Blaze had to go with me to school yesterday morning, and while we were there, he got the side of his left hand and his pinky run over by a rolling office chair. It looked terrible! There was a dark bruise on his finger and a line of cracked skin on the side of his hand. He refused to let me put ice on it, so it swelled and he couldn't bend it for awhile. Yet, he was so excited by the project I had promised to do with him yesterday afternoon, that he stopped complaining about his hand and started asking to do his writing as soon as we got home (his hand is much better today).
The promised writing project was making a quill pen and ink, and using them to write a household constitution.
We had started the quill making process the day before, because the shaft of the feather must be heat tempered to make it stronger before it is cut. To do the tempering, Blaze filled an old soup can with sand and I then baked the can of sand in a 350 degree oven for a half hour.
Next we stuck the feather as far as we could into the hot sand and left it until the sand was completely cool. When we removed the feather from the sand, the shaft had become harder and opaque.
We started out trying to use my new paring knife to cut the point on the pen, but even though the knife is sharp, it didn't work that well. What ended up working well was the kitchen shears. The feather needed to be cut in the same shape that a fountain pen nib is shaped, almost a point, but with a flat tip, slit up the middle a short distance to aid with holding the ink.
The ink was made by mixing a packet of ink powder and hot water in an empty glass jar.
Next, Blaze got to write his own constitution, a set of rules he thought we should live by.
As soon as Blaze was done writing, DH started asking how to make amendments to this constitution.