Thursday, December 22, 2011

Winter Solstice

It was nice to welcome Winter officially with homemade lanterns and goodies. We had a cocoa bar and other sweets. A few neighbors gathered, and the girls were excited to share decorations and giddiness. In musical background mood, we had plenty of Icelandic inspiration (Mum, Sigur Ros, Amiina etc.), Loreena McKennitt (A Winter Garden), Over the Rhine (Darkest Night of the Year), Al di Meola (Winter Nights), Mutemath's "Stare at the Sun" and Craig Olson's "Solstice Night" to be in theme.
 

 
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ice luminaries and lanterns

We didn't do any lantern walks, but we had nice cocoa tonight!
 

 

 

 
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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Homemade Christmas

Walnut mommies and babies for Zoë (Christmas)
 

 

We got the idea from Flossie Teacakes who got it from a book we'd like to check out called Green Crafts for Children.

Here are the front and back of a felted star I worked on this afternoon. I'm not good at such things yet, but I've seen a bit of improvement.
 

 
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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

More ornaments

I used some sculpy, some greenery and small stamps to press, hemp cord and then random buttons. It was fun!
 

 

 
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Monday, December 19, 2011

expanded tree operation

 
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Stars are up!

These window stars and many of the adorable ornaments you see in these posts came from artisans who sell their wares on etsy. It's so worth perusing what they make. My handle there is "jaemaree" so if you want to see what I "heart," check me out.
 
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Reparing our Advent Calendar

As we use our baggies, we hang up wintery things for our Solstice Cocoa.
 

 

 

 
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Seedlings

I dug these seedlings up this afternoon to send home with Solstice Cocoa peeps. Grandma Hall would be happy to see her ribbon used (albeit carefully chosen and sparingly). We'll likely do some more when we open more cans.
 

 

 

 
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Solstice Preparations

I think we're going to do a cocoa bar of sorts and do a lantern walk for the longest night of the year. I've already prepped a music mix and made a few things (dug up trees, baked salt dough stars pictured). Zoë needs to work on a new lantern.
 

 

 

 
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upcycled sweaters?

Here are a couple of new sweaters from the thrift store. The last picture lays them with two other beautiful fabric items that I don't have occasion to wear nowadays. I'm concocting projects. I might need Louie's help!!!
 

 

 
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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Nurture Shock: New Thinking about Children


I just finished Nurture Shock: New Thinking about Children by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman. I thought that the book was all about praise and rewards, but it was so much more!

The book is commonly held beliefs in our culture that probably have root in decent research. It's just that science is always plodding onward and teaching us new things. This book delves into that more recent science to help us work with our children more effectively.

Just the first chapter was the inverse power of praise, and I already had an inkling of those ideas from Daniel Pink's book "Drive." The book had chapters on sleep, race, kids lying, IQ tests at an early age, sibling relationships, teen rebellion, teaching self-control, playing well with others, speech emergence (and things parents can do to help) and concluded with graditude and the myth of the supertrait. I highlighted sooo much text. Every single chapter was a revelation and that I couldn't stop talking to people about it: to my parents, my husband, my students etc. If you have kids, are thinking about having them or work with children in any capacity (teacher, pediatrician...), I HIGHLY recommend this book.