Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Nature Craft Pinch Pots

by Emily

Today we got around to finding and cleaning a fresh supply of creek clay to make pots.  We plan to build with an ancient method of pottery used around the world called "Pinching". 

You will need a handful of air-dry clay or natural clay.   

Make a smooth round ball and stick your thumb in the middle. Pinch the clay with your thumb and fingers all around until you get the shape you want. If the clay cracks wet your fingers and smooth it out. Now you can let your imagination take over and go wherever it goes... big, small, dainty, scary, or wild!

Pinch pots can be built into any shape you want -- animals, masks, toys, cups, and even jewellery. Add some texture with bottle caps or other pointy edges but most importantly have fun!

 Let your "Pinch Creation" dry for a week, decorate it with acrylic paint and give it a glaze.  We use Mod Podge.

Pinch Pendants ready to paint.

Feel free to share your project photo's on our Facebook Page.  We would sure love to see them!  

Happy Pinching!

Kids Gardening and a Craft

by Emily and Claire

Our family loves to garden. Every year we grow some of our own fruits and vegetables.

Some seeds do better in our B.C. climate then others for example our zucchini won over the cantaloupe.

Digging up potatoes is so much fun!

Rock or Potato? 

Watering (each other) is another favourite!

We have been so busy with the planting, watering, and weeding we didn't pay a lot of attention to the seeds.  This year while volunteering at a G2T (garden to table soup kitchen) we learned how to make a greenhouse and collect seeds for next spring instead of buying them.
Making a greenhouse

Harvesting beans

 Today we made origami packets to store our seeds. 

How to make your own seed packet:
Fold an 8'x8' piece of paper in half corner to corner 
Fold right corner over to left. And left corner to the right.
Fold top over and tuck in (we glued the outer flap in place). 
Draw your picture.
If you enjoy origami you may like our Origami Finger Puppets. 
Feel free to share your project photo's on our Facebook Page.  We would sure love to see them!
Happy gardening!

Origami Finger Puppets

by Claire

The ancient Japanese art of origami is a challenge for me but these finger puppets are so adorable I was up for it. You can make these little cuties out of paper napkins while you are waiting for your food at a restaurant!

We didn't have any napkins or origami paper so instead we cut scrapbooking paper into 8x8 squares and followed 4 steps:

1. Fold top corner down to bottom and unfold. Bring the bottom corner up to the center and fold. Refold top corner back down.
2. Fold top right and left corners to the middle and fold both flaps up on an angle for the ears. Fold the ears back or front depending on what animal you want.
3. Fold sides for a square face and bring center point up. Turn.
4.  Draw on faces.

We found this activity at Martha Stewart Crafts for Kids.

Feel free to share your project photo's on our Facebook Page.  We would sure love to see them!

Happy folding!

Monday, 29 July 2013

Rock Candy Experiment

by Claire

My sister's science experiment to grow her own crystals turned out awesome! She just mixed a little alum (found in spice section of the grocery store) with tap water.

What I think really rocks is edible science! We will be driving through the rocky mountains on our way to Alberta and I can't think of a better treat then recrystallized sugar.
To make rock candy you will need 6 tall cups, skewers, sugar, clothespins, food colouring, water and lots and lots of patience!
Begin by soaking your skewers in water for several minutes. Then slowly stir 3 cups of sugar and 6 cups of water together for 15 minutes and let sit to cool for another 10 minutes.  You can add flavour such as vanilla extract if you like. While you are waiting you can roll your skewers in sugar.

Next pour the cooled sugar water mixture evenly into the cups. Add food colouring and ease your sugared skewers in place so they balance without touching the bottom. We used clothespins.

Now wait one week until your Rock Candy is ready...!
Our first and second batch of rock candy didn't form.  I believe it's because we didn't let the sugar water boil long enough.  Naturally, my sister and I were crushed so my mom bought us sticks at the old fashioned candy store in Clayburn. 

This Rock Candy recipe courtesy of Reddit looks very promising.
2 cups water
1 cup white corn syrup
3 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
3 drops of blue gel food coloring

Boil the mixture and continued stirring it on the heat until it reaches 300 degrees F (use a candy thermometer to measure the temp). At that point, pour it into a tray to cool. It hardens up in about an hour and then smash it to pieces. This part sounds FUN!

Feel free to share your rock candy success photo's on our Facebook Page.  We would sure love to see them!

Para Cord Crafts for Older Kids

by Emily

A kind neighbour gave us a box of this parachute cord stuff .   Para Cord is a super fun string for making bracelets, necklaces, and flip flops!

We started out with an easy camp bracelet project that would allow mom to keep up with us.

The para cord we used for these camp survival bracelets is the craft grade and would never hold our weight in an emergency. Mom wants the cord for hanging our food in the tree's away from bears at walk-in camp sites and for a clothesline. 

Squamish, B.C.

The idea is to have some cord easily in reach and the bracelets are funky looking.

Instructions we followed for making a camp bracelet from So Crafty http://crafting.squidoo.com/make-a-paracord-bracelet

You will need 8 feet of one colour (blue shown here) and 2 feet of the pink cord. Lay them out like in the photo.

Now take the right cord and place it in a backwards "s" shape over the pink. Pick up your left cord and draw it under the bottom loop and pink cod and through the top right loop. Gently pull both blue cords and tighten into a knot.

Next take the left blue cord and make an "s" on top of the pink cord. Pick up the end of the right blue cord and draw it under and through the bottom right loop and bring up through the top left loop. Gently pull the knot tight.

Repeat these two moves back and forth left, right, left, right until you get to the end.

Your bracelet should start looking like mine.  After you get the hang of it these bracelet's can be made in a few minutes but allow yourself some time to master the knot.

The ends of the blue can be tied and weaved back into the bracelet.  The next part is fun but we were only allowed to watch.  With a lighter or a match singe the ends of the cord to seal it so it doesn't fray.  

If you enjoyed this craft you may also like our Para cord Flip Flop Makeover craft.
Feel free to share your project photo's on our Facebook Page.  We would sure love to see them!

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Handmade Bendaroo's or Wikki Stix

By Claire
D.I.Y. Bendaroo's or Wikki Stix
These wax covered yarn sticky things make us happy!  We use them as learning tools for practising spelling and for crafts.  We make them at home for less then a quarter of the cost of  Bendaroo's or Wikki Stix so mommy loves them too!
The recipe is only four ingredients: 2 bars of Parowax, a toilet bowl ring, crayons, and brightly coloured yarn strands. We happily followed Craft Test Dummies instructions with a few modifications to the colouring:

We melted the toilet bowl ring in a make-shift double boiler outside on the side burner of our B.B.Q. 

We then added two bars of Parowax and stirred until it melted. 

To brighten up the mixture we added a couple of crayons.

 Now you are ready to start dipping your yarn. Tip: we started out with skewers but found tongs were faster. To make them smell good we added vanilla extract.

We are both over 8 years old so my mom lets us help carefully drip off the excess wax.   Next let your strand dry flat on wax paper for a few minutes. 

We like making them ourselves because we get to cut the yarn longer then the store bought stuff.

 This recipe made close to 300 strands! All bundled up and ready for us to play!
Feel free to share your project photo's on our Facebook Page.  We would sure love to see them!



Saturday, 27 July 2013

Ferninand Book and a Craft

by Emily & Claire

Now that summer school is over we are starting the book & a craft series from The Crafty Crow. We have chosen "The Story of Ferdinand" by Munro Leaf to start.

We have Ferdinand and for the books we don't have we plan to visit our local library.

For the giant tissue flower craft you will need pipe cleaners, tissue and scissors.

Cut the tissue into a square shape, fold up into a fan and twist the pipe cleaner around the center.  Add as many colours as you want.

Fold back the edges of each layer of tissue and you will have a giant flower.  Spray a little perfume if you like.

Feel free to share your project photo's on our Facebook Page.  We would sure love to see them!

Watermelon Kind of Day

My first thought was to infuse this giant watermelon and take it to a garden party but that would not be fun for the kids.  Instead we will cut it up for a little watermelon eating contest later.
In the meantime, I have this really bright green yarn that would work well in a watermelon project.
Pot Holder Set
These cheerful pot holder's were crocheted with a free pattern from Purl BeeThe Trivet is almost done but these kids want watermelon... 

And the winner is my youngest daughter Claire!
While watching my kids horse around on the neighbours dune buggy eating MORE watermelon I found time to crochet a watermelon dishcloth to pair with a tee towel I found at Target.  I changed the colour of the yarn in  Maggie Weldon's Orange dishcloth pattern and added some seeds. 

I had just enough green and pink yarn to complete an adorable Tic Tac Toe project for my kids.

If you enjoy the fresh fruit look you might like the grapefruit dishcloth I crocheted using the exact awesome little pattern as the watermelon.

Feel free to share your project photo's on our Facebook Page.  We would sure love to see them!