Sunday, September 30, 2012

Crafting with my kids: Mid-Autumn Festival

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For the past couple of weeks, we have been reading books about the harvest moon.  We have also worked on this little craft to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival which started this weekend. {If you are interested in learning more, be sure to check out my friend Kim K's excellent post on a lesson plan that she put together for her daughter’s class.}

This craft is for young children and works on gluing and cutting skills.  You can make your basic moon with texture using this technique involving flour or this technique involving glue.  We used the flour technique.  The first time, the girls mixed too much flour in their white paint, and it really turned into a moon cake when dry (!).
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The next time, we used just a little flour.  I don’t have any photos of the girls painting their moons (I lost my camera card, sigh) .
This project may take a couple of days depending on the drying time of your moon. We have been working on our moon project over a couple of weekends.
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Supplies: your painted moon, zigzag child scissors, string or yarn, glue, origami or pretty paper for the lanterns.
After your moon has dried it is time to add the paper lanterns.
Glue the string on the moon, and cut strips of the origami paper with the zigzag scissors on sides.  Glue your lanterns.
Hold up your work!
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Notice the new Chinese paper punches?  My friend brought them back for me from Hong Kong, one means longevity and the other good fortune.  After my daughter finished her project, I punched the cardstock and put some silver foil tape behind.
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Notice the miniature pumpkins? This ornamental varietal is sometimes called “Pumpkin on a Stick.” It is native to southeast Asia. I was able to pick up a few stems at my Chinatown garden center. They are suitable for drying.
I am also sharing a few photos of mooncake packaging which were on display this week in my local Chinatown.  Mooncakes generally come in large tins and the cake itself can take some getting used to. This year, I picked up a mooncake shaped like a pig - it was small enough for the girls to have a taste.
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Lily starts her Cantonese lessons this week!
Have a lovely week and enjoy the perfect moon,
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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Wooden Spools

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September is National Sewing Month and Coats & Clark is also celebrating its 200th anniversary this year. To celebrate, I am sharing a few photos of my wooden spool collection.  Most are Coats, but there are a few other manufacturers as well, e.g. Peerless.
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The photo above is one our family’s toy sewing machines (and of course loaded with a spool of Coats). The machine was made in Germany.  This machine belonged to my dad’s sister in the 1940s.  I found out is was a toy because my sister recently saw the Threading the Needle Exhibit at the San Francisco Airport which featured sewing machines through the ages and there was some information about that type of machine.  Here are a few of her photos from the exhibit (taken on a phone).
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You can see more photos from the exhibit here.
I am also sharing a Coats & Clark advertisement that I picked up in Chinatown years ago. I love this particular graphic.
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A little closer.
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and finally look at this wee toy machine my pal found in her basement. It used to wind up, but the mechanism no longer works. It says Galoob on the front and Japan on the back.  So adorable, I am on the hunt for one.  Maybe you remember them?
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Have a great day!
(PS thank you for the kind comments regarding the quality of the photos in my last post –  I have upgraded my camera and working really hard to take better photos.}
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Monday, September 24, 2012

Muskoka

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We celebrated the first weekend of autumn in cottage country (Huntsville about 3 hours north of Toronto not taking into account traffic out of the city and setting for the G8 summit in 2010).  We met my sister’s family and the kids were able to play non stop.

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{Above: Mandatory family shot in Muskoka chair}. The colour change was about 10%. I am sure it will be on fire in about 7-10 days.

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On our way home, we stopped by Sandhill Nursery for their annual fall festival.  Bales of hay were transformed into wagons and there were pumpkin faced scarecrows every where. The cedars were also decorated.

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The girls didn’t want to leave - it was a lovely way to celebrate autumn’s arrival.  I really liked the dried Chinese lanterns (Physalis) on the wreath above so I took a photo to remember it.

Have a great week,

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Spa Days

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I was making some pumpkin soup and set aside some puree for facials for me and the girls. {When I was in Las Vegas, I treated myself to a fortieth birthday pumpkin anti-aging peel - it had been a couple of years since I had a facial. When the aesthetician questioned me about my “skin care regime” I had to muffle an answer :) .  Anyway the pumpkin peel smelled so good, but the  product is pricey.} This little home facial is pumpkin puree, Greek yogurt, and honey. 
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At Lily’s summer program they had a spa day. Initially, I was sceptical about the idea, but the kids had so much fun.   They made chocolate oatmeal facials and applied it with popsicle sticks. They also rested on their mats with cucumbers on their eyes .
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To celebrate the occasion, Lily brought in emery boards for her friends …
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and of course received a head massage from her buddy.
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I thought I would also share some photos of the nordic baths in Chelsea, Quebec.  When I was visiting my dad, my sister and I spent the good part of a day cleaning out the basement crawlspace.   It felt like there every art project we created from K to grade 13 had been saved (good lesson for me).  There were also some interesting finds, like this …
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…anyway, we worked so hard and my back was aching so much, we decided to spend a couple of hours at the le nordik.   It is a series of baths (from freezing to almost scalding), steam rooms, and saunas.  Highly recommend it if you are ever in the Ottawa area.  You don’t require reservations to access the baths.
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We had a great time even if it was only for a couple of hours.
I hope you are having a great week,
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