Monday, December 21, 2009

feelin stitchy

This is my four yr. old. Not only has he been obsessed with dusting and wiping down the house constantly, he is also into embroidery. I was inspired by Red Bird Craft's post about embroidering with youngsters. Thanks again to Laura for the fabric samples. In lieu of embroidering cotton, we used a beautiful heavy duck in a lovely color. I drew a simple flower in pencil. Ezra picked some bright shades of floss and meticulously followed the lines I drew. Then he wrote his name in pencil and I meticulously followed his lines...OH, and yes those are shorts he is wearing. He wears shorts inside. With teeshirts. In the Winter. Because he is "cumfturble" that way. And we keep our thermostat at 60%. But as long as he puts pants on to go outside in December, I am not fightin it.

Now we are off to pack the car for an early morning trip. Finger Lakes, here we come!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

craft catch-up

I think if I had had two cups of coffee and was armed with ample duct tape I coulda been a contender in the helmet making arena. Alas, I only had masking tape and foil and Matty is careful to drink the rest of the pot after I have had my one cup of joe.
Espresso with cocoa and homemade marshmallows, essential for afternoon crafting.
Yesterday, while sipping the above beverage of the Gods, the boys and I made snowflakes using Martha's method of dissolving 3tbs of borax per 1 cup of water and then submerging some fuzzy pipe cleaner snowflakes in the solution for a few hours. We were surprised how quickly they crystallized. Every half hour or so the kids would peek at them to see if they had "grown".

I have been working on birds for a few weeks now. I am using the gorgeous wool samples that Laura gave me from her workplace. It is so much fun to work with high quality wool felt. I normally would have to settle for the cheap poly stuff. The colors of the wool are so subtle and gorgeous. Thanks Laura....

Saturday, December 19, 2009

sweet pillows of love

Oor marshmallows as we like to call them in this house....
n Friday, Ez and I made these delectable confections. Last year I infused them with peppermint oil. This year I just wanted vanilla but it turns out that they were destined for a dip in semi sweet chocolate and a sprinkling of lovely white nonpareils. We listened to Christmas oldies (Ella, Louis, Frank) while we mixed the sugary gelatinous mixture and then I played the Beatles later while dipping them. Ez did not take part in the dipping, he couldn't even stop himself from licking the confectioners sugar off the table so he was banned from the kitchen during this process. I always use Martha's recipe for marshmallows but there are tons out there.
Friday was a lot of fun for Ez and I, it seemed like the first Friday in ages when I had no papers due and not even preschool curriculum to think about. We wrestled ( it was too cold to go outside), we danced to Rihanna's new album (save the racier songs, and I always make sure to sing really loud over any naughty words). Rihanna has joined the boys "Favorite music" lexicon with Queen, Ratatat, Michael Jackson and a few others. And we made a train city with his tracks. AND when Matty came home home from an overnight in Boston, I got the hell outta Dodge and went to the store to get dish detergent and a new teapot (we seem to burn ours every year, long story), which somehow took me two hours!! This story is getting pretty boring so I'll stop here. I am just really happy to have a break and I am looking forward to going home and spending time with family.

P.S Auntie Michaela, if you want to make these when we come home, let me know. We can make it happen.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Seasonal Crafts so far...

The kids made these wreaths from the paper from a Campmore catalog. I can't find the link to the tutorial page right now but I will post it soon...found it

The boys and I made these British Royal nutcaracker/soldiers yesterday, in between icing Ezzies swollen arm* and writing my last paper! Next year we might just make the Jackson Five...And no, that dude is not supposed to be Hitler. I was going for Charlie Chaplin.
Ezzie wasn't having the Anglo interpretation.....He wanted his soldiers to have a "wild" vibe...

I remember first seeing these as a kid. My nana and aunts made them for our tree. I have always wanted to make more. All we did was paint some of those doll pins and glue a black pom pom on top. We used a sharpie for the faces. Henry was begging to do it all day and I was trying to put it off until I was done with school, but I could deal no more with his whining. I secretly sipped eggnog (where the hell is the Rum when you need it?) and played some Christmas oldies while the boys went nuts making their soldiers. Ez. was most excited about making swords for them.

* Ezra had a pretty bad reaction to his vaccine and I slept with him all weekend, woke up at midnight to give him Ibuprofin and Benadryl. It was awful. We went to the doctors twice. He is just fine but part of his arm resembles a..., well I can't even say. It is very swollen. It should start going down soon. I didn't tell anyone cause sometimes I worry more if I even talk about such things.

Up next... MARSHMALLOWS .....

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Sunday, December 6, 2009

our classroom

Here are some photos of a special place where I spend a significant amount of time. I love our preschool. It is a school community that I am proud to be a part of. What I forgot to photograph was our beautiful atelier; our light-filled art studio that fosters our creative impulses with its bright windows and open shelves brimming with carefully displayed art supplies.

I also didn't include our tidy little kitchen, room 4 (currently empty of students due to low enrollment), our entryway where the children hang their coats and our yard.

At Renaissance, we are passionate about the Reggio method. We document the children while they work, we listen to them and follow their cues for themes and lesson plans and we focus on art, art, art.

The school is a community of equally important members; parents, students, instructors and the classroom are all teachers. Mutual respect and the knowledge that we all have something to teach each other are important elements of our program.

It is wonderful to work in a place where art and creativity are held in such high esteem.


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