Sunday, September 25, 2016

Art and Crafts

Lots going on this past week, as usual.  A few weeks ago, I was asked to teach the kindergarten religion class at the grade school attached to my church, so four days a week it's up-and-at-'em for me!  No more leisurely breakfasts.  I am enjoying the students and the time in an irl classroom.  I've been teaching for an on-line school for so long that I'd forgotten what it is like to actually be able to see the students!

Preschool with the granddaughters included making Indian corn.  Each week, the concentration on their faces is priceless.



Hannah and Arane impressively whipped up this sweet doll quilt in about an hour and a half, using scraps and leftover blocks from other projects, all chosen and arranged by Arane.  She ironed and used the sewing machine (with Hannah's help and supervision) for the first time.  She was so proud of herself!  


             


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Yesterday was Museum Day, so Dave and I spent a couple hours at the Art and Archaeology Museum of the University of Missouri.  It's always free, but we thought Museum Day was a good excuse to visit.  We really enjoy museums of all types but especially art museums.  The AAM is known for its 100-plus-year-old plaster casts of ancient Greek and Roman statuary. It's the next best thing to being in Greece and Rome!  We also looked at ancient Greek and Roman archaeological finds (jugs, jewelry, religious objects, and the like) and early Christian art.  (What can I say?  I married a pastor who is also a classicist!  Good thing I'm interested too. . .)

The stunning view of the cast gallery from the entrance~



Some favorites~

Homer

Nike

The feet of Laocoon and his sons


Thanks for stopping by!




Saturday, September 17, 2016

Finished!



I finished Hannah's quilt today at long last.  The binding gave me fits for awhile, but Hannah gave me some pointers and it went much faster and better.  It's kind of funny that she asked me to make her a quilt at all since she's a far more accomplished quilter than I am.  In fact, this is only my second quilt ever.  It is far from perfect, but as Edith Schaeffer used to say, "If you insist on perfection or nothing, you'll get nothing."  


I don't consider myself a quilter; I've just made two quilts.  While I really do appreciate people who make quilt after beautiful quilt with lovely, coordinated fabrics using fancy machines and gadgets, I'm more interested in plain ol' scrap quilts made with whatever is on hand.  Not that I used only scraps for this quilt.  I would have liked to have, but Hannah wanted a definite color scheme, so I bought a good part of the fabric.  But the fanciest gadget I used was Hannah's rotary cutter and mat to cut the border, which I could have done with scissors.  The rest was done with nothing but a pair of scissors, a ruler and pen, cardboard templates, straight pins, and my little Janome.  I enjoyed the challenge and creative satisfaction of making something useful and beautiful with limited means and resources.  Always more rewarding than throwing money at a project!

My meager sewing skills have been acquired through Youtube, websites, and trial and error . . . or maybe I should say blood, sweat, and tears.  Anyway, I'll be moving on to my next sewing project.  I wonder what it will be . . .

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

From My Commonplace Book



Some recent additions to my commonplace book~

"All the members of a family [need] to accept, fully, the fact that taking care of themselves by cooking is as much a part of life as taking care of themselves by eating."~ Christopher Alexander, A Pattern Language

"Thrift is the really romantic thing; economy is more romantic than extravagance. . . thrift is poetic because it is creative; waste is unpoetic because it is waste. . . if a man could undertake to make use of all the things in his dustbin, he would be a broader genius than Shakespeare."~ G.K. Chesterton

And a not-so-recent entry~

"What I learned then, I believe strongly now: that if mass production is bad in the creation of bread or cheese, it is much worse for the formation of vulnerable human beings.  The work whould be entrusted only to the craftsman who loves his materials and will have his name on the thing he creates."~ David Mills, on homeschooling


My first blog entry from my commonplace book is here, in case you are interested in reading my very brief explanation of how I keep mine.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Miscellany

Scenes from the last week~

Preschool with the grandkids this week included decorating paper bag masks.  It was an exercise in nostalgia for me, remembering many occasions on which I did the same thing when I was a child.  The girls were concentrating so hard!  A Bob Ross fan already (lol!), Arane painted hers with a couple "happy little trees."


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This was dinner Thursday and, as it turned out, Friday also.  I used a recipe for rigatoni pie I found on Pinterest. (If you're interested, I can hunt it up for you.)  It was very good, but the flavor was not enhanced by the pie aspect and standing the noodles up on end was a little bit painstaking.  I think next time I'll just make it into a casserole.  I forgot to take a picture before we ate it!

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These are pictures of the teeny powder room, which was included in the painting frenzy of last week.  Sorry for the odd pictures, but it sure is difficult to photograph such a small room!  Though I'm sure some tweaking will go on, I'm really pleased with how it turned out. :)

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Lastly, a quote which came through my Facebook feed today~

Thrift is the really romantic thing; economy is more romantic than extravagance. . . thrift is poetic because it is creative; waste is unpoetic because it is waste. . . if a man could undertake to make use of all the things in his dustbin, he would be a broader genius than Shakespeare.
 That is from the inimitable and always quotable G.K. Chesterton.  I can attest to the truth of this thought for I have felt it myself in my own life and the life of my family.  And not only is it romantic but it is immensely rewarding.  One of the most satisfying experiences I have had thus far is creating through careful management a comfortable, lovely, peaceful home life in spite of a tight budget.  Anyone can throw money at a project; it takes real ingenuity, intelligence, and creativity to do it with limited resources.  I could not have foreseen this as a young wife and mother, but looking back, I know it is true, and I am thankful to have discovered it. . . or had it revealed to me. :)

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Busy Times

I'm back after much busyness!  In the past few weeks we've moved my mother-in-law from one assisted living facility to another, celebrated the birthday of a very sweet and very adorable granddaughter, dealt with the aftermath of my husband hitting a deer on the way home from a quick trip to Wisconsin (damage to the car and the deer, unfortunately, but no damage to said husband, thankfully), prepared for the start of classes at The Potter's School, and had major painting done on the house.  Now I'm trying to catch my breath and keep plugging away at school prep.  Whew!

Remember the bright yellow and orange and not-so-bright blue walls?  They're gone, replaced by a soothing, creamy color that is not at the height of fashion right now, but who cares?  We like it, it goes with our furniture, and it complements the woodwork, which is also of an unfashionable, non-trendy color.  My philosophy leans strongly toward doing what we like and ignoring the style gurus because in five years, possibly fewer, they will be telling us that what we "needed" today is now hopelessly dated and couldn't possibly be born by right-thinking people.  Remember mocha and black?  Exactly.


View of the entire great room with newly upholstered sofa!

We had our 20+ year-old sofa reupholstered.  It took forever and a day, but I am so happy with the result.  It's like brand-new!


I especially like this little shelf over the stove for the salt and pepper.  There is not an abundance of counter space in the rather small kitchen, so I tried to clear away as much counter clutter as I could.  The pitchers to the left of the stove were made by Dave's grandfather, a multi-talented artist.  

Friday, August 19, 2016

This Week in Preschool

I've been enjoying Friday morning preschool with my granddaughters ever since they moved nearby in March.  I used to teach preschool and it's been fun getting my preschool teacher persona out and dusted off every week.

This morning, we began the day by dropping colored vinegar into pans of baking soda.  The girls loved it!  Look at the concentration on those little faces!  They stayed with it for an hour.


My son-in-law the chemist, who works from home, came by at one point and said with a smile, "Leave it to Grandma to turn science into art."  :)


Later, Arane did a couple math pages.  I'm not a big fan of worksheets for preschoolers, but these are really more like activity pages.  I found them at The Measured Mom's fabulous website.  Arane really seems to enjoy doing these.

Then we all three sat on the couch while I read aloud some nursery rhymes, illustrated by my beloved Eloise Wilkin, which included singing some of them, of course.  Call me old-fashioned (Please do~I'll consider it a compliment!), but I believe in nursery rhymes and singing.  

Then I read a chapter from Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House in the Big Woods.  I began it two weeks ago when the little ones spent the night at my house, and when I asked if they would like to continue today, they were enthusiastic.  I'm reading to them from my own crumbling copy, which brings back a flood of memories.  How I loved those books as a child!  I still do, truth be told, and was happy to read them to both my daughters many times as they were growing up.  I still have a fondness for pioneer stories!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Busy Week

This has been a busy week, but aren't they all?  Yes, but this one was busier than usual.  We moved Dave's mom from her current assisted living place to one that will provide a higher level of care.  I think it would have gone very smoothly if not for being interrupted by a lengthy, urgent, though non-emergency, trip to the doctor on moving day due to her having a 102 degree fever.  But she is recovering nicely and settling in well.  Her room is spacious and light.  Here's one part of it~


She even told me that she thought it was pretty, and she is not given to saying such things about her living quarters.  I am pleased she likes it. :)

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Dave and I took Arane to see a live production of Peter Pan yesterday on the University of Missouri campus.  She had never seen a live play before and she couldn't wrap her around the idea when we tried to describe it to her.  But she liked it and was very attentive.  Afterward, she was intrigued by the columns on the quad, so of course, we had to explore them for awhile. :)