Monday, September 5, 2011

Moroccan Caravan Part I

Morocco was the second country on our list. I was feeling a little panicked yet optimistic. I had no Magic Tree House Book to engage the kids and I didn’t know if we even liked Moroccan food. Our Greek month was so fantastic, how on earth was I going to match that? At the same time I was excited to learn about Morocco, I have always loved Moroccan designs and I was eager to learn more about the culture.

The first creation was, once again a flag. Since I still haven't improved my sewing skills, I got out the usual supplies, a straight edge, a pencil, (red and green) construction paper, scissors and a glue stick. We measured, we cut, we glued and then we sat back and admired our work. Not bad.  

The next thing I did was make a trip to A.C. Moore. I had no idea of what kind of project I was going to do with the kids. I had to find something so wandering around a craft store seemed like the best way to find inspiration, and inspiration is what I found. I bought Sculpey (again), a package of small plastic mirrors and a bag of metallic colored seed beads. I wasn’t entirely sure what I was going to do with these items yet, but I knew that we could figure it out.  As I was heading for the check out I saw a rack full of pashminas priced $9.99 which inspired a prefect idea. I bought my supplies and my pashmina and headed home.  

The next morning, the kids and I sat down with our new supplies from the craft store and decided on napkin rings. We were so excited to get started we didn't even change out of our pajamas first, we just jumped right in. We made napkin rings by first creating black circular discs out of Sculpey. 

Next, we pressed a small mirror into the middle. Then using whichever metallic beads we desired we created designs by pressing the beads around the mirror. 

We then scored the back of the Sculpey discs with a small knife and attached Sculpey loops to be the ring parts.   

I started to get a little worried about this project, because the next step wasn't something I had considered yet. I wasn’t sure that the mirror and beads would be able to withstand the heat of baking them in the oven, but I decided that since the temperature is so low, it couldn’t be that bad (I know, I’m so wild and crazy taking a risk like that). After I lined my baking sheet with aluminum foil, I realized that in order to keep the loops from getting squished I’d have to put the napkin rings face down in the oven. I put them in the oven and spent the next 15 minutes thinking that the project was probably going to be ruined because I just threw some beads and plastic mirrors into the oven face down. I imagined melted plastic and an ooey mess on the napkin rings and baking sheet, but when I pulled them out and flipped them over I was pleasantly surprised.

With our flag created and our crafty napkin rings done, I was feeling pretty good. Then, I had a brilliant idea (yes, I’m patting myself on the back).  This brilliant idea would be our next Moroccan adventure. I was so excited I had a hard time keeping it a secret from my kids. My next post, this coming Thursday, will be about our outing. I’m eager to share with you what kind of adventure I think is worth having the kids out past bedtime on a school night. Until then, I hope that you are inspired to wander aimlessly around a craft store and create some project that might be a way of opening a door to some far away place that you've always wanted to visit, but just haven't made it to yet.


  1. Very cool, and those napkin rings are PRETTY!!

  2. This is a great idea Raina! I might have to start one too! We skipped August (Ecuador)and so we are onto this month getting back into the swing with Norway!
    Keep up the great work! You are so much better at it than I! But I try!

  3. I LOVE your idea! It's a lot of time and energy, and effort, and your kids look like they love it! Kudos to you! I will definitely keep reading. Thanks for inspiring me to do more creative activities with my son!


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