Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I Admit it…I’m Getting Spoiled!

And they’re done!! Well, almost. I still need to trim threads on about a dozen, but for the most part the everyday napkin project is complete! Now I can think about some fall, Christmas, and winter napkins! Smile 

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They are a hodge-podge of designs. For the most part, I used scrap material, especially for the girls (the pinks and purples). I had about a yard each of the stars and baseball fabrics, so I didn’t have to piece as much together for Steven and the “grown-up” napkins.

Olivia had a beautiful basket that she wasn’t using, so she graciously donated it for the napkin basket!

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And here’s the tool that made it all possible. The #64 hemmer foot. Wow.

I take the raw edge and fit it into the foot. All I have to do is keep about a quarter of an inch folded over and feeding straight through the foot.

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The foot does the rest! It takes me about five minutes to go from a raw-edged 12” square to a beautiful, hemmed napkin! Okay, so they’re not ALL beautiful. There are a few tricks to keeping the fabric running through the foot well, and this was my learning project. So, some of the hems didn’t come out just right. But, practicing on a project instead of just running through some throw-away strips of material really did pay off. I have napkins and a lot of practice with the foot!

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To top it all off, my utter disdain for narrow hems is gone. Yes, I am definitely getting spoiled!! But, oh the projects I can do!

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Monday, July 30, 2012

Not Quite Ordinary Observations

For Today...Monday, July 30, 2012

In the great outdoors...I’d rather not talk about it. Let’s just say that fall cannot come quickly enough!

A heart of thanksgiving...for air conditioning, fans, and shade trees.

A heart of prayer...for a family who lost a loved one today, for the Choates who are packing up today for their move to Texas, for rain, and for the farmers who are battling both heat and drought as they approach an early harvest.

Random observations...I just realized I entered June 30 as the date above. It really shouldn’t be the end of July yet.

Thoughts from the kitchen...today we had teriyaki deer strictly because it was already pre-cooked and packaged together in the freezer, except for the sauce. On a day like today, as little cooking as possible is a huge plus!

On my bookshelf...I actually did get to start Breath of Angel! YAY! Now to just get it finished. I also need to read YWAMS’s Dietrich Bonheoffer by Janet & Geoff Benge this week. I’m definitely looking forward to that one!

Projects...I only have a few everyday napkins to finish. They are all cut out – I just need to finish hemming them. I also have some material to make matching outfits for the girls and their sock dolls. I will be recruiting the girls to help with that project. I also need to start working on the curtains for Angela’s bedroom hide-away since her birthday is just over a month away! Steven wants to sew for Angie’s birthday (actually, he just wants to get to play on the Bernina!), so we’ll probably see if there’s enough left from the curtains to make a matching pillow for her bed. 

Sounds of the moment...fans and the A/C.

Last week we learned...um…I’m drawing a blank. I think it was reptiles and amphibians for Angie & Steven, along with ancient Mediterranean civilizations. Olivia is learning about China, and I think she was learning about the eye last week. Mbrain doesn’t work when it’s this hot.

A favorite thing from last week...sweet family time and our visit with the Choates.

The planner...is not overflowing for the month of August. In fact, we have very little planned that will take us away from home, and we plan to keep it that way! This makes me very, very happy. We are in desperate need of several routine weeks in a row.

Because visuals are fun...I had no voice last Tuesday, so Angie read their science for me. They enjoyed reading by themselves so much last week, that they’ve taken turns reading to each other every day since!Being Mommy's Voice

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Times with Friends

Doug had a meeting in Little Rock on Thursday. The kids and I tagged along with him, had school in the cafeteria of the Baptist Building while he was in his meeting, and then headed over to Barnes & Noble for a very important second meeting…a meeting with the Choates! No little smiley icon can substitute for the smile on my face! Aaron jokes that Joanna and I have radar tuned to each other – I definitely love every moment I am blessed to be with her face to face!

Anyway, we started at B&N so we could use some gift cards and pick up some school resources. All seven book addict children had a great time visiting and reading in the children’s section. Olivia had a birthday gift card that she’d been saving for this trip, and she was looking forward to book suggestions from Sarah and Benjamin. Sure enough, she ended up buying the first three books in a series that they are thoroughly enjoying right now.

Angela, Katherine & Steven

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The two Olivias

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From there we headed to Pinnacle Mountain State Park to grill burgers and visit. It was warm, but we found a nice, secluded shady spot and settled in.

The kids and Aaron explored the beginning of a trail down by the water while Doug grilled and Joanna and I set out the picnic stuff and visited.

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Then the kids migrated to a long pile of gravel. As we were leaving, Steven declared the gravel pile more fun than any playground!

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When it was finally time to say goodbye, we rounded up seven very dirty, but very happy children. Isn’t that a precious group?

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Katherine melted my heart. As soon as all of the big kids dispersed after the picture, she said, “Take one of just me, Aunt Ann!” How could I resist! Just look at that smile! Choates6

Then she needed another picture with her walking stick.

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And then Steven had to have his picture taken with his walking stick.

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And Angie had to do her prissy poses.

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I “stole” a couple of more shots. Olivia was worn out!

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And here’s the birthday girl, Sarah. She turned 13 yesterday. Such a gorgeous young lady, inside and out! Her sweet spirit reminds me so much of her precious mama.

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It was hard to say goodbye again, but I’m so thankful for the chance to cultivate our friendship online and for every chance we get to spend with them face to face.

Oh! Joanna blogged about the visit, too…here’s the link to her post: The Choate Family

Monday, July 23, 2012

Not Quite Ordinary Observations

For Today...Monday, July 23, 2012

In the great outdoors...summer in the south. What more can I say?

A heart of thanksgiving...for leftovers. Is that a petty thanksgiving? We don’t feel all that well today, thanks to summer cold season, and the ease of leftover spaghetti that can just turn into a nice spaghetti bake is simply wonderful!

A heart of prayer...rain at the right times. Harvest is not far away (early this year, thanks to our lack of winter), and it’s a tricky time for rain. But, we still need it!

Random observations...summer colds are really not fair. When I have a cold, I want to put on comfy, warm clothes like flannel pants and a sweatshirt. I want to curl up with a warm beverage and eat soup. I’m too hot-natured to do any of that in the summer. Hard to find alternative comforts for a summer cold. Okay – done complaining now. On to happier thoughts!

Thoughts from the kitchen...leftovers, as mentioned. Oh, and the two pumpkins we beat the worms to are cooking in the roaster. And I have to make bread today. We’ve been out for a few days! Oops!

On my bookshelf...Breath of Angel!! Yes, I finally will get to it this week! The review book I’m supposed to read this week is done, so I’m a week ahead. Can’t wait!

Projects...same ole stuff. Napkins when I have the chance, and starting to think about Christmas. And I have to figure out how to make Steven’s birthday cake. I think he’s decided on a Millennium Falcon cake. Should be fun!

Sounds of the moment...kids playing, keyboards tapping (mine and Doug’s), and the computer humming.

Last week we learned...about finding King Tut, and we started talking about reptiles (Steven & Angie). Olivia explored  fascinating facts about the eye and started on a unit on China, which includes the biography of Eric Liddell. I love biographies!

A favorite thing from last week...actually completing everything scheduled in the school planner. Yes, I’m weird like that, but it felt oh so good!!

The planner...normal days Monday through Wednesday. Then Doug has a meeting in LR Thursday morning. We will do school while he’s in the meeting, then in the afternoon we get to see the Choates! YAY! Friday we have a few more obligations in LR, and then home again for a (hopefully) relaxing weekend.

Because visuals are fun...when Angie has a book she wants to read but struggles to comprehend, usually because of writing style, she enjoys listening to it instead. Once she gets used to hearing the style, she then can usually read it well. (All rather ironic since I’m sharing this as a visual!) This particular day, Steven decided to join her. They kept their hands busy by sewing various designs on their lace-up cards. They looked so cute sitting there together, listening and lacing!

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Friday, July 20, 2012

Art Camp 3

I have not been diligent to use the proper hand positions for typing lately, and I’ve done far too much FB and text interacting on my phone. I started reaping the consequences yesterday – the first hand pain I’ve had in a long time! Do you know how hard it is to do the slow hunt and peck typing that wrist braces require when you’re used to being a fast typist? Yeah. But I was determined to get Liv’s pictures up today, no matter how long it takes! Other than this, though, no typing for me today!

So, without further ado, here are Olivia’s masterpieces!

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This first clay piece is a doll swing.

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Here is her clay jar.

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And this is a necklace or medallion.

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This clay jar began featherless – they were added later. I don’t think it shows up well here, but she cut the word “flour” into the side of the jar when she made it.

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And her ceramics – she calls this a lidded cup.

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This one is unfinished, but it should end up being an optical illusion, with the circle in the middle looking as if it’s floating above the colored squares around it.

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This one is crazy buildings.

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The next two are supposed to look rather vicious. The first is a sketching of the face she was supposed to then recreate on canvas. She colored her face, painted over it with black paint, and then wiped off as much of the black paint as possible to make the face look like it’s an old artifact.

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This birch tree painting is my favorite!

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I like this one, too. She sketched her crazy cat on cardboard and then used hot glue to raise the outline. Next she covered the entire thing with foil and pressed the foil down around the dried glue. Finally, she colored the foil with markers. Is that not a fun idea?

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And finally, her ice cream man.

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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Art Camp 2

I just realized I didn’t get Angie’s artwork posted yesterday! (We went swimming instead!)  So, here’s hers, and I will still try to get Olivia’s up this afternoon.

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We’ll start with her clay and ceramics. The first two, the jar and necklace, are clay.

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The necklace is reversible.

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Her ceramic jar had different designs all the way around.

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Here she was supposed to look at some leaves, sketch them on one piece of paper (on the right), and then paint what she’d sketched. She said that for some reason she had to change her plan, but I didn’t follow exactly what the reason was.

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I love this one – I think it’s my favorite! She calls it her silhouette painting.

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She did a lot of animals – goldfish in their bowl, a lion, a cat (who she calls the Mina Cat because of the stripes she designed), peacocks, and a hippo. There are two peacock pictures because she wasn’t satisfied with the first one. The second one didn’t get finished at camp, but I think she plans to finish it.

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Angela is like me in that she tends to be more practical. If she’s going to do artwork or a craft, she wants it to be for a purpose. She loved learned at art camp, and came home Thursday, pulled out her acrylic paints, and painted a cat picture for one of her teachers. So sweet!