Showing posts with label clay. Show all posts
Showing posts with label clay. Show all posts

Saint Lucia Day -- Christmas in Sweden -- Christmas in Different Lands

Today we are participating in Multicultural Kid Blogs's Christmas in Different Lands Series. We decided to take a closer look at Saint Lucia Day in Sweden. We first discovered about Saint Lucia Day in the American Girl books about Kirsten. Hazel fell in love with the retired Kirsten doll. She read all the Kirsten books to my parents over the phone and then my mother was able to get her a used Kirsten doll from her neighbor's granddaughter. Hazel says this doll is still the best gift she has gotten. She was so excited last Christmas to get her. My mother fell in love with Kirsten's clothes and accessories and especially loves the Saint Lucia Day outfit. Now the book, Kirsten's Surprise by Janet Shaw, shares a bit of the traditions and is how we first learned about Saint Lucia.

Doll Crafts & Finds -- a Crafty Weekends Link Party

We had another busy week, but I found some time to make some crafts for Hazel's dolls. We are currently on a Harry Potter kick so a few are related to that story as well as a new quill pen for Caroline and a new Nanea style nightgown. Hazel would like to get Nanea and Luciana, but doesn't want to wait until her birthday or Christmas (basically the same things) or until she saves the money, so we are working on some clothes and trying to use her other dolls as them. I am also going ot share the some new doll finds we have found. Let's start with the quill pen. I found Felicity's quill pen and inkwell on ebay. Hazel fell in love and wanted one for her Caroline doll. Instead of spending the $25+ on it, I decided we could make one.

Gifts of Books -- Ideas for All Ages -- Crafts, Activities and Non-Fiction Books

Disclosure: I was sent these books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Do you love giving books as gifts? One of my sisters always gives Hazel books for a gift. I know I tend to love giving books to friends' children as well. Today I am sharing a variety of books for different ages and people in your life.

Books for the Younger Kids

Let's start with the youngest. Our first book is Hey, Baby! by Stephanie Warren Drimmer.

MindWare Gifts -- Perfect Gifts to Get Them Thinking!!

Disclosure: I was sent these items to review free of charge from MindWare. All opinions in this post are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for this review. I am including links to each item for your convenience but do not receive anything if you purchase them.

I have been sharing some of our favorite places to get gifts and tonight I am sharing a new one. MindWare has many educational and fun gifts. They are connected now with Oriental Trading. You can get your party supplies and gifts in one stop!! The first thing I knew I wanted to check out was Qwirkle. I had heard of it but never played. 

Hamster Princess: Ratpunzel -- Book Review & Craft

Disclosure: Penguin Random House Books gave me a copy of this book free of charge for this review. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation.  As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.

I am so excited to share with you the third book in the Hamster Princess series!! Hazel and I fell in love with these books and shared the first two with you previously. These are books Hazel could read by herself but I read them to her the first time so I can enjoy them as well. Each one is themed around a classic fairy tale. The third book is Hamster Princess: Ratpunzel by Ursula Vernon and is based around the story of Rapunzel.  

Charm Love Friendship Bracelets -- Crafty Weekends Review & Link Party

Disclosure: I was sent these books to review free of charge from Quarto Books USA. All opinions in this post are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for this review. I am including links to each item for your convenience but do not receive anything if you purchase them.

I have a confession to make. After a few failures with polymer clay, I'm a bit intimidated by it. However Charm Love Friendship Bracelets by Sherri Haab brought back fond memories of my teenage years so I had to check it out.  I was always making those fancy designed macrame bracelets out of embroidery floss.  (My father still has an IOU from me for one. Oops!! He seems to pull it out every time I visit.) Well Charm Love Friendship Bracelets shows how to make those fun bracelets and add homemade charms!

Doll Valentine Play Date

 Disclosure: I was sent these craft lots to review free of charge from Oriental Trading. All opinions in this post are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for this review. I added links to the particular products for your convenience, but not for any compensation. 

Every year Hazel's school usually has the Friday around Valentine's off for a teacher's development day and it is right before February vacation. The past couple of years we have invited some friends over for a Valentine's Day playdate. This year we invited friends and their dolls. Two girls were able to come and the three girls had so much fun!! When they first arrived they picked out a mailbox for their doll and decorated it. I picked up small mailboxes at Target in The Spot section for $1 each. 

Clay Nativity Ornaments

Today we are sharing our fun and simple Christmas ornaments. Hazel is making these for all of her teachers and family members as their Christmas gift. The idea came from making a nativity set using clay and nativity cookie cutters. This was one of our crafts at our Night in Bethlehem last year, but Hazel did not try it since I was busy and Steve is not that into doing crafts. I made a sample one up for the church event this year.

Friday Fruit Exploration: Pears

Today we are sharing our pear exploration. All week we have had different kinds of pears--Barlett, D'Anjou, Comice, and Asian. I only took pictures of the D'Anjou and Asian. Sorry!! Hazel loves pears and we have had them on our waffles or in our oatmeal for breakfast!

Pears are an excellent source of fiber and vitamin C and are sodium, fat and cholesterol free. One medium pear is about 100 calories. (Source) The skins of pears contain three to four times more phenolic phytonutrients as the flesh (inside). These phenolic phytonutrients are antioxidant, anti-inflammatory flavonoids, and potentially anti-cancer phytonutrients like cinnamic acids and the skin contains half of the pear's dietary fiber. A new study has shown that eating a combination of apples and pears will reduce risk of type 2 diabetes in women. Pears are often described as hypo-allergic. They tend to be a low allergy food. All good reasons to enjoy a pear! (Source)

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.

Advent Week 4: Love

Before I begin this post's content, I want to share that I just updated my Winter Solstice post with the best book to read!! We did not receive it from the library before the original post. The addition is towards the end of the post. Now onto our Advent post.

This is the fourth week of Advent. We light our final purple candle. As you light each candle you remember how Jesus brought us hope, peace, joy and now love. Some Advent wreaths have a white candle in the middle. This candle is for Christ and is lit either Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. Now love is such an important theme. There are so many Bible scriptures you can think of to go with love..."...The greatest of these is love." 1 Corinthians 13:13. We included God Gave Us Love by Lisa Tawn Bergren in our books to read today. I feel this is a perfect book to read to explain the theme.

For those that do not know this series of books, Little Cub learns about God from different people in her family. In this one, she is with her grandfather. They talk about how God wants us to love everyone. They also talk about how there are different kinds of love and the greatest love comes from God. And yes, they mention God sending is only Son to us. 

When we did our clay ornaments last week, we also made some love ones.  We used love rubber stamps to get the words on them. 

The other craft is to make heart ornaments from pipe cleaners and tri-beads. They are very easy. Put the beads in whatever pattern (or no pattern) onto the pipe cleaner. Then bend and twist the ends of the pipe cleaner to make a heart. Now you can add a ribbon or just hang it as we did.

Update on our Advent Calendar Crafts:

Donkey Ornament

Hazel was working on the wisemen today. I did the camel with the wisemen while she made the wisemen. I also glued the stable together for her. I like how they are coming out and think she is doing a wonderful job. We added some white wool to the sheep and the shepherds. Hazel decided the wisemen needed gold and silver and used glitter glue. She has been really enjoying this year's Advent calendar. 

How did you celebrate Advent this year?

For more on our Advent:

Advent Week 3: Joy

Have you entered my current giveaway yet? Last day to enter is the 16th at midnight!

We are beginning the third week of Advent. The theme for this week is Joy. The joy Jesus brings the world. Now this week is special because it has the pink candle. Now last year I did a little research on Advent and Advent wreaths and discovered how the pink candle became pink. At one time Advent was a more solemn time similar to Lent. The Pope decided to lighten the mood on the third Sunday of Advent and passed out pink roses to his congregation. This became a tradition and eventually the candle was changed to pink to take on the rose tradition. (Source)

Our craft for the week of Joy is some clay ornaments. Since we had not made the Peace ornaments yet, we did those too. We also made some clay Hope ornaments (and Love) with the leftover clay. For Joy we used a star and used a "joy" rubber stamp. We used Sculpey polymer clay and had to bake them. I have my parents old toaster oven to bake polymer clay in since you should not use the same oven as you cook food in due to the fumes. 

For Peace we used our dove cookie cutter. Since we do not have a "peace" rubber stamp, we had to write it ourselves. We used one of the tools from Hazel's scratch paper. (We used this tool for the holes to hang the ornaments as well.)

I let Hazel write "Peace" herself.  Her spacing was off, but she did a good job. I guess my toaster oven burned the white clay a bit since they came out an orangy brown. I baked them on the correct temperature and for less time. Oh, well.

For Hope we used the star again. We also attempted to swirl the two colors together and was more successful than we had been for the Joy ones. We again had to write Hope ourselves and Hazel did her own. I am happy with how they came out. Now I need to add strings so we can hang them.

So now we get to light the third candle--the pink one. With each candle we remember the past themes. We have been leaving one of our ornaments by the candle to remind us.

I loving having them there! What are you doing to celebrate Advent?

For more on Advent check out:

Virtual Book Club for Kids--The Snail and the Whale

This month the Virtual Book Club for Kids Author is Julia Donaldson. Last week I shared Hazel's favorite Julia Donaldson book, Room on the Broom. This week I thought I would share my favorite, The Snail and the Whale

Before we get to the book, however, just a reminder you have until Monday to enter to win two great Julia Donaldson books--The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo's Child--both have been made into movies as well. There are many wonderful activities to go with these books in the blog hop below!
This rhyming story tells about a snail who wants to see the world. A whale offers him a ride on his tail. They tour the world and see wonderful sights, and then the whale gets beached. The little snail thinks quickly and goes to get help by writing a message on a chalkboard in a classroom. The people in the town save the whale and the snail and whale continue their trip. When they return back to the snail's rock, they tell the other snails about the amazing sights and they all hop on the whale's tail.

This book is an amazing tale filled with so many wonderful messages on friendship, helping one another, helping nature, not making fun of others for their dreams and more. I absolutely love reading it. It also gave us a chance to learn more about whales and snails. We found some great information on whales at The Ocean Adventure. The snail information we read was from Snail World and Wikipedia (on Sea Snails).
For crafts, I needle felted a whale and a snail for Hazel to reenact the story. Then I found a great whale pincushion pattern in Stash Happy Felt by Amanda Carestia. I changed the pattern a bit and made a snail pin instead of fish ones.
Then our final craft was to make snails from shells and clay. These are very easy. You shape the clay to look the body of the snail and stick them into the shell.

Now it is your turn to share an activity to go with a Julia Donaldson book!