Friday, February 17, 2012

"Everything's coming up roses!"

So today, we studied roses, our national flower.  (Did you know we had a national flower?  Yes!  The rose was designated the official flower and floral emblem of the United States of America in 1986.  It is also the national flower of England!)  I had planned to have this study prior to Valentine's Day, so that it might be convenient for those of you looking for other Valentine's ideas, but things don't always go as planned.  You can, however, use some of today's ideas for Mother's Day projects!

Here's another fun fact for you:  Did you know that there are over 30,000 varieties of roses?!  Astounding!

The only children's book I could find on roses at two of our libraries was this one, Roses by John F. Prevost. It was informative enough, but was a bit advanced for Maggie, so I just summarized the pages and pictures so she could understand it.
Then, it was on to our journal!  Today, I asked her, 'What is your favorite color rose?'  Not surprisingly, she answered, 'Red.'  Here she is, working in her journal, with a bit of inspiration that Daddy had brought home for her!  :)
 And here is her drawing!  :)
 Then, it was on to our first craft, thanks to our February 2012 issue of Family Fun magazine, page 18, entitled, 'Pretty Produce,' using celery, red and green paint, a brush, and paper.
 First, I cut the base of the celery off and one stalk, like below, being sure the edges of each were clean.
 Then, we painted the cut end of the base with our red paint ...
 ... and stamped it onto our paper.
 The result resembles a rose blossom!
 Then, we took our stalk of celery and painted the cut end green, like below.
 We then stamped the green paint on the side of our rose, like below, to resemble our rose's leaves.  
When we were done, we had beautifully painted roses!
 Before long, it was time for a snack.  Using another idea from Family Fun, this one from the December/January 2012 issue, page 8, we decided to make the 'Deeper Beauty' rose cupcakes, using frosted cupcakes (I just made ones from a boxed mix), and Fruit by the Foot in strawberry and green apple flavors.  The magazine called for mini cupcakes, which would have been very cute and easier on me, but I didn't have any mini cupcake liners, so I decided to make regular-sized.  They still turned out lovely!  Your Fruit by the Foot box should feature the wavy perforated line, like ours did, below, but I will warn you:  the perforation is not always deep, making it much harder to tear than you anticipate, and not every package in your box is wavy!  Some have zig zags, zippers, etc., so I opened a few packages before I found two with the waves.  (The regular-sized cupcakes will require two packages, whereas the minis that the magazine suggests will only require one.)
 Here are my cupcakes, prior to decorating.  (I found these cute rose cupcake liners ages ago in the dollar bins at Michael's.)
 To start your rose, unroll one package of your strawberry (or cherry) Fruit by the Foot, remove from the paper backing, and CAREFULLY divide it along the wavy line, like below.  
Then, form the center of your flower by rolling about 5-6 inches of one of your wavy halves, and placing in the center of your iced cupcake, wavy side up, like mine here.
 Then, using your remaining strips (again, for a regular-sized cupcake, you will need two packages of your red Fruit by the Foot), keep wrapping around your center piece, being sure the wavy edges are up and occasionally pressing your waves down so that they resemble open rose petals.
 Here is my completed rose, before adding leaves.
 For the leaves, I simply used my kitchen shears to cut out leaf shapes from a green Fruit by the Foot, and placed them on either side of my blossom.
 It looks beautiful!
 Maggie was so excited!
 Digging in ... :)
After chowing down on her rose cupcake, we then made the 'Belle's Valentine Bookmarks' as seen at 
http://family.go.com/crafts/craft-620126-belle-valentine-bookmarks-t/?cmp=SMC-FB_Fcom_021312_[belle_roses]_[disney]_[Family.com], using scrapbook paper, a green pipe cleaner, green ribbon, a heart stencil (or their online template), a pencil, scissors, and scrapbook adhesive to make paper roses.
 First, you will need four hearts for each rose, so using your stencil (or the site's template), make four hearts out of your paper.
 Next, quoting the site's instructions, 'Turn one of the hearts upside down to resemble one of the center petals of a rose bud, and use a glue dot [scrapbook adhesive] to stick the top of a pipe cleaner stem in place.'
Using more adhesive, place another one of your hearts on top of the first one, being sure to line them up well, sandwiching the pipe cleaner.
 Use your finger or the edge of your pencil to curl the end of your sandwiched hearts.  Then, with your third and fourth hearts, fold each in half, vertically, as shown, then 'fold back the rounded sides of the hearts ... and then fold down the tips.' 
 Then, using more adhesive, 'sandwich the sides of the center petals between the folded hearts,' as you see we did below.  Finally, tie on your ribbon, making a little bow, at the base of your blossom to represent your rose's leaves.
 You now have a pretty rose bookmark!
Happy crafting!  We'll see you next week!

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