Moda Center in Portland

Last year we went on a tour to the Moda Center, where the Trail Blazers play.  We got to visit the place when the team was good, and had lots of players liked by my family.  I’m glad we went then.

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DSC_0109 copy DSC_0112 copy DSC_0113 copy The large pictures on the wall towards the changing rooms and the court are amazing.

DSC_0118 copy DSC_0130 copy DSC_0133 copy RoLo’s shoes, size 20.

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Robin Lopez was a favorite Blazers, and he got to sit in his chair and put his feet next to his shoes.

DSC_0136 copy DSC_0137 copy DSC_0139 copy Damian Lillard’s shoes. DSC_0142 copy DSC_0143 copy Chris Kama’s shoes.

DSC_0145 copy DSC_0146 copy Wesley Matthews shoes.

DSC_0149 copy Matthews the one we actually  ame to see I think. And so very sad he was injured last year, and even more sadness when we heard he was leaving Portland.  So this season, we gave Lucas for his birthday tickets to see the Blazers play Wesley Matthews with his new team, Dallas Mavericks.  It was fun to see him play again, and got a big ovation when he was introduced.  Portland liked Matthews.  We miss seeing him play for Portland.

DSC_0154 copy DSC_0153 copy DSC_0156 copy The Blazers get a much nicer space than visitors.  Funny to see the difference.

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A stop at the (empty) showers, with the shower heads so very high up in the ceiling almost.  Got it… these are all tall guy ins using it.  And the funny thing… a Kirkland shampoo laying around…. with the many thousands of dollars these players get paid and using Costco brand shampoo… funny.DSC_0163 copy This (also) tall seat in the treatment room, if they get injured playing.  The kids had to jump high to be able to sit on them.

DSC_0201 copy DSC_0208 copy We then walked to the court.  the day we went they were getting the court ready for ice hockey.  I had no idea how they did this.

DSC_0187 copy They put water over the floor and cold. Right now they were painting the field.

DSC_0210 copy DSC_0214 copy The drawings and logos were amazing!

DSC_0255 copy After painting all the signs and logos and sponsors, they put another layer of water, to cover these.

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It was so much fun to watch them get the court ready.  So that night they had a hockey game, and the following day there was a Blazers game, and they said that they put the floor on top of the ice and have the basketball game.  The players and coaches and people sitting in the front row notice that there is ice underneath, because they have to keep the court cold enough to keep it frozen, so it makes it for a much cooler sitting.  Which the players (playing) actually enjoy.

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It was a real fun tour.  If you live here, I recommend it.

Native Americans : The Southwest Tribes : Diorama

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When studying Native Americans of the Southwest, Siena and Lucas decided they wanted to make dioramas.  They each picked a tribe, with different dwellings and each made their own.  Siena picked the Pueblos.  Lucas made a Hogan from the Navajo tribe.

DSC_0293 copy DSC_0295 copy DSC_0301 copy They planned what they wanted it to look like and what they thought it was important to include.  I really liked the process they went through and how very different they each work and planned their project.

DSC_0305 copy DSC_0290 copy Siena decided to do her diorama using a recycled cardboard box.

DSC_0310 copy Lucas, decided to use a piece of pretty wood we had waiting to be used into something.

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And even though Native Americans didn’t use hot glue-guns when making their own homes, Lucas used it, to make sure the sticks would stick together before he put the clay over them. DSC_0317 copy DSC_0297 copy

Siena used cardboard to make it to resemble the hillside and covered with brown paper the words and the outside of the box.DSC_0304 copy DSC_0306 copy DSC_0308 copy DSC_0312 copy DSC_0316 copy DSC_0318 copy They both used this terra cotta air dry clay. It cracked a little when it dried, but nothing to mess up their work.  They said it worked good.

This is Lucas’s Diorama of a Hogan from the Navajo tribes from the Southwest:

DSC_0073 copy DSC_0054 copy DSC_0079 copy He put clay in between the sticks, resembling what they actually do in the real construction of these.

DSC_0071 copy DSC_0055 copy Put a clay oven by the house too.  Including the large paddle used to bring the bread in and out of the oven.  This makes me want to have one in the backyard, like the one our friends made themselves.  Wouldn’t it be fun?

DSC_0053 copy DSC_0057 copy They both used Sculpey Clay to create the details of each family depicted in their diorama.

DSC_0064 copy The “Three Sisters”.

DSC_0074 copy DSC_0060 copy A woman weaving, with the loom and spindle next to her.

DSC_0067 copy DSC_0082 copyDSC_0069 copyI think it turned out beautiful.  I love all the details he made and the colors he chose and what he thought important to include.

Siena’s Diorama of the Pueblo Tribes and their home:

DSC_0032 copy DSC_0044 copy Peppers hanging to dry and turquoise.

DSC_0046 copy DSC_0043 copy This is the entrance to their kiva.

DSC_0041 copy Her dwelling had few levels that are all connected with ladders as they did.

DSC_0042 copy I love this mom.  I like her hair, though I believe the hair was done in these buns when the woman was not married yet. But the cradleboard with the baby and the younger daughter working with her, I think are my favorite details of her diorama.

DSC_0034 copy She’s grinding the corn.

DSC_0051 copyAnd another young daughter picks corn from their garden.

I think these dioramas are my favorite project as of lately, besides all the work in wool we did (carding, spinning, and weaving.)  This Southwest Tribes unit was a fun one for sure.  And with it, we finished studying all the tribes of the US, taking us a couple of years to do, because we took a few months per cultural area, and really studied in depth the major tribes and those we felt we wanted to learn more about.   Now, we just need to go on a field trip to see in real life all the things and aspects of their culture we studied.

Our Paris quilt

I realized I never posted last year about the quilts I made with the Paris fabric I found (mostly) at Fabric Depot.  I don’t go to the store very often, but when I do, I can spend all day looking through all the fabrics they have.  So many options, so many ideas!

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After seeing few quilts on Pinterest I had decided I wanted to use rectangles, and thought I had a clear idea of how I wanted to make this quilt.

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I tried many ways, all those blocks. But they didn’t come together.  I left it and played with the pieces for few days.  I had helpers at different times to see what they could see, and suggestions were welcomed.

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Nothing was catching my eye.  I wasn’t happy with how I was putting them together.  Until it did.

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This was exactly what I wanted.

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This is a new design for me.  I’ve never made zig-zags, and I like how it turned out.

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It was supposedly for our bed, but I think in the almost a year now, this was the only time it’s been there.  The rest of the time is in the living room, being used.  I don’t feel so bad.  I like seeing it around and being used by everyone.  That’s the idea behind my quilts.  The more wear they get, the better.  The more we wash them and the softer they’ll get. They need to be loved, I’m all for that and it makes me happy.

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It reminds us of our trip to Europe two summers ago.  And that is exactly what I wanted.

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I usually find a design that I like, and then I use the fabrics I have.  For this one though, I bought the fabrics for the quilt.  That was a first!  I’ve never really followed a pattern.  I like the photos for inspiration, makes me think a little more.

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This is the back.  I found a fabric with a map of Paris.  I cut it and used other fabrics in between, so it wasn’t so busy.  And because I didn’t have enough material for the whole back, since it’s a pretty big quilt.  I like it how it turned out.  DSC_0030 copy

Thank you Paris for the memories and the inspiration!  ‘Til next time.  Who knows, right?

the last few weeks

2015 has ended and a new year has started. Lots of celebrating and happenings for us.

… my nephew graduated from high school, in Chile.

Graduacion Emi

… we celebrated Mark going around the sun one more time.

… we celebrated the year ending, with friends.

… it snowed and we played outside a lot. The kids more than us, but what a beautiful sight!

… we took longer than usual to pack up our Christmas decorations.  We started one day, and quickly realized that no one wanted to clean it up because we wanted to have it around for few more days.  So we did.   We cleaned up, re-arranged a little, cleaned up the shelves, the books, clothes… I am hoping I can get rid of things a little at a time, here and there.  But I like the cleaning after the holidays and giving me a chance to start anew.

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… I really loved the snow and cold days we had last week.  Besides everything glistening, being more quiet, it let us have Mark at home a little longer.  And it’s so rare for us to have snow fall, that it has a feeling of a party.  Something to celebrate for sure!

… love seeing the library’s posts online.  Especially of this Woodstock branch photo in the 1930’s I think it says.

Multnomah County Library : Woodstock Branch in 1930’s.

… I got our New Year’s card ready, written, addressed and mailed out.  Before Easter!

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… I’ve been thinking what projects I’d like to make next.  With the holidays and gift giving over, I feel the  need of something new in my needles, or on the cutting board.  I have some ideas, but I also know we have a craft fair coming up in two months, that I need to get ready for.  This is the first time we are doing a fair not during the holiday season, so we need to have spring items.  Of course, Siena is already ahead of me, she’s so organized and on top of things.  I am glad.  But I need to get myself going now.

… We started a new unit in homeschool, and it’s exciting.  I really enjoy new starts and this one they picked, is a fun one.  I’m excited to see where it will take us.

… beautiful recording on NPR.

… got together with some friends.  I am so glad we pulled it off.  My family used to do Art Night once a week with the kids, for few years and it was a lot of fun.  I really miss it.  I used to get together with friends for Craft Nights, and it seems that sometimes life gets in the way.  I am glad we decided to do a little bit of catching up and some art.

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… I’ve been awakened (awoken?) every day by my kids (who are earlier risers than me), with some snuggling, and breakfast set on the table, with scrambled eggs and warm chai waiting for me.  Thank you my (not so little) little guys.  You know how to wake your Mamá up!  It is such a treat.  I think I’ll try not to ever get up before you do!

… there’s been talk of baseball here in the house.  Lucas is playing basketball this year, and even though he’s enjoying it, he really us waiting for baseball to start.  We are all excited and a little nervous about how it will turn out this year.  We just had such a great team and coaches and parents that it’s hard to think of anything different.  We are excited.

… Learning more about great organizations.


This picture of Dian Fossey and her work with Gorillas, celebrating what would have been her turning 84 years old.  And I think this is so cool!  A Google doodle made in 2014 for her 82nd birthday.


I love those doodles they put on the site.

… read this article about how colleges might change the way they look at high school applicants.  I like the idea of focusing more on a greater good rather than overachieving and making our kids become super-human.  Healthier all the way around.

… Siena got some ribbons!

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We are so proud of her!  Her hard work is paying off and she sees it and is excited for what she can do, all because of her commitment.  It makes my heart happy seeing her excited and loving so much what she does.

… I enjoyed seeing all the photos from Scott Kelly from the International Space Station.  And this funny video too.  but oh the pictures…

Andes Mountains from ISS by Scott Kelly Jan 2016
Andes Mountains from ISS by Scott Kelly – January 2016
First flower grown in space Scott Kelly ISS- January 2016
First flower grown in space. Photo by Scott Kelly at ISS – January 2016.
Paris from ISS
Paris from the ISS. Photo by Scott Kelly. December 2015.
Southern tip of India- Scott Kelly SSI January 2016
Southern tip of India from the ISS. Photo by Scott Kelly – January 2016.

I really, really hope he makes a book with his images after he returns to Earth in a couple of months.  63 more days!  I would have freaked out by now being enclosed in such a small space.  I guess that is just one reason I am not an astronaut.


A meet in Corvallis

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Corvallis has a beautiful aquatic center.  We’ve never been there, so it was fun to get to see it. DSC_0103 copyDSC_0013 copy

They have bleachers downstairs by the pool, but also upstairs with windows, making it much cooler.

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We watched the meet from up there, more comfortably unless when Siena was racing.DSC_0025 copy DSC_0026 copy DSC_0027 copy

The first race of the day, the Medley Relay.  Siena did the butterfly.DSC_0028 copy DSC_0044 copy

Soon after that, she had the 100m Butterfly. DSC_0049 copy DSC_0055 copy DSC_0057 copy

She did great.  This is the race she’s going to State Competitions next month.  We are so proud of her.DSC_0020 copy

We watched from up there.  The team relays, other teams, her team mates.  I really enjoy swim meets. DSC_0073 copy DSC_0075 copy DSC_0077 copy DSC_0082 copy 100 backstroke.  And then to an evening in Corvallis.  A short visit to OSU campus and bookstore, and to watch crazy OSU fans get ready for a basketball game on campus.

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A second day of swimming.  This meet, Siena had her sessions in the afternoon.  That was very nice for a change not to have to wake her up super early, when her body is not quite ready to start the day. DSC_0095 copy A calm pool… for a little while.

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I do enjoy seeing and feeling the energy the swimmers bring.  Everyone getting ready, putting caps on, goggles, waiting by the end of the pool.  All ages, from different cities. DSC_0108 copy

The official says over the speaker that the pool is open for warm ups, and there they go.  Sometimes there’s music and the kids sing, do a little dance in the water or while waiting for their turn to dive.

And then we play Where’s Waldo Siena? I like finding Siena in the midst of all the swimmers.  Trying to find a girl, with blue swimsuit, a cap and goggles… in a mix of 300+ swimmers, most of them wearing dark swimsuits and goggles… the caps narrows her down.  But we can almost tell which one she is by her swimming style. DSC_0109 copy And we wait and wait.  Knitting in hand.  Yes, knitting always helps.

DSC_0131 copy Lucas gets ready to film her.

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And then she races.  If she could do more of those 1,000 m races, it would give us more time to watch her swim.  but for the most part, 1 or 2 minutes tops, it’s quick, and then more waiting until next race.  This one is one of my favorites.  Her 200 IM. DSC_0149 copy Butterfly. Backstroke.DSC_0154 copy Breastroke.DSC_0166 copy Freestyle.  And she’s so close to a State time.  We are crossing our fingers for the next meet to see if she can make it.DSC_0172 copy

The weekend is over and we are heading back home.  Some tea, a frozen juice to snack, and some more knitting while watching the pretty scenery go by outside our window. DSC_0175 copyBye Corvallis.  You are as pretty as always.

the coolest hat ever and sort of tutorial

Last September I went to the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival (OFFF) in Canby.  I try to go every year because it is so inspiring.  All the fiber, the colors, the textures, the animals, I love it.  It is a great way to get inspired for the knitting season.

This year, I bought some fleece for Lucas and another one for Siena.  Lucas started to spin the one I got him a couple of months ago.  I thought he could spin it, and I’d make him a hat.  DSC_0136 copy

He liked the colors, and he was excited at the idea.  Once he started spinning, he realized it was going to take longer than he thought, but he kept at it.  Sometimes he’d get frustrated it wasn’t spinning as smoothly, but we’d work it out, and I’d help him get started back up again.  He did great.

I thought if he can spin it, I’d knit it together with another strand of my handspun that I have, that way he wouldn’t have to spin all of it, before I can get it started.  I found some brown yarn I hadn’t plied yet.  It was very thin (it was from when I was doing lots of practicing!) and I am not using it for anything, so it was perfect to use for this project.

I think it gave it a little more strength in the parts it needed a little more help.  It give it a little darker tone too, which Lucas liked, because he wants to wear his hat when he goes to Trackers, when they go learn survival and stealth skills up in Mt. Hood.

Lucas spun as much as we thought we needed.  He used the ball winder I have and wound his yarn with my old brown handspun.  It would make my knitting in the drive up and at the side of the pool, much easier if they were already together.

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It turned out a perfect combination of colors.  Lucas was happy, which is the most important part.

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He wanted a regular hat.  I came up with this.


And it was exactly what he wanted.


I casted on some stitches and started knitting in the round.  After few rounds, I realized it was too big.  I started over with less stitches.  For this combination of handspun yarns, I casted on 88 stitches and knitted in the round with double pointed needles, size 8 (US).  Did a rib of 2 knits and 2 purls for about 1.5 inches.


Then I changed to knitting all the way around.  He’d try it on, to see how much further to knit.  I had to undo it a couple of times, but ended up being about 6 inches of knitting around.  Then decreasing to finish it off.  After some math we came up with this:

Knit 11 stitches, knit 2 together, all the way around.  It repeats 6 times.  That makes up for all 88 stitches I started with.  On the next round, I knitted 10 stitches, and knitted 2 together, all the way around.  Next round, knitted 9 and knitted 2 together.  I decreased that way until I had about 8 stitches left (or something like that, I don’t remember now, it was during Siena’s swim meet.) At the end, I cut off the yarn leaving about 5 inches.  I then threaded the yarns through a yarn needle and passed it through the stitches on the knitting needles, closing it and weaving the yarns through.

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We think it turned out pretty cute, and for what I’ve been told (by this cute kid) it is the coolest hat ever!

2015 in pictures

It’s always hard going through all of my pictures.  I take so many.  And the whole thing that digital is great because you can take lots of pictures so you can delete and keep the best… Well? I don’t do that last part of deleting the ones that are not so good.  So they pile, and I have so many to look through.  I haven’t done a photo book in a long time, so these photos stay in my folders in the computer until I will decide to clean them up.  I know I’ll get there… is just a slow process for me.

I am pretty good in keeping them organized in my computer though.  I actually keep them in an external disk, that I make a backup every few months.  I have a folder per year, and one for each month.  Within each month, I have folders titled Homeschool, Kitchen, Making, Winter, Home, and so it goes.

I was thinking I’d like to make a photo book for the year 2015, so I was looking at the photos and I decided that maybe I sou;don’t be able to do just one book.  I thought maybe I’ll try the post that Amanda at SouleMama did few days ago, one photo per month… and I’ve realized I can’t decide which one I would put.

So I decided I wanted to share a few photos per month.  Something that we did together, maybe something special, like the first one, of the cousins spending time together one more evening, before we had to say goodbye to our youngest nephew, when he moved away.  I wanted to share a photo of something I made, and something the kids did or had happened to them.  So here’s my long attempt to keep a photographic journal of my family’s 2015.

DSC_0002 copy DSC_0031 copy DSC_0002 copyDSC_0007 copy DSC_0014 copyDSC_0019 copyJanuary.

DSC_0014 copyDSC_0114 copy DSC_0027 copyDSC_0009 copyFebruary.

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DSC_0053 copyDSC_0347 copy DSC_0039 copy DSC_0104 sepia DSC_0133 copy2015-05-12-6 copy 2015-05-12May.

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DSC_0164 copy DSC_0016 copy DSC_0130 copy DSC_0002 copy DSC_0009 copy DSC_0079 copy DSC_0069 copy DSC_0020 copy DSC_0027 copy DSC_0045 copy DSC_0148 copy DSC_0049 copy DSC_0003 copy DSC_0171 copy DSC_0069 copy DSC_0033 copy DSC_0066 copy DSC_0085 end of the daySeptember.

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Our year 2015 in pictures.  A long novel here in this post, congratulations for getting to the end! For us, many memories we will remember forever.  Thank you for stopping by.

Math :: Squares

I found this book at the library, called Shapes in Math, Science and Nature.  I love it.  It’s organized, it has a project/lesson per page or two.  Something we can do briefly each day.  I like books that look simple, have color, are clear, and concise. I think this book is all that.

We started from the beginning, and started with squares.  I thought this activity was a fun one.

You cut it into pieces of certain shape, to make a puzzle, that turns into a square. DSC_0157 copy DSC_0165 copy

It is so much more difficult to figure out, than we thought it would be.

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Spoiler Alert!!! Here’s the solution. Don’t continue if you don’t want to know how to solve it.

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It wasn’t me who figured it out first.

all the making

The last couple of months, there was so much making happening in almost every room.  From meals cooking, to baking, reading, writing, wood burning, sewing, knitting, painting, glueing, thinking, planning, etc, etc.

Some of these were for Craft fairs, others were for presents.

DSC_0012 copy DSC_0011 copy Felted, recycled sweaters laying all over, in piles of colors and levels of being chopped.

DSC_0018 copy Circles made out of these sweaters, piled in different sizes.

DSC_0021 copy DSC_0015 copy DSC_0075 copy Fabric. Craft glue and wood glue.  Glue burning tool, ribbons, paper, felt.

DSC_0058 copy Siena’s makings.

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What a fast, busy few months we’ve had.  There has been so much, really.  I am in awe at how much Siena did and made.   And also, how mature and dedicated she was, dealing and making all these craft fairs happen. We are getting ready for another one in few months.  A first for us, not during the holidays.  I better get making!  But first I’d like to finish some presents that were not completed but needed (new knitted slippers for Mark).  And few sewing projects for a couple of birthdays coming up.  And a Christmas quilt I’ve been trying to make for us for quite a few years.  I have the fabric I want, and I started cutting it few days ago.  Maybe I’ll get to finish it in the next few weeks.

But there’s a swim meet coming up, so I better get a knitting project for the weekend.  With driving time, sitting at the pool for few hours… I should be able to get some knitting done!  Love it. Watch out Ravelry and Pinterest.  I am coming with hungry fingers.