Thursday, April 15, 2010

Western European crafts, part 2

I was going to name this post 'the end of Western Europe', but that sounded a bit too dramatic....

I'm falling horribly behind in posts, so I'll be working this afternoon to catch up, so please look back for a BUNCH of posts a little bit later.

This will be my last post about our Western Europe cultural block, I had to just put up these last few craft pictures. This first one is of a painted clay pot project we did with T and D, Zoo Boy's pot is on the left, J's on the right. We first sealed the pots along with a base coat of white, then used crayons to decorate them, then painted the entire pot with red, which the crayons resisted. Then we dry-sponged the paint off of the crayon decorations, painted over the whole thing with varnish, then added some final touches with colored glue. Phew. It was a long project, we worked on it for about 45 minutes once a week for 3 weeks. The kids are going to plant flower seeds in the pots. (As a note for others that try this project, you should just let the paint dry for half an hour, then dry-sponge it off -- ours waited a week, and it was more difficult than it should have been, I think.)

Here's another project we did with T and D, tissue paper "stained-glass" windows. I thought they came out pretty cool (they are prettier in real life than in photos). For this we folded tissue paper and cut the "points" off of them in increasing sizes, then used a mixture of gel glue and glitter glue to glue to pieces together in layers, from the smallest hole to the largest. We then glued on a chenille stem (pipe cleaner) to "frame" our window, and cut off the excess tissue paper. This was a two-session project.

And here's the most popular craft project of the entire block -- knight paper dolls! I actually purchased a book of these so all we had to do was cut them out and play. Zoo Boy was initially resistant to the idea of playing with "paper dolls", but once he saw how they worked, he was all over it. The boys logged hour upon hour of dressing up their knights in various armor and helmets and shields and giving them various swords and lances to brandish. QUITE a hit. I'm going to try to get paper dolls for each of the cultures we study!
And that's it!!! I didn't do all the cultural crafts I was planning -- there was at least one major stained glass project that we never got to, and we had planned a group puppet-making project that we just ran out of time on since the other things took so long. I think in the future (not this next block...) I will offer a class either through the homeschool classes or on my own to cover crafts within that culture. That will keep me more on track. Besides, if I'm going through that much trouble to prepare for a craft, I may as well share it with more families than just mine! And I always think it's more fun to do crafts with a group rather than on our own. Thankfully T kept me on track a bit this time, as our Western Europe blocks overlapped enough that we were able to get together on that, but this next block I'm on my own. If I get a couple of cultural crafts accomplished before the end of June, I'll consider myself a success!

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