Frida Kahlo’s Mexico

Since we’ve been learning about Frida Kahlo, I thought we’d put some geography on the ‘lesson plan’ and learn about Mexico. Frida Kahlo was very proud of her place of birth and while she travelled with her husband Diego and lived in some of the major cities in the USA and travelled to Paris, France, her heart was always in Mexico.

She dressed in the peasant wardrobe of one of the local regions, and even when she moved in ‘high society’ of the time, she preferred the more rustic wardrobe of her national dress – not necessarily because of the fashion but because of the pride she felt in portraying her homeland.

Frida Kahlo's Mexico

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Frida Kahlo Inspired Clay Bead Necklaces

The next craft project for our Frida Kahlo learning was to make a bold and colourful beaded necklace from oven baked clay. How do these beads tie in with our Frida Kahlo based theme? Well, we’ve taken creative licence, for sure. What we know is that Frida Kahlo liked wearing bright, bold colours, and liked bringing the essence of Mexico to the world. Have a look on Google for Mexican art and you’ll see a lot of prime colours (we added green) and a lot of delicate patterns. That’s what we were going for with these bead necklaces.  If you look at images of our current heroine, you’ll see that she often wore big, bulky neck adornments too, so I reckon she’d have approved of our finished product.

Frida Kahlo Clay BeadsRead more: Frida Kahlo Inspired Clay Bead Necklaces

New! LOL Surprise Lil Sister and Confetti Pop Dolls

The new 2018 series of LOL Surprise Dolls are out and we have been sent a few to have a look at.

LOL Surprise

LOL Surprise sent us two dolls for Ameli and two dolls for her best friend – which lucky enough, happens to be her little sister, so that worked out conveniently for us.Read more: New! LOL Surprise Lil Sister and Confetti Pop Dolls

Frida Kahlo Inspired Mexican Folk Art Pendants

Supporting our Frida Kahlo learning, we’ve been looking at Mexican folk art. A simple Google of the term brings up pages and pages or examples, so we identified a few things that  were clear to us when looking at Mexican art:

  1. It is bright and colourful
  2. There’s incredible attention to details
  3. They use a lot of dots
  4. There are a lot of skulls used in art.

Using this information as a basis, we made ourselves some Frida Kahlo and Mexican folk art inspired air drying clay pendants and I’ve got to say, I don’t normally count myself as terribly artsy, but I’m really happy with how these turned out.

air dry clay pendant

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Frida Kahlo Inspired Paper Flower Headbands

We’re learning about Frida Kahlo at the moment and two of the things that stands out about Ms. Kahlo are the fact that she was fiercely patriotic and proud of her heritage, and the bold, bright colours she wore. 

Often wearing flowers and using them in her paintings as a celebration of her national heritage, their symbolism of fertility and fecundity was also pertinent to Kahlo who was unable to have children herself as a result of the accident in her teenage years. 1

Frida Kahlo contracted Polio as a child, and this left her with one leg thinner than the other, so much so that she was quite self-conscious about it. This also played a part in her wardrobe choices into adulthood. Frida might have hobnobbed with the high-society of New York and San Francisco and even, later, Paris, but she never adopted the ‘flapper’ style dresses that were popular at the time, choosing to stick with the long skirts and maxi dresses of the matriarchal Tehuantepec society of her Mexican heritage.

I find my children concentrate better when their hands are busy, so we were able to chat about Frida Kahlo, patriotism, disease, and the obstacles that come up in people’s lives while we folded tissue paper into carnations for Frida Kahlo inspired headbands. 

To make the headbands, you require a rectangle of tissue paper per flower, some sellotape to hold it together and – I had hoped to use elasticated headbands, but I couldn’t find any locally – pipe cleaners  with hairclips.

To make the flowers, fold the tissue paper lengthwise to make a long narrow strip, then fold it in half down the middle. Starting at the closed end fold the paper about an inch, then flip the unfolded bit underneath and fold an inch again. Repeat over and over, creating a zigzag out of the paper. When it’s all used up, pinch the bottom closed bit together and use a bit of tape to hold it all together (you could also sew a stitch in it, but we don’t have the patience for that just now!)

Pull apart the top part of the zigzagged tissue carefully (tissue paper tears easily) to create a fan, then gently separate the layers, pulling them as far out as they’ll go, creating your paper flower.

For the ‘headband’ we twisted together two pipecleaners, making a loop at the end of each (the ends can be quite sharp, so bending it inwards should help protect little skulls from being stabbed!) Once it’s all twisted together, create a gap between the twists, and place your flower in it, then twist it back together again.

Put a hairclip or pin through each end – through the loops – and use those to clip the ‘hairband’ into the hair. 

Click on the image below for more on Frida Kahlo and other inspirational women in history

Women Who Did

Follow our Women Who Did series on Pinterest:

  1. Davies, L. 2010, March 2, Frida Kahlo and Flowers, http://www.anothermag.com/fashion-beauty/1812/frida-kahlo-and-flowers

How To Make: Flower Easter Egg Baskets

Is it just me or does the universe just give us a reason to eat chocolate pretty much every month for at least half of the year? Right now we’re getting ready for Easter and when our #BostikBlogger box arrived full of little eggs, ‘nesting’ paper and a handful of bunnies, it was pretty clear I was going to have to head out and buy some chocolate eggs (because I really needed the excuse!). While the eggs themselves need no ceremony to be eaten, we thought some Easter Egg Baskets that gave a little nod to spring would be ideal.

I started making these Easter egg baskets with plain yellow paper that came in our box – I thought we’d make daffodils, at first – but then I remembered this gorgeous book for Spring and Easter Patterned Paper I bought a few years ago. I only had two sheets left in the book, and this seemed an ideal project to finish it up on. (This particular book called Spring & Easter Patterned Paper from Crelando doesn’t seem to be available online. I found it at Lidl some years ago. You can find other Paper Packs on Amazon though, or use plain or printed card to achieve the same effect.Flower Easter Egg BasketsRead more: How To Make: Flower Easter Egg Baskets

Easiest Valentine’s Bookmarks For Kids

Valentine's Day Book MarksWe received loads of little pretty goodies in our BostikBloggers box this month and I simply loved the beautiful rose paper. I could have used it to make a card, but that’s so fleeting, so I wanted to make something else with it. I decided to make Valentine’s day bookmarks (that would work just as well for Mother’s Day or similar!) to include in the Valentine’s Day cards for my girls.Read more: Easiest Valentine’s Bookmarks For Kids

Pop-Up Valentine’s Day Cards

A few years ago, I was sorting through one of those boxes of random things that just end up in a corner at the back of the wardrobe, when I found a small box filled with letters my mother had written to me when I was a teenager.  The thing is, my mom had died three months before and finding those letters were like a little gift from heaven. I decided then that I had to make sure that my girls received letters from me. Letters that I will keep in their memory boxes for them, that they can rediscover one day. When we received our #BostikBloggers box this month, with its Valentine’s Day theme, I decided this was a perfect opportunity to write each of my girls a letter.

Pop Up Valentine's Day Cards

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Amelia Earhart Study Unit {Women Who Did}

I decided this year to utilise some of the many books we have and use famous – or should-be-famous – women from history as our educational starting points. A friend gave me a guidebook for a mothers and daughters circle called The Heroine’s Club a few years ago, and I’ve decided to use that as the foundation for our studies. Our first woman from history is Amelia Earhart, the first woman to cross the Atlantic.

Who Was Amelia Earhart?

Amelia Earhart Study Unit Pic

Many people know the name Amelia Earhart and even know that she was the first woman to cross the Atlantic by plane. But here are a few other things you may not have known about Amelia Earhart:

  • Amelia was homeschooled until high school
  • She suffered from chronic sinusitis
  • She worked as a nurses’ aid during the Second World War
  • Amelia took her first flight in an airoplane at 23 years old. She started lessons 5 days later.
  • Amelia was the 16th woman in the US to be issued a pilot’s licence.
  • She gained her pilots licence less than a year later.
  • Involved in creating the first commercial airline in the world.
  • Amelia set 7 women’s speed and distance aviation records, including a world altitude record.
  • Amelia also created a functional sporty fashion line.

Read more: Amelia Earhart Study Unit {Women Who Did}

“Women Who Did” Series On Remarkable Women In History

I strongly dislike ‘introducing’ a new series, as life inevitably happens, and we have to stop, or change direction. Just as I’m getting into the swing of a new theme, the kids decide they don’t love it, and we have to do something different – and since we’re all about being child-led in our home education, that can be a bit of a problem, but here I am, none-the-less, introducing a new series here on the blog. It’s called Women Who Did and it’s all about the women who’ve come before us and made our world and our lives what it is today, whether we knew about it or not .

Why Women Who Did? 

A few years ago I saw a bracelet come up in my timeline on Facebook, and it ‘spoke’ to me. I bought it that day and have worn it every day since. It catches my eye often and it gives me strength when I need it. I’ve since written it’s message on my wall where I can see it every day, and my girls will brush a thumb over it from time to time, when they too, need strength.

Read more: “Women Who Did” Series On Remarkable Women In History