Make Flower for Last-Minute Mother’s Day Gift!

Coffee filter flowers are a fun and quick gift to make for Mothers Day!

Coffee filter flowers are a fun and quick gift to make for Mothers Day!


This craft is quick, inexpensive, pretty –and fun to make! Young children may need a little help but they will love to present these flowers to a loved one! The world’s largest flower– Rafflesia Arnoldii– is indigenous to Indonesia, hence I included it in my book, Recipe and Craft Guide to Indonesia.

Recipe and Craft Guide to Indonesia by Kayleen Reusser

Recipe and Craft Guide to Indonesia by Kayleen Reusser

This flower also stinks like rotting flesh but nothing about this craft smells!
Have fun making this together!

Materials Needed:
4 white coffee filters any size
1 pipe cleaner, cut in half
2 small bowls
3/4 cup water
Food coloring
Plate, wax paper or plastic surface to dry the filters
Instructions:

1. Lay coffee filters on flat surface.
2. Fold filters accordion style in one inch pleats.
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3. Fold in half and twist pipe cleaner around middle (Depending on size of filters, you may want to use wire cutters to halve the pipe cleaner).
4. Put 1/2 cup water in a bowl; add 6 -10 drops of food coloring. Stir.
5. With filters still folded against each other, stick the ends in the food coloring and allow saturating for a few minutes. Take out and dry.
6. Mix 1/4 cup water in a bowl with 6-10 drops of food coloring. Stick the folded center into the mixture. Allow to saturate until color meets color on ends. Remove and allow drying, leaving the pleats folded.
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7. Separate layers on both sides of the pipe cleaner. Your new flower may not be as large as the largest flower in the world, the rafflesia arnoldi found in Indonesia, but it is full of beauty!

The End

‘Teens Giving Back’ Workshop Offers Ideas for Helping

Speaking to students at volunteering workshop at Allen County (IN) Public Library

Speaking to students at volunteering workshop at Allen County (IN) Public Library


Yesterday Jeannie Johnson of the Creative Women of the World shop (http://creativewomenoftheworld.com/) and I conducted a free workshop on Fair Trade and ways to volunteer to help others, especially poor people around the world.
Jeannie Johnson showed items made by people around the world from recycled items.

Jeannie Johnson showed items made by people around the world from recycled items.

The workshop, attended by 20 homeschooled teens at Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne Indiana, was a monthly meeting organized by librarian extraordinaire Cathy Lambert of the YA Department at the library.

Lovely Cathy Lambert, YA librarian at Allen Co Public Library, brings enthusiasm to her homeschoolers' meetings.

Lovely Cathy Lambert, YA librarian at Allen Co Public Library, brings enthusiasm to her homeschoolers’ meetings.


This is my fourth annual workshop for Cathy focusing on books (See June 2010-2012 Allen County Public Library posts for photos of our Greek god costume contest and Indonesia cooking session and learning what it’s like to be an author).
Celebrities Giving Back by Kayleen Reusser

Celebrities Giving Back by Kayleen Reusser


This year I talked about my book Celebrities Giving Back (Mitchell Lane Publishing) and ways famous people like Tony Hawke have established foundations to help people. I also mentioned my book Recipe and Craft Guide to Indonesia as it includes craft items that could be made for sale at fundraisers.
Free caps made by Stitches of Hope volunteers and given to people with cancer.

Free caps made by Stitches of Hope volunteers and given to people with cancer.


I showed the students two crocheted caps made by a charity I support called http://www.stitchesofhope1.blogspot.com.

We make and distribute free handmade caps to people who lose hair from cancer and other illnesses. So far, we’ve given away 5,000 caps to places around the US, including Alaska! Several students mentioned places they had volunteered and I encouraged them to do more volunteering this summer or when they have opportunities.

Jeannie holds a laptop bag made from a recycled feed sack.

Jeannie holds a laptop bag made from a recycled feed sack.


Jeannie brought an assortment of items from Creative Women of the World, a shop she and other concerned individuals from Fort Wayne have recently opened in downtown Fort Wayne. It is a beautiful shop worthy a trip!
Students loved inspecting recycled items for sale at Creative Women of the World.

Students loved inspecting recycled items for sale at Creative Women of the World.


The items for sale have all been made by impoverished people from around the world—Tajikistan, Uganda, Haiti, Nepal are just a few of the countries represented with handmade items including jewelry, home décor and coffee and chocolate.

What was really fascinating was what the non-edible items are made from – Coke bottle caps, abandoned tires, gum wrappers, pop can tabs, even cassette tape film!

Recyled items available for purchase at Creative Women of the World shop

Recyled items available for purchase at Creative Women of the World shop


The kids could not always figure out what natural resources /recycled products were used, but they loved everything!
Students holding items for sale at Creative Women of the World

Students holding items for sale at Creative Women of the World


Prices are reasonable at the store. I had shopped there for Christmas and my recipients were thrilled with the jewelry items!

I hope you will consider volunteering to help someone today and/or joining a group that helps people. It’s fun to work together to help people earn their way out of poverty. What do you do to volunteer to help people around you and around the world?
Take care,

Teens Can Learn Ways to Help Prevent Human Trafficking at FREE workshop

Bracelets and hair ties available at Creative Women of the World shop.

Bracelets and hair ties available at Creative Women of the World shop.


Teens, pre-teens, homeschool students listen up! You have the chance to pick up some FREE Indonesian jewelry and make your own at a workshop called ‘Teens Giving Back’ to be held at the Allen County Public Library on June 6 at 1pm in the Young Adults Department.
Mud cloth scarves vailable at Creative Women of the World

Mud cloth scarves vailable at Creative Women of the World


The workshop will be conducted by me and staff from one of Fort Wayne’s newest and neatest shops, Creative Women of the World (http://www.creativewomenoftheworld.com/ ).
Purses available at Creative Women of the World shop.

Purses available at Creative Women of the World shop.


Jeannie Johnson and Lorelei Verlee have established this shop to get the word out about their fascinating products.
Earrings from Tibet available at Creative Women of the World shop.

Earrings from Tibet available at Creative Women of the World shop.


The beautiful items for sale inside the shop are all made by people around the world who are trying desperately to work their way out of slavery and poverty.

Here are photos of items sold at the Creative Women of the World shop.

Denim wristbands from Haiti available at Creative Women of the World shop.

Denim wristbands from Haiti available at Creative Women of the World shop.


I bought several pieces of jewelry for Christmas gifts and my family LOVED them!
Items for sale Inside Creative Women of the World shop.

Items for sale Inside Creative Women of the World shop.


I also bought coffee from the shop made in another country and the person I gave it to sipped it gratefully.

Teens, you may also be able to make jewelry at the workshop.

Kenyan necklaces available at Creative Women of the World shop.

Kenyan necklaces available at Creative Women of the World shop.


I will talk about ways teens can help people as mentioned in my book, Celebrities Giving Back. The book is available in the library and the librarian will have copies available of it to check out. I’ll also have copies available for signing for $15.00.
Celebrities Giving Back by Kayleen Reusser

Celebrities Giving Back by Kayleen Reusser


I’ll mention the charity I helped establish called Stitches of Hope (www.stitchesofhope1.blogspot.com) and show the crocheted/knitted/sewn caps we make for people with illness or other need.
Cap made by volunteer of Stitches of Hope

Cap made by volunteer of Stitches of Hope


I will also display and talk about a blanket my daughter had made in Indonesia by women who preferred sewing to earn money rather than other less honorable methods of supporting themselves.

Mandy has also purchased greeting cards made by women in India for that same reason. I’m proud of her for helping other people in this way.

The jewelry items I’ve giving away are a secret for now but I have a whole bunch and they’re really pretty! Guys, even if you’re not into jewelry, attend the workshop, learn about ways to help other people and pick up some free jewelry for your girlfriends! They’ll love them!

Decorative items are available at Creative Women of the World shop.

Decorative items are available at Creative Women of the World shop.


Of course, you can walk a block away to the Creative Women of the World shop at 125 W. Wayne Street and buy many of their products after the workshop. They’d make great Father’s Day, birthday, wedding, and anniversary gifts.

And as might be expected with any teen group, there will be snacks — reflecting the countries we’ll discuss. Woo hoo!

This is my fourth year to present a workshop for Librarian Cathy Lambert’s Homeschooling group. I appreciate her enthusiasm and cooperation and interest in my crazy ideas. Posts about my previous visits are at June 2012, June 2011, June 2010.

Last year’s was particularly fun with the Greek God costume contest. Can you guess what character I was dressed as in my mother-in-law’s former peach-colored gown? (Hint: I had a head full of snakes)

Let me know if you have questions about the workshop. Hope to see you all there!

Weave a Beautiful Belt for 50 Cents in 30 Minutes!

Girls weaving with yarn and drawing book marks.

Girls weaving with yarn and drawing book marks.


It’s fun to get kids excited about crafts. My book, Recipe and Craft Guide to Indonesia, includes 10 crafts made from materials found in your home. Made from yarn, it only requires half a skein depending on the project. This makes it affordable to create gifts for yourself and others!

Weaving is an important part of the Indonesian culture both for history and the economy. Indonesian weavings are intricate and beautiful. Interesting Indonesian weaving tip: One type of weaving done in Indonesia is ikat (EE-kaht) which means “tie.” Ikat is the product of dyeing threads before they are woven into a patterned cloth. Ikat designs may have symbolic meanings indicating status, wealth, power and prestige. Some cultures believe ikat cloth is imbued with magical powers.

Recipe and Craft Guide to Indonesia by Kayleen Reusser

Recipe and Craft Guide to Indonesia by Kayleen Reusser

Make your own weaving following the instructions included in the book for a simple weaving. The project is so simple that several girls from my school have been making woven belts and bookmarks from yarn during their lunch recess. They weave while chatting. It’s simple, inexpensive and looks great when completed!

Woven yarn belt

Materials
5 drinking straws
Tape
Ball of yarn –variegated colors work well

1. Cut five pieces of 36” yarn.
2. Push through straw so 1” extends at one end. Tape to straw. Repeat with other strands and straws.
4. With left hand hold straws like a fan, taped ends out. (Hint: if you write with your left hand, it may be easier to hold straws in your right hand).
5. With opposite hand place end of ball under thumb holding straws.
6. Wind yarn around straws, working from one side to the other. Keep tension tight but even. Avoid pulling yarn too tightly as this will create an hour glass effect in your weaving.

Weaving from yarn.

Weaving from yarn.


7. Work in this way until you have woven several inches. Occasionally check your work to ensure consistency of tension. Push yarn off bottom of straws.
8. Continue in this way until reaching desired length of project. A bookmark could be 6 inches in length. A belt should be the diameter of your waist with an additional 12” or so to allow for tie (see picture).
9. Cut yarn from ball.
10. Knot strands together at both ends of weaving. Weave wall hangings and other items for friends and family.

Make an Indonesian Weaving Project in 1 Hour

Prairie good
Weaving is not only fun hobby but in Indonesia it is part of the industry. Families may work on weaving projects for years and pass them on as family heirlooms. I’ve always loved to weave since I was a Girl Scout and we wove pot holders on little looms.

 

So it was a delight to include a weaving craft in my book, Recipe and Craft Guide to Indonesia. My friend Prairie chose to make a weaving project following the instructions from the book. Don’t worry about buying a fancy loom! For the weaving project in my book, all you need are 4 straws and your fingers!

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Prairie wove this project during her home room time at school.

Recipe and Craft Guide to Indonesia (Mitchell Lane 2011) contains 10 crafts and 10 recipes for Grades 4-8.

Recipe and Craft Guide to Indonesia (Mitchell Lane 2011) contains 10 crafts and 10 recipes for Grades 4-8.


It’s made with variegated cotton thread so while it looks like she used different colors of yarn, it was all one strand which made ti easy and fast.

Doesn’t Prairie’s weaving look great!

She may use it as a bookmark or to put around her neck.

 

I’m looking for stories of other students who have made projects from my book Recipe and Craft Guide to Indonesia. If you’ve made a project—cooking or craft—write and tell me about it. Email me a photo at xxxkjreusser@adamswells.comxxx (remove the x’s). They’re to prevent spam.

 

Good luck! 

Faith Crafts an Indonesian Rain Stick from Recipe and Craft Guide to Indonesia

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My friend Faith made a rain stick using directions from my book, Recipe and Craft Guide to Indonesia (Mitchell Lane Publishing). It is a simple craft using a paper towel roll and markers to decorate the outside with crazy happy colors and designs.

 

It just takes a couple of other household items to complete this fun project. Faith did a great job! Thanks, Faith, for making a project from my book!

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Can you find the book Recipe and Craft Guide to Indonesia at your library at school or in your city? If not, ask your librarian or care giver to order it for you! It is published by Mitchell Lane.

 

The book is filled with full-color, educational photos of the mysterious land of Indonesia. I’ll bet you know what continent the island nation of Indonesia is situated on—but I’ll tell you anyway. Asia! Can you find it on a globe? My daughter lived there for several years and suggested we include a rain stick in this book as a token project for Indonesia’s famous rain forest.

 

If you’d like to make a rain stick like this one, please do so and email it to me at xxxkjreusser@adamswells.comxxx. (remove the X’s which I put there to prevent Spam). I’d love to see your rain stick projects and hear what you thought while reading the book about Indonesia.

 

Spoiler alert!: There is a scary project to make in the book too. You might want to look it up for Halloween!  

Happy crafting!

Take care,

 

Teaching Kids to Love to Read by Offering Crafts

Photos of young friends of mine who have read my books are posted here today.

Kitti enjoys reading about Hermes, the Messenger god.

They chose which of my nine books to read and then we talked about the books together. You can find more about them on my Books page.

One student is making a weaving craft from my Recipe and Craft Guide to Indonesia book.

Recipe and Craft Guide to Indonesia (Mitchell Lane 2011) contains 10 crafts and 10 recipes for Grades 4-8.

Recipe and Craft Guide to Indonesia (Mitchell Lane 2011) contains 10 crafts and 10 recipes for Grades 4-8.

Another student made the Gamelan drum and we talked about the Gamelan orchestra which is well-known from Indonesia.

Ethan made a Gamelan drum with directions from Recipe and Craft Guide to Indonesia.

We watched videos of it on Youtube to hear its unique sound.

Azerica read about the Greek god Hades.

If you’re a student who has read one of my books, please leave a comment and let me know which book and what you thought about it. I’d love to hear from you!