Sunday, September 14, 2014

Hispanic Heritage Month Blog Hop--Learning about Juan Quezada a Mexican Potter

Today starts this year's Hispanic Heritage Month. The theme this year is Celebrating Hispanic Heritage with Kids. To do this, I turned to books from the library. Anyone who reads Crafty Moms Share regularly knows I love to read books about other cultures and countries to Hazel. We both love to learn about them.  The first book we are sharing this month is The Pot That Juan Built by Nancy Andrews-Goebel. This is the story of Juan Quezada and his pottery.
Now I had not heard of Juan Quezada previously and we learned much from this book and it lead to some crafts of our own so our favorite type of book! Juan Quezada was born in 1940 in Mexico. He grew up in Mata Ortiz. At a young age he took on the job of collecting fire wood for his family. This job took him far into the Sierra Madre. While looking for wood he found many wonderful archeological finds of pottery from the Paquime that inhabited the area in the 1400s. Juan decided since the Indians made pottery all of the materials must come from nature and he experimented with making his own. He single handedly reinvented a lost technology. All of his pottery is made completely of natural materials and he only uses nature for his paints. He used his artifacts to figure out how to recreate this type of pottery and some say his is superior to the top of the Paquime's. The ancient Casas Grandes pottery is prized among collectors. 
Source: The Mata Ortiz Pottery Store

Juan changed the life for the people in his village. Many were ready to pack up and move away due to the failing farming in the desert. He however taught his methods to the villagers. There are over 500 skilled potters working in Mata Ortiz today. (Source)

While reading this story Hazel of course had many questions. The main one being can we try this. I looked into places to do pottery but found most were for older children. The art teacher I know at her school does not know how to use the kiln, but we at least were able to show Hazel what a kiln is. I settled on using air drying clay. I knew my church had some leftover from an event last year, so I went and got some. I actually needed to see if it was still good for this year's event and make samples for it. Hazel enjoyed getting the clay in her hands and working with it. I showed her how to make a pinch pot.

I made one and then let her ruin it and start over. She made one and we let it dry.
She also wanted me to take pictures of her messy hands to put on here.

The next day she wanted to play with more clay, so I pulled out some other clay I had and some clay tools--rolling pins and cookie cutters for the samples I needed to make for church. She played with the colors with some help and I used the brown clay. First she made a snail out of Model Magic. She apparently had made these in school and all of her friends wanted to know how she did it.

Then I was working on things for Christmas so she started doing the same. We will share the Christmas pieces later, but she made an earth ornament.
Then she used scraps to make a clay house.
And she made a ladybug once I found some black Model Magic for her.
Her clay pot is almost completely dry. I will let her decide if she wants to paint it or leave it as is.
Hazel keeps asking why we cannot just go dig up some clay in our backyard. I keep trying to explain that where we live we would have to dig pretty far to get clay with which we could make pots. I guess we will just have to experiment one of these days. For more information on Juan Quezada and his pottery check out Juan Quezada Pottery and Ballad of Juan Quezada on Frontline.
For more posts about Mexico and Hispanic Heritage Month check out:

Now onto the Blog Hop and Giveaway!!

Welcome to the Third Annual Hispanic Heritage Month Blog Hop, hosted this year by Multicultural Kid Blogs and 22 of our member blogs! Don't miss our amazing giveaway, and share your own posts at our linky! Hispanic Heritage Month runs from September 15 to October 15 every year, "celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America" (from Be sure to visit all of the participating blogs (listed below) and follow our related Pinterest boards:
MKB HHM Twitter Party 
Don't miss our Twitter party "Celebrating Hispanic Heritage with Kids," Tuesday, September 23, from 9 - 10 pm ET! Follow #mkbhhm to participate!
MKB Hispanic Heritage Month Blog Hop: Participating Blogs

Hispanic Heritage Month GIVEAWAY!

This year to celebrate we are giving away fabulous prizes! Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post for a chance to win! Please note that there are shipping restrictions on some prizes. In the event that the winner lives outside of the shipping area, that portion of the prize will be added to the following prize package.

Grand Prize Package

Smart Play Pad (SRP $ 24.99): Interactive tablet like electronic toy makes early learning fun and exciting for little ones. More than 30 touch sensitive keys teach language and pronunciation skills to help prepare children for school. Bilingual feature helps kids learn in English & Spanish. Lightweight and truly portable for on-the-go learning. Ships to US and Canada only.
Traditional Mexican toys and games.
A basket of fun from Escuela Falcón in Guanajuato, Gto., Mexico. This prize includes educational games, ceramic Day of the Dead skulls, a hand-painted ceramic box, wooden toys, and a certificate for 5 hours of Skype Spanish lessons with Escuela Falcón.
A basket from Lanugo that includes Lanugo’s new book, “Lula la Consentida,” a limited edition “Latino de Corazón” infant apparel, and Seventh Generation’s earth conscious baby product essentials. US shipping only.
Spanish games for kids.
A Spanish edition of the award-winning game Bananagrams.
DVD of Spanish music videos from Rockalingua.
DVD of Spanish music videos from Rockalingua.
Bilingual poetry book from Lee and Low.
Spanish poetry book for kids from Lee and Low.
A Movie in my Pillow and Poems to Dream Together - Books of poetry in English and Spanish from Lee and Low.

First Prize Package

Peru prize basket - Kid World Citizen 
A child's sweater and bag from Peru courtesy of Kid World Citizen. The handmade, wool sweater is typical from the Andes and might fit a child ages 2-4. The little backpack is also handmade with gorgeous details typical of the region.
Spanish games for kids.  
A Spanish edition of the award-winning game Bananagrams.
Spanish songs for kids.
Chocolalala - CD of songs in English and Spanish from Mister G.
Spanish songs for kids from Mariana Iranzi. 
Hola Hello - A CD of children's songs in English and Spanish from Mariana Iranzi.
Spanish poems for kids.
Mis primeros poemas - A book of poems and audio CD for Spanish learners from All Bilingual Press.
Spanish color activities from Mundo de Pepita.
Digital download of Spanish Colors Activities Pack with printable minibooks, games and activity pages from Mundo de Pepita.
Lingua Toys 
Spanish activity book with an audio CD with listening exercises for kids between 3-10 years old (value: 12€) from Lingua Toys.
Bolivian Guiro 
Hand-crafted guiro (traditional instrument), hand-carved from a gourd in Bolivia with a sun and moon pattern. Great instrument as well as a piece of folk art. From DARIAMUSIC. US shipping only.

Second Prize Package

Handwoven scarf from Nicaragua.
Handwoven scarf from Nicaragua courtesy of Spanish Playground.
Spanish ABC book from Libros Arellano.
Spanish book for kids from Libros Arellano.
¡Las letras! and Señorita Bienvenida en el aeropuerto - Two children's books in Spanish from Libros Arellano.
Spanish songs for kids from Mariana Iranzi.
A CD of children's songs in English and Spanish from Mariana Iranzi.
Children's songs in Spanish from Mister G.
ABC Fiesta - CD of songs in English and Spanish from Mister G.
High frequency words books in Spanish.
Digital download of 6 printable Spanish high frequency words books from Custom Literacy.
Bonus Prize: France Shipping Only!
Las piñatas de Laly 
Beautiful piñata created especially for this contest by Piñatas de Laly.
a Rafflecopter giveaway  
Link Up Your Posts Now it's your turn to share your posts! The linky will be open through October 15, so come back and share throughout Hispanic Heritage Month!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Exploring Cherries and Japan

Today I am going to share our exploration of cherries and the end of our exploration of Japan. At Hazel's request we have been exploring different fruit. She pulls out her magnifying glass and fruit journal and colored pencils for our exploration. We look at the outside of the fruit and record our observations and then I cut them open and we look at the inside and record our observations. Then of course we taste the fruit. We did this with the cherry.

Now we love cherries and Hazel is finally learning to eat around the pits. I hated having to cut the pits out for her. A servings of cherries is 138 grams. It has 87 calories and gives you 12% of the recommended daily allowance of dietary fiber, 16% of the vitamin C, and 9% of your daily potassium. (Source) Cherries also offer protection from diabetes, help to sleep (tart cherries contain melatonin), decrease belly fat, are considered memory boosters, reduce the risk of strokes, slow the signs of aging in skin, lower risks of gout, less muscle pain, good for the heart, help with osteoarthritis relief, and help prevent colon cancer. (Source)

As I was looking for books to read about cherries, I saw many on the Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival. This got me started to think about exploring Japan and contacting Tuttle Publishing for some books on Japan. The books pictured above are the books we reviewed thanks to Tuttle Publishing and if you would like to see the reviews the last one is here and has links to all of the others. They are amazing books and Hazel has been loving them!! We also found these books at the library when searching cherry. Look two of them are published by Tuttle as well! We have a type of cherry tree in our front yard and I love the pink blossoms of it in the spring. The description of the sakuri (cherry blossoms) in the books describing the festivals sounds so beautiful!!

Since we were exploring cherries and Japan now, I thought it would be fun to look into the Cherry Blossom Festival or Hanami. For Hazel's second birthday party I had made a cherry blossom branch, but I apparently did not take any pictures of it since it was pre-blog time. It was very easy. Using a branch from outside, I glued small pieces of pink tissue paper onto the branch to be the buds. It was pretty and did not take long. I am sorry I don't have a picture to show you. However with our study of Japan, I found a pattern to make an 18-inch doll kimono. I used McCall's Pattern 6670. I let Hazel choose the fabrics and trims. I think the fabric she picked looks a bit like cherry blossoms so it is perfect to share with this post.

I did not make the scarf, socks and shoes, but did make the hairpiece.

We are happy with how it came out. We also read other books about cherries from the library.

Hazel wants to make a cherry pie sometime soon after reading some of these books. We also read this one.
Now we always try to do a craft and/or recipe. It took me awhile to find a good craft and by the time we got around to doing it I could not find any cherries in the stores. I had wanted to try cherry painting based on the cherry glitter paint post shared by Mini Monets and Mommies at Sharing Saturday. Since we didn't have the cherries, I came up with another one. We used red pom poms and brown pipe cleaners and made cards.

We made them somewhat quickly and did not have patience that day for the glue to dry, so we used tape to keep the pipe cleaner down. I made the one on blue paper and then Hazel made the one on yellow paper. She had Daddy help her with the message she wrote in it so she could give it to me.

So sweet!! That is our exploration of cherries and ends our exploration of Japan. (We will be reading and reviewing books on Korea next!) I hope you will join us!! 

For more fruit explorations check out:

Friday, September 12, 2014

Sharing Saturday 14-37

Sharing Saturday Button

Wow, what a week!! Thank you to everyone who shared last week with us!! There were some amazing ideas. And a huge thank you to everyone who took the time to check out the ideas that others shared!! There was no most clicked post, so we have two categories this week--Autumn and My Favorites.

Autumn Features

1) From There's Just One Mommy: Apple Stamping Craft

2) From Growing Book By Book: Alphabet Learning: Apple Stamping

3) From Rena Klingenberg Jewelry Making Journal: Autumn Jewelry Ideas & Inspiration

4) From From ABCs to ACTs: Dot By Color: Fall Do-A-Dot Printables

5) From Crafty Journal: Preserve Fall Leaves

A Few of My Favorites

1) From Best Toys for Toddlers: How To Make a No-Sew Plastic Bag Tutu

2) From Keitha's Chaos: Lunches Second Week of 3rd Grade

3) From 3 Boys and a Dog: Picture Books About the Ocean: Ocean Animals Study Unit

4) From Crystal and Co: Hand Print Art: E is for Eagle

5) From Enchanted Homeschooling Mom: Gross Motor: Measuring the Lines

6) From Say Not Sweet Anne: DIY Organization for Teens Room

7) From Dabblingmomma: Learning the 5 Senses

Thank you to everyone who shared last week!! I hope you will join us and share again!! If you are featured here, please feel free to grab a featured button to display proudly on your blog. 


Featured Button Code:

From Your Hostess:
This week we shared the details from our mermaid play date, a fun and simple paper cup owl craft, some easy hair ribbon and bow elastics to make, and a prayer for Patriot Day or 9/11. I had planned to share our cherry exploration and end our exploration of Japan, but I never got it written, so I will share this weekend. Monday starts the Hispanic Heritage Month and there will be a big blog hop and giveaway hosted by Multicultural Kid Blogs, so make sure you check back!!

Now for This Week's Party 

A Few Simple Guidelines:
1)  Please follow Crafty Moms Share via GFC (or one of the other ways that work for you).  

2)  Link any kid-friendly, child-centered post. Please no etsy shops or giveaways, etc.  Remember to link to your actual post. 

3) Post the Sharing Saturday button on your sidebar or somewhere on your blog to help spread the word.

4) I would love it if you would follow me on FacebookGoogle+, and Pinterest 

5) If you do not have a blog, but want to share an idea you can leave it in the comments or e-mail it to me with a picture (if possible).

 Disclaimer: By sharing here, you are giving Crafty Moms Share permission to use your photos for features and to pin your craft at Pinterest.