Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Earth Day Felting

In honor of our gently spinning planet, we made some felted Earth balls at camp last week. It is a wet, soapy, activity and the toddlers were enthralled by it.

You will need:
  • aluminum foil
  • wool roving in white, green and blue (available at yarn stores that specialize in weaving supplies like our local weaving works in the U Dist.)
  • liquid dish soap
  • water
  1. Begin by pulling out a 12"x12" sheet of aluminum foil and allow your child to crumple it into a ball. Be sure the ball is nice and tight. It should be about the size of a golf ball.
  2. Next, pull out some white roving and wrap the aluminum foil with two layers of wool so most of the foil is covered.
  3. Apply some soap and water and gently rub the ball. This soothing rubbing can go on for as long as it feels like the wool is starting to stick to itself. Your child can take a turn too. The goal is to have wool uniformly around the foil in an even thickness.
  4. Add a layer of green or blue and continue to rub with soap and water to even out the thickness of your ball. Once you have white, green and blue roving around your ball and they are all sticking together well, rinse it with water. Roll it and squeeze it out.
  5. At this point you can leave it to dry in a sunny window and be finished. However, if you want it to be even more thickly felted, put it in the washing machine and dryer with a load of laundry. Happy felting!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Facing the Sun

I've seen a lot of this lately: Someone with their face pointed directly at the sun, eyes closed, soaking it up. Aah, yes, the sun has arrived in Seattle. There have been days full of beaming rays of warmth. For us, we head out of the condo and into our neighbor's yard. Last year, she kindly allowed me to dig up part of her lawn and plant a garden. We spend a lot of time on her porch, in her grass and on her deck. It's been really sweet of her to share it. She loves eating from the garden and we love the green space. This year, I'm planting a sunflower house for little Ita. I'm using 3 large pots since it will be in an unused driveway near the garden. We've gotten this far:

We soaked the seeds.

We admired the seeds.

We planted the seeds.Updates coming all summer. Directions on making a sunflower house
. . . and two beautiful books on the subject.

To be like the sun by Susan Marie Swanson, illustrated by Margaret Chodos-Irvine (a Seattle-based illustrator)

Sunflower house by Eve Bunting

Little Ita is getting really into her sunflowers. She watches them very carefully.

Today we thinned them by eating some of the super nutritious sprouts.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


It was a warm night with light rain, almost a mist. My husband had been telling me about all the snails he sees on the sidewalks at night. I, of course, asked him to bring one home. In the morning, we awoke to find a snail had escaped it's jar and was crawling over our kitchen counter. We watched it's fascinating beauty. I was a little surprised. My favorite part was watching the eye stalks emerge. In just the right light, I could see a thin clear membrane first, then the inner dark eye slowly creep out. So elegant. We all hummed to "snailie" a lot too (it helps bring the eye stalks out.)

and this is a pretty cute:

about a snail that has been living with a blogger for over a year and the outfits that she makes for it!