Friday, December 31, 2010

Bringing in the New Year with a BANG!

This is how we spent the last day of 2010:

Building a fort in the snow.....

Having a "war" with silly string guns....

Playing "Snow Soccer"......

Wearing Crazy Hats.....

A great Danish tradition! (We find fantastic hats every year!)

Eating a traditional Danish New Year's Meal....

We also played some games and watched some t.v. while we waited for the New Year to arrive...

Dane and I made some New Year's Fireworks Paintings. First we colored with crayons. Then we painted over the full page with watered down black paint. After they dried, we added glue and colored glitter. The perfect New Year's Eve Art Project...

Then, at about 11:30 p.m., with Uncle Carsten's safety glasses on....

We headed outside for the fireworks!

In Denmark, you can see fireworks in every direction as the new year arrives. It is hard to decide which direction to look. People are lighting fireworks on nearly every street, the sky is filled with all kinds of color and light!

This post was linked up at:
PreK + K Sharing

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Finding the Potential.

Use the vision of an artist, look at things not for what they are, but for the potential that they might have........

Repurposing "garbage" into arts and crafts has been something that I have done as long as I can remember. I am rubbing off on my eight year old son. His creativity an ingenuity never ceases to amaze me. I wonder what we could make out of this? Wait! Don't Throw that Away! I can make a car with that, wouldn't this make a great airplane? I love how imaginative and playful he is! It has been a great year creating together.

As this year is coming to a close, I thought I would take a look at the most popular posts on this blog this year. I still feel like a "newbee" to the blog world, having posted for about seven months now. I am starting to get the hang of things when I have the time to do so! According to whatever the popular post gadget uses to determine popularity- my top 3 posts were all about using old markers! How Cool is that!

Top Post #1: The Markers Don't Work!

Top Post #2: A Few Ideas With Marker Caps (as promised)

Top Post #3: What Could It Be? (I promise this is the last post on markers for now)

Here's to a new year of reusing and repurposing.......

Remember to face each day with artist's eyes and harness the potential all around you!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

"America, Land That We Love"

So, I started this project when I was an exchange student in 1995. One of my exchange student friends was kind enough to share the pattern with me. The stitching kept me busy while I sat through some classes where I had absolutely no idea what was going on because of the language and knowledge barriers. The pattern calls for a square to be stitched for each of the fifty states, and when I found it in my cross stitch box, I had only completed it through Illinois with a start on both Indiana and Iowa. Somewhere along the line, my pattern disappeared, and although I attempted to find a copy a few times throughout the years, I was unsuccessful. Then, shortly before our Christmas vacation, I hopped on the internet to try just one more time to try to track it down!

And TA DA! I found it! It apparently was given away for free from Jean Farrish Heart and Home! Unfortunately, the website is no longer in existence. But thanks to the web archiving sites, I was able to retrieve the information I needed to finish my project!

I made copies of the pattern, and packed the unfinished project and grabbed the floss from my caddy.....

I'm not completely finished, but I'm getting there:

15-16 years later, perhaps I'll finally be able to finish this one! I noticed that I'm missing quite a few colors in my floss caddy, so I'll have to pick those up when I get home. (That's why you see a lot of unfinished squares....) At the very least, it is progress and it feels good to be stitching again :).

Friday, December 24, 2010

Jul i Danmark (Christmas in Denmark)

We're in Aabenraa, visiting with family, relaxing and enjoying our vacation. I don't intend to spend a lot of time in front of the computer screen, but I thought over the next week or so, I'd post a few sets of photos.

In Denmark they celebrate Christmas on December 24th in the evening.

We spent our afternoon playing games, and eating aebleskiver.

We enjoyed a traditional Danish meal:

Went on a hunt for "Santa" (Julemand).... We didn't see him when he came to the house, but we did see him out on the street. He was very busy delivering presents....

We made a few snowballs and threw them at each other...

I've never been in Denmark when there has been this much snow before. In fact, it is rare that we have a "White Christmas" when we are here. Then, we gathered back inside to share in gift giving and receiving.

Allan's mom knit me this beautiful sweater,

And Dane, well.... even he said he thinks that "maybe, I'm just a little bit spoiled....."

The real challenge will come in the new year when we need to figure out how to get this all home!

I hope you all have been enjoying a wonderful holiday, wherever and however you celebrate!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Bears and Wolves!

Dane's cub scout troop is a mixture of 2nd and 3rd graders the "bears and wolves." The cub scout leader has helped the boys to set a goal of raising all of the funds necessary to send all of the boys to camp this summer without having financial issues as a road block.

This Saturday, December 18th at the Westwood Mall in Marquette - beginning at 10 am, they will be taking donations for these:

A sampling of the cedar or spruce swags:

A sampling of cedar wreaths:

A sampling of ornaments:

Make sure to stop by the Westwood Mall this weekend!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wooden Cookie Silhouette Ornaments

This year, we decided to make some silhouette ornaments out of some of the wooden cookies we have been cutting.

First, we took our photos in front of our felt flannel board. You could do this in front of a solid color background blanket/sheet.
We printed them on plain copy paper in black and white. Then, cut out the silhouettes.

We colored them solid black with permanent markers.

The children sanded both sides of their wooden cookies.

Then they stained the cookies with the dye we made with the "Markers That Don't Work."

After the dye dried, we covered the cookie with a layer of glue (If your glue is too thick, add a little bit of water to it or use Modge Podge).

Carefully put the silhouette on the cookie, and then.....

Cover with more glue. Wait for it to dry and add more layers of glue until the cookie has a nice glazed look to it.

If you are impatient or are on a time crunch, you can do what we did and dry them in a food dehydrator.

I don't have any photos of the final product, but we drilled holes in them and hung them with ribbons. Each one was carefully labeled with the child's name and year on the back.

Happy Holidays!

I am now on vacation until January 3. I anticipate taking some time to blog while in Denmark, but I'm not promising that it will be frequently!

My friend died

 I learned a hell of a lot from Dan Hodgins.  He was mentor, a friend, and a "bone shaker" for many of us in the field of Early Ch...