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Jayden's first scrapbook page

When I was a kid I loved flip books. The kind where a character was divided up into three parts and they were interchangeable. Jaylene came home the other day and showed me something similar, only she had made it from only one piece of paper.

This is the paper unfolded.

one page flip book

It’s been folded into four vertically, and into three horizontally. The middle two lines have been sliced only in the middle. To fold it up into a book, fold the middle two girls together (back to back). and then put the girls face to face. It should look something like this when opened up to the first page.

one page flip book folded

Now you should be able to flip the three sections back and forth to create your fashion divas.

It’s helpful if you fold the book and then draw because you’ll be able to match up the width of the necks and the bodies.

I think it would be fun to make a bunch of these books. One with robots, one with monsters, one with animals… do you have any other ideas?

We’re a photo taking family and I’m forever trying to catch up with our digital organization of the many pictures we take. The kids were gifted with some cameras this Christmas and Jaylene already has over 500 on her camera. Any suggestions on the best way to introduce her to the delete key? Or how to help her not get bogged down with organizing her pictures?

Here’s my budding photographer.


This is what she’s looking at.


We like to play a game where we snap a picture, show it to the others and they guess which part of the landscape is the part photographed.

Jayden has a camera too, but he mostly enjoys using it in the video game function.

P.S. Friends in Taiwan, any guesses about where we are? It’s related to an upcoming holiday…

Jayden has been having fun singing the ABC song lately. He hasn’t yet made the leap to matching the letters with their names and I thought we could make up a little game for him to play while “practicing”.

ABC cards

Letter stickers (I used foam ones, I like the extra dimension they add)
26 cards cut from recycled material. You’ll need five patterns. What I did was used stripes that could be flipped around with different colors on the side. The different patterns make it easier to sort the letters. Use one pattern for the first five letters, another for the next five, and so on.

How to play:
Pull out the first five letters, which are easy to discern because they have all the same pattern. That could be part of the game too.
Either have the kiddo put them in order, or point to the letter that is called out. Jayden isn’t able to do either of those variations, so I put them in order and we sing the song as that’s his favorite part. Later on we could use them for spelling. What letter games do you like to play?

The other day I snapped a picture of Jaylene’s desk.

Jaylenes Desk

We’ve since moved everything around but her shelves and goodies are pretty much the same, just in a different spot in the room.

Jaylenes Desk Closeup

I’ve found the secret to success with keeping her table clean is to make sure everything has a place, and that those containers are clear plastic. If she can’t see it, she won’t use it.

What organization tips do you have?

I have searched high and low and can not find a single mini art journal that Jayden has created. He made three or four all in a weekend and they’ve all disappeared. When I asked him where they were, he mysteriously replied, “They’re okay.” I repeated my question, and he merely responded with a twinkle in his eye and “They’re all okay!” So apparently munchkin has a secret stowaway and I better find it fast because who knows what else he’s squirreled away in there!

I did find a miniscrapbook album that I made using the same format. It uses a 12×12 piece of paper while Jayden’s minibooks used an A4/letter sized piece of construction paper. This is what it will look like all folded up.

onepage 1 copy

Now flip the cover up…
onepage 2

And flip the bottom page down…
onepage 3

Flip the top page over to the right,
onepage 4

Repeat with the middle page…
onepage 5

And the last page…
onepage 6

Simple and effective! I forget where I first saw this format, but it’s become a favorite at our house. Jayden loves to put stickers on each page, add some stamping and then take a pencil to it.

When making this style of minibook it’s important to cut the slits to be about a quarter of an inch and to keep embellishments pretty thin and flat. I would love to see a picture if you attempt one!

Over the winter break Jaylene has been working on a mammoth-sized project. She’s kept every textbook since she started school, and in Taiwan, that’s a lot! They get multiple textbooks per subject per semester. She had the bright idea to keep them all, forever! After three years she’s run out of room in her bookshelf and has agreed to part with them, very reluctantly. In order to make the farewell easier to endure, I suggested she use them as collage fodder. So for the last three weeks she’s been cutting, and gluing and designing and inking and has created 31 collages from her grade one books. I guess grade two will have to wait until summer break! In the midst of all this creative chaos, I heard a “Mommy, look at me!” And this is what I saw:

Happy Valentine's Day

What a sweetie! How did you celebrate Valentine’s day?

I’m always a wee bit sad that Jaylene doesn’t get a chance to make up a slew of valentine’s and take them to class to share with her friends. On the other hand, with Chinese New Year right on the tail of Christmas, it’s a bit of a relief to not have it hanging over my head too. We still celebrate in little ways, this year we made a pompom heart.

pompom heart

A few well-placed snips turns a fluffy pompom into a heart. If you think perhaps your snips were not so well-placed, a heart shaped tin is a perfect solution.

pompom heart notfail

Happy Valentine’s Day!

P.S. I know I promised to share Jayden’s mini art books, but he hides them as soon as he’s finished. I’m hunting around…


Tammy over at Daisy Yellow has put together a fantastic post on art journaling with kids/tweens. She interviewed Jaylene, art journaler extrodinaire 😉

Jayden is quickly following in her footsteps. I’ll show you some of the mini “art books” he’s been making like mad in my next post.

Hold on to your socks, I’m going to share a recipe with you! Those of you who know me well can relax, it’s not a real one. But if you’re interested in making Chinese New Year Cake (Nian Gao or Fa Gao) then this is the post for you.

Making Chinese New Year Cake

Jayden made some at school the other day and as they’re quite easy to make, we made more at home. All you need to do is find a package of the steamed bun flour, it looks like this:

New Year Cake packaging

Then stir in water (this particular package uses 370ml). Fill up your cake pans about 3/4 of the way and pop them into the rice cooker.

Chinese New Year cakes

Mmmmm, yummy and fast and easy. If you’re more adventurous you might be interested in following a true recipe found here. The steamed cake is one of Jaylene and Jayden’s favorite New Year treats. What’s your favorite kind of holiday food?

Tidbits of my life


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