Saturday, July 31, 2010

Yoav's Drawings

Yoav just drew this Cat in the Hat. I couldn't believe it when I saw it - the resemblance with the drawing he copied (the cover of the book), is really startling to me. I love that he combined the so-very-non-Waldorf Cat in the Hat with the Waldorf technique of filling the whole page with color :)




There's another Cat in the Hat here that Jeremy scanned in.

Here's one from a few days ago that I particularly liked. Most of the page is colored in with the side of a block crayon. The main thing that Donna Simmons in her "Drawing with Your Four to Eleven Year Old" suggests is to make sure your child is filling the entire page with color (ideally learned by watching mama, which is how Yoav is learning - I've never mentioned this technique to him). I like the way he drew the sky with grey clouds. The other part of the picture is a man on a boat fishing.


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Yoav as Big Br/M-other

I know I've missed a few weeks. My quick catch-up is: We went to the States for two weeks - a few days in NYC to visit my brothers and friends, then to Connecticut to visit Jeremy's family and then to Atlanta to visit the rest of my family. We had fun.

Phew, that feels good to catch up :) Now on to our current life...

Yoav is really growing into his role as big Brother to Elie. Aside from fewer sibling struggles lately, a few interactions have really amazed me and brought such happiness and warmth to this mama-heart.

* On our return flight, when we were going through the security checkpoint and had to remove shoes, Yoav turned to Elie and explained that shoes had to be taken off. They both sat down together and Yoav helped Elie get his shoes off. Then Yoav lined up all four shoes in his box. The especially heartwarming part is that he wouldn't let me put my shoes in his box (with the only item being his shoes) when we flew from Hartford to Atlanta - it was just for *his* shoes, so it really made me smile to see him happily add Elie's shoes to this same box.

* For the past two nights, Elie has been using pottying as an excuse to get out of bed. The whole experience is just too much fun for him - getting carried out of bed, brought to the bathroom, putting on the insert, climbing up, him discussing moment-by-moment what's coming... Last night when he said he wanted to go pee moments after returned from our first potty of the night, Yoav rose to the occasion and happily said he'd take Elie to the potty. Elie seemed interested in that plan and they hopped off the bed together, and trotted away down the stairs and out of sight, with Yoav using his new calming/confident Mommy voice. About twenty minutes later they returned - Elie had gone potty and Yoav had "read" him two books - one was a Yoav-written book about his recent character "Mr. Crocodile" (he can "read" that one since he wrote it) and the other was "Meow said the Mouse", a story he knows well enough to tell by heart.

I love listening to these new interactions. I love the voice Yoav takes on. And he just says the sweetest calming things to Elie - tells Elie not to worry, that Yoav can do whatever it is, offers to hold Elie or help him get dressed or buckled/unbuckled or whatever is needed at the moment. Yoav is now Elie's favorite person for getting him unbuckled in the car and when Yoav gets Elie dressed, Elie is so happy for the brotherly attention that he often happily submits to getting dressed (SO opposite how he is with me and Jeremy!). Anyway, I'm sure it's just a temporary peak, but I'll take what I can get and try to retain images of these moments to help me through the troughs.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Bet Guvrin Park

My brother B is here visiting for a week and we had such a perfect day on Tuesday. We went to the Bet Guvrin National Park. It's a park full of various types of old caves - we saw the Columbarium caves (for raising doves and pigeons), the olive press cave, the bath house, the Sidonian Burial Caves and the Bell Caves (huge bell-shaped quarries). First off, a cave is a perfect place to be on a hot day :) And, secondly, the boys had a BLAST running through the caves - particularly the burial caves, because they had secret passageways from one area of the cave to another, so the boys had fun exploring and popping in one side and coming out another. If I had more energy, I'd upload a video of them laughing and running through the passageways. Suffice it to say that it was very cute and I'll definitely be going back! As I was enjoying the coolness and the laughter, my mind wandered and I found myself thinking that quiet caves like this would make for a perfect place for a playdate - these crazy mama brains of ours!

Lately it seems like I always have a boy in a tree photo :)



Sidonian Cave:



The boys looking cute in a Sidonian Cave:



More Sidonian Cave cuteness - I love how Yoav is looking so lovingly at Elie - too precious!:



More Sidonian Cave fun:



Bell Cave:

Monday, July 5, 2010

Baby Blanket





Just finished this little baby blanket. The pattern is from "Last Minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts" by Joelle Hoverson. The front fabric is Harmony Art Silent Stumps (organic cotton), backing is 4.5oz organic flannel (front and back from Organic Cotton Plus); batting is organic cotton and thread is organic thread from Near Sea Naturals, so it's truly a 100% organic blanket :) I love how it turned out - the fabric is so soft and the pattern is gentle and the colors are lovely - perfect for a baby blanket!

The blanket is a lot harder than it looks because it has 99 (!) little satin stitch ovals to hold the batting in place. Next time I'll make them 4" apart instead of 3.25" so I don't have to do so many. It's important to start the ovals from the center of the blanket and smooth the blanket as you move outward or you get lumps of fabric between the ovals...

Another difficulty was that I made a mess cutting the flannel - I was listening to a podcast and ended up cutting the fabric three times and still didn't get it quite how I wanted, but the final size is fine. It ended up 31x38" (final blanket).

Yoav helped pick out the fabric, although he actually preferred Harmony Art Whispering Grass, which I think is too shimmery - I actually have no idea what to do with it, but that's another story... He also helped cut the fabric (not while I was listening to the podcast).

This will probably be my last handmade gift for awhile. I'm ready for a homemade-gift hiatus. Besides the fact that I have about ten homeschooling and parenting books to plow through, I honestly didn't enjoy making this blanket (in case you're wondering, the receiver of this blanket is my husband's friend and likely doesn't know about my blog and definitely doesn't read it), especially since most of my sewing is done in the wee hours of the night. Fine when I'm knitting or doing other relaxing handwork, but cutting fabric at 1am because I'm trying to finish a blanket for a trip in a week is NOT fun ;) And no one seems to like what I make as much as me and the kids. Not to say that people I've given gifts to aren't appreciative - they certainly are - but Yoav and Elie just LOVE LOVE LOVE getting handmade goodies from me in a way that doesn't even compare to an adult getting something. ... And last, but not least {sheepish grin}, there's a few things I've wanted to make for ME for a LONG time - a few new skirts, a tablecloth, wallet (I'm currently using one of the kid's snack packs LOL).

So there it is, my little sewing confession that I've been mulling over for the past few months...

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Potholder



Just made this little pot holder for my mother. We're visiting in two weeks and I haven't make *anything* on my sewing machine for my mother, which is terrible since she's the one who taught me to sew and I've had it for a year and a half! I also made her a flax Boo Boo Bag (since who doesn't need one of those!??!!) last night.

I followed this tutorial, which is the same one I used last time I made one of these. This one came out much better than my first. Adjustments to the tutorial:
* I did a 4" opening (instead of 3") to turn it right-side out;
* I only used one layer of Warm & Natural batting, which seems plenty to me (maybe use two layers if you have a multi-thousand dollar dining room table, but if your table is at least thirty years old, like my parents', one layer is more than enough!)
* I skipped whipping the opening closed and instead topstitched about 1/8" inch from the edge, which is makes the project faster and also the narrower edge holds the batting edging tighter inside to make for a flatter potholder.

Flowered fabric is Heather Bailey, yellow is scrap and the little ribbon is from Lillalotta - she's amazing - check it out if you haven't seen her work!

And I'm excited that I made it, took uploaded a photo and blogged this project in an hour and fifteen minutes - that definitely makes this a project I'll make again - makes a sweet little housewarming gift.

Knitted Dog



I made this little knitted dog for Yoav. The pattern is from "Knitted Animals" by Anne-Dorthe Grigaff. Yarn is Plymouth Yarn Alpaca Boucle knitted on size 7 needles. Yoav LOVES it! I love that he appreciates my handmade things so much. He was bugging me to finish it yesterday when he saw me knitting my hat, but all I had left was the stuffing and sewing together for the dog, which I prefer to do alone (ie sans the "help" of little ones), so I promised him I'd finish it at night and it would be ready when he woke up. The second he opened his eyes this morning, he said, "Where's my dog?" (he was looking around near his pillow, since I often leave new handmade goodies there). I said it was on the side table - he reached over for it and immediately was bursting with, "I love it! ... I'm so happy to have him! ... He's so cute!" and hugging him and walking him around the bed... And, of course, the dog came along on our errands today :)