Monday, January 31, 2011

more adventure of different sorts

 Papa took some pictures of Camille at her blacksmithing class.  She came home with some cool projects and the tool and instructions to be able to do some copper repousse work at home.

As well as doing the repousse in copper, Camille created a metal butterfly by soldering together scrap pieces that they had available at  The Howard Academy for the Metal Arts.

I shared with her a silver and tiger eye piece that I had created in a jewelry-making class using the lost-wax casting method and now she wants to try that :)

And Sylvia folded yet more paper airplanes.

And "Can we do water balloons in the middle of winter?"  Sure, just take it to the bathroom...or better yet the bathtub.

So out came the swimsuits, and for Sylvia, a life jacket even, and they had a bathtub adventure, wherein a large orange dinosaur egg was found.

And Camille was given a new instrument by this lovely family and has been at it for hours (and did I mention we're ready for a whole new BIG adventure?....We are:)

open to possibilities

This is where we'll be come June!  

Oh, yes, country life for us!  This is something that I've been dreaming about my whole adult life, but wasn't actively seeking at this point.  A good friend shared a link with me to his friend's blog, we met these truly wonderful people, and serendipity took over. They are moving on to their next adventure and we are moving onto ours.  It's a huge unfinished, solar heated home on almost 11 acres of land, 9 acres are used for organic crops.  It has fruit trees, cherry, pear, plum, honeycrisp apple, and more!  It is hilly and beautiful.

Did I mention it's unfinished?  Do we have any experience in electrical, plumbing, putting up walls?  Are we handy?  Well...we have hands and the ability to learn and be open to possibilities.  Are we crazy?  I think this is just the right kind of crazy for us ;-)
*picture credits to the Raye family for all of these photos

Saturday, January 29, 2011

out and in

Yesterday we were out and about.  Camille and Sylvia participated in an epic battle with the good folks over at Circle the World in Big.  

Then we went to look for eagles at the Wisconsin River and I did manage to spot one in flight, but the girls were having much too much fun climbing the snow mounds to catch a glimpse for themselves :)


Today however has been a cozy inside kind of day.  We cut lots and lots of hearts out of magazine pages.  I can't wait to see what will become of those.

And I guess we are all ready to see things green and growing again because Sylvia planted some flower seeds, Camille checked on our bulbs growing, and I started soaking some seeds for sprouting  (Mmmm, broccoli and lentil sprouts).

 Tomorrow, Camille is going to take part in a blacksmithing class.  We are open to the possibilities....

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


During my mini cleaning spree lately I had a lot of time to think about stuff, especially how I managed to accumulate so much of it.  There were periods of time during my late teens/early twenties when I owned a bowl, set of chopsticks, water bottle, a couple changes of clothes, a sleeping bag, a guitar, and very little else.  This was intentional.  It's actually very hard not to accumulate stuff.  Well-intentioned people always want to give you things thinking you must be in need of more.  Only 3 1/2 years ago, when Sylvia was a baby, we lived in a very small one-bedroom house (really very small, not much larger than an average garage), so we didn't have a lot of room for stuff.  However, we now seem to have more stuff than we can organize, contain, and care for.  Very little of what we own was bought new by us.  The vast majority of it was gifted, thrifted, made, repurposed, or found by the side of the road : )  As such, much of our stuff contains memories, much of it is useful, or potentially useful in a creative endeavor, or is the product of a past creative endeavor.  I guess now is not the time for simplicity for me or my family.  So, I forgive myself the messy clutter and embrace the abundance of stuff.

Here is some of the good stuff that was rediscovered while cleaning over the last few days...
---a sculpture that I made while pregnant with Camille
 ---a wool felt ball that Camille and I made for Sylvia when she was a baby (now Ayla can play with it too)
---a drawing of Camille, Sylvia, and me with a baby in my arms.  It reads "CungraDhalachunS MaMa You ar preGnunt " (this is from the day I found out I was pregnant with Ayla) 

---and a one-a-day paper airplane calendar bought many months ago(we have been having lots of fun seeing which fly the farthest and trying to figure out why)

There is so much stuff here to read, watch, listen to, make music with, dress up in, create with, turn on, watch, grow, taste, enjoy, cook with, feel, snuggle up to, jump on, teethe on, and be inspired by....As unschoolers this suits us just right.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Triumph (a clean room)

I know a lot of you in blogland keep very tidy lovely homes, but we tend more to the "creative mess" around here or even the disastrous clutter of overwhelming proportions at times.  However, Papa's work is "encouraging" their employees to use up some of their vacation hours, so he is taking two days off so that we might try to tackle some of the more ignored rooms in the house.  I try to keep up with the more common spaces in the house (ha!), but the computer/crafting/playspace room and the bedrooms are not usually high on my list.  I figure there's time for a tidy house when my kids are a bit older, right?  Well, today Camille and I cleaned her room!  This is a girl who loves to collect bits and treasures and can't stand to see a broken mug or an especially pretty cereal box get thrown out, and then wants all of her possessions lovingly scattered around the room.  Who knows when they'll be just the thing needed?  She had a strong feeling that her dresser top and her closet floor were perfect in all of their messy glory, so we left those alone, but I couldn't help wanting to document the rest of the room.  Who knows when again it might be this clutter-free?
 This is a wool wall hanging that I had thought about taking apart for the wool roving, but it has found a home above Camille's dresser.  It's adds such a bright warmness in this spot.
That's all for now...on to the next room.  We're also enjoying this extra time with Papa by going swimming, and to the Children's Museum, something fun each day, not just tidying.....

Saturday, January 22, 2011


Oooh, I'm cruising right along on the knitting (ahem, for me).  I finished one arm-warmer as requested by Camille.  I used a self-patterning sock yarn which is a merino/cashmere/nylon blend (soft and washable).  I cast on 44 stitches on size 3 double-pointed needles.  I started with 10 rows of knit-one, purl-one ribbing.  Then knit until it was 7 1/2" long.  Then bound off 6 stitches (for the thumb hole) and started ribbing for the rest of the row.  Next row, I cast on 6 stitches (over the hole), and continued in the knit-one, purl-one pattern for 5 rows, binding off in the same pattern.  Should Camille decide she wants two arm-warmers, I will now remember what I did for this one ;-)

...and here's some more winter joy pictures from the sledding birthday party we went to today.

Sylvia and birthday girl, Ellie


Friday, January 21, 2011

Full days

The weather here has kept us in for a few days, and here's what we have been up to...
Making music, playing Uno, Mythmagical Battles, the Very Hungry Caterpillar Game, and Hedbanz (players take turns asking questions like "Do I have legs?", ""Could one person lift me by themselves?", "Am I a goat?", etc. until they guess what card is on their head), eating (tofu stirfry with lime-tamari marinade), experimental baking...

 hair coloring, body art, and spooky body art,....

and screen-printed T-shirts for a birthday party weekend.  (We'll have to split up, Papa and Camille to the bigger-girl birthday party, and me, Sylvia, and Ayla to the littler-girl birthday party)...
7 yo birthday gift
4 yo birthday gift

 Sister snuggles and watching Mythbusters and where, oh where, are the pictures of baby Ayla?   Oh yeah, she is always on my lap, in the carrier, nursing, so here's one....

I am enjoying the busyness of days at home.