Why make a solar oven you ask? Let me tell you my logic behind our afternoon craft. We just needed something to do this afternoon. Yup, that’s it, the kids were bored. For those of you who don’t know us, my husband and I are both teachers, so we have been home with the kids for two months now…we are looking for stuff to do! (Mom, skip the next sentence…) Yesterday I taught the kids how to burn leaves and paper with a magnifying glass. They loved it! The kids wanted to know if they could try burning a marshmallow, so that’s how the idea of the solar oven came up. (ok mom, you can read now) so, we dug up a cardboard box, black tape, tinfoil, and a box cutter.
So, in my continued quest to find a use for all of my old encyclopedias, I have just about finished my reycyled flower arrangements for the tables in the library…
Today’s project is how to make encyclopedia daisies.
You need the following materials:
2 sheets of recycled paper
Masking tape (coloured masking tape is the best)
A stick such as a BBQ skewer
The first thing I did was cut the paper. For the center of the flower I cut a narrow strip, and folded it in half so it was about an inch or 2cm wide. Then I notched the opposite side to the fold with a whole bunch of cuts…like this…
Then, to make the petals I cut a strip a little wider, and folded it in half, so it was about 2-3 inches wide. Into the second strip, I also made cuts, but I rounded the edge of one side to make it look like the petals on a daisy. See the picture below of the two parts.
The final step is what I call “fluffing”. Basically, you just very gently bend the petals out. For this flower, I very gently use the blade of the scissors, the same way as you would curl ribbon… But you have to be very careful not to rip the petals. Be careful. This gives the daisy a more realistic look, I think. But, your fingernail works too…
Here what the daisy looks like finished…
As a child, student, and teacher, I couldn’t even begin to count the thousands of times I have had to cut out letters for title pages, art projects, or bulletin boards. I always use the same strategy for cutting out letters, I do it this way because I would never have the time or patience to draw out every letter first, I just cut…
The first and most important trick is to start by cutting a bunch of rectangles all the size as letters you want. This will ensure all of your letters are a uniform width and height. For rounded letters like O’s or G’s, you round the corners of the rectangle, like in the following picture.
Here is a sketch I did showing the positive and negative space of the capital letters of the alphabet. When cutting, you are basically trying to cut out the shaded areas, or negative space. This part isn’t the most difficult, but the trick is to make all letters even and make each line of the letter the same width.
The most challenging part to cutting letters is the holes in the center you have to cut out, like O, P, or A. Depending on the finished product, you can cut out the holes in three ways. You could poke your scissors through to make a hole, then cut around.
Or, you could fold the letter in half…try to do this carefully without making too much of a crease in the paper…
Or,you could cut right through the letter. This is definitely the easiest way, but can also show in the finished letters. Do a test letter before you cut all of your letters to make sure you won’t be disappointed. I used this method for the letters I was cutting out today because I knew I was going to laminate them, and it wouldn’t show…
I used the letters I cut out here to make some signs for the library. I actually cut out the letters from sticky notes so I didn’t even have to glue them down because I was laminating them. (I brought this project to the cottage with the intent of cutting the letters out while sitting in a lawn chair by the lake, so i thought the sticky notes would stop my letters from blowing away…turns out it was a little too windy for it, but it did save a lot of time gluing!) I stuck the letters on to some brightly coloured paper, and recycled pages of text from my old encyclopedias…(project number two for the encyclopedias…more to come…)
Next time I go camping, I am bringing a dozen bananas cause these were sooo good, they might even be better than s’mores…..
On a sheet of tinfoil, slice a banana in half, but don’t cut through the skin. Then, stuff it with marshmallows and chocolate chips…
And wrap it in tinfoil. Then, find a nice spot in the coals of the fire…and leave it there for a few minutes… (btw, on the other side of the fire you might be able to see apples toasting stuffed with brown sugar and oats…I’m trying that one next!)
We have just returned from our yearly camping trip, this year, we just went for one night, i dont know, but i think i am getting softer as i age…it is a lot of work packing and unpacking! After camping for numerous years, I think I have finally found the most efficient, and easiest way to pack for a camping trip…plastic drawers! The first couple times we went camping, I would make a list, then run around the house and try to remember where I put everything.
A couple years ago I bought a couple of plastic storage drawers. They were sitting empty when I was packing, so I started tossing everything in. So The best part is that when we unpack, i leave the drawers filled. I take out only the things that we will need during the year. The rest stays in the drawers, and is ready to go for next year…
Here are a couple pictures…
This may help you…Here is a copy of the list I go by… I use this list every year, and add to it as I think of things, or when I realize we have forgotten something…
Camping equipment to bring
Tent, Poles, Pegs,
Lighter and/or matches,
Tablecloth and clips,
Plastic bin for washing dishes,
Can opener, Bottle opener, corkscrew,
Sleeping bags or blankets and sheets,
Cooking utensils, tongs, spoon, spatula,
Skewers for marshmallows,
Cutlery -knives, forks, spoons,
First aid kit -nail clippers, assorted band aids, tweezers, polysporin, pin, Tylenol, gauze, after bite, after sun, calamine lotion, Benadryl, visine,
Stuff for the kids to do including…
I hope this helps anyone who might be planning a camping trip…btw, anyone know of any good hotels or b&b’s around sandbanks provincial park? Lol.
Check back for a great campfire recipe we tried….yummy…
We had my daughter Samantha’s 8th birthday party for her friends last month where we made a birthday cake according to her specifications… Here is the finished drawing, and her sketch…
So on her actual birthday, we had our families over for a swim and BBQ. Because I spent so much time on her first cake, I wanted something quick and easy for this party. I found a version of this on pinterest (where else) so I made a few small changes…
I started by baking a normal batch of vanilla cupcakes, and iced them with blue icing…
This recipe attracted me right away because my kids love eating nutella! I was a little curious about what ingredients are actually in a bottle of nutella…is it healthy or isn’t it? Turns out, it’s a little bit of both!
You need the following ingredients…
2 cups of hazelnuts
1cup chocolate chips.
2 tbsp oil.
3tbsp icing sugar.
2 tbsp cocoa powder.
1/2 tsp vanilla.
1/2 tsp salt.
Here are what the packages of hazelnuts look like…
Overall, I was very pleased with the taste! I really like the fact that I know every ingredient. It is also amazing on homemade waffles! I recently bought a waffle maker, so we have been eating quite a bit of waffles lately…here is the recipe I have been using, except I have been trying to substitute whole wheat flower…
I will definitely make the nutella spread again, especially because I bought the hazelnuts at Costco, so I have enough left over to make another 10 jars! I also found another delicious sounding recipe to make nutella wraps using egg roll wraps, and bananas… Mmmmmmm…
After the kids had their swimming lesson today, we stopped off at the dollar store and picked up a few sponges…to make some sponge balls for some water fun. You would use these the same way as water balloons. Great for a water fight on a hot day! All you need is a couple sponges, a pair of scissors and a couple elastic bands.
John took the kids out for the afternoon, so i have had a couple peaceful hours to myself. I got a lot of work done for september, cleaned the house a little, and thought i would try out an idea i had for september…I have a full set of Popular mechanic encyclopedias at home, from the 1960’s, and i also have about three different sets of outdated encyclopedias in the library too. I have just felt too wasteful to throw any of them out, so I have been collecting ideas for recycled paper crafts.
My first project is going to be to try to make some paper flowers. To make these flowers you will need some recycled paper. Newspaper would probably work great. You also need some BBQ skewers, and some masking tape (I used black masking tape)
I started by ripping out a sheet from the encyclopedia, close to the binding.
Then I cut into one side of the paper, being careful not to cut all of the way through. I bought these fancy scissors ages ago, and I now finally have a use for them, although normal scissors would work fine here too…
Ok, so i have just finished working this week…and i am a little worried about starting school again in september…i have been exhausted! Between working and having johns family staying with us, i haven’t been as productive as usual lately…and the things that I have done, I haven’t had the time to write about. We have three weeks of holidays left, so I am going to have to step it up a bit!
This morning, we needed an activity to keep us busy when it was rainy, so we picked some interesting rocks from the garden, dug up some sharpies…
I have read on pinterest that you can make sharpie permanent on dishes by baking it in the oven, so we baked the rocks at 325 degrees for about 20 minutes…I’ll let you know in a couple of weeks if the designs wash off.
Here is our finished products…
The kids loved the doodling, we decided we are going to experiment more with lines. If you search zentangle on line there are amazing instructions for some cool doodles!
Here is a photo I found on line using a white marker…