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 ISSUE 35   •   15 JULY 2007  
   This issue: machines


1. Editorial
2. Simple robot pictures
3. Cute miniature televisions

4. Easy mobile phone
5. Moving parts digger
6. Great stuff and special deals
7. Featured subscriber blog

1. Editorial

I've got nothing on the Kids Craft Weekly agenda for this week's editorial so I thought I'd share with you these earthy favourites from my bookmarks.

Soulemama: I learn something amazing from Amanda Blake Soule every week. She writes and photographs inspiring accounts of her everyday life as mother, partner and crafty person extraordinaire. One of my favourite posts ever is this one, which documents one of those days that don't quite go according to plan. Like many others, I can hardly wait to get my hands on her book – The Creative Family.

Nurture Nature
: This lovely blog is a collaboration between Tracie and Gwyn who share a passion for connecting their kids to the natural world – despite the fact they live in urban environments. Nurture Nature is a delightful account of the ways they seek to engage their respective boys with nature on a day-to-day basis. Sometimes the plans work beautifully, other times they don't.

Sew Green: This is another collaborative blog with a green theme. A group of 14 women who met through the craft blog networks join forces to bring you practical information about the environment, personal anecdotes and meaningful observations – presented in a variety of different styles but always with a gorgeous aesthetic. One of my favourite posts is about building bridges for squirrel gliders

I hope you enjoy these links – and the current newsletter! As always, feel free to give feedback (or a donation). Have fun, take pics and send them in for the gallery.

Happy crafting and see you next time!

Amber Carvan

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2. Simple robot pictures

Older children will enjoy trying to make amazing robots from the various bits and pieces and younger ones will simply enjoy sticking the shapes onto paper. Either way, it will keep everyone occupied for a good length of time. If you're organised you might even manage a cup of tea!

You will need

• different coloured pieces of felt (or coloured paper)
small buttons/beads
paper clips
wool scraps
white glue and brush


1. Cut felt and paper into different sized squares and rectangles.

2. Prepare a plate of bits and bobs to make robot features. We used paperclips, buttons, beads, wool scraps and matchsticks.

3. Use the shapes, buttons and other bits and pieces to create robots.

4. And here are the finished robot masterpieces:

3. Cute miniature televisions

I have to apologise in advance for dreaming up a 'television' craft this week! I mean, really! But these mini televisions really are very cute and I see them as an opportunity to get your child away from the real thing. Next time they say 'can I watch television?' you could reply 'How about we make one instead?!'

You will need

black paint


1. Paint the outside of a matchbox black.

2. Stick on a folded pipecleaner to form an antenna. 

Cut a photograph (or picture from a magazine) to the size of a tv screen and stick to the front of the matchbox, then glue on small beads to make knobs (or paint on some small dots).

4. Here's the finished product.

4. My daughter made one for each member of her pet rock family! Crazy!

4. Easy mobile phone

Despite having access to several toy mobile phones and my old one the kids were thrilled to make their own from cardboard stock cube boxes. If you make one of these, don't make the same mistake that we did – be sure to include an on/off button.

You will need

small cardboard box
white foam
black paint and brushes
holographic paper (or aluminium foil)


1. Find an appropriately sized box and paint it black.

2. Cut some white foam into small squares and stick them on.

3. Write numbers and symbols on the keys and stick on some holographic paper (or aluminium foil) to make a screen.

5. Moving parts digger

Diggers are very popular in our house but we've found that good digger crafts are quite hard to come by. Using Roger Priddy's great book Rainbow Trucks as inspiration I decided to take matters into my own hands. The end result is this simple digger picture.  It's heaps of fun to colour in and, best of all, you get to put the pieces together and move them around.

You will need

free printable project sheet (PDF, 1.4MB)
hole punch
split pins (brads)
markers or paints
photo and glue (optional)


1. Download the free printable project sheet (PDF, 1.4MB) which includes the digger picture.

Before you get started you'll need to transfer the digger images to cardboard. You can print or photocopy the images straight onto card. Otherwise, just glue the paper onto card or trace the image on to card by holding it up against a window (that's what I did!).

2. Colour-in or paint the digger and digger parts.

3. Cut them out and punch holes where marked.

4. We also cut up some photos and pasted them on the digger so that the kids could be in the driver's seat!

5. Attach the parts using split pins (brads).

6. And there you have a fabulous moving parts digger!

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7. Featured subscriber blog

Small Town Fun

"Our purpose here is to scour the neighborhoods, visit websites, and collect flyers from all over our city to put together a one-stop shop of fun stuff to do in Des Moines.  Most everything here will be kid-oriented, though some things will be geared toward letting Mom and Dad take some time out.  After all, happy parents are easier to manipulate."

To have your blog featured in this section just send in your web address and I'll add you to the list. But be warned, the waiting list is currently very long.


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