Welcome To Pilgrims and Pioneers!

After many years of researching my family geneaology I have been lucky enough to discover actual information about my relatives that lived in the Pilgrim Era and the Pioneer Era- while many people also have realtives from those eras- many do not know their names or where they lived- actually seeing the proof in print makes you much more aware of who they really were.
After discovering these relatives it of course made me curious to learn more about the eras that they lived in and what their lives were like as, the history I learned in grade school had long since been forgotten.
I decided to start this blog for others who are also interested in these eras.
Some of the information here will be actual facts about my realtives and some will be information about the eras in general that I have found on the web.
I hope you will enjoy traveling back in time with me!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Dried Apple Head Dolls

Pioneer woman made their own dolls for their children - many times with dried apples for heads. The results is a wrinkly face with an elderly look- no two come out alike. That is what makes it fun!Here are some basic directions:

The supplies you will need are: 1 cup lemon juice

1 tbsp. salt


I have heard that Golden Delicious apples are good to use because they are large and have a nice color inside- but any apple can be used. The largrer the apple of course the larger the head.

Peel the apple and soak in the lemon juice salt mixture for 45 min. You need to saok each apple you use so if you are doing several you may want to double this mixture. If you want your apple a darker color do not soak just dry it.
After soaking the apple use a small knife you will have good control over- or a small baby spoon- to carve out eye sockets and areas for cheeks so that you form a nose- a mouth and ears can also be carved out. Do not cut actual slits in the apple as this may cause it to start rotting.
You can use whole cloves for eyes and individual rice grains for teeth- depending on the look you want- features can be painted onse the apple head is thoroughly dry.
Once you have the face the way you want it you need to dry the head.
This can be done several ways. To air dry carefully run a large straightened paper clip or piece of heavy wire through the center of the apple- put a bend in the bottom of the wire to hold the apple on and make a loop in the top for hanging. Hang it to dry in a place where it will not get direct sunlight. It will take 2-3 weeks to dry.
The apples can also be dried on a tray or a screen but you can not handle the apples while they are drying.
You can also dry in a food dehydrator set at 135 degrees or less- you must check them frequently. You can also place them in a 200 degree oven with the door slightly ajar- leave them in for 4-5 hours and then finish drying them on a screen.
The doll body can be a purchased one or made from a dowel or heavy wire for the body attaching purchased arm and legs. A styrofoam cone can also be used for a standing doll with a full dress. Clothing can be as plain or as fancy as you wan to make it. Adapting a clothing pattern to the size you need should work well.
Another idea is to make several heads to use on a wreath for Halloween decorating or place several heads in a wood bowl( use the cloves and rice for the facial features like the photo shows)

for a "spooky" table decoration!

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