Friday, October 31, 2008
Cereal Box Puppet Theatre:
empty cereal box
pictures (magazine cutouts of animals, family photos from your printer, etc.)
glue or paste
Cut back of box and sides off so all that is left is the front and the bottom. Glue a popsicle stick on the bottom flap if needed for added support. Cut a window out of front of box. Set aside all the cardboard scraps. Cut curtains out of construction paper, then glue around the window. Cut out the pictures, then glue onto cardboard scraps (trim off edges). Glue popscicle stick onto each picture for a handle. Ta-dah!
Thursday, October 30, 2008
I was perusing the classifieds today (not routine, so perhaps it was meant to be), and I came across the above: a 1966 Singer sewing machine and cabinet/chair. The owner's mother had passed away some time ago, and no one else in the family sewed. No longer fated to collect dust, it is now sitting in my family/dining room awaiting its next assignment. First, I'll have to consult my grandmother on how to thread the needle (the last time I've used a sewing machine was when I quilted in high school). We'll see how it goes from there... good thing it came with the original operating manual.
P.S. The best part of this deal was what came inside the drawers: old patterns, boxes of bobbins, scraps of old fabric, lots of thread, a canister full of old buttons, and lots more sewing accessories. Even the seat cushion (which I may attempt to re-upholster) lifts to reveal more storage space! And, can you believe the sewing machine folds back up inside the cabinet? It's a set up similar to my grandmother's 1940's Singer sewing machine and cabinet, which is still getting use from its original owner.
We made owls together the day before yesterday. I cut out the bodies and parts ahead of time, supplied the paste, feathers, eyes and beak in a pile to the kids, and then let them create. Notice Izzy's upside down owl... pretty cute! These cut-and-paste projects are fun and simple, and there are a lot of options... jack-o-lantern faces, frankenstein faces, etc. Come Christmas time, I want to be sure to remember to sit down with the kids and make cut-and-paste snowmen, christmas trees, wreaths... We'll have fun.
"I used to scream and fuss when we'd go there, but then I realized I could have fun there."
(Yes, he said the word "realized," except he pronounced it "wheel-ized.")
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
I read this poem (scroll down) on Jora's blog. I immediately loved it, and wanted to save it so it can be pulled out as we watch Rigel grow. It was perfect timing, too. Today was one of those days when I allowed the negative details to outweigh the good (i.e., tantrums, testing the boundaries, and the likes). How easy I stray away from the simple fact that the good details always outweigh the bad when you are fortunate enough to experience motherhood and to witness firsthand the innocence of a child.
by Alastair Reid
My son has birds in his head.
I know them now. I catch
the pitch of their calls, their shrill
cacophonies, their chitterings, their coos.
They hover behind his eyes and come to rest
on a branch, on a book, grow still,
claws curled, wings furled.
His is a bird world.
I learn the flutter of his moods,
his moments of swoop and soar.
From the ground I feel him try
the limits of the air--
sudden lift, sudden terror--
and move in time to cradle
his quivering, feathered fear.
At evening, in the tower,
I see him to sleep and see
the hooding-over of eyes,
the slow folding of wings.
I wake to his morning twitterings,
to the croomb of his becoming.
He chooses his selves--wren, hawk,
swallow or owl--to explore
the trees and rooftops of his heady wishing.
Am I to call him down, to give him
a grounding, teach him gravity?
Time tells us what we weigh, and soon enough
his feet will reach the ground.
Age, like a cage, will enclose him.
So the wise men said.
(The last two images are the same butterfly, just after we released it. The underside of its wings are completely different from the orange color you see when it is perched on Rigel!)
Our first chrysalis (cocoon) has "hatched!" Izzy was sleeping, but Rigel got to hold the Gulf Fritillary butterfly before releasing it to flutter amongst our perennial hedges. We've got about 4 more cocoons and lots more caterpillars left, so Izzy will definitely get her turn, too (as Izzy would say, "Izzy turn! Izzy turn!").
"Just before the death of flowers,
And before they are buried in snow,
There comes a festival season
When nature is all aglow."
- Author Unknown
“But I remember more dearly autumn afternoons in bottoms that lay intensely silent under old great trees”- C. S. Lewis
In San Diego this time of year, any large old maple, ash or oak tree is eye-catching, just as I bet we were a sight the other day when we pulled over to collect fallen red maple leaves while visiting the Navy submarine base. The kids helped search for the prettiest red leaves, then we took them home and made "stained glass" paper. After they had fallen asleep, I trimmed their stained glass paper into pieces for a "window tree" to decorate our front room. Now it feels like autumn!
Rigel loves collecting sticks whenever he is outside, though I'm not sure what has triggered his fascination with fallen twigs. I took his stick collection and made it into a simple wall hanging (complete with a store-bought owl). Now, whenever he has a handful of sticks, he says, "We have a bunch of sticks--let's make them into something pretty!"
Stained Glass Paper:
leaves (flat, stems trimmed off)
Use the grater to make crayon shavings. Place the leaves on waxed side of the wax paper, then sprinkle with crayon shavings. Place another sheet of wax paper (waxed side down) on top of the leaves and shavings, and then iron. The kids can help with grating the crayons and decorating the wax paper, but of course leave the ironing to the grown-ups. The crayon wax wipes off the grater easily with a scrub brush and hot water.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
3 caterpillars in this picture: Can you see the tiny baby one in the middle?
We found more caterpillars at Grandma and Grandpa's house this weekend... Grandma Lana encouraged us to take as many as we could find home, since they were eating her passion vine. These hairy insects turned out to be Gulf Fritillary Agraulis vanillae caterpillars, and the passion vine is their host plant. We found 20+ caterpillars and 4 live cocoons (chrysallis)! Now, let's see if we'll have more success observing these guys grow than we did with our attempt to raise monarchs. They are currently hanging up outside in
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Thursday, October 16, 2008
P.S. Click on image for link to name of seller / artist...
Sustainable, eco-friendly cork necklace packaged in test tube, by Uncorked