Limiting your child’s TV and Computer time

This post is more about the great idea than the actual craft…

Recently in our family we had set a goal to watch less TV.  I just got lazy over the summer by turning on the TV or a computer game for the kids instead of encouraging them to go play outside, or better yet get on the floor and play with them.  My friend was having the same experience at her house and had turned off the television and said that she had loved the results, so we decided to give it a try.  Now that the TV has been off for a whole month I would ike to transition back to a limited healthy amount of TV.  I just feel like no TV all the time, for us, is unrealistic.  So I came up with this Computer and TV Token Jar.

I went to the dollar store and bought a bag of pirate play money and quickly put this jar and bag together.

First I cut a hole in the top of the lid.  I wish I had some great way to do it but I just used a hammer and nail to get it started and then some wire cutters and needle nose pliers to open up the hole.  I then covered it with some fabric using the hot glue gun.  I quickly sewed a mini draw-string bag and threaded some elastic through to keep the bag shut and to keep it attached to the jar.  Printed off some vinyl to label the jar and we were done.

Now the whole idea is that my son gets 10 tokens per week.  Each token is worth 30 minutes.  So he choses when we wants to use them and takes them out of the bag and puts them into the jar.  I then set the kitchen timer for 30 min and he can watch TV or play a computer game.  The first week he used all 10 tokens in 3 days.  He soon realized what a mistake that was and this week he has been more conservative in using his tokens.  It also makes me more aware of how much he is watching and playing instead of just turning it on and leaving it on.

This has been a very positive thing for our family to limit the amount of time in front of the screen.  My boys play together more, they are more creative and have been reading lots of books.


Craft Fail? Blue Mason Jars

I hesitated sharing this project with you because I am not sure I loved how it turned out in the end.  But maybe you can learn from my mistakes and use some of the information I give you.

I had seen many tutorials online about creating your own antique blue tinted mason jars, so I thought I would try and make my own for more organization in my office.

I bought some glass paint at my local craft store.  (With a 50% off coupon it was only a couple dollars.) I then painted some mason jars that I had lying around.  At first the paint was too thick and I was not achieving the opaque look I was going for.  So I added some water to the paint and the brush and gave it a more tinted look, instead of the painted affect.

The paint bottle then says to put the glass in the oven, on your lowest setting for 30 minutes or so.  This supposedly sets the paint color.  While they were in the oven I spray painted the rings black.  There are not many things I like that are gold.  I do have a pair of gold sandals and one gold necklace and earrings to go with my sandals when I wear them.  But, other than that not much gold around here.

The jars turned out pretty well.  The paint did pool in a couple places and it looks like dry drops of paint in other spots instead of the blue tint I was going for.  But hey only a few dollars for something that is going for $25.00 on ebay.

I then took them down to my office to adhere them under the shelf for more storage.  I have quickly realized that hot glue is not as permanent as I thought it would be.  One jar has already fallen down, but it did not break.

I quickly found some crafting supplies to fill the jars and voila, More organization for the office!

Craft Space Peg Board-Tutorial

I have seen a few peg boards used in craft spaces around blog-land. Including this one by Nest of Posies:
Before I thought that peg boards were only for husbands in the garage who wanted to organize their tools.  Once I saw these I realized it was a great way to organize craft tools as well.  So I bought some materials and got to work.

I first laid out my materials:  The peg board I found at Home Depot for under $10. (They sell them cut there, at Lowes they only sell the whole sheet.)

Then call on your husbands help to cut some wood for you with the chop saw.  My husband thinks it is great that I require the power tools just as much as he does.Then pull out the hand sander and give it a once or twice over to make the boards smooth.

Then onto painting.  I pulled out the Glidden free quart of paint I got in the mail.

Color: True Tourquoise

Next sand and ink the boards to give it more of a distressed and worn look.

Then call back the trusty helping and husband to pull out and help with the nail gun.

And the peg board is done!

Well almost, the best part is the organizing.

I got the baskets pegs and hooks for around $20.  This was the most expensive part of the project, but so worth it.  There is such a variety for hanging everything you own.

I love how it turned out and how everything I use most often is right at my fingertips.

Now that stool really needs a new paint job!