RV Ready - Crafting Future Unknown

You’re doing what? Moving into an RV full-time!

We had casually talked about moving into an RV when we retired. A few years ago we discussed spending one year touring the US while we homeschool the girls before they hit high school. It always seemed hypothetical to me. We have been homeschooling continuously now since October, 2012.

Through one of my homeschool Facebook groups, I found out about the World’s Best Roadschool Convention coming to Tucson, AZ. http://fulltimefamilies.com/family-reunions/2014-worlds-best-roadschool-convention-tucson-az/ I thought it would be a fun way to investigate this alternative way of homeschooling. Before it started, I read many blogs about families that live on the road full time. At the same time we were starting to feel restless and needing to move out of our current home.

Being prior military, I don’t think we have ever lived in a home more than 3 years. We had been living here since December 2011 and the floor plan does not suit our lifestyle. We have no extra space for school stuff or crafts. All our school books and supplies end up on the extra freezer and dining room table. The carpet needs replaced and the walls haven’t been painted in 7 years (painted last week). Plus, we can’t seem to grow much in our garden other than pumpkins. Anywho, we both felt God wanted us to move, but we didn’t know where. We didn’t feel led to any particular place. The Roadschool Convention started and I knew this was God’s plan. It was just like He brought homeschooling to us. After the first day I knew we would be roadschooling too, eventually. Both our daughters are keen on the idea too. We have so many reasons for going.

We want to get out of our current home. I would like to simplify our life by having less stuff. I cannot wait to be free from 90% of our stuff. We want to travel and see many sites around the United States as well as visit family and friends. We want to spend time together as a family. We want to be able to focus on being a family without the clutter of stuff. I am looking forward to only having to clean approximately 300 square feet as opposed to 1900! In a way we are going on the road after retirement. NASA spent exactly 20 years in the Air Force and we have his retirement income to rely on for our basic needs. We can pick up extra jobs here and there to supplement our desires like going to Disney World or taking a cruise.

Since the layout of our home was barely conducive to homeschooling, we didn't do many craft projects either. Living in our RV is certainly going to present many of the same challenges space wise. I am bringing a minimum amount of craft supplies. It remains to be seen if we make the time to actually do any crafts. I am hoping that with simplifying our lives that we will make the time. I will at least try to blog more. Stay tuned for our new adventure. Maybe we will see you on the road too!

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Valentine's Day Paint Skin Tiles Craft

I was inspired by a post on Facebook. I 'like' some great Facebook pages through my own Facebook account. I love to share what I find and this time I decided to try to copy one from Inner Child Fun. Her Kid Made Paint Skin Tiles looked so tile like and pretty. It looked easy enough and I have some acrylic paints. I also had 2 large quarts of interior house paint that I never used for another project. A project I envisioned more than 5 years ago. I bought it when I was delusional enough to think that I would paint something artsy in our entry way.  I thought maybe the house paint would make a nice base. Plus, the only other acrylic paints I have are small bottles for much smaller painting projects. I was skeptical about what the results would be when I figured out that the quarts were interior satin enamel paint. I thought, "acrylic or enamel, kinda the same, right?"

Creating and Making Paint Skin Tiles for DIY crafts
Swirling acrylic paint into the base enamel paint.

I gathered the supplies and the children and hoped for the best. I am always apprehensive when it comes to permanent paint. My dining room chairs still hold the evidence of previous adventures.

Supplies for creating the paint skin tiles for Valentine's Day craft
Supplies for creating the paint skin tiles.

I attempted to tape down the pieces of parchment paper on cookie sheets. The tape not wanting to stay put wasn't an issue once we poured the base paint out. I wasn't real sure how thick to go with the base. I didn't want it to never dry, but wanted it to be thick enough to be tile like. One thing I didn't expect was the parchment paper getting all wrinkled. I was concerned the paint would saturate and go through the paper. It didn't. My cookie sheets are old so I thought maybe it would be a good excuse for new ones if this craft didn't work out. No new cookie sheets for me. :(

We spooned and poured out enough of the base (deep purple) paint to cover the paper, using enough so that when we swirled the paint with the toothpick it wouldn't scrape the paper. Does that make sense? If I had to guess I would guess 1/8 inch thick. I let the kids add the other acrylic paints and swirl away. They absolutely loved playing in the paint and said, "this is the best craft ever!" 

acrylic paint swirled into enamel base paint to create paint skin tiles for crafts
Mass mess of acrylic paint swirled into enamel base paint to set out to dry into paint skin tiles.

When they found out they would have to wait at least 2 days before finishing the whole project they were less thrilled. Even though we live in the dry air of Arizona, it took the full two days to dry. They got excited again when they felt the dried paint and I told them they could peel it off the paper and make their Valentine creations. For my sensory seeking girls this was a good thing. The paint was sort of rubbery.

Peeling dried paint from parchment paper for paint skin tiles craft
Peeling the dried paint (paint skins) away from the parchment paper. 

Instead of just creating square tiles, my girls wanted to create hearts. They wanted to use the heart cookie cutters for the shapes. The cookie cutters did not cut the paint skin. We had to use scissors. I did convince them to cut some squares for a mosaic tile effect too.

Creating shapes out of the paint skin for Valentine's Day Craft
Using cookie cutters to create shapes out of the paint skin.

Once we figure out how to make the paint skins look pretty, we used regular school glue to attach them to the paper.

Heart made out of the paint skin for a Valentine's Day Card.
Heart made out of the paint skin for a Valentine's Day Card.

Valentine's Day Card with paint skin X and Os
Valentine's Day Card with paint skin X and Os.

The Hugs -n- Kisses card on the inside says "...always. Happy Valentine's Day."

Paint skin  tiles used to create a mosaic like heart with a piece missing.
Paint skin  tiles used to create a mosaic like heart with a piece missing.

My girls only finished three pieces for this project. They spent more time playing with the paint skin tiles than they did creating anything else with them. Although we may not have perfect results, the process was far more valuable than the actual product.

I am linking up to these craft parties!

Stay Tuned For More Soon...

It seems that winter is my challenging time of year for getting my work posted. I have some great projects to share. Please be patient as I get my less than professional photos together.