Two of my sisters came to visit over the Fourth of July weekend, and Theresa even brought along her son, his wife and their three children. After the race on Saturday and the evening cookout and fireworks (more about both later) we were ready to settle down and be quiet on Sunday.
Both sisters have gardens and both love lavender, so we decided to make lavender wands. My lavender was a little past its prime but still fine for making wands so we cut a lot of stems and set to work. The concept was new to Susan, Theresa's daughter-in-law, but she was willing to give it a try. In the end, she outdid all of us, making a wand that was braided with three different color ribbons.
Hope, her granny Theresa and her mother Susan all work on wands.
I had some large glass beads in a bowl on the porch that I'd been thinking about using to make suncatchers. The beads were leftovers from a craft project I will be doing at a couple libraries this summer--the smaller beads in the packages I bought were fine but the big ones were just, well, TOO big. With so many willing hands available, it felt like just the right time to make the suncatchers. We used electric fence wire to string them and everyone picked out whatever combination of beads they wanted on their suncatcher.
Hope and her little brother Cade look hard at work, don't they?
My sister Maggie made the prettiest one, I think, in "ocean" shades, as she called it, and indeed the soft turquoises, blues, greens and clear beads were reminiscent of the ocean's colors. I wish I had taken pictures of the finished products because they were both imaginative and colorful. And all my beads were used, which made me happy. Maybe I will remember to post a photo one day of the ones I made myself. I bought the beads from Fire Mountain's online clearance sale and got a great deal on them; I made up over100 craft packets for my programs and still had about 50 or more of these big beads left.
When we were looking for ribbons for the lavender wands, Hope spied my box of supplies for spoon puppets. Of course we had to make those too!
Theresa was a good sport about helping with the finer bits of work--Garrett's puppet was colorful, with a metallic green dress and purple-pink hair. According to him and to Hope, they were making puppets to go with my story "Gracie's Cabin"--Garrett's puppet is Crazy Gracie, he told me.
Hope managed to do most of her puppet by herself. She made Annie Rose, I think, from the same story.
And here's Hope's finished product. To make these silly puppets, you only need a wooden spoon, some fabric about the size of a man's handkerchief, scissors to cut a tiny hole in the exact center of the cloth, some tape to hold the cloth around the stick after you put the stick through the hole, some glue (fast-drying is best!) to hold yarn hair in place, and markers, stickers, etc to make the face. In this case, we used peel-and-stick foam shapes. You can add ribbon, sequins, and all sorts of other things to decorate the puppets. To use them, just slip your hand under the cloth, hold the spoon handle with three fingers and stick out your thumb and index finger to make "arms" under the cloth. Simple, simple and yet I have seen children make the most amazing creations with these simple supplies.The spoons can be found at dollar stores, 4 or 5 in a package for $1.
It was a fun Sunday afternoon and evening, and when we were finished the kids had something to play with and the ladies had cool things to take home. And I had a little less stuff in my house, which is always a good thing.
If you need better instructions for making spoon puppets, try this book. It's the one I learned from and it has lots of other great ideas for making puppets with things you might have around the house. With the heat wave we're having right now, finding things for the kids to do in the house might be a good way to keep them occupied since it's too hot to be outdoors.
(Blogger has evidently made some big changes over the weekend, so please excuse any oddities about the placement of photos and text, etc in my recent posts. It's been a weird experience!).