Math : Squares : playing with soap


I’ve mentioned before that we’ve been having fun with this Shapes book.  This is the last activity for squares/cubes.

IMG_1946 We made a square out of cardboard as a pattern.

IMG_1947 We had to make a square, cube bubble wand.


IMG_1952 We learned, that it is not easy to make.   Siena’s was the better one.

IMG_1957 We had some bubble mix.

IMG_1969 And look at how pretty it looks!






Yes!  A square in the middle of it all!  So neat.  And because I loved it so much… why not a video, right?

Math : Squares : Cubes


This one book we’ve been using about shapes, takes us after few stories and projects and games, to the cubes.


We are a family of dice.  I don’t know if there is such a differentiation or question in a questionnaire.  Are you a dice person or not?  If there was, we are definitely one.  With a big jar full of dice to have on hand, because you never know when you’ll need them, right?  And of course that is not the only one container around.  I could probably find a container of more than 3 dice in each room of our house.  And I bet if I cleaned out my purse/bag, I could find a die or two.  I bet I could…



We also made a little paper corner.  I love hands-on.  That is the way I understand better for sure.

IMG_1823 And then we made a cube our of card stock.

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IMG_1830 Decorated it.


IMG_1833 And magic!  It’s a box!



Dice, cubes, paper, tape, sharpies, color…. that’s my kind of math!

Math : Squares : Tangram


From that same book of shapes we’ve been following the order it comes.  Still studying squares, we made our own Tangram,


IMG_1382 We first didn’t see a cut we were suppose to do, which made the shape building a little more challenging!


But then we cut it right, and got right to it….




Well…. we actually had to look at the answer when none of us could figure out how to build the house.


Ta Da!

Math : Squares : Tumbling Blocks

\We are using this book called Shapes in Math, Science and Nature.  It has short lessons and projects and games that we are enjoying.


This day we did tumbling blocks, which that Lucas asked to make because it’s a pattern very similar to the box of a game they play.  It was pretty fun.IMG_1262

IMG_1263 \IMG_1265 We di a square from scratch, with a compass and ruler and measurements!




Then they used it to make a diamond shape and as a pattern to cut more for the final design. IMG_1275




It was a fun project.

A photo shoot class

Our neighbor is a photographer, and is such a nice person.  He and his wife go on amazing trips, share some of their photos from the road, and they come home full of stories, that I love hearing about.

They also listen to what our kids have to say and what they are doing and making.  The last conversation was about Siena’s making and her new Etsy shop and we asked him to give us  a little help in the photo-taking area.

I find it so hard to take good pictures that will show the details of something.  And for the shop, of Siena’s little creations, so hard to keep it all in mind.


He then gave us a morning of his time to show us a better way to take photos for our creations, on the Etsy store, as well as for some of the pictures and videos they make in other times.  (Like the videos and photos for their Lego Blog.)

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I think we might start by making a small light box like this one and this one maybe (same idea.)  I can see us having lots of fun with it.

Making for the fair

For months, we’ve been making, getting ready for the fair this weekend.

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I can say probably, for years we’ve been making.  Yes, I’ve always been a crafter, growing up with my mom, and my grandmas (both of them), there’s always been sewing projects or canning or knitting or needlework, surrounding my life.

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I’ve always liked to try making new things, new methods, new ways, new products.  You can check with any member of my family, and they’ll tell you I have too many (cool) pens, and too much (fun) yarn and (soft) wool and (bright, soft) fabric, and (cool) paper… I totally agree.  But I have to say, this girl down here, especially, is not much different than me.

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Thank goodness, because I love seeing her creativity.  She sees something in a book or magazine, or online, and takes it her own way.  And many times she thinks about it and makes it and keeps going at it, until she likes what she comes up with.


The thing my family won’t tell you, though? Is that if their creativity wakes them up in the middle of the night, or before dinner, and we need a special supply right away, they know they can check with me or go to our Art Studio and they can probably find it, and be able to produce their project as dreamt.  Thanks to my assortment of tape or glue and papers or a specific fabric that we have out there.  I think in the end, they are thankful I like those cool pens and fabrics after all!


And I have to say, that those wool felt pieces, all organized, in rainbow order, were Siena’s Christmas present this past winter, and she’s been using them and loves to have them on the ready for when she needs them.   And can you see my wobbly piles of fabric around it?  I’m glad she’s more organized than me.  She keeps me on task.

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And so this weekend we have our first spring craft fair.  There’s been some shuffling of what we have, some new ideas turned into something, and we really can’t wait to see how it goes.  A new place, a new experience for sure.

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Spring is in the air, and on our tables.

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Things are getting finished and packed and ready to go.


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Some music, old seasons of Car Talk, or a book on tape (OK, audiobook) is usually on the radio to keep us going.


Even though it doesn’t look like it in this picture… we are ready for this weekend.

If you are in town (Portland, Oregon), come and see us at the Buckman Art Show & Sell this weekend.


A winter walk and some reminders

I’ve said it before, and I say it almost every day, I love where we live. And I love the rain too.  It makes where we live, the beautiful place it is.  I am glad I took my camera.

DSC_0004 We were lucky to go for a walk at a park we don’t usually go to, with a good friend and two happy dogs.

DSC_0010 DSC_0014And two happy kids.

DSC_0012 Green.

DSC_0008White. Snow. Berries.

DSC_0017 Winter sights are there, waiting for us to discover.  Dormant.

DSC_0020 Bare.

DSC_0021 Colors.  Textures. Delicate.  Subtle.

DSC_0025 DSC_0027 Brown.

DSC_0030 Shapes.  Sharp.

DSC_0032 DSC_0033 Red.

DSC_0034 Water.

DSC_0035 Black.

DSC_0036 Gray.

DSC_0037 Clouds. Rain.

DSC_0038 Orange.

DSC_0041 Yellow. Life.

DSC_0044 Levels.

DSC_0046 Open.

DSC_0047 Happiness.  Freedom.

DSC_0050 Dried.


DSC_0052 New.  Alive.

DSC_0055 Space.


DSC_0060 Water.

DSC_0065 Work.

DSC_0066 Life.

DSC_0068 New.

DSC_0074 Air.

DSC_0076 Sky.

DSC_0078 DSC_0079 DSC_0081 DSC_0082 DSC_0088 Green.

DSC_0087Thankful. Friends.


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.

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!