Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Sketch Tuesday

We just started taking part in Sketch Tuesday, hosted by Harmony Fine Arts. Each week is a different theme, and we sketch something to do with that theme. This past week was "something in outer space". I participated along with Adrienne and Andre. It was a lot of fun, and I find always relaxing to take the time to sit, draw and colour something. Here are our sketches, first one is Adrienne's, then Andre's and last is mine:

You can click on the Sketch Tuesday button below to find out more:

Monday, 30 March 2009

Earth Hour 2009 Update

I just received an e-mail from WWF Canada with an update on Saturday's Earth hour that put a huge smile on my face :

Earth Hour was a huge global success with 3,937 cities and towns turning out their lights, across 88 countries. With almost a billion people mobilized, Earth Hour 2009 was the biggest environmental demonstration in history! Millions of Canadians took part all across the nation, along with nearly 1,000 businesses, helping to make our skylines go dark.

People were inspired across the country and around the globe as monuments such as the CN Tower, the Eiffel Tower, the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt, the Acropolis and the Empire State Building went dark. This year we welcomed new participation from people in countries such as India and China, and welcomed back the countries that celebrated Earth Hour in 2008.

Book Sharing Monday

Building an igloo by Ulli Steltzer is a book full of black & white photographs, showing the building of an igloo.

"Tookillkee decides to build a porch. It will keep the cold draft from coming inside and will give him storage space, especially for food, boots, and bulky clothing."

Next week and for the month of April, I am planning on sharing a few poetry books, and maybe something for Earth day as well. You are welcome to join me in the weekly Book Sharing Monday!

Sunday, 29 March 2009

April is Poetry Month!

I will be sharing some favourite poetry books over the month of April during our Book Sharing Monday, but I also wanted to list a few resources that I found online:

Poetry Idea Engine from the Scholastic website is just like a game, and helps you write four different types of poems.

At Time Warp Trio, there is a quick and fun poetry game called Wordsplosion.

An interesting short article about poetry for homeschoolers, also gives a few suggestions for books.

Poetry in Homeschool made by Jimmie (on Squidoo)

A great article by Karen Andreola explaining the Charlotte Mason way of enjoying poetry with your children

Past issues of Sparrow Tree Square , an online literary magazine for children, where many poems can be read and enjoyed.

Halfway Down the Stairs, another online magazine for children, also has a list of classic poetry.

and lastly, 30 poets in 30 days, a celebration of children's poetry hosted by Gottabook.

It is not April quite yet, but I am looking forward to it!

Earth Hour 2009

Adrienne, Celeste, Daddy and I stayed up for Earth Hour last night and played Uno by candlelight. Andre had had a sleepover the night before and just couldn't stay awake past 8:00pm. We had a wonderful time, lots of laughter, and our kitty was still fascinated by the candles.
Next year, our plan is to inform our neighborhood about Earth Hour, since we couldn't help but notice all the lights on around us. We also need more candles!
I was really surprised and so happy to see all the different cities and monuments around the world participating. Below you can see a couple of photos from our evening, and a video from Paris of the Eiffel Tower shutting off its lights!

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Mystery Class Update #8

Sunrise/Sunset data up to March 23, 2009
We now have the first set of clues to help us in determining the locations of the 10 mystery classes. Here is the link: Journey North Mystery Class 2009.

Are you participating?

I will post pictures tomorrow of our evening by candlelight, and can't wait to find out how many people participated worldwide! I would love to find out if you participated, so please leave a comment!
It is such an easy thing to do, shutting off the lights...

Friday, 27 March 2009

Calendar quilt update ~ March

I am finished putting together my March block for the calendar quilt, and planning out my April block. April makes me think of Spring and flowers. I have a few flowery fabrics in mind, and I might limit it to pastel yellows and greens...stay tuned for updates!
You can visit the blog to see other participants' calendar quilt blocks:

Catching up and finishing with the secrets

12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women
I had to return this wonderful book to the library, even thoug I wasn't finish. I wasn't too happy about that, but I am planning on taking it out again and re-reading it all. It is one of those books that is definitely worth reading again and again. So much to learn!

Here are the rest of the secrets:

Secret # 9: Transcending rejection and roadblocks

Secret # 10: Living in abundance with positive priorities

Secret # 11: Subtracting serenity stealers

Secret # 12: Planning to achieve your goals

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Iditarod Update

All our chosen mushers have arrived in Nome. Here is a quick update for Iditarod 2009:

Andre's choice was Lance Mackey, and it was a good one since he won again! He finished the race in first in 9 days, 21 hours and 38 minutes with 15 dogs.

Adrienne had picked Jen Seavey. She finished the race in 43rd place, in 14 days, 1 hour and 47 minutes. She started with 16 dogs and finished with 14.

Lastly, Rachel Scdoris (my choice) finished in 45th place. She took 14 days, 10 hours and 8 minutes and arrived with 11 dogs.

With the kids in school this year, and a March break away from home, we didn't do as much activities, but we still enjoyed keeping track of each musher's progress through the race. We will follow it again next year!

What part of spring are you? (quick and fun quiz)

You Are Blooming Flowers

You are an optimistic person by nature. In even the darkest times, you are hopeful about the future.

You feel truly blessed in life and can sometimes be overwhelmed with emotions.

You have an artist's eye. You are always looking for beauty in the mundane.

You have a good sense of aesthetics, especially when it comes to shapes and color.

Monday, 23 March 2009

Mystery Class Update #7

Journey North Mystery Class update ~ Sunrise/Sunset date up to March 16

Book Sharing Monday

We are sharing today a wonderful picture book that mixes fact with a tall tale. It is called "A Small Tall Tale from the Far Far North" by Peter Sis. The story is about Jan Welzl, who according to the epilogue by Peter Sis, spent 30 years in the Arctic.

"Now I am galloping southward over the frozen Bering Sea. The reindeer fly across the ice while my sled bounces over the irregular surface. From time to time we stop to look around for signs of life. As far as I can see, there is nothing but snow and ice and wide open space. At last I feel free."

Join us! Click for more info

Monday, 16 March 2009

Book Sharing Monday

"Twenty brave mushers and more than 160 strong dogs traveled hundreds of miles in the worst conditions. The incredible relay took less than six days. Four dogs perished and several others grew lame because of the lethal weather. Yet their struggle saved many lives in Nome."

The Great Serum Race by Debbie S. Miller and illustrated by Jon Van Zyle tells the story of the serum run of 1925 which the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog commemorates every year. It is an amazing real story and this book helped us understand better the struggles of the mushers that were part of the relay to Nome.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Secret # 7 and # 8

I am a little behind again, but continuing on with my reading of the 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women

First, secret #7 ~ consulting with guides. A guide is someone "who sees who you are and helps you to find your way", it could be anyone really, parent, teacher, family member, etc...even a book could be your guide or a movie, TV show or radio. I think this is so important and can be very inspiring, one way could be to read about inspiring lives in biographies or memoirs. This chapter also mentioned to look back at our childhood and try to remember early influences. I felt the following quote had perfect timing and meaning for me:

"If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement, and mystery of the world we live in. " Rachel Carson.

This is how I feel about home schooling. I want to keep that wonder and thirst of learning in my children's minds. The quote also reminded me of my father, he used to share his excitement over history with me, and listening to him, I couldn't help but be interested as well.

I did have some memories while reading this chapter about my early influences. I can't say they relate specifically to creativity, but these are the memories that popped in my head. Growing up, I always felt that it was assumed that I would take over for my father in his business when the time would come. I grew up in the business. My parents didn't believe in babysitters, and so I spent many many hours in the office while they worked, and in convention halls behind a display table a few weekends a year, while other kids were outside having fun! I told myself early on that I would not spend my life in this way when I was older. I guess you could call that a negative early influence... A more positive influence that also came to mind, was from my father. He would explained to me how his business was very dear to him, and important, but that his family suffered for it, with him dedicating himself so much to it for so many years. He longed for a happy family life (my parents divorced after 13 years of marriage) with many children (I was an only child). Hearing him share these regrets influenced me, in a good way I think, to put my focus on my family. I have never regretted my decision to be a parent, a stay at home mom, or a home school mom. I can't imagine any career or job more fulfilling than being a mom.

The 7th secret also reminded me how important it is to guide others in their creative pursuits, if you are able to, or at least be supportive. My oldest daughter is quite artistic, and I always try to encourage her to try new techniques, without pushing! It can be difficult sometimes to find the right balance!

On to secret #8 ~ Selecting empowering partnerships and alliances.
This chapter covered a lot of information about partners. The main message I received from this chapter is how important it is to know yourself before entering any kind of alliance, and how vital it is to be completely honest and to be able to communicate clearly.

Wordless Wednesday

Dog Sled Ride ~ February 2008

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Calendar quilt update

I had mentioned here that I wasn't quite pleased with the look of my calendar quilt blocks so far, so I took apart what I had done for January and February. I am now up to date again, actually past the date a bit!
The blue and white strip is for January, pink and red for February, and the green for March.
I like the colour theme for each month better, so I will continue on with that idea.

You can read more about this project here:

Monday, 9 March 2009

Book Sharing Monday

This week I am sharing 2 books, Kumak's House and Kumak's Fish. They can be read seperately, but do have the same character Kumak along with his family. Both tales are favourites of Celeste, and my older children still enjoyedd them too. Both are written and illustrated by Michael Bania. Be sure to read the author's notes at the back of each book. In Kumak's House, Aana Lulu, the wise elder, is always busy making something, and these are traditional things. The author explains each one in more detail in the author's note.
Kumak's Fish is a tall tale, the story of a "fight" between man and fish!

Free study guides are available online to download:

Saturday, 7 March 2009

What to do with a fat quarter?

A fat quarter is a piece of fabric that is 18x22 inches, usually found in fabric shops, especially quilt shops! I haven't bought much fabric lately, just using my stash and whatever scraps my aunts give me, but fat quarters are fun to "collect" and a good way to build up your fabric stash.

I found this great link tonight, from Sew, Mama, Sew with a long list of projects to do with fat quarters. Some use more than others. I honestly don't need any more projects on my list at the moment, but some of these are so cute!

These project ideas and *free* tutorials were part of February Fat Quarters. Click on the button for the link.

Following the Iditarod Race

Celeste and Adrienne
February 2008 Barrie Winter Festival

The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, usually just called the "Iditarod", is an annual sled dog race in Alaska, where mushers and teams of typically 16 dogs cover 1,161 miles (1,868 km) in eight to fifteen days from Willow to Nome. (explanation from Wikipedia)

We have picked our mushers, printed our race statistics sheets, and have our map of the Iditarod Trail handy. We are ready!
Most of the Iditarod printable worksheets can be found at the teacher's corner. We had used much more last year, but will be keeping it very simple this time around, with the kids being in school during the day.
Here are our chosen mushers for this year's race:

Adrienne chose Jen Seavey #61. She is a rookie and only 22 years old!
Andre is playing it safe with keeping his choice from last year, Lance Mackey #61, winner of last year's race and 2007's.
I am also choosing to keep the same musher, Rachael Scdoris # 58.

Here are a few more links:

Lance Mackey's Comeback Kennel
Rachael Scdoris website
Our posts on the Iditarod, last year's mostly for now!
Our homeschool friends did wonderful projects during the Iditarod, read her posts here.

Over the next ten days or so, we will keep track of each of our mushers' progress on the trail, and I will add more information as we go along.

Once upon a time, we had our own siberian husky, Naomi

Mystery Class Update #5

Journey North Mystery Class sunrise/sunset data up to March 2, 2009

Friday, 6 March 2009

DQS6 wip

What does that title mean, you ask? DQS6 is for doll quilt swap 6 and wip is for work in progress! But maybe you already knew that... I finished making the top of the mini quilt today and I am happy with how it turned out. The top measures about 15 inches wide by 18 inches long.

What do you think?

Tomorrow I will be working on my calendar quilt again, I am almost done with re-doing January all in blue and white. I hope to catch up to March by the end of the weekend.

Monday, 2 March 2009

Book Sharing Monday

Today's book is called Wind-Wild Dog written by Barbara Joosse and illustrated by Kate Kiesler. It is the story of Ziva, a husky puppy and her training as a sled dog. I chose this book to start our month long theme of the Iditarod.
The Iditarod is a sled dog race in Alaska, which starts March 7. You can read more about it on the official site of the race.

Here is a small part of this beautiful picture book, along with an extra photo showing an inside page:

"The Man's food was regular, morning and night. His hand was gentle, never mean. Now when he came through the door, Ziva yapped until he set her free. Then she shadowed his boot steps. She wanted to be close."

quilting and sewing

Here is what I have been working on these last few weeks:

This past weekend I helped my aunt with sewing nurse hats. I had learned how to make these this past fall from her, but she was busy after our first meeting and we hadn't met since then. She is catching up on her orders now, and gave me one of them to work on this weekend. My aunt is an operating nurse and has been making these hats for her co-workers for the past three years. Here are the twelve that I made, I didn't think of opening one to show the style, I will try to remember doing that next time!

I liked the fun look of placemats from house of krom so I decided to give it a try starting with one for Andre. It turned out a little funny, I didn't follow a pattern at all, just free-style! I had so much fun anyway that I decided that 2009 would be "placemat year", meaning that for every one's birthday I will make a placemat for that person. Here is Andre's finished placemat he received last week for his 10th birthday:

Another small gift that I gave to Andre for his birthday was a night cap. He had asked for one a few months ago (you can read my post about it: night hat? help!), poor guy..waited all this time! I did finally make a simple hat for him and he loves it! He was sick on his birthday, and kept it on the whole day!

Back to the placemats, I am almost finished making one for my husband. It was a little more difficult, because he doesn't like the scrappy look. I used leftover fabric from my wall hanging and kept it simple. I personally don't like it that much, but once it is done, I hope he will! Here is the top part of the placemat so far, I will post a picture of the finished placemat soon, his birthday is next Monday.

I found a project online that I decided to sign up for. It uses scraps pieces to make a calendar quilt. The idea is to choose a different piece of scrap for each day of the year, making one block per month. At the end of the year, you would have 12 blocks and can put the quilt together. I signed up late but caught up to Valentine's Day quickly. Only to decide that I didn't really like the look of it so far. So the picture below shows what I had done, but I have started taking it apart last night. My new idea is to have a colour theme for each month. January will be blues and whites, to remind me of the cold and snow, February red and pink for Valentine's Day, March might be green for St-Patrick's Day...It will still be scrappy, but I think I will like the look of it better...Anyway, here is the picture of what I had done to give you an idea, and I will share the updated version soon! The left side was January, the right February, up until Valentine's Day.

If you are interested, you can still read about this project here. I also have the button on the left side of my blog.
On that same left side of my blog, you will see a few other buttons for projects that I am taking part of.
One of them is the Doll Quilt Swap 6. I don't have any photos yet, but I am taking part in this doll quilt swap. The group is on flickr and is closed for this session. 175 people are taking part! I should find out who my partner is today. This will be the first time I participate in a swap.
I haven't done anything for the 2009 Advent Calendar Sew Along, besides collecting Christmas fabrics.
The last button is for the 2009 Coin Quilt Piece-along, another flickr group. I haven't committed to this one yet, but I do like the look of the coin quilt, and I want to try making one in the near future!


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