Saturday, November 28, 2009

Legend of the Christmas Spider

On Christmas eve, a long time ago, a gentle mother was busily cleaning the house for the most wonderful day of the year... Christmas day, the day on which the little Christ child came to bless the house. Not a speck of dust was left. Even the spiders had been banished from their cozy corner on the ceiling. They had fled to the farthest corner of the attic.

The Christmas tree was beautifully decorated. The poor spiders were frantic, for they could not see the tree, nor be present for the little Christ child's visit. Then the oldest and wisest spider suggested that perhaps they could wait until everyone went to bed and then get a closer look.

When the house was dark and silent, the spiders crept out of their hiding place. When they neared the Christmas tree, they were delighted with the beauty of it. The spiders crept all over the tree, up and down, over the branches and twigs and saw every one of the pretty things.

The spiders loved the Christmas tree. All night long they danced in the branches, leaving them covered with spider webs. In the morning, when the little Christ child came to bless the house, he was dismayed! He loved the little spiders for they were God's creatures, but he knew the mother, who had worked so hard to make everything perfect, would not be pleased when she saw what the spiders had done.

With love in his heart and a smile on his lips, the little Christ child reached out and gently touched the spider webs. The spider webs started to sparkle and shine! They had all turned into sparkling, shimmering silver and gold.

According to legend, ever since this happened, people have hung tinsel on their Christmas trees. It has also become a custom to include a spider among the decorations on the Christmas tree.

A version of this story can be found in Shirley Climo's picture book "A Cobweb Christmas".

The first set of directions below comes from
I have also included links for 2 sites with really good step by step directions and wonderful pictures.

How to Make a Christmas Spider Ornament
The Christmas Spider serves as a holiday tradition for many people. It makes a wonderful gift and can be easily made using anything from inexpensive beads to crystal beads. Give it as a gift or hang it on your Christmas tree. Follow these steps to learn to make a Christmas Spider.

Things You'll Need:
Beads sizes-6mm and 10mm
Wire - make sure it will fit through the bead holes
Wire cutters

Pipe cleaners
Use pipe cleaners and plastic beads if working with younger children.
They can make their own spiders with these materials.

Step 1
Get two beads, a 6 mm and a 10 mm size, to use for the body and the head. String them onto the wire. First string the bigger bead for the body then the smaller bead as the head.

Step 2
Make sure that the wire you chose is thin enough to fit through the beads but soft enough to be bendable. A 20 half-hard gauge size works. Full-hard gauge may be too stiff to properly shape and bend.

Step 3
Cut four 6-inch lengths of wire to form the legs. For smaller spiders, use two wires to make four legs. Wrap all four wires together in the middle and wrap once between the body and head beads. Pull tightly to secure around the main wire.

Step 4
Arrange the wrapped wires that form legs in the form you desire. You can bead these legs as well, using 3- or 4-mm beads or seed beads with bugle beads as the legs themselves. To make the beaded legs, add the beads you have chosen by pushing them securely against the body and making a bend at the end of the wire to hold the beads on it.

This site has step by step directions for a beautiful beaded Christmas Spider. has a fabulous tutorial on making Polymer Clay Christmas Spiders

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Shoemaker and the Elves

Once upon a time there was an honest shoemaker, who was very poor. He worked as hard as he could, and still he could not earn enough to keep himself and his wife. At last there came a day when he had nothing left but one piece of leather, big enough to make one pair of shoes. He cut out the shoes, ready to stitch, and left them on the bench; then he said his prayers and went to bed, trusting that he could finish the shoes on the next day and sell them.

Bright and early the next morning, he rose and went to his work-bench. There lay a pair of shoes, beautifully made, and the leather was gone! There was no sign of any one's having been there. The shoemaker and his wife did not know what to make of it. But the first customer who came was so pleased with the beautiful shoes that he bought them, and paid so much that the shoemaker was able to buy leather enough for two pairs.

Happily, he cut them out, and then, as it was late, he left the pieces on the bench, ready to sew in the morning. But when morning came, two pairs of shoes lay on the bench, most beautifully made, and no sign of any one who had been there. The shoemaker and his wife were quite at a loss.

That day a customer came and bought both pairs, and paid so much for them that the shoemaker bought leather for four pairs, with the money.

Once more he cut out the shoes and left them on the bench. And in the morning all four pairs were made.

It went on like this until the shoemaker and his wife were prosperous people. But they could not be satisfied to have so much done for them and not know to whom they should be grateful. So one night, after the shoemaker had left the pieces of leather on the bench, he and his wife hid themselves behind a curtain, and left a light in the room.

Just as the clock struck twelve the door opened softly, and two tiny elves came dancing into the room, hopped on to the bench, and began to put the pieces together. They were quite naked, but they had wee little scissors and hammers and thread. Tap! tap! went the little hammers; stitch, stitch, went the thread, and the little elves were hard at work. No one ever worked so fast as they. In almost no time all the shoes were stitched and finished. Then the tiny elves took hold of each other's hands and danced round the shoes on the bench, till the shoemaker and his wife had hard work not to laugh aloud. But as the clock struck two, the little creatures whisked away out of the window, and left the room all as it was before.

The shoemaker and his wife looked at each other, and said, "How can we thank the little elves who have made us happy and prosperous?"

"I should like to make them some pretty clothes," said the wife, "they are quite naked."

"I will make the shoes if you will make the coats," said her husband.

That very day they set about it. The wife cut out two tiny, tiny coats of green, two weeny, weeny waistcoats of yellow, two little pairs of trousers, of white, two bits of caps, bright red (for every one knows the elves love bright colors), and her husband made two little pairs of shoes with long, pointed toes. They made the wee clothes as dainty as could be, with nice little stitches and pretty buttons; and by Christmas time, they were finished.

On Christmas eve, the shoemaker cleaned his bench, and on it, instead of leather, he laid the two sets of gay little fairy- clothes. Then he and his wife hid away as before, to watch.

Promptly at midnight, the little naked elves came in. They hopped upon the bench; but when they saw the little clothes there, they laughed and danced for joy. Each one caught up his little coat and things and began to put them on. Then they looked at each other and made all kinds of funny motions in their delight. At last they began to dance, and when the clock struck two, they danced quite away, out of the window.

They never came back any more, but from that day they gave the shoemaker and his wife good luck, so that they never needed any more help.

Original story by the Brothers Grimm; this version from Stories to Tell to Children by Sara Cone Bryant

This is a Fabulous craft!! Now you, too, can be a shoemaker (or an elf) when you make your own....Denim Slippers

Materials Needed:
1 pair of jeans
Thin cardboard or paper for making a pattern

1) Trace the general outline of your foot...cut out the pattern using cardboard or paper

2) Use this pattern to cut out _ 4 outlines of your foot from denim
and 2 from batting

3)Run a stitch on the outside, joining the two cloth pieces leaving an opening to insert the foam. Turn the cloth inside out and put the foam. Then, complete the stitch. You can back stitch either by hand or on the sewing machine.

3) Use the backpockets of the jeans for the top of your slipper.....cut the pocket from the jeans then sew one pocket to the top/toe area of your slipper

This site has slippers with great directions and pics (slippers pictured above are from this site)

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Mitten.....a Ukrainian Folktale

There was once an old man who lost his mitten.

A mouse came running up, and she climbed into the mitten and sat there.

By and by a Frog came hopping up, and she stopped and called out:

"Hullo there! Who is living in this mitten?"

"I am. Crunch-Munch the Mouse. And who are you?"

"Hop-Stop the Frog. Let me in!"

"All right. Jump in!"

By and by a Rabbit came scurrying up, and he stopped and called out:

"Hullo there! Who is living in this mitten?"

"We are. Crunch-Munch the Mouse, Hop-Stop the Frog. And who are you?"

"Fleet-Feet the Rabbit. May I join you?"

"All right. Jump in!"

By and by a Fox came scampering up, and he stopped and called out:

"Hullo there! Who is living in this mitten?"

"We are. Crunch-Munch the Mouse, Hop-Stop the Frog, Fleet-Feet the Rabbit. And who are you?"

"Smily-Wily the Fox. Won't you make room for me?"

"All right. Jump in!"

So there the four of them sat, and by and by a Wolf came stalking up, and he stopped and called out:

"Hullo there! Who is living in this mitten?"

"We are. Crunch-Munch the Mouse, Hop-Stop the Frog, Fleet-Feet the Rabbit and Smily-Wily the Fox. And who are you?"

"Howly-Prowly the Wolf. And I meant to get in!"

"All right. Go ahead!"

By and by a Bear came lumbering up, and he growled and roared and called out:

"Hullo there! Who is living in this mitten?"

"We are. Crunch-Munch the Mouse, Hop-Stop the Frog, Fleet-Feet the Rabbit, Smily-Wily the Fox and Howly-Prowly the Wolf. And who are you?"

"Grumbly-Rumbly the Bear. And I know you'll make room for me!"

"All right. Get in!"

So the Bear Squeezed in too, and there the six of them sat in the mitten.

By and by a Wild Boar came sauntering up, and he stopped and called out with a grunt:

"Hullo there! Who is living in this mitten?"

"We are. Crunch-Munch the Mouse, Hop-Stop the Frog, Fleet-Feet the Rabbit, Smily-Wily the Fox, Howly-Prowly the Wolf and Grumbly-Rumbly the Bear. And who are you?"

"Snout-Rout the Boar. And I'm sure you want me too."

"All right. Climb in!"

So the Boar squeezed in, and there the seven of them sat in the mitten.

By and by a hunter came walking up. He saw the mitten move, and bang! - he fired his gun. The mitten burst, and away helter-skelter ran the seven friends.

Mittens, Mittens, Mittens!! OMGosh!! I love this vid!
This craft is soooo simple! Older kids or adults can do the cutting and assist with the sewing which can be done by hand or machine.

I am sooo ready to run to the nearest thrift shop and buy some sweaters!
No...I don't have any sweaters I want to cut up..nyah!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I Had An Old Coat....a recyling song and more fabulous recycling projects!

Yes! It's another recycling blog!

Instead of a story for this blog, I have a song.
This song, I HAD AN OLD COAT, is based on a a Yiddish folksong I used in my May blog.

And that Yiddish song was the inspiration for the The Thrifty Tailor story from my April blog.

And it was also the inspiration for the book Joseph had A Little Overcoat by Simms Taback (you can read the book at The picture at the top of the blog came from this book.

written by Paul Kaplan

I had an old coat and the coat got torn, what'll I do
I had an old coat and the coat got torn, what'll I do
I had an old coat and the coat got torn
So I cut it down and a jacket was born
And I sing every day of my life.

In a couple of years those threads got thin, what'll I do.
In a couple of years those threads got thin, what'll I do.
In a couple of years those threads got thin
So I called it a shirt and I tucked it in
And I sing every day of my life.

Then the arms wore out in the East and West, what'll I do.
Those arms wore out in the East and West, what'll I do.
The arms wore out in the East and West
So I pulled them off and I had a vest
And I sing every day of my life.

Then the vest got stained with cherry pie, what'll I do.
That vest got stained with cherry pie, what'll I do.
The vest got stained with cherry pie
So I cut and sewed 'til I had a tie
And I sing every day of my life.

Soon that tie was looking lean, what'll I do
Soon that tie was looking lean, what'll I do
Soon that tie was looking lean
But I made a fat patch for my old blue jeans
And I sing every day of my life.

When that patch was next to nuttin', what'll I do
When that patch was next to nuttin', what'll I do
When that patch was next to nuttin'
I rolled it up into a button
And I sing every day of my life.

When that button was almost gone, what'll I do
When that button was almost gone, what'll I do
When that button was almost gone
With what was left I made this song
Which I sing every day of my life.

copyright: Paul Kaplan Music, 1985

So far I have 3, oops! make that 4, craft vids for you.
The first vid is for younger children although admittedly the adult has to do a lot of the work but it's still fun for the kids.
The other vids are for older kids that can either hand sew or use a sewing machine.

This is a really cute and simple craft but adults and caution are required.

This one is almost no sew. Great for the younger kids. They will only need a little help and supervision with the scissors.

Love the music used in this vid!
Great directions for turning a sweater into a great purse.

Recycled Sweater Pants for Toddlers Directions at That's Kinda Cool

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Elephant and the Dog ....a Jataka tale of Friendship

ONCE upon a time a Dog used to go into the stable where the king's Elephant lived. At first the Dog went there to get the food that was left after the Elephant had finished eating.

Day after day the Dog went to the stable, waiting around for bits to eat. But by and by the Elephant and the Dog came to be great friends. Then the Elephant began to share his food with the Dog, and they ate together. When the Elephant slept, his friend the Dog slept beside him. When the Elephant felt like playing, he would catch the Dog in his trunk and swing him to and fro. Neither the Dog nor the Elephant was quite happy unless the other was near-by.

One day a farmer saw the Dog and said to the Elephant-keeper: "I will buy that Dog. He looks good-tempered, and I see that he is smart. How much do you want for the Dog?"

The Elephant-keeper did not care for the Dog, and he did want some money just then. So he asked a fair price, and the farmer paid it and took the Dog away to the country.

The king's Elephant missed the Dog and did not care to eat when his friend was not there to share the food. When the time came for the Elephant to bathe, he would not bathe. The next day again the Elephant would not eat, and he would not bathe. The third day, when the Elephant would neither eat nor bathe, the king was told about it.

The king sent for his chief servant, saying, "Go to the stable and find out why the Elephant is acting in this way."

The chief servant went to the stable and looked the Elephant all over. Then he said to the Elephant-keeper: "There seems to be nothing the matter with this Elephant's body, but why does he look so sad? Has he lost a play-mate?"

"Yes," said the keeper, "there was a Dog who ate and slept and played with the Elephant. The Dog went away three days ago."

"Do you know where the Dog is now?" asked the chief servant.

"No, I do not," said the keeper.

Then the chief servant went back to the king and said. "The Elephant is not sick, but he is lonely without his friend, the Dog."

"Where is the Dog?" asked the king.

"A farmer took him away, so the Elephant-keeper says," said the chief servant. "No one knows where the farmer lives."

"Very well," said the king. "I will send word all over the country, asking the man who bought this Dog to turn him loose. I will give him back as much as he paid for the Dog."

When the farmer who had bought the Dog heard this, he turned him loose. The Dog ran back as fast as ever he could go to the Elephant's stable. The Elephant was so glad to see the Dog that he picked him up with his trunk and put him on his head. Then he put him down again.

When the Elephant-keeper brought food, the Elephant watched the Dog as he ate, and then took his own food.

All the rest of their lives the Elephant and the Dog lived together.

from More Jataka Tales by Ellen C. Babbitt published in 1922

This is a favorite camp activity and very simple....Friendship Bracelets.
If you click on the picture below, you can read the directions easily.

You will need:
4 Colors of Embroidery Floss approx 25" Long
Masking Tape

A very detailed set of directions can be found at

Saturday, August 15, 2009

I LOVE this Song!!.....The Sun is a Mass Of Incandescent Gas...

This extremely educational and catchy tune was written by Lou Singer and Hy Zaret in 1959.
Hy Zaret(who cowrote Unchained Melody)became interested in educational children's music in the late 1950s.
He collaborated with Lou Singer on a six-album series called "Ballads for the Age of Science".
The albums covered the subjects of space, energy and motion, experiments, weather, and nature.
The records were quite successful, and the song "Why Does the Sun Shine?" aka "The Sun Is a Mass of Incandescent Gas"(I love that title)was even covered by They Might Be Giants in 1994 on a cd of the same name.

I first heard this song at a summer camp and not only did the kids love the song but it was a favorite among the counselors as well!
It is fun to sing and can even be put on as a sort of mini musical
(costumes and all).
The spoken parts are wonderful when said by one child or a counselor in an "announcer" type voice.

The sun is a mass of incandescent gas
A gigantic nuclear furnace
Where Hydrogen is built into Helium
At a temperature of millions of degrees

The sun is hot, the sun is not
A place where we could live
But here on Earth there'd be no life
Without the light it gives

We need its light, we need its heat
The sun light that we seek
The sun light comes from our own sun's
Atomic energy

The sun is a mass of incandescent gas
A gigantic nuclear furnace
Where Hydrogen is built into Helium
At a temperature of millions of degrees

The sun is hot...

The sun is so hot that everything on it is a gas
Aluminum, Copper, Iron, and many others

The sun is large...

If the sun were hollow, a million Earth's would fit inside
And yet, it is only a middle size star

The sun is far away...

About 93,000,000 miles away
And that's why it looks so small

But even when it's out of sight
The sun shines night and day

We need its heat, we need its light
The sun light that we seek
The sun light comes from our own sun's
Atomic energy

Scientists have found that the sun is a huge atom smashing machine
The heat and light of the sun are caused by nuclear reactions between
Hydrogen, Nitrogen, Carbon, and Helium

The sun is a mass of incandescent gas
A gigantic nuclear furnace
Where Hydrogen is built into Helium
At a temperature of millions of degrees

The tune on midi can be found at
Why does the sun shine?

Here's a fun (short) Sun song if the first one is too much for you!

Oh, Mr. Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun,
Please shine down on me.
Oh Mr. Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun,
Hiding behind a tree
These little children are asking you
To please come out so we can play with you.
Oh Mr. Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun,
Please shine down on,
please shine down on,
Please shine down on me.

Well, that was fun! Now on to the sun activities.

I've made a very short list of some of the activities you can do and included links.
I will only give a little detail on one craft and that is Sun Painting/Printing.

Make a Sundial
Make Sun Tea
Make Sun Catcher
Make a Sun Pinata

Sun Paint Picture/Info from Dharma Trading

Sun Printing/Painting

The very simplest way to sunprint is to use Dark colored construction paper, Natural objects such as leaves, twigs and pinecones; and also household objects such as scissors, keys and old cutlery.
The Process:
Place the construction paper outside somewhere in the direct sunlight.
Give the child/ren the freedom to arrange the objects in any way on the paper.
Allow the objects sit for at least two hours in the sun (time depends on strength of sunlight)
Remove the objects to discover what the sun has painted.

You can also purchase Sun Printing Kit which come with photo-sensitive paper.

Another method that can be done with older children or adults:

The easiest method of sun printing is actually sun painting, not dyeing. You saturate fabric with any transparent fabric paint, arrange objects on the damp fabric, then expose the assemblage to the sun or any hot lamp. It is actually the infrared light (radiant heat) which does the trick. It is not the ultraviolet in the light which does the work, as is sometimes claimed, but instead infrared, so a halogen lamp is more suitable than a fluorescent sun lamp. Exposed areas dry first, in the hot light; the exposed fabric, as it dries, sucks additional wet dye out from under whatever you have placed on top of the fabric. The result is lighter-colored 'shadows' wherever you placed the masking objects. The color is deeper where the light from the sun, or the hot lamp, was able to reach. This procedure has been widely popularized for use with Seta Color brand fabric paint. Other brands of thin, transparent fabric paint will work, as well; for example, PRO Chemical & Dye provides instructions for "Sun Printing using PROfab Textile Paints", and Jacquard includes instructions on their online "How To" page for Dye-Na-Flow fabric paint. Sun painting is a highly suitable project for children and beginners.
Quote from All about Hand Dyeing pburch

Friday, August 7, 2009

The Princess and the Pea.......with lots of craft ideas

THERE was once a Prince who wished to marry a Princess; but then she must be a real Princess. He travelled all over the world in hopes of finding such a lady; but there was always something wrong.
Princesses he found in plenty; but whether they were real Princesses it was impossible for him to decide, for now one thing, now another, seemed to him not quite right about the ladies.
At last he returned to his palace quite cast down, because he wished so much to have a real Princess for his wife.

One evening a fearful tempest arose, it thundered and lightened, and the rain poured down from the sky in torrents: besides, it was as dark as pitch. All at once there was heard a violent knocking at the door, and the old King, the Prince's father, went out himself to open it.

It was a Princess who was standing outside the door. What with the rain and the wind, she was in a sad condition; the water trickled down from her hair, and her clothes clung to her body. She said she was a real Princess.

"Ah! we shall soon see that!" thought the old Queen-mother; however, she said not a word of what she was going to do; but went quietly into the bedroom, took all the bed-clothes off the bed, and put three little peas5 on the bedstead. She then laid twenty mattresses one upon another over the three peas, and put twenty feather beds over the mattresses.

Upon this bed the Princess was to pass the night.

The next morning she was asked how she had slept. "Oh, very badly indeed!" she replied. "I have scarcely closed my eyes the whole night through. I do not know what was in my bed, but I had something hard under me, and am all over black and blue.
It has hurt me so much!"

Now it was plain that the lady must be a real Princess, since she had been able to feel the three little peas through the twenty mattresses and twenty feather beds. None but a real Princess could have had such a delicate sense of feeling.

The Prince accordingly made her his wife; being now convinced that he had found a real Princess. The three peas were however put into the cabinet of curiosities, where they are still to be seen, provided they are not lost.

Wasn't this a lady of real delicacy?

written by Hans Christian Andersen in 1835

For something a little different go to youtube and watch Faerie Tale Theatre's version of The Princess and the Pea

Why not make your own Princess bed with "mattresses" and Pea included?

You'll need:

A doll bed
A "Princess" doll
(if you want to do the whole story why not find a Prince and a Queen?)
Pieces of colorful polar fleece (large enough to be cut to fit the bed)
A Piece of Paper or Cardboard to make a pattern
Tape Measure or Ruler
Marker or Tailors Chalk
A dried Pea or a green bead

1)Measure your doll bed to find out the size your "mattresses" will be.
You can fit them to the frame or have them overlap more like quilts.
2)Make a pattern using your paper/cardboard.
3)Place the pattern on your fabric and use the marker/tailors chalk to trace it.
4)Cut out as many "matttesses" as you would like. The more the merrier.
5)Place your "pea" on the edge of the bed and then cover with your "mattresses".
6)Use your dolls (or puppets or action figures whatever works for you) to act out the story of the Princess and the Pea.

This activity will work with children as young as preschool age if they are carefully monitored and you use safety scissors.

For an older child upgrade:
You might consider making "mattresses" by using fabric and quilt batting to make small puffy quilts.
Cut a front and back out of your pattern and hand sew them together, leaving an opening at the top. Cut a piece of batting with the same pattern and insert into fabric. Slip stitch mattress/quilt closed.
(this pic found at

More Craft Ideas:

This craft can be found at the

The directions for this fabulous cake can be found at

Here is a wonderful rendition of the Princess and the Pea story by author/artist Lauren Child, author of the "Charlie and Lola" and the "Clarice Bean" books.(you can find the book at

Friday, July 31, 2009

Why the Sun and the Moon Live in the African folktale

"Why the Sun and the Moon live in the Sky" is an African folktale from Nigeria.


Long, long ago, Sun, Moon and Water were the best of friends.
At that time, Sun and Moon, who were married, lived on the earth.
Sun went to visit Water, almost every day, but Water never returned the visits.

Finally, Sun asked, "Water, my friend, why is it that you never come to visit?"
Water replied, "Sun, I would very much like to come to visit. But you home is not big enough for me and all of my people. Were I to come visit, there would be no room left for you and your lovely wife, Moon."

Water then told Sun, "If you want me to visit you, you will have to build a very large house. But I warn you that it will have to be very, very large, as my people are numerous and take up a lot of room."

Sun was overjoyed that his good friend Water wanted to come visit.
"Do not worry, my friend," he said,"I will build a huge compound so that you and your people can come visit."

Sun soon returned home, where his wife Moon greeted him with a smile.
"My dearest Moon", he said "Our friend Water has promised to visit us but first we must build a larger house so that he and his people will fit."
"How wonderful!" said Moon.

The next day, they began building a very large house to entertain the water and all his people. When it was finished, it was the largest house in the area.

Sun then went to ask water to come and visit him.
Water said he would be there the next morning.

When Water arrived, one of his people called out "Sun, we are here. May we come in?"
"Yes," said Sun "Tell my friend,Waater, that he is welcome in my home."

With those words, Water began to flow in. With Water came fish, crabs, otters and other water animals.

Soon, the water was knee-deep in the house.
Water called out, " Sun do you want me and my people to continue to come in?" Together Sun and Moon answered, "Oh yes, please come in to our home."
And more of Water's people poured into the house octopi, stingray, eels, starfish and more.

When the water was at the level of a man's head, Water,who was becoming a little concerned called to Sun and said, "Are you sure you want more of my people to come in?"

Wanting to be good hosts, Sun and Moon both said, "Yes, please, you are all welcome in our home."
More and more of the water's people came in, seahorses, whales, eels, anemonie, sponges and more.
So many that soon, Sun and Moon had to sit on top of the roof.

Once again, Water asked, "Do you wish us to continue to come in?"
Sun and Moon answered "Yes,please, you are all welcome in our home."
So more of Water's people came in. Sea turtles, sharks,coral shrimps, urchins, lobsters......

By now Water overflowed the top of the roof, and the sun and the moon were forced to go up into the sky.

...and they have been there ever since.

Retold by LLL,Storysinger/Storyteller

Create a Motion Ocean

Water is denser than oil. Plus, the two liquids never mix.
So when the water moves, it pushes the oil around, making shapes like waves.

What you will need:
Empty two liter plastic bottle with lid
Clear vegetable oil or mineral oil
Blue food coloring
Small star fish, shells and other sea creatures
White craft glue
Hot glue

How to:
1)Wash and dry two-liter bottle and remove all labels
2)Fill bottle halfway with tap water
3)Add a few drops of blue food coloring and swirl around to mix
4)Add glitter
5)Add sea creatures
6)Fill bottle the rest of the way with vegetable oil using a funnel.
7)Be sure that rim and cap are dry, then apply white craft glue around the rim. Seal cap.
8)Use a layer of hot glue around the outer edge of the cap for added protection from leakage.
10)Turn bottle on its side and gently rock the bottle to create a “wave” inside your ocean habitat!

Helpful hints:
Use lightweight starfish, shells and other sea creature toys that can float. Test them first in a bowl or glass of water. Find these at your local craft supply store or discount department store.
Make the ocean any color you choose! Blue is standard of course, but if your child’s room is decorated with red and yellow, go with red food coloring. There’s no rule that says your ocean must be blue.
Small children will be mesmerized by this creation. They can help make this every step. Let them insert the sea creatures, hold the funnel and help add the tap water. In the steps that may be more difficult for little fingers, have them hold the bottle steady for you while you add the glitter.

basic directions found at

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Legend of the Dandelion

Long, long ago, the flowers had a huge argument about which of them was the most beautiful, the most special, the most loved by the humans and by the fairies. The argument lasted for weeks, with each flower claiming to be the most beautiful and the most loved. Finally, all of the flowers agreed to let the Flower Fairies decide.

The Flower Fairies sent they're gentlest and kindest of spirit fairy to settle the problem and to give one plant her blessing and the title of the "most perfect" flower. The little Fairy decided to test each flower by asking them one question.

The first flower the Fairy talked to was the Rose.
"Where would you most like to live?" she asked it.
"I would like to climb the castle wall." said the Rose. "And then kings and queens and nobles would pass by everyday and exclaim over my beauty, my scent and my delicate nature."
The Flower Fairy walked sadly away from the Rose.

Next the Fairy came to a tulip, standing tall and proud. "Where would you most like to live?" she asked the Tulip.
"Oh, I want to live in a public garden" said the Tulip. "Where everyday people would come and admire my wonderful colors and see how straight and tall I stand." Once again, the Fairy walked a way feeling sad.

She walked until she came to a forest. There she found some Violets. She asked them "Where would you most like to live, little Violets?" "Oh" said the violets quietly "We like it here hidden in the woods where no one can see us and where the trees keep the sun from dulling our beautiful color." The fairy thanked the Violets and walked on looking for more flowers to talk to.

She talked to the Tiger Lily who was much too wild and fierce.
She talked to the Sunflower who barely answered her because all she wanted to do was be warmed by the sun.
The little Flower Fairy talked to the Orchids who only wanted to be taken out to dances and she tried to talk to the Narcissus but it was too busy looking at it's reflection in the water to speak to her.

The little Fairy, with tears in her eyes, was ready to give up and go home when she came to a field with bright fluffy yellow flowers on long thin stalks. The leaves were long and jagged and very close to the ground. But the flowers....oh how happy and cheerful they looked in the field!

"Little one" said the Flower Fairy "What are you called and where would you like to live?"

"I am a dandelion" said the little flower."I'd like to live where ever there are children. I want to live beside the road, and in the meadows, and push up between the sidewalks in the cities, and make everyone feel happier when they see my bright colors." The Dandelion chattered on happily saying "I want to be the first flower that the children pick in the spring and take to their mothers. And I could tell if a child likes butter by being rubbed under their chins, and if a child makes a wish and blows my seeds, I could carry that wish on the wind."

The Flower Fairy smiled brightly and said "Little Dandelion, you are the most perfect and special flower of all and you shall have your wish! You will blossom everywhere from spring till fall, and be known as the children's flower."

And this is why the dandelion comes so early and pushes her head up everywhere with such strength and determination. And why she is so loved by children throughout her long life.
(retold by LLL,Storyteller)

Dandelion Trivia:
It is said that after Theseus, the Greek hero, slew the Minotaur, a monster that was half man and half bull and lived in a labyrinth, he ate a Dandelion salad.

The number of inches a child will grow in the coming year is said to be foretold by the tallest dandelion stalk he can find.

Dandelions were declared an endangered wildflower in England.

How to Make a Dandelion Chain

Dandelions (with thick stems)
Xacto Knife or small sharp scissors (for adults or older child only)
Lots of imagination!

Step 1: Pick dandelions with long, thick stems, one at a time.

Step 2: Make a short slit halfway down the stem of one dandelion.

Step 3: Insert the stem end of a second dandelion into the slit and push it down through the first dandelion as far as it will go.

Step 4: Make a slit halfway down the second dandelion and insert a third dandelion.

Step 5: Continue until your chain is a little longer than you want it to be. Tie the last stem to the first dandelion near the flower.

Step 6: Make necklaces, crowns and bracelets.

Expect the flowers to wilt quickly.

Did you know?....Dandelions are sensitive to the weather. In good weather the head is fully open but if rain threatens it closes up. Also, the dandelion is said to close up against the dew around 5pm and to open up again at 7am. (Wonder if that's why it's called a clock?) Although this behaviour is said to depend on the intensity if the light so the times differ at different lattitudes and seasons.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

New Pots from Old...a recycling tale from Papa Joe

This is a marvelous recycling story and can be found in a wonderful book called Spinning Tales Weaving Hope
BTW, Papa Joe has generously given permission (to anyone not just myself) to use and tell this story, be sure to give appropriate credit. Enjoy!

A long time ago, before your parents were born, before your grandparents were born, even before your great great great grandparents were born, there was a village near a river. It was so far away that we would never have known of it if not for the old storytellers.

In the village, by the river, lived a family who dearly loved to play with mud. There was a large bank of gray mud behind their house. At first, the family just squished it between their fingers or patted it into pies. One day, however, they realized that this was special mud. It was different than the mud taken from other places on the river. This mud kept its shape when it dried.

What do you suppose it was? Can you imagine? That's right. It was clay.

So what do you suppose they made with it?

Well, the first thing they made was a bowl. It was a fine bowl, a little rough around the edges, but they were just starting out.

Next, they made a spoon. The bowl was great for putting soup in, but they needed a spoon to get the soup out.

Oh, boats! They made the most wonderful toy boats to sail in the river.

Jugs! The day the family learned to make jugs was a happy day for the whole village by the river. For that was the day that everyone could start storing water in their homes. Imagine that! Before that day, everyone had to walk to the spring every time they needed water.

Oh yes! They made pipes! And valves too! Pipes to carry the water from the spring into the homes.

And shirts. It became quite the fad, wearing clay mural shirts. Each little clay square stitched together to form the clothes and clicking and clacking with every step.

But mostly they made pots.

Well, the years went by and the years went on and the family made better and better pots, fancier and fancier pots. Everyone in the village bought pots from them. In fact, the villagers called them the Potters.

But the Potters didn't just sell pots. They made and sold anything you could want and they made it all from clay. They made toys and tables, tiles for walls, floors, and roofs. They made bricks for streets and buildings.

Well, the years went by and the years went on and the village by the river used more and more clay for more and more things. If you were to look at the village you might think it was all made of clay. And maybe it was. For now everyone lived in clay houses with clay roofs. They sat on clay chairs and slept on clay beds. They ate from clay plates on clay tables with clay forks.

From the beginning they found that they needed a hot fire to dry the clay hard. Each day, the Potters had to cut down trees to fire the clay. They cut the trees until the woods near the village were gone and only a few scattered trees were left. When the woods were gone the animals left. They walked, flew, or clawed until they found new woods so far away that the villagers knew nothing about them.

But the clay! Aha! Everywhere you looked, anything that could be made with clay was. And you know about clay? If you drop it, what happens?

It breaks! No one really worried about breaking anything. If something broke they would go to the Potters and have a new thing made. A new thing, a better thing, a thing with new colors and new designs, not last year's colors or scenes of trees and animals, no one wanted trees and animals any more.

And what did they do with all the bits and pieces? What did they do with all the old clay shards? They hauled them out of the village to a big hole and threw them in. As the years went by and the years went on the hole filled up with shards. As the years went by and the years went on the hole became a pile, then a hill, and finally a mountain of clay shards. The people called it Shard Mountain.

As the mountain grew bigger and bigger, the clay bank by the river grew smaller and smaller until it became a pit that grew deeper and deeper. Finally the day came when the Potters could find no more clay.

"No clay! What are we going to do?"

"I don't know. What can we do?"

What could they do? They had never bothered to learn anything but making things with clay. For generations the Potters had used this clay and now they were helpless.
At first, the villagers thought nothing of the used up clay pit. But soon everyone was thinking of it. For whenever something broke it was gone and it could not be replaced.
The day a strong wind came and tore clay tiles from the roofs, people thought of the empty clay pit.
Every time it rained, they thought of the clay pit.
The day a village elder tripped on a chair, fell on his table and broke two of its legs, he thought of the empty clay pit.
As all of his clay dishes and cups crashed to the floor, he thought of the clay pit.
Each time a thing broke people thought of the empty clay pit and knew the thing could not be replaced.

One day the villagers had a meeting.
One cried, "This is terrible! I don't have a single pot left."
The second said, "We must do something!"
A third called, "What can we do?"
Then they all began shouting ideas.
"Look for a new clay pit." "We tried that."
"Get a new Potter family." "That won't help."
"How about replacing the broken things with something else? Something different than clay?"
"Like what?"
"Wood?" "There is no more!"
"Paper?" "That's made from wood!"
"Animal skins?" "They left with the trees."
"Glass?" "Wonderful, how do you make it?"
"Sand!" "We don't have any."
"Rocks?" "None around here."
"Steel?" "Steal what."
"Plastic?" "It hasn't been invented yet."

Finally someone said, "This is all the Potters' fault. We should be making them find the answer. We wouldn't be in this mess if it wasn't for them. I vote we tell them to find the answer or get out of the village."

The village elders went to the Potters and told them what had been decided. Do you know what the Potters did? They sat around and cried, "I don't want to leave."

But one little girl wasn't crying. Her name was Penny. Of all the people in the Potter family, Penny Potter was particularly perceptive. Penny Potter perceived that if no one in the village knew the answer to the problem, then she would need to go out of the village to find the answer. The only person she knew outside the village was the Witch of Shard Mountain.

In a cave on the on the far side of Shard Mountain, lived an old witch. She had lived there as long as anyone in the village could remember. She only came into the village about once a month to do her shopping. When she came the children would laugh at her and call her names. They threw clay shards at her and sang a terrible song.

Witchy, Witchy, Witchy
Lives in the ditchy.
Skin like dry clay.
Hair like dry hay
Witchy, witch, Witchy.

Penny thought of these things as she walked down the path to Shard Mountain. It was a long and hard climb around and up the far side of that mountain. She stood at last at the gaping hole that was the entrance to the witch's cave.

Penny was shaking. She thought, "Ohhh! What if she turns me into a frog."
And then, "Well, I don't remember anyone really being hurt by her."
Still shaking, she called out:
"Hello" (Hello, Hello, Hello)
"Hello" (Hello, Hello, Hello)
"Is anyone home?" (Home, Home, Home)

From the back of the cave came the sound of a boot scraping across the floor. Scrape. Thump. Scrape. Thump. Scrape. Thump.

Penny shook harder and harder. The witch stepped into the light.

"I know you. You're one of those village children. One of those children who throw shards at me. What are you doing up here? Did you come to call me names?"

Penny was still shaking. "Oh no! I never threw anything at you. I never called you names."

"Maybe you did and maybe you didn't, but you haven't answered my question: What are you doing up here? Tell me now."

Penny was almost sobbing. "I came because we need help and I was hoping you could give it to me."

The witch fixed her eyes on Penny. "What kind of help could an old one like me give to you?

"You've seen how our village is built of clay?"

"I've noticed," returned the witch bitterly.

"We've run out of clay. There isn't any more. I was hoping that if you really were a witch, then you could make more clay for us."

"Ha!" Scolded the witch. "Why should I help you, little one? Why should I help your village? After the way your people have destroyed the woods? After the way your people have treated me, I'd rather punish you than help

Penny was in tears. "But we need your help."
"Your Village never helped me! I never did anything to those children. Why do they treat me so ill?"
"Well," stammered Penny. "Perhaps because you're different."
"Is that a reason to hurt me?" Screamed the witch.
"No," Penny whispered. "I am sorry the children hurt you."

The witch looked at Penny for a long time. "Listen, Penny Potter. I do know you. You are particularly perceptive. I can help you.

"I don't like being disliked. If you can bring the children of the village here and if you can help me stop them from being so cruel, then I will help you and your village. Bring the children to me."

So Penny went back down the around the mountain. Down and around she ran as fast as she could. At last she came to the village. "Come out, come out wherever you are," she called. "Olly olly in free!"

All of the village children came running up to Penny.

"If we want to get new clay we need to get help from the witch. But the witch won't help because you've been so mean. Come up to her cave and tell her you're sorry. Come up to her cave and ask to be friends."

But the children began with "ohs!" and "No!" They were afraid to go to the witch.

"I'm not going! said one. "Nor I," said the another. "None of us will go.
She'll turn us all into polliwogs!" Claimed the third.

Penny shook her head. "I was just up there. She didn't do anything to me. She is just upset because you've been so hateful. If you don't come with me to the cave, I'll go back alone. But you'll never see another new clay toy or game or anything again."

Penny turned and headed back for the cave. At first the children watched her walk away. Then someone said, "We have been cruel. The witch never did anything to us even when we threw shards at her. I'm going."

As the first child walked forward another followed. Slowly, one by one the children headed up the path to Shard Mountain. Up and around they went until they came to the gaping black hole near the top. Now it was the children's turn to shake as Penny called into the cave.

"Hello" (Hello, Hello, Hello)
"Hello" (Hello, Hello, Hello)
"Are you home?" (Home, Home, Home)

From the back of the cave came the sound of a boot scraping across the floor. Scrape. Thump. Scrape. Thump. Scrape. Thump.

The children were shaking harder and harder.

Out came the witch. "So! You're all here, eh? All the nice children who enjoy torturing an old lady? Have you had your fun? Do you think I like it? Would you like me to treat you like that? Well? What have you got to say for yourselves?"

"We're sorry." "What? I can't hear you!"
"We're sorry." "What?"
"We're Sorry?"
"Will you think it's fun to mistreat people like that again?"
"No ma'am." "What?"
"No ma'am." "What?"
"No, Ma'am?"
"Then off you go. Penny, come with me."

If you think Penny was brave to come to the witch's cave, can you imagine how brave she was to walk into its dark entrance?" Deeper and deeper they walked through the dark tunnel until they came to a small room lit by one red candle with a green flame.

"Let's see. It's around here somewhere." The witch began tossing books off the shelves.

"No, not that one.
Not that one.
Nor that one.
Or that one
No, no, no?

"Here it is. Now which page? Hmm, hmm, hmm. Yes, that's right. Yes! Just as I thought."

The witch turned to Penny. "Now you start by taking the old clay..."

"What?" Penny was confused. "I thought you were going to make new clay. I thought you'd say a spell and the clay pit would be full again."

"Ha! A spell to refill the old pit. You want something from nothing? You've been wasting clay and wood for years. Do you want to do it all again? Penny, your village needs to start recycling. You need to start saving things like clay and reusing them. You have a whole mountain of clay here and a whole village below. you'll never run out of clay again if you just stop throwing it all away.

"As I was saying," the witch continued. "Take the old clay and grind it into a fine powder. Add a little of this and a little of that and here you go: new soft pliable clay!"

Penny began to leap with joy. "Oh! Thank you! Thank you!"

"Wait, you silly goose! What good is the new clay now? You've used up nearly every tree for the fires that baked your clay."

Penny sat down. She had been so worried about the clay she had forgotten about the wood. Ah well. So had everyone else in the village.

The witch continued, "If your people will promise to leave the trees alone and, more than that, if you will help replant the woods, I will help you build a new kiln to bake your clay. A kiln that doesn't burn wood."

Penny's eyes went wide and her mouth dropped open. "You really are magic!"

"Maybe I am and maybe I'm not, but the sun has all the power you need to fire your pots. The sun will heat the new kiln we'll build."

"The sun?" Penny was amazed. "That's wonderful!" And with one last "thank you and good-bye," she was gone. She was running down and around the mountain back to her home.

"Mother! Father Everyone! Potters, one and all! Look what the witch has given to us. We can make new pots from old. Just take the old shards and grind them up. Add this and that and look: new clay. But that's not all. The witch is coming to help us build a new kiln, a kiln that is heated by the sun instead of burning all the wood."

The Potters were so pleased that they invited the witch to stay and live with them. And since they were so pleased with what she could do with all her strangeness, she was glad to become part of their family.

From that day on and from that day since, the Potters have wheeled their wagons through the streets collected old shards to make new clay. And every year they go to the woods, plant young trees, and pray that the animals come back.

Now in the streets of the village you can hear the children sing:

New pots from old,
New pots from old,
The witch and Penny Potter
Gave us new pots from old.

New Pots from Old - a recycling tale by Papa Joe © 1991

A Great activity to use with this story is recycling paper to make Paper Clay.
The following is a very simple set of directions.
Paper Clay
2 cups construction paper scraps (sorted by color)
4 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup flour

Tear construction paper into small pieces. Pour water and paper scraps into a blender. Blend 20 seconds or until the mixture turns into pulp. Drain and squeeze excess water from the mixture. Mix flour and the remaining 1/2 cup of water in a small bowl until blended. Slowly add the flour and water mixture to paper pulp. Knead until it forms a dough. Mold paper clay as you would any clay or dough. Let finished creations dry 1 to 2 days.

Paper clay can be used to create 3-D greeting cards, pictures, package ties or tree ornaments. Try adding glitter or bits of confetti. Press paper clay into candy molds, cookie cutters or gelatin molds to create interesting shapes.

Crepe Paper cut into thin strips (any colors you wish).
1 cup flour
1 cup salt
Large container and water
Place crepe paper into a large container and add enough water to cover the paper. Let that soak for about one hour until most of the water is absorbed into the paper. Pour off the excess water and add small amounts of flour and salt until you have a clay-like mixture. Create sculptures by forming the crepe paper clay with your hands. Let dry and apply either a varnish or a glue and water mixture to seal.

Here are a few good sites with directions and information about Paper Clay.
Construction Paper Clay @
Paper Clay Directions @
Expert Vids showing how to recycle scrap pottery clay

Monday, June 15, 2009

Children's Picturebooks on Recycling

I suppose it was inevitable. After I started my "recycle" blogs, I seemed be pushed by an unseen force (curiosity or maybe just nosiness) to look for more kids books with a recycling or reusing theme.

There are soooo many books that I decided, in order to cut down on the number of books, I have limited myself to books that are telling a story as opposed to books that are just stating the facts of recycling or reusing. Basically, I wanted the books to entertain and to teach.

Sneaking the lessons or morals into a story is soooo much more fun, for everyone, than just stating facts and saying "Do it because you should!"

From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 4 A tidy old man spent his time cleaning up the litter that the thoughtless slobs of Wartville left behind. One day, tired of his lot, he gives up, and Mother Nature gives him ``power over trash.'' He then commands that litter ``go back and stick to the person who threw you.'' The townspeople are dismayed, and the Wizard agrees to release them from their trash if they promise not to litter again. Good for story hour and for reinforcing basic ecology principles.

Michael Recycle tells the adventures of a young superhero whose power allows him to teach people about recycling. After cleaning up a town, the people declare: "To Michael Recycle! The green-caped crusader, our super-green hero, the planet's new savior!"

By Midwest Book Review
The Garbage Monster is an engaging children's book about garbage and recycling, with a fantastic twist. When young Jo hauls out the household garbage one evening, the garbage comes alive and threatens her! But Jo plucks him apart limb from limb, and uses recycling to vanquish the beast - and make her chores more fun. Overall, The Garbage Monster is an excellent and recommended picturebook to start teaching young folks early about the fun and importance of recycling. Review:
When Joseph's favorite overcoat gets old and worn, he makes a jacket out of it. When the jacket is more patches than jacket, Joseph turns it into a vest. When the vest's number is up, Joseph makes a scarf. This thrifty industry continues until there's nothing left of the original garment. But clever Joseph manages to make something out of nothing! In today's throwaway world, Joseph's old-fashioned frugality is a welcome change. Based on a Yiddish song from Simms Taback's youth (lyrics and music reproduced on the last page), the book is filled with rhythms and arresting colors that will delight every reader. As more and more holes appear in Joseph's coat, die-cut holes appear on the pages, hinting at each next manifestation. The illustrations are striking, created with gouache, watercolor, collage, pencil, and ink. Every inch of space is crammed with fanciful, funny details, such as the headline on a discarded newspaper: "Fiddler on Roof Falls off Roof."

From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 2—This urban trash-to-treasure tale will resonate with city dwellers and send suburbanites and kids in rural areas searching for similar adventures. A boy waits at his bedroom window for his adult neighbor Steve, a.k.a. "the dumpster diver," to set things in motion. Five taps come on the boy's window and two other young residents of the building also receive the signal to report to duty. The children are "Hose Handler #1," "Hose Handler #2," and "The Fauceteer." Armies of insects are dislodged when Steve dives into the back-alley Dumpster and hauls out seemingly worthless junk, but worth is in the eyes of the beholder, and the three assistants share his reverence for discarded objects. Broken skis, blenders, and lamps can all be reincarnated, and half the fun is finding a tenant who will appreciate some newly fashioned object. Steve's enthusiasm and creativity are so infectious that neither he nor his helpers are deterred by the building grouch, who thinks that the man should get a real job. The text aptly appears on torn scraps of paper or, in the case of the final words, a Band-Aid that Steve will need, having incurred a "work related" injury and convalescing in a homemade wheelchair! With his unmatched gloves and flippers, goggles, and hooded yellow slicker, Steve is a lovable comic figure. Roberts portrays him with a playful elasticity that perfectly matches Wong's playful story.

Come and visit Mrs, Knoodle's recycling class. Mrs. Knoodle is big and green and has hair that looks like lettuce. Meet teacher's helper Little Bug and all the kids in her class. This book introduces children to a basic understanding of recycling. Fun activities and recycling ideas are included along with a song everyone can sing. Don't forget to take the "Recycling Pledge." (This books is not necessarily a "story" but I thought it was cute.)

Y'all know I had to have a craft vid in this blog.
This could be a woman's bag but it could also be made a little larger and be used as a messenger bag. It all depends on the print used.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I Had A Little Overcoat...a Yiddish folksong and some recycled papermaking

This Yiddish folksong is the original source for the Thrifty Tailor story in the previous blog.
(traditional Yiddish, English by Teddi Schwartz & Arthur Kevess)
(The midi for this song can be found at Mudcat MIDIs )

1.I had a little overcoat, as old as can be
Tralala lalalala lalala
What I'd ever do with it, I just couldn't see
Tralala lalalala lalala
So I thought a little while
And made myself a jacket in the very latest style
Tralalala lalala (2x)
Made a jacket in the very latest style

2. I had a little jacket, it was old as can be
Tralala lalalala lalala
What I'd ever do with it, I just couldn't see
Tralala lalalala lalala
So I thought a little while
And made myself a vest in the very latest style
Tralalala lalala (2x)
Made a vest in the very latest style

3. I had a little vest, as old as it could be
Tralala lalalala lalala
What I'd ever do with it, I just couldn't see
Tralala lalalala lalala
So I thought a little while
And I made myself a tie in the very lastest style
Tralalala lalala (2x)
Made a tie in the very latest style

4. tie / button

5. button / nothing

6. I had a little nothing, as old as it could be
Tralala lalalala lalala
What I'd ever do with it, I just couldn't see
Tralala lalalala lalala
So I thought a little while
And I made myself a song in the very lastest style
Tralalala lalala (2x)
Made a song in the very latest style

1. Hob ikh mir a mantl fun fartsaytikn shtof / Tralala...
Hot dos nit in zikh kayn gantsenem shtokh / Tralala...
Darum, hob ikh zikh batrakht
Un fun dem mantl a rekl gemakht
Tralala... / Fun dem mantl a rekl gemakht

2. Hob ikh mir a rekl... fun dem rekl a vestl gemakht
3. vestl / shnipsl
4. shnipsl / knepl
5. knepl / gornitl
6. gornit / dos lidele

(trad Yiddish, Eng words Teddi Schwartz & Arthur Kevess)

Mudcat MIDIs

Let's talk about Paper!
I love making paper with kids. They have a great time and you never know what you'll get. Making paper is great for using up the scraps of construction paper, wrapping paper or any kind of paper that is used in the class or at home.
I have included three different vids on papermaking....
The first is a teacher doing a papermaking demo in class.

The second vid is a very good low tech papermaking vid with kids.

The third vid is a very nicely done slide show about papermaking.

After the vids, I have included a link to papermaking directions.

A great site for directions is Learn2 Make Paper ... this site has good pics also.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Thrifty Tailor...a recycling tale & a few fabulous recycling crafts

You're saying to yourself..."I thought this was a storytelling blog. She said she was a storyteller..storysinger...whatever! So what's up with the crafts?"

(Psst!...not to worry there is a story coming that relates to recycling but I want you to read the other stuff 'cause.....well just 'cause I want you to, so read!)

Questions, questions, questions! Well, yes, I do mostly talk about storytelling but I have always loved to make things and I find that storytelling and crafts go together rather well.

When working with after school groups or with parties, I sometimes get the chance to do different crafts. I usually choose very simple crafts that can be done quickly but when I have the time, or when I am going to see the same kids over a period of time, I like to pick large projects or projects that take some time and effort.

Anyhoo, while spending time on Youtube (I am soooo addicted) I found a vid on using recyled plastic bags to make bags and that started me looking for more vids on different types of crafts.

I could "tell" you how to make something but the vids are sooo much better.

Someday I am going to figure out how to make a vid or how to post a vid or both and then I can stop looking for other folks vids. (Hmmmm....maybe I should check youtube for an instructional vid on making vids :P You know it's there!)

Back to my orginal subject....Recyled Crafts or maybe just crafts for kids and for all of you big kids, like me.

But first the story...then...the craft vids!

The Thrifty Tailor
Once there was a tailor.
He was not only a very good tailor, he was also a great believer in recycling.
This means he liked to "reuse" items. He changed or adapted things for a new use. The tailor wasted nothing!
He was always seen taking an old item of clothing and making it into something wonderful and useful.

One day a wealthy client came to him with a roll of the finest cloth. "Make me a suit from this marvelous material, my good tailor", he said,"and I will pay you well!".
The tailor sat up all night and he cut and he sewed and he snipped and he stitched. And in the morning he had made the suit.
Oh! and what a marvelous suit it was!
He took it to his client, who was very pleased with the suit.

When the tailor returned to his workshop, he looked at the material that was left and thought to himself,"Hmmmm...yeeeees! I believe that there is just enough material to make something else!"
Soooo.....he sat up all night and he cut and he sewed and he snipped and he stitched. And in the morning he had made a very fashionable top coat for himself.
He put it on and thought that he looked quite distinguished.

He loved that coat soooo much that he wore it and he wore it and he wore it until one day he noticed that it was all worn out!
And he was just about to throw it away, when he thought to himself, "Hmmmm....yeees! I believe that there is just enough material to make something else!"
Soooo....he sat up all night and he cut and he sewed and he snipped and he stitched. And in the morning he had made a very stylish jacket.
He put on his new jacket and he thought that he liked this jacket just as much as his top coat.
And so, he wore it and he wore it and he wore it until it was all worn out!

And he was just about to throw it away, when he thought to himself, "Hmmmm....yeees! I believe that there is just enough material to make something else!"
Soooo.....he sat up all night and he cut and he sewed and he snipped and he stitched. And in the morning he had made a very smart looking waistcoat.
He put it on and thought to himself that he quite liked it more than his jacket!
And he wore it and he wore it and he wore it until it was all worn out!

And he was just about to throw it away, when he thought to himself, "Hmmmm....yeees! I believe that there is just enough material to make something else!"
Sooooo....he sat up all night and he cut and he sewed and he snipped and he stitched. And in the morning he had made a very snappy cap.
He put it on and he thought to himself that a hat was just what he needed.
And so, he wore it and he wore it and he wore it until it was all worn out!

And he was just about to throw it away, when he thought to himself, "Hmmmm....yeees! I believe that there is just enough material to make something else!"
Soooo....he sat up all night and he cut and he sewed and he snipped and he stitched. And in the morning he had made a very fancy tie.
He put it on and thought to himself "A man can never have too many ties."
And he wore it and he wore it and he wore it until it was all worn out!

And he was just about to throw it away, when he thought to himself, "Hmmmm....yeees! I believe that there is just enough material to make something else!"
Sooooo...he sat up all night and he cut and he sewed and he snipped and he stitched. And in the morning he had made a very special button.
He sewed it to his favorite shirt thinking that a button is always handy to have.
And he wore it and he wore it and he wore it until it was all worn out!

And he was just about to throw it away, when he thought to himself, "Hmmmm....yeees! I believe that there is just enough material to make something else!"
And what do you think that "something else" was???
That's right!
There was enough material to make a story!

And he told the story to me and I've just told it to you!
And now "you" can tell the story to someone else!

retold© by LaurenLanita,Storysinger

Alrighty then! Now for the Recyled Crafts for kids and for all of you big kids, like me.


Beads from recycled can also use old wrapping paper, or left over paper from other art projects.
I remember doing this as a kid (I have a really good memory).

This vid uses plasic bags.
I especially liked it because it is really simple to do, with or without kids,
and you don't need much.

This vid shows more items that can be crocheted out of plastic bags.
I love her projects!