Friday, July 29, 2011

Fiber Crafted Felt Balls

Washed Wool
        My daughter Sophia learned how to wash wool when she was 2 at a Fall Farm program at the Phillies Bridge Farm.  As simple as it is to wash wool it really was a great way to get her involved in the fiber process.
A couple of years back we ended up attending a homeschooling workshop on sheep shearing and fiber arts.  They had many different small fiber workshops for the children to experience.  The table that we spent the most time at was the Felt Ball making table and this is where we learned this awesome craft.  I found that people make felt balls in different ways but the method that we're going to show you is effective and simple for children to learn quickly.  The younger children should start out with a smaller amount of wool so they can form their ball quicker.  

You're going to start out by thoroughly washing your wool.  After your wool is all cleaned up rinse it with hot water and a little dab of hand or dish soap, something mild.
Gently pull your wool into small and thin strips and cross them over one another.
pick up your pile and start to form your ball adding hot water as you roll between your palms.
Once you really feel your ball forming add cold water in small amounts as you roll.
Roll, roll, roll, roll!
This could take a while :)
To make a larger ball lay out more strips.
Start pulling tiny strips from your wool and cross hatch them.
This is what we started with for Gaias ball (age2) Her ball will be about an inch in diameter. 
Put your wool in the palm of your hand and gently start to form a ball.
Roll, roll, roll between your palms firmly until you form your ball....this could take a while.
Our finished could have used a little more rolling, but it's pretty good for a 2 year old!

Blueberry Muffins with Crumb Topping

We got this great blueberry muffin recipe from  We love love blueberry muffins and this recipe is one of the best we've tried in a while.  The recipe calls for white flour and allot of sugar so it's more like a dessert muffin than a substantial one.  We did have to go out and get more berries since we decided to double the recipe.  We also ran out of eggs so Gaia and I went out to the hen house to collect some fresh eggs.

Adding Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease muffin cups or line with muffin liners.
  2. Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, salt and baking powder. Place vegetable oil into a 1 cup measuring cup; add the egg and enough milk to fill the cup. Mix this with flour mixture. Fold in blueberries. Fill muffin cups right to the top, and sprinkle with crumb topping mixture.
  3. To Make Crumb Topping: Mix together 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour, 1/4 cup butter, and 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon. Mix with fork, and sprinkle over muffins before baking.
  4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until done.  
This is the awesome reaction that occurs when the milk hits the oil and egg!
Mix wet ingredients with dry  
Add blueberries
After we added our mixture to the muffin cups.
Our super buttery crumble topping!

Don't forget to add your crumble topping before you bake
Finished Muffins!



Thursday, July 28, 2011

7/29/11 Nature Collages, Crazy Painting, and Cup Cake Crayons...

Beginning of our walk
So last weekend I went to the grocery store and on my list was apple juice.  I bought apple juice, I put in the car, I brought it in the house, I even put it in the food pantry.  Who would of thought that the next Day I couldn’t find that darn apple juice.  That little bottle of juice had my head spinning all week.  I looked every where for the juice and even though I remembered buying the juice I started convincing myself that I never even touched it.  Well go figure my pantry slide out shelf got stuck today and it almost broke while I was trying to fix it…..what was propping that shelf closed? The apple juice!!!  Where is my brain these days :)
Sophia's Leaf

    Today my energy level was non existent.  My daughters of course was at 100%.  Breakfast, lunch, dinner, projects, reading, running around outside???  How do I accomplish all of this when I don’t even want to get out of my jammies!  Well It happened, at about 10am I got ready for my day.  I attempted to get dressed only to find that my clothes are even smaller on me than the day before.  Thank goodness that by the time I was done getting ready it was lunch time for the girls!  I let them choose their own lunches today, they both chose oatmeal and fruit.  We had a quick quiet time because by that hour I was ready play and hang out!

We actually ended up doing 3 awesome projects today!  2 planned and 1 on accident.  We made nature collages, did some crazy outside painting, and made cupcake crayons (the accident).

    So first our nature pictures!  This is something I used to do with my pre schoolers.  We walked around the yard collecting small rocks, twigs, leaves, flowers, acorns, etc….  Then we took glue and glued them all to paper to make a beautiful nature collage!  Soooo easy and they had a blast.

Gaia's pebbles
working together

Gaia Gluing
working on collages
Sophia's Collage

Gaia's Collage

  The second project we did was crazy painting.  This is super messy so we dressed in old play clothes.  We took paint and basically painted in the drive way.  This is crazy painting because you can do things outside with the paint that you cant do inside without making a gigantic mess.  You can fling the paint, jump on the paint, smush the paint, etc….


Gaia's picture

 Our next activity, cup cake crayons, I found this morning while searching the internet for new projects.  Now let me tell you we have a crayon maker and the crayons it makes are nothing compared to cupcake crayons! 

Peel Your Crayons
Steps to make cup cake crayons
-peel your crayons
-put them in lined muffin tins
-break up your crayons and place in tins
-bake at 250 for about 20-25 minutes
-stir each crayon before letting dry
-wait until solid and cold
We used like colors in each cup so that our crayons would come out looking something like the colors of the rainbow.  We did though mix different shades which made beautiful colors when they were cooled.
Line your cup cake tin

Fill with your colors

and wait....

Place in oven at 250.  Wait.....

Right out of the oven. Stir each crayon.

Finished Crayons-Top
Finished Crayons-Bottom

 Now it’s time for a movie, some spaghetti, a couple of books, and finally bed.

3 Hrs. later: Girls are sleeping, kitchen is clean, and mommy has dark chocolate caramel brownies in the oven :)

flip and tumble 5-Pack Reusable Produce Bagsflip and tumble 5-Pack Reusable Produce Bags

I'm putting these on my blog because I absolutely love them!  These little produce bags are just adorable and sooo necessary.  I have about 10 of them since we buy a ton of produce every week.  They're also great for the farmers market....I can't believe how much plastic we're saving.--Lizzy

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

7/27/11 Blueberries and Playdough

What an awesome day!  What better way to start the day than to go out to your own back yard to pick blueberries.  Yesterday there was a mother black bear on our road so today we brought our dog Bruno with us on our journey. Whenever we pick blueberries from our trees I think of Ians Nanny.  Nanny owned our house and lived here until she passed.  I always feel like she's watching over the girls, picking blueberries with them is something I know she would have loved to do.  We're saving our blueberries for tomorrow so we can bake blueberry muffins.

We went for a long hike on our property and explored streams, rocks, and bugs!  It was so beautiful out that we decided to stay out all morning.

I the afternoon we made play dough.  The girls had been waiting all day to get their hands sticky and gross.
We use a very basic play dough recipe.
Play Dough

2 cups Flour
1 cup Salt
1 cup Water
Food coloring optional!

First mix your flour and salt, then add water

We added red and blue food coloring to make purple but we ended up with a deep greyish blue.

Water and Flour


Kneading out the Dough
Sophia rolling out Sushi