Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Shameless Grovel


I usually don't post things like this.  However, could I shamelessly grovel around for a second and ask you to please vote for my blog?  It will only take a second.   I promise. You can vote by clicking on this link here

Thanks very much!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Geisha Fan Apron

OK...I admit it.  I am terrible at "self photography".  I took these pictures outside while it was raining using a cloudy mirror.  (Yes, I took a mirror out into my back yard!)   The hardest part about blogging about sewing is NOT the actual sewing. It is finding a way to photograph the things you have sewn. 

Trust me when I say that these pictures do not do this fabric justice.  The fabrics were chosen by a friend of mine and I think she did a great job.  I would have never thought of this combination on my own.  I am especially amazed because all three of these fabrics come from different collections and even different designers, but the colors match perfectly.  They look like they were made for each other. 

Pattern Details:
This pattern is the Emmeline apron by Sew Liberated.  This is a reversible apron with gathered bust and a wide, flirty skirt.  The only modification I made was to lengthen the waist straps a bit.  (I like to do this for my own aprons so it can more easily be tied in both the front and the back.)  I also added extra deep pockets to the front and back...because we can all use an extra hand carrying stuff.

I have sewn this pattern many, many times.  It goes together nicely and I can't really think of any "warnings" that I would need to post if you are thinking about trying it.  Perhaps the only thing I can think of is that the top may need to be modified if you are especially large busted.  However, the top piece is a simple gathered rectangle...so it is a very easy modification. 

Fabric Details:
The main fabric is Geisha Fans by Amy Butler.
Geisha Fans by Amy Butler
The binding, ties, and trim are Floral Elements in Tangerine by Patricia Bravo.
Close up of the Alexander Henry Cotton Lawn Fabric

And finally, the main reverse fabric is this GORGEOUS, luxurious cotton lawn fabric by Alexander Henry.  The thread count is so high in this fabric it feels nearly like silk.   The fabric name is Oxford Butterfly in Rosey Terra Cotta.

Well, thanks for looking!  And thanks for looking at my poor self photography.  (Soon my kids will be old enough to start taking pictures.)
"Hey!  I figured out how to use the timer function on the camera!"
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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Sonlight Blog Roll for 2011-2012

Everyone knows that I am a huge fan of Sonlight.  I have gushed about their wonderful books many times on my blog.

For those who also share my love for Sonlight, I present The Sonlight 2011-2012 Blog Roll.

This blog roll will give fellow "Sonlight-ers" a place to connect and meet.  Feel free to bookmark this page and refer to it anytime you need some inspiration. 

Are you a blogger using Sonlight for the 2011-2012 school year? 
First grab the button code below and display it proudly on your blog.  Next, use the Linky Tool at the bottom of this page to link up your blog.  There is absolutely no weekly posting requirement--just link up and have fun.

Once you link up, feel free to comment on this post so that I can go and check out your blog.  

Sonlight Blog Roll

Please note:  This blog roll is not in any way affiliated with the Sonlight Company.  The views and opinions reflected in these blogs do not necessarily represent the Sonlight company.  :)  We are just fans who like to write about our experiences with Sonlight.
Friday, April 15, 2011

UPDATED- Nature Study for Preschoolers: Twig Race

Picture Taken on 4-15-2011--Scroll to the bottom to see the UPDATE on this post
 Do you have a preschooler who loves to race?  Are they always racing to see who can be the first up the stairs?  Or the first to the car?   Well, I have a little boy who loves racing.  So we decided to incorporate a little racing in our nature study this week by having a "twig race."  This is an excellent project for you to do with your kids this time of year.

This project came from the book Mudpies to Magnets: A Preschool Science Curriculum.  It is a fantastic book filled with GREAT ideas of exploring science with preschool aged children.  I highly recommend it.

Mudpies to Magnets: A Preschool Science Curriculum

What is a Twig Race?
"The Twig Race utilizes observation of the marvel of spring---the renewed growth of trees as buds and leaves grow from their twigs.  But which grows fastest, the twig on the tree or the cut twig that is taken inside?  The children observe the growth of the twigs both indoors and out.  Who wins the race?  Try it and find out!", Mudpies to Magnets: A Preschool Science Curriculum, p. 127.

How to have a Twig Race?

In the very early spring (like right now!), pick a tree that your children are well associated with to study.  We chose a cherry tree that grows right outside our front door.  We pass this tree several times per day as we go in and out of the house.  So we have plenty of chances to observe it throughout the year.

Talk to the children about the lack of leaves on the tree.  Also, point out the buds on the tree to the child.  Have the child describe the buds as they see them.  (Different trees have different feeling and looking buds.)  Also explain to them the purpose of the buds.

Next explain that we are going to have a race with the tree and see which twig sprouts first:  the twig the tree takes care of OR the twig that we take care of indoors.  Clip a twig off of the tree using a clean cut and put it indoors in water next to a window.    Also, pick a specific twig which you wish to race by tying a piece of brightly colored yarn or ribbon on it.

Everyday observe the twig outdoors and the twig you are taking care of indoors.  Which twig wins the race?

Our results:
The kids and I made a hypothesis on which twig would win the race.  I personally thought that the twig left on the tree would bloom first.  Marcus and Sophie thought that they would win the race by taking very good care of their twig indoors.

Well...who won the race?   In our case, it was the twig left indoors.  (I was quite surprised!)
The buds on our twig are just beginning to bloom into very pretty flowers:

Our indoor twig (picture taken on 4-11-2011)
The twig outdoors is still far from blooming:
Here you can see our outdoor twig we are observing.  We tied it with a red piece of yarn so we could easily find it.  (picture taken on 4-11-2011)
We are going to continue to observe our twig indoors and out to watch for other changes.

Well, thanks for reading!  I hope you enjoy this special time spent with your children getting acquainted with nature.
UPDATE:  As of April 13, 2011, our Cherry Tree is in FULL BLOOM! 
Picture taken on 4-15-2011-Most of the Cherry Tree is in full bloom
The blooms happened slowly at first, and then, seemingly overnight, the entire tree was covered with flowers.  It was really a magnificent change.
Picture Taken on 4-15-2011
 Here you can see our twig that we were racing with.  (Remember, we tied it with red yarn to mark it.)
The tree obviously won the race!  Picture taken on 4-15-2011
Meanwhile, the cut twig hasn't shown much change.  It has very little, meager-looking blossoms.  So although the cut trees blossoms may have opened first, they lack the splendor that the actual tree produced.
As to be expected, the tree takes better care of its twigs than we can.  Picture taken on 4-15-2011
Here come the honey bees:
On the very first day our tree blossomed, the tree was COVERED with bees.  Probably about 30-40--- which seemed like a lot to me!  I was inside the house and I could actually hear their humming.  However, after about a day they moved on and I haven't seen a single one back. 

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