12th day: Mar 7th, Wednesday

Today most of us are working on our independent project, I got the candles that I made yesterday which were good, but still had some problems to fix. Also today is Ms. Borsack’s birthday~

Happy birthday to you.
The Cross-Stich is my project, I choose a really hard, I hope I can finish it before Friday. As you see the house which is made by Karen; I really like it. India decides to do Qipao which is an old dress in China.
The snacks today are most vegetables, the carrots were really good; instead of chips and candies, it’s really nice to change the snacks to vegetables. Thank Mami for bringing and preparing snacks for us everyday!
The wellness today makes us warm and keeps us active.
It’s snowy today which makes people tired, but we still work very hard to approach  the end. Good job, everyone!
And again, Happy birthday to Ms. Borsack!  

11th day: Mar 6, Tuesday

The last week of Tuesday has started!

Today we were divided into two groups and made candles. While the first group was making candles, second group was working on the independent project.

Making candle process is like this.

  • Melt soy wax with hot plate.
  • Put some color pencil in the beaker.
  • Stir the material until it melts like Maria is doing
  • Wait until the material cool and then add essential oil. (If you add essential oil when material still hot, essential oil is going to evaporate.)
  • Stick the wick inside the glass bottle.
  • Pour liquid into glass bottle.
  • Fix the wick with a stick.
  • Handmade candle is here!

Candle making master Ms. Mami.

After class, we had ice cream party today!

We ate delicious ice cream instead of took wellness class.

–By Seoyeon Bae

10th day: Mar 5th, Monday

This morning, our class was stuck in the senior building due to the snow, which means the plan of returning to the high school building was not going to work.

The morning group project is “friend bracelet”. This little trinket is made with cotton/wool strings and a button. First, pick in total of four wool strings, they can either be the same color or not, and cut them the same length. After cutting them, make a knot at the not very end of the string. In order to make a “friend bracelet”, only 7 colors are needed, so cut the least favorable color off to make in total of 7 strings that are usable.

then, draw in total of eight short lines on the circle and cut it, the lines needs to be symmetrical, which means, because the circle is divided in four parts, each parts should have three lines. Then, cut a hole that can let the knot go though  cuts count three to the right and fill the empty cut with it, and repeat this step until the bracelet is long enough for someone’s wrist.

At noon, Mami led the class create our own onigiri, it is a traditional Japanese lunch. Onigiri is basically a rice ball filled with many different fillings. The fillings can be either veggies or meats. For our Onigiri, Mamilettuces and cucumbers for the veggies. For the meat part, she prepared tuna with mayonnaise, crab meats, steamed salmon, teriyaki chicken, seasoned ground meat and tamago-yaki. Tamago-yaki is like Japanese style omelette.

“The food listed above are in the same order in the picture from close to far”

–By Leo Di Liu

9th day: Mar 2nd, Friday

Because of the bad weather we moved to Senior building basement to started the class. Today we are all working on our independent project. Most of us were knitting our scarf, and everyone was working so hard! It was really cute all of us looked just like grandmothers and grandfathers knitting our scarf. I remember when we learned how to knit from Ms. Sherry, it was really difficult and everybody wanted to give up. But after a few days everyone became so professional, just like my grandmother. Also some people were working on making little bags or clothes using Ms. Borsack’s daughter’s old clothes to reproduce new things. Ms. Borsack also taught some people making friendship bracelets–it looks really fun.

I can’t even believe that we can make so many things by ourselves. Also learned many knitting skills.

Afternoon we had wellness class. We were really tired but we had lots of fun. We did some work out and we also played lots of teamwork games. We played basketball games, and Karen was the MVP today. She beat not only everybody but also the teachers. Love Made by Me field academy so much!!

–Jessica Yun-An Liu

8th day: March 1st, Thursday

Today is the 8th day of us on-campus course, Made by me.

In the morning, as usual, we divided into two groups. Ms. Borsack taught us how to make a natural lip balm with the flavor we favor. We could choose one of the two methods to make our personalized lip balm. They contained different ingredients. We could select different types of wax, base oil, and essential oil. Thus, we divided into two groups again to start our process. Basically, we only have to follow the instructions on the board, and be patient and careful.

Those are the materials we need.

Our group chose to use coconut oil because we thought it can give our lip balms a soft texture and a delicious smell. We also chose bee wax. For people who are vegan, they can choose soy wax if they want. Our group do not have a concern like that, so we only aim to make a better taste lip balm that we will actually use later.

The first step was to measure the amount of ingredients we need according to the recipe. After a hard time of getting Shea butter (since it’s too hard to dig), we got all the materials we need and set them in a beaker. Then, we melt them into liquid with the help of Ms. Borsack. She also suggested us to add a little bit vitamin oil because it can moisturize our lips and provide nutrition.

Since different people want different flavors, we poured the melt substance into different beakers and added the kind of essential oil we liked. I made three of them, one for Ria. I used Lavender, Orange, and Eucalyptus oil with only a few drops because I personally cannot stand fierce scent. Then, we poured them into the lip balm containers quickly before the liquid solidified. It only took two minutes or so to dry out.

Once we finished all those steps, we could finally decorate our lip balms with stickers and wrote our name on it. For almost all the group members, that was our first time to make a personalized lip balm, but we all did an excellent job! We made several extras and gave them to our friends.

During the whole process, I find corporation and discussion very important for group project because the recipe only allow us to make either 8 or 10 once. We have to divide how many lip balms everyone wants, and what kind of job we need to do. If we cannot corporate very well during the process when we are pouring the liquid into the container, they will solidify so fast.

The other group was working on knitting. It is a very complicated project and many people cannot do it very well. Most people felt frustrating and tired of it and some of them even gave up. It might be the most challenging project we’ve ever done. It need patience and persistence. To be honest, even for girls, repeating the same process for a long time is not an easy task. We are mentally and physically exhausted at the beginning of the day. However, many people still tried and started from the beginning again and again, which is impressing.

After 10 a.m., we divided into several stations led by different teachers. Some chose to make a fresher, which is a small bag filled with perfume and spice. I made one with lavender and chrysanthemum flower. It smells so good.

Other people can choose either to keep knitting or making friendship bracelet with Ms. Borsack. Then, in the afternoon, we kept working on our independent project. The whole class was well-organized and quiet, which set up a good atmosphere for us.

–by Daisy Yao Ying

7th day: Feb, 28th, Wednesday

Today we made one kind of Japanese popular snacks called Daifuku.

We met Mami and other teachers in High School Building, and after a brief meeting, all the students were separated into two groups, I am in the group two, which is the one to make Daifuku.

We went to the basement in Senior Building and Mami started teaching our group how to do it.
we need strawberry, water, sugar, red bean paste, mochiko rich flour and measuring glass. A recipe of Daifuku is little red bean paste, one piece of strawberry and wrapper.
First, we cut all the strawberries in half skillfully, also we mixed together water, sugar, and rice flour and heated it for two minutes in the microwave oven, after heating we stir it thoroughly. This whole process needs to be repeated few times till it is sticky enough for strawberry and red bean paste to be enveloped inside. We made about 45 for all students and teachers.
In the afternoon I made a leather card holder for my ID. It is not as difficult as I thought, however, it still took me almost all afternoon.

6th day: Feb 27th, Tuesday

This morning, our group A went to the kitchen in Senior Building to make cupcakes. The ingredients and procedure were written on the white board by Ms. Borsack. We divided into two groups and started to follow the instructions. We made cupcake dough first. We put softened cream butter and sugar together and then used mixer to stir well. After that, we add two eggs into the mixture but one at a time. Then we slowly poured the mixture of baking powder, salt and flour into the paste as well as vanilla extract. “Vanilla makes everything tasty, you can put a little bit more,” Ms. Borsack said.  After a long time mixing, the paste looked stick and moist, which is a good sign for delicious cupcakes. The last thing is put paste into cupcake molds and put them into oven to bake for 18 minutes.

The second part was making cream cheese icing for cupcakes. It was much easier than the process of making cupcake bread. It was just a mixture of soften butter, cream cheese, powered sugar and a little bit more vanilla as always. We just kept mixing then we got white icing. We even modulated pretty colors for some icing in order to decorate the bread colorfully.

For group B, my friends were still working hard on the knitting like yesterday. Some of them wanted to finish knitting their own scarf. I can see it is an extremely hard craft skill and it requires lots of patience. My friends were “tortured” by knitting wool and still trying to figure out. Good luck to them.

As a little comfort, we brought our cupcake to them and enjoyed a little break after this busy morning. We use colorful icing to decorate our own cupcakes and then ate them with Mami’s delicious tea. How nice it was!

At afternoon, we all worked on either our individual project or knitting. I believe we all had a great and productive day

By Dawn Shiya Zhao

5th day: Feb 26, Monday

Today during the on-campus course Made by Me, we did something fun!

In the morning, Ms.Borsack and Mami taught us how to make a natural, preservative-free lip balm. We were able to choose what kind of ingredients we want in our personalized lip balm. For example, there were four kinds of oil that we can use for the lip balm, such as coconut oil, grape seed oil, olive oil, and sweet almond oil.

And also we can choose what wax we want to put in our product. The original recipe used bee wax, however, if we want to be vegan, we could also choose to use soy wax.

First step of making our own lip balm was to measure out the amount of ingredients by following the recipe. We had a hard time on getting the coconut oil out of the container since it was in a solid form. After we measured out the ingredients, we melted the coconut oil with Shea butter which was also an important ingredient for the moisture of the lip balm. We then added some bee wax into the melted liquid, and we also put a little bit of vitamin e oil. After the ingredients were fully melted and mixed together, we added the essential oil to add a little bit scent into the balm. I chose to add lemon oil.

Once we finished stirring the essential oil into the liquid, we poured our mixture into the lip balm containers quickly because we don’t want it to solidify too fast.

After the lip balm turned into solid, we put on the caps and we decorated the container with little stickers and labels. This was my first time making my own lip balm and it turned out great.

The second group project that we did in the morning was handmade earrings. By following the instructions that Mami mentioned, we started our little designs. Honestly it was much harder than the bracelet that we made on our first day, however, earrings were things that I interested more. I used some of my favorite pinky beads and rose gold wire to create a pair of drop shaped earrings. I got some time left so I also made a matching ring for the earrings. I learned some new techniques for my independent project and I had so much fun today.

by Rena Yu



4th day: Feb 23rd, Friday

Today we were divided into Group A and Group B again. The work that Group A needed to do was a dream catcher. They stayed in the High school classroom to work on it.

I was the member of Group B and our mission was to make cookies downstairs of senior building.

It was an easier to bake cookies than I thought.

We had many ingredients, such as sugar, flour, eggs, and baking powder.

First, we put soften butter in a bowl and mixed with sugar, then added eggs and vanilla extract. Second, we put flour, salt and baking powder in another bowl. All of them need to be mixed together in one bowl, then kneaded to make cookie dough. After that, we made shape of cookies then put them in oven.  Dawn and I made lots of special shapes, such as person’s face or Chinese and English character. Dawn also tried to make pants. We also made many strange colors of icing sugar.


After we finished all the cookies, Group A came from far away. They put different icing sugars in their own cookies.

In afternoon, we did our independent project.

There was a special event happened… Mami found out the bracelet that she was making was not long enough. The reason why was that Jessica cut strings for Mami and said it’s fit confidently. Mami spent almost half day, but didn’t fit her at the end.


We had cookies for dessert after lunch, and we all enjoyed what we made–but at the end of the class, there were still a lot cookies left. Mami had a “meeting” with us to help everyone find their cookies and told us that we can’t waste.

We finished today by a relaxing wellness class!    

By Alice Ruojia Wang

3rd day: Feb 22 Thurs

Today is the first day that we started to do our individual project. In the morning we divided into Group A and Group B again. Group A, which I am in, went to making dumplings first, then we made our beads bracelets later. Group B made the Scrubs first, then they made their bracelets by using threads. 

From 8:00 to 10:00, it is the time for we to make dumplings. Here is steps.

Step 1: put the meat stuffing on the dough 

Step 2: add water on the dough edge to make it wet. 


Step 3: close the dough. 

Step 4: boil water and put dumplings into the pot.

Step 5: After water boils add some water repeat this step three time. 

Step 6: take out dumplings and enjoy!!! Also, it is important to share with your friends, because sharing is caring!

It is very interesting to compare how people make dumplings. People come from different places make dumpling in different ways. Most of us have already know how to make dumplings, because we learnt this skill from our parents. However, the diversity in Chinese cultures resultes the different shape of our dumplings. For example, some of us make dumplings into a round shape while others make dumpling that looks like a small boat. Me and Daisy even create a form of dumpling, which we called the sun shape. Even though our dumplings have different shapes, the idea behind dumpling is always the same. The idea, sharing, is the reason that causes the process of making dumpling becomes a pleasurable thing. I remember when I was in China, I always make dumplings with my mother and share dumplings with my grandparents. I admire my mother so much, because she can make dumpling twice speed as mine. Today, I am not working with my mother; instead, I am working with my friends, and it is a completely different feeling. The simple activity became a group working activity. It allows us to discuss the slight difference in our cultures through discussing multiple ways to make dumplings and the variety in the stuffing.

We also appreciate our Cafe staff!  Thank you, Cafe staff, for preparing the stuffing and the dough for us!


Boat shape

Sun shape  

Round shape

From 10:00 to 12:00, it is the time for we do some handicrafts with beads. It is a easy job. We just need to choose the beads that we like and put them into a good combination. Everyone is a great artist. But there are still some accidents during the process. I starts to tired when I do my second bracelet, and I accidentally lose the string and lots of beads fell off. At that moment, I feel like I experience the calamity. Since that, I have to restart my project. I do every step very carefully.    

The other group made the scrub and bracelet, which had been written in the first day’s blog. As you can imagine, it is a very tedious job to weave the bracelet. Dawn even sacrifices her lunch time in order to finish her work. I truly believe that she gets great satisfaction when she finishes her bracelet and put it on her wrist.

Blogger: Selena Hu

Photographer: Selena Hu, and Ria