Thursday, February 23, 2012

Ocean visit

We had to visit the ocean this week. I really enjoy going during the off season, we were practically the only people there. CG and SA love going, this time they made two small seats of sand and put shells all around them.  They sat on the "throne" and viewed the ocean. We also looked for shells and rocks. SA found two sand dollars.  After speaking with another lady on the beach we found out that if the sand dollar is grayish in color and has a whole in the middle of the bottom then it is dead. If it is brownish green, the hole is not there and it has little hairs covering it then it is alive. We looked and we had one of each so CG put the one that was alive back. Glad we learned this before we brought it home! SA was quite concerned that he had picked up something that was alive. He didn't want to touch it again.

It was nice to sit back and just watch as they explored the beach and created their little spot. No pencil, no notebook, no Mom pointing things out, just the two of them.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

A quick post

I haves been slacking this week on my blog. I do miss it and all the lovely comments and encouragement. Within the last 3 weeks I found needle felting. I have never done it before and wanted to try it. I have been lost in the world of needle felting ever since. I just can't seem to stop. I also have lots of other crafts going on. We are making our children's nature bags, wooden buttons, garden markers inspired by the magic onions walking sticks, and wool dryer balls. We don't sell on Etsy or anything, we are just making them and hope to maybe sell some at some local events in the future.  Plus I have a birthday party to plan for on Sunday.  Vacation from blogging this week had to happen. Enjoy

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Vanilla Wafers recipe

We found an old recipe card from my Grandmothers little wooden recipe box. It reads:

Vanilla Wafers

2/3 cup butter
1/2 cup suger
1 egg
2 Tablespoons milk
1 1/4 teas bk pd
slap on sheet and bake 10 min (Love that)

I had to look at some recipes online to find out how much vanilla and salt and what temperature to put the oven on other than that I could follow. We used 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1 Tablespoon of vanilla with the oven on 400 dgrees F. On we went.

Thay tasted really good although we made them too large. The kids liked them.
We are going to try some other recipes from this old wooden box. I think my Grandmother would like that.

They were too big

They look like suger cookies and taste like a mix between suger cookie and shortbread cookie. Doesn't really taste like the store bought vanilla wafers but still yummy

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Homemade Chalk Pastels

I checked the craft stores and online to find some Chalk Pastels. They are quite expensive for what you get so I decided to look for ways of making them ourselves.  It would also be an exciting experiment. I found some information online about making pastels using oatmeal water as the binder.  hmmmm.....

The recipe that we tried was to boil 1/4 cup of rolled oats and 1 liter of water. Strain Use the water only, it is the binder.

Mix 1/2 cup talc powder (unscented, this is the filler) with 2 Tablespoons of powdered tempera paint (This is the pigment). I had a hard time finding this but it can be ordered online. This powder mixed with water makes the liquid paint so it can be used for that as well.

Add tablespoons of the oatmeal water and mix to the consistancy of clay but not sticky.  Roll it out onto newspaper into shapes like crayons. Cut the lengths that you want and let dry for twenty four hours.

 Now we did adjust our recipe a little.. We did blue first and it was too crumbly so with the next batch I used a little more oatmeal because the binder was too week. After you have your color, you can add a little white pigment to make it a lighter shade. We had fun with this and when It dries we hope that it works. We will update with a later post.


Some colors came out more crumbly than others and some were not very smooth. All were usable. I think perfecting the recipe would work, stronger binder etc. Fun project, great for the kids and ends with art supplies. I am not complaining.

Mixing the filler with the pigment.

Rolling out the shapes.

We did slightly different shades for the blue.

Sunday, February 5, 2012


We have been watching some visiters to our yard this week. Ususally they walk around on the ground and get the seeds that the birds have dropped. They chase each other and always look like they are having fun. This weekend one decided to try to get the bird seed in the hanging bird feeder on the porch.

He tried and tried but could not get to the feeder. He stood on the rail looking up...he climbed up the side and tried to jump, he was not going to give up.  He got down a few times and looked up at it as if he were trying to figure out what to do.

Ten minutes into it he climbed up the rail, then the post, then across the top. Finally hanging upside down he grabbed the feeder and climbed down onto it. He did it! We were very excited for him, and we learned that squirrel's are very persistent and smart.

Two of the squirrels in the tree.

 "Are you looking at me?"

This is how he looked through the window.

HE eats!

I would like to hear about what others find in nature. Exploring, learning,  anything that is nature related.  What kind of bug, flower, animal, bird have you seen. What are you studying for weather etc.

Please join my link up so we all can learn more from nature.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Needle Felting..Wet Felting question.

Ok everyone. I started felting...wet felting a year ago. I made beads for bracelets. I have been wanting to do more and now have some needles for needle felting. However I have been looking at the prices. What an expensive little craft. At least for me. Are you all paying $3.50 and more for an ounce and $10.00 a skein? I just found a place that I could get $25.00 for 1 LB is this good? If I get four more people I can get it at a wholesale price which is close to half they told me. Is this good?

Where do you buy it?  How do you get your wool?  Helping would be appreciated.