Thursday, April 23, 2015

Pigs and Pizza in Quiltland...

My kids love guinea pigs.

This is Mini...


This is Phyllis and her new babies...


Once upon a time we had 12 guinea pigs!!!

Meet Olive...

 (she is our one and only now)


Olive is really sweet...



This is Olive and her late friend (and cage-mate) Tinkerbelle...


When Tinkerbelle was a wee one, 
she liked to hide under Olive for warmth and love...

Olive still tolerated Tinkerbelle under her belly
 when Tinkerbelle had clearly outgrown that exercise...



These days, Nature Boy likes to bring Olive to the kitchen table while we do our school work...


Olive is a little suspicious of world history text books...



and I don't blame her!

This photo of Olive was so cute...  


that I thought I would try to capture Olive in fabric scraps
for the Quilt Alliance challenge...


Luckily, I seem to have a few fabric scraps...



okay, maybe more than a few...


So

I kept fusing scraps and fusing scraps ....



until I had fused enough...




and after I laid down a piece of tulle and many hundreds of yards of thread

here is 
Olive. Olive You 



with a sleeve and label...


and what better way to ship off my quilt to its destination...



than in a pizza box!!!




I believe you will be able to see Olive. Olive You 
at Quilters Take Manhattan this September
(and you will be able to see me there too! ... if you want)
and then she will be auctioned off to support Quilt Alliance

Friday, April 17, 2015

it just happened...I began to cry.

One cold (okay maybe frigid) 



Saturday morning in February 2009, I sat down with Mr U in his home office. The kids were still asleep. I had to tell him about our son's second quarter report card in sixth grade. It wasn't good and I knew this was probably not going to be a pleasant conversation. The thing was, this was not our son's first poor second quarter sixth grade report card. We were hoping that some maturity and age might be the answer when we asked the middle school administrators to have him repeat the sixth grade but apparently this was not the case.



I could see the frustration (or was it anger?) in Mr U's face, I could hear it in his voice.  Instead, he suggested that we needed to try something different. But what? How about homeschool? I didn't know what to say. The truth is, over Christmas break I had read through John Holt's book without ever mentioning this to my husband..but now the thought was both exciting and very scary. Yes, let's try it we agreed. So I spent the rest of the weekend poring over the computer for information, emailing a woman who would become our friend (along with her homeschooled son) and talking on the phone with a woman who I had seen featured earlier in the year in an article in our local newspaper about homeschooling (whom I had known, oddly enough, from our days serving on the elementary school's PTSA.) It was scary at first and our son seemed so sad when we announced our intentions, but- we have had no regrets.

So today, after I had emailed the third quarter progress report to the office of our district's Superintendent of Instruction and Curriculum (and even posted my delight on instagram),



and after my son and I had settled in to work on world history together at the kitchen table,





it just happened....I began to cry.

When my son, whom I often affectionately call Nature Boy,



was almost 2 years old, I became pregnant with our third child. It's all happy and good but before I knew it, he was off to kindergarten and I had this sadness that we had not had much time together, just him and I. His older sister was our only child for 3 years, and after he started school, his younger sister was home with me alone for 3 more years before she ventured off to school.  We had not had those 3 years to ourselves.


But here it is, though his younger sister did join us at home to be homechooled for almost 4 years,



he and I have had our time together now for 6 years (that 2x 3 years!). This boy who seemed so sad and painfully shy has blossomed into a young man (who is now 18!)  who smiles a lot, who has a great sense of humor, who enjoys watching the birds at our feeder, who sows seeds and tends a vegetable garden (growing many foods he won't even eat LOL),


who has laid laminate floors, operated a snowplow, who discusses politics with dad, who has a small circle of friends (an equally interesting and diverse group of young men), who we also call "Sweetie"  and yes, who is still shy but not so painfully.

And yet I'm crying. I'm crying because I am so thankful I have had this time with him. I am crying because I'm sad that this phase of my life is almost over.



I am crying because I am proud of the person Nature Boy has become. I am crying because I will no longer have to read any more physical science or world history.  Ever. I am crying because I won't have to spend hours each July developing our yearly schedule while  writing up his IHIP (individualized home instruction program) on the floor of our bedroom, the only room with air conditioning.

I am crying because I love him so.



Monday, March 30, 2015

Aaaah... the life of a jet-setter!

Yes, I like to travel!


I enjoy getting away and exploring new territory!

Texas..


France...


Israel...


Hawaii...


Vegas...


to name a few places...

BECAUSE...

I always learn something new....





I can eat foods I can't find at home 
(which is not saying much... 
food selection for a vegan is not great in an area surrounded by dairy farms!)






I can be inspired by the surroundings.



 (okay, I haven't climbed Mt Rainier ... hubby did)






Sometime, I even bring home a souvenir (or two.)






And if I am really lucky, I can forget about winter!



So this weekend,
I headed to Manhattan...
not too far away (about 3 1/2 hrs)
 but in some ways, it feels like worlds away.

My original intent for the trip was to see the Empire Quilters'
"Urban Inspirations" quilt show at FIT
but I took along my youngest, Sugarbaby,
and we hung with our good friends at their apartment in Chelsea.

Of course....

I was inspired by the surroundings...


NYC architecture makes my heart sing....









I  learned something new....

(who knew?)

Actually, I went to the panel discussion on collecting quilts
moderated by Paula Nadlestern


which included Amelia Peck (The Metropolitan Museum),
Elizabeth Warren (American Folk Art Museum),
and Roderick Kiracofe (collector, dealer and author).

I thought it was very interesting
but some did not...


I ate foods that I thoroughly enjoyed....


dairy free!


meat free!


It is a vegan paradise!!!!!

Too bad they don't deliver upstate...



Of course, the show!

Lots of wonderful quilts....







































My favorite was "We Are All Too Round" by Roz Manor



Her humor is wonderful!


as is her hand work...


her embellishments...


her layout...













made me smile!!!!


and yes, I even came home with a few souvenirs...


(I have to say that Judy Gula's booth Artistic Artifacts was my fave).

Of course,
eventually I have to return home...

There is always laundry to wash.

There is homeschooling to do...

(Actually, I  Nature Boy graduates in June!)

and yes, winter to return to...


even if it is March 30th!!!