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Fun fact about me. When I was 12-years-old and studying for my Bat Mitzvah, I was asked to choose a Bat Mitzvah party “theme.” Everyone gets one, but I was in the know because my mom – a town artist/art teacher/event decorator – let me know that the sky was the limit. I believed her. I rose to the challenge. I said, “I want it to be tropical.” And then “Tammy’s Tropics” came to life, but please don’t ever call me Tammy. I was newly 13 then. Oh, how my mom transformed the yard!
I’d share photos of this big backyard Bat Mitzvah bash (alliteration, much?), but that would require long distance photo scanning, long distance photo emailing, and all of you seeing my teen perm and braces. We can’t have that now, can we?
The DJ was pumping “Now That We Found Love.” It was 1993 in New Jersey. Cardboard cut-out palm trees swayed in the breeze. Wooden tropical birds hung on perches, and homemade, glittered styrofoam birds peered around corners. Magic!
And while I don’t have photos of that blessed event, I have something pretty awesome in my life. My mom. She’s the one who made “Tammy’s Tropics” come to life, and she’s still a talented art teacher to children. Cassidy and I were (ironically) at a Bar Mitzvah in NYC last weekend – my first in two decades, actually – and my mom and I set up a kid art project for when we were gone all day. Tropical birds! You just need fun craft supplies, and total imagination. My kids rose to the craft challenge.
Our seashells are from Cape Cod. The kids’ grandparents have had a beach house there for decades, and one of our greatest summer pleasures is spending time there. Summer time in Cape Cod is always too fast, but not too fast that we don’t get seashells. Des’ teacher, who has also led some great crafts, gave us some seashells too. She has gone to the same places we have enjoyed – in Florida and Cape Cod. We had all these beautiful shells and wanted to do something memorable with them.
A messy, fun, and beachy project, painting seashells and turning them into tropical birds and other tropical creatures only takes a little preparation, and goes a long way. My kids are four and six, but it can be tweaked for all ages.
Here’s what you need:
Sequins – we had all sorts of shapes, sizes, and occasions
Felt, paper, sequin, foam, card, etc. scraps and shapes
Buttons and other odds and ends your kids will love
Colorful craft feathers
Here’s what you do:
1. Start by painting the shells with your craft paints.
2. Wait for the paint to dry, but you can also use a hairdryer to speed up the process.
3. If you have glitter glue, use it now!
4. Now is the time to transform the seashells into tropical birds. Look through the supplies.
5. Using feathers, googly eyes, and craft scraps or pieces of shell for beaks, go crazy!
Now, after all that paint, glue, glitter, and whatever else, you need all®! You know how much I love their line of products, because I write about them a lot! all® Fresh Tropical Mist™ is no exception! It isn’t only the trusted stain fighting power, but this is a whole sensory experience. I know it’s summer now, but when I use it year-round, it will remind me of the aroma of the tropics. It’s fresh and flowery – the new fresh, tropical scent provides the same powerful clean. I buy it at Stop & Shop.
With all®’s trusted stain fighting power to fight the toughest kid stains like grass, mud, and grape juice – as well as paint, glitter glue, and tropical bird craft feathers – it also costs 30% less than the leading brand. Powerful and fresh!