Thursday, July 15, 2010

Little House Experiment #1-Corncob Dolls

Aw, this was just good ol' fun! We have started reading Little House In The Big Woods, and decided to craft a doll similar to Laura's corncob named Susan. This is a sentimental project for me. While I've personally never had a corncob doll, my late grandfather was an Okie during the great depression, and he told us about making these dolls for his little sister. sigh... I miss Grandpa... But anyway, back to work!

Our reference book for this project is called My Little House Crafts Book, and so far I'm really
impressed with the clear instructions and beautiful, engaging illustrations.

First off, we had to buy 3 ears of corn. I'm glad we decided to do this project now since we can't always
get ears of corn with husks on here in Alaska! Next, have your 'assistants' pull off the husks and silks.
You can save them to make arms and hair for more advanced crafters, but I decided to stick w/ the straight forward cob.

After all the garbage has been pulled away, you get to cut off the yummy stuff for supper! Using a chef's knife, I held the cob upright on a plate and ran the knife down the length of the cob as the kernels fell onto the plate. I put those in a pot to save for later :)
Next, I handed my children a butter knife (you can also use the edge of a spoon) and had them scrape off the remaining meat. Warning: that stuff can squirt everywhere! If you're overly concerned about the mess, then you could always lay down newspaper before beginning.

Next comes the hardest part of all: waiting! We put the cobs on plates and laid them in a sunny window to dry out for 3-4 days.

Once the dolls were hard, we drew faces on them w/ a sharpie pen, and the kids wrapped them up in
old fabric scraps.

It's so interesting to me how much allure these dolls still have in the modern age. These dolls have become prized playthings and even went to church with us. Maybe it's the novelty of food turning into a toy, or maybe it's because they handcrafted them. Regardless, this was an easy, fun, and heartwarming experiment. 8 thumbs and three 'ears' up!!

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