When studying Native Americans of the Southwest, Siena and Lucas decided they wanted to make dioramas. They each picked a tribe, with different dwellings and each made their own. Siena picked the Pueblos. Lucas made a Hogan from the Navajo tribe.
They planned what they wanted it to look like and what they thought it was important to include. I really liked the process they went through and how very different they each work and planned their project.
Siena decided to do her diorama using a recycled cardboard box.
Lucas, decided to use a piece of pretty wood we had waiting to be used into something.
And even though Native Americans didn’t use hot glue-guns when making their own homes, Lucas used it, to make sure the sticks would stick together before he put the clay over them.
Siena used cardboard to make it to resemble the hillside and covered with brown paper the words and the outside of the box. They both used this terra cotta air dry clay. It cracked a little when it dried, but nothing to mess up their work. They said it worked good.
This is Lucas’s Diorama of a Hogan from the Navajo tribes from the Southwest:
He put clay in between the sticks, resembling what they actually do in the real construction of these.
Put a clay oven by the house too. Including the large paddle used to bring the bread in and out of the oven. This makes me want to have one in the backyard, like the one our friends made themselves. Wouldn’t it be fun?
They both used Sculpey Clay to create the details of each family depicted in their diorama.
The “Three Sisters”.
A woman weaving, with the loom and spindle next to her.
I think it turned out beautiful. I love all the details he made and the colors he chose and what he thought important to include.
Siena’s Diorama of the Pueblo Tribes and their home:
Peppers hanging to dry and turquoise.
This is the entrance to their kiva.
Her dwelling had few levels that are all connected with ladders as they did.
I love this mom. I like her hair, though I believe the hair was done in these buns when the woman was not married yet. But the cradleboard with the baby and the younger daughter working with her, I think are my favorite details of her diorama.
She’s grinding the corn.
And another young daughter picks corn from their garden.
I think these dioramas are my favorite project as of lately, besides all the work in wool we did (carding, spinning, and weaving.) This Southwest Tribes unit was a fun one for sure. And with it, we finished studying all the tribes of the US, taking us a couple of years to do, because we took a few months per cultural area, and really studied in depth the major tribes and those we felt we wanted to learn more about. Now, we just need to go on a field trip to see in real life all the things and aspects of their culture we studied.
At the beginning of the units, when we are starting and we have most of the books from the library we have about it, we go through those with crafts and projects, and they decide which projects they’d like to do.
They wanted to make these shields, since we had made them for the Romans as well.
Another project was a Viking ship. There are lots of ideas online, and there are books with different styles and ideas, so we made a mix of few of them. I like it that they pick and choose and change as they see suit.
They turned out pretty cute, I think.
The one problem we had in the design, was that the boats couldn’t stand on their own.
So they each problem solved and made their own stand.
And this is one instance. But for so many projects, Siena comes up with a deviation on the project, to make it her own, so it works for her, for the space where she wants to keep it, for what she wants to use it for. Whatever the reason, there’s always something she tweaks. She loves doing that. And I kinda’ do that too. I like creating, but I am not very creative, so I get an idea an inspiration from somewhere, and then I run with it, to make it work for me. It completes my creative spot. Be it a quilt or a sewing or knitting project or a soup recipe.
I love what Siena told us few days ago: “I think I want to write a book about all the changes I would do to all the craft projects I’ve done, because I think I can make them work better.”
And we said “Go for it!”
We’ve had a table of our handmade goods for few years, at a holiday fair, we really love. I only have photos of the past two year,s but this was our 6th! It started because Siena has always loved making things, and we thought it would be fun for her to sell her kits and goods. And it was.
It has been so much, that here we are are, once again. In between. Lucas has gotten involved and makes and sells his handmade goods, whichever they may be. I make few things too, and take advantage of the time we have to make these, and the time and space we have for displaying them at the fairs. But truly, it is mostly for Siena we participate in it, she’s the one reminding us all year around that we should be getting things done for the fair.
Last couple of years, we participated in two fairs. They’ve been different ones, sea re trying new places. This year, we did three. That seemed like a lot, but it was what Siena wanted to try. So, we all worked on them. Getting ready, making, getting the supplies, creating, looking and thinkings of ideas, boxing things up, getting up early, setting up, selling, packing things up, staying up late, and everything else in between that means to be at a fair of crafts.
I love seeing how Siena has changed in these 6 years of having our own craft fair. How much she’s grown up and how much her making has improved.
Friends come to see us. Actually they’ve come every single time. They are so supportive, they words encouraging, with everything we make. Sometimes we’ve needed this, when we are not sure of what we are doing, what we should make, or how we are going to set up our table at the end of one fair for the next, at 8pm.
And from this second fair, we went straight to set up to our third and last one (of the year), the one we’ve been at five other times.
The magic, the colors, it’s the beginning of the Holiday season, for sure.
And I have to say.that a big bonus of participating in these craft fairs, is all the trading that happens with the other vendors. Look what I brought home.
It was a year of fairs, a year of making, months of felt and sewing, tables filled with fabric and paints, and I know we have at least one more fair coming up, which means, more making is ahead of us, after the making for the holidays are done. And, I am so glad.
How Would You Live Then?
What if a hundred rose-breasted grosbeaks
flew in circles around your head? What if
the mockingbird came into the house with you and
became your advisor? What if
the bees filled your walls with honey and all
you needed to do was ask them and they would fill
the bowl? What if the brook slid downhill just
past your bedroom window so you could listen
to its slow prayers as you fell asleep? What if
the stars began to shout their names, or to run
this way and that way above the clouds? What if
you painted a picture of a tree, and the leaves
began to rustle, and a bird cheerfully sang
from its painted branches? What if you suddenly saw
that the silver of water was brighter than the silver
of money? What if you finally saw
that the sunflowers, turning towards the sun all day
and every day–who knows how, but they do– were
more precious, more meaningful than gold?
Sometimes it’s hard to go against the norm, against what is being told and shown to us is what we need to be happy today. I know what we have is all we need, because what they tell me I need, are always changing, quicker than my life changes. I am fine just this way. I am perfectly fine.
I hope you are staying warm and dry and that your days are filled with love as well. Happy weekend to you all.
This month has gone by so quickly. Fall always does. It is busy, with lots of cleaning outside, the streets, the garden, the yard, and inside too getting ready for the time spent indoors. And there is all the making happening, getting ready for craft fairs coming up quicker than I am ready for. And then there’s the beautiful autumn days, that I just want to savor and never forget. But I can remember that this month…
… we went to see a play at the local children’s theater called The Sun Serpent. It was an original play based on historic facts. I found it interesting, beautiful performed with three actors, sad, historic, and done in a beautiful and creative way. My kids gave it an OK review because it seemed a little slow at times and a sad story.
… we went on our bikes downtown to the play (above), and it felt good to get there, though further than our normal bike rides, but with a time and responsibility to get us there on time. On a beautiful just perfect day.
… have enjoyed collecting acorns and acorn caps and seeing them all over the house and in some crafts.
… have enjoyed all the oranges and fall things around the house. Some from the garden and some from the farm.
… we rode the new (Orange) train lane that opened a month ago and still hadn’t used it.
… and on the same day, all of this, we rode our bike on the new bridge, the Tilikum Crossing, that we hadn’t crossed either. I wish I would have had my camera… it was a sunny, perfect temperature, clear, wonderfully fallish day.
… had to bring some fall colors from the last day at the Farmer’s Market.
… celebrated Lucas’s birthday-month with friends.
… ate outside as many meals as we could.
… have seen the kids play with friends outside even on the day that rained the most since… forever it seems like. We all seem to be true Oregonians, and not be bothered by the rain, pour coming down on us. But I’d say the kids more than me.
… cleaned out the vents but haven’t started our heater yet. We’ll see if we can make it to November. Just few more days!
… have been enjoying many Lego creations being brought to the table and shown around.
… have enjoyed making bread and soups. More on the kitchen happenings coming up.
… watched this video of Valdivia, a beautiful city in Chile.
… and also found this photo that reminds me of the one “chancho” (pig) we had at my house growing up, to do the shining after the wax was put on the wooden floors. How funny. I haven’t thought of this “cleaning equipment” in a very long time. Love it!
Hope you have a peaceful end of October.
A project we did when learning about the Native Americans in the Southwest of the country, was to carve our own Kokopelli stamp.
We looked at all the samples that are online. We each made our own on and few it on a piece of paper. Then, we traced it, from the back onto the printing block. (I purchase most of our art supplies here, and now that there is a store here in Portland, it is a treat for me to go in there… but I try to go as few times as I can, otherwise I’ll bring home one of each.)
Then, once the design was clear on the block, we started carving it. I’ve had these carving tools for many years, I like all the different tips and how easy it is to use and store.
Depending on how you like it, you need to carve around the lines, so the lines are your design. Sometimes it’s hard, since the lines are so thin and close together. But it was a learning experience. We’d stamp it and see how it’s looking.
If we didn’t want it just like that, we kept carving and making the changes.
Until we liked it.
It was fun. I’d like to do it again some time soon.
Last spring we finished studying the Native Americans of the US. We’ve been studying them for a couple of years now, a cultural region at a time, with breaks in between of course. Starting back up whenever they were ready to start back up. You can find all the posts I’ve done of previous years in this search.
One of the things we focused on, was their amazing textile works. Since we have so much wool (in all forms) here in the house, it was easy to decide to learn that handwork for us. No going shopping for anything anywhere. Just to our boxes and baskets laying around.
Siena and Lucas learned to card wool, by hand with hand carders. We had done it years ago, but this time it was more of them doing it than me. And we also used our new carding machine that we bought last year. It was fun to get all the wool out (we have lots!) and get that carded and ready to spin.
Then they both learned to use the drop spindle, which Siena really enjoyed. And Lucas rather use the spinning wheel and got really good at it too. Spinning, weaving, carding all at the sounds of beautiful native american music. It was a fun few weeks of learning.
Siena decided she wanted to use the wool she was spinning in her new loom she got from her aunt last year.
Siena’s piece did grow quite a bit, and she’s done all the weaving she wants, I think. She just needs to get it off the loom and finish it. We still haven’t done that part. (I’ll get that picture taken when and posted when she’s working on it again.)
Here’s my list of books and other resources we used for this unit:
- Southwest Indians : First Nations of North America by Melissa McDaniel.
- On the Trail Made of Dawn : Native American Creation Stories by M. L. Webster.
- Native Americans : History Pockets.
- Night Dancer : Mythical Piper of the Native American Southwest by Marcia Vaughan.
- Rain by Ann Marshall.
- Native American Marks (Coloring book.)
- Southwest Indian Design Stained Glass (Coloring book.)
- Southwest Indian Cookbook by Martha Keegan.
- The Southwest Table : Traditional Cuisine from Texas, New Mexico and Arizona by Dave DeWitt.
- A History of Native Americans (video collection.)
- The Native Americans (Myths of the World) by Virginia Schomp.
- American History for Children : Native American Life (Schlessinger Media)
- Stories on Stone : Rock Art, Images from the Ancient Ones by Jennifer Owings Dewey.
- Coyote : A Trickster Take from the American Southwest by Gerald McDermott.
- Native Plant Stories told by Joseph Bruchac.
- Native American Stories (Myths and Legends) by Joseph Bruchac.
- Keepers of the Earth : Native American Stories and Environmental Activities for Children by Michael J. Caduto and Joseph Bruchac.
- Desert Dwellers : Native People of the American Southwest by Scott S. Warren.
- Baby Rattlesnake by Lynn Moroney.
- On the Trail Made of Dawn : Native American Creations Stories by M. L. Webster.
- Native American Mythology by Jim Ollhoff.
- They Dance in the Sky : Native American Star Myths by Jean Guard Monroe.
- Home by Carson Ellis.
- The Story of Blue Elk by Gerald Hausman.
- The Book of Indians by Holling C. Holling.
- The Girl Who Married the Moon : Tales from Native North America by Joseph Bruchac and Gayle Ross.
- Home : Native People in the Southwest by Ofelia Zepeda.
- Native American Architecture by Peter Nabokov and Robert Easton.
- From Abenaki to Zuni : A Dictionary of Native American Tribes by Evelyn Wolfson.
- Sacred Fire by Nancy Wood.
- The Native American Nations : Cub Scout Activity Series.
- Southwest indian Design : Stained Glass Coloring Book by Carol Krez.
- North American Indians Coloring Album by Frank Fox.
- I is for Indians of the Southwest : The Story Behind the Scenery by Judy Rosen.
- A Kid’s Guide to Native American History : More than 50 Activities by Yvonne Wakim Dennis and Arlene Hirschfelder.
- US Kids History : Book of The American Indians by Marlene Smith-Baranzini and Howard Egger-Bovet.
- Native American Flags by Donald T. Healy and Peter J. Orenshi.
- Cut and Make North American Indian Masks in Full Color by A.G. Smith and Josie Hazen.
- Native Americans History Pockets.
- Native American Sign Language : How Native Americans Use Hand Signals to Communicate by Madeline Olsen.
- North American Indians : Make it Work by Andrew Haslam.
- D is for Drum : A Native American Alphabet by Debbie and Michael Shoulders.
- Eagle Boy : A Traditional Navajo Legend Retold by Gerald Hausman.
- Songs from the Loom : A Navajo Girl Leans to Weave by Monty Roessel.
- The Magic of Spider Woman by Lois Duncan.
- The Navajos : A First Americans Book by Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve.
- The Precious Gift : A Navaho Creation Myth by Ellen Jackson.
- How the Stars Fell into the Sky : A Navajo Legend by Jerrie Oughton.
- Navajo : Indians of the Southwest. Great Native American Nations Classroom Series (dvd)
- The Navajo by Raymond Bial.
- Sunpainters : Eclipse of the Navajo Sun by Baje Whiteborne.
- Annie and the Old One by Miska Miles.
- Weaving the Rainbow by George Ella Lyon.
- The Navajo Weaving Tradition : 1650 to the Present by Alice Kaufman
- Navajo ABC : A Diné Alphabet Book by Luci Tapahonso and Eleanor Schick.
Pueblo, Zuni, Apache and other tribes:
- First Americans : The Hopi by Ruth Bjorklund.
- The Zunis : A True Book by Alice K. Flanagan.
- Dragonfly’s Tale by Kristina Rodanas.
- National Geographic Investigates Ancient Pueblo : Archeology Unlocks the Secrets of America’s Past by Anita Croy.
- The Pueblos : A True Book by Alice K. Flanagan.
- Chaco Canyon by R. Gwinn Vivian and Margaret Anderson.
- Arrow to the Sun : A Pueblo Indian Tale by Gerald McDermott.
- A Boy Named Beckoning : The True Story of Dr. Carlos Montezuma, Native American Hero by Gina Capaldi.
- Quail Song by Valerie Scho Carey.
- The Ancient Cliff Dwellers of Mesa Verde by Caroline Arnold.
- Pueblo Designs byH. P. Mera.
- Pueblos : Native American Life by June Preszler.
- The Flute player : An Apache Folktale by Michael Lacapa.
- Houses of Adobe : Native Dwellings by Bonnie Shemie.
- The Apaches : People of the Southwest by Jennifer Fleischner.
- The Apache : History & Culture of Native Americans by Joseph C. Jastrzembski.
- Geronimo : Apache Renegade by George Sullivan.
- Antelope Woman : An Apache Folktale by Michael Lacapa.
“May my children have all things to eat
and be happy;
May the people of the outlying villages all laugh
and be happy;
May the growing children all have things to eat
and be happy;
May we have all kinds of seeds
and all things good;
May we inhale the sacred breath of life;
May our fathers and our mothers
bring us happy days.”
— Louva Dahozy, Navajo.
After seeing this video again, the kids picked the painter again this time, and agreed to start with Van Gogh, but didn’t have time to do another one last year. They want to mix the units a little bit, so maybe later this school year we’ll add another painter. We are really enjoying learning more about them, and focusing in one at a time, learning about their life and culture at that time.
Vincent Van Gogh was someone we got to see lots of his paintings while in London and Paris last year.
We did a Shades of Grey study, and it turned out good, I thought. It gave us lots to talk about.
Another project we did was to copy one of Van Gogh’s painting.
I took my old acrylic paints from when I took painting classes… way before I had kids. I think it must be 20 years ago. Yes, that is a long time…. I am glad we can still use those paints!
I think they both liked working with that but I think Lucas really enjoyed himself this time.
These are the books and videos we used for this unit:
- Dropping in on Impressionists (DVD).
- 50 Modern Artists you Should Know by Christiane Weidemann.
- The Age of French Impressionism : Masterpieces from the Art Institute of Chicago by Gloria Groom.
- Cave Paintings to Picasso by Henry Sayre.
- A Child’s Introduction to Art : The World’s Greatest Paintings and Sculptures by Heather Alexander.
- Lives of the Artists : Masterpieces, Messes (and What the Neighbors Thought) by Kathleen Krull.
- My Art Book : Amazing Art Projects Inspired by Masterpieces.
- Art Gallery : Faces by Philip Wilkinson.
- Who and When? Impressionism and Post-Impressionism : Artists, Writers, and Composers by Sarah Halliwell.
- Express Yourself! Activities and Adventures in Expressionism by Joyce Raimondo.
- Van Gogh and the Post-Impressionists for Kids : Their Lives and Ideas, 21 Activities by Carol Sabbeth.
- Getting to Know The World’s Greatest Artists: Vincent van Gogh.
- In the Garden with van Gogh by Julie Merberg and Suzanne Bober.
- Camille and the Sunflowers : A Story about Vincent van Gogh by Laurence Anholt.
- Great Paintings : The World’s Masterpieces Explored and Explained by Karen Hosack Janes.
- The Yellow House : Vincent van Gogh & Paul Gauguin Side by Side by Susan Goldman Rubin.
- Painting the Wind : A Story of Vincent van Gogh by Michelle Dionetti.
- My Brother Vincent van Gogh by Ceciel de Bie.
- The Starry Night by Neil Waldman.
- Color Your Own Van Gogh Paintings (Dover Art Coloring Books.)
- Van Gogh Stained Glass Coloring Book by Marty Noble.
- What Makes a van Gogh a van Gogh? by Richard Muhlberger.
We also looked online for pictures of the paintings and some ideas for projects to do. One of the websites I read was from Practical Pages : Practical Homeschool Tips, Plans and Projects.
Hope you can use some of these resources and if you had other ones, please do add them in the comments section for everyone to use. Thanks for coming to visit.
I love going to this Festival. I try to go every fall, but as anything, it depends what’s happening in our lives and our weekend. But this time, it worked perfectly, once again.
It was a day to myself. I was able to go see every table, once and twice and three times if I wanted to. No hurry to be done or to go onto something else. Sometimes is good to have a day to oneself. Homeschooling, it is not often I get to do that, nor is it something I crave often, but I took this day to just do that, be by myself and enjoy the sights and a beautiful afternoon.
And I bought something I really didn’t need, but have been wanting for quite some time.
So I bought this yarn bowl. There were 3 stands with them. Two with bowls made of ceramics, and I looked at them all. Touched them, saw the glazes, the twirls and turns. I even looked at the wooden ones…. oh wow… some day I will graduate to a wooden one, because I just love wood and the warmth and the natural feeling of it.
But this bowl, won my heart. I am not sure what I’ll do when I change and be done with my project, because it won’t match anymore. Well? Maybe I’ll have to get another one to match that one! Because, yes, you might wonder, one does need to match the yarn bowl to the project.
I loved all the colors, the textures, the shapes, so much goodness all in one place. I’m ready to dig into my stash of wool and yarn, and continue with my spinning, and start knitting something warm for the cooler days. Oh all the possibilities. A day of inspiration.