Monday, February 27, 2012

Fabric Printing Demonstration

As part of her 4H project work, Miss Abigail gave a demonstration of celery rose printing in a recent meeting of the Stanley Homemakers Club. I think the ladies enjoyed it. I just wanted to show how creative one can be with this technique. After her demonstration, Abigail invited the ladies to try printing with celery on a plain white dishtowel. You can see that each of the ladies who made a dishtowel were somewhat unique in their interpretation.

I made a towel to match the one Abigail made, so that she would have a set for the hope chest.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Celery Rose Printing

I saw this interesting technique and thought how fun and easy it would be to print an apron for the hope chest. The materials are simple: an apron, fabric paint, a piece of foil to hold the paint, and the discarded bottom of a stalk of celery! You will also need wax paper or cardboard to place under the apron to protect the table surface and a paper towel to blot the paint.

The celery needs just a bit of preparation. Cut the stalk near the bottom and, if you like, clean out the leaves in the middle. It is also interesting with the leaf mass left in, but you can decide which you prefer. Cut the celery straight across, so that the stalks stamp evenly. You can see that we have a rubber band around the stalks. This is just a precaution in case a stalk breaks off.

Squeeze some paint onto the foil and spread it a bit. Dip the celery into the paint, covering all the cut surfaces of the stalk. If the paint seems goopy, blot the excess onto the paper towel. Then press the paint onto the apron.

Pick up a second color and make a second print, next to the first and then a third print. If you like, you can keep the colors separate, or try mixing them. A mix of colors gives a little bit of dimension or depth to the design.

Celery stalks can be variable, obviously. If there are spots that seem bare or too open, use just one piece of celery to add petals wherever you think they need to be.

Use one piece of celery with the green paint to add leaf shapes to the design.

Happily, Abigail has learned the design principle of thinking in terms of a triangle. I was pleased that she used three flowers in a triangular shape and placed the leaves also into a triangle. Not that the triangle is the only way to design, but it is a pleasing composition, and easy for children to understand.

I am amazed that a lowly stalk of celery can produce such a beautiful design. If you have a plain, white dishtowel languishing in your kitchen drawer, this would be a great way to pretty it up.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Valentine Dishtowel

This year, for our regular Valentine making day, Miss Abigail invited a younger friend to join us. I was a little concerned that Avery might get a bit bored with making valentines, one after another, all day long. So, I planned a couple of extra activities for the girls. We started the day by making Valentine dishtowels for the hope chest. I have reasoned that, someday, Abigail will make Valentine cut-out cookies with her children, just as she and I have done together. I think it would be fun to use a special holiday kitchen set, so this is the start of that set. Eventually, we'll try to add an apron and a set of hot pads for the hot cookie pans, and, of course, some cookie cutters. I will admit that I am also being a little sneaky. I'm hoping that Avery will have had fun making the dishtowel and that she will want to be a hope chest "buddy" and come back to do other things with us.

So, we made the dishtowels first, so that the paint could dry while we were doing other things. The girls used a washable glue stick to hold one of the paper heart doilies to the dishtowel. Then they used a just damp sponge with fabric paint, dabbing the paint over the doily. The edges are simply "feathered" by the sponge - no need to be too precise. The girls did the large doily first. Later, after the paint dried, they layered and sponged a second, smaller doily on top of the first. I think they turned out great!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Handmade Valentines

For some years now, Miss Abigail and I have made valentines to give to our friends. This is one of our favorite "mother-daughter" activities. I have collected lots and lots of snips and scraps and tools and supplies. I keep them from year to year in a special box and try to replenish our stock when things go on sale after the holiday. We always have such a lot of fun. We eat chocolate and practice card making techniques. I think it is such a shame that all our holidays, including Valentines Day, have become so commercialized. I just hate feeling pressured by holiday duty, particularly if it involves buying something expensive enough to reflect my love. So, making a simple, handmade card is my way of resisting the trend. I wish I could hand you a valentine. Just remember that our very best wishes wing their way...Happy Valentines Day!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

A Memory - Thankfully Retrieved

I am so frustrated that memories seem to leak out of my brain faster than I can make them!  I was astonished recently by a lost memory that I am very glad to retrieve. I’m writing it down because I don’t want to lose it again. Miss Abigail and I were crocheting together, making the jar ribbons for the pantry. Abigail said to me, “Mom, when you first taught me to crochet, you read to me.” Well, I was a little startled that I couldn’t remember that since it was only three or maybe four years ago, but I do remember now that I’ve been reminded. She was in the 4-H crochet project and the easiest item was still quite beyond her skill and it took her a long time to do it. I tried to make the time pass a little more pleasantly by reading aloud while she crocheted. This actually should stand out in her memory because I don’t much care for reading out loud. Maybe I just conveniently forget that I don’t read to her as often as I should. But the memory that I was struggling to retrieve was different altogether.

When Abigail first made the comment I thought she said “sang to me.” I doubtfully replied, “What song did I sing?” She laughed and repeated the comment. Then she said, “I do remember, when I was very little, you used to sing me a song. Something about my nose.” That remark brought back such a rush of feeling, because I had sung a very special little song  when she was very, very young. I made it up. Abigail’s Song, I called it. It was just one of those sort of tuneless ditties that you murmur when your baby is fussy and you are trying to distract them. I sang it while I nursed her or when I got her dressed. But I couldn’t remember the words or the tune. Abigail couldn’t really remember it and it wasn’t the kind of song you sing if you think people are paying too much attention. But memories are a mother's treasure. I really, really wanted to remember it and I fussed about it all day long. Finally, late in the evening, the memory came back at last. I used to sing:

I love Abigail, I love Abigail, she’s my special, special girl.
I love her eyes, I love her ears, I love her cute little nose.
I love her cheeks, I love her hands, I love her down to her toes.

Then I would repeat it with some different body parts, like knees or elbows or hair or whatever until she was dressed and happy again. Well, I’m satisfied now. Thank you, Jesus. This memory has made my heart happy.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Crocheted Jar Ribbons

One of the projects we completed as part of the pantry unit for Home Ec was crocheted jar ribbons. Because Miss Abigail doesn’t much like the tedium of crochet, I try to keep crochet projects simple and quickly finished. I want Abigail to keep up the hand skill, and remember the stitches, but I don’t want her to dread or hate this craft. I’m still hoping that she will come to enjoy it at some point. So we made simple chain ribbons to tie around some of the jars in our cupboards. You could also use purchased ribbons, or simply rip up some lengths of fabric to tie around the jars. The idea is just to pretty up the pantry just a bit. If you want to use the jar with the ribbon, just move it to a different jar. I’ve also seen pantry ribbons or tags suggested as a way to identify food items that you might be saving for a special dish. This helps to keep the item out of the family "food chain."

These crocheted ribbons are just a length of chain stitch. I made a tutorial for crocheted book marks and gift ribbon some time ago. The method is the same for this project. The longest ribbon (for quart jars) is about 27 inches long.

 Abigail left a short length of yarn on the ends of her ribbons, but I added small metal heart charms to the one I made. I threaded the charm on to the end length of thread, then wove the end back into the chain.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...