Saturday, 31 January 2009
Journey North Mystery Class is a great project that includes many interesting educational activities. We learned about sunlight and the seasons, latitude and longitude, charting our weekly sunrise/sunset data on charts, and calculating daylight hours. Our favourite part was doing research using the interdisciplinary clues towards the end of the project, trying to find out the location of each of the mystery classes. Sometimes the clues were food related, or history, politics, culture...very interesting! All while trying to match up our answers with the latitude and longitude coordinates that we had come up with!
You can visit Journey North website to learn more about the Mystery Class and how to partcipate in this project here. If you are participating, leave a comment at the end of this post. It can be fun comparing notes!
The project starts this Monday, February 2 and ends on May 8 when the Mystery Sites are revealed.
Monday, 26 January 2009
"Who would his successor be? And how would the Emperor choose? Because the Emperor loved flowers so much, he decided to let the flowers choose."
We have enjoyed many of Demi's books, I would highly recommend them!
Sunday, 25 January 2009
"The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain."
Now for the questions of the week from the book group:
"What helps you be brave? List anything you'd like to draw on when the journey gets tough or scary, including what has worked for you in the past."
What helps me be brave is knowing that my family is there for me, no matter what the outcome is of my adventure. Another thing that helps me is looking back at the challenges that I have gone through in the past.
When things get confusing or stressful, what has helped me in the past is to take a couple of hours by myself and go somewhere. It could be a walk or bike ride by the lake, or a drive in the country, or even spending time in a book store or at the library. Many times I bring my camera with me. I took this photo on a de-stressing walk. I always come back feeling refreshed, fresh air and taking pictures always works for me.
When I have to complete something I have a difficult time with, I tend to think of how good I will feel when it's done. During NaNoWriMo last November, there were many days when it was difficult, but I just kept thinking of how great it would feel to know that I finished, that I wrote 50 000 words!
"This week I'd like to offer you the challenge of taking one brave step towards your dreams"
This week I opened an etsy store, more for me than for profit. I started with a couple of my photographs and will add some fabric creations soon. It is something I have been thinking about for a few months, but finally decided to take the leap this week.
My other brave step that I want to take is to read the book I wrote last November. I did complete the NaNoWriMo challenge, but once I was finished, I didn't want to read what I wrote...not sure why, but now I will take that brave step and see what I wrote!
Saturday, 24 January 2009
I first saw this idea here in 2008, last summer, and never got around to putting my list together. This year I am more prepared. I am still missing quite a few but I think it is a good start anyway. The list is for the entire year, and mostly for me, besides the one category called "read aloud". I let the kids pick those books, straight from our shelves.
I added the initials of the book clubs next to the selection related to them (SM is for Sound Mind, Sound Mom Club; WRL for the Well-Read Ladies, NC for Next Chapter).
Here are my selections so far:
- 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families by Covey (SM)
- For Women Only by Feldhahn (SM)
- Last Child in the Woods by (SM)
- The Creative Family (SM)
- Playful Parenting by Cohen (SM)
- Above All, Be Kind by Weil (SM)
- Your Money or Your Life by Dominguez (SM)
- It's All Too Much by Walsh (SM)
- Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver
- 100 Mile Diet: A Year of Local Eating by Alisa Smith and J.B. Mackinnon
- Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
- All New Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew
- Bend the Rules Sewing by Amy Karol
- 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women by Gail Meekin (NC)
- Taking Flight: Inspiration And Techniques To Give Your Creative Spirit Wings by Kelly Rae
- Patchwork + Quilted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson
- Amy Butler's In Stitches: More Than 25 Simple and Stylish Sewing Projects
- Doodle Stitching: Fresh & Fun Embroidery for Beginners by Aimee Ray
- Amy Butler's Midwest Modern: A Fresh Design Spirit for the Modern Lifestyle
- The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
- The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
- The Giver by Lois Lowry
- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
- A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
- Dewey by V. Myron
- Lust for Life by Irving Stone
- The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family by Annette Gordon-Reed (WRL)
- Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
- Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy, Richard Pevear, and Larissa Volokhonsky
- Time Traveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
- something by Jodi Picoult (any suggestions?)
- First Light by C. Baxter
- The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield (WRL)
- One Thousand and One Arabian Nights
- The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
- A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
- The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
- Peter and the Shadow Thieves by Dave Barry
- The Adventures of Robin Hood by Roger Lancelyn Green
- The People of Sparks By Jeanne Duprau
??? (I haven't decided what other category to pick)
Friday, 23 January 2009
They turned out really really really yummy!
The recipe can be found at allrecipes.com. It is called Ninety Minute Cinnamon Rolls. Ours don't look that pretty, but they are delicious!
~We didn't add a glaze on top, just smeared some of the extra filling we had on the top...they were sweet enough! ~
Wednesday, 21 January 2009
The question today was:
My wish is to make our space our own.
We moved in our current house last spring. The house is only 3 years old and the previous owners didn't do any painting or decorating, no curtains on the windows, nothing in the backyard, etc...which suits me just fine. I rather have a blank palette to work with than having to destroy someone's else work. But I do feel the need to make this house our own home. Choosing paint colours has been on my mind lately!
I chose words for the collage, words that represent what a home means to me. My husband looked at it and told me that we already have all that, being together, relaxing at home, a small home...and he reminded me that I always do my own thing!
Monday, 19 January 2009
The questions this week, to go along with the second secret are :
"What have you always loved? What inspired you? Catches your eye? Makes your heart sing?"
I thought about this most of the afternoon, after listening to the podcast this morning. I had never really given any thought to it before...What inspires me?
For as long as I can remember, I have been attracted to beautiful things. What I think is beautiful that is. I think I am a visual person.
I was given a camera in my teens, and loved taking pictures. My father used to have his camera with him almost everywhere he went. His passion was taking pictures of people. Me, I preferred taking photos of places that we visited, or nature.
I have always loved being surrounded by nature. I have come to realize that being in a natural environment helps me "recharge my batteries". It doesn't matter if I am by the ocean, or the lake, on a farm, or walking in the woods, as long as I am surrounded by nature. I still get amazed at the wonders of nature. How intricate or simple a plant can be, how powerful a tree seems to me, even the weather still amazes me, especially storms. Seeing the birds at my neighbour's bird feeder always puts a smile on my face, no matter what mood I was in before!
Nature inspires me. Patterns created by nature, its colours, things that might not get noticed by others, all those tend to catch my eye. So often, I have been asked "why are you taking a picture of that?" or "what exactly are you taking a picture of?"... I usually answer with a smile and depending who is asking, I take the time to show them what I see.
I have posted this photo on my blog before, but I thought I would share it again, because it illustrates what I am saying. This is a photo of dirt, with snow. I just had to take a picture of the patterns the wind, the dirt, and the snow created together. Isn't nature amazing?
Another important and inspiring activity for me is sewing or quilting. Playing with the fabrics, seeing what colours and patterns go well together, trying a new project and seeing it all come together...all these make my heart sing.
Spending a total of 8 hours in the car this past weekend reminded me of a picture book that used to be a necessity a few years ago whenever we went on a long road trip. It was Adrienne and Andre's favourite story to listen to in the car. There were a few others too, but this is the one I am choosing to share today... It is the adventure of a young boy, and his teddy bear, who set out to help the forest animals on a stormy night.
This picture book is called "Adventure on Klickitat Island" written by Hilary Horder Hippely and illustrated by Barbara Upton.
"We heard a few sniffles, then somebody sneezed, and a rabbit hopped out from under the trees. He waved one big paw, so we ran to his side. Such a pitiful sight! We both almost cried."
As a side note, my children are obviously getting older...we listened to Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (audio book)this trip! Celeste slept most of the way, but she still didn't mind listening to it when she was awake.
Sunday, 18 January 2009
Monday ~ not sure if baking counts as being creative...but that is what I did on Monday! Adrienne was home from school because she had 6 teeth pulled out first thing in the morning. She did really well and was back to being able to eat a few hours later. We made this "palmiers" which I used to eat when I was little back in France, delicieux !
Tuesday ~ I tried a new little pattern from the Bend the Rules Sewing book, a cute little pouch and I had so much fun making it! I just need to find a big button and it will be complete.
Wednesday ~ I wasn't as creative today, with Celeste home with me, but we had a lovely day together. Actually Andre was home as well, his class was going on a field trip to see the Tale of Desperaux and we have already seen it together. So, not much creativity today, but lots of fun times with my children :)
Thursday ~ After seeing the black pouch that I made, Adrienne asked me if I would make her 2 pouches for her. One for her camera and one for her ipod. Again, I am missing buttons, but they turned out really cute. She picked the fabrics from my stash. The print one is the lining in the purple bigger pouch for her camera, and vice-versa for the smaller pouch...I did it that way because she couldn't decide which fabric she wanted on the outside of her pouches, so now she has one of each!
Friday ~ this day was spent packing for the weekend. We all attended a wedding out of town, and I packed for everyone, since I was home. I did find the time to start cutting fabric for a small quilt, that used charm packs fabrics. I didn't take a photo, but I will share that little project soon...
Wednesday, 14 January 2009
Here are some details from the website:
ABC CANADA Literacy Foundation and Official FLD World Record Attempt Sponsor Oxford Learning are asking Canadians of all ages to help us break the Guinness World Record™ for “Most Children Reading With an Adult, Multiple Locations.”
Please visit the site if you are in Canada, to read about it more and to find out a location near you!
Canada Family Literacy Day ~ World Record Attempt
Tuesday, 13 January 2009
Because it doesn't happen all the time, we tend to break the evening routine. We do things like have a breakfast dinner, or have a picnic in the basement, or do some painting/colouring together. Lately we have been catching up on this TV series. The Daddy can't stand this show, but the kids and I love it. It used to be one of my favourites growing up, and I am so glad they enjoy it too. Just plain old silly stuff!
Monday, 12 January 2009
The book is called "The Dot" by Peter H. Reynolds, and here is my favourite quote from it:
"Just make a mark and see where it takes you."
Make sure to visit the links on the left of my blog, to see the other participants of Book Sharing Monday!
Sunday, 11 January 2009
I made this quilt top yesterday. It follows a pattern called "Around the World", I was so excited to try something new, and to use fabric that has been in my stash for the last decade, that I never measured how much fabric I really had. I thought I had enough, but halfway through I realized that I didn't! I was already past a lot of the cutting and stripping, so I decided to still go for it, on a smaller scale. Now I have to figure out if I want to add some fabric to the edges, but it might look a little funny, or try to finish it as a table runner. I have a little bit left of 2 of the fabrics I already used (on the left side of the quilt top).
The quilt top currently measures 24 x 57 inches.
Any ideas or suggestions???
Saturday, 10 January 2009
I am looking forward to reading the 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women, hopefully the library will call on Monday or Tuesday.
Today, through my Google Reader I read a great post at Shutter Sisters. By the way, Google Reader is a great way to read blogs. I could never read as many blogs as I do without it!
Paige Balcer talks about inspiration and creative action. I could relate to her when she said "believe me, I am inspired daily by what I see on Flickr or while reading blogs. But being inspired by others is only half the battle, actively participating is the other". She suggests giving ourselves a January homework assignment. The first part is taking one photo everyday until the end of the month. The photo needs to be colourful, cozy, cheerful, or make you smile. The second part is to do something creative with your hands 5 days a week. Here she stresses that it should not involve the camera or computer.
This should really get my productivity going! I have a long list of projects, so as long as I can keep up, I might be able to cross off a few this month.
Here is my January homework so far:
- daily photo on An ocean apart, shared with Rachel ~ I am loving this, seeing her photo everyday gives me a little window on her life, even if she is so far away.
- daily photo (colourful, cozy, cheerful, funny)
- weekly reading assignment for the Sound Mind, Sound Mom book club
- weekly reading assignment for the 12 Secrets book blogging group
- doing something creative five days a week (sewing, painting, quilting, writing, drawing...)
- exercise daily, with a walk outside when weather allows
- finish putting together my 999 book list, 9 books in 9 categories for 2009 (idea from here)
Friday, 9 January 2009
I followed the directions in Amy Karol's book "bend-the-rules sewing". You can see many of the projects from the book, completed by a lot of talented people at this flickr group (like a show and tell!). Clara is now in that group too :)
I know...how could I already? Well, I can relate completely to this post at Craft Apple. I wanted to make an advent calendar this past Christmas, but never got around to it. It is on my list of things to sew for this year, and I thought being part of this sew along would help me stay on track! These little stockings are so adorable, that I changed my mind on what I was planning on making...or maybe I'll end up with two advent calendars(one to give as a gift would be perfect). I did promise myself that this coming Christmas would be a lot more homemade...
I considered first just following the blog, but after listening to the pod cast, I knew I would do more than just follow, I would participate by posting once a week about my journey. I was completely certain once I searched and found the book at my local library's website!
The first secret is acknowledging your creative self. and the first post is supposed to be about where you are on the journey to your creative self. I feel that I am at the doorstep, at the boarding gate, just putting my shoes on, or just starting the car...in other words, I feel like I am at the beginning. Some people in my life would argue that I am already a creative person. It is true that I have done quite a few projects and enjoyed all of them. Scrapbooking, quilting, sewing different useful things for my children or for the house. Even during our busy homeschool years, I used to enjoy doing lapbooks with the children, or taking a few hours together to paint, experimenting with different medias. I also love playing with my camera, taking photos of everything and anything. This past November, I spent the month writing my first novel, challenging myself with the help of NaNoWriMo.
But I feel that I am only at the beginning because I have so much still to learn. I would love to explore more, trying to find and focus maybe on one particular creative outlet for myself.
To start this creative journey, I put together a Dreamboard, inspired by an idea I saw on StarShyne Productions blog. I haven't done many collages before, only a couple with my kids, but they are fun.
Wednesday, 7 January 2009
I am not planning on going to all the old posts, so f you are reading those, you will still see their old names.
Now for the quick introduction of my children:
Princess is the baby of the family. She is 4 and a half, full of life, laughter, always a smile for you, and very kind hearted. She is a princess in the sense that she is very special. She will be the type to get you a blanket if you mention that you are a little cold, or get you a drink if you start coughing...just pure sweetness. She also has this weird thing about her past lives, she started this since she has been able to talk almost. She has a few different stories, but you can hear her talking about when she used to be with a different mom, living in China or Japan and her friends there...and she has an amazing memory, about little things that we have done together (in this life, lol). My Princess is Celeste.
Dragon is my one and only boy. Dragons is something he has been interested in for the last year or so. And Dragon is also what he used to turn into sometimes...He can have a bad temper, but he is also the most affectionate boy I know. He is a day dreamer, and a bit of a clown. He also has a need to be extremely precise, and for others to be that way as well. He is very helpful around the house, but only if I am very detailed in my requests! At the moment, he is into paper airplanes. He is trying to master the best paper airplane design. He has designed a few, with "options" as he calls them! My Dragon is Andre, he will be 10 next month.
Finally, Fairy is my first baby. Eleven years ago, already, I became a mother. What a wonderful adventure! She is the more "responsible" one of the three, being the oldest I suppose. She was a huge help when Celeste was born, having such a gap in age. She is much more quiet than Andre or Celeste, but can shine just as much. She is the more artistic one, interested in art, photography, and a bit of sewing too. She loves to bake, and makes delicious cookies and bars. She is already planning on baking her brother's birthday cake next month. I had picked the name Fairy, because she loves fairy stories, but also because she reminds me of a fairy, delicate, quiet, shy, but so wonderful. My Fairy is Adrienne.
Monday, 5 January 2009
With Fairy and Dragon back at school this morning, Princess and I are enjoying our day together, just the two of us.
I am sharing today one of her favourite stories. She has loved this story for the past two years (she is now 4 and 1/2). It is one of those stories that she never seems to get tired of, and enjoys both the story and the illustrations. We always stop at the page of the City of Geoppolis map (the first photo) and find where all the buildings are.
The book is " Katy and the Big Snow" written and illustrated by Virginia Lee Burton.
Here is a small part:
Sunday, 4 January 2009
I am looking forward to reading all your posts and discovering new books to share with my kids!