Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Camping Trip

Hey everyone I am still on my camping trip.....currently at the Redwood Forest in California. Sorry I haven't posted but the wi fi has been poor...I can't even get a picture to upload. We have been very busy, making our way down the coast everyday. I will be returning back to Canada at the end of July...see you then.


Friday, July 10, 2009

How to Make Mini Teepees/Tipi

Here is another project in honor of the Calgary Stampede. Whenever we go down to the grounds my kids always want to visit the Indian Village. They love visiting the traditional teepees and trying out the bannock.
Here is our take on the Indian Village at home.

lightweight cardboard or cardstock
ruler or bone folder
mod podge (optional)

Print out the templates. I made up two sizes for you. Trace onto some lightweight cardboard like from a cereal box.

You want to mark your fold lines. Best way to do this is while the template is been traced mark where the fold lines meet at the top as well as the where they start at the bottom. Remove template and then using a ruler dot in the fold lines.

Cut out.

Now with your fingers fold on the fold lines and then using a ruler or bone folder smooth then down for a good fold.

We fold first because once you start painting you can't see your fold lines anymore.
Paint your teepee. I'm using acrylic craft paint. If you want to skip this step you can just use colored cardstock.

I painted the inside grey but this is optional.

Using paint or markers decorate your teepees.

I also added a wash of watered down brown paint for an antiqued look.

Take your twig and break off some 2 inch pieces. Using glue...glue these down at the top on 2 different sections. Let dry.

Put some glue on the small tab and fold up your teepee...the small tab will attach to the larger tab and both of them should be folded to the inside.

If you want you can add a coat or two of Mod Podge. The kids were itching to play with these and I thought they would make a nice addition to the Nature Table for the summer so I wanted them to last.

That's it. Why not make a teepee village this summer!
We are packing up for a 2 week camping trip. We are borrowing my brother's trailer and hitting the road...this will be a new experience for the kids. I'm still planning to post along the way so stayed tuned for some "camping crafts" in the upcoming weeks.
Take care.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Mock Stretched Hide

Well here is another old west craft in honor of the Calgary Stampede....a mock stretched hide.

Hides were stretched on frames by both Native Canadians and trappers. We are trying to replicate it here.

Materials Required:
a long flexible twig, like from a willow
string or twine

paper bag or heavy kraft paper


brown tempera paint

hole punch

Find a long flexible twig. Willows work well. You want it long enough to make a oval shape.

Bend into your shape and tie tightly with string or twine.

Lay your twig frame over your kraft paper and draw out a hide shape. You want to have some room to string it onto the frame so make it a bit smaller.

Draw a design on your kraft paper with pencil first and then color in with pastel. My son decided to make a phoenix.

Take your paper and crumple it up....were doing pastel of my favorite techniques.

Flatten your paper and paint with some brown paint. We are trying to achieve a leather look here.

Leave to dry.

When dry cut out.

Punch some holes along the edge about 2 inches apart.

Using string lace your "hide" onto your frame. It helps if you use 2 strings. Start on one end and then do the other that way you can adjust the tension so your "hide" will sit in the center of your frame.

That's it,,,another project to beat the summer "there's nothing to do" s.

see you next time


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Bead Rings

Today we made bead rings.....they were pretty easy once you get the hang of it...this is a good project for kids who are a bit older ( 9 and up ). I am using my "Family Creative Workshop" Volume #1 Acrylics to Batik, as my reference. I still can't believe I scored the complete set at the Book Sale....these books are fantastic. Just in Volume 1 we learn... acrylics (polymer casting and paint) afghan stitch airplanes of paper (these were a hit at the cabin) American Indian Crafts..I think we would call them First Nation Crafts now animal dolls ant farms antiquing furniture applique astronomy baby foods basketry batik That is just volume 1 and it contains instructions and patterns for at least 5 projects under each heading. If you don't believe me look at what some other people had to say..... purly victorious craftstylish apartment therapy tacky living and on and on it goes.... Well enough gushing over my Family Creative Workshop...I plan on showing lots of good material from these books in the future. On to the bead rings Materials Required: want the small seed ones wire...30 gauge or bead wire, its almost like thread Now for this tutorial I am using larger beads and florists wire so you can see what I'm doing in the photos. I have also posted a cheat sheet here on google docs. Cut an 18 inch length of wire, fold in half and string on 2 beads. These will start to form the band of the ring. Thread 2 more beads on to the right wire...slide down a little ways and then thread the left wire thru them from the other side. Slowly work the beads down and tighten. The wire kinks quite easily. A few kinks aren't too bad but you don't want it twisting too much on you. Continue this process until you have enough length so that it covers from one side of your ring finger to the other. The diamond design only will cover the very front of your finger. When you are ready string a different colored bead between 2 band colored ones. You then want 3 colored between 2 band colored. Then 1 band, 2 colored, 1 band, 2 colored, and 1 band. Now do the same on the other side. 1 band, 3 colored, 1 band 1 band, 1 colored, 1 band Now measure around your can add a layer or two of double band colored beads to extend the ring if you need to at this time. Now you need to connect it together....take the two wires and thread into the two beads at the start just like you have been doing, do it again with the next set as well to ensure a strong connection. I then twisted them once into the center and then clip the ends. If you need to you can also use some tweezers or pliers to press the wire ends flat so they won't poke you....both my daughter and I found the wire is so thin it doesn't really bother you. That's it....see if you stop at one! We are back in Calgary for a few days for Stampede. Yahoo!... In honor of the Stampede I will continue to try and post some western related projects. The Dreamcatchers and this bead ring are just the start. Take care everyone and we'll see you next time. gail

Friday, July 3, 2009

How to Make a Dreamcatcher

We decided to try and make Dreamcatchers yesterday...a simple star design and then a more advanced one that proved a little tricky.

We'll start with the simple one.
Materials Required:
a yogurt or margarine lid
a few beads
a few feathers

Take your plastic lids, punch a little hole to get you started with the scissors and then cut out the inside. You want to leave at least 1/4 inch of the lid...they usually have a raised edge to show you where to cut to.
Our lids were about 5 inches in diameter. You don't want to go with a really large lid as it won't be stable when you cut out the middle.

Take your yarn and cut off a piece that when formed in a ball will fit in your palm....that should be enough.

Kids sometimes have trouble when winding the yarn around the if you make a simple shuttle it will stem the frustration and the tangles.
I took a toilet paper roll and squished it. You can use a piece of cardboard. At school the kids wind their wool around a glue stick....use what you have, it's only temporary.

Start your wool by laying it lengthwise on the cardboard and then wind around it width wise.

Start winding the ring with wool or yarn. When you come around catch the loose end.

"winding Dreamcatchers in the sun"

When you get to the end tie off the yarn with a knot and clip the end.

Now you are going to make the web. Cut a length of string. For the simple star pattern you only need to cut a string about 24 inches.

Start weaving your web...follow the #'s on the pattern...make sure you wrap the string around the ring at least once at every point of the star...otherwise the string will just slide off your catcher.

Place a bead in your Dreamcatcher to be the spider or the spirit bead.

Tie off the string when you have finished the design.
If you want you can make a double star at this point.

Start at #1 and then #6 slide on your bead. #7 is where you tie off.

When finished add a loop for hanging at position #3...that will keep your bead in the center of your star.

Cut a length of yarn or wool about 14 inches long and tie onto the bottom of the catcher.

String on 3 beads on each end and then make a knot.
I like to have them at different lengths so trim your yarn to your liking.

To add feathers just slide them into the bead holes. The beads will hold them into place.

That's it. You can now hang it above your bead. You can make a double star if you want for a more substantial web or you can try the advanced version.

The hardest part I found with the advanced version is keeping the same amount of slack between the loops. It's not till you are weaving the 3rd or 4th round that you realize you may have a bit of a hole.
The kids still enjoyed making them though so its worth a try.

I found it easier to make my loop before we started to loop around the ring.

Here is the first round of weaving.

Here we are at the 3rd.

Here at the fourth there is a bit of a hole at the top...we tried to ease the string over and it looked much better.

Add your tails with the beads and feathers and you're done.

Give it a try. The kids are going to practice the advanced one because they really like the look of it.
take care