Olympic-Inspired Crafts, Games & Home Decor Tips

The Summer Olympics only happen once every four years. It’s an exciting time for Americans to cheer on all kinds of aspiring athletes. Celebrate the American way with Olympic-inspired crafts, games and decor tips.

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Design Tips to Make Your Living Room Scream USA!
There’s no better time to add some star-spangled style to your living space. For two weeks every four years, the Summer Games inspire excitement and national pride that can disappear as soon as the competition ends. Maintain your love of country even after the medals are won by giving your home an American look.

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Creative Olympic Crafts for Kids
Even with the summer Olympics right around the corner, most of the younger children in your family are probably more interested in their own games than the events in Rio. If you can”t spark their interest in the Olympics by turning on the TV, you can get them excited about the events with these fun home crafts.

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Ideas to Make Backyard Sports Safer for Kids
If you’re like most parents, you’re interested in anything that gets your kids off the couch. Playing sports in the backyard might be just the ticket. Backyard sports are a pressure-free way for kids to practice their skills without a coach glaring over their shoulders. Make your backyard a safe place to practice with these tips.

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Animal Olympics: Fun Games to Play with Your Dog
Watching the Olympics inspires many of us to get outside. Playing sports with the family is great, as long as you don’t forget to include your canine friend. If your dog is sitting on the sidelines and begging to be a part of the action, use a few of these dog-friendly ideas to put together an animal Olympics in your backyard.

The Lakeside Selection: Our Choice of Favorite Items of the Week to Cure End of Summer Boredom

We are entering the twilight of summer. By now, kids are starting to repeat the dreaded phrase “I’m bored.” Right now, they don’t remember much work goes into not being bored in a classroom for six hours a day, five days a week. That’s OK. They’ll be back in school in just a few weeks. Until then, it’s up to you to fill their days. But Lakeside can help! We put together a list of products to keep the kids busy. Here is this week’s The Lakeside Selection: Our Choice of Favorite Items of the Week to Cure End of Summer Boredom.Guitar

Melody Maker Inspire a young musician with this 30″ Wood Guitar With Case. Perfectly sized for a child to hold and play, it features real steel strings for a beautiful, clear sound. Comes with its own vinyl carrying case with carrying strap, handle and side zipper. Includes a spare steel string.

frozen-coloring-book-with-stickersHours of Art Have hours of fun coloring and placing stickers in this Frozen Big Book with Stickers. With 20 pages to color and over 100 stickers, this book will help bring your favorite characters to life. Its built-in handle lets you carry it wherever you go.

construction-toysColorful Construction Your hands-on child will love the light-up effects of the 6-In-1 Laser Pegs Construction Toys. All 3 sets can make 6 different models. Drag Racer set makes Baja Buggy, Hill Climber, Junior Kart, Mighty Mite, Turbo Trike and Drag Racer. Monster Wheel Truck set makes All Terrain Rover, Mud Bog Racer, Pro Stock Puller, Rock Climber, Trophy Truck and Monster Wheel Truck. Farm Tractor set makes Compact Tractor, High Crop Tractor, Utility Tractor, Lawn Tractor, Wheatland Standard Tractor and Farm Tractor. You can download instructions for additional vehicles online. crystal-growing-kit

Crystal Creations Create your own crystal collection with this Sparkling Crystal Growing Kit. Following the instructions, dissolve the pre-mixed chemicals in water, and within hours crystals form right before your eyes. The fluorite grows as one spectacular crystal and the others grow in clusters up to 4″ in diameter. Kit makes a total of 4 crystals. bracelet-kit

Shareable Art If you love making your own jewelry, you’ll love the BFF Chunky Cord Bracelet Kit. These brightly-colored cords look awesome when you weave them together! Use the included foam wheel for hassle-free weaving. 24 Satin cords (36″, each) come in 6 colors. Kit makes 6 bracelets to wear yourself or to share with friends.

Boredom is not a word we use very often at The Lakeside Collection! Whether we’re deep in the dog days of summer or we’re snowed in after a blizzard, we have products and ideas to keep everyone occupied and entertained.

Pinteresting Picks for January

Connecting with friends on The Lakeside Collection’s Pinterest boards was a real hoot in January! Trendy owls got a lot of attention, whether they were on cozy throws and pillows or fun and functional hobby organizers. Some of our followers already are looking forward to creating whimsical miniature gardens or adding colorful decorations to their yards. Here are our Pinteresting Picks for January.

Add a fanciful touch to your living room or bedroom with this licensed Milo Owl Throw or Pillow.

Add a fanciful touch to your living room or bedroom with this licensed Milo Owl Throw or Pillow.

Clean up the clutter in your crafting space and help your creativity flow with these handy Owl Print Craft Organizers.

Clean up the clutter in your crafting space and help your creativity flow with these handy Owl Print Craft Organizers.

Set of 2 Solar-Lighted Balloon Stakes helps you decorate your garden with whimsical delight!

Set of 2 Solar-Lighted Balloon Stakes helps you decorate your garden with whimsical delight!

Each Fairy or Gnome Garden Kit gives you the miniature accessories you need to create your own magical spot.

Each Fairy or Gnome Garden Kit gives you the miniature accessories you need to create your own magical spot.

7 Things You Need to Do Before a DIY Project

To-Do-ListTackling projects yourself pays big dividends. You save money, learn something new and gain a sense of accomplishment. Your new bookshelf or birdbath is almost a bonus. Unless you’re an avid do-it-yourself-er, though, you’re probably going to have that moment of alarm when you wonder if you’ve taken on too much. There’s no such thing as guaranteed perfection with improvement projects, but with planning, you’ll maximize your chances of success.

1. Get Everything Together

Chefs use a term for collecting ingredients before they start cooking: mise en place. The French phrase describes putting everything within easy reach, and it prevents the chef from ruining a delicate dish through inattention. Your latest painting project may not be as time-sensitive as the perfect pancake, but it’s still helpful to gather everything you need before you start. Making a checklist will keep you on track.

2. Get Organized

Having everything in one place is a great start, but organizing it improves your efficiency. Tool kits or household organizers that hold everything you need for your latest do-it-yourself job make staying organized throughout the project a snap.

3. Study Your Subject

You probably already know something about your project before you start it, but unless you’re already an expert, getting a refresher course from books or online sources can make the difference between a serviceable item and one that’s spectacular.

4. Try a Kit

Whether it was riding a bike or baking a cake, your first attempt at doing it yourself probably needed a little input from an expert. If you don’t have a master crafter handy when you start your project, work from a kit. Many artists got their start with paint-by-number sets, and even the best cooks still use recipes sometimes. Kits make things accessible for beginners. After putting together your first fairy garden, you’ll undoubtedly have tons of inspiration for your own version.

5. Find a Good Work Space

When you have enough room to spread out and see what you’re doing, your DIY efforts pay off with better results. If the weather’s pleasant, work outside or in your garage with the door open. When you’re inside, like to work at night or must work on your project in confined quarters, use ample lighting to avoid eye strain.

6. Stay Clean

You’ll have plenty of use for cleaning supplies after you’re finished, but your project will also benefit from using them before and during the job. Cooking in a spotless kitchen or working in a well-organized garage is always inspiring, so clean before you build or craft.

7. Use the Right Tools

Many of us have used a shoe heel as a makeshift hammer, but when it’s time to do a project right, having the proper tools can spell success. With a ball-joint vise, for example, you gain an extra set of hands and can work on the whole project at once.

Whether you’re building a dollhouse or your own home, every great do-it-yourself project starts with preparation!

Image Credit: Iris Classon