Friday, 29 May 2015

dried flower ornaments craft

I found this activity on Pinterest and have been wanting to give it a try for several months.  My mother was visiting and she runs a garden club at a Nursing home where she lives and I showed it to her and it will be an activity she does with the ladies in the Garden club.  It is also super easy for children to do!

There are several blogs out there that has done this craft and I give credit to the blog that I used from Pinterest...I have no idea who the first person was who came up with this idea...this is just what I tried and how I made adjustments for my family!!!
First find some small flowers and press then in a phone book---also press some ferns and small leaves...I found the smaller the flowers and leaves the easier to work with

There is a white clay recipe on the web for this which you can find here, but I found that clay to dry out and crack so I gave up on it and bought some air dry clay from walmart and so far it it holding up much better
First roll out the dough and cut out circles

use a straw to make holes at the top and allow clay to completely dry either on the counter or in the oven according to directions

Once dry they should be harder but otherwise look the same

Add mod podge to the clay

Carefully arrange the dried flowers onto the ornament.

Cover the entire clay and flow with more mod podge and  allow to dry
results after the mode lodge dries
Next we added pretty ribbon and are going to hang them on some twigs once it stops raining for me to go out and find some in the woods I think they look so pretty.  It will also be a simple fun craft for young and old!

Friday, 22 May 2015

Pioneer crafts

During our Pioneer study in addition to the reading, watching documentaries and cooking pioneer food we have been working on Pioneer crafts.  The kids have either worked together or separately on various crafts over the last several weeks to complete an array of projects giving them a feel for what it was like to be a Pioneer.  Firedrake was not impressed with the girly things she had to do and both kids have decided sewing is not for them!

Firedrake worked on making a peg doll which was small and light enough for young girls to take with them on the wagon trail.  

After drawing a face Fire drake got to work on make clothes for her peg doll
Completed project 
MarioFan worked on making a yarn doll which was very similar to the corn husk doll we made while working on our Indian crafts!

His finished project---after this picture he decided he wanted a  male doll so he braided two legs!

The kids worked together on making a Cross sampler from I kit I found

Kids weren't thrilled with this and declared they hated any project with a sewing needle afterwards...oops lol

The kids worked on making Tin punch ornaments.  Tin was often used during this period behind candles as it reflected light.  Often the tin was decorated using the tin punch method 

A pattern was decided on and either drawn on the tin or on paper taped to the tin piece

Then the pieces were hammered with a nail to punch a hole into the tin 

Finished projects--the kids decided to do their own unique patterns on their tin ornaments

We made Silhouette portraits.  We had seen pictures and read about this in our books.

The kids drew a rough sketch of each others shadow onto paper

then cut out the picture 

They carefully traced the silhouette onto card stock  (the first step possibly could be skipped if you are really good at tracing a shadow but we weren't since I have two wiggle worms who move A LOT!)
Looks something like this 

Then the card stock is carefully cut out

Final silhouette portraits results-- which I love and now have hanging in our school room!

Next we tried two different rug making crafts with similar styles...often they are called rag rugs

First rug required braiding three different colored materials into long strands
It took a couple days to get enough braid strands to get our rug started.  

Once you braid enough long strands you sew the strands together.

The next rug started initially with 3 colored strands and a braid and then a fourth color is added and then the rug is weaved.
We all enjoyed this method much better as it was faster and easier to do, we thought

Completed rag rug weave about the size of a placement.  It is a bit puffy in a few areas but not bad for our first try!

The more traditional method of braided rags and sewn together.
You can find several you tube videos on these two types of rag rug methods!
Next we tried quilting--I have never done quilting before and the directions on this kit was less than helpful :(  So we watched a few you tube videos and tried to make a panel as best we could.  This activity again reminded my kids how much they hate sewing:)

We chose a simple pattern and we each made one square.  
then added it all together to make a single panel

While we won't win in Quilting sewing awards if gave us all an idea of the method.

We have successfully completed our Westward expansion unit and are now moving on to learn about the Civil War.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Pioneer food

I haven't really posted what we have been doing in history for the last couple of months, however we are continuing our studies on American History.  In August 2014, we began our school year learning about the American Revolution and are currently learning about the indians, pioneers, manifest destiny, and westward expansion. I had hope we would be up to the civil war by the end of the school year but we have taken so many amazing turns in our history lessons that we will need to work through the summer in order to start the new school year on the Civi War!   Recently we have been reading lots of books, watching documentaries, doing pioneer crafts and making pioneer food.  Today I thought I would show you what the kids have been making so they get a feel of what it might be like living on the trail or in the west where food supplies are limited!

I will post the resources of where I found most of the recipes at the end of the post, in case you want to try some of these recipes!
We made Mock apple pie which is a pie with absolutely no apples in it.    These apples wee used for our fruit leather recipes:)

but lots of crackers, I was pretty leary of this recipe but to my surprise it turned out good and the kids actually liked it.  
Next we poured on a liquid that basically consisted of sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon and absolutely no fruit!

added a top pie crust and baked!
The finished result...I didn't like it although it did taste just like apple pie I think it had to do with the fact that I knew what was in pie....However the kids and my husband thought it tasted just like Apple pie and like it!
Next we tried making beef jerky.  I have had the kids try store bought versions in the past and they have always hated it.  So I wasn't too sure how they would like this recipe
We got some flank steak cut it into thin strips and used a recipe to season it overnight  

Then baked it on low for 6 hours!  To my surprise the entire house loved this recipe and the kids have since asked me if they can make it again sometime!

Next we made Bannock bread which was made in a dutch oven over the camp fire

No yeast was used and it tasted good if it was hot but after it cooled a bit it was tough and very doughy

Lastly we made fruit leather which is similar to modern day fruit roll up but probably healthier  We cooked up some chopped apples in a sugar mixtures

we cheated and used a modern appliance to blend the apples until smooth

Then evenly spread the fruit mixture onto a pan

and baked for over 6 hours on low

Then cut it into strips.  Once again everyone thought they tasted great and the fruit leather didn't last very long in the house!
All of the recipes we used came from the website by Susan Kilbride which can be found here.  We also read the companion book Pioneer book.  I did a review on this book last year!  We love the books and the many activities Mrs. Kilbride has on her website to go along with the books and it helped make our history unit complete.  Next I will be posting about the many pioneer crafts we have been working on over the past few weeks!