Thursday, April 24, 2014

Altoid Tin Craft: Young Isaac

A few months ago, I finally bought the pattern from Larissa's shop to make the Wee Princess Pea. I'd had my eye on the pattern for Quite Some Time, but it's a funny thing: our extended family has produced a plethora of little boys but very few little girls, so I didn't feel like I had enough little ones to craft for to make the (not really that expensive at all) purchase worthwhile. So anyway, when Jared got the invitation to his best friend's party (Yeah, she's a girl. I love that/), I felt the craving to buy the pattern again, and this time I caved. Also, I figured I could use the pattern a few months later to make a princess for my god-daughter.
Then, as I was crafting away on the princesses, I had a moment of pure crafting genius. I have lots of little boys to make things for, I thought. Not many girls. If only there were a way I could use this pattern to make little princes. Hmm...but would a boy play with a prince? Probably not.

Now get ready: here's where the genius part happened.

As I drew a face and glued on lovely long hair, I kept thinking: What would a little boy play with if it was tucked into an Altoid tin? Especially a tin a thoughtful Mama has tucked into her purse to keep the boy quiet

I thought of my nephews: Elijah, Sam, Noah, Micah, Jacob, Thaddaeus, Gideon, Isaac...Hmm...Yes! That's right. Bible characters. They wear long cloaks and tunics not much unlike a princess's nightgown and robe. I would just need to alter the pattern a bit. And that's how Young Isaac was born. You see him above with his princess friend. He's wearing his tunic and has long-ish hair. (My artistic critics thought it was a bit too long, but I was happy with it.)

This is his Altoid home. I glued paper inside the tin, and I copied out the verse from Genesis that is the climax of young Isaac's story.

And here he is with his robe on. I added cross stitching to the hem to spiff it up a bit.

 I cut some strips of leather for his bundle of sticks and tied them together with a piece of brown embroidery floss.

And of course he needed a lamb friend, so I made a very tiny lamb out of wool felt. He's about as big as the last joint of my thumb.

And here's Isaac waiting to be packed up into his new home. I gave him to my tiny baby nephew as a baptismal gift. I hope my sister tucks him into her purse when her Isaac is old enough to play with him in church.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Pioneer Living

It's tradition at their elementary school that the 2/3 graders visit the local historical museum to learn about daily life for pioneers. Jared was really excited about the trip because they'd finally get to see Inside the Log Cabin. I didn't go along, but I heard the following report from a Very Reliable Source.

When they entered the pioneer log cabin, the tour lady invited the children to look around carefully and observe ways this cabin was different from their houses. One child raised his hand and pointed out the ladder to the sleeping loft.
"Yes, good job!" the lady said. "We don't have ladders in our houses anymore to get into the upstairs. We have stairs."
Jared raised his hand. "Actually, I have a ladder in my house."
The lady smiled at him. "But you don't use the ladder to get into the upstairs, do you?"
Jared nodded. "Actually, we do. That's how we get into my bedroom."
Nonplussed, the lady looked around at the adults. My Source nodded. "He's telling the truth. He does basically have a ladder up into his bedroom."
The lady continued. "Pioneer children slept in lofts like this one," she said, pointing up. "Don't you think it would be unusual to sleep in a loft like this?"
Jared raised his hand. "I sleep in my attic."
The lady stared at him for awhile, maybe uncertain whether or not to believe him. Then, she continued. "Well, children, do you see any other things that are different from what you have in your houses?"
A child pointed to the wood burning stove. "That's right," the lady said. "In pioneer days, people used these to heat their homes."
Jared raised his hand. "We have one of those."
The lady raised her eyebrows. "Okay, but you probably don't use it to cook your food like pioneers did."
"Actually, we do. Sometimes. My mom makes soup on it in the winter and my dad likes to cook on it too."
The lady eyed my Source. He shrugged. "They probably do," he said.
The lady continued, talking about chores and how hard pioneer children had to work to bring in enough firewood to keep the house warm in cold months. Jared raised his hand. "I help bring in firewood at my house."
At this point, the lady just led the group outside, where she showed them trees
with sap-collecting buckets.
The children listened attentively as she explained how syrup is made from sap. Jared's teacher leaned in close to the lady before they moved on. "Jared's dad collects sap too. Just thought you should know."
I do not know how she responded to this little tidbit.

So there you have it. Apparently, we live like pioneers. Who knew?

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Lesson Learned

I've been nagging Jonah all week (yeah, I know it's Spring Break) (yeah, I know I'm mean) to study for his upcoming AP World History test. But I have to add this note: he stresses out about these tests, and his teacher Kindly Gave them extra time by setting the test after break. So WHY shouldn't he take a few hours here and there to study and prepare for the essay questions?
Today, after I nagged him once again to stop procrastinating (this morning, it was building darts out of thorns and printer paper), he asked if he could invite a few friends over to study. Why not? I thought. Why not indeed.
This is what I pictured: while I finished up a project upstairs, Jonah and his well-mannered friends would sit around with binders and highlighters, politely asking: "What do you think are the impacts of globalization and industrialization in 19th century China and Japan?" or "How should we best discuss the geological and cultural impacts of silver mining in Central and South America?" You know, stuff like that.

Clearly, I don't know my son or his friends very well. Here's a small sampling of what I overheard:

"Wow, Jonah. You already most of the (15 page) packet done? Wow. We haven't even started yet...." (Jonah sighed. He was hoping they'd be able to help HIM with a few answers.)
"Jonah, your binder is really cool. You're so organized." 

And that, folks, is about all they said about AP World. Here's what came next:

1. Jonah showed them all the neat birthday presents and gadgets he has acquired since they visited last, complete with full explanations and demonstrations of how each works.
2. Jared popped in and out of the conversation, just enough to be annoying.
3. They had a lengthy Nerf Gun battle.
4. I'm pretty sure I heard someone say: "Jared, just stand still. Right there. We promise this won't hurt" at least once.
5. I heard a lot of that snickering sound teenage boys make when they have just done something a) painful, b) embarrassing, c) disgusting, or d) all of the above.
6. They ogled an Army Surplus catalog.
7. They tied fishing line to one of Lauren's old baby dolls to make a marionette named Cody (who is currently watching Star Wars VI with Jared while Jonah's at a movie with Clint). time Jonah asks to invite a few friends over to STUDY, I think I'll make sure those teenage boys spend at least twenty minutes doing what they're supposed to be doing before the inevitable mayhem begins.
Hmm...yeah. Maybe I'm a little too optimistic.