Wednesday, April 20, 2011

An Earth Day Craft!

We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, 
we borrow it from our children.  
~Native American Proverb~

In honor of Earth Day I wanted to share
our earth lovers craft...

A globe luminary 

An opportunity to "light up the world"
taking a moment to offer a blessing of gratitude 
for our great mother earth 
and the many gifts she bestows upon us all.

To create you will need
green & blue tissue paper
mod podge
glass bowl
paint brush

To begin rip your blue tissue paper into smallish pieces.
Paint mod podge onto your glass.
Add pieces of tissue paper on top
Paint on more mod podge over your tissue paper (love that stuff!)

Once your first layer has covered your whole bowl and dried...

add another layer.

Draw out your pieces of land onto your green tissue paper.
 I used this basic outline.
Mod podge it onto your globe.
Let it dry 
and ignite your flame!

                                                       Earth teach me stillness
                                                        as the grasses are stilled with light.
                                                          Earth teach me suffering
                                                          as old stones suffer with memory.
                                                          Earth teach me humility
                                                           as blossoms are humble with beginning.
                                                       Earth Teach me caring
                                                 as the mother who secures her young.
                                                        Earth teach me courage
                                                       as the tree which stands alone.
                                                       Earth teach me limitation
                                                           as the ant which crawls on the ground.
                                                    Earth teach me freedom
                                                   as the eagle which soars in the sky.
                                                          Earth teach me resignation
                                                            as the leaves which die in the fall.
                                                         Earth teach me regeneration
                                                         as the seed which rises in the spring.
                                                             Earth teach me to forget myself
                                                              as melted snow forgets its life.
                                                                         Earth teach me to remember kindness
                                                                     as dry fields weep in the rain.


Take nothing but pictures.
Leave nothing but footprints.
Kill nothing but time.
~Motto of the Baltimore Grotto

And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.
Khalil Gibran

Here's to celebrating our earth
and all the practical ways we can help preserve her gifts.

What ways do you teach and celebrate Earth
Day with the children in your life? 

With Love 
~ Shanti~

P.S. in honor of digital detox week (taking place right now all over the globe!) and Easter we shall be signing off for a couple of weeks.
See you again soon!
Shanti & Maureen

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Birch Bark Basket

Last fall I spent many an afternoon walking in the woods with my girls on the hunt for birch bark from fallen trees. I had big plans to do some serious birch bark crafting over the long winter... 
My high hopes didn't make it that far though ~ I did make a birch bark costume for halloween but that was about it!

 I decided it was time to use up some of my collection and thought attempting a basket might be just the project.
This was a quick craft with very little supplies needed
birch bark
glue gun

 To begin you can follow this simple patten I found. 
After you figure out your dimensions...
Draw out your lines.
Cut where you see here (so hard to describe these things ~ thank goodness for pictures!)

Fold your birch bark on all the lines.

Glue together.

Add moss on the edges by laying down a line of glue and squeezing it on.

Cut a strip of bark for your handle and glue on.

Fill your basket with moss, grass, straw... and there you go ~ a sweet little basket to put Easter delights in!

In the last couple of months we have been graced by a new family member...
Stella (actually now skylar as we just realized he is a male! sold to us as a female...oops)
He is a well loved little guy that Luna saved up many many allowances to buy!
We're thinking he's in with the Easter bunny and might even help him out this year ; )

 A wee wonderful pet that we have all fallen in love with.
(I actually recommend these little guys as pets... quiet, litter trainable, cuddly and just so darn cute!)

Wishing you beauty in every step
~ Shanti ~

Monday, April 11, 2011

Fern & Flower Adorned Eggs

There’s a bridge of wondrous light
Filled with colors shining bright

Red and orange, yellow, green,
The fairest colors ever seen,

Blue and violet, magic rose;
Down from heaven to earth it goes

Here we go, to and fro,
over the rainbow bridge we go.

Treading softly, treading slow,
over the rainbow bridge we go.

Gathering light from sun and star,
gathering light from heaven afar,
Down to earth all things to greet,
sharing the light with all we meet.

Here we go, to and fro,

over the rainbow bridge we go.
Treading softly, treading slow,
over the rainbow bridge we go.

After we created our Vibrant Vegetable Dyed Eggs  we decided to have some more fun with them. 
So we gathered up our pressed and dried treasures... flowers, grass, ferns, monarch wings...
Found our trusty mod podge and set out to embellish our eggs!
oh so easy..

Using a small paintbrush, apply a dab of Mod-Podge to the egg where the flower will go. Using the same brush, carefully pick up a flower, and gently decoupage it onto the egg. Apply another thin coat of Mod-Podge on top of all of your egg.

Allow the egg to dry on a skewer (I stuck mine in plants ~ seemed to work well) for about 10 minutes, or until the flowers are dry to the touch. 

I am looking for a way to hang these or display them for easter....
any good ideas?

Have a beautiful day!
~ Shanti ~

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Fae Fabulous Tutu Tutorial!

Recently while shopping at our local thrift store ~ where most things can still only cost a quarter! ~ my eyes landed on a big bag of pink tulle. I almost walked away (self control Shanti, self control...) until I remembered seeing the sweetest no sew tutus on line that I had someday hoped to make. So the pink tulle came home with us and was quickly transformed into some fabulous fae wear for my youngest!
Here is a girl you will often find up in a tree with a dirty face, battered jeans and an old plaid shirt, but offer her a pink tutu and she can switch roles rather instantly ~ soon to be found spinning in graceful delight. I suppose what girl can resist the allure of fluffy tulle...

Here is a super simple way to create a tutu. 
Thinking it would make a sweet gift for Easter or as a quick great gift for a birthday party.

In the words of my eight year old "It looks complicated but really it's SO easy!" She made her own version in navy blue and dark green, almost completely on her own ~ simple it truly is!

You need 
 3-6 yards of Tulle (or 2 rolls of 6" tulle)
Hows that for simple!

To begin..
Measure the recipients waist and cut your elastic to fit (with extra to overlap where you sew).
Sew your elastic together ~ zig zag on the machine or by hand
Decide how long you want your tutu to be, then double the desired length of the tutu + one inch. For example- If you want your tutu to be 12 inches long, you need to cut the tulle in 25 inch lengths. 
Then you can cut your squares that length and pile on top of one another
Next cut you pile of squares into strips of about 8 inches or so (cutting them all together makes it go a lot quicker).
I must say tulle is the MOST forgiving fabric I have ever worked with. Your lines can be a rough cut and it still looks fabulous when put all together!

Stretch your elastic around a chair, your knee or (as we used) a stool.
Fold the strips in half & loop it around the elastic by pulling the ends through the loop. Pull  tight. 

Keep tying the strips of tulle onto your elastic until it fills up full. 
This one only took about 30 minutes or so.

There it is... pretty and pink awaiting a fairy to dance in it.

We also decided to add a little extra color. 

So we tied on some grass green ribbon to swirl when twirled.

One very happy fairy discovered her new skirt and took it out to play.

Magic ensued...

and more joy!

A fitting gift for my Solana Fae!

I had so much fun creating this and loved being the photographer on the sidelines while the "new skirt" directed a whole story ~ unfolding with dragons, a wedding, tree climbing, a handsome fairy prince, dancing and best of all big grins and giggles!

May you have a "fae"bulous day!
~ Shanti ~

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Fluffy Egg Chicks!!

Here's an easy egg craft that is great for chick lovers of all ages!
I was inspired by an old 1960's craft book...all about egg crafts for your home.
(yes, that's right...there is an entire book out there devoted to EGG crafts)!

You will need:
blown eggs
wool felt, (yellow, orange and black/brown)
wool roving, (yellow)
embroidery floss, (or yarn) in orange
all purpose craft glue

To start take your wire and bend it into a chicken foot shape.  Mine looked like this...

Basically you want two front toes and one toe in the rear...don't be shy with the size, as it has to support the weight of the chick.  Ours were about 2-3 inches in size. 

Now cover your wire with glue and start wrapping around some orange embroidery floss or yarn.  You don't have to go all the way down to the end of the's really up to you!

Cover your egg with glue, (a side at a time), and cover with fluffy roving.  I pulled my roving apart to make it super fluffy.  Now this is where you will look at your "chick" and go..."oh goodness...what a disaster" me, it will work out!

Take your egg and wrap your hands around it, pressing the roving to the's not so bad now!

Now cut out some wings, eyes and a beak with your wool felt.
Glue them on.

Glue on your feet...the wire will fit through the little hole you make at the bottom end of the egg when you blew it out.  Now, it may be a bit not fear, prop it up between 2 objects until the glue dries...then you can take it, and bend the toes and make it stand up!

Oh my...super cute if I do say so myself.
Ruby and I now have a little family of chicks in the house...there will be more made tomorrow...windowsills will be graced with fluffy chick goodness!
How "EGG"cellent!

xo maureen

Friday, April 1, 2011

Vibrant Vegetable Dyed Easter Eggs

Well our much desired spring seems to be playing an April fools trick on us today... by bringing us snow! So I decided today would be a good day to share our Easter egg project ~ knowing that the "real" Spring shall shine her face upon us soon! This process took awhile and created quite the mess (my white counter now has so much character ; ) but was lots of fun!
This was a first for us so it was very thrilling to prepare it all, let it sit and then oh and ah the beautiful results.
There are so many different colors you can attempt to dye your eggs but we opted to try our hand at the three primary colors and see how it went.

To create ~ begin by taking your room temperature (helps with the process) eggs and pierce the top and bottom of the egg with a large needle. This can be done by kids (my eight year old loved the whole process) but obviously with care. Be sure to pierce the egg yoke to make for easier blowing. Then enlarge the hole at the end of the egg you will be blowing out from. It gets a little messy ~ we had eggs breaking, eggs landing on chairs, eggs on clothes and hands, but hey thats half the fun!

You can then rinse out your eggs and prepare your vegetable dye baths. 

 For red dye: Take 4 beets and roughly chop them. Combine it with 4 cups water, 1 tablespoon vinegar, and 1 tablespoon salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Strain, reserving the liquid for dyeing.
For yellow dye: Heat 4 cups water, 1 tablespoon vinegar, and 1 tablespoon salt in a saucepan. Add 6 tablespoon ground turmeric and stir well. Simmer for just a few minutes until the turmeric dissolves.
For blue dye: Take 1 large red cabbage (about 1 pound) and shred it. Combine in a saucepan with 4 cups water, 1 tablespoon vinegar, and 1 tablespoon salt. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer 30 minutes. Strain, reserving the liquid for dyeing.

If you want to play around with some other colors here is a helpful chart.

We had one little girl get so involved in the process she decided she needed to dress the part ... 

stirring her pot of medicinal goodness.

After you have strained and cooled your dye you can add your eggs. We got a little stuck as to how to keep our eggs from bobbing back up ~ hence we came up with this method. Seemed to work!

Then leave your eggs in their dye baths and let nature work its magic! We left our eggs in overnight to see how deep we could get the colors.

The results were lovely.

You can then drain your eggs (we placed ours upright into plants to drain), gently dry your eggs and then give them a rub down with a little oil to make them shine.

There are so many ways to go about creating beautiful eggs.
To name a few...

Tie-Dyed Eggs
Collect a handful of different sized rubber bands. Wrap the bands, one at a time, around the eggs. Dye the eggs, remove them from the liquid and let them dry completely before pulling off the rubber bands.

Crayon Eggs
Perhaps the easiest technique of all is the color-with-crayons method. Simply draw a design onto your eggs and then dye as you would any other Easter egg.

Dip Dyed Eggs
Dip dyed eggs into a second coat of darker dye to add a whole new color. The first coat is boiled and the second is cold-dipped for 5 to 10 minutes. To cold-dip, place egg in a small glass bowl or paper cup and prop it up against the side. Some great color combinations include coffee and blueberry; turmeric and red cabbage; and onion skins and cranberry juice.

Wrapping with Onion Skins
This method is a little messy, but the results are always a pleasant surprise. Rub eggs with white vinegar and wrap in onion skins. Secure the skins with cotton string, dental floss, narrow rubber bands or nylon stocking. When boiled, the skins dye the shells giving a natural tie-dye look. To achieve a full, rich effect, practice using many layers of onion skins. Hint: Pre-dampening the skins helps them stick to the egg.

I thought perhaps we may use our pretty eggs for an Easter treasure hunt (by hiding the clues rolled up inside each egg ~ needing them to be smashed *gasp* to be found) and then having their Easter baskets at the end of the hunt. The girls also want to write wee love notes, roll them up tight and slide them inside the eggs to hand out as Easter gifts. We shall see what inspiration hits!

Have fun coloring your world!

~ Shanti ~



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