Category Archives: Crafts

Making a Weaving Loom

Weaving Loom

The kind of loom I had as a child

After the success of our visit to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, I thought we’d take the weaving-thing a bit farther. When I was little I had one of those wooden framed weaving looms. I remember it surprisingly fondly.

I made two cheap weaving looms from cardboard boxes:

  • cut down sides so the shuttle can fit
  • cut some notches into the ends – I had six – with one cut deeper to hold onto the yarn
  • made a shuttle with curved end pieces and a notch to trap the yarn

Alex has done surprisingly well keeping the tension even – he made all these rugs for Elmo’s house without any help!!! I strung up the loom, but apparently a 5 year old is quite capable of weaving.

Alex Weaving

Alex Weaving

Jen at 3.5 years old has also done well, though she gets frustrated more quickly and I have had to finish a couple of the rugs for her.

Jen Weaving

Jen Weaving

If anyone has forgotten how to weave from their youth, I can offer the following hints:

  • to finish, tie double knots in all the strings
  • it’s called a shuttle!!!
  • notches for hooking on the yarn are great for keeping everything in place
  • leave enough of a tail in the yarn for those knots

Next up I have to remember how to weave with two or more colors within one row to make patterns – I remember there was some twisting or tying involved…


Coffee at an art museum

Coffee at an art museum – sooo civilized!

Last Friday we went to our first class at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. It was part of the home schooling series they put on, and well worth checking out for any children over three years old. The topic was “Textiles” and we spent the time wandering around the museum with our instructor looking at four different textiles: rug, traditional Peruvian weaving, a New England quilt, and a Peruvian hanging with European concepts. After the tour everyone did a weaving craft: colored wires and beads through burlap.

It was VERY cute 🙂 And then we got to sit in the museum cafe drinking coffee and eating cupcakes, which was extremely civilized.

Alex’ weaving


Jen’s weaving:

Jen's weaving


Natural Egg Dye Recipes


Natural Egg Dye Recipes


This Easter try coloring eggs the natural way. Use hard cooked brown or white eggs. After eggs are cooked, quickly cool the water or rinse in cold water. This helps to prevent “greening” of the yolk. Natural dyes take a bit longer to color the egg, so plan on extra time, or leave the eggs in the refrigerator overnight.


Natural Colorant Egg Color Directions Hints
turmeric powder bright yellow to deep gold Put -1-2 tsp. ground turmeric powder in heat proof cup. Fill 2/3 full with boiling water. Add 1 tsp. white vinegar. Works quickly.
Turmeric stains so be careful.
Wipe dusty spice residue from eggs.
chopped red cabbage blue/teal Put 2-3 tbsps. chopped red cabbage in heat safe cup. Add boiling water. Add 1 tsp. white vinegar. Let sit overnight.
Avoid excess handling.
onion skins, yellow light peach to gold/orange Use 1 large handful of onion skin for each cup of water. Simmer 20 minutes then add 1 tsp. of white vinegar. A perennial favorite.
grape juice blue to purple Add 1 cup frozen juice concentrate to 1 tsp. vinegar. Eggs may be simmered right in the juice to cook.
grated red beets magenta red Put 2-4 tbsps. freshly grated beets in heat safe cup. Fill 2/3 with boiling water. Add 1 tsp. white vinegar. Speckled design.
Dye may be strained before use.
Orange beets may be used to obtain saffron color.
red cabbage & turmeric green Pour scant tsp. of turmeric and 2-3 tbsps. of chopped red cabbage in a heat safe cup then add boiling water. Speckled design.
Wipe vegetable off with damp cloth.
red cabbage & beet purple Put 2 tbsps. grated beet and 2 tbsps. red cabbage in heat safe cup. Add boiling water. Striking and intense.
onion skins, red pale celadron green See directions for yellow onion skins. Allow long steeping time.


An average egg contains 65 calories, 6 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat and 6 grams of protein. They are also a good source for riboflavin, iron, and vitamins A and D. Even though eggs contain 212 grams of dietary cholesterol, new studies have found that an average egg raises the blood cholesterol level by only 3 mg. in most people.

Craft Supplies

Not much of a secret, but I’m writing a book with lots of basic craft recipes “Recipes for Disaster”. I’m still testing a few different playdough and paint recipes, so it’s not quite ready to be viewed in public. But here is my current list of ingredients I’m using. I’ve been ordering in bulk from because some thing like Cream of Tartar are insanely expensive from the supermarket.

Awesome Stuff I found on Pinterest

Arts & Crafts on Any Budget!Here is a round-up of my favorites pins I found during the last week on Pinterest… Follow Me on Pinterest

Source: via Angelika on Pinterest



Source: via Angelika on Pinterest


Source: via Angelika on Pinterest


Source: via Angelika on Pinterest


Source: via Angelika on Pinterest


final color discs


Sine I’ve been fielding a lot of questions about what happens if you mix not just two color, but three (think “what color do I get when I put together yellow and blue and green”) I thought it was time for some more independent investigation…

I found some plastic ring binder dividers, cut out some circles by tracing a cup, and used a pipe cleaner to tie the circles together.

Totally worth the 2 minute investment for a 5 minute toy 😉

ingredients for color circles

Ingredients for making color circles: plastic ring binder dividers, pencil, cup, scissors, pipe cleaner


Plastic discs cut from plastic binder dividers. I used just yellow, blue, red.

color discs tied together

I tied together the color discs by bending a pipe cleaner – I used my pink Leatherman – swoon

final color discs

Looking at the finished color disc contraption – look at it against a light for best effect