Sunday, October 26, 2014

Art, Art, Art!

We've been all about art lately! Very little book work and a whole lot of crafting and creativity.

e is pretty taken by these little boxes we made for place value. We must have 50 or so of them now!

Meanwhile, E has been creating masterpieces of his own, both with paper and yarn.

No patterns for this boy. Experimentation all the way! Above is his stuffed fig...

and a pouch that he crocheted the edges together BEFORE he knew that was the way to do it. Default should have been mattress stitch from his knitting days. Clever kid.


Below is who-knows-what. :) More experimenting.

A ball! He is loving the flexibility crochet allows. No patterns! No right way, no wrong way. Nobody's rules but his own.


Then there's free-rein watercolors.

A house in a field at sunrise

And a fairy door under a rainbow!

See my knitting? I finally used a skein of yak down I was given over a year ago to make myself a cozy, warm cowl!


The kids have been very creative outside as well. Crazy games and costumes every day!

Hotdog, pumpkins, and a little white creature by e- needle felting with friends!

Meanwhile, E tries out some new tutorials on you tube:

Let us not forget the octopus.... (E's and mine)

Octy the Octopus, by E. Pretty awesome! He's been stitching away a leg at a time for two months!

This has to be the coolest discovery yet. These are origami claws! They fit on the kids' fingers and are just oh so much fun.

I love our crafty life. :)


Saturday, October 18, 2014

Place Value Adventures

e has started place value! Sunday evening she told me she just could NOT wait until Monday morning, so we began! She caught on immediately. It was interesting to hear her questions- why is 111 not just one acorn in each column?


But when she sat down to math on Monday morning, she had forgotten her times tables, how to add, subtract, multiply, fact, didn't even know which sign meant what. Just as her brother had done at just this point three years ago. It is as if my children cannot add place value to their brains without dumping everything else!

After a lot of tears and frustration, I was able to lead her through a review.

Thus it wasn't until Tuesday that we continued on with place value.

The trees kept dropping more acorns to help us with addition:

But why is this not the answer? She thought about this one for a while. I sat at the table with her, but my attention remained on winding embroidery thread. This was her puzzle.

Ah, there we go.

I showed her what carrying looked like in numbers, but do not expect her to master this aspect until the next math block.

We have since done much addition and subtraction of acorns. Many trees drop acorns, and many hungry squirrels come by for snacks and meals. She is far from proficient but is on the right path!


Monday, October 6, 2014

Autumn is Here!

In the summer, our house is usually 76-83 degrees. In the winter, 62-69. Except G's room; she has her own heater to keep her room 69ish degrees. This is why:

Even though she has fur, her little bare feet get chilly! How to knit tiny slippers that she wouldn't chew to bits? Anyway, now that autumn is here, our house has dropped to 68. A super puffed-up fluffed pig meets me in the kitchen for breakfast, and when she stands on my feet her toes are like ice! Let's just say she's been getting a lot of snuggle time under towels and blankets in our laps these past few days!

Our dragon candles, burning bright, devouring our worries in preparation for Advent. e is very happy she is strong enough to light them this year!

S read The Knight and the Dragon at our Autumn Equinox/Martinmas gatherings few weeks ago. She gathered the young ones in the tipi while E pretended to be totally uninterested. After she began reading, he quietly went to listen from the doorway...and quickly moved away as she read the final page!


Really, who wouldn't be interested in a story read by S? She's our official story-teller, ever since Lammas when she read Blueberries for Sal complete with little tin pails for each child to make their own 'kerplink, kerplank, kerplunk' sounds. She thinks of everything. What I want to know is how she fit herself and four children into the little tipi!



My very crafty friend S gave my children a new art experience as part of our Michaelmas celebration: printing!

E cut his and used a stamp pad. He preferred free handing it:

The girls (e and S's daughter s) made their stamps with pencil, styrofoam, and acrylic paint.

It's Dragon!

e was a bit miffed that she wasn't allowed to try E's method, but in the end was proud to show Daddy her dragon print. I am in love with this new art form...all sorts of ideas are buzzing around in my head!


Sunday, October 5, 2014

Octopus and Dragon

It seems we have hardly been home the past two months! Going, going. Now physical therapy for E is finished- 40 miles less driving each week! Whew! Now we can settle in at home more and learn about some more awesome animals and begin our autumn crafting.


We have managed to study hydrothermal vent life in between appointments and gymnastics. Pretty incredible environment to thrive in! E is most fond of the octopus. He even has a felt octopus in progress.


We tried our hand at colored pencil- mine is on the left, E's is on the right.

Then watercolor. Oh my this came out fantastic!

Meanwhile, e tried her hand at color mixing. So pretty!

We used some earlier watercolors for form drawing paper.

The final product is beautiful...but of course e practiced quite a bit first!

Continuing on with Where the Mountain Meets the Moon:



Our Michaelmas was spread out over several days this year and included a dragon meatloaf and a new craft: printing! More about that after I get the pictures off my camera. Happy autumn!


Wednesday, October 1, 2014


My mother and mother-in-law are one day apart in age, born on opposite coasts and to very different families. I feel blessed by the different world views, talents, and temperaments that these two women have brought to myself, my husband, and ultimately my children.


One is a nurse, a teacher, a cyclist, and a survivor. She has limitless energy for new adventures and makes delicious food. The other is creative and observant; she will read, draw, paint, or watch kid-antics for hours.


So every fall, the kids and I search the Internet and library for gift ideas worthy of these two ladies. This year, the children chose a simple but beautiful craft: watercolor cards, because the only thing better than a letter is a letter in a colorful card, right?


These weren't the only reason we headed to the post office last week, though- a fluffy pink elephant for a new big sister, a yellow elephant for a teeny baby brother, and a boob hat for a newborn.

We love making goodies to share!