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 ISSUE 25   •   25 FEBRUARY 2007  
   This issue: wheels


1. Editorial
2. Inky wheel prints
3. Fabulous flower wheels

4. Amazing downhill car track
5. This issue's featured subscriber's blog

1. Editorial

Thanks for the wonderful response to the last issue. It's reassuring to know that we're not the only ones up to our eyeballs in artwork! I received heaps of emails with really creative suggestions on what to do with all that art and will soon be putting them together into a new resource, so stay tuned.

Also in my in-box this week I received a photo of two amazing mini diggers created by Thomas and Cooper with their clever mum Janice. Don't you love those great wheel tracks? This photo has inspired me to do a 'vehicle' theme a little later down the track. If you've made any vehicles with your little ones do send me a photo! I love to see what others are making and am keen to collect more great pictures for the gallery. I think that it could be a great source of inspiration for us all!

Still on email, this week I have put together some answers to the questions that I am most frequently asked. Take a look at these brand new FAQs and see if all your burning questions and niggling queries have been answered! If they haven't, please don't hesitate to get in touch.

Happy crafting and see you next time!

Amber Carvan

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2. Inky wheel prints

These fun wheel prints make a great spur of the moment crafting session as you're likely to have all the supplies on hand. For younger kids, the stamping will be more than enough to keep them busy. Kids aged three and up will enjoy the added challenge of creating pictures of fabulous wheeled vehicles by using the stamps and some marker pens.

Of course these easy stamp pads will work with regular rubber stamps and with all different types of cut fruit and vegetables. Be warned though, food colouring can take a while to come off little fingers and it won't come off clothes or the carpet!

You will need

• some citrus fruit (orange, lemon, lime)
dish sponge
plastic dish
food colouring
marker pens


1. Cut a dish sponge to fit into a shallow plastic dish (we use plastic lids). Then wet the sponge, ring it out and pour on some food colouring.

2. Cut your fruit in half to make stamps.

3. Stamp the fruit in your ink pad and then on the paper. Once you've stamped your wheels on the page you can use a marker to draw a train...

or a car...

or just have fun making wheels!

3. Fabulous flower wheels

The wild enthusiasm and raptures that greeted this craft came as something of a surprise to me, which just confirms my belief that no matter how well you think you know them, your kids will always take you by surprise. Due to their popularity we ended up making these flower wheels until there was not a scrap of crepe paper left in the house.

The under three's will enjoy sticking the crepe paper on anywhere. Older children will get a kick out of custom designing and then creating their own flower wheel.

Note: This craft idea is available as a printable project sheet. Download a copy of the PDF file (800 kb).

You will need

• paper plates
white glue
different colours of crepe paper
pen or marker


1. Cut crepe paper into pieces. We used pieces that were roughly two by two inches but there is no need to be precise.

2. Draw a simple geometric design onto a paper plate.

3. Pour some white glue onto a spare paper plate. Then scrunch up a piece of crepe paper, dip it in the glue and stick to the plate.

4. Continue with different colours until you have created a fabulous flower wheel.

4. Amazing downhill car track

Oh this was fun but oh it was hard!  My four year old was happy to sit around for a while and help out but after lots of boring testing and endless tweaks she gave up and went outside to play! Of course she came back in when it was all finished and had a fantastic time adding embellishments and playing with it but the actual crafting was beyond her.

As for me, putting together this track was the most fun thing I've done in ages, but it was tricky and really frustrating at times.

If you're not game to attempt this, a more simple alternative might involve getting lots of poster rolls, cutting skylights/windows in them and them taping them together.

You will need

• cardboard box
poster roll(s)
sharp knife
a small toy car
various pieces of furniture, books etc to create different levels
drinking straws
odds and ends for embellishment


1. Come up with a rough idea of what you want to achieve, then set to work cutting out the various pieces you will need. We wanted our track to have lots of tunnels and ramps and at least one big drop, so we started cutting up pieces of cardboard to form ramps and we cut up a poster tube to make tunnels.

2. We connected cardboard ramps to the tunnels by cutting the corners off the ramps and then cutting slits into the cardboard so that they would slide into the ramps.

3. Once you've worked out the main pieces start putting them all together and taping them up.

4. Then add the levels. Starting from the top, test each ramp and tunnel to make sure the car goes through. If it doesn't, make small changes to the height and angle of the ramps/tunnels.

If you're finding that your car is going too fast and is tipping over, try flattening a part of the track, or adding speed humps (made from drinking straws).

If you're having trouble directing your car into a particular tunnel, try folding up the edges of the cardboard to make a funnel, or tape straws down to guide the car where you want it to go.

5. Make a starting gate by slotting a piece of cardboard across a ramp.

6. It took us hours of work and many many failed attempts but we finally did it. Here's a picture of our finished track.

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5. This issue's featured subscriber's blog


"I'm a kinda working, kinda staying at home mama who loves making things and sharing them with family and friends."

To have your blog featured in this section just send in your web address – there are no hidden catches.


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