The Crafty Crow and Full Circle (we're sisters, did you know?) are putting together a kids ornament swap and you and your little (or big) ones are invited to participate! Everyone loves ornaments and creating them with your kids is even more fun :)
* Sign uphere. In your email include your first and last name, your shipping address, and your blog address if you have one. Sign ups will close at midnight PST on Sunday November 16th. We reserve the right to close the swap early if we get more participants than we think we can handle so sign up quickly to guarantee a spot!
* You and your kids will make 5 - 8 of the same ornament and receive the same amount back. (Final amount will depend on number of participants).
* Sorry, we are limiting this swap to the United States only this time around.
* With respect to everyone's practices and faith of this season we have chosen a neutral theme: Winter Wonderland! Inspiration for ornaments include: trees, snowmen, mittens, pine cones, birds, deer, ice skating, squirrels, rabbits, snowflakes, berries, leaves, the moon, stars, icicles, etc. Basically anything having to do with winter and nature :)
* Ornaments have to be mailed on or before Monday, December 8th!
* Please do not sign up if you won't be able to complete the swap - no one wants any disappointed kids! If unforeseeable circumstances keep you from participating please email us immediately so we can remedy the situation.
We are in the process of making a button to put on your blogs so check back soon!
If this sounds fun and you'd like to join, then send us an e-mail (see above), we'll be waiting!
When we were visiting the gallery the other day, we learned they were offering a free weaving class hosted by Minnesota artist/instructor Becka Rahn. To my chagrin, I've never really been excited about weaving. I tend to pursue crafts that are not only creative and beautiful, but have a practical aspect as well. Weaving, to me, meant wall-hangings, and, well, I just don't need a wall-hanging. But, we've enjoyed getting out lately and this was a free class for the family, so I thought, what the heck, let's go ;) Well, we had so much fun and Becka showed us such an easy technique that I must say I'm now a convert. I still don't need a wall-hanging, but I've discovered there are many other practical uses for weaving, i.e. rugs, place mats, coasters, etc. I thought I'd share with you the technique we were taught. This is appropriate for any beginner (there was even a 3 1/2 year old at the class).
yarn, as many colors as desired styrofoam tray (like a meat tray) scissors masking tape something to use as a shuttle (a popsicle stick, a bone tool, etc.) large plastic needle
1. Tape one end of yarn to the backside of the tray at the bottom corner as shown.
2. Wrap the yarn around the tray, back to front, until the whole tray is wrapped. Try to make the wraps equally spaced apart and finish with an even number of wraps. In this photo, I've wrapped around 8 times.
3. Turn the tray over to the front. The parallel lines you've just created is the warp. Now, cut some yarn about the length of your arm. You can use a new color or keep it the same. Tape one end of the yarn to your "shuttle". In the class, we used popsicle sticks, but at home I used one of our clay sculpting tools.
4. You're ready to start! Place the shuttle over or under (doesn't matter which) the first yarn and continue going over/under pulling the yarn through. Leave a nice sized tail.
5. If the shuttle finished by going over the last yarn, then go under the same yarn when you return and vice versa.
6. The yarn being woven through the warp is the weft. When you've used your length of yarn, cut, leave a tail, and tape on a new piece of yarn. Anytime you want to change colors, use the same technique. Again, if the shuttle finished by going over the last yarn, then start the new yarn by going under. If you finished under, then start by going over.
7. Here, I'm changing yarn colors. I'm using a bone tool as a shuttle and instead of taping the yarn, I'm just tying it through the hole.
8. I'm finished with the weaving part.
9. Turn the tray over and cut the thread through the center and un-tape the ends to release your weaving.
10. Now, you're ready to tie up all those loose ends!
11. Knot off the warp ends (the ones on the top and bottom) by tying in pairs.
12. The knot-tails can then be threaded through the weaving using your plastic needle. Don't do this step if you want to leave the threads for fringe.
12. Next, thread your plastic needle with a tail from the side and thread it through the length of the weaving. Continue until all tails are nicely tucked in.
13. All done!
Now, to give it a practical purpose, how about a nice cup of tea using your new woven coaster ;)
I've been wanting to make these gorgeous hot rocks that Blair did with her kids for a while now, but we're waiting for the snow to melt so we can go rock hunting. In the meantime, I thought we'd give it a try on hard-boiled eggs instead! We hadn't done any egg-dying for the Equinox, so these were a quick remedy ;)
We hard-boiled the eggs first, then put them in a 350 degree oven to keep them hot. You must use tongs or a hot pad to remove them as they get VERY hot to touch. It was easiest to rest the hot eggs on the empty egg carton to keep them from rolling around.
We focused mostly on the "upside" of the egg since it's awkward, hot and messy to pick it up too much. It's very satisfying to see the crayons melt as they touch the egg, not to mention the nostalgic smell of warm, waxy crayons! I shaved some of the crayons with a paring knife and the kids used the shavings to sprinkle on top.
After they've completely cooled, you can give them a coat of Mod Podge to keep that "just melted" wax look ;)
As a follow up to our book the other day, we thought it would be fun to make some nests of our own. We gathered some materials: Sculpey clay, feathers, twigs, beads and a variety of string and thread. We also used some hay from our guinea pig.
We shaped the Sculpey then added beads and string before putting it in the oven to bake.
Afterwards, we let the nest cool then glued on feathers, hay, twigs, etc.
I'm always drawn to books with beautiful illustrations especially if the pictures are from nature, so when I saw this book a while ago at the book store, it's no surprise it ended up on my bookshelf at home. And So They Build is written and illustrated by the award-winning artist Bert Kitchen and can be enjoyed by any age. Don't be deceived by the cover, this book contains information about a variety of fascinating animals that build intricate and complex nests for their young, not just birds. The bird on the cover is the Satin Bowerbird and we thought it was one of the most interesting animals in the book. We did some research and found this video clip hosted by David Attenborough. Take a moment and click through, you won't regret it! Here are a few photos from the book to give you an idea how exquisite the artwork is.
The kids and I headed over to Auntie's for breakfast the other morning
and we put together a juicy feast of sunshine-on-a-stick! We sliced and
peeled and melon-balled a variety of fruits and a little bowl of marshmallows, then stood back and let the kids go at it. Food's always more fun to eat when you can spear it first! We combined the few leftovers we had to make a colorful fruit salad for lunch.
This is an easy craft for any age; even the youngest ones will have a finished tree they'll love.
You'll need ink with a dropper, paper, straws, glue and dry autumn leaves. I like using heavier card stock paper in natural tones. The leaves need to be very dry so they'll crunch up nicely. A little hint on the leaves... if they are not quite crispy enough, pop them in the microwave for a minute or so.
After gathering your supplies, first thing to do is crunch your leaves! Keep them in a bowl and set aside.
Now, using the dropper, squeeze out a line of ink in a simple tree design.
Pick up your straw and start blowing the lines of ink to make branches for your tree.
After it dries (it won't take long), add glue where you want the leaves to be.
Pour the "leaf glitter" on top your picture, making sure the glue is covered, and pat it down.
Now, shake off the excess "glitter" and you're done! Aren't they pretty?