27 December 2013

A Child's Magical Library- Ruth Chew

Suzy's suitcase from Moonrise Kingdom

One of my most favorite things in the world are fantasy books. I have an extensive collection of children's fantasy books. It's a thing.

One reason is that some of them are leftover from my childhood and another reason is that I home schooled my 3rd child and read a LOT of books. I love to read aloud. 

I thought that I would create blogs every so often showcasing some of my favorites. People love to buy their children books and they often look for fantasy. Children need to learn to curl up with a book on a rainy day, or read with mom or dad and visit a new world, or take a book outside into the warm sunshine and just enjoy it. 

Today's books are some of my favorites from childhood. I would classify these as easy-to-read chapter books for 2nd through Middle School. I found these when I was in school through the Scholastic order forms.  

Anyway, these books are all written by Ruth Chew. She wrote and illustrated quite a few books. Mrs. Chew passed away in 2010 at the age of 90, but her books live on. I was delighted to see that a number of them are being published again! 

 Ruth Chew (portrait by Irving Schild)

These are pictures of my own copies. They are all filled with magical strangers, gadgets, and adventures. Most importantly, they have children that are quick thinkers and independent doers.

The following books I retrieved from ruthchew.com and I am linking back to them. These are the ones they have selected to be re-published and it looks like they are calling them "Matter-of-Fact Magic Books". 

This one has 3 tales in it: The Witch's Buttons, The Witch's Cat, The Witch's Garden

I don't own any of the new versions, but I plan on getting them to add to my collection. I love the new covers.

If you have never heard of Ruth Chew's books, then please do your child (and yourself) a favor and check them out.  To find out more about this wonderful author, please go here:

22 December 2013

A Merry Yule Craft!

This article is part of Kallan's wonderful Sunday Stew. Please hop on over and read all the different flavors added by each chef. I know that you will love it!

We are back!! Did you miss us?

I thought for this entry I would give you a craft to make. I like to save my old lightbulbs all year for this one. It is a recycle craft.

Items you will need:

Empty egg carton
Burned out lightbulbs
Styrofoam cups
White paint
Glitter (optional)
Various other paint colors (black, orange, green, pink, red, blue, yellow)
Bits of ribbons and other decorative items

Mainly everything that you will use on this project are all recycle items. Even the scrap bits that you can't really use for anything else.

First, you are going to rinse off the bulbs, dry them and get an old egg carton to hold the lightbulbs while they dry.

Like this:

Now, when you paint them, they can dry easily. I didn't have spray paint, so I just slapped a couple of coats of white acrylic paint on them.

This year I thought that I would add glitter to them. I put a coat of modge podge on them and then sprinkled the glitter on.

While the glitter was drying, I prepared the snowman hats. Turn your oven on 300 degrees and let preheat. Now, when you are using styrofoam cups, you want to find the smallest cup possible, preferably 6 oz. This year, I ended up with 10 oz. No worries, they will shrink down in the oven and look cute, no matter the size. 

Put your cups on a sheet like so:

Pop them in the oven and watch them shrink. It only takes a few minutes. When they are no longer shrinking remove them and they will immediately harden. I kind of shaped mine, which was a mistake because I squished the cup too much and the lightbulb wouldn't fit in it and I had to re-shrink more cups. Smaller cups do better.

After you remove your cups, you can paint them. Now, paint your faces on your snowmen. I also decided to make a tree.

Hot glue your hats to your snowmen. For the tree ornament, I cut out some stars from felt. and glued one to the front and one to the back. Be careful with the glue for the hat. If your glue is high temp, let it cool for just a second before putting your hat on, the glue will melt through. 

And you can get all creative with whatever decorative bits that you have. 

For the hanger, just glue a bit of raffia to the back of the hat.

I've also put a pic of one of the snowmen that I made a couple of years ago. This one has a smaller hat. The cups automatically turn up around the edge while they are melting.

And here they are. You can get fancy or just plain. 

Just have fun!