Saturday, July 31, 2010

Painting with marbles

Recently I came across a post over on Let the children play that showed paintings children had done with marbles, however I couldn't find the exact post to link to, sorry:(
I love painting personally, although I rarely get to a canvas now that I have small children, so I always love a project that brings out the paints. This was a really satisfying fun and messy project, so we took it into the yard. Painting with marbles within a frame creates a very Pollock like painting and shows children a different approach to painting and creativity than a brush.
We started with a blank canvas, I imagine any paintable surface would work, like a piece of wood, even card stock paper, if using paper if would have to lay on a firm bottom though, a tray perhaps.
Then I taped cardboard around the sides, use some stronger tape to keep the sides secure while rolling the marbles.

I lined a wooden bowl with foil and added acrylic paints.
Keenan picked 3 marbles from his collection
We put one marble at a time into a paint color, and laid it on the canvas. With Keenan holding one side and I the other we then moved the marbles around within the frame. Once the marbles ran dry we dipped them again and continued. After a while I did add some paint directly to the canvas as we kept rolling the marbles around in the colors. Keenan was quite amazed at the patterns this whole process created, and took his task very seriously.
And after perhaps twenty minutes of rolling the marbles we decided the picture was finished.
Keenan was very proud of his creation.

Clean up was easy. The paint on the marbles washed right off, the foil with left over paint we discarded, and that was it. Simple and fun!!
~Happy creating~

Friday, July 30, 2010

This Moment

                                                    A friday ritual inspired by Soulmama
A single photo, no words
A moment I want to pause, treasure and remember

~And a wonderful weekend to all~

Thursday, July 29, 2010

First time needle felting

We recently received some beautiful wool rowing, and Kaleena has been asking and asking to do some needle felting, she has watched me do it, but I have been hesitant about allowing her to work with the sharp needles. Then the other day I came across a post over on Small Things, 5 little children needle felting, and felt inspired that now is the right time. So yesterday at the farm, in the heat of the day we retreated to the farm shack and pulled out the wool and needles. Keenan gathered sticks to make wands and Kaleena felted the starts for the tops. Meanwhile I braided strands of wool rowing to make the sweet head bands, and helped Kaleena felt the center piece.
First she stuffed the cookie cutter with wool rowing
and then carefully set to work with the needle

Here is her first ever needle felted star, she was so proud and happy with it, and now she wants to felt all the time of course.
I thought we would keep Keenan's head band simple, but when he saw Kaleena's butterfly centerpiece, he wanted one too, he then chose a heart. 
We attached the center piece with the needle, and the stars on the wands with hot glue.
Keenan brought his to gather eggs, and used it to keep the rooster away, he was very happy with how well the magic of the wand worked.
And here is  Kaleena's wand, she is running around with both her creations, even as I write this:)
~A wonderful thursday to you~

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The beauty that surrounds us

These past few days have been a bag of mixed feelings for me. It is wonderful to have my sister back, the children love her, and at the same time, it is a reminder that this is indeed not our home, and that we must live in harmony with her life style which is as far from ours, I think, as is possible.
Then today we went to the country, out to our old house and our farm friends, and the moment I set my feet on the ground, I was in heaven. The only thing to be heard was sounds from nature, birds singing, insects humming, and the sounds of farm life. There was beauty all around us, and without any effort at all I was transported to a place of immense gratitude. Gratitude for the gift that each day is, for the fact that my children are nature children before anything else, that they are confident, 
gracious and at home in nature.
That we are together, and that we will soon all be together again. Gratitude that I have within me the ability to come to this place, where all else falls away and the world simply makes sense, regardless of the apparent mess all around.
When I looked around me from one intricate wild flower to the next, at my children running gleefully after the chicks, and at the life, beauty and order of the natural world, I was once again reminded that all is as it should be, and I have simply to be present to see it.
In the heat of the day we did retreat into the half finished straw/adobe farm house and did a few crafts, which I will share tomorrow.
~With love and gratitude~

Wandering Wednesday~a photo challenge

Joining Gardenmama on a journey of feet, where do they take us and what stories do they tell.
Today this is where I wandered...

Here I stand amidst fields of flowers, it is hot, it is quiet and peaceful, the children run close by excited about the two chicks just hatched following mother hen around, we are in the country and we are happy.
Here I stand on an old country lane, the lure of wild flowers has beckoned me to follow, my soul is at rest, nature fills my every sense, in the distance I hear the children laughing and laughing..
Here I stand in the tall tall grass, I am hesitant... I want to stay yet it is time to go..
We have our arms filled with beautiful yellow flowers and as we wave goodbye, we close our eyes looking to the moment in time when we will once again live in the rural country side..
~happy wandering to you all~

Monday, July 26, 2010

Pouches to keep cool

In these parts August, and in this case the end of July, is extremely hot. Hot and humid all through the day and night, the early early morning brings a couple of hours of relief, but the nights are very warm, and in this house we have no AC, in fact a few years ago no one did around here, because it was never needed, yet lately the summers here, like everywhere else have been getting more and more hot.
This makes it difficult for the children to go to sleep at night, as it is still light out, and very hot in the room, even the ceiling fan brings little relief, so we decided to make little cooling bags to lay over the chest or forehead, and let me tell you, it really works well. The coolness on the forehead cools down the body enough that it makes it much easier to go to sleep, once the children were asleep, I popped them back in the freezer and used them myself, heaven!!!
I found these pants at the thrift store, soft cotton and with a convenient drawstring at the bottom, and cut them off at the size I wanted.
Then I turned them inside out, hand stitched the bottom, a sewing machine would have been nice, but I have still to bring the one here out of it's long time basement hibernation. I then added a little heart to the fronts, and voila... quick and easy

In a bowl I mixed some older rice from the back of the pantry, with some lavender flowers to add the calming scent of these beautiful flowers to our sleepy pouches. 
Filled the pouches, tied the string and double wrapped them to make sure the rice did not escape and set them in the freezer for the rest of the day. At bedtime we brought out our pouches and the children fell asleep keeping them close.
I am so happy with this bed time addition, as going to sleep lately have been a real struggle with this heat. Lovely indeed!!!

~May your nights be cool and calm~

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Giving thanks

I wanted to take a moment and give thanks for the great honor of having had three lovely ladies choose this little space for awards in the past two weeks. I have not had a chance to pass along these awards, yet for now I wanted to let it be known how grateful I am that these ladies found their way here, and found my posts worthy of special mention.
I have found so much inspiration from all the beautiful blogs out there, as well as from simply documenting our day to day, I truly am grateful to have landed in this Bloglandia:)
Thank you all!!

The Beautiful Blogger award was passed on from  For love of my oceans, Kat is a sweet mama, with a sweet blog and always kind and loving words to share.

The Blog of Substance award was passed on from Angelina over at Homegrown Naturally, a true woman of substance and momma to 7, I too am loving the feel of her space.

And the Sweet Blog award was passed on from Feepoussiere, a sweet Mama from France.
I am looking forward to explore her blog further.

And as if that isn't enough I was also fortunate to be the winner of a give away this week, yeahh!!!
So thank you also to mamma4earth and her sweet little etsy shop with lovely hand knitted animals and homespun yarn.
~With gratitude and love, and a happy sunday to you all~

Gifts of Love

As I mentioned in an earlier post, we are currently "squatting" with family, this family is my sister and her daughter, and they have been away all summer. It has been wonderful to have this time, we have had a sense of living our own way of life for these few weeks, for while my sister and I are best friends and full of love for each other, we are as different as night and day, 
I mean complete and total opposites. 
The children were so excited for them to return that they wanted to make some 
special gifts for their home coming. 
First we made them some book marks, we used some flowers that we had pressed, we made the edge by smudging a charcoal pencil from one piece of paper on to the book mark, added a tissue paper heart, and sealed it with self adhesive laminating sheets.
Kaleena made this one for herself, so pretty..
Then we baked lavender shortbread cookies using this recipe, (scroll down to the second recipe).
They turned out really delicious.
And as a new favorite, Kaleena wanted to share the frozen orange cups with her cousin, we made them with a mixture of fresh lemon and orange juice, fresh mint, a couple of lavender flowers and a hint of agave, then froze in the orange shell. For the grown ups we left it as a drinking lemonade.
My favorite part of all these projects was the love and affection that the children put into the return of
our family. They couldn't think of enough wonderful surprises for them, 
and the joy of giving was such a blessing for me to see.
~Have a wonderful day~