Finished Cardinal Pillow

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Wow!  Thanks for the input.  I loved hearing your thoughts.  And without them, I never would have gone in the direction I did.  This is what I ended up with:

I continued the branch down and toward the right so I could use white on the three sides of the left half (or third?).  It's not perfect but I think it still works.   Hope Mom likes it!

Linked up to Crazy Mom Quilts' Finish It Up Friday.

Cardinal Quilt Block on White or Wood?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Mom: Stop reading. 

So my mom emailed me a picture of a cardinal pillow she found online and asked me if I had any red fabric that color.  I took that as a sweet hint that she might like something handmade for Christmas...

Since I'm on a little quilting kick of late, I decided to try paper piecing.  Now that the block is done, I'm thinking it might make a better table runner than pillow.  And I figured I would put it in an all white runner and maybe a brown binding.  But I love love love the wood fabric (from hawthorne threads).  It's pretty cool, no? Is it too much if I put the block in the wood fabric?  

What do you think?  White on white with wood binding?  or wood all around?  maybe red binding? 

Oh, heck, I'll probably just bring it all undone to her house and ask her what she wants...but I'd love to hear your opinions. 

A Gift for my Latin Student

Monday, December 5, 2011

Belle has been taking Latin at our Co-op the last couple of semesters.  Her teacher has gone above and beyond what Co-op teachers are expected to do, and is just really excited about the language.  So when I saw Dr. Seuss is Latin I had to order one for her.

And while I was on Amazon, I ordered How the Grinch Stole Christmas in Latin for Belle.   Okay, that sounds like I'm raising a nerd.  Maybe, but she's a pretty cool nerd.  

WIP: Finished Sawtooth Star Top

Monday, November 28, 2011

I love looking at the backs of quilt tops.  They are so messy and once quilted, will never be seen again.   But those busy, seam-packed backs make the seen part beautiful.

I am anxious to have the whole quilt finished, but I'm still enjoying what this quilt has already become.

What are you working on these days?

ps: linking up to Lee's WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Learning Toys Gift Ideas

Friday, November 25, 2011

For the past couple of years I've posted a few Handmade Holidays ideas.  I may still do that, but this year I thought I'd share a list of quality toys that either my kids have already received as gifts or are on our wish list.

For the Musician

Lap Harp (HearthSong)
Hand Bells (HearthSong)

For the Scientist

Butterfly Nursery (HearthSong)
Star Theatre (HearthSong)
Potato Clock (Amazon)

For the Crafter

Spool Knitter (Overstock)
Lap Loom (Rainbow Resource)
Easy to Make Moccasin Kit (Vision Forum)
For the Builder

Wall Coaster Ultimate Marble Run (HearthSong)
MagFormers (QVC)
Lego Advent Calendar (Amazon, Target)
For Outside Play

Three Man Sling Shot (Vision Forum)
Mini Trampoline (HearthSong)
Plasma Car (Amazon-although we use ours strictly indoors)
For the Toddler

Shape Sorter (IKEA-great wooden toys)
Cloth Bible (Veritas Press)
Play Food (IKEA)

What toys do you recommend?

ps: One Thankful Mom's posted her family's Top 20 Toys . As a mom of 11, she would know, right?)

The Last Three Books in my Amazon Cart

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I've met my reading goal for the year (39 books).  I keep a running list of books and movies on the sidebar, and this year, I just wanted to surpass my previous year's number of books read.

I checked my mailbox on Veteran's day four times, I think, before I realized that the mail was not coming.  But my amazon account said three books were on their way.   So they came Saturday.

The first was Jesus Calling by Sarah Young.  This is a daily devotional written in paraphrased Scripture from the voice of Christ to you.  I found it on Pintrest, on a kindred spirit's book board, added it to my cart and left it there.  Later that same night, I talked to a living saint from our church.  She asked me if I'd heard of Jesus Calling and said to get it and read the day of my birthday.  So I did.   It was spot on.

Here's part of today's:

Thankfulness is not some sort of magic formula; it is the language of Love, which enables you to communicate intimately with Me.  A thankful mind-set does not entail a denial of reality with its plethora of problems.  Instead, it rejoices in Me, your Savior, in the midst of trials and tribulations.  I am your refuge and strength, an ever present and well-proved help in trouble.  
-November 22, Jesus Calling 

I also ordered the second book, A Charlotte Mason Companion after seeing it on the same Pintrest board. Maybe that means I need to get out more, but at least I'm reading.   This book is not Charlotte Mason's writings but a collection of essays written about using Charlotte's ideas.  It feels very practical and encouraging.

The third book, I am almost embarrassed to say that I ordered only for the dust jacket.  The book is A Guide to Birds of East Africa.  and it's cover is art.  And did you know that my oldest daughter is a bird lover?  And I know you know my youngest daughter is from East Africa?  So yes, I put the $3.99 copy with free shipping in my cart before I even read the summary.  Then I read one of the reviews call the author Kenya's version of Botswana's Alexander McCall Smith.  I clicked 'Buy Now'.

What have you read and loved this year?

Field Trip #4: Butterfly House

Friday, November 11, 2011

We used our Groupon to the Texas Discovery Gardens and Butterfly House the day before it expired.  And the weather was so perfect, the dads came with us so we could take Christmas card pictures.

The Gardens are free on Tuesdays, but the Butterfly House is still $8/adult, $4/ child-so the deals online for a family pass ($12/family), really are worth it for the Butterfly House entrance.  We missed it but at noon everyday they release the butterflies.

Thank you, friends who do school and life with us, for taking 151 photos of my family of squirmers and blinkers.  And please don't hate me if I use the first picture you took as our Christmas card.  You're the best, truly and really.  

The Showoff Bag

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Made by Rae just added a new pattern to her shop-The Showoff Bag. I ordered it last week and made this bag for my mom, to replace her old one.  The pattern is great, and overall it's a quick sew.  I used Anna Maria Horner's Innocent Crush Velveteen called Woodcut in Crimson for the base of the bag and a washed black denim for the top.   

My folks at the Dallas Arboretum. 
Thanks for the visit, Mom and Dad-love you both!

ps.  i added photos to the showoff bag flickr pool.  
i love seeing all the different variations of the same pattern, don't you?  

Real Blogging: Our Homeschool Room

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I read a piece of blogging advice somewhere that said you should blog about things that you would want to read yourself.  well, duh, kind of, right?  

When I thought about what I like to read, I realized I like to see real peoples homes and stuff real people have made and read about real homeschooling.  So 'real' is the operative word here.   And one post I will always read by a fellow homeschool blogger is one on their schoolroom.   

Our schoolroom is far from great, or perfect, but I am thankful for the space that can stay messy, or involved for however long we need it too.   And while taking a few pictures of it, I realized it changes each year--evolves to fit our new needs.  This year, we added an analog clock, which I read is better for kids to grasp the concept of time, a much needed bookshelf, which now houses our workboxes, and an American flag, which just makes it feel more like a real schoolroom. 

And an update on what has been working for us this year:

Right now, my kids love Electric Company, which is on PBS at 7:30 in the morning.  They are allowed to come downstairs and do 2 drills (a multiplication/math drill and a grammar drill) at 7.  If they are finished in time (they always are), they can watch their show.  School happens before breakfast, before I even hit the coffee maker start button.  I celebrate this.  

What real thing are you celebrating right now?

WIP: Sawtooth Star

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I'm not sure what I was thinking, except that I wanted to make my next quilt entirely of solids.  But this quilt has me making 88 sawtooth stars, which broken down, is 352 flying geese triangles. I've been working on it a little over a week (after cutting the fabric for about a month).  I now have 40 of the 88 blocks done.  The sashing will be more of the grey fabric.  

I do love the'll be perfect for winter, don't you think?

What are you working on this week?

ps, i'm linking up to Freshly Pieced's WIP Wednesday.