Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Read Along: Week Twenty-Seven - Indian Camp

This week pa takes Laura and Mary to the abandoned Indian camp. They find beautiful beads that they bring home and string necklaces. Laura is angry that Mary said baby Carrie could have hers-so angry that she wanted to slap her! But they combined their necklaces to make one long enough for baby Carrie. Even if she couldn’t even wear it yet!

To hunt for beads, take a large plastic storage bin, fill with uncooked rice. Sprinkle in beads or jewels and stir it up. Let the kids sift through the rice to find the beads. This is a great tactile experience!

Have the kids organize the beads/jewels by categories: size, shape, color. Cut lengths of yarn or string that will fit through the beads, tie one bead to one end of the string, and string away.

You can also make Torn Calico Pockets Wikipedia tells us that in the US, calico fabric is inexpensive printed cotton fabrics with a small, allover pattern, often floral.
The kids can also make bookmarks using string and beads. Imagine your paperback with beads hanging off the top and the bottom, plain string closed within the pages of the book. Perhaps a special ribbon instead, and a special charm or two. This can be made to match seasons, holidays, book themes (like knitting books!), birthdays, etc.

This link shows some Native American beadwork examples.
This link provides links to beading history, cultural values, bead types, and examples.
links to Indian beading

Pa also helps the girls read the footprints in the dry, dusty dirt around the camp. He is able to distinguish a spot where a woman bent down, the fringe of her dress sweeping the ground. Go outside and walk in puddles, or snow. Make footprints in one direction, then the other. How can you determine which way the person walked? Look here for pictures of animal tracks. How can you determine which way the animals walked?
Walk in paint, or trace on construction paper and make footprint reindeer.

by bethanyg

Fineandfancy says.....
I also thought I would post a link to my knitting/crochet stitch counter, also made of beads. I wear this as regular jewelery as well!

Read Along: Week 26- Texas Longhorns

This week’s chapter gives us a glimpse into the lives of other types of people who share the prairie with pioneering families like the Ingalls.
Learn more about the great cattle drives of the west. Pa mentions that they must be headed for Fort Dodge, so these cowboys must have been following one of the most famous of the trails, The Chisholm Trail
Explore this website and see how long a distance the cowboys had to travel, carefully driving the half-wild cattle over harsh, rocky land filled with dangers. At the end of the trail, you can read the stories of the cowboys and their adventures.
See some pictures taken around the turn of the (last) century of an actual cattle drive
Erwin E. Smith Collection
Listen to some of the music. The haunting, howling sounds of the cowboys singing to the cattle must have made a very strong impression on Laura. Many years later, as she writes this book, she seems to still remember every detail of those strange sounds carried across the prairie. Here is a link to music by the Sons of the Pioneers

When I was young, my Father had several tapes of old western music. I spent hours riding my stick pony around with a walkman playing that music, pretending to herd the cattle and head off stampeds. I’m sure I must have looked and sounded silly, but it was great fun.
I had intended to suggest some cowboy inspired embroidery for a project, but my google-fu seems to be failing me. I remember reading somewhere that many cowboys spent the long, lonely winters in the bunk-houses working on fine embroidery and braided leathers that they would sell for a bit of extra money. Unfortunately, I can’t find any reference to that or examples to show. So instead here is a list of cowboy related projects here on Ravelry:
Lizzy the Cow tea cozy
Child’s cowboy hat
Texas Longhorn dishcloth
cow skull

Discussion topic:
Imagine how wonderful being able to get a nice big piece of beef was after having nothing but wild game for months. Then add in the extra bonus of a cow to milk. I can’t even think of something to relate that to in our modern lives with provisions so readily at hand. Having a source of fresh milk, butter, and possibly even cheese must have been such a huge blessing to Ma, I bet she was overcome with joy & gratitude. For me, knowing that my pantry is well stocked and that I could still provide a good, filling meal for my family even if some disaster was to strike gives me such a feeling of satisfaction & contentment. I think that is close to the feeling Ma probably had. What sort of emergency preparations does your family do? What items are most important for you to keep stocked in your pantry?

by SarahJayne

From FineandFancy
Here is an old cowboy leather working “trick” if you can get a hold of a piece of leather. (or try using fabric backed vinyl) My brother had one of these bracelets when he was a kid. He un-worked it once and we had a dickens of a time figuring out how to fix it. We didn’t have internet!)

Read Along: Week Twenty-Five - Fresh Water to Drink

Wow, I’ve been out of commission a while…thanks for everyone patience and help on the forum over the weeks.
Here is “Fresh Water To Drink”
1: Anyone who has ever been under a boiled water advisory knows the value of fresh, clean water. But digging a well was dangerous business, besides a cave in there are gasses under the earth that could kill you, Mr Scott found out the hard way. Minors have the same problem, and was a common cause of death in many of the mineral mines (in my country, anyways) Here is a popular song in Canada called chemical workers song about mining. (Ignore the video images from Lord of the rings, but it was the best sounding recording!)
If you portion some of your paycheck for charities, consider choosing a charity this month that helps provide fresh water to underprivileged communities

2:Imagine feeling “sinful” on a straw tick bed!! I don’t feel like sleeping on a straw tick, let alone making one, but lets make aromatherapy pillows. Fill them with rose petals or lavender. Or add a touch of eucalyptus to sleep on when you have a cold. Here are some free ones posted here on Rav, but you could also use the filling directions and make a pillow from terry cloth towels, flannel or cotton.
Here are some sewing patterns if you prefer a pattern
Eye Pillow
Herb Pillows with “Recipes”
and one of my favorite tutorials, making a aromatherapy bag from a felted sweater (Her daughter was under the weather when she felted the sweaters and curled up on the warm sweaters for comfort. So she made a pillow for her form it, such a sweet story :o)

3: What do you do for your neighbors? Mr Scott and Pa shared well digging to help he job go faster. Are there skills you share with “Neighbors” (includes friends in other areas of your city/county )

by FineandFancy

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