Friday, July 30, 2010

We Heart Art

Yes, it's the time of year when next year's school supplies starts arriving in the mail. This week we've received our materials for art. I stewed and mulled over what to do about art for this coming year and I finally decided upon ARTistic Pursuits. After receiving the curriculum and thumbing through it, I can already tell that I've made a good choice.

The arts are very important to me and I very much wish to have an extremely arts-friendly household. I was lucky enough to grow up in an environment rich with musical and artistic talent and just simply assumed that I possessed those same inclinations due to genetics. I wish I had had more access to resources, and I'm trying to rectify that dilemma in my own home. I've cleaned out our pantry in our kitchen and devoted it entirely to homeschooling, but it's apparent that it's eventually just going to become an art closet, with shelves and shelves of supplies that will be available to use whenever the fancy to use them surfaces. It's a significant investment, both of space and money; but it's an academic area that I want to place a lot of emphasis upon, especially while my children are young and so eager to explore anything creative. Life is more beautiful when it includes art.

So yes, I'm flashing my Frequent Buyer card at Dick Blick's and having to use the baby stroller to help cart cases of construction paper from the van to the front door. And I'm trying to just close my eyes and let them cut, color, glue and paint...even when it looks like all they're doing is destroying perfectly good art supplies. A veteran homeschooler told me once that, "Art supplies are to be consumed, not conserved." I repeat that mantra to myself a lot, especially when I see the youngers glopping so much paint onto their papers that the paper inevitably tears due to complete and total demise of its structural integrity. They are exploring art...figuring out what does what and learning how to manipulate their mediums. It's a wonderful time in the life of a child, and I intend to allow them to completely indulge themselves.

(I don't know about you, but seeing all that art supplies in all those vivid colors just makes me want to sit down with a few sheets of paper and do a little artistic exploration of my own!)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Name This Photo: Sole Sistahs

I've been trying to come up with a name for this picture of the girls' feet, but haven't been able to come up with something yet. What do you think a good title for it would be? I took the photo while they were sitting atop the utility boxes in our front yard, eating popsicles.

ETA: I also posted this to my Facebook profile and whilst engaged in an instant message chat with a friend, she came up with "Sole Sistahs" for the title. Thanks for playing along!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Innocence of Childhood

Bluebird finished drawing a picture and enthusiastically raised it in the air and announced, "Look at this picture that I drew of a turd!" She followed her announcement with giddy laughter.

Obviously, this caught my attention.

I responded with, "Honey, don't draw pictures of turds, it's kind of gross."

The confused look on her face alerted me to the possibility that she hadn't drawn an actual turd, so I explained that turd was another word for poop. Her eyes opened wide and she said, " picture is of a brand new animal I came up with--a turtle crossed with a bird, which I decided to call a Turd."

I roared with laughter.

And then I suggested she call her animal creation a Birdle.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Yarn Swag

The yarn stash has grown considerably, thanks to the annual "Yarn Quest" that's put on by seven yarn shops in the Salt Lake Valley. Thought I'd share some pictures of the swag for those of you who are as excited by wool as I am:

Some Cascade 220, purchased at Unwind, which I plan upon using to create another Aran Scarf, this time for myself:
Rowan Colourscape Chunky, picked up at The Unravelled Sheep. An impulse buy because it reminded me of Penguin for some reason. Not quite sure what I'm going to make with it; probably a scarf for the cute girl:
A handful of skeins of Tahki Cotton Classic, found at The Wool Cabin, intended for a Sweet Pea Hat and a Happy Trails hat (Ravelry link):

Some Knit One Crochet Too "Crock-o-Dye," purchased at Black Sheep Wool Company, in a colorway that matches Bluebird's new winter parka, for which she is lacking accessories:
Mmmm, Koigu. Believe it or not, all three of these colorways will be in the same project and will probably end up looking quite fabulous. That's the magic of Koigu. I don't know why it works that way, but it does. I plan upon using this to make a beautiful linen stitch scarf that I saw on display at Blazing Needles:
Shibui Stacatto, colorway: "50's Kitchen," also from Blazing Needles. I saw it and grabbed every skein of it from the display because I just absolutely fell in love with the colors. I think they make a cute "little boy" colorway...I'm leaning towards using it to make a cardigan for Monkeyboy:

Some Berroco "Vintage," destined to become a Pembroke vest for Monkeyboy, chosen after Kamille pointed it out for its machine washability and economical price:
A special treat that I picked up at Three Wishes Fiber Arts--a merino and tencel fiber blend by Greenwood Fiberworks (fittingly named "Vancouver")--for me to get my spin on.I only possess a hand spindle, so spinning hasn't been a big focus of mine. However, at knit group, Kit showed me an easier way to wield the hand spindle and thus re-ignited my interest in the craft.

Bluebird wants some Mommy-made yarn as well, and chose some fiber at Three Wishes in a colorway that suited her, Mountain Color's "Gold Rush":

The purpose of Yarn Quest is to get you to visit all seven stores (hopefully parting with some of your money) and get your Yarn Quest card punched/stamped so it can be entered into a drawing for all sorts of delicious knitting goodies.

They also had a kids' card, which Bluebird diligently presented at each shop and is now holding her breath over whether or not she'll win a prize. (If she's inherited her mother's luck, she will not win a thing.)

It was fun to spend two whole Saturdays with just her (and Monkeyboy, as I'm his sole food source), travelling about and chatting and just being together. It's hard to find one-on-one time with my children, so I was pleased that we could bond over something that interests me so much. Penguin is looking forward to tagging along with us for next year's Yarn Quest because she wants some quality time with Mama as well.

She's been requesting knitting lessons every since we walked out of the first shop together. I was planning on teaching her this winter, but might bump it up as a result of her newfound enthusiasm. Heaven knows we have enough inspiration, in the form of yarn and fiber, to keep us happily engaged for many months to come!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Purling Penguins:
A Knitting Group in Spanish Fork, Utah

We meet from 6-8pm at Jaxie's each Thursday!

Bring your knitting, crocheting, spinning, weaving, whatever...grab a panini and meet us upstairs for good conversation and fiber-y goodness!

Jaxie's is located at 747 North Main Street in Spanish Fork, Utah.

We also have a group listing on Ravelry.

All you fiber enthusiasts from Spanish Fork, Springville, Mapleton, Salem, Payson...we'd really like to meet you!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


She insists that she did not eat the blue lollipop that disappeared from the kitchen counter.

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Current Pressing Decision

This summer's home improvement project is giving the master bathroom a little facelift. I'm going for an "aloe" type of green, with bright white and light lemon yellow accents. I think it will look quite nice. If you don't hear from me much next week, it's due to the fact that I'll be up to my eyeballs in green paint, replacing water-damaged moulding, installing a new shower curtain rod and possibly installing a new medicine cabinet into our storage-cramped bathroom.

I have a seven year rotating schedule for maintaining and improving our home. Each July I spend a week or two tackling whatever room/area is slated for attention. I find it makes it easier and less anxiety-provoking to pick out colors--I only have to look at those specific colors for seven years before they change. It also gives me license to be more adventurous...because I know the colors aren't permanent and can be changed in a few years' time. (Let me tell you, I am so looking forward to when the Master Bedroom's rotation comes up in a couple years! So tired of wedgewood blue and white...)

So if any of you happen across a cheerful aloe green shower curtain, let me know!

Friday, July 2, 2010


I've been mapping out our science lessons for the next year. We're going to study animals, the human body and plants. I asked each of the girls if there were any specific animals they were interested in studying and they chimed in with their preferences. (Penguins were mentioned multiple times, shocking...)

As a result of my questioning, Bluebird has been kind of stuck on the subject of animals ever since, and comes up to me with questions about particular species and whatnot...a few days ago, we had this conversation:

Bluebird: "Do skunks come in different colors besides black?"

Me: "Not that I'm aware of."

Bluebird: "I bet they do."

Me: "Well, let me know if you ever come across one."

Bluebird: "Black skunks smell gross, but I'm going to find a pink skunk because pink skunks smell like candy."

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Pictures from "Cinderella"

I took pictures of the whole production, so I thought I'd share some of the other shots I got of the play:

Click here for the post with Bluebird-specific photos.