i am determined to play along with dear selena over at apron thrift girl, even if i am a day behind. on saturday we went to our first yard sales of the season. the big score of the day was at the local, hip charter school in our neighborhood. i knew a friend had found some great castaways there last year and was motivated to venture out with the children....i'm so glad that i did!these gorgeous wooden puppets were my first find. they were each marked $5. they are in pristine condition and i fell in love with them right away. i held onto them even if it meant shelling out $10 to take them home with me. next i found the craft supplies. i have never scored wool yarn or roving at a yard sale (or thrift store) before. it was far too exhilarating! ;) there are five skeins of the blue mohair, and a partial skein of the chunky orange. i have another partial ball of that same yarn. it is great for making pumpkins with the smaller children! as we were browsing, it was announced that you could now get a box and fill it......for $5!! not only did both of the puppets and all of the wool go in but we added these buttons, a pair of hand blown glass earrings, this wooden fan, five silk ties for egg dying magic, an apple cookie cutter, a sweet little planter, a few children's books, and all of the clothes pictured below. everything in the first photo plus all of the clothes....for $5!! i know a couple of glass blowing daddy's whose children attend the school. can't wait to see if one of them made these. the dress hanging from the rail is a wee bit snug in the arms but i had to have the fabric. i think i can easily alter it for sienna. she scored a wool blend sweater that she can grow into and a cute skirt that was already in wear (pictured in yesterday's egg hunt photos). in the box also went this blue shirt for me and two sweaters for felting...one with the sweetest flowers!i felt a wee bit guilty about giving them so little money for so many great treasures. this was a fund raiser for their school after all. so i didn't mind that this incredible wool sweater i found didn't fit in that box at all. the tag says *highland home industries. 100% pure new wool.* i gladly handed over three dollars for it. it is a bit big and will be perfect for teaching. the apron that i wear in the classroom is big and full and this sweater will fasten over top just right. it is really scrumptious and i love that it buttons on without the added belly bulk of most cardigans. this was a real score for me. i have thrifted oodles and oodles of sweaters over the years for my crafting purposes but rarely do i come across a nice wool sweater for me to wear. the children have enjoyed the puppets very much. they must use them gingerly and it is so sweet to see them slow down and maneuver them with care. they set up an entire scene for them with bark chairs and acorn cups of water. they took turns telling stories and worked together to act them out.
my other scores of the day (without pictures) at other sales were a hard bound copy of the book *gnomes* for $3. our copy had fallen apart and i was literally giddy when i randomly came across this in a box at a yard sale we almost didn't stop at.
we also came across a huge collection of greeting cards. you know the fancy kind found at the health food store with gorgeous illustrations of fairies and mermaids, and all sorts of other magical scenes. we rescued a small stack of them and brought them home. most are to send out to friends but the children each have their faves that they are hoarding.
thanks for humoring me while i shared my finds!! i love giving discarded items a new home. we are planning to move soon and are thinning things out around here so i am more intentional than ever about what we bring in. it is such a gift to find things we truly will use and cherish for such a great deal!
do you know why easter falls on the day that it does? it is the first sunday after the full moon following the northern hemisphere's vernal equinox. true story. this is our fave of the silk dyed eggs this year. we have done this the last few years with my mom, bakka. no bakka visit this easter but matt came over this morning and shared this tradition with us.
we have used only silk ties in the past. this one was a silk shirt (from my mom, she collects silk thrift finds for this project). the shirt had black floral designs on a red background. it bled into the dye water and onto the other eggs a bit but it was so very vibrant and stunning in it's transfer.we had a quite day with our egg dying, a couple of hunts, and a dinner cooked on the grill. i had a number of felted eggs in various stages of progress and got them all to completion over the last few days. i can't believe we have a dozen and a half felted eggs now (with one knit egg one in there from the lovely jessi!)! i love having this alternative to the plastic eggs. we still easily fill these with a single piece of candy or a little treasure. not only do we avoid the plastic but they bring a playful and sensory rich element into our egg play. it's so fun to see their little faces peeking out at you from their hiding places! only half a dozen of them are monsters and it is fun to come across one of their little personalities. it has been comical to watch the children's interaction with each of them. i have never seen this kind of magic with plastic eggs. jasper really likes digging in for the treasure! he plunges his little fingers right into the wooly cave and feels about.i enjoy going to the health food store and getting a handful of candy to supplement their eggs with. it is nice to say *yes* to sweets for a day, knowing that i know what is in those treats...even if they are still loaded with sugar. jasper eats his as he goes. sienna collects all hers and puts them away. she rations out one for each of them each day as long as it lasts. ;) so nice that she shares with him despite the fact that he scarfed his own as fast as his fingers could dig them out of those wooly caves! the four new members of our egg monster family. i made many monsters last year but only two stayed with us. these four sprang to life this year. two of them the children had seen already but two of them they discovered during the hunt. this guy has a little bit more of a sculpted face than i have done before. the plastic egg inside this one popped open during the felting process creating an odd shape. (i had it taped shut but the tape came undone. i use my eggs a lot and should probably retape some of them.) i set to it with my felting needle and turned it into this little box! the first time it was filled with two chocolate coins. even though there was only one box to discover, it held a coin for each child. they shared without hesitation and i smiled. ***disclaimer: many other irritating, disappointing sibling interactions occurred throughout our normal day. this is the one i choose to remember and record today. ;) one of the only things in their easter baskets that i personally made was this little johnny jump-up fairy for sienna. she saw me making a similar one for a swap recently and asked for one of her own. the fairy was woodburned and painted with watercolor pencils. she has a sparkly acorn hat. i think she may get a petal cape, too. her cradle was one of my eggs that i knew sienna would love given all those lovely shades of blue. the walnut candles from our earth day hunt were set afloat giving this tea cup yet another life. our easter centerpiece.
yesterday we shared a most magical egg hunt with some dear friends. it was a damp, cool day in the mountains and we gathered at sweet tracy's home for some fun.the land across the street from her home is a very special place. it is on the national historic register and there rests one of the oldest cabins in buncombe county. the children wondered through field and forest gathering eggs in their baskets.
though we pulled this together on rather short notice, the crafty and clever mamas involved still managed to create a special hunt for the children. there were dyed eggs as well as plastic eggs filled with simple treasures. among the goodies tucked inside were earth balls (it was earth day after all!), a couple of other natural candies, home made nut butter balls, shells, stickers, special stones, shark's teeth (jasper got two!), marbles, and bits of nature. do you see the blue egg in the picture above?
the passing rains left the moisture kissed greenery glowing with new life. i love the smell of these mountains after the rain.
there was even a boxwood hedge maze. the children had so much fun winding through these tidy hedge paths!this path opens to the previously mentioned ancient cabin. it is kept in beautiful condition and is used as a family retreat. jasper was ecstatic to find these two marbles in one of his eggs! he clutched them, along with his bunny (below), for the remainder of the hunt. once we returned hone, all of his prizes went straight into his treasure box. ;) when each child had collected 10 eggs, they came to tracy to collect their felted egg full of goodness. this is how we distributed the hand mades. each child received one felted egg filled with a wee peg bunny, a wooden spring token, a beeswax walnut candle, and a special message. tracy made these adorable bunnies!! love them! a few of us mamas contributed felted eggs so that each child would have one. the one pictured above was actually made by this woman. i offered it to the cause, but was delighted that it ended up coming home with us again. spring was in full show for the event. the dogwoods in bloom above us and these gorgeous white bells dotting the landscape below (anyone know what they are?). to run and be free with friends of shared values is invaluable to me. i cherish the community we are creating together. we are all looking forward to our next hunt already! if you find yourself hiding eggs or hunting them, have yourself a beautiful day.
today i will share with you how to make this sweet smelling egg candle! you will need: eggs that have been blown out (tutorial at magic onions) beeswax wick (i used braided for 2-3" candles) a long needle or a piece of thin, bendable wire a small bit of clay scissors *melt your beeswax in a bain marie. this is what my set up looks like. i use an aluminum percolator that i found at the thrift shop for $1. the pan is from the thrift store, too. i use beeswax often and these two items live in a box of my beeswax supplies. *thread your wick through your blown out eggshell. i used a needle to get it through the holes. you could also use a piece of thin, folded wire to thread it through. you want a bit of wick sticking out both ends. *on the small end of your egg, cover the hole and the wick with clay. keeping your clay very moist will make this step much easier. you can use a little water to smooth out the edges and to ensure you have a good seal. *place egg in carton with clay side down. i doubled my cartons while working to help soak up any wax spills. *once your wax is melted, pour it into your egg. *beeswax shrinks as it cools so you will need to top it off. you could tie your wick around a toothpick or something to hold it in place. i just adjusted mine as the wax began to harden and it worked out fine. *allow your egg to cool for a considerable time. we left the house to run some errands while ours cooled. then, gently crack it open and begin to peel your shell away. note: if you smash your egg on the counter to break the shell, you will damage the beeswax inside! most of the wax had shrunk and separated nicely from the shell making the task of peeling rather painless. we did have this problem spot where the shell stuck to the wax. we just kept picking away at it until we removed all of the shell. we were then able to wash off the white residue with soap and water. *trim your wicks and find a stand for your bee-utiful egg! notes and variations:
*you can use a blow dryer to warm your egg up and then smooth out any surface scratches or smudges.
*if you do not have a stand, you could make a flat bottom for your egg to sit on by touching the wide end of your egg to a warm pot on the stove. this will melt the wax down just a bit and give you a nice flat surface.
*the wooden stand above was bought at the craft store in the unfinished wood section.
*peel only half of the shell off for a fun, just cracked looked!
*decorate your finished egg with decorating or modeling beeswax.