Thursday, September 26, 2013

Yarn Along ~ September 25

I haven't participated in a Yarn Along for a really, really long time. The truth is that I prefer to quilt or sew and leave the knitting and the crocheting in a bag or basket for months on end. I recently finished a Milo vest for my 8 year old, but have yet to get a picture of it. It wouldn't have taken me that long to finish it, but I got bored of it. I know that is lame, but it is the truth. Now I don't even have a photo to share. Oops.

I shared on Monday that I was in the process of using the wool I dyed to make an infinity scarf. I actually finished it in under a week. The pattern is easy as pie and I believe that anyone can do it. I am not a crocheter, but have a basic knowledge of it and I churned out this thing in a few sittings. I was planning on making it for me, but as chance would have it, it looks better on my daughter. That always happens when I make things for me. I almost always give the finished products away. I used this little YouTube video to make it.

I obviously used a different yarn and I had to resort to using a smaller hook because I didn't have the one she used in the video. I might actually have to get a bigger hook and try to make one for myself.  I left notes on my ravelry page.

I can believe how fashionable my sweetie looks when wearing this scarf. It was finished just in time for our brisk autumn weather. Hubby is already predicting that the first snow will fly real soon. I sure hope he is wrong. I still have mittens to buy knit. 

Right now I am reading a few different books beginning with Trim Healthy Mama. I bought this ebook on a whim. I am not that I mentioned that I joined a mom's group at our parish late last winter. At the time, I met a bunch of wonderful ladies, but didn't really get to know them all that well until more recently. Anyway, I ran into this one mom that I hadn't seen all summer, a few weeks ago at a baptism of a mutual friend. Oh my goodness, she looked so different than before the summer. I walked right up to her and told her that she looked amazing and that I want to look fabulous, too. There wasn't time to talk that day, but mom's group started up again and I finally got a chance to chat about her transformation afterwards. Her story inspired me so much that I spent most of the afternoon researching and facebook chatting with her. To make a long story short, I bought the ebook and could hardly put it down. It makes so much sense to me. I have to keep reading it before I can tell you more about it. If you want to read a great review, you can find one here: 
 That's all for this week's Yarn Along. Don't forget to stop by Ginny's blog and see what else everyone has been up to.

God Bless Friends.
Holly Hobbie - friends

Monday, September 23, 2013

Pioneer Studies = Fun School

A few weeks ago, I blogged about our plans to study the life and times of the early Canadian pioneers. Since then, we have learned and explored so many interesting and fun aspects of living during the 19th century. We especially enjoyed spinning wool, dying yarn and making cheese.

When we first decided to study pioneer times, I thought it would be great to do a lot of hands on learning. I really want this year to be memorable for the kids. Two years ago, we suffered a miscarriage and an intense pregnancy with lots of ups and downs. Last year, we had a newborn and a paper route. We quit the paper route a while back and decided to really focus on learning after two years of craziness and chaos.

At the beginning of the year, I laid out the following plan:

Pioneer Study in 17 Weeks

Pages to Read
A Pioneer Story
Day 1: The Robertsons & Signs of Spring pp. 6-19
Day 2: Maple Sugaring pp. 20-31
Make Egg Pudding online recipe
Activity on page 30
A Pioneer Story
Day 1: School Days pp.32-45
Day 2: Baby Animals pp.46-59
Activities on pp. 44-45
Grow a Potato Plant
A Pioneer Story
Day 1: Finding a Honey Tree pp. 60-67
Day 2: Granny’s Story pp.68-75
Make Honey Butter and Look at Bee Books
Make a Breadcloth & Paint a Picture of Voyage
A Pioneer Story
Day 1: Milking pp.76-85
Day 2: Sheep Shearing pp. 86-103
Make Cheese
Dye some wool from Knit Picks
A Pioneer Thanksgiving
Day 1: Cranberries pp. 6-17
Day 2: Nutting pp. 18-29
Make cranberry sauce
Play games in the chapter & make nutting basket
A Pioneer Thanksgiving
Day 1: Festival Bread & The Corn Dolly pp. 30-35
Day 2: The Hungry Year pp.36-41
Making a Corn Dolly
Make a Weather Vane
A Pioneer Thanksgiving
Day 1: Gathering at the Table pp.42-47
Plan the Thanksgiving Menu
A Pioneer Story
Day 1: The Peddler’s Visit pp. 104-119
Make a Punched-tin Picture
A Pioneer Story
Day 1: Fishing pp. 120-133
Play the game on page 133
A Pioneer Story
Day 1: Harvesting the Crops pp. 134-145
Day 2: A Visit to the General Store pp. 146-157
Make Pa and Laura’s Hay Sticks
Make Pioneer Envelopes on page 157
A Pioneer Story
Day 1: Building the New House pp. 158-171
Day 2: The Corn Husking Bee pp. 172-185
Activities on pages 168-169
Drying Apples on page 179
A Pioneer Story
Day 1: Shadow Stories pp. 186-195
Day 2: Lost in the Woods pp. 196-205
Make Shadow Puppets on pages 192-193
Make Laura’s Bear’s Track Quilt Pillow
A Pioneer Story
Day 1: Moving Day pp.206-219
Day 2: Christmas Visiting pp. 220-229
Stencilling on pages 216-217
Do Candle Dipping on page 226
A Pioneer Christmas
Day 1: Christmas is Coming pp. 6-17
Day 2: An Unexpected Visitor pp. 18-21
Make a Pomander on page 16
Make cookie Decorations
A Pioneer Christmas
Day 1: Christmas Caroling pp. 22-27
Day 2: Let the Festivities Begin pp. 28-33
Sing Christmas Carols
Play the game on page 33
A Pioneer Christmas
Day 1: Christmas Garlands pp. 34-38
Day 2: Christmas Eve pp. 39-47
Make a garland
Make Eggnog in Little House Cookbook
A Pioneer Story
Between Christmas and New Year’s read Hogmanay pp. 230-237
Make a Jumping Jack

Books Used in this Study:    
A Pioneer Story by Barbara Greenwood
A Pioneer Thanksgiving by Barbara Greenwood
A Pioneer Christmas by Barbara Green
My Little House Crafts Book by Carolyn Strom Collins and Christina Wyss Eriksson
The Little House Cookbook by Barbara M. Walker

Last week, we dyed some yarn, learned how to spin on a Turkish drop spindle and made cheese. I bought some wool from KnitPicks to dye. I like that they have a wide varieties of yarn to choose from that are "bare" and ready to dye. I really wanted to try using a natural dye, but I found that using kool-aid is easier and kid friendly. Unfortunately, we only had one color of no name kool-aid in the house and it happened to be orange. We don't drink usually drink kool-aid, I just keep it in the house in case I want to dye something. Yeah, I'm weird. The yarn turned out a really color of orange. It is in the process of being crocheted into an infinity scarf, if I don't frog it first.

For my own personal development, I really wanted to learn how to spin wool. This has been a wish of mine for some time. I bought a Turkish spindle when I bought the bare wool. After watching a number of YouTube videos and purchasing a craftsy spinning course when it was on sale for $14.99, I finally got the hang of it.  The following is one of the many videos that I watched. It was interesting and demanded that I not skip ahead and assume anything (like I usually do). This is an art like no other that I have ever tried or learned. It is simple enough, but the learning curve at the beginning is enormous. I really had to pay attention to every detail.

Here are some pictures of us spinning on our Turkish spindle. The kids were able to manage spinning, but I attached the leader, always wound on the yarn and made the half-hitch for them. If this sounds strange, that's ok. I didn't know what any of these meant either. When you learn to spin, you learn a new language.

Last week, we also made cheese. It was a herb cream cheese. The herbs were all fresh from our garden. 

We Marie added fresh garlic, lemon juice, honey, salt and freshly ground pepper. It was delicious. If you have never made your own cream cheese, it is worth a try. You just need to strain 2 cups of yogurt and add herbs to taste. I use a fine mesh sieve lined with a paper towel instead of cheese cloth to strain my yogurt. If you have cheese cloth, you can put the yogurt in that instead.

I am really enjoying school this year. A lot of other things (the Etsy shop, quilting, knitting etc.) get put on the back burner right now. I have so many projects on the go and presents for Christmas to be made. I have some rosaries to be put in the shop, too. All in all, I can't complain. Being busy is a good thing. The days are short and I really have to work on planning and allotting ME time a little better.I love spending time with the kids and learning along with them and all of those other things aren't as important.

Thanks for stopping by. 
God Bless, Friends.
Holly Hobbie - friends

Friday, September 13, 2013

Changing Seasons

I can't believe that we are almost half way through September. Fall is fast upon our heels. One of my favorite television series, Rookie Blue ended last night. It runs during the summer and now that is is over, so too is summer. I have nearly a year to wait until Season 5 begins. If you haven't seen the series before, click on the picture to read about it and view an episode or two for free.


With the change of seasons I also have a change in the type of gardening work that is waiting for me. I have to clean up the garden and pick the rest of the tomatoes before the first frost. On Wednesday, I posted the picture of a few of the last blooms of the year. We waited months for the dalia's, lilies and sunflowers to bloom. We only have a few days of summer to enjoy them after months of anticipation. The flowers bloomed in time for Mary's birthday on Sunday.

Speaking of Mary's birthday, the kids made birthday banners for her special day, last weekend. Once they were finished, we put together some art journals for the big kids and the little guys made fish. I will have to share pictures of the art journals later. I just realized that there weren't any pictures on my camera, but rather on Mia's. We got the idea from Pinterest to bind together different types of paper with binder rings into little journals. When the big guys get inspired, they journal with art. I love the concept so much that I made myself a journal, but have yet to do any work in it.

As summer ends, the harvesting begins. Last weekend, our favorite field trip destination, Heritage Park had their annual Harvest Sale. They had veggies and fruits by the case load. Since it rained all day Saturday, we decided to go Sunday afternoon. And although much of the wares had been picked over, there were some great deals to be had. We left the park with 40 lbs of peaches, 25 lbs of nectarines, 50 lbs of potatoes, 30 lbs of apples, 10 lbs of onions, 4 lbs of carrots and 2 bags of grapes, half a dozen yellow peppers and a watermelon for $40 in total. The potatoes and onions should keep for a while, but the rest is being busily consumed, is canned or will be canned in the very near future.

We took Monday off of our regular studies to can all of the nectarines and most of the peaches. Our pantry is now stocked with Butter-Spiced Nectarines, Nectarine Jam, Peach Honey Butter and Spiced Peaches. I hope to turn the apples into applesauce, but that will have to wait until next week. It's a good thing that we are studying the pioneer times, so that I can legitimately call Monday hands on school. There is no way that I could have done all of the canning without my wonderful helpers. Both Mia and Noah made a batch of the nectarine jam almost entirely by themselves. The little guys were in charge of sticker removal and playing nicely for most of the day. Adam was our taste tester and napper. When Mia wasn't busily peeling, chopping or stirring, she was babysitting. I was thoroughly amazed at the teamwork and the finished products.

So yet another season has nearly passed, school has begun and we are getting ready for the colder months. We are doing our best to enjoy the last days of summer. Today we are getting things ready to go to the Palio, a family celebration with horse races at the Strathmore Rodeo grounds that takes place tomorrow. There will be an outdoor Mass with the Bishop and lots of fun things for the kids to do. The highlight of the event are the horse races. Each parish of the diocese is represented by a horse. The horses will race against each other to see which parish wins. Below is a video of last year's event. This is our first time going, so I hope it will be lots of fun.

I wish you all a wonderful weekend. I hope to post some great pictures next week, if time allows. Back to school time in our home school family is crazy.

God Bless friends,
Holly Hobbie - friends

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