiday certain gem colors go on sale.
  • Old clothes to wear. Enamels do not wash off clothes. It's important to wear old clothes that you don't mind ruining.

Hope you'll also check out my ten published children's books!

Amazon  |  Barnes and Noble  |  iTunes

Friday, December 06, 2013

Kid Lit Giveaway Hop Holiday Extravaganza!

Youth Literature Reviews and Mother Daughter Books Reviews are back with another Kid Lit Giveaway Hop! This time around is their Holiday Extravaganza!

Prizes may consist of a winter or holiday-themed book that is appropriate for children or youth under the age of 18 and / or an Amazon gift card, a credit at the Book Depository, or PayPal cash as a prize!

The list of participants, including ME, are below! All you need to do is click on the links. You will be taken to the page where you can enter their giveaway! Hope you will enter mine! Here is the link!