Friday, September 21, 2012

Apple Coasters

Love these things.  Very fun to make- fast and easy.  Fun to look at.  My favorite is the one with the bite taken out of it.  I need to make some more.
A paper cut out.  Looking at mine compared to Purl Bee, I see mine look more like peppers- ha!  I need to tweek mine a little.  I like mine with five seeds rather than the four they show one their website.

Brown, yellow, red, green (two shades), white.

Embroidery floss in the same shades as the felt.  I machine sewed the white part on.  It makes it even quicker.  But certainly if you hand sewed it on then  you should have white floss as well.

And of course, your big bad needle that penetrates felt easily.  Some needles do this better than others, so try a couple.
Voila.  Instant apple coaster.

Click here to the Purl Bee's pattern and pictures.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

SWOON... Galliantly Streaming

I love to take "photo shoots" with my new quilts.  It is so much fun.  I have only done it two times but I need to do some more!  This time because I had my daughter with me, I felt braver.  I always kind of feel dorky and out of place to go somewhere by myself and just start taking pictures.  I feel like I am this big, red, sore thumb sticking out.  Isn't that kind of silly?  Yet, with my daughter, who is nine... I feel safer.  What is up with that?  Really it could be anyone with me and I would feel more normal.

In this first picture here you can see I quilted it with shooting red stars.  It was my first time on a long arm and I had a blast.  I think the lady at the shop thought I was nuts coming in with red thread on a white background.  Frankly, I was a little nervous about it but it turned out fine.  And they really look shooting.  That is why I named the quilt, "Galliantly Streaming".
We live near the Erie Canal, which if you do not know was a major waterway that brought goods to and from places across the ocean.  The major lakes were connected- Lake Ontario, Erie and then the St. Lawrence Seaway.  Rochester, NY is called the flour city as we were once major producers of flour.  It traveled down the Erie Canal.  I could really go on about it but you can check out all kinds of information on the internet and through books.  So here is a link or two to get you started.
My daughter had to get in on the picture taking action.  So here it is.  I think it is a great shot I just wish it was turned to the right a little. If you just look at the quilt and not the scenery than it looks like it is on point.  When I look at the scenery, I get a little dizzy.
If you don't already know about the Swoon quilts and would like to give it a go then check out this pattern or here and there is also a Swoon group on Flickr!  Lots of fun!  This quilt was super easy and super fun!

Honestly, I am not really a pattern girl, not so much anyhow, so I kind of just did the size etc. on my own. Mine ended up being a little bigger than the pattern.

Monday, September 17, 2012

To Homeschool or Not To Homeschool

This is how our dining room table always looks!

I took the plunge.  I sat on the fence for a while and now I have finally taken the plunge and started to homeschool.  I am only working with one daughter for now because I want to really get into the swing of things before I take on the both of them at the same time.  It has been an interesting rode to this decision and I want to share with you what brought me here.

Many moons ago I thought homeschooling was a poor choice.  It always seemed to me that homeschoolers seemed socially clumsy.  I thought it was a bad idea just based on that standpoint.  I would like to apologize fo rmy lack of vision for all the homeschoolers out there.  Now I see things differently.  And isnt that so often the case where you have to be in the shoes before you can judge it.  Well, I am in the shoes now.

I see that homeschooling has come along way since I was a child.  There are many homeschooling groups out there and many resources available.  Families can get aas much socialization as they want.  It is totally up to them.  There are choices now.

Homeschool is growing... rapidly.  Many people who can choose this option, are!  Why?  Well, that is as varied of an answer as there are homeschoolers.  I think you can group them into large headings though.  I will attempt to do that.  Bear in mind that I am not exactly an expert here so I am not trying to act like one, I just want to share what I know.

General Reasons for Homeschooling

1.  Safety.  There are many people who choose this option based on the bullying and violence that can go on in schools.  Not to mention the availability of drugs.

2.  Religious Reasons.  Many people want the opportunity to instill their own religious and moral values into their children.  Rather than the morals and values of the teacher/school/education system. I think this is predominantly why many people chose homeschooling from the beginning.

3.  Education.  With such a wide resource base out there; the library, the internet, programs in the community, parents find that their child can better learn outside of the classroom.  At home, the focus is only on your child.  Whereas school curriculum is not exactly geared to the individual.  Some students are rushing to keep up and some students are bored because they have to wait for everyone to catch up with them.  Home learning is specifically tailored to the individual.  You can go as fast as the student is ready to go. 

4.  Family.  Having children in the home makes for a great opportunity for the bonds between the family to grow.
The library in our area has homeschooling packets.  Very handy!

I am sure there are more but these are just the major ones I can think of at the moment.  I chose homeschooling almost totally based on education.  Last year, my daughter was singled out as a role model and often put with children who needed a role model.  While I understand this from a teaching perspective, as a Mom I don't like it.  I want my daughters focus to be on her education not waiting for behaviors in class to play out.  The amount of kids having behaviors that are disruptive to class is increasing.  Its unfortunate.

At home less time has to be devoted to studies because it isn't about the whole class, it is about the child.  The rest of the day can be given to things like language or field trips to museums, experiential learning and such.  Again, with such a wide variety of learning styles, parents can choose from an array of options.  Frankly, it is overwhelming.  Gleaning what your values are and what your child's learning style is one of the most important steps in the process.
homeschool organization central

Since my child has been home, things are different.  Over the summer I seen a dramatic decline in night wakings and nightmares. After she has been home, she tells me that she is excited that she doesn't have to hear the scary conversations she heard on the bus.

Actually, Halloween has always been a hard time for Bella, even the simple scary stores that the teacher reads bothered her.  Not to mention the talk of ghosts and things around this time of year especially.  I never liked that time of year for her really.

So all this to tell you that you will be seeing a lot mroe art projects and such and I will share some of my journey with you in hopes of clearing up any notions you might have about homeschooling or at least direct you where you can learn more about it.
Everything we need so I dont have to say - wait- lets find that.  Its portable too.  We can take it along on outings.

Friday, September 7, 2012

A Quick and Easy Skirt To Make

I just recently downloaded a pattern from  They were offering this free pattern for a kids skirt.  It's an easy-peasy pattern and a true joy to make.  I did make some changes to it.  One of the things that sometimes drives me nuts about home made stuff is the raw edges inside of a garment.  The threads get all messy and tickly and it just does not look professional to me.  I do not have a serger.  So, what I did was enclose all the seams on the inside which was pretty easy. 

When I sewed the bottom panel on, I only sewed the outside part to the skirt.  Then on the inside, I folded down a quarter inch and pinned it up to the seam.  Then top stitched two rows.  I did the same thing with the waist band.  When I get a few pictures I will share it with you.

I also added a yo you with one of my Moms crocheted flowers.  Making it a little more personal.

If you make the pattern, be forewarned, it's big.  I made two skirts that were too big.  They went to my older daughter.  My daughter takes a size 7 or 8 and I made the 5T and it fit her perfectly.  Keepi n mind that my daughter is at the 100 percentile for height.  I recommend going down two three sizes to make this.  Take measurements and plan accordingly.