No laminator? No problem!

I used to love love love Highlights Magazine. I remember when I was little reading the stories and comics, and especially loved the games and puzzles inside. When I recently cashed in all of my Pampers Rewards (since my son has been out of them for about a bajillion years)- I had to order High Five magazine by Highlights, I love that it still has all of the same goodies that I used to love, but in an age-appropriate way.

One of the things that he’s really into is the games that they include on the last page. Last month it was a memory style matching game, and this month it’s a three player board game, which is perfect for me, him and his sister. ( I am a ‘work widow’ so its usually just me and the kids for stuff like this)


Its the cutest game- perfect for the cold weather that has come on full force lately around here. The artist is Kevin Zimmer- you can find him at . Its just yummy to look at and play with.


The game is easy too- there are a stack of cards that each player takes turns flipping over. The player on the card gets to move up a space. Of course my 3 year old wants them to “catch up” to each other, so it usually ends in a tie ;)


For our game, I decided to use a teacher trick and seal them with contact paper. You just expose a little contact paper, lay down the game pieces, then cut out the row. Expose more contact paper and lay the game piece contact paper row sticky side down on top of the new contact paper. Press, seal, and cut out all of the pieces. Now you have a laminated game that should last!


For the game players, I added some washi tape to the bottom to keep them standing up.


Make sure your little one is occupied before starting :D


Have fun!


SCBWI and PiBoIdMo

So two steps in the right direction to become an illustrator- I was finally pushed into joining SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators) by my boyfriend. I already feel more professional! I now have access to all of the articles and interviews on their website as well as a place for people to search for me there. I also can go to conferences and workshops- its very exciting stuff ;) I also signed up for PiBoIdMo (Picture Book Idea Month) on
I feel like I belong to a secret society with fancy words like SCBWI and PiBoIdMo :D
So even though I have a LOT to do for school right now, I am going to do what I can to sketch ideas, I’ve already got a few cute ones! Instead of zoning out on Facebook or whatever, I’m trying to draw on my iPad or jot down ideas. I also had my first observation teaching a science lesson yesterday which was interesting ;) I’ll post about that later this week, and possibly write about the lesson plan too- it really was a good one! Classroom management…not so much.

Jack Skellington Costume

Update: Hey Guys! I’ve improved this post with new pictures, explanations, and even a template :)

I’m a huge Tim Burton fan-there is something so special about his art and movies that I love. His characters are usually a little dark, a little strange and always relatable (to me anyway).


(P.S. Check out his awesome interactive website . It’s Ok, I’ll wait.)

I love that my kids are also into him. I actually let my daughter skip school a few years ago so that we could see the Tim Burton exhibit at the MOMA- I think that experiencing art is just as important as any of the other subjects! It was awesome in the truest sense of the word. It was cool to see the actual props and puppets from his movies, but the most interesting to me was his installation art and his scribbles on newspapers.

His mind is so strange and brilliant and humorous at the same time.

Ok enough gushing! One of our favorite movies in my house is The Nightmare Before Christmas, so when my son said that he wanted to be Jack I jumped at the chance to make the costume! I searched around pinterest for a little bit to get some ideas, then decided what was important for us. Number 1- comfort- I knew that he would not be too happy with face makeup on, so I decided to make a hat for Jack’s head.

I know how quickly a three year old can change his mind, so I wanted to get him excited about the costume right away so I made the hat with cheap-o white yarn that I had in my stash. Let’s just say there is not much stretch in there ;)

His bat bow tie was my favorite part. The materials needed are : black felt, poly-fil, and white puffy fabric paint. I even included a handy tutorial at the end of this post for you!

The bow tie is attached to the shirt with a safety pin.

For the costume, I bought an inexpensive black Garanimals sweatshirt and sweatpants, and white puffy paint from the craft aisle. I actually thought that it was glow in the dark, but I’m a spazz and always grab the wrong thing. I think the glow paint was greenish, so its probably better off to just use white :)

 I pulled up a buch of pictures of Jack’s suit on the computer, and just went for it. The lines are supposed to be sketchy so dont go crazy trying to make it perfect! I began with the edges, following the shirt itself to make the lines seem as straight as possible. Cleaning the paint off of my coffee table was probably the hardest part-oops! Sorry for the cell phone snapshots, but I didn’t plan on making a full tutorial-lesson learned.

I think he digs it
Also, I am a dork and dressed up with him :)
Here is the Bat Bow Tie Tutorial for you- just print it out full size and the template should be the right size. Please share your Jack costume, I want to se how awesome they came out!


Hello, I’m Alison and I have a confession…I’ve been an absentee blogger my entire online life. Even in the days of Livejournal I was more of a commenter than a post-er, or even worse a lurker! I think the reason might be that I don’t actually like to write about myself or my feelings- I prefer to bury them deep deep inside ;) I do like to post my art and my crafts, and used to be really into even doing craft swaps which are so fun! (I really need to get on another one of those soon!) I’ve realized that I really need to get my stuff together if I am serious about art- and a web presence is a biggie in the art world! I haven’t even really had one place for my art on the web in years, I have been concentrating on other things (school, crafts, kids, moving) and now its time to do this for real. There is one lonely picture in my portfolio as of today, but my goal is to have a complete ready to show by february. There is a conference for writers and illustrators in NYC in february, joining SCBWI and actually attending and showing it is a different story! Between school, two children and my obsession with making everything myself it is a big task, but somehow it has been working for me. I have to be a little stressed out to give my best, ya know? So tomorrow will be less about me and more about how I made my son’s Jack Skellington costume for Halloween!