Thursday, September 3, 2009

Blogs: WeeFolkArt has me again ...

this post from Kimara at WeeFolkArt is sooooo me!  You really need to check out WeeFolkArt blog ... I seem to be posting alot about them lately.

I love that she went out and bought a scroll saw in order to make the trees for her grandchild ... and then that she ends up making a forest because her daughter thought it would be "cool" ... and then even made the forest so that the kids could have different orchards (pine trees for winter ... flowering dogwoods for spring ... leaves falling off trees for autumn ...)

Also note her "recipe" for the oil/beeswax finishing ... non-toxic and a hand-lotion-salve at the same time!  I love this and have included her recipe below so that I don't forget it when we get the scroll-saw and roto-tool for my birthday so we can make the Nativity figures we've been thinking on ....

Olive Oil and Beeswax Wood Finish Recipe
(I use a 4:1 ratio of olive oil to beeswax)
Pour 4 ounces of olive oil into a 2 cup Pyrex measuring cup. Add enough shaved beeswax to reach the 5 ounce mark on the measuring cup. (You'll be adding 1 ounce of beeswax to the oil. This is just a quick and easy way to measure the beeswax.) An easy way to make shavings is to freeze the solid beeswax then use a food grater.

Melt the mixture in the microwave for 1 1/2 - 3 minutes, until the wax is melted. Obviously, be careful because the oil is very hot.

The hot oil can be applied to the wood while it is in liquid form using a brush. Or, you can wait until the oil has cooled and becomes a firm paste, similar to Turtle Wax. I forgo a cloth, and apply the paste directly to the wood using my hands!

To store the olive oil and beeswax finish, place in an airtight contain and store away from direct sunlight. When you are ready to reuse, simple slather it on the wood as a paste, or if you prefer working with it in the liquid form, heat it in the micro wax just until it is melted.
You rock, WeeFolkArt!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Books: here's a great one for gardening

Gardening is definitely a creative act ... and one that is wonderful to develop with the kids.  In His Image listed quite a few gardening books that I like, but I did want to add this one:  Gardening with Kids by Catherine Woram and Martyn Cox.  This is definitely a keeper -- and Amazon currently has it for 58% (!) off the regular price.  The authors of this one understand kids and what they want to do when they garden. 
Packed with tips and explanations and clear photographs, this book includes planting ideas, crafting ideas, and game ideas.  There are lists of plants that kids should plant and ones that they shouldn't (either because they're poisonous, difficult to grow or hard to work with).  The craft ideas include crafts to make using natural things from the garden (including a really cute elf set made with twigs), crafts to make to attract nature to the garden, and gifts to make from the garden's bounty such as pretty seed packets and lavender sachets.
This book is definitely a must if you want to nurture creativity with your kids in the garden!