Sunday, May 8, 2016

of shares and sharing....

Last fall my pal Jennifer over at Desert Garden Farms created a CSA share just for our classroom. Rather than the large whole and half shares she prepared a quarter share for us, which was just enough to share with 24 kindergarteners. When we first bought the share she sent the class a sheep cutout mounted on foam board, (a la Flat Stanley), along with a personal note from one of the sheep and some very interesting specimens including a cotton boll, silk cocoon and other things of interest for the class.
Much to the excitement of the class, we received the box of fluff several weeks ago. I purchased raw wool fiber so it had to be washed but even in it's raw state the fiber proved to be lustrous. I have my eye on the long brown strands of softness from her Shetland/Icelandic cross by the name of "Blackjack". It's very nice!! At any rate, because it was un-washed I didn't let the children handle the fiber until it was washed just to be safe.

As a purchaser of CSA shares, we were given the unique and wonderful opportunity to name one of her spring 2016 lambs!! OK, so who was more excited about this; me or the children?? What an honor. We brainstormed names, allowing the children to do all of the nominations. Then time for a secret, head down/eyes closed vote. And the winner was "Jake Minnow". Jake, because it's a good boy name, (since our lamb is a ram) and "Minnow", because we ARE the minnows and now we have an honorary sheep minnow. How cool is THAT?? This is something the children may never get to  experience again.
Ever since I purchased the CSA share I have been pondering what to DO with it. What kind of craft can we make out of the wool? How can I give each children his or her fair share of the share? Then it hit me....I will make each child a fiber cupcake to do with as he or she pleases, because in kindergarten we are always excited about cupcakes.

DGF Fiber Cupcakes Recipe

White or brown wool fiber for "vanilla" or "chocolate"- each cupcake used enough fiber to fill palm of hand
DGF dyed roving or batts for "icing"
Cupcake liners
optional cupcake box, (can be purchased from grocery store bakery, cake decoration departments  in craft stores

Wash/Clean and comb to fluff out fibers. Roll fiber gently in palm of hand, felting it slightly. Fill cupcake liner with the "cake" fiber.

Ice the cupcake; pull about 3-4" of fiber from roving or batt. Lay across the top of the "cupcake" in a circular direction and lightly needle felt in place. Use small amount of red to roll in a ball for the "cherry on the top". Embellish with sequins small flowers, etc. Place cupcakes in cupcake container for extra realism. The children are amazed by these non-edible cupcakes. They are colorful, fluffy FUN!
Frosting the cupcake :)

Other things we can do with our DGF fiber...

spinning, of course...

and woolly bugs!!

 Happy Mother's Day, y'all!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Crafty Earth Day critters

....using drinkable applesauce/yogurt tops.

Gather plastic tops, (1 per  critter), chenille wire, googly eyes, wool fiber and hot glue. Not a wool fiber enthusiast ? Substitute fiber with extra large pompom.

Cut chenille wire in 3 equal lengths. Fold in half to make legs, (our critters had 6 legs). Insert wires (legs) through the holes in the tops, with equal length on each side. Repeat for other wires. Set aside.
Cut length of wire for antennae as well.

Teach children to lightly felt the fiber, while talking to them about what "felting" is and how it is done. Begin with wool fiber that has been combed and fluffed out using a pet comb, (if you don't have fiber combs). The idea is to felt it just enough to maintain a round-ish shape.. We used a squirt bottle to wet our hands while felting.

Glue fiber to top. Decorate with eyes and antennae. Adults need to do the gluing but let the children tell you how to position eyes and so forth.

TGIF y'all!