I keep telling myself I WILL get back to work, but, there’s plenty time for work come September. Big fun these Summer days – a splish splashing cannon ball of fun
Archive for the ‘kids’ Category
We are zooming to the end of the school year. For my boys that means moving on from preschool, exciting and scary!
This week we worked hard to come up with a unique and special thank you gift for their teachers – made by them.
Inspired by this tutorial, join us for our experiment in kid friendly batik.
For this project we used -
*2 yards of white Kona cotton, we cut the fabric lengthwise into four scarves. Next we pulled the first few strings from all four of the cut scarf edges, washed and dried them on hot. Pulling the strings from the edges and washing leaves your edges frayed but “finished”.
*Elmer’s Washable Gel Glue (Blue or Clear)
*Cheap Acrylic Craft Paint
*Saran Wrap – for protecting our work space
*Blow Dryer – for speeding up the dry time!
*Paint Brushes and Glass Paint Jars
After our scarves were washed and dried we lay them out flat on a layer of Saran wrap and the boys decorated them with Elmer’s Gel glue —
After the fabric is sufficiently glooped with lots of glue patterns you must let the glue dry overnight. We found that the glue tended to spread a lot so if you are attempting to make images or letters make sure to make them thin and large.
Next we made our “Fabric Stain” by taking about 1 teaspoon of craft acrylic and mixed it with about 1/2 cup of water – mixing well so that no clumps of paint remained. Your stain should to so thin as to have the consistency of water. For darker colors you should use more paint but for making scarves we want to ensure our fabric didn’t get too crunchy!
We then used a hairdryer to speed up the drying process.
After the scarves had completely dried we soaked them in cold water for 15 minutes and scrubbed out the gel glue.
next we popped them into the line to dry.
Kid Made Batik Scarves!
Remember this from awhile back?
I drew a picture and mapped out some fabric pieces and started to stitch my fox onto a utility fabric bought at Joann’s.
Meet my Mr. Fox.
He’s all machine stitched with felt, cotton, silk and cashmere fabric scraps. The kids are pretty floored by him but I dare say a bit scared too! I myself am pretty floored that after a year of thinking about this project I can now put it out of my head and onto the walls.
Also up on the wall my little Amy Butler banner, some tiny thrifted paintings and a silly Green monster I made from a log slice. Perhaps one of these days I will get a better shot of how this newly done up kids room is coming together – someday..
We went for a walk in the woods – most days from here to October could be defined by this sentence!
We brought along with us little notebooks.
Oliver decided to write stories about the things he saw.
Emmett decided to record numbers in his book. He counted 29 newts and 26 lady slippers!
We all jumped up and down to see so many Spring friends in the woods, and yes we said hello to each and every one of those 29 newts. Taking in as much as we can of that early Spring green. Simply marvelous!
Sometimes I feel compelled to shut out the world of commercialized characters – I want to hide under a rock and shield my kids from having logo branded toothbrushes, lunch boxes, underwear, sneakers, hats, shirts, coloring books,Band-Aids, action figures, jackets and everything else.
It’s not that I am a complete partypooper (okay maybe I am) it’s just there is so much STUFF with, let’s say, a certain man turned spider on it. For lots of reasons all this STUFF starts to overwhelm me. I know that these comic book characters, video game characters, movie characters are really important to kids – they inspire, bond and excite them. But this herd of merchandising is also a multi billion dollar machine that seeks to take over the hearts, minds and wallets of our wee lads and lasses. They compound stereo types, promote violence, gender conforming and commercialism – joy!
Unless you want to your kid be a walking advertisement where do you draw the line? I guess my tactic is to insert creativity into the mix a much as possible – I often talk to the kids about inventing our own superhero characters, we have fun drawing, bestowing powers and acting out the roles of our very own captain super people. I draw our own coloring pages with super kids for us to color. I have even wagged fingers at Grandma’s in my efforts to minimize super hero’s daily impact – sorry Mom! I also try to turn their desires into craft projects – such as these Angry Bird inspired applique shirts.
Did I stay up late stitching these, yes – am I crazy YES. I could have said no, I could have bought them for $20 – but somehow somewhere in my mind it just seemed the right thing to do. The kids wanted Angry Birds shirts so being the dorky crafty Mom I am I said “Let’s make some”. They chose their favorite birds and we made a sketch together of what it should look like. They diligently colored their sketches. We then made a bigger pattern together that would completely cover the printing that was already on the shirt just like I did on this project. We gathered colored T-shirt scraps and cut out our pattern pieces. Next came the late night stitching! I must say I am quite smitten with stitching t-shirt scraps, the results are fantastic and the materials (unlike snazzy wool felts) are FREE. Again, many thanks to Natalie Chanin!
The kids are way psyched which is pretty cool too.
So much so that the very next day I was commissioned to make a ninja mask
We are out in the woods a lot these days. We have a new trail out back that passes by a porcupine villiage. Tiny caves on the hillside where porcupines are living happily. Did you know porcupines poop (a lot!) right outside their homes and that’s where you can find lots of quills. They are also great climbers and spend lots of time up high in trees!
Sometimes at night we hear the screams of a fisher cat echo through the ravine and wonder if all the cute little fellas made it home safely.
Spring signs are everywhere with green moss, peeper frog eggs, and caddisfly larva in the streams. If you aren’t familiar with the caddisfly it’s a pretty fantastic bug to hunt for with kids in streams and rivers — they make a pretty impressive home from twigs and sticks. Or even gold, pearls and gem stones!
We happened on a baby vole nested under Dahlia Doodles grain bowl. It’s Spring and baby animals are everywhere!