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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Multicultural Monday--Vive Mexico


Continuing with our celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month, we read the book, Magic Windows or Ventanas Magicas by Carmen Lomas Garza. Like the book last week, this book was in both English and Spanish. All of the artwork is the author's own paper cuttings. Paper cuttings or papal picado are a Mexican tradition and considered folk art. For more information about them you can visit here.

In Magic Windows, Ms. Garza describes a bit of the process and much of the Mexican traditions that she is picturing as well as some personal family events. It amazes me that they do this with tissue paper and a craft knife and it has to all be connected. 

The last picture she shares if of herself with her nieces and nephew making papel picado or what she calls banderitas. So I did a little search and found a couple of websites with tutorials on making banderitas and thought Hazel would be able to do it with me.

The first is on Hubpages and is Papel Picado Tutorial for Kids. Basically the instructions have you fold a square of tissue paper into either fourths or eighths and then use paper punches to make designs.

The second is on eHow: How to Make Mexican Decorations with Tissue Paper. They have you fold the square of tissue paper in accordion style.

We tried some both ways. I ended up liking the Hubpages folding the best, but folded it into eighths. I cut eight-inch squares of some tissue paper. I did all the folding since Hazel's folds were not quite neat enough for this project and then we used all of our punches and scrapbook scissors to make fun designs.

Hazel did not quite get the idea of how the patterns were made, but had fun using all the special punches and scissors. You can basically tell hers form mine.
In Mexico the colors also mean something. Depending on the holiday or festival they are used for will determine the color used. There is more information at Hubpages.
Now I just need to attach them all to a string and hang them up for some festival!


Saturday, September 29, 2012

Michaelmas

Hazel dressed at St. George ready to slay the dragon
September 29th is Michaelmas. If you haven't been following I posted some information about our preparations with dragons and harvest. Last year was the first time we celebrated this holiday, but it is a traditional holiday in the Waldorf education as well as the Catholic Church (though my Catholic husband didn't know about it).

To celebrate we dressed Hazel as St. George with her yellow cape, crown and sword. Traditionally it would be a wooden sword, but we have inflatable ones from a birthday party so we used one of those. I dressed up as the dragon using Hazel's dinosaur costume mask. It was definitely more dinosaur than dragon than I remembered so next year we will make a mask. I also held up the dragon I made her. Steve wanted nothing to do with our re-enactment, but I did get him to take a picture.

We also read the short story of St. George and the dragon from A Book of Dragons by Hosie and Leonard Baskin (Steve did listen to this). Then at bed time I read Sunflower Swords by Mark Sperring and Miriam Latimer and Dragon Tooth by Cathryn Falwell.


Our other big activity was making salt dough dragons and fall decorations. We made three colors of salt dough: green, red, and orange. Then we went outside to get some things to make texture on our ornaments. We used cookie cutters (leaves, acorn, Halloween, and dinosaurs--to be dragons and circle for the textured ornaments). Then in the circle ones we pressed leaves, branches, flowers, acorns, pine cones, etc. to leave texture. Hazel used her own rolling pin and really had a blast doing this. They are still in the oven or should I say the first two trays are, but will come out soon. Oh, and we poked holes in all of them with a straw.

Then we had a lovely dinner. We made huckabuck bread using the recipe from our Parent/Child Waldorf class last year. I shaped it into a dragon bread and sword rolls. This was our favorite part of dinner. We also had Harvest Apple Soup, but I changed the recipe slightly. Then for dessert we had a raspberry tarte from Trader Joe's. It should have been defrosted a bit more, but we enjoyed it. I will share more details about our family dinner on Tuesday for Happy Family Times!

As for today, I am thinking about what inner dragons I can slay. Enjoy!! Happy Michaelmas!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Sharing Saturday #39



Wow, I had a very hard time choosing features this week. There were so many wonderful ideas shared last week!! If you have not had a chance to check them all out, please go do so and leave some comment love (you know we all love getting comments)!


Ok, I loved these toadstools over at Happy Whimsical Hearts. Apparently I wasn't the only one!!

These week themes seemed to come in pairs, so here are some pairs I saw.
Banana Theme
Bottom From Hey Mommy, Chocolate Milk: Monkey Loves Bananas (Lots of neat ideas!)
Lavender Theme
Bottom From Adventures at Home with Mum: Lavender Rice Mini Zen Garden (A chill out area instead of a time-out--Love it!!)
Play Dough Theme
Bottom From Play Through The Day: Cinnamon Spice Play Dough (Oh, how we love scented play dough!)
Pirate Theme (in honor of talk like a pirate day)
Top From We-Made-That: Pirate Flag (I love the bow on the skull!!)
A Very Hungry Caterpillar Theme
4) From Art Mama Says: Duck Puppet (Ok, how could I not feature this one for Hazel?)
5) From Creative Connections for Kids: Melting Crayons (Ok, I know we have seen this many times, but she adds a fun twist!!)
6) From Happiest Mom on the Blog: Dancing Raisins (Such a neat experiment!)



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.
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From Your Hostess:
Preparing for Michaelmas: Inner Dragons (including an original story) and Harvest


 
Now for This Week's Party   
A Few Simple Guidelines:
1)  Please follow both hosts via GFC (or one of the other ways that work for you).  

Hosts are Crafty Moms Share and Mama Mia's Heart2Heart. A reminder: Mia is taking a blogging break. Hopefully she will be back soon to host again!!

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 button on your sidebar or somewhere on your blog to help spread the word.

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4. Optional: Like us on Facebook and Google+
Disclaimer: By sharing here, you are giving Crafty Moms Share and Mama Mia's Heart2Heart permission to use your photos for features and to pin your craft at Pinterest
All right everyone...This is a PARTY!! Have Fun!!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Preparing for Michaelmas

Yesterday I shared a bit about the story of St. George and the dragon Now Michaelmas is viewed as a celebration of the harvest as well as the slaying of the dragon. Waldorf Schools like to focus on slaying your inner dragon. I will share a few more dragon books with you and also go check the posts at Seasons of Joy on Taming the Inner Dragons, so far she has done Guilt and ResponsibilityFear of Failure, Fear of Success and Anger.
  • Saint George and the Dragon retold by Margaret Hodges is the story of St. George and the dragon. I found it a little above the level for Hazel's understanding and will not read it to her. However for older children it would be great.
  • A Book of Dragons by Hosie and Leonard Baskin gives summaries and a picture of various dragons throughout history including St. George and his dragon. I will read this summary to Hazel.
  • The Knight and the Dragon by Tomie dePaola is a cute tale about a knight and a dragon who go to fight one another and have a few issues. In the end they open a restaurant together.
I'm still waiting for three more dragon books from the library. Hopefully I will get them by Saturday. I will let you know if they are any good if I do.
I also have Hazel's things ready to reenact fighting the dragon. We have her sword (inflatable, but traditional Waldorf would be wooden), a yellow cape, a crown and of course a dragon. I just told Steve maybe we would make him a dragon costume and have him dress up as the dragon. Hmmm, come to think of it we have a dinosaur/dragon costume in Hazel's dress ups. I wonder if it will fit him. We'll see if he will go along with it.
Michaelmas is also about the harvest and food is very important. Blackberries are often served due to an old Irish folk tale of Satan landing on blackberry brambles when he fell from heaven and he returns each 29th of September to spit on the fruit of the plants he landed on and of course his spit makes the fruit inedible after that date. (Source)
Source

I think I will try this recipe for Harvest Apple Soup. I'm not sure Steve will like it but it sounds like something Hazel and i will love. We will also make dragon bread as I described yesterday. Our plan is to make it with our huckabuck bread recipe from our parent/child class last year. Then since none of us really like blackberries, I think I will serve either a raspberry tart (I have one in my freezer that we need to use up) or an apple pie.
A Simple Fall Craft Hazel Made from Mostly Natural Things from Walks

There are many recipes available on line for bread, stew/soup, goose, and pie. The tradition of goose has to do with paying quarterly rents in England and for Michaelmas you gave a goose with your rent. (Source) Here are a few:
I also plan to make some salt dough to make some dragon and autumn decorations.  Last year I shared a pretty good round-up of dragon crafts if you are interested. Depending on how Hazel is feeling, we will see what we get done. You could also do a harvest or fall craft. Above I shared a simple natural (or mostly--we used fake leaves) autumn wreath. Hazel just glued some things onto a paper plate that I had cut out the center. Most of the things were found on nature walks.

Well, I hope that gives you some ideas on celebrating Michaelmas! Enjoy!!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Michaelmas & Fighting Your Inner Dragon

I almost forgot to announce the winner of the Show Me a Story Giveaway! The winner is Rondah. Rondah, you have 48 hours to email me back to claim your prize. Congratulations!! Thank you to everyone who entered!
Source

Last year I learned about Michaelmas. It is a Christian Festival celebrated at the Waldorf Schools. It is on September 29th each year. In the Catholic Church it is known as the Feast of St. Michael or All Angels Day. For more information on the Catholic Feast visit here.
Source

Now the Waldorf view of the day is to go with the story of St. George slaying the dragon. There are many versions of the story available on line. Now this gets confusing because we talk about St. George and St. Michael. According to folklore, St. George is the earthly form of St. Michael, the archangel who threw Satan out of heaven. (Source) For a wonderful example of how a Waldorf Kindergarten teacher celebrates with her class check out this wonderful article, Taming the Dragon by Barbara Klocek.

Now to celebrate Michaelmas, we tell some dragon stories.




Some great books are available.Here are a few that we have discovered. I have a few more being sent to my local library for me which hopefully I'll have by Saturday.

  • Baby Dragon by Amy Ehrlich tells the story of a baby dragon whose mother must leave for a day. She promises to be back before morning, but of course the baby dragon gets tired of waiting. After turning down two offers from friends to play or get a snack, he decides to go with the crocodile to look for his mother, but of course the crocodile wants to feed the baby dragon to his own children. The baby dragon has to deal with his own demons and escape. It has a happy ending.
  • The Dragon Nanny by C.L.G. Martin tells of a nanny who has been fired by the king because of her age. As she wanders around upset she ends up disturbing a mother dragon who wants to eat her, but when the nanny sees her baby dragons she offers to take care of them. With several trials she ends up becoming important to the dragons, but when one of the babies becomes captured by the king, the nanny goes to save him. She gets caught and the king begs her to come back. She has a happy ending for everyone.
  • The Princess and The Dragon by Audrey Wood tells the story of a princess who is more like a dragon and a dragon who is more like a princess. They switch places and it makes everyone much happier. I posted activities to go with this book over the summer here.
  • The Sunflower Sword by Mark Sperring tells of a story of a young boy who wants a sword to fight a dragon. His mother gives him a sunflower to pretend is a sword. When the young boy meets a dragon the dragon is so touched that the boy brought him a flower they become friends.
  • Dragon Tooth by Cathryn Falwell tells of a young girl about to lose her first tooth and it is painful while it is in her mouth. Her father wants to pull it out for her, but she is afraid to let him. He refers to it as her dragon tooth which gives her the idea of making a dragon out of the things in the recycle bin. Then she imagines that the dragon is in pain because of a loose tooth and she pulls it out for him which makes him happy and then she lets her father pull her tooth out. (This is a great one for Michaelmas since it shows a girl overcoming her own inner dragon.)
  • A Dragon Moves In by Lisa Falkenstern is a cute story about a rabbit and a hedgehog who happen to picnic on a dragon egg that hatches. They bring the dragon home to live in their house which works well until the baby dragon grows too big for the house and gets stuck. They come up with a solution that works for everyone. This is a great story for young children who may be afraid of some of the other ones. It is a story about friendship and working together.
  • Draw, Model, & Paint Dragons and Prehistoric Monster by Isidro Sanchez has some great crafts to make dragons (as well as dinosaurs) out of clay and other modeling materials. I'm thinking of making some salt dough and making dragons with Hazel on Saturday.
  • Dragon Dancing by Carole Lexa Schaefer is a cute story of imaginative children at school. They are making decorations for a classmates birthday celebration after hearing a story about a dragon and they imagine that they become a dragon who travels the world.
There are some stories available on-line.
I would also like to share a story I wrote called Dragons in Every Day Life. It is about a little boy named George. His father is a dragon slayer and he is a bit shy, but one day he steps up and conquers his fears to help out some friends. Click on the picture of the story below to download it!



Then we will do some dragon crafts. I made this red and yellow dragon for Hazel. I made one for her classroom last year and finally finished the one I promised her. I got the pattern at Rhythm of the Home. I made the green one as a Christmas gift for one of Hazel's pen pals last year. The pattern came from Living Crafts Magazine Fall 2011 issue.


I also found some great coloring pages of dragons at Free Printable Coloring Pages. One of St. George and the Dragon is available at Activity Village.

We will also make dragon bread. I think this year I might use huckabuck bread recipe from school and follow the tutorial on Show Tell Share for the shaping.

I will share more about how we are celebrating Michaelmas tomorrow! Stay tuned!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Welcome Autumn Acorn Garland

Ok, so I flipped through the Paper Source catalog this weekend and was inspired by this garland. Now I love Paper Source!! And I love their products, but I cannot always spend the money and some of them are easy enough to figure out how to make on my own.

This was one I thought I definitely could do. First I googled for an acorn image. I found this great coloring page at Free Printable Coloring Pages. I printed it full page. Well actually I copied it into Word because I had trouble printing from their site, but then printed it full page onto cardstock. I printed/copied it onto fall colored cardstock for the tops and cut them out. I took my pattern piece and cut the bottom higher than the squiggle and cut them out of handmade papers that I had on hand. I glued these to the tops. Then I printed out the words "Welcome Autumn" from Word at 250 for size. I really liked 300 but wanted to save on how many of the clear sticker sheets I used. Then I hung them off yarn by our front door. How are you welcoming autumn this year? (And for those of you in the Southern Hemisphere, how are you welcoming spring?)


Monday, September 24, 2012

Happy Family Times #27--Meeting Cinderella

Just a reminder that today is the last day to enter my current giveaway!!

Have you done anything new with your family? Anything fun? Kelly from Happy Whimsical Hearts and I would love to hear about it. Please share below!! Or look below for inspiration for some fun family activities (and read about mine and Kelly's as well).

This week we had a lot of relax and cuddle time since we have a sick little one. However before she got her cold (or at least before she showed signs of it) we went to our local McDonalds for dinner and to meet Cinderella. For some reason our local McDonalds has characters and different events all the time. The only reason we go to McDonalds is to see the characters. Usually if we go we just get french fries and drinks since that is about all I can usually get Hazel to eat. However since Cinderella was going to be there from 4-6, we had to eat there. We ordered a cheeseburger Happy Meal since Steve wanted a cheeseburger (and it got Hazel the small fries and apple slices plus the toy) and I got their premium chicken strips which we actually liked. Hazel and I split it and Steve helped out too. Plus Steve and I split some fries.
When we arrived Cinderella was painting the girls' nails. When it was Hazel's turn she got blue nails. (Have I mentioned how I really hate blue nail polish?) Next Cinderella put eye shadow on the girls, but I talked Hazel out of this. She was going to do blush as well, but for some reason did not. Next Cinderella blew up blue balloons for the kids and autographed them and drew different pictures on them. Hazel got a crown.
She also put pink metallic ribbons/streamers on the end of them. Cinderella then noticed that several kids were eating their dinners so she had the ones not eating dance to Bippity Boppity Boo. She passed out lyrics to the parents sitting near by to help sing.

Then she had the kids play keep the balloons in the air. If your balloon popped you were out, but she gave the ones whose popped stickers that said something about getting popped.
 Next Cinderella made them streamer wands to dance with. All she did was rip a piece of crepe paper streamer (blue or pink) and roll one end to be thin enough to stick in a straw. However the streamers kept falling out so one of the mothers went to her car and got some scotch tape and taped them in so we weren't all fixing them every two seconds.  (We are definitely going to use this idea for Hazel's birthday party since she wants a princess party.)
By this point it was getting close to six, and since that usually is around the time we start going to bed, we headed home. Hazel gave Cinderella a hug goodbye!
Now I have to say, Hazel and I went to see several of the princesses at McDonalds over the summer. It amazes me that almost all of them have been the same actress (she owns the business) and the kids who are almost always the same group don't seem to notice. Or maybe they just don't care. The princess always gives a gift to each child with a business card attached, so they get good advertising and McDonalds definitely gets more business. I guess it is a win-win for them. During the summer it was at lunch time so Hazel and I would walk over after having an early lunch at home. This time she was very excited that Mommy and Daddy were with her. I can only imagine what it will be like when we go to Disney. It amazes me how much she loves the princesses when the first time she saw anything Disney on television or (movie wise) was this past weekend. We let her watch Cinderella on tape. I figured it would not scare her and we gave in on the television when she was barely moving from the couch. Now we will have to break that again. Oh, well. She does know she is only getting to watch it because she is sick.


Now it is your turn to share how your family has spent some quality time lately.


~ please link up (family time oriented giveaways are ok, but please no Etsy shops)
~just crafts will be deleted since this is to share family times ~ use our button so others can join the fun


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Ok, now for our PARTY!! Please share your FUN Family Times!!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Cuckoo by Lois Ehlert Virtual Book Club for Kids and Multicultural Monday

Just a reminder, Tuesday is the last day to enter my giveaway!! I hope you have entered!
Sharing Saturday is still open!! Please come share your child-oriented crafts and activities!
VirtualBookClub
Last week I shared Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Ehlert for the Virtual Book Club for Kids. This week we did some activities with her Cuckoo or Cucu in Spanish. This book is written in both English and Spanish on each page. Therefore, we are continuing our celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month.

Cuckoo is a wonderful book about a cuckoo bird who is very vain. She knows she is beautiful and she knows she has a lovely voice. The other birds are sick of her especially since she is lazy and does not help gather the food. All the birds go to sleep including the bird leader, Owl, so they will be well rested for the next morning's work of gathering all the seeds so they could plant them the following spring for their food source (and the other animals around). 

Cuckoo becomes bored singing to herself and then she sees a red flash and fears it is another beautiful, flashy bird. She goes to investigate and discovers the meadows are on fire. Mole is out of his hole and tells her to bring the seeds to his hole to save them. It is too late to get help from the other sleeping birds, so she spends the entire night flying to the meadow to the woods bringing all the seeds to mole's hole. She gets very close to the fire and her beautiful wings turn black and her eyes turn red from the smoke. When the birds awake they see the burnt fields and are upset about having lost their seeds and thus their food source until the black Cuckoo comes to tell them what she has done.

One of the things I love about Lois Ehlert's books is you can often see how she made the pictures. This one was a very easy collage of papers joined by brass fasteners. Well Hazel and I made our own Cuckoo. Hazel made a colorful one and I made a black one. I did all the cutting and Hazel helped with the gluing and the hole punching as well as putting it together.
Hazel loved making them. Now she is enjoying playing with them as well. Another thing I loved about this book was that the animal community worked together to save their food source. All the birds participated in saving the seeds each year to feed not just themselves but the other animals as well. Then in this story the mole provided his home as a place to store them safely from the fire. Now that we are entering our last week of National Hunger Month, I hope you will take up my challenge from last week and donate a can to your local food pantry or soup kitchen. Let us help end hunger in our own areas!! Or you can make a donation to the No Kid Hungry Campaign (run by Share Our Strength). They are fighting to make sure no child in the United States is hungry!!
 
Now it is your turn to share!! If you have a new or old post about an activity to do with a Lois Ehlert book, please share below and grab the button and code if you would like to help us advertise! (FYI, the blog hop goes live at midnight!!) Also please make sure you visit the other blogs that are hosting to see what they have created with the various Lois Ehlert books! (Plus next Monday we will share another project to go with a different book!)

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