Thursday, December 24, 2009

Cookie painting & stained glass cookies finish the year @ WBCL

Although cold and rain threatened, we were warm and toasty with the wonderful smell of fresh cookies in the air. Using pre-packaged pre-cut cookies from the HEB and Pillsbury we made cookies to paint with gels and colored frostings. Although fun this was really overshadowed by the stained glass process. We used a varitey of mini-cookie cutters that I borrowed to cut out a hole in the center of the cookie. The kids then used a hammer to smash the lifesavers inside an envelope. They filled the hole with the smashed candy, frequently adding bits to other places on the cookie to decorate it more. Resting on their individual pieces of foil each cookie baked and created a "stained glass" area. Everyone was amazed at how they turned out. The pillsbury sugar cookie dough was a bit too soft and did not hold up as well as homemade but no one complained. I used the directions from this website to help out:
We had 3 wonderful special volunteers to help out and make this last crafts session of the year a bit more fun.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Of snowmen, snowglobes and other holiday figures at WBCL

After all the fun at school today with the snow globes, I expanded the make a snowman project to include them. Some of the older kids decided that the cards had just the right art work on them to use as scenes in their globes. Others used odd bits of ornament making supplies or drew and colored scenes. Some of the group created snowman bookmarks. One dad went his own way and made a santa instead.

The snowglobes are a 9 oz clear beverage glass mounted on an old CD/DVD. We added "snow" before gluing the project together. A few decided that gluing the scene to the inside of the glass worked better and did that.

This group meets every Wednesday at the Wells Branch Community Library creating arts & crafts projects from a wide variety of items on hand. Next week we'll paint cookies and learn to make stained glass cookies.
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Friday, December 11, 2009

Gingerbread people & hearts @ WBCL

What a fun and smelly ( in a nice way) program this was. I used homemade cinnamon clay dough * and baked 2 dozen gingerbread girls & boys and 2 dozen hearts the night before. I got the dough a little wet so they spent the night in the dehydrator to be nice and dry for class. We used pony beads, fabric and glitter glue to personalize each one before threading a ribbon through for hanging. The library even supplied small boxes from our recycling program to carry them home in.

*recipe for cinnamon clay dough
4 c flour 1 c salt
1 c water 1/2 c cinnamon
2T nutmeg 2 T ground gloves
Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl with a spoon. Add water then mix and kneed until clay-like consistancey is reached. Add more flour if too wet. Roll out between parchment paper or wax paper to about 1/4"-3/8"
thickness and cut using cookie cutters. Bake at 300 degrees for 30-45 minutes. You can bake them at a lower temp for a lot longer if your oven will do this--mine will not. I used my dehydrator at 145 degrees overnight to finish drying them.
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Monday, December 7, 2009

Family Ornament making @ WBCL

Before it was even time to open the doors, there was a line of excited participants. Although I made examples, most found their imagination guided them as they selected shiny balls and stars to make one-of-a-kind ornaments emellished by all kinds of fuzzy and shiny add-ons.
Our shell angel table, candy train, birdhouses, and cork reindeer were popular as was the hot glue and glitter station to finish off many of the creations. Thanks to the many volunteers (12+) that helped the session went pretty smoothly.

Kids of all ages strung popcorn for hanging in the tree or on themselves. A few people turned floral picks into trees and decorated them too.

Suddenly it was after 4 and time to turn off the music and put the little bit of remainder into boxes for later. This 5th annual event at the Wells Branch Community Library may be a keeper.
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Sunday, December 6, 2009

Making and decorating photo cubes at WBCL

In one of our wonderful donations I found a sack if unassembled photo cubes. They sat for many months until making it to our class tonight. What fun! First we had to assemble these tabbed boxes--no small thing but everyone got them together and ready to personalize. Getting all the tabs in the right places is kind of tricky. Once you see what you are supposed to do, it is much easier. We borrowed all the tape containers the library had to put them together.
We used another great donation--scrapbook papers--to cut and paste all over the boxes. Everyone was able to find the right colors and patterns to make their box just perfect. We were able to use the paper cutters we got for the scrapbook supplies and glue sticks to make the project neat. I did have to get out the hot glue for adding buttons as the weight is just too much for the other glues on verticle surfaces. As you can see, several people demonstrated putting their face in the picture spot.
This family class lets us put lots of donations and left over materials to great use at the Wells Branch Community Library on Wednesday nights.
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