Wednesday, March 31, 2010

VBS Egypt beginnings

I got my last outstanding order for craft supplies for VBS Egypt today. (The full title is Egypt - Joseph's journey from prison to palace.) I have been having a good time planning the crafts and ordering supplies. There are still a few things I need but I will probably purchase most of them locally.

I made a senet game box from a baseball card storage box. The sample looks nice and I think both kids and adults will have fun making them. I have heiroglyphic stamps we can use to decorate the playing board as well as the sides. I am also considering using a heiroglyphic font and printing out stickers the kids can use on the playing board. We will use flat back glass stones for the gaming pieces. I still need to decide what we will use for the throwing sticks.

I have also crocheted two beaded headdresses and may make more. I may also try just a headband with beads crocheted into it. The kids will make simpler headbands from fun foam and will have "jewels" to glue on as well as beads to dangle down in strings.

And I have made several beaded collar style necklaces that the leaders can wear. I am enjoying making these from my stash of beads and memory wire. Some of the beads are from disassembled garage sale necklaces and some are from costume jewelry I have inherited from various relatives. I am also still using the large supply of plastic beads I inherited from my grandmother.

The kids will make their broad collars from material which I have yet to locate and purchase and the quilling paper I have purchased. The collars should be really colorful. We may use some of the "jewels" left over from the headbands on these as well.

The older children will make their own cuff bracelets using pony beads and memory wire. The younger children will use pony bead bracelet forms I found on-line. The order I received today was 8000 pony beads in gold, copper, turquoise, and pearl colors. I have other pony beads as well that can be used but I really wanted the gold and turquoise beads for these and the headdresses.

I never realized until I was researching online that red was not a favored color in Egypt. The Egyptians actually liked black more than red because black represented the good soil deposited each year when the Nile flooded. Red, on the other hand, was the color of the desert sand.

I still need to purchase the oven-bake clay for the cartouche necklaces but I know what I want to use for these. Sister Beth told me the kids (and adults) really enjoyed making the clay necklaces last year. They always enjoy something they can wear or make for a relative. I want to find the same stone colored clays I did last year to make their cartouche necklaces.

I hope to have a few quick and easy crafts for the kids who show up early as I usually try to do. We usually do four nights of crafts and have the pizza party on the last night so there is only time to finish up crafts on Friday. So the planned crafts will most likely be the senet game box; the broad collars; beaded/jeweled headbands (and maybe armbands); and the cartouche necklace. The extra crafts will probably include the pony bead bracelets and fun foam picture frames (we plan on taking pictures of the kids and printing them out right at VBS) that can also be decorated with heiroglyphics and quilling paper. We also hope to be able to use face paints to give the kids Egyptian eyes on one or two (or all five) nights if possible.

Now, if I can just make it through without any major health issues for either DH or me. That is going to be the challenge. Prayers, please.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Saturday, March 20, 2010

1, 2, 3, ...4!

There are 4 kittens and, as cats will, Lady Jane moved them the other day. At first we were not sure where she went but knew that she was close as she still showed up for meals - breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks!

We have now discovered she and kits are behind the garbage can under our bedroom window. The can is one we do not use and there is a stack of concrete blocks there as well as other materials forming a nice little den as long as it does not rain. Rain is predicted for late tomorrow, of course. So I made her another shelter out of a covered litter pan and placed it close to the garbage can hoping she will see fit to move into it when the rains come.

And in the continuing saga of DH and my "conditions", I tripped going UP the basement stairs yesterday and injured the large toe on my left foot, and I already have what is probably a heel spur on my right foot. So I limp on both feet right now. LOL.

VBS crafts are progressing nicely, too. We are doing Joseph in Egypt so I have been looking for alternative ways of making the crafts offered by the company as I usually do. I am making a senet game box from a baseball card storage box and quilling paper. I have a set of hieroglphyic stamps and we will order a few more sets and use those to decorate the boxes along with some metallic quilling paper as well. I am really pleased with this so far. It will make a nice sturdy treasure box for the children to keep after VBS.

I am also crocheting Egyptian headdresses, the kind with long bead fringes. I have used gold metallic crochet cotton and pony beads in various colors to make multicolored headdresses as I have not been anywhere to purchase just gold beads yet. This will not be a kids craft as it is. We will make a simpler version with the children. Probably a headband of some sort with strings of beads, either pre-strung beads or pony beads they tie on themselves.

We are also going to make the broad collars out of light weight material and metallic quilling paper cut into squares, diamonds, jewel shapes. This should be a nice craft for the kids as they will get to use scissors and glue. I plan on having plenty of hand-wipes available for both this and the senet game box.

The other nice craft I am planning is a cartouche necklace out of oven-bake clay and using the hieroglyphic stamps to stamp a version of the child's name into the clay.

I am hoping to get the rest of the VBS shopping done soon so all will be ready before the beginning of June and we can concentrate on the decorating which has so many possibilities!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

New Life

Spring is almost here! The daffodils along Mom & Dad's driveway have broken thru the ground and are climbing higher. Until the recent wind many of them were wearing leaf caps. I found a small bunch of blooming volunteers in my yard in one of Sassy's favorite spots. They look like a flower that grows from bulbs so I wonder where they came from. Temperatures have moderated and the snow is mostly gone and the gutters have unfrozen. We have had some rain and now worries about the creeks and river are being voiced.

And Lady Jane, the cat who adopted us this past winter, has delivered three kittens in the winter shelter we made for her on the back porch.

She was supposed to go to the local animal shelter before this happened but I have been battling a cold or sinus or allergy problems and then last week we lost Sassy so I have not been functioning as I should.

Three more kittens! Lord, have mercy.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Thank you

I want to thank everyone for their sympathy comments about Sassy.

She was my dog for 16 years and I will miss her for a long time. I have no children of my own but do have wonderful nieces and nephews and their families that I love very much. But Sassy was my baby. She was conceived on my birthday during a birthday party that we still talk about. She and her littermates were born in my sister's bedroom closet with family watching. Four of the litter stayed in the family: my Dad's dog, Sam; Beth's dog Sugar; Nancy's dog Peaches; and my Sassafras. Only Peaches remains now.

Sassy had been losing ground for a few months and had had an episode that may have been a seizure or stroke a few days earlier in the week. Saturday morning she seemed okay, she ate, and took care of business as usual but did not want to leave my side. Then she started yelping and could not walk. We got her to the vet within an hour but she died before the vet could do anything. The vet said it was probably more strokes. Both Joe and I were with her petting her and holding her until we realized she was already gone. I miss her. I still look for her when I get up in the night or when I hear someone else's collar jingle. My baby.

"Just a Dog" is an expression of grief and a rebuttal to all those people who say "well, it was just an animal, not a person." She and all the other loved pets are more than "just" anything.

Thank you all again.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Just a Dog

Just a Dog

She was just a dog, my Sassafras,
The only one of the litter who looked like her mother, long and lean and fast.

She was just a dog, my hollow-dog,
Pat her on the side of the ribs and she sounded like a loaf of bread fresh from the oven.

She was just a dog who followed from the front,
And stood in the way and didn’t come when she was called unless food was involved.

She was just a dog, all skin and bones,
Who shivered during thunder storms and shook the bed and barked at the wind.

She was just a dog who liked to sleep between
So we called her sandwich-dog because she was the filling at night in bed.

She was just a dog, my Sassyfrassy,
Who would wait at the front door for me to come home even when Pa was home.

She was just a dog, a worry-wort like me,
Who told me when the microwave dinged or the cat was where it shouldn’t be.

She was just a dog we called jack-rabbit
Because she could jump as high as the fence, but never jumped over it.

She was just a dog who loved to ride in the car
And feel the wind in her nose and barked at everything she saw.

She was just a dog who thought she owned the world
As far as she could see or smell and had to protect her people from everyone, everywhere.

She was just a dog who got old
After sixteen years of being my faithful, loving companion no matter what.

She was just a dog who loved me.

She was just a dog.

For Sassafras, March 6, 2010