Wednesday, November 29, 2006

What We've been up to Wednesday - NaBloPoMo#29

This is a brand new meme, what do ya think? So when I have a mind to I regale you all (all 8 to 10 people who actually read this blog) the amazing thing the kidlets and I have been doing together or on our own because I most sure ya'll are burning to know.

So here goes:

Jade spent most of her birthday money on a gameboy advance of her own. So she's spent most of the last few days holed up in her room getting through the stages of a Mega Man game which requires lots of reading. This game is also filled with lots of "tests' so who says unschooling kids never take tests. While playing the game she's listening to Harry Potter for the umpteenth time.

Corbin's bought a few gamecube games with the last of his allowance. He also made monsters in the sand with a friend on the unseasonably gorgeous day we had Tuesday. We've been "playing war" with the nerf guns he bought Thanksgiving weekend. So much for a peaceful household but we sure are having fun. Just before we went to bed, Corbin dressed up as a knight and told me a dragon slaying story. I sure wish I had perfect memory because I would share it with you.

I've been crocheting up a storm trying to finish up holiday gifts and listening to audiobooks. Making a list and checking it twice to make sure we do all the things we want to do this holiday. Of course I've been blogging regularly too. I'm still getting up early about every other day to take our clothes to the river wash to the laundromat. The plus side is I get a little uninterrupted crocheting or reading time the down side is it's expensive. So even though we don't got money, I'm still in love with you honey, we've figured we might as well buy washing machine now rather than later at the rate I'm spending quarters to do our wash we will have bought a washer. So a brand new washing machine will arrive here soon. I am much thankful for that.

Now off to do the laundry again.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Bookmarks - NaBloPoMo#28

I think you can never have too many bookmarks if you like to read. Sadly most of these bookmarks I will give out as gifts this year but I want to keep them all.

4 great iPhotos

The purple star flower (4th one from the right) is made from #10 Royale thread is off to gift Corbin's violin teacher. The Double Trouble green bookmark (3rd on form the left) is also made from #10 Royale thread. You can get both of the patterns here.

The green bookmark on the right is my own design which I plan to test and offer up as a free pattern on Fiber Star Originals next year. I used Opera #10 thread in sage. The red and yellow bookmark are also my designs using #10 Royale thread. I may hold on to those so I can recreate them.

4 great iPhotos

The fan bookmark (2nd one form the right) I adapted from this pattern here. I used a variegated purple thread I picked up at the thrift store.

The green pineapple motif bookmark (3rd form the right) and the purple one(2nd from the left), is from a bookmark pattern book I got from Annie's Attic. I made them both using #10 Royale thread. The lavender pineapple motif book mark is from Crocheted Lace Through Pictures. I used #20 Cebelia thread to make to it.

My goal after the first of the year is to make at least one bookmark a week. So I am never without an impromptu gift.

Monday, November 27, 2006

On my shelf and off my shelf - NaBloPoMo#27

I finished listening to my 4th audiobook, Inkspell by Cornelia Funke. At first I wasn't sure if I could listen to this book because I'm kind of picky about audiobook narrators. It was difficult at first to make the switch from Dragon Fly in Amber's narrator to Inkspell's narrator but he grew on me.

Inkspell is the second in a trilogy by Cornelia Funke, Inkheart being the first. The third and last in the series Inkdawn is not to be published until 2008, the horror. It will be a tortuous wait. Also to come out some time in 2008 - Inkheart - The Movie. I'm very much looking forward to it. You can read some of the links about the books in the trilogy but if you are a book worm like me and enjoy a good fantasy novel you will like it. It's a great what if story, what if you could read a book and the characters would come alive and what if you could read yourself into your favorite story. It's a great read aloud book and my daughter enjoyed the first book and wants to listen to Inkspell soon.

If you are burning to read other books by Cornelia Funke like I am check these out here. I read The Thief Lord a while back and enjoyed it. I think my son will like the Princess Knight and Dragon Rider.

Before turning off the light to sleep I would read a chapter or two of Moon Butter by Max Yoho, a local author. I was looking for something light hearted and funny and Tracy was right. Next on my shelf for reading is The Revival also by Max Yoho.

I have a few audiobooks to listen to as well The Last Days in Dog Town
and Good Harbor by Anita Diamant who also wrote The Red Tent. I sure hope I like the narrator. I need a good book to listen to.

Happy Reading

Sunday, November 26, 2006

TV inspirations - NaBloPoMo#26

After watching Blues Clues a few days ago the kidlets were inspired to make a list of every one's favorites snacks. Jade decided to make a smoothie, one of her favorite snacks.

3 great iPhotos

3 great iPhotos

Corbin went the easy route and grabbed an apple from the fridge. He made a favorite food list too but the pictures I took didn't come out. Eventually, I'll scan it. Both of their lists were done using picture descriptions, no words necessary.

3 great iPhotos

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Ornament Swap - Pinapples and Flakes - NaBloPoMo#25

Thread Ornaments
I finished these a few weeks ago then packaged them up and sent them out to my swap partners on Crochetville.

Beaded Pineapple Ornament
I found this Beaded Pineapple Ornament pattern in an old Magic Crochet Magazine. My partner really like this as she loves red beads.

This one was in an old Herschners pattern book for the holidays and went to the other swap partner who likes snowflakes.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Snowflakes and Brugges Lace - NaBloPoMo#24

Several Snowflakes I have completed in the last few months:

You can find a few of the patterns here

I did this one in #30 thread from a motif pattern I found in an old Magic Crochet magazine.

The one in the middle I got here. I used #30 thread for it.

Bruge Lace Motif
This Brugges lace motif is from Crocheted Lace Through Pictures, it's an out of print book but you can get used fairly easily. I hope to make at least one brugges lace style doily next year.

I can't wait for our yule tree so I can cover it with snowflakes.

Note: We are leaving to visit family today. Before we leave I plan to publish Saturday's post because I worry it will be tricky to get online. I realize that this is not playing by the rules but since I am not really participating in NaBloPoMo I can break all the rules I want. I'll leave it up to you if you read the post today or tomorrow.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thoughts on Thanksgiving - NaBloPoMo#23

Thanksgiving can be a tricky holiday when you aware of the history behind all of it. At the same time harvest celebrations have been around for a long time so why not reclaim the holiday in that light. It's a good time to recenter ourselves and remind us to be thankful.

Here are some tidbits to learn a bit more about thanksgiving that you can share with your family iffin' you want:

Dear dh found this website here with some thoughts on thanksgiving from a historical (and moral maybe?) perspective written by a teacher with Native America Heritage. I found more of the same here but a little bit easier to read and another article here.

A Native American shares her view on Thanksgiving here and why she celebrates it.

Sarah Hale wrote letters to the President(s) for 17 years to get a national holiday started. Finally in 1863 President Lincoln made it so. Before that Thanksgiving was celebrated intermittently as a national holiday. I've never heard of Sarah Hale and her connection with thanksgiving. It figures what we learn is school is HIStory.

Roosevelt tried moving Thanksgiving up one week to bolster the economy. So the idea of shopping early and consumerism was alive in well even in the depression, sad to say.

On a some what silly note, each year there is a turkey who is granted amnesty and gets to live the rest of his life luxury.

Where did I find out about most of this? Watching Good Eats with Jade.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

It was a party !- NaBloPoMo#22

So the day started with Jade waiting as patiently as an 11 year old Jade can for me to finish decorating the family room so she could come in and open her presents in the morning.

2 great iPhotos

We picked up the happy birthday sign at a thrift store years ago. I've offered to get a new one and they refuse. They both like this one.

2 great iPhotos

I made the streamer garlands for Jades second birthday. So it's tradition to hang these up for the kids birthdays. They are so easy to make. Alls you need to do is cut strips of colored paper (I used an xacto knife and metal straight edge), punch a hole in the top, string several on a long length of yarn and hang from the ceiling. Then you spread out the streamers on the yarn and texture of the yarn holds the streamers in place.

4 great iPhotos

This was the first year she got a surprise gift from us that I knew she would really like. Usually we know there are things she really wants and we make sure to get her those things so her gifts are not much of a surprise. This year I told her we already had her gift but I knew she jump for joy when she opened it and I was right. She has wanted the 1960 series of Astro Boy for a while now. It was finally available in US dvd formatting this year. She got Lemony Snicket audio books from my mom and some Japanese Candy and a invisible ink pen from her brother. He got a pen too so they've been writing secret notes back an forth the last few days with my help.

Soon after opening the gifts Jade and I started on making the cake. (Sorry no cake making pics)

3 great iPhotos

After her friend arrived we played a few games then ate some cake. I love seeing Corbin's support in the background to help her blow out her candles.

3 great iPhotos

Jade insisted on cutting the cake for everyone and made sure her friend got the first very large piece. Then she make sure everyone else got a piece a cake then cut herself one.

3 great iPhotos

We played a few more games. Then the girls went off to play in Jade's room and the rest of us relaxed until it was time to make dinner.

All in all a great birthday.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

A Package from India - NaBloPoMo#21

I got a package yesterday all the way from India. What a great way to cheer up my stuffed up body and spirit. I got this package from a fellow crocheter when I answered her distress call for some cotton yarn she couldn't get in India, so she could finish up this baby blanket. I thought what fun. I send a package to India and I get a package from India. I love packages especially in the mail. Not to mention she has told me she will now love me forever. We all need some who will love us forever!

Package from India

She sent some lovely teas that will warm me up this evening when the likely chills set in from the evil this awful cold, as well as a lovely cosmetic bag .

Package from India

As I do not have a single bit of make up in my house. Honest! (Truly more money to by yarn, chocolate, and wine etc...) My plan is to use the bag to hold my Boye aluminum hooks and Clover Soft hooks. It has two zippered pockets and one deep pocket so I can even sort the hooks out. Since it's so pretty it can hang out on the coffee table in living room where I do most of my crocheting.

Monday, November 20, 2006

It's a Bear and Rabbit - Oh my! - NaBloPoMo#20

I took a break from my holiday hookin' to finish the rabbit and make a bear.

2 great iPhotos

I used my original pattern: It’s a cat, it’s a dog, bear or rabbit. I tried something different with the the bear. I followed the pattern as is, but I used a dk weight yarn and a G hook. The bear is about 1/3 smaller than the Rabbit. I think the bears eyes need some bulking up so they stand out more. Over all I really like how it turned out.

2 great iPhotos

Still suffering from cold symptoms but feel good enough to sit up and crochet a bit. I'm making some things for the kids. Shhhh...Don't tell.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Losing Steam ... NaBloPoMo#19

I'm losing steam with the daily posting thing. Not sure how I will keep up with it as I will be at my mothers for Thanksgiving and my in-laws for the day after that.

Today, I'm not the feeling the greatest nor the most literary. I started sneezing last night so now I have have a cold. So does my son. We are feeling bummed that we won't make homeschool group this week. I'm really needing my homeschool "family" as the holidays approach. I was going to have the mom's book group at my house before homeschool group to discuss Birth House by Amy McKay so I am bummed not to get to do that either.

Today is kind of blah. Here's hoping I will sleep better tonight than I did last night.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Happy Birthday Jade!

My first baby is 11 years old today!

She has always liked books
Jade 6months

Don't you just dig the tie dye I made for her!
Jade - 9months

Jade did not really nap as a baby. If I put her down she woke up. After she tuned one I started taking her to the park almost every day and she would fall asleep in the stroller on the way home.

Jade is just 1 yr old and we are on our way to celebrate Christmas with Stephen's Parents. Don't they look sweet together. Dang we were young once!

She's not so little anymore. We are a bit older too.
4 great iPhotos

I'm still feeling amazed at how much she has grown. She's as tall as on of her 14 yo cousins and taller than a few of my friends! She was a force as a toddler and she is a force now. The joy and excitement she gets out of simplest of things amazes me. I hope she holds on to that for always.

We will be busy today hangin' with my mom and one of Jade's really good friends too.

We plan to have a taco bar for dinner with beans for the vegetarians, taco meat for the omnivores, and guacamole. We are making a chocolate and vanilla layer cake and we will serve it with ice cream. Jades wants to play some of her favorite games: Whoonu, cranium and Apples to Apples.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Star Wars Wisdom - NaBloPoMo#17

"Being a Jedi is like having eyes everywhere."

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Thursday Thirteen - NaBloPoMo#16

13 websites and forums I like
  1. Pandora- Create your own online radio station - Listen to my Pandora stations here
  2. Crochetville- If you like to crochet then this is the place for you.
  3. If you live in Kansas and interested in unschooling or relaxed homeschooling go to KS Homeschool Net. My friend Tracy keeps it going. She's taking a bloggin' break but will be back in January so mark your calendar now!
  4. Library Thing - Keep track of the books you own, the book you've read and more. It's like Flickr for books - Check out my library here
  5. Flickr - Store your pictures here to share with family or the world - Checkout my photo galleries here
  6. - I don't visit here much but whenever I need to find out how to do something crafty this is where I head.
  7. Nonviolent Communication - Having trouble communicating with friends and family? Check out this website to get more connected with yourself and with others.
  8. Bloglines - Keep track of your favorite blogs - You can use it to keep track of your Flickr groups too when new pictures are posted and new topics are shared. You can make your list private or public. Want to see what blogs I read? then go here.
  9. Sandra Dodd - Lots if info to get you thinking about unschooling and parenting.
  10. Attachment Parenting International - Parenting for a Peaceful World
  11. Natural Child- Chalk full of great alternative parenting stories and articles. Very attachment parenting and and unshooling friendly.
  12. - Answer your burning questioning at any time of the day.
  13. Crochet Pattern Central - Great place to go whenever I need a quick crochet project
If you leave a comment I'll come visit your Thursday Thirteen.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Audio Books - NaBloPoMo#15

I'm new to audiobooks. My daughter has been listening to audiobooks ever since she fell in love with Harry Potter. I re-read several of the books a few times then said no more when we found the audiobooks. I wasn't sure I would like them for myself but lately my love of crochet has clashed with my love of books. So finally I found some audiobooks I wanted to give a try. I've decided I like it just fine, maybe even better than reading them. Even better, I can keep up with my "reading" and my crocheting.

I just finished Hot Six by Janet Evanovich which is the 6th book in the Stephanie Plum series. Stephanie is a bail bonds agent who doesn't like guns or to run. She gets herself in the craziest situations but always lands on her feet. In Hot Six her relationship with Joe Morelli heats up as well as her relationship with Ranger a sexy bail bonds agent. I love this series because I tend to laugh a lot so it's good therapy.

Currently, I'm listening to the the Dragonfly in Amber the second book in the Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon. I tried reading this book a few months ago and lost interest but I am enjoying the audiobook. I'm curious to find out what happens next. In the first book Outlander Claire goes back in time to the 17th century and returns to her time at the end of the book. In Dragonfly in Amber she is back in her real time and several years have passed. Then the book goes "back in time" again with Claire sharing in more detail her life in the 17th century. I don't want to share too much more but if you need some light reading, like a bit of steamy romance and historical stuff you will enjoy it.

It's both a blessing and a curse but dang it of the books in the Outlander Series are LONG! I just finished the 17th cd and I am only halfway through the audiobook. I am now thoroughly hooked and I am quite frustrated as I can't listen to more until I get the 2nd set of cds from the library. Please, please let it be in! I'm anxious to see what happened when she returned to the 20th century.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

NaBloPoMo - NaBloPoMo#14

Apparently NaBloPoMo is a bigger deal than I thought. Bloggers signed up to do it to get prizes and stuff. I didn't realize that so I've missed out on that potential perk. I'm having fun anyways, writing a post everyday this month.

Who knows maybe it will inspire a whole new attitude about blogging, especially now that I've solved my blog split personality. I have successfully (I hope) merged my mom-self and my creative-self back together again.

Now that I am in the habit of blogging, what do I do about the laundry, the dished and meals? Maybe I can figure out how to blog them?

Monday, November 13, 2006

This is how we learn... - NaBloPoMo#13

I'm entering a drawing for Kansas unschoolers and borrowing heavily from the post that inspired it all. Check out How We learn on Thoze Amazing Crazy Dayz. You don't need to post it on your blog but I am.

We learn from all this .....

  • Watching Star Wars all snuggled under a warm blanket. Pondering how they did this and that to make the movie. Mom sharing how they added new things the movie.
  • Putting together a K'nex Roller Coaster
K'nex Roller Coaster

  • Feeding the ducks
Pome on the Range Orchards
  • Playing Violin
  • Playing made up games: adding points, determining strategies and rules.
  • Playing Chess
Playing Chess with Dad
  • Listening to audio books and talking about them
  • Planning birthday parties trying to balance the fun with the costs.
  • Dressing up for the Harry Potter book release party
Harry Potter Rules
  • Making wish lists and looking up the reviews on amazon to see if the toys or games are worth it.
  • Cooking
  • Playing with friends
  • Asking mom questions about a book she is reading.
  • Playing catch
  • Telling jokes
  • Building with legos
Fun with Duplos3 lego cars
  • Changing the colors of a dolls eyes
Giving Little Leo new eyes
  • Bowling with our homeschool group
  • Skate boarding
  • Planning our own skate board ramps inspired by some friends
  • Impromptu Parties
Party in Corbin's Room

  • Saving up for a skateboard
  • Watching Astroboy in Japanese
  • Learning Japanese words and phrases from Dad
  • Festivals
4 great iPhotos
Throwing Tomohawks at the Lewis and Clark Festival
4 great iPhotos 5 great iPhotos
Checking out the Hogan too

Amazing Sculpted Candy
Sculpted Candy Jade bought at the Japanese Festival
  • Drawing and other crafts
A Love Note
mask makingRain Mask

  • Working through disagreements
  • Watching birds at the bird feeder
  • Catching butterflies and letting them go
  • Celebrating the holidays
Our Solstice Cake

Best of all we do it together

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Socks - NaBloPoMo#12

Well, these might be more like slippers but I'm callin' them socks anyways. So there.

I used Lion Brand wool-ease which worked fine but I think all wool yarn would be warmer. I used LB because I wanted these colors, it was the only yarn I could find that was washable, and the price was right. Ideally I'd like a soft dk weight superwash wool yarn to make these. They are perfect for around the house but I found them not quite warm enough in my sandals outside. Then again maybe it's just too cold for sandals.

In my sandals, don't they look fun and festive.

I started these Friday night after I had to frog back a few rows AGAIN on my current doily. I was so frustrated I started some socks to sooth my tender crochet soul. Get it ? I needed socks for my sole.

You're not laughing?

Okay, maybe you're right, it is a lame pun. So sew sue me.

Tricky sock pose which shows off the heel nicely too

I like how they turned out. I plan on sharing the basic how to pattern on my free pattern blog here. After I get a few peeps to test it for me.

sexy sock pose