Monday, October 13, 2014

Wanderlust fulfilled coming to our home soon...

      When I was younger, I had opportunity to move around the country quite a bit. As I got older, I started to accumulate things that prevent wandering. First an ever expanding seasonal wardrobe (we currently live in the northeast). Then came the furniture. Followed closely by the extensive collection of literature (gotta love Amazon Prime!). I attended a few art auctions after I got my first "real, adult" job. I read somewhere to adding a touch of fine art to my child's room would be a fantastic idea. I agree and proceeded to do just that. Never being a tchoktche kind of person myself, a painting on the wall in each room kept my home from being too spartan. Then came the really good career job, trailed by more things that took up residence in my attic and basement. Why out of the way? Because I am really a minimalist at heart. Clutter makes my nervous. I like clean lines, color coordination, and being able to quickly access where I may have put my keys this time. But the things residing in our subterranean places do have value of some type. Even if we only visit them on or twice a year. And this folks, is what happens when we get older, get an adult job, and maybe buy a house. Things accumulate. It crept up on me. I didn't see it coming. I, the self proclaimed minimalist have a lot of things.
      Now back to my post title, because I am sure you are wondering how this is related to wanderlust and fulfillment. I am faced with the reality of having a lot of things because my husband has recently been told his "adult" job is being transferred far, far away. To a place we have only dreamed of going. (I will get tangential right here for a moment and tell you something that is true. Believe in your dreams, speak them aloud, and write them down they will come true. I live an enchanted life. My desires come to me. But more on this in another post.) Commuting is an impossibility. Now, hurray we get to move! I always wanted to move to the southern U.S. So, now we are. As I said earlier, I have always liked experiencing new things, places, and culture. I have been stuck in  one particular area of the northeast now for almost twenty years (as I am typing this my heart kind of sank in my chest). Time to get unstuck and move on. 
      First things first, what to do with the things. Well, this has been an exercise in learning what has real value. My books and paintings, coming with me. My clothes, weeded through severely. My furniture, the larger the moving truck the larger the bill. We continue to weed. Even my husband, our resident hoarder (he really needs those ATM receipts dated 1995, really) has embraced the art of shedding extraneous things. Some of our furniture is coming. The extra television and stand, two couches, various folding and plastic chairs, brooms, rakes, and five tables (we still have four we are taking) are not coming with us. I am looking forward to buying a nice futon for seating (and overnight guests) at our new destination. So, what is the take away from all this? It confirms my belief that things are just things. Things are replaceable if need be. This move has been a chance for us to hit the reset button on our lives. We are all embracing the opportunity to release the wall of things we have built around our lives, in my family, and ready to move on.
      I have not written in this blog for well over a year it seems. The business of life swept me up and away. We stopped homeschooling when I got a teaching position at a private school. My daughter was up for the challenge of trying school. It has been a great opportunity for us both. Even so, I am glad it will soon be over. I have always been a square peg in a circle world. The daily grind doesn't suit either one of us entirely. We are looking forward to life led homeschooling again in our new location. We will both be posting on that by the end of the year.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Something new is on the horizon for us. Stay tuned for more info.

Monday, January 28, 2013

"Mommy Can You Put This On Your Blog?"

Mommy Can You Post This On Your Blog?

   Dindee wanted to share this with all you readers out there in the blogosphere. She loves animals. Especially dinosaurs, insects, and reptiles. This is her dream pad. She copies words that she sees throughout her day on it. And she draws up scenes she would like to see in real life someday. Yesterday she was thinking about returning to dinosaur state park. She would love to hear your comments. Thanks in advance to anyone who cares enough to make her sweet little heart's day by commenting!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Modern Version Of Ancient History

    I love history! American history, world history, current events, social studies, and anything else one can lump up under that title. So, I am excited to now be teaching my Dindeelion my favorite subject. And I would love to be able to teach her in a way that she can enjoy history as well. As we go along this educational journey I want to make it as fun and accessible to her as possible. For starters we are using Usborne's Book Of World History. There are already some good craft ideas to go along with some select lessons. The artwork is engaging Dindee. Therefore, I plan to use that as a springboard for ideas for hands on activities.

    The first chapter is on archeology. What is it, who uses it, and what do they do. So basically one is looking at a cross section of a "tell" or dig site. I thought as we were looking this section over, "why not do our own 'dig'?" So, I tried a mulling over a few different ideas in my head. What can I use instead of dirt and sand? (To save myself a mess ;) ) And I remembered I had rainbow rice. Rainbow rice is very easy and a lot of fun to make. Get out some plastic zip lock bags, instant rice, food color, and rubbing alcohol. Combine rice, a few drops of rubbing alcohol, and a different shade of foo coloring to each zip lock bag. ZIp up the bag and smoosh the rice around. Once the rice is coated, empty bags out onto wax lined trays and let dry. We left ours out overnight. This makes a great, easy to clean base for your dig site. And of course, you can use plain rice or dried beans as well.

     So, once you get your dig site (ours is a plastic food storage container) prepared you will need archeological finds and tools. We used a spoon and a paintbrush. This was to replicate what archeologicals actaully use. Then I filled our site with plastic trinkets (what people may have used as tools), rocks, crystals, little bits of paper with writing on it (for hieroglyphs), beads (for money or jewelry), tiny blocks (for bricks that were used for walls and houses). The list can go on and on according to your creative spark.
    Dindee just loved her dig site. We used it last week and she is still playing "archeologist" with it almost daily! May you future archeologists and world travelers have a wonderful week!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Inexpensive DIY Privacy Film For Windows

   I love that window privacy cling that is sold at the big box store. It sells for 19.99 a package. And that package is big enough to cover one complete window. So, I was thinking the other day, what can I use to let the light in my home at a much cheaper price? Bubble wrap, I read that once in Ready Made magazine. (I read every issue of that magazine and I still miss it! It was the best Gen X DIY magazine ever! The ideas were truly genius.) Okay but I do not have any bubble wrap handy. And no one ships anything in that anymore :( . I buy a lot from Amazon, but they use a air filled plastic bag. I suppose that is better than packing peanuts. So I keep thinking for a day or so. Generally my best thinking is done in the bathroom. The one place I can almost always have uninterrupted peace. And then it came to me as I was stepping out of the shower.....   

    Yup, just get that frosty shower curtain for five bucks, measure your windows, and cut your privacy film up! I used double stick tape. But you can use a dab of hot glue or clear tape at the edges of your window for a professional look, too.

Thought for the day....

I found this on a really good website on how children learn. It really struck a chord with me. So, I thought I would share....

If you want to never say "have to", the only thing you "have to" do is die. Not much of a life in my book.
I see it exactly the opposite. If my life is nothing but a bunch of "have to's," then that's not much of a life. I choose to do the things I do, no matter what they are.
A robot goes through its actions because it 'has to'; it has no other options. I choose where my actions will take me.


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Paint Chip Phonics - DIY Word Sliders

 It has been quiet in Dindeelion land this week because the magical princess has a touch of the flu bug that has been flying around town. Realizing this has caused a writer's block, I will give due diligence to catching up with those that follow us in the blogosphere. :)

 I have been looking for ways to make our own phonics word sliders for our homeschool. The phonics program we are using sells a set for around $20. I recently saw a really cute idea for teaching word families on line. (I cannot give credit to any one source because there are so many blogs and websites out there with this DIY project.) You can make your own word family sliders out of paint chips.

Step one. Find yourself a whole bunch of paint samples. I went to a local paint store and got permission from the counter clerk if I could take several samples before I just dove in and took thirty or so paint chips.

Step two. Get a nice dark pen or maker and write common word blends, (examples:br, cr, fr, dr, bl, cl, pl, sl, str, sw, st, sk, ct, ld), digraphs ( examples: sh, ch, th, wh, ew, aw, oo), and word family/word endings (examples: at, ag, ab, ad).

Put them together and voila! Free word sliders!

Below is a list of some common blends, digraphs and word family endings. It is by no means and exhaustive list. Just a list from an exhausted momma! But I thought I would add some type of list just to help you get started. Stay well! :)

Blends           Word Family Endings          Digraphs

bl               ab                                  ch            
br               ar                                  sh            
cr               ast                                 shr
dr               at                                  th         
fl                all                                  thr                 
gl               ake
gr               ave
kl               ate
pl               et
pr              est
ph              ed
qu              ell
qua            eet
sl               it
tr               ir
wh             in

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Dindee's Apron - Sew A Child's Apron Without A Pattern

   My Dindee was really excited when she saw my apron that I made last weekend. You can find all the directions to it here. So we trotted off to another excursion at Walmart's fabric department. She found a rocking country star print she adored! I found another flowery print in the bargain aisle that will compliment her choice well! I forgot to buy pink thread. Believe it or not I did not have any pink thread at home. I could not believe it. Almost everything in her room has some shade of pink in it. So, I was shocked when I could not find any about the house. You might see the lovely shade of lavender in the stitching. It really did compliment her trim well, though! :)
   So, before I start with the instructions, there are a few important habits to get accustomed to doing to attain a nice professional ( store bought) look from your sewing. Once of these habits is washing and drying your fabrics before you do anything else with them. That's right, just throw your fabric in the washer as soon as you get home from the store! It is so much easier to work with fabric that I have already washed. I don't know why that is. I do know that shrinkage can occur with a first washing, so it is better to preshrink your fabric before cutting a pattern. Another habit I have gotten accustomed to is ironing. I iron the entire fabric before cutting a pattern. I iron creases as well when I am pinning. It just makes everything look nicer and it makes the fabric easier to work with. It is so worth not skipping these simple steps. I know it takes up some time when you are excited to get started on a project. Again just two things i recommend when sewing something.

   I bought 3/4 yard of each fabric. There was plenty left over. I am not the best with numbers, but i know you can do this pattern with less. Then I cut out two square from each piece of fabric. The bib measurement was 10 inches wide by 6 inches long. The bottom of the apron was 16 inches wide by 16 inches long. For the bottom half I folded the fabric in half and cut it on an angle after my first cut. I did this to get an A line look. Just follow one of the angle lines on your cutting board (if you have one) to get this effect.

   Back to the  bib, I lined the first piece with fusible interfacing. Then I flipped it over and ironed the other fabric to the other side of the interfacing. Now my fabrics were ironed attached by the interfacing.

       Then I edged the top of the bib with bias tape. Pinned it into place. Then sewed it into place.

   After sewing the top trim in place, I trimmed the edges of the bib with the same bias tape. I measured it on Dindee to get the right size loop to fit over her head nicely! :) I like this option better than tie backs for the neck line. I did the same thing with mine. Then just sew the trim in place all the way around.

   Again the measurement for the bottom half of the apron was 16X16. Place two pieces of fabric facing right side in and sew up the sides. Make sure to pin your back ties facing the inside of your fabric before sewing the bottom half up.

   Here is a photo of the tiebacks. They were 16 inches long and 5 inches wide. Fold them in half right side facing in and iron. Sew up around the two sides and bottom of tie. Turn inside out and iron. I used a bamboo skewer to help me turn the tiebacks right side out. Evidently there is a too for that purpose. It's called a bobkin. Walmart does not carry them. :(

    Leave an inch up past the tiebacks to fold in when you attach the two pieces together. Fold your fabric in, iron, and place the bib inside the fold. Pin into place and sew. You are all done! I think this took me all of an 45 minutes to stitch up.

   Here is a close up of the previous photo. If you set your pins perpendicular to the fabric you can sew without stopping to remove pins as you go along.

    Dindee loved hers and so did her babies! By the way, this is also a reversible apron! :)