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?

Posted in Handmade, travels | 4 Comments

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.

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… 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Paris from the ISS. Photo by Scott Kelly. December 2015.

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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.

 

Posted in family, right now, winter | 2 Comments

basketballing

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Lucas bounces the basketball around and plays with his friends here at home or any basketball hoop they can find.  He dribbles, he scores, but has never taken a class or played in a team.  This year was the year to try.

DSC_0004 copyWe had his first game last weekend.  He was so excited.

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A fun day.

Posted in family, homeschooling | 1 Comment

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.

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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.

Posted in family, Oregon + Washington, winter | 1 Comment

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.

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And it was exactly what he wanted.

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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.

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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!

Posted in family, Handmade, homeschooling, knitting, Tutorial | 1 Comment

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.

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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.

Posted in Celebrations, family | 3 Comments

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.

Posted in homeschooling, Science | Leave a comment