Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Gingerbread House Accordion Book

While it doesn't have the pungent aroma of baked gingerbread or the sweetness of the icing and candy, this gingerbread house and accordion book is a treat. I used the bottom of a grocery bag for the house and half the front panel of a grocery bag for the gingerbread men. You may want to glue your accordion into the house which I forgot to demonstrate on the video.

Patterns for gingerbread men and candy

Books and Links

Delightful story of the Gingerbread Baby's new friends with Jan Brett's always engaging illustrations. I find I spend more time with the pictures than the words in her books.

How to Make a Gingerbread House
I haven't tried the recipe but her description of the process fits what I learned (the hard way) in several years of gingerbread house construction.

A Gingerbread Tradition
A little bit of the history of gingerbread by Alice Ross.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Leaf Book for Thomas

Two-year-old Thomas and his mother provided the acorn "hats" I used in the book made from oak leaves. I decided Thomas should have a book of his own.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Oak Leaf Book

I was inspired by Laura Martin's comment on facebook on My Thanksgiving Leaf Fan Book made from grocery bags wondering about using real leaves. I used acorn tops, beads, a piece of chestnut leaf stem, and wire for the binding and wrote a quote about gratitude on each page. I think the book would last longer if I had pressed the leaves between wax paper but I was too impatient.

Gathering the leaves on my walk today was an interesting experience. I was standing on the sidewalk getting ready to bend down to add another leaf to my small collection when a man with a rake came up to me and said, What are you doing?" followed by "Leave my trash alone." I stood and stared at him waiting for him to smile or laugh. But he seemed to be seriously concerned about my taking his leaves. As my father used to say when I expressed an idea or opinion he thought was ridiculous, "What!?!" So I tossed the leaves to the wind and found a new collection to pick from a little way down the street.

Here are the quotes which I found online:
We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures. Thornton Wilder

If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, 'thank you,' that would suffice. Meister Eckhart

I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder. G.K. Chesterton

Gratitude is the memory of the heart. Jean Baptiste Massieu,

Monday, November 15, 2010

Thanksgiving Leaf Fan Book

Here's a simple fan book made from oak leaves (or at least my interpretation of them) cut from the back panel of a brown paper grocery bag.

I traced the leaf pattern onto the bag with brown marker, colored the leaves in with crayon, and then cut them out. Holding all of them together, I poked a hole at the bottom of the leaves with the point of a pair of scissors.

I threaded a clear twist tie through a bead and pulled the two ends until they were even. I threaded them through the leaves and put the two ends through a bead on the other side. I twisted the two ends together and trimmed off the excess. You could also use a hole punch and a paper fastener.

I did the writing after binding but you might find it easier to do it before. I wrote one word on the front of each leaf and then a little about each word on the back. I wrote some additional information with a red pen along the edges of the leaf, such as the names of some of my favorite books on the back of the book leaf.

Oak Leaf Leaf Patterns to print

A wonderful picture book about November by Cynthia Rylant. It describes the month for the plants, the animals, and for us. The language is beautiful, the observations are keen, and the oil on paper illustrations are filled with atmosphere and beauty.

It starts: "In November, the earth is growing quiet. It is making its bed..." and ends: "In November, at winter's gate, the stars are brittle. The sun is a sometimes friend. And the world has tucked her children in, with a kiss on their heads, until spring."