Tuesday, November 29, 2011

New Washer and Dryer and Porch-O My!

Washing clothes all day in our new washer and dryer in our new porch. Nine loads down and 3 or 4 to go! Husband is switching loads over like crazy.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

"Thankful For You" Leaves

We made some more of the clay leaves and altered them a bit for Thanksgiving favors. I made the leaves in a smaller size and put a hole into the stem before cooking, then added a brown-paper note for each one.

To make the brown-paper notes, I ripped off a narrow strip of paper bag to give a ragged edge and used some slightly watered down gold paint sponged onto the edges to guild them. The words were printed on with a narrow black permanent marker. I punched a small hole into each tag with a wood skewer. I made the leaves and M. and W. helped me guild them the same way as the larger leaves in this earlier post. http://artteajannell.blogspot.com/2011/11/gilded-clay-leaves.html I used a thin, gold, stretchy thread to tie the tags to the leaves.

We made enough for each place at the Thanksgiving table. (About 35.)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Blessed Thanksgiving

Mom and three sons prepping dinner. Love our men. Thanks Mother, for raising them how you did!

Mmmmmmm. Desserts "pile up" on the washer and dryer! Gaylin and Daughter A. pre-sample.

Bountiful table. Everyone brings. Lining up for the feast.

Mom and Al get to enjoy. A good Mother is a continual blessing.

Cousins: Farmer Mason, Lauren, Daughter W. and Burke. These are actually W's two oldest cousin's kids.

Newest cousin (fiancee') Natalie and Justin, Aunt Gaylin, Bekah and Ivy
Hanging out before the meal: Nick, Gus, Darren Karen, Nathan, David
Our kids: M., L., Mac, D.

Black Friday planning session. Megan, Kristi, Cade, Justin, Natalie, Son D.
The men hunted pheasants in the afternoon. Dusty, Justin, Chad, Husband, Nathan, David, Darren, Nicholas, Brian. (Not pictured: Glenn and Mike.)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Pie Crusts

We cooked yesterday for Thanksgiving. We made our own pie crusts for our two lemon and two apple pies. Also made 80 buns. Had a few with hamburgers on them for supper last night. Yum.

This recipe is from our friend Leona N. who is an "old farm wife" and knows her baking. This recipe is nice because it will make 5-6 crusts at one time. Put a few into the freezer for later if you do not need all of them right away.

Farm Wife Pie Crust

5 c. flour
2 c. lard
Mix until crumbly like corn meal. (I use a dough blender hand tool.) Then add:
1 egg-beaten with a fork in a cup (She used a tea cup. I figure it is about 3/4 c. measure.)
add to cup:
1 tbsp. vinegar
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. sugar

Fill rest of cup with cold water. Add to flour mixture and mix until it forms a ball. Divide dough into 5 or 6 even balls of dough and roll out into crusts as needed. Freeze unused crusts.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Folded Boxes

We made folded boxes to finish up our art classes last Friday. We made some that would hold our gilded clay leaves. I used a pattern found on-line and altered it a bit to make it fit the leaves correctly. I copied the box pattern out on card stock and had each student cut out and decorate their own. I pre-scored the fold lines, but showed the kids how to score and explained the advantages of scoring fold lines to them. I also showed them some tricks to make cutting easier. I have found that many kids are not very good at cutting, so some tips and practice can be good for them. When they were done decorating the boxes we folded and glued them together. This was a nice "filler" project to use up the time at the end of another project.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Gilded Clay Leaves

Here is a great fall clay project we did in my co-op art classes. (4/5/6th grades.) I saw a set of leaf-shaped plates in Better Homes and Gardens that gave me the idea for this project.
We used:
Fall colored polymer clay (Sculpey or similar)
Waxed paper
Real leaves
gold acrylic paint
paint brushes
paper towels

I gave each student a square of waxed paper to work on. They put their names on their paper. They each got to pick a chunk of polymer clay. I used about 1/3 of a block per child. We talked about conditioning clay. (Working it until it becomes warmed and pliable.) If polymer clay is not conditioned, it will not hold together. While the kids conditioned their clay, I showed them a demonstration of how we would make the leaves.

Roll the clay into a ball, and then into an egg shape. Using the palm of the hand, squish the "egg" onto the waxed paper, then press it out into a flat oval shape with your thumbs, keeping it even and not too thin.

When the leaf is the size you want it, take a real leaf that has been flattened and burnish (rub) it with the back of a spoon onto the clay with the veins face down. Gently peel off the leaf. (You do not want really dry brittle leaves for this project or you will be picking leaf bits out of your clay leaves. Leaves that are fresh or just a day or two old are best.)

Gently peel your veined clay leaf off of the waxed paper and pinch at the top and the bottom to form the tip and stem end of the leaf. You do not have to be too fussy with the shape because when you pinch the top and bottom it almost magically makes it into a realistic looking leaf. Form the edges of the leaf as desired-- cupped to be bowl-like, ruffled, wavy, etc. Bake according to package directions. (I did the baking at home and we finished these the second week.)

Above-leaves before gilding. After baking, give the kids their leaves on a newspaper and have them paint gold paint over the leaf, being careful to get paint into every crack and crevice. I had moistened paper towels for each student to wipe the gold paint off with immediately after painting. Guild the back of the leaf also, if desired. Wipe off. After they were all done painting, I had wet rags for the kids to clean their fingers with. Have them put their gilded leaves onto their waxed paper pieces to dry. Acrylic dries very fast. Use care: Acrylic paint can be washed out of clothes only if it is still wet. After drying it is permanent.

This was a very simple project with stunning results. I was very pleased with how great every single leaf looked. We had ruffled, jagged, smooth and wavy leaves. Every one of them was beautiful. We thought they would make nice gifts for their moms to put their rings on or even for a small soap dish.

Above left: 5th and 6th grade leaves

Above right: 4th grade leaves

Laura Bush

This week we enjoyed hearing Laura Bush with our friends Tom and Sandy. She was speaking at a Policeman's Banquet. What a classy woman. It was very interesting to hear her tell about her interests and her family and their time in the White House.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Fred the Zebra Rocks

W's friend Fred the Zebra loves to come along in the car and sing and dance to the radio music.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Long Life

"We found that being dedicated to others, to work, and having good relationships was what produced good health."-Howard Friedman, PH.D. in the book The Longevity Project: Surprising Discoveries for Health and Long Life from the Landmark Eight-Decade Study

Friday, November 11, 2011

Fun Rings

I saw this tutorial for simple rings and thought they would be fun. http://www.making-jewelry-now.com/wire-wrap-rings-tutorial.html We tried them last night and the girls "went crazy." These make a great gift for buddies.
You need:
Soft or half-hard round wire, in 16 or 18 gauge, cut between 3" (7.6 cm) and 5" (12.7 cm) long. (At craft and jewelry stores or at harware stores, in gold or silver colors.


Flush cutter/side cutter

Needle nose pliers

Ring mandrel, dowel, or kid's marker to wrap ring around

We used about a 4" wire and wrapped a fun bead onto one end, bending the wire with the pliers to hold the bead on the end. Wrap the rest of the wire around the dowel or marker tube and add another bead on the opposite end or just twist the wire arfully around the first bead. Adjust to fit as needed. Be sure the ends are tucked in where they will not catch things or poke the skin.

Top picture: Daughter W. (red one by M.), Middle picture: Daughter M's rings, bottom picture: L's rings (The gold ring on the left side of L's picture had part of the design pounded with a hammer on an anvil to flatten it.)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Fall Fun

We tried making these "candy corn" treats. They're cute, but awfully sweet!

We had a delicious and beautiful fall meal at our friend the B-H's--pork chops and sweet potato stew with rice. YUM!

I made a pumpkin for my dear M-I-L who has been cheerfully washing our clothes for us while our washer has been down. Below: Three of the six/seven kids I am thankful for.