Monday, September 7, 2015

Baymax Printable

My boys have a slight obsession with superheroes. I know. Shocking. Because they're preschool age and under, I don't actually let them see the big movies that are PG and over. My husband and I both grew up with a rule of "no PG-13 movies until you're thirteen," and we're going to continue that with our kids. So, my four-year-old is stuck with Lego superheroes and the animated series'. And Big Hero 6. Oh, Big Hero 6. How do we love thee? Enough that when we first got it, we watched it everyday. As many times as I would let them.

Luckily, I love Big Hero 6. I think it's funny and touching. I cry every time they watch it. Every time. The main kid deals with some serious crap. And he gets through it with Baymax. I love Baymax. Baymax may very well be my favorite Disney character. And he's a robot. He's just so innocent and caring. And funny. We can't forget that. That's the reason kids love him. And oh, do my kids love him. So when I wanted to draw some pictures for my sons' room, I decided to do one of Baymax.

Now, FYI, the background color is grey because my printer is black and white. If you are interested in a version with more color, leave me a comment, and I will make a more colorful version. I thought of doing some of Baymax's other quotes, too, but I settled on this one. The pdf file for it is at the bottom of the post. 

Friday, September 4, 2015

Letter O and Number 8 Coloring Pages

So I have joined a co-op preschool in my neighborhood, in which we rotate between houses. This week was my turn to teach. I was a little worried about having six children under the age of five in my care. Plus, I was supposed to teach them something. Each of us is supposed to teach a letter, and they didn't have to necessarily be in order. I decided to start with "O." I think most of them already knew it, but I wanted to do a theme. Ready for it? I did the letter "O," which is at the beginning of the word "octopus" and "octagon." So, naturally, the number I picked was the number 8. I don't think the kids appreciated my cleverness, but they had fun coloring. You can find the pdfs for the pages in the links at the bottom of the page.

It was funny to see the different personalities. One kid kept asking to play with toys, one wouldn't sit still, another kept asking to go outside, and my own kept asking when we could have graham crackers. We also found some exciting bugs outside. There was an itty bitty spider on one of our outside toys, and one of the little girls wouldn't let anyone touch, get too close, or (heaven forbid!) squish it. I didn't get a picture of that, but I did get one of the gigantic grasshopper we found on a stump. I live in a desert area where there aren't a lot of big bugs. A spider that's an inch long qualifies as huge. But this grasshopper was a good 2 1/2 inches long. It didn't look real. I felt like I was at Disneyland watching an animatronic insect. Plus, it didn't move much, even with six little kids coming close to it. It did blink, though. 

Look at that thing. It's like a dinosaur bug. It was cool to have something like that to show my preschool kids, even if they weren't as impressed as I was.

The octopus in the coloring page is actually the same one from my octopus card from a few months ago. I loved it so much I just had to reuse it. That octopus was really my first drawing that didn't look like a child drew it, so I'm pretty proud of it.

The beautiful coloring was done by my two-year-old, who wanted to participate in "school," too.

Of the coloring pages, I think the octagon one was actually the student favorite. The kids really got into coloring all those octagons, which I thought was funny.

Not this kid. Two-year-olds are too busy to color for long, I suppose.

All in all, I think my first day of preschool was successful. :) Now I have five weeks before I teach again.

Eight Octagons Coloring Page
O is for Octopus Coloring Page

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

E-Reader Case Crochet Pattern

As my last post said, I love to read. Love it. Always have, most likely always will. I am not, however, one of those book purists who are anti-technology. I love to read; I do not love holding open a book. I feel like I'm breaking the book every time it gets the crease in the binding. Sometimes I like to read on my back, and then I have to hold the book with both hands. Physical books are exhausting, guys. And they take up space. I mean, more power to you if you want a million of them lying around. I get the appeal. However, we have enough of a problem with clutter in our house that the only books I want laying around are kids books. I fully accept the joys of the e-reader.

This is not a post reviewing a specific e-reader, although I've used both Nook and Kindle. This really is a crochet pattern post. But there are so many people vehemently opposed to e-readers out there that I feel like I have to justify my position. I also count it a success any time I get someone to invest in an e-reader. Because that's what they are, people: an investment. If you read a lot, they're so worth it.

Anyway. Justification over. Consider an e-reader.

When I first got my Kindle, I got a nice hard case that it snaps into and has a magnetic on/off feature. It was pretty awesome until after six months the edge of the flap that connects the front to the back started to break. Now the flap won't stay connected, and it doesn't do the magic on/off thing when I open and shut it. I tried buying a new one, but it had a problem where it would turn the screen off when the flap was flipped to the back. So, I'd be reading, and my screen would shut off. Super awesome. Yeah. Apparently (I learned from reading more reviews after I had the problem with the new case), this is a huge problem with this kind of case. So I did what I should have done in the first place: I made my own case.

And it's pretty.

I love the yellow. It's so bright and cheerful, and it is stands out visually. This was pretty important to me because Kindles/e-readers are usually dark grey or black. And I have a grey couch and a grey bedspread, and they disappear into there quite easily. And I'm not a super graceful person, and I don't always see things and said things sometimes break. I did not want to break my Kindle. I had already broken my Nook. Another story for another day. Anywho. This case does not blend into my dark furnishings. Or anything. It stands out. Very stylishly.

Kindle Case Crochet Pattern

I Hook
Normal acrylic yarn (I used my beloved I Love This Yarn! Go figure.)

  1. Ch 21. Sc in second ch from hook and across. In last ch, make 3 sc, then continue around the back of the ch. When you get all the way back around, put 2 sc in last st, and connect to first sc. 
  2. Ch 1. Sc in each st around. Now you'll start working in the round. Sc into the first sc.
  3. Mark the sc you just made with your handy dandy stitch marker, or bobby pin, or whatever it is you use. Continue sc-ing around for 5 rounds. Once again, don't connect.
  4. Ch 1. [Sk one sc. 2 dc in next.] Repeat around. Once you reach the end, connect to the first dc with a sl st. 
  5. Ch 1. Sc once. Put your st marker in that sc. Now sc around in rounds again for 3 rounds.
  6. Repeat 4.
  7. Repeat 5.
  8. Repeat 4.
  9. Repeat 5.
  10. Repeat 4.
  11. Repeat 5.
  12. Repeat 4.
  13. Ch 1. Sc once. St mark that last sc. Sc around for 5 rounds. Connect to the first sc with a sl st. Weave in your ends, and you are done. Bask in the sense of accomplishment you feel in making such a useful and pretty object.
Note: This can easily be changed to work for any size e-reader or tablet. All you need to do is change the number of chains you start with.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Kindle Unlimited Review

Note: I have received no compensation for writing this review. I just think it's a product worthy of review.
...Another note: The pattern for the crocheted case that you can kind of see underneath is coming soon. :)

I love reading. I have a slight obsession. As in, I read way more than I probably should. Surprisingly, however, I didn't jump at Kindle Unlimited when it first came out. I really only got it when there was a Cyber Monday deal last year to get a discounted Kindle Paperwhite and Kindle Unlimited for six months. Now that I've had it for eight months (because of the month-long trial and continued subscription), I feel like I can write a review.

Guys, I love it. For $10 a month, you can read up to ten books at a time, and there are lots of options. Not anything really big, but enough to sate my addiction. I'm always surprised by how many books are available.

Because I personally know an author listed on Kindle Unlimited, I can tell you that authors do get paid when their books are read, but only if the reader finishes at least 10% of the book. So, I try to finish at least that much when I read, but I don't always since some books just aren't good.

There are plenty of highly rated books on the list, and plenty that aren't. I feel like there really is something for everyone, except the people who only want to read health cookbooks. There aren't a ton of good options for those people.

One thing I love is that there are TONS of cute, full color children's books. They don't really work on normal Kindles, but they do on any tablet or computer through the app. Heck, I used the Kindle app on my phone, and we have hours of amusement from that. The only problem is, once again, the ten book limit. You have to kind of cycle through the books you've already...what word am I looking for? Rented? That's essentially what it is, but they don't call it that.

There's one other cool feature that Kindle Unlimited supposedly has, and that's that some books also have an audio version. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to get this to work with my phone. My Kindle is new and doesn't have the option for sound, and it doesn't appear to work with the app on my tablet, either. I think it's probably a problem with the app rather than Kindle Unlimited, but I'm kind of disappointed that I couldn't get it to work. It would be nice to listen to a book while I work out.

Final verdict. I highly recommend Kindle Unlimited for those who love reading. For the price of about two ebooks, you can read unlimited (hehe) number of books. Are all of them great? No, but there really is a great variety. Are you going to be able to read the hottest new releases? Not most of them. But still. I think it's a great value. I'll be keeping my subscription. :)

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Welcome, Summer!

It's May, but it's rainy and cold where I live. I think I was meant to live in Oregon or Washington, though, because I LOVE rainy days. I think they're beautiful. I'm not one of those that finds them depressing. I could sit on my porch watching the rain for hours.

BUT, not everywhere gets to enjoy the lovely rain, and someone asked that I make a summer sign. This is what I came up with. :)

This one actually has a transparent background.

Anyone interested in different colors? I can change them up and post some others. :)

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Grateful Turtle

After I did the octopus, I knew that I wanted to do another cute little animal "card," and I tried a penguin. Which was a complete mess. I need to hone my penguin. After that failure, I decided on a turtle.

I feel like it's both different and similar to the octopus. It's not so cartoon-y, but the speech balloons kind of tie them together. Your thoughts?

I don't mind if you use this for yourself or for non-commerical use, but please don't sell it or claim it as your own. Thanks!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Friendly Octopus Card

Lately, I've been really interested in learning to do hand lettering. I have decent handwriting overall, and I thought it'd be fun to improve on it. I've been looking into it and playing around with lettering. There are so many cute ideas out there! Search for hand lettering on Pinterest sometime, and you will be awarded with hundreds of tutorials and ideas.

I was trying to do something fun and interesting with different lettering, but there wasn't really anything creative about what I was doing - I was kind of just copying what I had seen elsewhere. But then I decided to try doing a cute birthday card. Yeah, didn't work out. My balloons were turning out really funky for some reason. They looked like octopus heads. Then, LIGHTBULB. My Friendly Octopus card was born. I drew it by hand and then cleaned it up and colored it in GIMP (a free Photoshop-like program). I think it turned out pretty cute. :)

This was the first one I colored. After I finished it, I realized that it kind of looks like an octopus that washed up on the sand. Not a super happy sight...but hey. At least the colors are cute, right?

I like this one. It has fun, complementary colors.

I had to do one super bright color, right?

Here's the plain, white one if you didn't like my colors. Make it how you like it. :)

I don't mind if you use this for yourself or for non-commerical use, but please don't sell it or claim it as your own. Thanks!