Monday, October 26, 2009

Yoav - 5 Days to 5 Years; Birthday Story

In five days, Yoav will be five. For this week, I wrote a special Birthday Story as Yoav's "Core Story". I'll read it each day starting with today, the five days to five day. Lately Yoav hasn't wanted to play with little kids (other than Elie). So this story mirrors that idea and is supposed to help him work through the problem. I got the Birthday Story and format idea from Nancy Mellon's "Storytelling with Children". Yoav actually loved the story and was really surprised that I had written a story that was printed out like his Enki stories (I tell him about one story a day). Probably it was particularly surprising to him that I wrote it since I used repetition in a similar format to some of the Enki stories. Here's the story:

Once upon a time, there dwelt a family of bears, deep in the forest. There were two young cubs in the family, Girl Bear and Boy Bear. They loved to play together in the forest, to swim in the nearby pond and occasionally they would even wander far from their home to pick berries along the edge of the forest.

The Little bears had a lot of forest friends. Girl Bear played with all the forest animals - deer, rabbits, birds and squirrels. Boy Bear mostly played with the deer. He didn't like to play with little animals; only big animals.

When a squirrel came over to Boy Bear to play, Boy Bear said,
"But didn't you hear me say?
I don't want to play with little animals
So please go away."

The squirrel ran away to go play with the other animals.

Next a bird came over to Boy Bear to play. Boy Bear said,
"But didn't you hear me say?
I don't want to play with little animals
So please go away."

The bird flew away to go play with the other animals.

Next a worm came over to Boy Bear to play. Boy Bear said,
"But didn't you hear me say?
I don't want to play with little animals
So please go away."

The worm slithered away to go play with the other animals.

One day, Boy Bear was playing hide-and-seek with Girl Bear. He hid inside a cave that he and Girl Bear had often explored before. Just as Girl Bear started to search, Brother Wind blew through the forest and knocked a tree over right at the entrance to the cave. Boy Bear was stuck. The tree was blocking the entrance to the cave and Boy Bear was too big to fit through the opening. He pushed and pushed but couldn't move the tree.

Girl Bear cried out to her small friends, "We need help from all the small forest animals! Squirrels and rabbits, please help Boy Bear! You can fit through the hole of the cave to help Boy Bear push the tree out of the way."

So all Girl Bear's squirrel friends and rabbit friends squeezed their way into the cave with Boy Bear. They pushed and pushed right alongside Boy Bear. Finally, after much huffing and puffing, they pushed the tree out of the way and Boy Bear was able to get out of the cave.

Boy Bear saw how loving the little animals were who had helped him and he thanked them. From that day forward, Boy Bear played with ALL the animals of the forest, big and small.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Math

Yoav counted down from 15 today - he was pretending to be an animal in a pet store that was closing and he said it was closing in 15 seconds and I had to decide by then. He couted down quickly, no fingers, no recounting up in his head to figure it out. He seems very fluent with the numbers up to about 20. He can count up to about 40 alone and up to 100 with occasional help figuring out the next -ty.

Also, he did some 2s division. He was counting his fingers, noticed he has five per hand, ten total and said ten is two fives. Then he asked, "How do you make eight with other numbers?" I said, "I wonder." He thought for a minute or so and said, "Eight is two fours." A moment later: "Twelve is two sixes." He's done the multiplication before, but this was the first obvious division. He was trying to do 8 = 2a and 12=2a, solving for a, rather than just saying two fours is eight. Actually, now that I think of it, I guess he was also counting by twos, since he didn't try to do 9 = 2a or 11=2a. He went straight to 8 and 12, up and down 2 from 10, where he started.

Okay - I'm just excited, hoping Yoav is advanced in math. Given that Jer and I are both math people (EE from MIT), it'd be fun to have kids that are good at math. Not that we're pushing or teaching, of course! Just observing and hoping for now :)

I made this (Quinoa with Moroccan Winter Squash and Carrot Stew) for dinner today. I've made it a few times before and it's GREAT. Jer, Elie and I all love it. Highly recommended! This time I was finally smart enough to skip the cayenne altogether. Seems like even without the full amount, it's always been too spicy for Elie.

We did a bath tonight since I'm trying to get the kids to go to sleep a little earlier. I'm trying to recreate the "Heaven on Earth" routine to see if it helps any :) Given the dire water situation here, I hate doing baths for the kids so I just did a very small amount of water and lots of bubbles. They had lots of fun. Yoav pretended to be a rabbi with a big white beard :)

I finally started on Yoav's birthday Waldorf doll. I have 9 days left :( I hate crafting on a deadline! And I'm so not excited about making a doll. Not sure why I decided to do it. And I REALLY don't know why I got materials for both kids! Oh, well. Yoav said he was tired so I'm hoping for a semi-reasonable sleep time so I can do a little more tonight.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Kippah / Scott Noelle



I made another kippah. It was SO much easier this time around since I've had some quilting experience and I used my walking foot rather than the 1/4" foot. It came out perfect on top if I may say so myself - the four pieces matched up perfectly. :) The fabric is Kokka japanese fabric.

Also, I just listened to the API Telecall with Scott Noelle and it's GREAT! Highly recommended! And in addition to the enlightening talk, Scott generously offered a few extra incentives, including free coaching and a month free in his PATH program - information about that is on his website, www.enjoyparenting.com.
So, everyone, sign up for the telecall NOW - no excuses - it's only $9 for API members and $19 for non-members.

A few more cute Elie things:
* I was making bread today and Elie dragged a chair over and I said, "You want to help?" and he said "Hep" (help) with his big serious head up and down yes. It's always funny to me that he has no idea when I'm asking a rhetorical question. No matter what I say, he takes it seriously and takes the time to answer yes or no. I also love when I ask Yoav a question (like do you have to go potty) and Elie answers or starts doing what I'm asking Yoav to do.
* Also when making the bread, Elie was "helping" and kept accidentally flicking the dry flour out of the bowl after I had so carefully measured it :( So I gave him a chunk to play with and moved away from him. Without skipping a beat, he hopped off his chair and moved it over to my new spot and got up to keep "helping". I tried letting him mix again, but he started taking dough and putting it in the sink, so I moved again and AGAIN, he just hopped down, moved the chair and came over to me to "hep". Too funny. Glad it didn't hurt his feelings at all that I was trying to move away from him ;)
* I was trying to open the top of Elie's sippy cup and was straining and Elie pulled on my shirt to remind me to use my shirt to open it. He thinks you can open even the most difficult top with a shirt. Even cuter than that is that he was trying to open it after me and wasn't wearing a shirt so he tried pulling on his skin, but realized that he didn't have enough fat to be able to use his skin to help open the top :)
* When we were heading up to go to bed, Elie led me around to all the lights for me to turn them off.
* AND, I learned something from Elie today! He was sitting by our bedroom fan happily making noises into it, so i tried it. It's pretty neat. The sound of your voice gets chopped up so it sounds neat. I actually enjoyed sitting by the fan with him making noises into it. So now it'll be easy to empathize with him when he's doing it when I'm tired and wanting to go to sleep.

Enki-wise, we did the Singing Snake story again and Yoav loved it again and we made pom poms. It was a very simple craft, but Yoav enjoyed it and I think the pom pom became a toy for his animals...

Oh and an interesting Enki thing that happened the other day. Yoav was in his room (we still co-sleep in case anyone is startled - he just has his own playroom that he calls "his room") playing and I started singing the Ting-a-Ling song, which is our story transition song. He popped out of his room and said, "I thought you were going to tell me to come down." The transition songs are amazing in that way. For the kids, it really is me asking/telling them to do something, but in a way that connects with them. When I start singing the going outside song, Elie comes to get dressed even though he absolutely won't get dressed any other time of day - BUT, knowing we're heading out to the playground or for a walk, he's ready to get dressed!

Today on the playground, Elie got precariously close to an opening that is for sliding down a pole that Elie can't reach. It made Yoav nervous and he held onto Elie and steered him to go down the slide instead.

On the negative side, we're having a horrible time getting the kids to sleep at a reasonable hour. Yoav went to sleep last night and today at 11:30pm and woke this morning at 9am. The Pantley book says the average sleep time for a 4yo is 11 hours, so I just don't think 9.5 hours is how much he needs. When he goes to sleep earlier, he doesn't wake up significantly earlier and gets more overall sleep. He has a hard time settling to sleep when Jeremy's up and working :( I'm not going to write more about it, because it's just exhausting and frustrating. I still get my one hour call with Beth (founder of Enki) - I'm going to give it one more week and if I can't get the sleep time adjusted (it got screwed up when Jer got back from New York and Yoav was super excited to play with him and started not wanting to go to sleep without Jer), I'll make it my topic of conversation with Beth.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Embroidery

We had a fun afternoon filled with embroidery! Today is actually Painting Day and we did our new story, "The Singing Snake", which Yoav loved! He was laughing every time I did the repetition in the beginning part and at the end said it was a fun story. Then we did painting - we did blue and red paint today and he had fun with it. At the end he got the brush wet with water and shook the brush at the page and saw that little "suns" appeared. Then as it got wetter, he said it was raining. As he's done every time since we started Enki, he filled the whole page with color.



After painting, Yoav went to his room to play and I pulled out my embroidery! I started this today - I traced the pattern onto white fabric earlier in the day while Jeremy and Yoav were playing. When Yoav saw me doing the embroidery, he got excited and wanted to do it too, so he used the disappearing fabric marker to draw a chicken on some fabric and asked me to draw a fish. Then I put it in a hoop and he did the embroidery with me. It was so much fun sitting together doing embroidery while Elie napped! I was surprised how well Yoav stayed on the line. Mostly he did running stitch, but I noticed he did a little satin stitch on the chicken. So funny - again we had a situation when he seemed to have learned something from a craft from just watching me!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Enki Week Plan

I'm finding that I'm floundering on my rhythm as the month goes on. I'm more motivated at the beginning of the month when it's closer to when I planned my block. SO I'm going to just try planning one week at a time... And forcing myself to re-read and study the Guide a bit each Sunday night for motivation.

My weekly rhythm I'm happy with and is:
WEEKLY RHYTHM:
Project: M - Painting; T - Cleaning; W - Craft; R - Cooking per Nourishing Traditions; F - Shabbos Prep / Challah
Core story will be read M, T, R

My baking is specifically going to be something from Nourishing Traditions to be sure it doesn't turn into a sweets baking activity which always is stressful for me if we make anything I actually don't want Yoav to eat :) So it'll be some sort of baked or snack item.

So for this week, I'm going to do:
Core Story: The Singing Snake (p. 123 of the Folk Tales book)
Craft: Pom Poms (p. 73 of Craft Book; I need to cut out the cardboard template the night before and get yarn ready - I'll put all the materials in a little basket)
Cooking: Bulgur Casserole (p. 462; I'll start sprouting wheat berries tonight. Yoav will help grind the sprouted berries.)

And I'm going to start a new Circle. Ours isn't working and I've abandoned it. I'm going to try totally new movements to see if that adds to the excitement.
Calling: Come Follow (same all year)
Opening: Sailor Boy
Midline Crossing: Apple Tree
Base Sense Sequence: Tiger Cubs
Closing: Owl (same all year)

___

That was good motivation for me! Now I have chickpeas and wheat berries soaking - to make hummus with the chickpeas and the bulgur with the wheat berries later in the week. Actually I think I'm going to get some buckwheat sprouting too so I can make kasha. And my two bowls of oatmeal to soak - one w yogurt for Elie and one w lemon juice for Yoav. Oh, and I have dough rising for English muffins tomorrow from "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day" - NOT NT, but tasty and organic at least.

Elie did THE cutest thing today! For snack, I made the kids oatmeal and they both ran to the table before I had it ready. Yoav already had his placemat from earlier in the day, but Elie needs a new one for each meal since his get so messy. Elie saw that he didn't have one, noticed that mine was still there (next to him) and took mine, shook it off and tried to get it set straight and flat. He kept picking it up and starting over trying to get it oriented the right way and flat. I love how strong modeling is at this age. He has such a strong need for order and rhythm.

I have another really cute Elie story. This morning Jeremy was trying to go get a new car radio installed that he'd ordered. The plan was to take Yoav, but it quickly became apparent that Elie wanted to go to. Before Jeremy realized Elie wanted to go, Jeremy said to Elie, "Hugs & kisses" meaning let's do hugs and kisses so I (Jeremy) can leave. Elie turned to me to give me a kiss and waved good-bye to me and said "bah" (bye). I love when Elie is oblivious to our plans and takes the initiative on his own plans.

One more cute one - he's so cute, I guess I could go on with these all day. I wonder if one day I'll read back through these. I hope so. Anyway, so Jeremy was getting Yoav dressed (I know, I know, he's more than old enough to dress himself - occasionally he does) and Jeremy said, "Stand up" for Yoav to stand up so Jer could get his shorts on. Elie had been busy trying to get a pair of shoes on and jumped right up when Jer said "Stand up", thinking Jer meant him :)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Elie Baking

Today is our Shabbos prep day - we're baking challah. Elie is TOO funny. He has totally picked up the technique of leaning down to look into the side of a measuring cup. It's so funny to watch. He was helping me fill up a measuring cup with water and he leaned down to check the level a few times - not that he knew where the level was supposed to be, or even why he was peeking in :) Aside from the funny measuring, Elie's actually quite helpful with baking these days - more so really than Yoav. He pours things into the mixing bowl for me, helps crack eggs, stirs and does a lot of on-the-sly tasting :) And, like all almost-2yos, he LOVES to wash the dishes.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Serging!



So I JUST discovered that my sewing machine has a simple serge feature! So cool!!! So the shirt I patched for Yoav yesterday I just did straight stitch about 1/4" in, then during Elie's nap, I made one with two sets of zigzag stitches, one where the quilting fabric meets the knit fabric and one about 1/4" in, then I was reading more in my "Sew U-Home Stretch" book and yearning for serge capabilities when I decided to open my sewing machine manual to see if I had any other options. So I serged up the last two shirts so now Yoav has FOUR new-old shirts. He was very happy with his shirt today and wore the same shirt ALL DAY!!! He specifically told me that he wasn't going to change it because he liked it and he doesn't have another number one like that. Three of the shirts are with the Cosmo Children & Numbers fabric and one is a Windham Story Book fabric with bunnies. All very cute and make me want to start sewing up some knit pants and shirts for the kids. I actually have a few yards of organic knit fabric that I bought just for that purpose but haven't used yet... I think at least a few pairs of knit pants for winter are in order.

We had a playdate this morning that was great for me but bad for Yoav :( It was with my new friend M and her 1.5yo boy. Yoav is really anti-little kid lately. I think because of this. My guess is he's trying to make sense of his negative experiences by being on the other side of the equation. Or something like that. It sucks though because he doesn't want H to play with the things in "his room" so we closed up that room, but H peeked in and knew there was fun stuff to be had in there and kept going up the stairs and looking longingly at the closed door. I feel bad seeing Yoav not wanting to share. He's always been such a good sharer in the past. Ooh, I cringe just writing that - "good sharer" - ick. It came out, though, so I'm going to leave it ;) Anyway, I feel bad - sorry M. Next time we'll start here and move to the playground if Yoav is wanting it to end...



Oh, and I finished another little doll quilt today :) This one will be a gift. I had to hide it because Yoav wants to give it to the girl next door. He's so generous with my time. :) This one I made the binding and used my organic cotton muslin for the binding and back. It's really great fabric. A bit thin, so not good for the front maybe, but great for binding and backs.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Sachet Bags



We were pretty busy today. We dyed more playsilks - we did two yesterday and then two today. Yesterday we did Sandalwood. We did that same color a few weeks ago, but this time we used more dye - 5 Tbsp for one large (44"x44") silk and one smaller (35"x35"). We're planning to use the smaller ones as party favors for his birthday. Since we used more dye, it came out darker than last time. I actually like the lighter color better. That's what makes dyeing so tricky. But I guess once I do each color once and write down the dye/fabric ratios, I can adjust for future dyeing. Plus I could probably start with less and then add if I want something darker. Today we did Annatto - it's really pretty - a goldish yellow. In the pic, the Sandalwood is on the left and Annato on the right. Yoav loves it all. The huge playsilks are fun - much better than the standard Sarah's Silks ones that we have that are about 30"x30". We have a few more dyes to try. Once I see all the color, I think I'm going to dye some of my $5/yard organic muslin to use for quilting! A cheap way to get colored organic fabric - too exciting!!!



Today was Craft day and we made sachet bags. We had already watercolored on muslin on Monday (Painting Day). Last night I put lines on the fabric for where he should stitch and folded it and ironed. We did two pieces. He was pretty turned off by my lines on the fabric, I think. He makes felt "animals" almost every day and sews them together mostly by himself. This, though, he started putting the needle through... Oh, now I'm realizing what the problem was - the fabric is much harder to sew than felt b/c it's floppy. So when he had a hard time with the first stitch, I pulled the Craft Board out and stuck the folded end in. By then, I think Yoav just didn't want to be involved - just seemed too hard maybe or seemed like something that he *might* not be able to do so he didn't want to try. No big deal - I finished it up myself and I wouldn't be surprised if I see him sewing straight stitch in the near future after watching me do it on the lines for this project. Could end up being like the Jingle Bells craft... We'll see. Either way, they came out pretty and smell nice. I love the look of the watercolor on muslin.



Yoav has a bunch of things that he's very particular about that can be exhausting for us adults in his life. His clothes demands have been particularly trying for me lately. They are: 1) he will only wear shirts with animals on them; 2) he changes his clothes about three times a day - every time he gets even a drop of water on them, he screams that he's "cold" or even "freezing" until someone brings him new clothes. Because he goes through so many shirts due to #2, it can be very hard to meet his need for #1. But today I came up with a solution! It will both cut down on laundry and allow his soft organic American Apparel shirts to finally get some love! I'm going to fussy cut fabric with animals and sew it onto all of his shirts that don't have animals. I did one to start with to see how it holds up in the wash. I used the same fabric I used for the recent doll quilt and zigzag stitched it on. I think he'll be excited about it! Doesn't every little boy want to match his doll quilts ;)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Virtual Quilt Festival

Amy of Park City Girl is hosting an online Quilt Festival. I entered my little Disappearing Nine Patch doll quilt. It's really fun to look through everyone's favorite quilts. Great inspiration!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

First Horseback Riding Lesson



Yoav had his first horseback riding lesson today. It went GREAT!!! He was so excited and it was all and more he was expecting. His teacher's name was Marina (although from now on, he's going to be with Na'ama, who was recommended by a friend of ours). She did the whole lesson (30 minutes) in Hebrew, which made it perfect for me because it forced the lesson to be more physical than verbal. Like she told him where to put his foot, but of course he didn't understand what she said, so as she said it, she gently held his foot and put it in the right spot. So she kind of gently moved his body where it needed to go for some things and others she taught by modeling, both very Emily-approved teaching methods! ;) Jeremy and Yoav are both going to be doing weekly lessons on Sunday at 6PM. Starting next week, they'll go alone and they're going to go out to dinner together afterwards for shnitzel or something that Yoav likes. So it will fit into our rhythm and the teaching style I was happy with, so it's a perfect first class for Yoav!

Tomorrow starts a new week. Hopefully I can keep the rhythm better than last week, which was pretty much an unschooling week, specifically a lazy-mama-unschooling week :) I've modified our weekly rhythm, so now it's:
Su: Horsebackriding Day
M: Painting Day
T: Cleaning Day
W: Craft Day
R: Baking Day
F: Challah/Shabos Prep Day
Sa: Shabbos

We'll see how that goes. I just added in the Su, T and R days. I feel like Fridays get a bit hectic and I always make challah so I want a day to do some relaxed baking and to make something other than challah w Yoav. I think I might have already written all this. I always for get if things are in my head or if I managed to blog them. Sorry if it's a repeat :)

Speaking of baking days, we made these last week and they were GREAT tasting, ridiculously easy and relatively healthy. Only problem is the unsoaked grains. Guess if I do it more I could work on that... I think I found it on an Enki mama's blog, but I can't find it now - if you're reading this and it's from you, THANKS!!!

2 cups spelt
1/3 cup flax seeds
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 cup agave (original recipe was for maple syrup)
1/2 cup coconut oil (original recipe didn't specify oil type)

Combine flour, flax seeds, cinnamon and salt in bowl. Pour in syrup and oil and mix. Form into balls and then press with two fingers laid flat to make a sort of rippled shape. Bake at 350 for 12 minutes.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Jer's Back!

Yea, so Jer got back yesterday evening! It was so exciting to see him AND to get all of our goodies :)

Yoav got three wooden Osteimer animals - they were going to be for his birthday, but he asked Jer to get him some animals and I didn't want plastic ones and it's almost impossible to find wooden ones in stores, so I just wrapped these up and stuck them in Jer's suitcase when he got home. Yoav was really happy with them - a calf, a sheep and a duck. He has a lot of ducks now, between the felt ones I made, the knitted ones I made, two wooden ones from long ago and now this one. He also got a cool hand drill from Garrett Wade.

For me, I got:
* Stainless steel ice cube tray from TickleTrunk. I tested it out last night and it works great! Since it's expensive for an ice cube tray, I emptied it into a stainless steel bowl and refilled so now I'll get two trays worth of ice cubes. Yoav likes cold water so I stick them in his cup if we don't have any refrigerated water and we also use them to cool off oatmeal :)
* Lots of playsilks, dye and muslin from Dharma Trading. The playsilks and dye will be the party favors for Yoav's birthday party (more to come about that - still arguing w Jer about the specifics). The muslin is fabric for me.
* Two beautiful Japanese crafting books - Linen, Wool, Cotton: 25 Simple Projects to Sew with Natural Fabrics and Patchwork Style. SO many great projects, particularly in the Linen, Wool, Cotton one. The other isn't quite my style, so I'll have to modify the projects, but there's a lot of good ideas that are easily modify-able to things I would want to make!

Guess that's about it.

Now a few quick comments about the kids:
* The other day, I heard Yoav say to Elie, "I didn't mean to upset you."
* One day recently Elie was playing in the bathroom sink and didn't want to come to bed. I was getting frustrated. Yoav said, "I think you should just enforce him. It's better for him to cry than die." Good philosophy! Glad I have someone to remind me of that ;)
* I was baking with Elie and filled a measuring cup to x cups, then squatted down to look through the side to make sure I had it even. Elie then squatted down to look through the side, just like I did - very seriously, I might add :) The funniest part (to me) was that he didn't seem like he was missing anything. He looked in and seemed quite satisfied that he had done exactly what I did and had accomplished the same goal (well, probably he's not goal-oriented, so the fact is that he just did what I had modeled physically and that, in and of itself, was a good enough goal for him).
* I blew on my oatmeal b/c mine was piping hot and Elie blew on his even though his was totally cold since I'd put an ice cube in it.
* When you ask Elie a question and the answer is yes, he sometimes gets so serious about things and makes a serious face and shakes his whole head up and down. Tonight we were outside and he said Nina (name of neighbor's dog) and wanted me to pick him up. I asked if he was nervous about Nina and he did the serious head shake. It's too cute for words that a 22 month old could be so very serious about ANYTHING, much less the many things that Elie's so serious about ;)
* Elie and Yoav were laughing it up tonight in bed before we went to sleep. It was so much fun to watch. Elie was sitting on Yoav's tummy or even stepping on him and they were just tumbling around and laughing. A few times Yoav actually started laughing hysterically to the point that his face turned red. So cool to see, because he never laughs that hard with anyone else. I've very rarely seen that sort of laugh from him and I love that Elie brings it out so easily.

Okay, now FINALLY to go make the little snack pouches I want to make tonight. Yoav already picked out his fabric, so he's expecting it to be waiting for him - it's just like the "Elves and the Shoemaker" over here I tell you. Just like it!

...



Not to worry - the shoemaker (and his little helper) will get their new shoes tomorrow morning :) The outside fabric is Japanese - Cosmo's "Hello My Friends" and the inside is the organic muslin that I just got.

Finished: D9P Doll Quilt



I finished this little doll quilt for Yoav. I have to say I had SO much fun making it and I love how it turned out. I used this tutorial for the D9P (Disappearing Nine Patch), but as I said before, I generally like more ordered quilts, so I came up with this - I did the four numbers from a Japanese Cosmo fabric, the flowers are all Windham Story Book fabric - I started with blue in the top middle square and bottom middle square, green in the left and right middle squares and pink in the middle. The back is a yummy natural colored organic flannel. Hopefully it won't get too dirty. It'll be really soft for the dolls LOL. And I used a thin bamboo/cotton batting. I quilted it with stitch-in-the-Ditch. Last time I did stitch-in-the-ditch was with a little nine-patch quilt so I didn't have to start/stop, just stitched end to end. This time with the border, I had to do some starting and stopping, which I did by setting the stitch length to 0 and doing a few stitches in place to secure the stitching. Binding I used a pre-made double fold bias tape. I thought it would make it much easier since I wouldn't have to make it, but it was a bit thin and stretchy and hard to work with. I like making it myself better. I'm going to try to get a label on one of the days using this tutorial. I just need to get some freezer paper.

I entered this little quilt into a Virtual Quilt Festival hosted by Amy of Park City Girl. It's really fun to look through the quilts for inspiration! Thanks Amy for hosting this!

And I figured out a great trick to offset the late-night sewing! I listened to an Aldort CD (the Raising Competent Children one, always a favorite for me) as I was doing the hand stitching for the binding, so I woke up revved up for a fully-connected day which seems to be really and truly offsetting the sleepiness. Oh, and the cup of coffee :)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

DNP Doll Quilt Top



So Yoav wanted me to make him the random quilt, but it's not quite right for me - I only have one yellowish Story Book fabric, so there's three big pinks, one big yellow and two big greenish ones - I want to order some more fat quarters so I can mix it up better before I make it. So, meanwhile I spent hours searching for a pattern I liked and wanted to try. I'm falling fast for this quilting stuff! I really want to try different types of blocks. The doll quilts are perfect for learning. I found this http://www.psiquilt.com/2009/03/disappearing-9-patch-tutorial-super.html. I love the way her quilt looks, but I don't have enough of the Story Book fabric to have nine squares that would look good in this format. So then I came up with a layout that I love! The quilt top is done, just gotta sew on the back. I turned the squares just the way the woman did in the tutorial, so the 2 and 3 both started out turned ninety degrees - so the tops of the numbers were to the right.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Duckling's Cousin / Child's Apron





So I made Yoav a second duckling today (pattern from Petra Berger's "Feltcraft"). It wasn't a duckling born out of love. He was asking/demanding for it all morning. Finally when Elie fell asleep for nap I made it. Turned out to actually be fun. Yoav made a house (pic below duckling) while I made the duckling. Lately there are days when he just wants and wants and wants and wants either me or him to make toys. I suppose he's probably just trying to fill a void of some sort - trying to figure out what to do with his time, maybe. But it also feels a bit filled with a desire to consume, to GET a toy. I think I wrote that recently. It feels very frustrating for me. I don't want to be *told* to make something; when I choose to make toys for Yoav, it's out of love for him and a love for crafting. But I like to do crafting *when* I want to, when I'm relaxed and it's quiet, not first thing in the morning when Elie is awake and I need to bake some bread or we'll have no bread for later in the day... As I said before, I'm trying to spend more time doing really simple projects with him - finger knitting, beeswax, drawing - projects with no real goal, nothing *created*. But, I guess I'm goal-oriented when it comes to sewing and that is modeled for him :( Guess I need to work on that. I get excited when I finish projects and make thing for people. Maybe I should spend more time knitting during the day when the kids are awake - it's a good thing to do in Israel because I won't feel the time pressure I felt knitting in New York, knowing it was going to get COLD soon and I'd NEED those mittens finished!



I just finished making Yoav the cutest apron! He changed his shirt three times today because he got food/water on them. I told him I'd make him an apron and found the pattern here (one of the links on the right) and already had perfect fabric (Caramel Town by Lecien) already washed and dried, so I went ahead and made it. I love it! And it only took two hours and now I have the template cut, so I think I'll be making more. I'll let Yoav test this one a bit to make sure I'm happy with everything. I repurposed an organic cotton pillowcase for the back (I don't love the color for the bed) - it might be a bit thin for this so I'll see about that... For a gift I could do two nice fabrics to make it reversible. And maybe add a pocket :)

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Done with Doll Quilt #1



All done! Cin liked the ordered one best and this one is for Karli. I'm going to make the random one for Yoav. Thanks to everyone who voted! I don't like the random one as much so it helps to see that other people like it before I make it - that's the one Yoav wanted and he did most of the layout. The tutorial is here.

I have to say, I LOVE having a sewing room. Sewing is SO much faster and more fun now! This was my first time turning on the sewing machine - I had to bring the transformer from the kitchen. I plugged the sewing machine and iron into the transformer and put the iron on a small wooden table perpendicular to the sewing table with a piece of insul-bright and dishcloth on top, so I could easily iron after each step. In my apartment, ironing meant I had to get up and walk into the kitchen where I had the iron set up, so I wasn't as good about ironing in between each step. And before I barely had any space on my table, so as my sewing fabric went behind the machine, it would bunch up and knock into all the other things I was using. Now I actually have space on my table for the cutting mat and rotary knife on the left half of the table and sewing machine on the right and plenty of space behind the machine for the fabric. I LOVE it!! Oh, did I say that already??? I'll take pics of the sewing room in action another day. Quite a pleasure. I have a feeling I'm going to be spending a lot more time sewing now :)

Friday, October 2, 2009

Vote on Doll Quilt Layout

Please vote on the layout for a doll quilt I'm making. Put your vote in the comments. The fabric is all from the Windham Storybook collection and the pattern is here.

Option 1 (ordered):



Option 2 (random):



Thanks!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Playdate and Felt Duckling

We had a GREAT playdate today! It was with a woman I met on a parenting forum who has a 1.5yo boy, lives one town away and was raised with Waldorf Education and is considering Enki for her son. A great playdate for so many reasons, not the least of which is that she was born in the UK, raised in South Africa and English is her first language!!! So nice to speak fast in English :) And with someone with like-minded parenting views!!! So hard to find that here (or anywhere, really). Thanks SO much for coming, M - we're so very glad to have met you and look forward to many more playdates in the future! Yoav is already planning out activites for the next one - he wants to do a puppet show for H :)



I pulled out my "Feltcraft" book to show M and Yoav got excited about it - well, we both did - I made a duckling - quick and easy and very cute. Although now Yoav wants a duck and a sibling duckling. I'm trying to avoid any sort of craft consumer feelings - where crafting is similar to purchasing in that Yoav gets a new toy as a result of crafting, but it's really hard to avoid. The activities like modeling wax and finger knitting are helping. I was surprised yesterday how much he enjoyed the finger knitting, since we didn't really make something - he tends to think too much about the end result of our art projects. Although the finger knit chain is now an "eel" and is in the blue playsilk sea in his room...

Yoav and Elie's favorite game (well, Yoav's favorite) is trying to get Elie to say no. He says yes to almost everything in a serious way, shaking his whole head and his upper body with it. For example, Yoav says, "Do you want to eat a thousand plates?" And Elie says, "Dah" and shakes his head yes. It's quite funny to watch.

I added a link to the right (in the "Other Pages" list) of my crafting to-do list - I know I'm dreaming, but it's fun to dream and I don't set a timeline for completion of anything :)