Thursday, April 28, 2011

Last of the Bunnies and Chicks

Here are a last few Easter felt animals. The bunnies do not have tails or whiskers yet, but I may finish that before packing away Easter.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Sunny Monday

Since there was no school on Monday, we spent the day in town watching the O's and running errands. We went to the park in the morning.

Miss O. fell asleep at a doctor appointment L. had. It was a big day.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Felt-o-rama Again!

Hi Jannell–

Just wanted to let you know that my Easter Tutorial blog post is up with a link to your adorable project: Thanks again for sharing.

Sunday, April 24, 2011


Brunch lunch. Ham supper with J. and S.

Family picture.

A. and Friend Angela

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Good Friday Beauty

He was the light, yet hung in darkness on the cross.

He was the life, yet he poured out his life unto death.

He knew no sin, yet he took our place and suffered in our stead.

He experienced death, yet through his Resurrection he brings us eternal life.

Easter Egg Faces

(O. and W. were outside.)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Easter Cantata

On Palm Sunday we attended a cantata several of the area congregations put on together. We had 10 of our people sing/play instruments for the cantata, including Daughter A. (from l.- Mitch, Betty, A. Argie, Paula, Nicholas, Glenn, Judie, Andrea)

Eggs, Eggs, Eggs

We made some Ukrainian eggs (pysanky) yesterday. The girls had wanted to do some for a while. What is the use in having an art mom if you don't get to do some art? We also boiled eggs to dye today. We will have Spencer and the O's here to do eggs this afternoon. The finished Ukrainian eggs are below. (top to bottom: L's, mine, W's, M's)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Un-stuffed Pork Chops

This is a easy-to-prepare meal that looks and tastes great in a short amount of time.

Un-stuffed Pork Chops

1-2 cans apple or peach pie filling
4-6 pork chops-enough to fill pan
1-2 boxes stove top stuffing mix (prepared)

Spray pan with non stick spray. Pour pie mix in bottom, spread evenly. Chop up fruit with knife if desired. Lightly brown (and season) pork chops in fry pan. Place on top of pie filling. Top with prepared stuffing. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 min or 400 degrees for 30 min.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Easter Crafting

Another version of the shoelace nest pin that I posted earlier. This time with white and brown eggs and a wider shoelace.

I made a little chick pattern to go with the bunnies I have been making out of felt. This one has blue on one side, purple on the other and orange on his chest. Bright Spring!

W. has made a couple of great clay chicks, one for friend Rachel's Palm Sunday birthday, and one for me! I get the one with the cracked egg on his head.

W. has been having fun with these little fuzzy chicks from the craft store. They have many adventures together. We will be painting the egg cups under them for our soon-to-be-dyed Easter eggs. We found the egg cup idea at Zakkalife.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Palm Sunday Sweetness

What could be sweeter than two boys being raised to follow Jesus? Our great-nephews Cohen and Cade experience Palm Sunday. (Pix from their mom.)

Calder Mobiles

Last week in art, we studied Alexander Calder and made some mobiles. Calder invented mobiles as an art form. The baby mobiles you see now would never have been without Alexander Calder's inventive mind. Calder trained as a mechanical engineer, and while working on a ship at sea, he witnessed a sunrise on one side of the ship while the moon was setting on the other side of the ship. The beauty of this sight inspired him to become an artist. His father and grandfather were both sculptors and his mother was a professional portrait artist. Calder had built and made things with his sister since he was a young child. His first job as a professional artist was to cover the Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey Circus for a newspaper. He drew illustrations of the circus every day for two weeks. The circus influenced his art for the rest of his career. In class, we read a delightful children's book, Sandy's Circus, by Tanya Lee Stone, which tells Calder's story. We looked at examples of Calder's artwork, stressing the mobiles, but also looking at samples of his paintings and "stabiles" (large stationary sculptures.) We paid attention to the colors he used.

To make our mobiles, we used:

Wire-I used 18 or 20 gauge spools of beading wire for the shapes and 16 gauge galvanized anchor wire (about $3.50 for a 100 ft. roll at the hardware store) for the arc shaped hanger

Clear contact paper

tissue paper

large wooden beads

embroidery floss

scissors, wire cutters, needle nose pliers

Each student got a length of wire, approximately 28 inches long. They shaped their wire into a circle. We overlapped and twisted the ends together, but I think electricians tape would work great to wrap the ends, too. Then we shaped the wire into the shape we wanted, mirroring Calder's style, and avoiding obvious familiar shapes. (Hearts, triangle, etc.) We talked about Calder's use of organic shapes. I told them organic shapes were like the clouds. They might suggest something real, but were irregular as in nature. When the kids were happy with their shapes, I cut out chunks of contact paper for each one, using the shape as a guide, and leaving a border around each wire. (An assistant is helpful here.)

Working in pairs, the kids helped each other hold the wire shape flat on the plain side (plastic)of the contact paper and copied around it with a pen. Then they cut a border around the line, leaving about 1/2 inch "seam allowance" away from the line as they cut. Then they cut at right angles all around the edge up to the line, making small tags that will be folded around the wire to hold it to the contact paper. Peel off the paper backing and lay the plastic sticky-side-up on the table. Lay the wire shape on the sticky plastic, lining it up with the pen line copied there. Start folding over the tabs and go all the way around until all tabs are attached around the wire frame.

Next we took colored tissue paper and cut it into squares or strips. The tissue paper will stick directly onto the sticky side of the wire form. You can use small mosaic type squares, or larger, more graphic squares or strips. When I use tissue paper for class and want to cut a lot of it, I fold it into strips so I can cut across one end and cut multiple pieces with less mess. Cut a width of folded paper, then hold it and cut across it to make smaller squares. You can cut many layers quickly and neatly like this. (Can you tell by my collection that I have a "thing" about colored tissue paper?)

After the plastic is covered with tissue paper in the desired patterns, the mobile can be assembled. I pre-cut 14 inch lengths of 16 gauge wire, shaped each one into a gentle arc and bent the ends up into hooks. We used embroidery floss to hang the mobile together. Many colors are available so the string can match the tissue paper used in each art piece. Kids should tie one string to the wire shape and tie the other end of the string to one end of the wire arc. We used old wood beads as a balance to the other side, tying the string to a small length of toothpick and stringing the bead (or beads) onto it. Tie the other end of the string to the opposite side of the arched wire. One last string should be tied tightly to the middle of the arc wire. Make sure it is tight or it will slide as you try to balance the piece to hang. Double tie each knot. I dabbed a bit of clear glue on each knot to secure them permanently. (An assistant to help with the tying and glue dotting is again helpful.) You could use most anything to balance the wire shape, I just happened to have these hand-me-down beads. If you have time, the kids could even make two wire shapes and balance them. I only have 45 minute class periods, so have to push things along a bit.

Tie an overhand knot in the top of the middle string to make a loop for hanging. Adjust the position of the top string on the length of the wire arc until the two sides balance as desired. Hang.

These are the finished mobiles from my 4/5/6th grade classes. Mobiles do not photograph all that well. Below: M. and friends Ann and Nicole with their Calder mobiles.