Friday, June 4, 2010

Recycling is Sew Fun!

Recycling is Sew Fun

This summer one of my goals is to teach my daughter Naomi to sew. She's been wanting to learn for a long time, and I recently managed to find a used machine at a garage sale for $5 to replace our other one that needs a more expensive part.

We decided to start simple! I had just been organizing all of our old clothes, and found some that we weren't going to use. One little denim baby shirt had elastic that had been stretched out. And one dress had a stain on it after years of use.

We decided to turn the shirt, which has cute cherries embroidered onto it, into a purse. We cut off the sleeves, sewed seams along the cuts, used the sleeve fabric to make a strap, and sewed a straight seam along the bottom.

Voila, a new purse!

The dress seemed destined to be an apron. It already had a tie for the back, a bodice and a hemmed skirt. We only needed to cut off the back of the dress, sew up the loose edges, and add an elasticized neck strap.  I showed her how to turn the fabric wrong side out, sew a tube, then turn it right side out by drawing the end through with a large safety pin.  Then we shimmied the elastic through this fabric tube using the same safety pin, and sewed it so it wouldn't slip.

Any kind of sewing can be frustrating at times. We weren't using a pattern, so we had to improvise along the way. I had to "take over" a few times, but mostly I let her do the actual work. We also found out we needed a seam ripper, a needle threader, some decent scissors, extra bobbins, and more ball head pins, which are much easier to grab. So in between the two projects, we took a trip to Walmart's sewing department.

My next project is actually with 7 year old Ben, who wants to make his own tote bag.

I hope this inspires you to tackle a little sewing fun this summer!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Reading Your Way Around the World

I originally posted the following blog on There's Always a Story, however after seeing Virginia's recent post on libraries, I thought readers might enjoy having the post here instead of linking back to mine. ENJOY your travels! The world awaits your arrival.

Travel the world and never leave your living room. Though there are distinct advantages to learning about the Colosseum while walking its cobblestone path ways or climbing to the top on worn stone steps, many of us will never have an opportunity to do so. That's where books span the ravine of being there to taking us there.

Books set in cultures and countries afar, allow us to walk across the Grand Canal, explore the Sahara, swim the English Channel, or climb the Rocky Mountains. In doing so, books broaden horizons, teaching geography and immersing us in culture as we read.

Travel the United States with:
In My Mother's House by Ann Nolan Clark
M is for Majestic: A National Parks Alphabet by David Domeniconi
The Great St. Lawrence Seaway by Gail Gibbons
Minn of the Mississippi by Holling C. Holling
Carry On, Mr. Bowditch by Jean Latham
Strawberry Girl by Lois Lenski (chapter book)
Lentil by Robert McCloskey
Time of Wonder by Robert McCloskey
N is for Our Nation's Capital by Roland Smith
The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge by Hildegarde H. Swift
A New Coat for Anna by Harriet Ziefert

Traveled the World with:
A Ride on Mother's Back: A Day of Baby Carrying Around the World by Emery and Durga Bernhard
The Apple and the Arrow by Mary and Conrad Bluff
Secret of the Andes by Ann Nolan Clark (chapter book)
The Wheel on the School by Meindert deJong (chapter book)
A Life Like Mine published by DK Publishing
Children Just Like Me by Anabel Kindersley
The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf
A Pair of Red Clogs by Masako Matsuno
Bread, Bread, Bread by Ann Morris
House and Homes by Ann Morris
How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World by Marjorie Priceman
The Glorious Flight by Alice and Martin Provensen
P is for Passport by Devin Scillian
The Story About Ping by Marjorie Flack and Kurt Wiese

Additional Resources (some will make your mouth water!)
Eat Your Way Around the World by Jamie Aramini (yummy twists to teaching geography)
Galloping the Globe by Loree Pettit and Dari Mullins (a unit study)
Geography from A to Z: A Picture Glossary by Jack Knowlton (helpful reminders!)
Teaching Ideas website (ideas to get your mind traveling)
Geography Matters website (a plethora of helpful resources)
Online geography games
Netstate website (all about the 50 states, and more!)
Friends Across America (coloring pages for everything America)
Enchanted Learning (all about US Geography)
Enchanted Learning (all about World Geography)
Homeschool Share (lapbooking geography)
Homeschool Share (more lapbooking geography)
Homeschool Share (US geography)
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