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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Marbled Paper

I found a post earlier last week on how to marble paper. It seemed very complicated based on the post, so I decided to simplify and make it toddler friendly. The original post is over at Design Sponge. My simplified instructions are below:

Materials and tools:

  • Acrylic Paint
  • Paper - cardstock and printer paper
  • 2 cups liquid starch
  • 2 tsp cream of tartar
  • large glass baking dish that will fit paper
  • Chopstick or bamboo skewers
  • Newspaper or vinyl tablecloth for work area


  • Step 1: Mix cream of tartar and liquid starch into the glass baking dish. I mixed both in a large measuring cup first so I could get the cream of tartar well incorporated, then poured into the baking dish.
  • Step 2: Add drops of acrylic paint to the baking dish. Some may fall to the bottom. The folks over at Design Sponge gave great tips on how to avoid this, but we were having too much fun to worry about that.

  • Step 3: Drag chopstick or skewer through the paint making swirls and designs. This is what will transfer to your paper.
  • Step 4: Place paper into baking dish for a few seconds, making sure you get the entire piece of paper to touch the starch.
  • Step 5: Remove paper, and set aside for a few seconds (this is why you need the vinyl tablecloth so you can set the paper down and not care about your surface.)
  • Step 6: Take the paper to the sink and thoroughly rinse the starch from the paper. The paint will not rinse away.

  • Step 7: Layout the paper to dry
  • Step 8: Iron the paper flat

Below are two samples from the batch we did. Some were very vibrant and swirly, others were faint and subtle patterns.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Poor Lil' "Pumato" Bug

In our home, it has become customary over the years to remove any critter who finds there way into our home and put them outside. I say any critter, but truth of the matter is that this privilege has been reserved for amphibians, spiders, ladybugs, and a few other beneficial insects. Never before has this great honor been bestowed upon the infamous palmetto bug. If you live in Florida, you know how often these bugs come into houses and it has no bearing on your housekeeping skills. They come into the house in summer looking for water, they come into the house in the winter to avoid the cold. There is not much that can stop them. Many people refer to them as roaches.

This evening, as I went into the bathroom to check on a noise, I noticed a medium sized palmetto bug over by the shower. My typical reaction would be to look away and pretend I didn't see it, or to size it up and see if there would be a chance I could flush it. My son came into the bathroom right at this time, and walks right up to the bug.

He says, "Oh, poor lil bug."

I said, "yes, poor little bug." Obviously the little bug was sick because he had not moved much in the time we had been observing him. My son then asks if it is a big lady bug.

I said, "No - this is a palmetto bug." He squats down right beside the bug and looks like he is about to pet it, but instead just squats and looks.

He says, "I think he's dying." I concur and ask him what should we do about it.

He says "Awwww, poor lil pumato bug, he's dying."

I said, "Yes, he is dying and probably will not make it much longer."

My son then goes to get a cup from the bathroom counter, hands it to me and says, "He needs to go be with his family outside."

I tell him "Yes, we can take him outside to be with his family."

He repeats "He needs to be with his family so he can die."

So we coerced the "pumato" bug into the cup, carried him outside and placed him in a pile of mulch where my son believes the bug's family lives. As we head back into the house, he says "goodnight pumato bug."

I had no idea that we had taught our son that it is best to be with family when you are sick, and absolutely when you are dying. Simple lessons happen everyday.

No Mother Left Behind