Here is an acorn craft that children can do. You can find other activities by looking through past newsletters in the archive.
This craft was taken from toysinthedryer.com. The website has some great activities for kids.
To make these cute little birds, you’ll need:
1) Cut round eyes out of white paper and use the black marker to make dots on the eyes
2) Cut a small beak out of orange paper
3) Cut wings out of what ever color you want
4) A toothpick works perfect to spread the glue over the tiny eyes, wings, and beak
5) Once assembled and dry, glue the owls onto a twig for display
That’s it! Pretty simple. Gluing googly eyes on the owls would be a fun alternative to the paper.
Acorn likes this project. He likes owls. They don’t eat acorns.
The first signs of spring are here. Trees are budding - cherry trees, red maple and dogwood. The dogwood that hangs over my creek is getting ready to burst with dazzling, white blooms.
Early flowers open their faces to the sun. Crocus and yellow daffodils are among the first.
Peeper frogs chirp at dusk. I don’t hear them where I live in North Carolina, but I used to hear them a lot in upstate New York. My neighbor then was an old-timer who said the peepers had to freeze 3 times before spring truly arrived.
The butterflies return. The mourning cloak butterflies here start floating around the yard. They wait to nestle in the butterfly bushes when they bloom.
Finally, a sign of spring in North Carolina is the blue tail skink. This small lizard moves slowly when it first appears as though it’s groggy from a long nap. But the sun soon warms it and it becomes super fast, darting in and out of places to hide. Skink like to bask in the sun on rocks or on the floor of our back porch.
The blue tail skink is so interesting, he may make it into an Acorn and Button story.
Anyway, those are some of my favorite signs of spring! What are yours?
One afternoon Button showed his Big Book of Buttons to Acorn. In the book were buttons of all types, made with all kinds of materials. Some were painted and some were enameled. Others were fashioned out of wood, ceramic, glass, seashell, and even thread.
As they turned the pages, Acorn said, “I never knew there were so many beautiful buttons.”
Button nodded his head but didn’t comment.
When they got to the end of the book, Button let out a deep sigh.
”Is something wrong?” Acorn asked.
Button waved his hand.
“All these magnificent buttons exist,” he replied with a frown, “and I am just a plain, black button.”
”But you are a button with personality,” said Acorn, “and a sword!”
At that Button drew his needle and strutted a bit. “Quite right, Acorn, quite right.”
I live between two mountains, north and south. As the sun sets, it lights up the top of the northern mountain. Every day I walk the long driveway to the mailbox to get my mail. When I turn around and walk back to the house, the sunlit mountain is in front of me. The view often gives me a mixed feeling of comfort and longing. I’m grateful for that mountain and I’m grateful for the light too. But I’m also grateful for the longing… for something more… something worth searching out and believing in even if I don’t see or experience it now.
That kind of believing is not hard for Acorn. Believing in goodness and possibility is like breathing to him. He’s rarely rocked by difficult circumstances or things happening around him. He keeps it simple and hopeful, moment by moment.
I’m trying to be more like Acorn.
You know I like little things. I came across this DIY project on how to make candles with acorn caps. They don’t burn long - 10 to 20 minutes, but they look pretty cute.
How to make the candles:
Remove the caps gently from the acorns.
Melt some beeswax or some scraps from old candles.
Secure the caps in sand, or in this case, pellets.
Pour the wax into the caps with a plastic cup.
Insert the wicks while the wax is still warm.
There you have it - mini candles.
Acorn loves this project! He and Button made some candles for Cattail’s birthday. It was a big hit!
I’m sorry this newsletter arrives a little late this week. I’ve been busy with writing activities. First, let me thank those who have written book reviews! It’s so appreciated!
Secondly, we’ve had a bit of a mishap here. Acorn and Button have been begging to fly on the drone and I finally relented.
When the drone went down, my heart almost stopped! But things didn’t go as badly as feared. Acorn was untouched in the accident. Button suffered a slight scratch on his forehead but that can be buffed out. Unfortunately his needle was broken in half. No worries, that will be easily replaced. Soon after landing (?), they both wanted to rush home. Perhaps to recover from the shock or maybe to write about the event in their diaries? I’m not sure. We’ll see.
A favorite book of mine is Sticky Burr, the Deadly Peril, by John Lechner. It’s about burrs who live in a forest called Burrwood. Sticky Burr is the main character. He’s nice and enjoys painting and playing his ukulele. That is something villainous Scurvy Burr cannot stand! Scurvy Burr likes to make trouble and keep things as prickly as he can.
This book is a fun read for kids and adults. It’s clever and hilarious in places.
Of course I see the appeal in a community of burrs and I wonder what might happen if Button met Scurvy Burr. Button is smooth and hairless so Scurvy wouldn’t be able to stick to him or jab him. He might find other ways to torment Button - like maybe playing tricks on him…
Oddly enough, Button recently wrote an entry in his journal…
Here sits a little cardinal and angel against the backdrop of an avocado on my windowsill. The cardinal was my Mom’s favorite bird and I picked this one up at a gift shop. The angel is a Christmas gift from my daughter, Grace.
I like little things. Maybe that’s why I chose a little acorn and a little button as the main characters in my book, Acorn and Button.
Little things are big things to kids. From seeing a crawdad in a creek for the first time to losing a favorite stuffed animal, kids experience moments in a big way. They live in the moment.
I try to see things as a child might. It’s not as easy as it sounds. It takes practice and a certain kind of letting go. Letting go of adult thoughts and the things we think we know. There’s a vulnerability. Maybe I don’t know as much as I thought. Maybe I’m not in complete control. Maybe that’s ok.
Playing with children helps, especially when we let them take the lead.
I think one of the greatest things in this life is to be a child at heart. That’s a joy I wish for every one of my readers, young and old.
This past week, Acorn reached one of his vision board goals. He went rock climbing with Button. They both said that their arms felt like rubber bands afterwards, but they reached the top and were rewarded with an awesome view of the creek.
If you’re wondering how I made these prototypes of Acorn and Button, it was easy. I started with a real acorn and a black button of similar size. I made stands out of foam rubber and glued the acorn and button to them. I drew Acorn’s eyes and eyebrows with a black magic marker. Then, I cut a dental pick in half and glued it to Button.
These little characters are fun for kids to play with indoors or outdoors. Their imaginations will be activated as they make up adventures and explorations for Acorn and Button!
If you would like a signed copy of Acorn and Button with free shipping: Acorn and Button
First, I’d like to thank those who took the time to review Acorn and Button on Amazon. It is so appreciated!
Secondly, I thought I’d just share a few illustrations that I like. I think part of finding your own illustrating style is figuring out what you do and don’t like. I’ve looked through many children’s book illustrations and I’m discovering that I’m mostly drawn to simple composition and shapes. I’m also drawn to people and their emotions. I like funny too. I don’t care for illustrations that are too busy. For instance, Richard Scarry’s book, What Do People Do All Day, gives me anxiety. My apologies to Scarry fans. I know he’s genius, but there it is. Here are some illustrations that I like:
These are just a few illustrations of the many that I like. What are some of your favorite children’s book illustrations? Feel free to reply to this email. I’m really curious. Cheers!