Sunday, February 26, 2012

Crafting with my kids: The mighty birch

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Rachel over at Nest Full of Eggs recently posted about a photography challenge where she photographed a birch tree in four seasons.   The post brought back many memories for me.    My best friend’s childhood home (directly across the street from my home) always had a birch tree in the front yard when we were growing up. My aunt and uncle in Hanover, New Hampshire had a splendid birch forest on their lot.  When my husband and I travelled to Russia in 1996, we had a chance to visit Tolstoy’s estate (yasna polyana)  –  a birch forest lines the path going up to the estate.  These photos were taken on my old Canon SLR, so I scanned them.
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On the Yasna Polyana property is an intertwined oak and birch - apparently symbolic of love.
tolstoy0001.BMP This is Tolstoy’s tomb, at the edge of the marvellous wood.  { From my travel diary: It was the first public burial  in Russia that was not attended by a priest.  Tolstoy chose this spot because it conjured up a childhood memory of his older brother (Nikolai) who told Tolstoy that he had secretly buried a little green stick on which he had carved a magic spell.  Whoever found that green wand would become its master and would have the power to make everyone happy.  Tolstoy wanted to be buried with that little green wand.}
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November 7: Leo died at six this morning. I was not allowed in until his last breath.
I was not allowed to say good-bye to my husband. Cruel people. Sonia’s Diary.
All this to say, we worked on this wonderful birch tree project this weekend.   Two bloggers I follow knitty gritty homestead and wee folk art have done this with their wee ones. It is based on Kathy Barbro’s art lesson. Here is our experience and I highly recommend it.
Taping.
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Painting.
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Salting. {We used celtic sea salt}.
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Peeling off the tape.
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The finished projects.
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{PS All pundits predict Christopher Plummer is supposed to receive the Oscar tonight. He should have received it for playing Tolstoy in the Last Station :). }
Have a great week!
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9 comments:

  1. What a fabulous project. We have a few birch in the woods behind our house. Both girls would love this.

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  2. What a neat project, KJ. I really liked reading the story about Tolstoy's tomb, too. So interesting.

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  3. you know I love birch trees ~ thanks again for introducing me to that special place in Russia with the gorgeous birch lined road !!

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  4. Wow! This is an amazing post!
    I love your art project and simply must do it with my kids!
    Thank you for sharing your photos!

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  5. Neat memories and so cool that you've seen Tolstoy's estate. I've read more Dostoyevsky than Tolstoy - all that I've read from Tolstoy is Anna Karenina.

    You girls did a great job - isn't it cool to use salt or rice or something to create patterns with water paint - I love it.

    Melissa

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  6. Hmm. I love playing with salt on watercolors. I may have to try some with my kids tomorrow. The birch effect is stunning.

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  7. What a cool salt effect. So much fun! I bet my little guy would love to try this out. He loves experimenting.

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  8. I adore birch trees too. My sister painted some in high school and I stole her painting and have kept it all of these years. What a neat project!

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