Category Archives: Make Something

Create a beautiful upcycled wind kite from a tin can

“And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair” ~ Kahlil Gibran

Hiya Creative Monkeys,

Thanks for your recent participationwith our rice and thought experiment. We have completed the project and our video and currently we are finetuning and editing the “BIG REVEAL” video and hope to send it out to you verrrrrry soon.

In the meantime, we wanted to share our latest Monkey Chi Monkey Do togetherness project: an upcycled Tin Can Wind Kite! Weeeee!!!!

♥ a large can with both top and bottom removed (large tomato cans work well)
♥ decorative paper
♥ assorted ribbons
♥ craft glue
♥ rubber-bands & scissors
♥ fishing line or string
♥ drill or hammer and nail to make holes
♥ optional Outdoor Modpodge (helpful to promote outdoor longevity)


Select and cut your ribbons and attach loosely to the bottom of can with an elastic-band.


Once all your ribbons are in place, carefully lift the top of each ribbon and apply glue to the can and ribbon and secure the elastic-band on top of ribbon to hold it in place. Move to next ribbon after holding for a few seconds being careful they don’t slip. (This bit can be tricky and sticky, so for younger monkeys you may want to help.)


When the ribbons are glued down, select your decorative paper and cut to fit. (You may need to cut another piece to cover the entire can.)


Glue the paper onto the can.

Sparkle and I chose to leave our paper plain; Twinkle decorated hers with stickers.

We left the elastic bands underneath the paper to hold the ribbons in place. Once the paper is glued on and decorated, you may want to completely coat the paper with Outdoor ModPodge or another decoupage medium. This is not necessary, but it may help retard color fading of the paper.



Once dry–which may take a day if you use ModPodge–, drill two opposing holes and tie fishing line or string through the holes to create a hanger. 

We made a few of these for our garden but these also make excellent gifts! We are enjoying  watching them blow in our warm Carolina Spring breezes.



Are you going to make one? Let us know … we’d love to hear from you.








Wishing you creativity and total presence with someone you love,
♥♥♥Becky, Twinkle & Sparkle♥♥♥

P.S. Please join us on Facebook and share your ideas and post pictures of your creations!

Word Art – A little bit of feel good goes a long way

If you hear a voice within you say, “You cannot paint,” then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.
~ Vincent van Gogh

Are YOU creative??? Oh, Darling …. YES you are! If you don’t think so, we’re about to share a simple and fun  Togetherness Project that will change your mind. This is for anyone young, old, daring arteeest or stick figure etcher-er.

Being a writer, I ADORE words. One of my favorite simple creative things to do to relax and unwind is to add flowy colors and glitter to words, be they quotes from inspiring people, lyrics from a song, lines from a poem, or sentiments captured from my children. If we pay attention and look for positive things, we may notice we are surrounded by inspiration and happiness muses*. When you write them out for yourself and then add some color …. OooooohWeeeeee! These words can take on even greater meaning in our lives.

(*If you don’t find inspiration around you, you may want to reconsider what you are reading, watching, or listening to.)

Do you have a special message you’d like someone near and dear to you to remember? Are there a string of words that when you hear them, you just simply feel good? Is there a poem you’d like to recite to memory? YES, these are the kinds of words worthy of becoming Word Art, words to stick in your brain AND on your fridge.


♥ card stock, watercolor paper, or heavy weight paper
♥ favorite words, songs, lyrics, expression, quotes, poems, anything that makes an impression.
♥ pencil and good eraser
♥ permanent ink, like Sharpie markers OR Indian ink pens (my favorite are Faber-Castel PITT artist pens) We suggest permanent ink so they don’t bleed when you are adding the colors.
♥ watercolor paints, oil pastels or colored chalk, watercolor pencils, or crayons. What you choose needs to have a bit of transparency to it, so the permanent ink letters show through.
♥ paintbrushes and water (if using paints)

Simple Instructions:

Gather materials, turn off and ignore phones, pads, Tellies, computers, and all other teleportic devices; hug your dear one(s) and invite them to make some Word Art together. Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! (What are Togetherness Projects? Check out our description here.)

Practice writing your special words on scrap paper to get the alignment and letter size as you likey, then rewrite it in pencil on your special paper. Once you’ve written the words, retrace your words with your permanent pen. You can also do ink squiggles, stars, hearts, and confetti around the words. Have fun, experiment.

Then get out your colors and play play play. Color a few words the same color. If using paint, try flicking assorted colors of paint all over the page (my favorite, that’s how I made the Happy Splashes background for our Web site). Move over Jackson Pollock! Experiment, play. There are no right or wrong ways to do this. Silence your inner critic and have some fun with words and color.

Finish by signing your work of Word Art. Display in your window, on your fridge or wall, or gift to a friend. Scan and use the art on your Web site–if you have one–or e-mail the scan to a friend or post on Facebook.

Here are a few wonderful powerful beautiful quotes, lyrics and words I enjoy from my Word Art list.

You are powerful beyond measure. (inspired by Marianne Williamson’s essay Our Deepest Fear.
I am enough.
I love you!
I am perfectly imperfect.
A little bit of feel good goes a long way. (Jamie Lidell)
Send your love into the future. (Sting)
Good Day Sunshine! (the Beatles, of course)
Mahna Mahna (remember that fun silly Muppet Show song? Thank you, Twinkle!)
There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way.

What are some of YOUR favorite words? What makes YOU feel good? Please share your inspiration and your Word Art with us.

We hope you have lots of fun with this simple creative colorful togetherness project. Mahna Mahna… do do dah do da. Mahna Mahna, do do do doooo….

Wishing you LOTS of love and paint on your hands!
Becky Jaine and the Monkeys

2011 Memory Bank: a real investment for your future

“The only gift is a portion of thyself.”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson (my hero)

When my daughters were babies, a dear friend gave them a beautiful ceramic piggy bank. For months I looked at it in their room, wondering when I’d be able to make some deposits–coins or dollars–for their future. Other than a few pennies, the dollars never came.

Fed up, I created a new possibility for the beautiful pink swine: a Memory Bank. Whenever my children did something exceptionally funny, loving, or remarkable, I’d savor the occasion by writing on scraps of paper and labeling them with the child’s initial.

Twinkle (my 9 yo) found the piggy memory bank the other day and started pulling out the old notes. She reminded me of the time she crammed a teeny doll’s nail polish applicator up her nose, and my Hubby and I had to stick tweezers up her nose to remove it. (I taped the evidence to the memory; a relic for later amusement.)

I read about Sparkle’s (my then 7 now 10 yo) philosophical questioning of the purpose of war:  “Do we want to be the only ones left on the planet?” she asked. Mmmmmm. Yes, that’s why I often declare my children my teachers.

Twinkle and I read together about the time she and Sparkle were cuddling in bed with me and she unintentionally bit her sister’s finger, as an expression of love, or so I had documented on the scrap. (They say there is a time in a toddler’s life when biting is a natural loving response, and they should know, shouldn’t they.)

Precious memories. Significant moments. Joyful tidbits of our family’s history that my now 41-year-old brain has been unable to consciously retain.

Rediscovering this collection led me to this next Togetherness Project: Our End of the Year Family Memory Bank.

♥ a large jar, box, cylinder, tub, or an empty piggy bank
♥ paint, stickers, ribbons, glitter and anything else you have to decorate
♥ ample scraps of paper to record the memories

Together (without distractions), decorate the container and talk about different things you’d like to remember about your life together the past year. Cut small pieces of paper to record the memories. Leave the Memory Bank, crayons and pens, and the paper prominently on the dinner table, so EVERYONE can write whatever memories they have from year 2011, and deposit into the bank.

Encourage everyone to keep writing the 2011 memories as long as you like, days, maybe weeks, then replace the cap and keep on a bookcase, as you would a photo album, for easy access to soon-to-be-last-year’s memories. At the end of every year, create a new memory bank, then you’ll have one for every year. Imagine the stories and new memories you’ll make from the old?!

The older my darlings become, the faster it seems the years goes by. This is a precious way to invest in and send your love into the future. I hope this will become an annual tradition at our house AND yours!

Wishing you love, blessings and many happy memories  ….
Becky Jaine

P.S. Today I heard an amazing radio program … I had to share with you. Dr. Pier Forni a professor from Johns Hopkins and author of the book The Thinking Life discussed the importance of (and I’m paraphrasing) focused thinking, without distraction of technology. It was such a phenomenal interview, and thankfully the show maintains an archive of programs for free. Here is a linky to interview. Click on “LISTEN” link  at top of page, and IF you do, PLEASE e-mail me! I’m just bursting to talk with someone about the brilliant thoughts he shared.