Tag Archives: Maine

Make a Zig Zag Book to Tell about Your Family

Let’s make a zig zag book to tell how your family is special! Each family is unique. One family may love skiing in the mountains, and another might especially enjoy visiting historic sites. Some families have lived in the same place for years, while others may move a lot. Each family also has a unique history, with stories, favorite foods, and traditions passed down from grandparents, great grandparents, and even farther back.

For example, I grew up in a small town on the coast of Maine. Saturday night always meant baked beans and brown bread, made with lots of molasses. Special meals included lobsters, clams, corn on the cob, and blueberry pie—sometimes cooked and eaten at the beach. Waves crashing on the rocks, beach roses, and lighthouses say home to me.My father’s ancestors had come to this town several hundred years before, perhaps as fishermen. But by the 1800s most managed general stores or other small rural businesses. On my mother’s side were farmers, and I loved my great grandfather’s barn where black and white cows chomped on sweet hay, and a big coon cat named Fluffy, hunted mice in the dark corners.

What makes your family special? Where have you’ve lived? What foods does your family make for special events? What pets do you have? What fun activities does your family enjoy? What holiday traditions do you have? What are your family’s favorite books and movies? Do you have stories about your family history?

Let’s get started making a zig-zag booklet to record all the things that make your family unique.

 Supplies for the Zig Zag Booklet and decorating it

  • Construction paper in two colors
  • Scissors, pencil, ruler, glue stick or white glue
  • ribbon
  • Be creative! Have fun. Gather and use many materials.
  • Use paper scraps, yarn, glitter, stickers, leaves, buttons, fabric. The sky’s the limit!
  • Use crayons, pencils, markers, or paints, whatever you want!

Directions for the Zig Zag Booklet

  1. Measure and cut 3 pieces of one color of construction paper (I used blue) into 3 pieces 6” X 12”
  2. Repeat with the other color (I used green)
  3. Fold each of the 6 pieces in half
  4. Choose one color to be the front and cut one of its 3 pieces in half along the fold (I used blue)
  5. Cut 4 pieces of ribbon, each about 7” long
  6. Begin putting together the folded pieces of construction paper, alternating the 2 colors. Start with one cut piece of blue which will be glued to the green’s outside front fold. Then glue one side of a blue piece to the inside back of that first green piece. Notice the green piece folds toward you and the blue piece folds towards the back. (see the diagram and photos)
  7. Continue this pattern until you get to the 2nd blue half piece and glue this to the inside front of the last green piece. (see the diagram)
  8. Check that you have created a zig zagging length before gluing
  9. Also be sure to lay the 4 pieces of ribbon in between the correct layers of paper (see the diagram) before gluing those layers together.
  10. Glue and let dry

When all done, you can fold up the booklet and tie the ribbons.

Directions for decorating the cover

  • I decided to make a house on my cover and used scraps of colored paper to make its windows, door, roof, and bushes. Don’t forget the door knob! If you decide to make a house, you might draw a picture of family members in the windows or glue in photos of them.
  • But you can do whatever you’d like with crayons, paint, fabric, etc. and you may want to put a title on the cover, too. You might use stamps or watercolor paints to decorate the cover. Here are some ideas from previous posts: bubble prints, cardboard tube prints, leaf prints, paint designs made by blowing with a straw, painting with a cardboard strip, watercolor paints, and prints made from finger painting. All these techniques are explained in earlier posts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ideas for doing the pages

  • While you’re making your zig zag booklet, write or email your grandparents if you have questions about your family history.
  • Also during this time, interview family members for their favorites, etc.
  • Here are some suggestions of things to put on the pages of your booklet:
  • Family history
  • Places you’ve lived
  • Favorite foods
  • Pets
  • Favorite books and movies
  • Favorite Bible verses
  • Things your family likes to do together
  • Use pictures and/or lists to tell these things. You can write or type information on a piece of white paper and glue it to the colored paper. Use special computer fonts for titles

Variations:

  • If you’d like a more easily-made booklet, take one long piece of paper and fold it back and forth to create the zig zags.
  • Instead of each person making a booklet, make a family booklet with family pages and individual pages for each member.
  • Although younger children will need help making a zig zag booklet, once that’s done, they can certainly enjoy coloring and decorating the pages.

Molly hopes you enjoy making a zig zag booklet about what makes your family and each individual in it, unique! We’re sure you and your family will treasure it!

Molly wasn’t sure she liked wearing a beret in this photo! But she’s sure you’ll enjoy our next posts about a nature artist and a fun and easy art activity about nature.

 

Longing for Vacation? Photos from the Beaches of Maine

Something a little different this week. Since many of us can’t get away for vacations this summer, I decided to post some photos from Vacationland–Maine, where I grew up and though I can’t visit it this year, hope to again soon!

So come along this path to the beach. Smell the salt grass and feel the breeze off the water cool your face. Remember that funny squeak your bare feet make in the warm sand?

One of Maine’s few long sandy beachesSeagulls love the beach, too!

Most Maine beaches are smaller and bounded by rocky headlands.

You have to climb down rocks just to get to some beaches.

But I love the rocks! Looking at the folds of the rock ledges. Exploring little pools for creatures. Trying to catch a snail before it pulls in its “foot” and snaps shut. Or watching the feathery cirri of barnacles sweep through the water in search of food.

I especially love being on the rocks in storms. Waves crash against the rocks, sending spray sailing away on the wind.

All those rocks are why Maine has so many lighthouses! That’s us down on the small beach, looking for beach glass and shells!

Maine has many tidal rivers separating the beaches and rocky headlands from each other. This photo shows where one joins  the ocean.

The next few photos show farther up one of those tidal rivers. The beautiful marshes provide a habitat for many creatures, including voracious, drone-size mosquitoes! Growing up in this marshy coastal town, we did get kind of used to mosquitoes!

High tide on the marsh

Low tide on the marsh

A foggy day on the marsh makes everything outside mysterious and everything inside soggy!

Beach roses and other wildflowers fill the fields surrounding every beach!

Maine has lots of islands, big and little. Casco Bay supposedly has 365 of them, and sometimes we’d take the mailboat ferry in a round trip  to visit a few of them.

Casco Bay ferries

Docking at one of the islandsIslanders waiting for supplies. Everything has to come by ferry.

Preparing to move on to the next island.

One of Portland’s smaller lights, Spring Point Light welcomes us back to the harbor.

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Sandy beaches and rocky ledges, the cry of seagulls and the smell of salt grass, pink beach roses and foggy days–all form important memories of a place I love.

What beaches are special to you? What memories of those beaches do you treasure?

I can never leave a Maine beach without  shells, drift wood, beach glass, and even rocks!

What souvenirs do you have from visits to beaches?

Molly is in vacation mode, so this week this little guy is helping me say we hope you’ll visit Kathy the Picture Lady again for great art, fun art projects, and more fun places to visit!

 

And we leave you with a twilight picture over the marsh–taken at great peril of being carried off by mosquitoes!

 

Painting with Cardboard, Another Fun and Easy Art Project for Kids

Did you know you can use cardboard to paint with? You can, and you can make lots of Easy and Fun things, like:

Mama and baby pigs in the straw.    Flowers and butterflies.      Fuzzy yellow chicks.

Spring was a favorite time on our small farm in Maine. We’d have baby pigs and goats out in the barn, and in the kitchen there was always a box of baby chicks or ducks warming up by the wood stove. Spring refreshes us with returning color and creatures, and this year we all certainly need some refreshment, so I hope these easy projects will brighten your day this coming week!

 

Supplies:

  • tempera paints in various colors ( I lightened my red and purple to pink and lilac with white)
  • pieces of cardboard cut to various sizes
  • paper to paint on and scraps to finish the chick
  • pencils, scissors, crayons, and/or markers

Painting Technique:

There are just two techniques used to make these creatures and flowers. After dipping the edge of your cardboard into some paint,

  1. Make straight lines by touching the cardboard up and down onto the paper
  2. While holding the cardboard edge against the paper, you swirl or push it around, while holding one corner in place. It takes a little practice, but you can even make a complete circle this way. Try turning the paper as you hold the cardboard in place.

Note: The size of your creation will depend on the size of your cardboard. And after a while you may need to switch to a new piece as the paint will gradually make it less stiff.

Butterflies and Flowers

These use both techniques: up and down for the spikey flowers, grass, and butterfly body. A swirl for the other flowers and the butterfly wings. On one flower I had both  pink and lilac on the cardboard, without mixing themand I think it produced an interesting effect. Maybe you can try more of that.

Fuzzy Chick

The chick just uses lots of up and down lines around and around in a circle. I put a small pencil dot to mark the middle so I had a reference point to keep going in a circle. Use paper scraps and crayons or markers to finish your chick. Try making different sizes and colors of chicks.

Mama Pig and Her Babies

Steps for the piggies:

  1. Use your drawing skills to draw a circle for Mamma and 2 small ovals for the babies.Just as you did in the last drawing lesson!
  2. Inside each pig, draw a small oval for its snout
  3. Use curving lines to draw ears and tail
  4. Use straight lines that turn sharp corners to make the feet.
  5. Color the pigs using light and dark shades of pink markers or crayons
  6. Use the up and down technique to ad straw all around the mamma pig and her babies

Here are two more ideas:

  • Use orange paint and the swirl technique to make a bunch of carrots. Add feathery green tops with crayon or marker.
  • Or how about baby birds in a nest of brown  twigs?

Molly is enjoying the garden we now have in Colorado. It’s much smaller than the one we had in Maine!! The bright pink flowers in the front are very spikey, while the daisies and cone flowers have much broader petals and could be done with the swirling method.

Mollye and I are sure you can think of lots more creative creatures and pictures to make with your cardboard paintbrush! Have Fun and be sure to come back here next Friday for more Easy and Fun Art for Kids !