I had a little time to play in the science lab this week. I came up with a couple of new creations. The first one is a Pine Tar soap. If you want to know what some people use it for just google it.
This second soap is a fluid hot process soap that I swirled. It is a tropical scent of Mango, Papaya, and Hibiscus. The girls picked the colors and since its hot process they were able to help me stir in the mica colorant. I think the swirl came out well.
The garden is in full swing now. I thought it would be nice to show you'ins what it's looking like.
The cucumbers are in the long bed running vertical in the picture. They have grew so much in the last couple weeks it is a solid wall of vines and they have trailing out across the ground next to the bed. For some reasion they really like this one bed. If I put them any place else they do horrably. I put them back in this bed and I get a bumper crop.
Which leads us to this. It's canning time once again. I have caned one flat of pickles already and will do anoth today after wrok. I have a feeling we will be giving away pickles this year for christmas. I am also going to try my hand at salsa. I put in a few to many tomato plants and they are already as tall as my 8 year old. I have had to tie them up to fence post because my tomato cages are to short. I think I will be able to do my first batch of salsa by next month. I have been seeing lots of blooms the last couple of days.
The green beans are just now taking off. I planted 2 different varieties this year. One is a climbing variety and the other is some sort of yellow green bean. We ended up with the yellow ones just because the girls thought yellow green beans were funny. I will try to grap a picture of them before the girls eat them all. We have already had a few but the girls ate them right off the plant, I never even got to see them. They did report they were tasty so there is that.
I am trying my hand at growing Lufa's this year. Im not sure how they will do but a neighbor is giving me a couple more of those mineral buckets you see in the picture and I will plant them in those. I have some Remesh that I will wire together to make an A frame for them to climb up and over. I think it will make it a great height for the girls to be able to help me harvest them once they have dried enought for sponges. I am told they are quite tasty if you pick them young. I will let you know if I get brave enought to try eating one. I am growing them mainly to use as sponges as they are my favorite and I like to put them in my hand made Lufa soap. I think it would be nice to offer soap that has something grown in my own garden.
So that is my gardening update. If you have any gardening picutres advice or canning recipies feel free to send them my way. I would love to hear from you.
There are lots of Art curriculum products on the market today mostly books that you read and try to follow. My girls have tried a good number of these over the course of our homeschooling time. Some were ok and some just didn't impress them and they were quickly stored in a tub. We are now trying something a little different from ARTistic Pursuits Inc. This is a new program they have published called Artistic Pursuits Art Instruction Book With DVD and Blue-Ray. My youngest is the art kid in my house. She loves to draw and doodle. Since this was our first time trying out this program we went with the recommendation and started with the first set called Art for Children, Building a Visual Vocabulary Vol 1. This set comes with one hardcover book and a DVD. It is written by Brenda Ellis. The book has 64 pages and contains 12 lessons with an additional 6 video lessons. It is designed for early elementary students. Lessons include vocabulary, and art material instructions, how to work with watercolor crayons, oil pastels, colored paper and more.
I set her up with the book and her first video lesson and let her go at it. She is a visual learner so video lessons tend to work well for her. I watched the first couple of lessons before she did and I found them to be interesting and easy to understand for her age and ability level.
The lessons cover things like how artists compose, watercolor crayons, identifying and mixing colors, oil pastels, texture, landscapes, animals, figures etc. I feel like the book covers a nice range of subjects and techniques for a beginning art book. I found the lesson on mixing colors helpful. This curriculum did require me to buy a few things that we did not have around the house. We needed watercolor crayons, oil pastels, watercolor paper ( printer paper is not good for watercolors trust me) I also bought her an ebony drawing pencil and watercolor brush pens. The watercolor brush pens were not on the list of materials but she likes them for adding water to her watercolor crayons to help blend the colors.
She said the lessons easy to follow and understand. She said some of the lessons went a little to fast and she couldn't keep up. I'm not sure she was supposed to actually keep up with the video. I felt like she was meant to watch the lesson then do the assignment from what she learned in the lesson. Once I explained that to her she seemed to do a little better and her pictures started coming out better. Overall I feel like it is a great program and she has truly enjoyed if and has really improved in her artwork.