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Showing posts from October, 2012

A Little Bit Witchy

The biggest piece of advice I can give for artist/writers who are exploring art journaling is to never feel like every piece of artwork needs to be original.Us bloggers post on our blogs and Pinterest so that others will see what we do and gain inspiration from it.I have some favorite artist blogs that I follow for inspiration.

Art Projects for Kids MarveLes Art Studios Penny Lane Ink (not currently updating) But my all time most used resource is Pinterest.   I am not looking for a visually stunning piece of art.  I am looking for something that will connect with children, challenge their artistic abilities and provide a writing opportunity.  In my mind, I need to be able to see where I will put words, whether they are my own original thoughts, a collage or a poem or quote I plan to copy.  Young children require more space on the page to write! I love this page from Art Projects for Kids.  To complete this page we used: Sharpie Markers, Oil Pastels, and watercolor paint.  The simple lines o…

Home Economics 101

Some days you can rock out lessons moving casually from one subject to the next.  The learning is an ebb and flow and at the end of the day you are completely amazed by what was accomplished.  Check off math.  Check off science.  Check of history.  

Then there are days when you have to content with the realities of the life you live.  A trip to the grocery store is required for items to cook a dinner for friends.  The dust bunnies can no longer she shooed away banished back to their home under the hutch and sofa.  While it would be so nice to spend the day in pajamas, with classical music playing and books strewn across the floor, some days that does not happen. This is when I look very carefully at our day.  While I ran to the grocery store, Grace watched two hours of Liberty’s Kids to review her history and get caught up to where she is currently.  Lilah practiced piano and set up our back room for an art journaling session.   Then we began to cook.  Together.  Grace made her first jui…

You are a perfect You

When my girls were young I cancelled all my fashion magazines.  I did not want an InStyle Magazine on my coffee table inviting my impressionable daughters to compare themselves against Britney Spears and Lindsey Lohan.  Little did I realize back then that this was in no way going to prevent my girls from repeated exposure to what the media and fashion industry deems to be “beautiful”. 

Disney.  I wonder what Mr. Walt would think of what his company has become? From child stars run wild, to Princesses scantily clad and rail thin derived from fairy tales so distorted from the original that they are barely recognizable copies of the masterpiece.  The marketing machine that is Disney has really outdone themselves this time in their latest collaboration with the upscale retailer Barney’s.   From what I have read and viewed, this is the plan for Barney’s holiday window.  Minnie Mouse falls asleep and has a dream in which she is “model-thin” and able to wear the beautiful gowns that drape the …

Pumpkin Time!

Our family has a tradition of pumpkin carving with cousins.  We look forward to it every year.  It is the official kick off of the holiday season ‘round here.

Piano Practice

Music fills our home as the girls prepare for upcoming performances.  Throughout November and December the girls have several opportunities to share their love of the piano with others.  They are working daily to polish their pieces.   One of the girl’s friends is a very talented pianist.  Last week she played us a piece from memory.  I assumed it was a classical piece from a composer like Bach or perhaps even Mozart.  My jaw hit the floor when I found out it was her own composition!Little did this child know that she inspired Lilah to begin tinkering with the keys.First Lilah took a simple song that is played only with the right hand and added notes for her left hand.Pleased with the outcome, she composed her first piece of music!I hope this is the beginning of many more original pieces of music. You never know where you will find inspiration.   Never stop seeking it.

Rondo alla Turka:
Toccata and Fugue:

Lilah's performance piece:

Lilah's original composition:


Yale Splash was this weekend.  It is a program where middle school and high school students can attend classes of their choice taught by Yale Students.  There are similar programs at colleges and universities throughout the country.

This was a great opportunity for Grace.For most middle school students the novelty of selecting classes and finding their way around a school has worn off.For a homeschooled child, this is very new and exciting.Schedules were distributed and after a brief explanation of the layout of Harkness Hall, she was left on her own to navigate her way through her morning.
Her course selection included: Wilderness Survival, Mathematical Origami, The Science of Ice Cream, The Chemistry of Explosions, The Life of Einstein.The classes ranged from lecture, to hands-on experimentation.She enjoyed them all, but she shared with me two of her frustrations -- disruptive classmates and the inability to get up and stretch when nee…


A little bit of fall in a jar......

Pumpkin Spice Granola  6 cups rolled oats1/2 cup gluten free flour1/2 tsp salt1 cup apple juice concentrate (I used apple cider)3/4 cup palm sugar1/2 canola oil1/2 cup pumpkin puree2 tbsp ground flaxseeds1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice1 tsp vanilla1 cup chopped walnutsI added 1 cup dried cranberries as well!
Heat oven to 350 degrees. In large bowl combine oats, flour, and salt and stir. In food processor (I used blender), grind your flaxseeds.  Add apple cider, pumpkin spice, puree, and vanilla. Blend well.  Pour into dry mixture and mix. Spread on baking pans and bake for 70 minutes, turning the granola over with wooden spoon or spatula every 20 min.   Cool.  Add cranberries. I like to keep my granola in a large Ball Jar in the freezer.  It never lasts more than 2 weeks!
*This recipe came from my newest cookbook (Lilah’s cookbook actually.....Sweet & Easy Vegan: Treats made with whole grains and natural sweeteners by Robin Asbell.  It was modified with glute…


Lilah is really enjoying her art class.  It is a mini-class which lasts just three weeks.   I love that her teacher is incorporating story writing with the art of anime.  It merges both her passions. 
When her class ends next week she will have a comic strip story board.  It will be her choice to leave it as is, or use these boards to develop the story further.  
Personally, I like it just the way it is!

Tootsie Roll Floral Creations

As much as I struggle with my love/hate relationship with social media, recently it gave me a reason to love it.  Karen @ Homeschool Girls posts pictures of her daughter’s cupcake class on Instagram.  Lilah looks forward to these pictures every week for inspiration in her baking.  When she saw that Keilee created floral arrangements using Tootsie Rolls, she bought some and began experimenting.

Hours were spent making these flowers.  I am guessing three?  I was not home when the baking began but walked into a home that smelled of vanilla yumminess and was filled with the melodies of Taylor Swift and I was greeted by my apron-clad girl rocking out in her kitchen without a care in the world.  
Studies show it takes an investment of 10,000 hours to become an expert at something.  She is well on her way to meeting that goal!

Do Little Things with Great Love: Collage Friday

Sometimes things happen and you don’t know the reason.  Teenagers die. Loved ones fall ill.  There are complications from surgeries.  You desperately miss your friend who is so far away. Carefully planned schedules fall apart.  Pets almost pass on before their time.  You end up asking yourself why?  What else can possibly be piled on to an already overloaded mind and body?  I know I am not done.  I know there is more to come.  It is already on the schedule.

I also know that there is something to be learned from this.  What it is I am not sure.  I keep repeating the quote that God will not give me more than I can handle.  I also am continually reminded that my burdens are minimal compared to others and often I feel I have no reason to complain.  I don’t know scripture.  When I am in need I can not call a verse to mind to help me, so I look them up and I find peace in their words. Isaiah 40:31 NIV
but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on the wings like e…

Electronics: Little Bits

Grace’s interest in electronics was sparked (no pun intended) during our Snap Circuit Class.  She and Lilah created many of the circuits in the kit and watching the lights light and the alarms sound.  Snap Circuits is a wonderful introduction to electronics but Grace wanted to move ahead in her learning and layer her learning moving towards electrical engineering, where she can build and construct circuits to solve problems or just make very cool things!

We have moved away from our Snap Circuits kits and are purchasing another kit that allows for more creativity and the beginnings of engineering in a way that children of all ages can understand. Little Bits are hard to find right now.  Amazon has them $20 over the list price and Little Bits site is sold out!  

The girls also had the opportunity to take apart an old stripped laptop.  The purpose of this was not to understand how a computer works, but rather simply to gain experience using tools that are necessary to work with electronics…

Lilah's Manga Drawing Class

I don’t know what prompted Lilah’s interest in manga.  As far back as I ca remember it was there.  She is not a huge comic book fan.  She does not watch Japanese Anime.  No Powder Puff Girls.  I have Sprited Away in our Netflix Instant Queue but so far we have not watched it.  I don’t know where her interest began but every now and then she will pull out all her Chris Hart books and spend hours and hours drawing. Here are some of my favorites:

I did not ask for her input when I registered her for a 3 session class on manga drawing.  This drew her ire, for she is not one to sign up for classes and did not want to go.  I pleaded for her to try one class and keep an open mind.  She went.  I will never forget when I called her to check in on her. “Did you like the class?”“Uhhhh....huh...................” (giggling)“So is that a yes?”“Maaaaaaaybeeeeeeee” (again giggling)“Are you going back”“Maaaaaaybeeeeeee”“Can you just tell me how right I am?I really would love to hear it!”“Nooooooppppppeee…

Tri State Weather Conference

Last year when Grace was attending the middle school Meteorology Program at WSCU, she was made aware of the Tri-State Meteorology Conference, a professional conference held at the university every other year and open to not only professional meteorologists but also weather data collectors, and weather enthusiasts!

Ten speakers presented on topics that ranged from historical data collection in Upstate New York to Duo-Polarization Radar and why it should matter to you!  Out of the 10 presenters, all were excellent but some were too technical to hold the interest of a twelve year old.  Her favorite presentations were about the 1938 hurricane, the October snowstorm of last year, the MA tornado outbreak also of last year and geological changes the weather creates and how geological conditions affect weather.  
Note taking is a skill that takes time to develop.  Although this format was purely lecture and the information presented would not have to be regurgitated in test format, I used the …

Art Journaling: Butterfly Page

My art journaling groups that took place over the summer have  ended.  My original Monday group still meets from time to time but the three families are very busy people and more often than not we cancel.  I miss this time of creativity and companionship.  

I am beyond thrilled that friends of mine who participated in my open Summer session decided they would like to come more often and create art...and share words and time and friendship.   I have been looking forward to meeting for so long and finally the time has come!
The coolest thing about these girls is they take my model and mostly disregard it!  They may be inspired by it but they feel no need to copy it.  They turn their page into something completely original and unique.   As we go forward, there are many new techniques I would like to try.  I want to watch tutorials with them and experiment with new materials.  I want them to look back a few months from now and see how they have developed as writers and artists.  
I am giddy w…