14 June 2011


Beltane kind of snuck up on me this year, so we just played with what we had on hand. We had lots and lots of dandelions, and I showed Kaia how to string them together into crowns and necklaces by splitting the stem and running the stem of the next flower through it.

She helped me make one for Katalin, too.

We have a pole of near our playground which I guess once was part of a volleyball net? We used it for our may pole and wrapped it with streamers left over from Kaia's Birthdays parties. Kaia danced each streamer around the pole until it was all wrapped up. 

 When she grew tired of of dandelion adornments, I hung them on the knot at the top of the pole.

It looked so bright and pretty on a very grey day!

Kaia continued picking dandelions, and made a beautiful dandelion cake for us to enjoy. :)

We enjoyed our day outside, the flowers beginning to bloom, the simple pleasure of being able to spend all day long out of doors. We celebrated the soon to be warm weather, each others' company, and the new season just beginning.

13 June 2011

Easter Crafts

I didn't end up being able to find the time to make as many things as I'd hoped to for the kids for Easter, but I did manage to knock out a few easier projects and do a couple with Kaia, as well. Normally I try to give credit when I try other peoples' ideas, but I don't remember where I ran into each of these and a search of teh interwebz gave me so many results that I don't think I am stealing anyone's original work. :)

We made a string of eggs to hang using watercolour paper, a handful of different small lengths of yarn for wrapping, pinking sheers, (don't use your good sewing pair!) ribbon, tape, crayons, hot glue, and watercolour paints. We used a watercolour paper I had previously demonstrated splattering to Kaia with. I cut out 5 eggs of varying sizes, and Kaia gave them some crayon.

When they were crayoned to her satisfaction, she painted over them with watercolours.

Then Kaia taped a piece of yarn to the back side and wrapped the eggs. She had a lot of fun with that. It was different, it added actual, physical texture and dimension, and the toothy edges made it really simple for her to keep the yarn where she wanted it.

 After she finished, I hot glued the eggs to a length of ribbon, and done! 

 Kaia received a "garden" to go on the wall over her bed. I drew some simple flower and grass shapes on sticky-sided fusible webbing, stuck them to a colourful variety of scrap materials, and cut them out.

When I had them all cut out, I stuffed them in a large egg for her to find, and later I ironed them to the wall.

For Katalin, I cut out three different colours and sizes of eggs in felt, and three sizes of chicks in different shades of yellow. I put each egg / chick set in an egg for her to open and play with, sticking and unsticking them.

We also paper-mached over some plastic eggs and carrots to paint and decorate with different things. On one we glued dry flower petals. On others we used sequins, lace, stickers, and paint. I apparently forgot to take a picture of the painted eggs, or the carrots.

I made the girls each a set of bunny ears out of felt and attached to a headband I covered with felt, too. Katalin's were cream with pink accents, and Kaia's the opposite.

And, of course, Kaia hunted for eggs!

If anything, she was more excited to discover in her eggs the chocolates and candies she'd help make, and they got different nuts and dried fruits as well. Just no one tell her what other kids get in their eggs and we should be good! ;)

Chocolates for Easter

So I'm a little behind. Again. Who's surprised? I'm not surprised. Anyway, we made chocolates for Easter. Not starting from grinding the beans kind of felt like cheating and makes it hard to me to feel entirely comfortable saying we "made" them, but it was fun. We had some organic baking chocolate we'd got on clearance and it was... well, it had probably seen better days. Kaia unwrapped all the chocolate bars.

We added sugar and melted it all in a pot, Kaia kept it stirred.

 Once up to temp, it took a really long time to cool. Kaia started getting very tired, so while we waited for it to be cool enough to pour in the molds, we started playing with the ingredients we had out to add to the chocolates. We dipped almonds in the melted chocolate and then into coconut. They were yummy!

 We have a mold that was my grandmother's - roosters, eggs, and rabbits. It was neat to be making chocolates in the same mold she used. As we filled the molds, Kaia added almonds and coconuts to them.

We picked up a second mold at a thrift store with a variety of neat shapes.

We made chocolate suckers, too. I put either a cereal puff, a gummy bunny, or a jelly bean in each one before pouring the chocolate in. They ended up being mostly enveloped by the chocolate, so in the future I think I will stick them on afterward with a bit of melted chocolate. Not that this bothered the kids. :)

We put the almonds and chocolates in mini muffin papers and packed them in little boxes to give to family and friends.

I cut squares of plastic wrap to wrap up the suckers and tied them with twisty tie bows.

They were all well received and came out delicious, we will definitely be making more!