Butterfly Coloring Page & Watercolor Tutorial


It's Spring! I have yet to see a butterfly in my gardens, but I've got butterflies on my brain. The other day I was playing in my journal, and I painted a picture of a butterfly. As is usually the case, I take certain liberties with nature and tend to be whimsical, but I suppose that's the way I see the world! Here is the picture I painted in my journal.

Of course, Pixie always wants to color or paint my drawings, so I drew one up for her, and am including one in our free coloring pages. These can be used to color or paint. I like to use my watercolors and Pixie likes to use watercolor pencils, but you can certainly use crayons or markers,too. If you would like to watercolor a butterfly, you can cut a piece of watercolor paper 8 1/2" x 11" and run it through your printer or trace it onto watercolor paper. I intentionally made the lines light, so they could be traced over later. Here is the design printed on watercolor paper. The pattern can be found HERE.

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Plaster of Paris Abstract Sculptures

I remember doing this project in elementary school. We mixed up a batch of Plaster of Paris, let it set in a recycled small milk carton (the ones from the school cafeteria) and then used spoons to scratch out a sculpture. We repeated the project with a slight variation in middle school. That time we mixed up the Plaster of Paris and let it set up in a baggie that we held in our hand to create an abstract shape. I still remember how the Plaster grew warm as it set. Although the finished pieces were hardly masterpieces... I still remember enjoying the projects. After reading about Mount Rushmore in our State Studies, I thought this would be a perfect time to do this project with the kids. You may want to research modern art sculpture (as a modern looking pieces will be more easily accomplished by young artists). I suggest looking at work by Henry Moore and Jean Hans Arp... but be careful and pre-screen art websites. You may find some content inappropriate for your kids.

This project is better suited to older elementary school children and up. Pixie had a very hard time trying to work on it....Read more

Personality of a Purse

I need a new bag. I tend to wear my bags until they beg to be retired, and are allowed to sit on the shelf with my other retired bags, where I imagine they talk about the good old days, share battle scars and wallow in the peace and quiet that were sparse in their service years!

The first question when contemplating a new bag is whether to make it or to buy it. When time permits, I like to make my own. Time does NOT permit right now, so I'm on the quest for the perfect bag. And, what do I consider "perfect"? It must be big, light weight, have only 1 compartment (will accept one with a SMALL pouch or two) and, of course, it must be beautiful! I give no consideration as to whether it will "go" with the other things I'm wearing... it "goes" with me, like a good friend, and I don't care if my friend color coordinates with me on outings, why should I care if my bag does?!

Because I tend to get all philosophical, I started thinking about how much my bags and I have in common. Then, I began to think...Read more

Festival Gnome :: Part 2

This is the second and final part of our Festival Gnome.

Part 1 of our Festival Gnome can be found HERE.


IMPORTANT: Do not cut out the hat until you have added the hair. Then, cut the hat out of paper first and "try it on" for size. You may have to make the hat slightly larger if you have lots of hair :)

The tutorial on How to Cut Out Felt can be found HERE.

The Stitching Glossary can be found HERE.


Do all the steps in Part 1.

Check the pattern piece for the area of the shawl that will be gathered. Begin just to the side of the gathering line. Using one strand of floss and a running stitch, sew around the shawl and continue sewing over the gathered section. DO NOT tie off the end.

Gently pull on the thread to gather the center back. Make sure the rest of the shawl remains flat. You just want to create a gentle curve that will lie flat on the...Read more

State Studies Unit 1 :: Week 8 Mid-West States

This is an outline of our State Studies Unit 1 :: Week 7 Mid-West States. It is the eight week of a 9 week homeschool unit. Read the State Studies Unit 1 Overview to learn more about the program and catch up on past weeks.

Public Domain Photo

Read about:
North Dakota, ND, Bismarck
South Dakota, SD, Pierre
Nebraska, NE, Lincoln
in Our Fifty States and The United States of America.

Map: Add the 3 new states to your United States Study Map. We color Mid-West States light green. They are colored coded on the quizzes. Number the states on the map to coincide with your state list (it gets too hard to fit all the state names directly on the map).

Color: Dover Coloring book page for each state. We like to add a couple of extra notes about the state in the margins. These are things that we learned about in our readings. Again we color Great Lakes States dark green.

Community Enrichment Book: Hanging Off of Jefferson's Nose: Growing Up on Mount Rushmore

Community Life...Read more