Happy Family Times #9-- A Family Walk

Happy Family Times

Have you done something fun with your family lately? Kelly over at Happy Whimsical Hearts and I have this great link party to share those wonderful times. We hope to inspire all of us to have more quality time with our families. So have you gone to a game, cooked dinner or danced around the living room this week, please share your great ideas below!!

This week we took a much needed family walk around the block on Friday evening--well late afternoon since Hazel goes to bed so early it feels like evening. Hazel started out in her red wagon and then she wanted to pull it (this was at the house right next door to us). We are lucky because we live on a wide street that basically has two circles a small one and a large one. The large one you have to go on a main street which I don't usually do with Hazel even if it does have a sidewalk, but the small one is almost half a mile around and Hazel loves to walk it or ride in her stroller or wagon. It is always just enough to decompress Daddy after his long work week. Now that the weather is nice we will be doing these much more often! Oh, and Hazel did go back in her wagon again before we got home. Some days we look for different colors or animals. Some days Hazel and I will sing while we walk, but on this walk we just enjoyed the quiet and the decompression of Daddy's stress!

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


Button Code:

~ we'd love for you to follow us Crafty Moms Share and Happy Whimsical Hearts
~ check out our Happy Family Times Pinterest board where we will be pinning some of our favorite ideas

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

Multicultural Monday: Natural Dyeing Part 2


Well, I have to admit, I was thinking about making Multicultural Monday a monthly thing. I feel like I have lots to share and never have the time to share it all, but then while doing research for my natural dyes, I found a great activity to share with you that tied right into my natural dyeing. (If you missed day one of my natural dyeing experiment, check it out here. Post 3 or day 2 is here.)

Besides of course the history you can share from China, Native Americans, Egyptian, as well as Europeans and the Colonists of America, I found this great short lesson/experiment on Teacher Vision. It has a nice introduction about how the Native Americans did natural dyeing. Then it has a short activity dyeing fabrics in plastic bags using carrots, beets and red cabbage. They have the student rinse and then use detergents to see which stays in the longest. You could also change it to different mordants (ie. white distilled vinegar, salt, alum). Some mordants will change the colors as well.

To make it even more educational, you can use this lesson from Teacher Vision titled Native Americans Contribution to American Culture. (Wow, some interesting things to think about there.) Also Folk Tales of Northeast Native Americans also from Teacher Vision. Here is a link to Teacher Vision's Native American lessons. (Can you tell I love learning about Native American cultures?)
1) Blackberries, 2) Sunflower Seeds/Blackberries/Beets, 3) Beets

Anyway, back to my craft. This is actually day 3 of my natural dyeing experiments. I wanted to share this one with you since it uses the carrots and beets from the activity mentioned above. To learn about my experience with red cabbage, you will have to wait until later in the week!

I did a lot of experimenting today with dyes and methods. I tried orange marigold flowers (from Hazel's fairy garden), sunflower petals and sunflower seeds, carrots, blackberries, and beets. Beets definitely were the most successful. Half way through the day I decided the sunflower seeds had not done anything, so I threw the yarn in with the blackberry mixture. At the end, the blackberries hadn't had enough time to do much to this yarn so I threw it into the beet dye and took it out maybe 10-15 minutes later. It came out a pale pink (see picture above--middle skein). The sunflower petals did not seem to be doing much either, so I added more and tried putting them in the food processor. At the end I threw them in with the marigold petals since it was a bit darker.  Oh, and our day started with breaking one of our big jars when we poured the beet dye in off the stove. Red dye all over my kitchen. Not fun!

I also experimented with method the past two days. Instead of always cooking the dye, I tried putting the fruit/vegetable or flower in with the mordant and then added boiling water. I did this to make it more kid friendly. Hazel just had to stay away when I added the boiling water. Today I did try to cook the beets, but as I explained I broke the glass so I went with the boiling water method.
1) Carrots, 2) Marigold, 3) Sunflower Petals/Marigolds
In this picture you can see the piece of original color so you can see all of them have a slight new shade. I think if I was to do this again I would let them sit over night in these dyes.

I will post Day 2 on Friday!! My mother has agreed to knit Hazel a striped sweater with all my home-dyed yarn!! She will actually finish the sweater unlike me!!

This is where I share...

Dyeing Wool Yarn with Vegetables, Fruits, & Flowers Part 1

While at Drumlin Farm I saw that they were selling yarn made from their sheep's wool. This year I saw an unbleached off-white natural (white sheep) color as well as the greyish color I bought last year (a combination of the black and white sheep wool). My first thought was that would be fun for experiments with natural dyes. I bought four skeins. Then the next week I bought three more after I did some research on dyeing wool yarn and talked to the handworks teacher at Hazel's Waldorf School. She suggested doing sun dyeing with Hazel and using onion skins. So I goggled sun dyeing and found a great blog post on Natural Suburbia. However they used food coloring instead of vegetables, so I kept looking some more. Pioneer Thinking offers some great resources including a list of what to use for each color. Lion's Brand has a neat article comparing colors that you get using a few natural dyes on wool yarn versus cotton yarn. (It got me thinking about what cotton yarn I have that I could use for a different experiment.) I also read several indepth articles on how to make natural dyes. I pinned all of these on my Children Crafts & Activities Board.

So Hazel and I went to the grocery store for dye ingredients. Ok, we went to the grocery store several times for dye ingredients. Mostly because I kept forgetting things or getting the wrong thing and some stores carried items and some did not. I also found some great large jars at The Christmas Tree Shop. I bought three of them so I have been working three at a time. On our first day, we used yellow onion skins, red onion skin and concentrated grape juice. Having read so many instructions, I soaked my yarn in water with a cup of white distilled vinegar for probably about 40 minutes while I made the dyes. I took each of my onion skins and put them in a pan with water (3 parts) and vinegar (1 part). I boiled the mixture and then let it simmer for a bit. Then I poured each one into a jar and put a skein of yarn in each one. For the grape juice concentrate, I put it in a jar with a cup of vinegar and three cups of water and then added yarn. Then we put the jars in the sun for the day.
I think Hazel was excited to do this since she actually was willing to pose in a picture with the jars.
For our second trip to the grocery store we bought more red onion. The skin from one onion was not enough to really do much. Then we went to another grocery store for beets and frozen blueberries (only because I kept forgetting them). We added more onion skins with more water and vinegar to the red onion mixture. The yellow onion skin did not seem to be doing too much to the yarn, so we gave up on it and added blueberries with water and vinegar to that mixture.
The order pictured here from left to right, red onion skins, blueberries, grape juice. We let them sit in the sun for a good part of the day. The grape juice however seemed done so I rinsed it until the water ran clear (I used the hose). Then hung it to dry. Later in the day we rinsed the other two and hung them to dry as well.
The order above is blueberry, red onion skin and grape juice. The grape juice is my favorite color thus far. To see exactly how they compare to where we started.
The blueberry and grape are to the left and then the red onion skin is slightly darker than the original skein.

To add more educational side to this activity you could discuss the history of natural dyeing. Wikipedia provides a nice history on natural dyes. It is interesting to do something that has been done for 5000 years!! Dorthea Calverley also has a nice history more having to do with pioneers of the US. I will be sharing two more days of dyeing (at least) including some more educational ideas.

To see the other days check out Day 2 and Day 3.

This is where I share...

Sharing Saturday #20

Wow, what amazing posts people shared last week. If you haven't had a chance to check them out, please go visit and see. I loved so many of the later ones. I once again had a hard time picking features. It is so hard to narrow it all down!! 

A Few of My Favorites:
From Earning My Cape: Quick Paper Hand Puppets (Great idea for entertaining)

 From Reading Confetti: Disappearing Letters (Fun idea to practice tracing letters)

From Enjoying the Journey: Teaching Children Joy: Spontaneous Delight (Wonderful post to remind us to enjoy joy!!) 

From Sew Blessed: Doll Summer Swimsuits (Oh, so need to make Hazel's doll one of these!)

If you were featured please feel free to grab a featured button here to post with pride on your blog. Please go visit my co-host, Mama Mia's Heart2Heart for more features!!

From Your Hosts:

 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).  
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.
Button Code:

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!!

Outside Play & A Couple Princess Crafts

At last week's Sharing Saturday, I featured 2 Big, 2 Little's Playing with Water. I knew we had to try it and we did. Both Saturday and Sunday. Hazel loved it!! She has a water and sand table, but we found she always put the sand in the water so we made it a sand only table. We took some of the water toys from there and some from her bath for this though. We also used our colored water spray bottles that we used for snow painting this winter.
She insisted on bringing out her chair so she could sit while playing.
She had some of her kitchen toys out from her sandbox as well. She was whisking the color into the water.
Then when she got a color she didn't like anymore, she dumped the water and refilled it.
You know she enjoyed it since we had to do it again today when we played outside.
This time she got her wind-up duck working and checked to see what would float. I told her the duck wanted the water to be orange so she made him orange water.
We also had to make her a house on her swingset. The house we built at school this morning was taken down by the other kids as soon as she switched to another toy and she got really upset so I promised her we would make one outside today. I sewed the edges of these and bought large clothespins. You can see more here. We have also added her pillow pet and a blanket so she has a place to rest in her house.
She also could not wait to try out her new red chair. We had bought her one ages ago and last summer it broke, so she has been asking for a new one. We found one at Christmas Tree Shop and bought it. This is the first time I let her bring it out and opened it up for her. She was very excited about the drink holder even if her sippy cup didn't fit in it.
I know I shared this book before, The Paper Princess by Elisa Kleven. It is a cute story about the adventures of a paper princess a girl draws and cuts out and then the wind blows away. The princess wants to get back to her girl and this is the adventure of getting back home. Well since Hazel is still in the scribble stage of drawing, we found these people cut-outs and bought the girl ones at AC Moore for $1. We used watercolors on them. I tried to make the dress like the forest and the tights like the night sky and the feet like watermelons, but the colors ran. I still think they came out lovely though.
My Princess
Hazel's Princess
The other night I also needle felted Hazel a new princess. I used pipe cleaners in this one for stability. She loves her.

 This is where I link up...