Thursday, June 27, 2013

Finishing Michelangelo with some Soap Sculpting

Well we finally finished our Michelangelo study with some soap sculpting! A lot of thought went into that dynamic title of this posting ey? Bet you were wondering what this post would be about until I explained it.

We started with a bar of Earthwise natural soap cause I only have natural soaps in our house and of course never thought to google a good soap for carving. Thankfully these held up really well under the carving process. These particular bars were a lemongrass and manuka honey flavour (do you use the word flavour when you are not going to eat it?) anyhoo my lounge room smelt (or smelled for you in the US) soooo good whilst they were carving their soaps ... bonus!

They started by drawing a shape on their bars with a marker. I highly recommend the shape being as simple as possible, for the first time at least.

I had some tools that I used to use when I did ceramics and worked on greenware so I pulled those out for them to use.  Check out this link to The Wonder Years: Soap Carving for Kids which has some fabulous ideas for homemade tools, the best soap to use, etc. I also cut up a new pot scrubber (they only need a wee piece) to use to smooth the soap, instead of using sandpaper. 

Agent Smelly made a fish in less than 90 minutes

The Fashionista carved a leaf in about 120 minutes (all the veins are hard to see)

Both really enjoyed this relatively inexpensive and simple craft and I was hardly needed ... score! It also started some debate on how Michelangelo carved marble and how he made it look so real and smooth. It was concluded that he was one very patient fella!

Some tips.
- If your children have cuts on their fingers get them to wear plastic gloves, Agent Smelly got some soap in a cut and it stung.
- Make sure newspaper is under the carving and use the shavings (of which there will be loads) to wash your laundry.
- If you child is asthmatic or has allergies you may want to use little painters face masks on them, as there is a bit of soap dust and it does cause sneezing (and shavings to go everywhere ... sigh)

In ending, I must share this story. Part of their artist's study is writing down their very favourite work of art by the particular artist. Agent Smelly was taking an awful long time and she is usually more of a rusher head first kinda gal than a ponderer so I asked why she couldn't make up her mind and she confessed that he had so many "winkies" in his art and she didn't like to choose one of those. She doesn't like nudity in art yet, so I very maturely held back my giggles and nodded and said that I understood her dilemma and helped her find one that didn't have a "winkie" in it.

Highhill Homeschool

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A Nature Walk around Town

I am not a fan of winter people. I do not like the cold, and absolutely hate the wind and I loathe being stuck in the house for days on end. And don't get me started on colds and the flu ... as we are just all getting over a particularly nasty one. One of those old fashioned ones with the sort throat, ears, chills and massive fevers that takes you ages to get over as you have no energy for days.

So I have made the decision this season to take advantage of any nice days and drop the bookwork and get the girls out and about in the sun and fresh air.

Well recently we had a lovely sunny winters day so I packed up the girls with some snacks (fruit, carrots, etc) and drinks and we went into town and grabbed a cup of hot chips. We then popped up to our local domain where we hid from the wind in the Scout / Guide Den entrance, and had an impromptu lunch / picnic. The girls were overjoyed.

Our domain and Guide Den are surrounded by farm land and some wild sections of bush so we headed off for a wee walk.

We had our binoculars and nature journals as we had hoped to spot some birds but we only saw a couple of sparrows ... the birds were hiding from the wind I think.

We did spot a pile of Monarch butterflies.

And found some structures that some kids possibly made sometime.

Despite us only going 5 minutes into town and it being an area that we visit all the time, it was the first time we have just spent an hour or so wandering up and down the hills and across the wee creeks, etc. Both girls kept asking if we could do it again and if I am honest I also felt pretty good after a stroll in the brisk air. Thankfully where we live in NZ, whilst the nights get very cold the days can be quite nice on occasion. Let's hope I am inspired to do it  again ... best laid plans and all that.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Ancient Greece

We've been covering a fair bit of ancient Greece in our Story of the World history book recently. Mostly it's been about waring. Now between us wars don't really appeal to my two girly girls so I have been making sure to add some activities that I think will keep them better interested.

Recently after their book work, I had the girls make Greek chitons.

They machine sewed a simple piece of cotton material together and turned it so the seam was on the inside. They place the seam at the back and then sewed a couple of buttons onto their chitons on the shoulders. Can I cross credit that with home economics too ... yeah, why not.

Here's Agent Smelly in hers ... the waist tie are those tie backs from our drapes ... hehe
Here's the Fashionista in hers. We didn't have enough material to make them wider, thus fuller which would have been more realistic. It was simply material I found in my scrap box ... had I been more organised (famous last words) I could have bought some to use.

I had to include this ... check out Agent Smelly's tartan socks ... it was cold!

The girls decided that they had put so much work into them that they had to wear them for the remainder of the day!  This is what the Papa walked in on that night ... two Greek Goddesses playing a board game.

These have now gone into the dress-up box ... and I am sure will be pulled out again and again. They were pretty chuffed with them.
Highhill Homeschool

Friday, June 21, 2013

Friday Funnies

Woke this morning with one of those husky voices you get when you've had a cold thinking I sounded "all that"! C'mon some of you ladies know what I mean.
Then I answered the phone and was chatting away when the person on the other end of the phone suddenly said "oh I hadn't realised it was you, I thought it was the Papa"!
Suddenly not feeling all "Jessica Rabbit sexy" anymore ...

Friday, June 7, 2013

Friday Funny

Just heard Miss nearly 9 practicing her guitar and was feeling quite pleased til I realised what she was playing and singing ...

 "Oh, the cow in the meadow goes moo,
Oh, the cow in the meadow goes moo.
Then the farmer hits him on the head and grinds him up,
And that's how we get hamburgers."

Thank you Phoebe Buffay!

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