Monday, June 28, 2010

Summer co-op camp: day two

Wednesday was a more low-key camp morning at our shadiest local township park. I brought piles of washed wool, some dyed in kool-aid, and the girls experimented with carding, spinning, and plying wool. I was rather delighted with the results and itchy to spin more myself.

The playground, trails, and water mister won their share of child attention, and I did a lot of chasing after Reuben (though perhaps, again, not as much as I should have), so we didn't get to all of the wool introduction activities I had hauled along (felting or weaving or sewing wee delights with felted wool sweaters). But later we might :). For now, wool bracelets it is!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Summer co-op camp, day one

I found this leaf while cleaning up. Day one: nature crafts embodied

We've had two days of kid camp so far, and the memories of both make me grin here at my tired HP so late at night.

Day one was as lovely as I'd imagined. It was most successful from my standpoint because I wasn't teaching and could dedicate a lot of time to chasingthough probably not quite as much as I should have. This kid has an instinct for driving me crazy. That dislodged board in the photo above, for example: no matter how many times I lined it back up, he would move it "open" before he walked past. Which was frequently, because the iron gate was a mighty temptation to my hinge-loving man. If only I was so persistent in straightening up after him at home....

I loved that Isla (tribal queen) & Reuben showed up matchy-matchy green and brown
But while she painted her face, Reuben painted his clothes and I had to scrub them while the paint was wet because I like those funny one-pieces WAY more than my husband does :), so by the end of the day...well, they still matched, even green gone.
(Alas, the naps were far too brief. Reuben's, for instance, was cut short when I asked Becci to bring out her gourd instruments to play show and tell. And play. Oops, mama...).

Our activities for the first day were great. They seemed especially magical to me, I think, because I didn't do anything other than show up and admire, which I am good at.

Rock painting

Artist trading card sandpaper prints (do you know about artist trading cards? Do read the wiki if not and make plans...)

I couldn't shut up about this one; the results were amazing and the kids loved it: crayon on sandpaper, iron transfer it to cardstock & watercolor wash the background. I can't wait to try it on fabric.The ironed wax had a little halo that the watercolor wash highlights. Audrey called this one Hestia's Flame (and I don't need to explain that to Lightning Thief fans).Pinecone bird feedersand A nature scavenger hunt
with great details like twig scrolled instructionsand little bookletswith clever envelope covers
and "leapfrog from the walnut tree to the gazebo" tasks.(about 1/2 the kids, after they completed the scavenger hunt)

We feasted on mint tea made from leaves (apple mint, lemon balm, and spearmint) the children gathered themselves during an introductory tour and homemade granola bars.And finished up with time in Big Spring.56 degrees year round. But shallow and fairly slow and so very lovely.
Luckily your feet get numb pretty quickly and then it's not too bad :).

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


In preparation for wool Wednesday of summer fun camp next week, Marian and I made CD drop spindles, then Becci & I tested them (Marian chose kid play over mom play, imagine that...).
See my fine purple-and-white first attempt (my first use of the wool kool-aid dyed here--it's brighter than this 10 pm photo) on the crazy-good goat find Becci bought for us at the Newville library book sale. From the flyleaf of this 1965 book (handily stapled on the first page by library personnel 40 years ago): "Schnitzel, leader of a herd of yodeling goats, is on his way to becoming world famous. In The Sound of Music, a movie to be released about the time this book is published, Schnitzel appears in an appealing puppet sequence. At Thanksgiving, he was a feature of Macy's Parade. And at Christmas, Schnitzel was invited to entertain at a White House party for children. Through this book, Schnitzel and his Yodel Cheese are sure to make new friends among children all over the country."

After reading a couple of tutorials, we basically followed these instructions for making our CD spindles, but instead of the well nut, I just took my CD to the hardware store (Pague & Fegan, at 153 years the oldest hardware store in Pennsylvania) and found a channeled rubber grommet that fit 2 CDs stacked together and then a dowel the right size to squeeze into that. 2 CDs (free) + rubber grommet ($0.54) + 7/16" oak dowel ($0.99; I cut it in 1/3) + cup eye hook ($0.19). I found a fat lipliner pencil sharpener that fit our dowels, Marian sharpened them, and with brief use of a drill & a handsaw & some sandpaper, we had ourselves 3 neat little drop spindles (I made 2 CD ones and 1 with a wooden wheel) for very little. You can see all of our supplies out on the patio in the photo above. After a little perusal of the instructions available, I found the youtube videos done by Megan LaCore, and followed them. I thought she was very clear and also didn't drive me crazy, so she won.