Saturday, April 29, 2006

I'm Exhausted

I was LAST weekend. This is a bit of old news but it lets you know what we've been up to.

I'm tired but it's a good tired, a diggin' in the garden tired. I got rid of a bunch of weeds or atleast tamed them for a bit. I covered some of the garden paths with straw so I can prevent grass and weeds growing there. I did a little mowing too. In places where the weeds were really bad in the path I covered the paths with newspaper first.

Right now it looks pretty barren but it looks much better with straw on the paths. I'm looking forward to lot of abundance in the garden this summer.
Garden South East Viewhuglekulture

You can see the beginning of the huglekultur bed Stephen is working on.


The strawberries look like they are going to produce lots this year if the I can keep the birds away from them. I am finally seeing some asparagus shoots coming up in my new asparagus bed. The lettuce is doing well too.


In between playing in the garden I had water fights with the kids. I read some email. The kids played with a little neighbor girl again today and road bikes with her on our block. Jade watched some TV and so did Corbin. I took breaks from garden work to read some email and make some lists.

This weekend has been RAIN. Lots of it. I'm home alone, while the kids and Stephen braved a camping trip with the KAW Bioregional group. They must be having an okay time. Corbin said he was packing his imagination.

Monday, April 24, 2006

It's a scarf!

Here's the scarf I made for the summer scarf swap on Crochetville which my daughter is graciously modeling. I can finally share it because my partner recieved her scarf.

summer scarf

Frog Tree Yarn (85% Cotton and 15% Silk) a dk weight yarn
Used and E or F hook (I forgot!)
I added glass beads to the fringe

These are very basic instructions on how I made this scarf:

Chain any number depending how long you want the scarf
I used an extended sc stitch and I skipped stitches randomly leaving some open work.

See photo below:

summer scarf - close up

I only did 5 rows to make it fairly skinny.

Add fringe in three places across each edge.
Add beads of your choice, as shown our in your own style.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Yesterday and Before

Yesterday was a pretty quiet day not much happening or not as social and busy as we were yesterday.

I did get outside some to weed in the garden and water some of our seedlings. Corbin and I played some games and Jade is listening to books on tape and sharing tidbits of information she finds interesting. The both watched some TV.

Wednesday was filled lots of fun playing and talking. I did the talking with the the moms at my local homeschool group and the kids PLAYED! Corbin played with the boys being ninjas or something. He was upset when I said we are all going to head to McDonald's to play more there. He was having more fun at the park.

Jade had fun playing with someone she usually doesn't play with at homeschool group. It was funny when I asked about her time at group she said something to the effect: "Yeah, we had fun but sometimes we had to the stop because our play got out of hand." I asked "Out of hand how?" (It didn't seem like anyone was upset.) I guess the problem was ther imagination got out of hand with the magical universe they were creating so they would have to stop because their imagination was just too much! If all that happens is your imagination gets out of hand I can't think of anything the better to get out of hand can you?

The play didn't stop when the kids came home either, Jade and Corbin played together more. Then they played some more with a neighbors grandkid. I'd of thought they were played out. Later that night they made me coffee. I knew what they were doing but it was important to Corbin that it be a suprise. The coffee was good to just how I like it, very strong.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Life is just fun and learning happens

Recently, I read on an unschooling blog that to get unschooling you need to stop thinking about learning and focus on living. I realize I do think about unschooling and learning alot. Part of why I do is that it helps some that are new to unschooling get unschooling a little better to see how to unearth the learning that happens without teaching or school.

Yet, I can see that gets in the way of me posting here because I want to share how I see what they are doing as learning and sometimes I don't see it. I want to get away from that and just celebrate what they love to do and what they do.

So here's my practice at just sharing without trying to translate it into what they MIGHT be learning.

Corbin and I played a the park for a bit today and we did tricks on the swings. We also talked about his desire to jump off the slide platform with a rope tied around him. I told him I was afraid he might hit his head on the metal bars. He thinks it will fun :) We are still in the talking stages about this.

He's now in the living room playing with some pattern blocks and telling a story as he lays them out.

Jade is in her room listening to Harry Potter and playing with her dolls. She's come in every few minutes to share some insight she has about the book or something that she finds interesting.

Corbin also played in the Fort he built last night and that Jade helped him make improvements on this morning. He got out some sciencey typoe things we had and played with the magnets and also made a potion.

They both watched a few morning cartoons but the TV has been off for the rest of the day. Corbin did play some of the gamecube games we rented friday night.

I did some weeding in in the garden and watered in the some of the seeds the kids planted a week or so ago. We should have some home grown lettuce soon.

I spent a good portion of my day emailing on my local homeschooling list too Oop! on how or better what can help kids learn to read.

I set out the Art Trading Card Craft supplies to make some cards. Jade made some note cards instead. I made one card and Corbin made a few too.

Here's Butterfly Blue my ATC :
Butterfly Blue - ATC

One of Jade's collage cards she made:
Jade's Collage Card

Here's Corbin's Drgon Card:


I LOVE having a scanner.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Scarves, scarves everywhere

Scarves seem a bit insane with the heatwave sure to hit Kansas as the summer kicks in. I still like scarves because they are so easy to make. I'm having fun designing my own. It's a fun way to try out new stitch patterns and they work up so quickly.

I'm also making head scarves and head band like things too so I can hold my long hair back away from my face. It's giving me chance to try out some patterns and ideas with Lion Brand Microspun Yarn which I ljust love the feel of.

Here's a headband one I made inspired by Bruges Lace I love the look of this lace. I'm not much of a thread crocheter at least not yet. This style might make me a convert. I think it also translates well to yarn. I have a few ideas swirling around for a fun scarf using this method as a starting point. You can get the free pattern here for this headband.

Here a scarf I made using microspun yarn from the Interweave Crochet - Spring 2006 it's The Pointer Sisters Scarf scroll to the bottom to find it. While you are at it you will find lots cool crochet projects. I want to make the colorful Babette Blanket, the Sea Side Espadrilles sandals for the summer and I also like the lavender shrug and I'm not a shrug person. I want to make the Sea Foam Skirt too but I have to learn how to do hairpin lace first. So much to learn so little time....

Here's a yellow open net stitch scarf and a granny square like kercheif also made with Microsup Yarn.

Scarf and Kerchief

A close up of the yellow scarf I also made a kercheif with the yellow but couldn't find it to take a picture. I can tie this scarf around my head to keep my hair out of my face too.

Scarf  - close up

A close up of the kerchief - It's a free pattern from the Craft Yarn Council of America

Kerchief - close up

Thursday, April 6, 2006

She can read!

I was worried , not much but a little, that my daughter would read VERY late. My worry stemmed mostly for Jade (now 10) because she was starting to be concerned herself that she wasn't reading yet since so many of the kids she knew did read. I'm not worried any more and neither is she, because she can read! She really can. In the last few weeks it seems to have really clicked for her. She picks up her favorite cook books and figures out most of the recipes on her own.

A few days ago I realized she made cookies with a new cook book (a new one for her ) and did not ask me once for help to make the cookies or to read the recipe. Another day she walked into the the living room reading a book, 101 Bunny Jokes.

So how did this all happen? I think she learned on her own with my help. Sometimes I hear unschoolers saying their children learned to read "on their own." Sometimes this is true. There are the kids who just follow along when you read and figure it out without any help or so its seems. Yet even that child might not have learned to read (or might likely have learned to read much later) if they did not have parents who read to them. Children who are bathed in print will learn how to read. Some will want you to read words to them over and over again before they learn to read. Some will figure it out as you read to them. Some might like to understand how to sound words out and some like to learn how to spell words.

Jade was VERY particular at how she wanted my help. When she was very serious about figuring out the words she ONLY wanted me to read the word she didn't know. She would get very mad at me if told her words she knew or wanted to figure out on her own. She asks me over and over again a word she doesn't know and eventually she recognizes the word. She also write notes and asks me how to spell the words. When she reads aloud I have noticed she does sound out some words but that is NOT how she likes me to help her. When she doesn't know a word she just wants me to read it.

Learning to read is a process. Some kids learn it quickly and some learn it over time. Jade learned to read over the last 2 years. It's not like she worked on it everyday for the last 2 years. It was more like a little bit her and a little bit there. She might a spent a month here and there reading some books or reading stories on starfall. Then other times she isn't doing much reading but she is writing bit. Some it she is writing herself while asking me to spell the words she doesn't know and sometimes I'm transcribing stories for her.

I think the best part of her owning the experience and me there as support is her excitement when she has read something on her own. She exclaims: "I read it on my own! I can read!"

My little philospher

Corbin my 7 year old seems to be a little philospher. Several times he has shared with me:

"You gave me life but daddy gave me existence."

I'm not sure how if feel about it but it makes me think. I think, Wow....

Wednesday, April 5, 2006

Happy Birthday to Me!

Yikes! it's been a month since I posted on this blog. Bad me ;P I hereby promise never, ever to complain again about anyones unposted on blog ever again silently or otherwise. I will not promise to post more reguruly on this blog but I'd like to.

On to me and my birthday:

It's official I am 39 years old today. How do I feel about that?

Amazed , surprised, excited because next year I will be 40!

Why and I excited about that? Excited about getting older? Because I am older, smarter, and more aware of the world. I feel more comfortable in the world and in my body than I did as a kid and young adult. So for me getting older is good.

Now on to some way cool nuber facts on my birthday:

On Wednesday this morning at two minutes and three seconds after one, the time and date will be 01:02:03 04/5/06

Another cool number fact: I was born 4/5/67 so when I was 23 on 4/5/67

I love number patterns. Maybe that's why I'm looking forward to 40 because culturally it's a significant age. I remember feeling excited about turning 10 (2 digits!) I remover being excited about becoming a teenager.

I'm also excited today beacause my friend Tracy made me a birthday card on her blog.

Thank you Tracy!

Sunday, April 2, 2006

Lulu - the spring time bear

Lulu - the spring time bear

Lulu just came out of hibernation to enjoy the lovely spring weather we are having in Kansas.

I used a F hook and brown Red Heart Super Saver yarn. Her flower eyes are made with #10 cotton which I crocheted with a #4 steel hook. She is sporting the freeform thread experiment has a sarong. I used embroidery floss to make the nose.

I may have stuffed her too much because there are larger holes than I'd like on her body. Overall I like her look. I read somewhere that the stuffing does relax and most sites to say to stuff amigurumi fuller than you think so I'm giving that a try although I'm not sure I agree.

I made her following the Amigurumi dude pattern in the Crochet Me spring issue. You can see more photos of Amigurumi inspired dudes here.

Saturday, April 1, 2006

Freeformin' it

I've been itching to complete a freefrom project so I started this project yesterday and decided to make a hat because I was kind of cold.

I really like how the colors came together but I'm not sure I like the "bumpyness" (like my technical term :) After taking the pictures is does seem that the hat is loosening up a bit and seems to look a little smoother. I used left-over ww Plymouth Encore yarn from my Bohemian Jacket and some Moda Dea Dream(fuzzy purple) and some other Bernat fancy yarns. I started the project using a fairly large hook like a J but them moved down to a H.

Here are a few pictures that give some views of the top of the hat and the sides and back:

Freeform Hat

Freefrom Hat

Freeform Hat - front view

I want to make another one soon when I can build up a good stash. A friend of mine is going to give me some yarn she doesn't want anymore which will be perfect for some freeform work. I mostly played with varying stitch height with this hat in my next project I want to get even more creative with the stitches

I also been messing around with some skinny scarf ideas becasue I 'm participating in the summer scarf swap on crochetville

I free formed this swatch to see how thread might hook up. I used a size 4 steel crochet hook and cotton thread # 10.

Thread Freefrom

Here's a close up of the sample:
Thread freeform

It's big enough to fit around my neck as a choker. I can't decide if I really like it or not.