all the things

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One of the great things about homeschooling is choosing what and how many out of house things to do.

Girl child chooses all the things, all the time.

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It's funny, she wonders why she is so tired at night.  I dunno, I say, maybe it's because we are either swimming, skating, climbing, rehearsing or performing every darn day and when you aren't doing that, you are jumping on the trampoline with your friends? And then you stay up late reading every night? 

We started homeschooling because it gave us more time.  But now we homeschool because we don't have time for conventional school.

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See the face of the over-scheduled child.  I wish I could say that that is a tired, forced smile, but the child is having a blast.  Her mother, however, would like to have a short holiday from doing... just for a few days.

In addition to the usual carnival, this week was also our community's performing arts festival in which girl child not only did well in her solo, but also was invited to perform in the festival's showcase next week.   

So, you know, hard work pays off.  All that hard work playing and doing what she loves.

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Oh, the boy?  Well, I've recently forced him into a single activity - karate, two hours a week - which he alternately loves and loathes, depending on his mood.  Other than that, he is very patient (when bribed) and joins us on many an outing to the theatre and derby games.  Bless his little uninterested in much more than Legos and Minecraft heart.

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a little nonsense now and then

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Roald Dahl wrote, "A little nonsense now and then is cherished by the wisest men."  And who says that there can too much of a good thing?

Things heard in my yard today from the boys:

- "Watch me! Watch me! WatchmewatchwatchmeWATCHME!" x 400
- "Jiminy Cricket woman, just take the picture already!"
- "How's my hair?"

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Boy child tells me that he likes to make friends with the rough kids.  Gentle children make him nervous.  He worries about breaking them.  I try not to think about Lennie from Of Mice and Men when he says things like this.  There is an amazing amount of physical energy in these kids of mine and they like to wrestle. I've never seen either one of them back down from a conflict.  As a parent I am both impressed and exhausted.

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The blessing and curse of trampoline season is upon us.  It was before eight o'clock this Saturday morning when the neighbor boy knocked on the door, wanting to jump.  We're homeschoolers.  Eight in the morning is still practically the night before.

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On the other hand, with all that juvenile energy directed harmlessly into canvas and springs rather onto one another, it's worth falling down this particular hole.

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I find that as my children get older, and are less easily contained, their creative impulses increasingly move away from home (specifically the kitchen table) towards the action side of things.  Exploring, noticing and moving is our main craft as of late.

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Which is excellent, except when you have a DIY blog and you are never at home making stuff.  A bit of a lack of product here.  I have a whole lot of nothing to show for some very busy days.

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I'm not complaining though.  I'll take this nothing over a hundred crafts.

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racer back sports top v.1

Have I mentioned that girl child has started playing roller derby?  She had her first game a few weeks ago and is busy filling her summer with invitational jr scrimmages.

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You know, it's funny that I have been in derby for five years and have to do more than alter tee shirts and fit jerseys for myself, but girl child apparently needs an entire wardrobe custom made for her now that she's played her first game.  Because it's difficult to find sleeveless scrimmage shirts for juniors at a cost I can afford.  Oh, and I like making stuff.

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It's taken a few tries but I finally nailed down a pattern that I'm almost happy with.  Working edges with the four way stretch knit has been a whole education in itself, never mind fitting a racer back top to a child's frame.   But here is girl child in her almost ok sport top:

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I am pleased with the back.  Girl child doesn't want me to, but I think I'll flare the bottom a bit.  Ultimately these shirts have to stand up to roller derby practices and games, so all the seams need to be triple reenforced and a lot of excess fabric to grab and pull isn't desirable. 

I do very much enjoy working with the knit, though!  This particular fabric is from here, and probably is a touch too stretchy, but I have some Lycra with nylon in it to play with as well. Maybe something for me too, sometime in the future?  (I always say that, and never do, so just ignore that last sentence.)


bok (chicken in a sweater v.II)

This is not my first chicken a sweater.  But this is the first time I actually knitted a chicken sweater.  We all learn and grow.

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This grand Wyandotte hen is a gift to our egg family.  As in the people who have chickens that lay eggs that we buy and eat. Because we feel pretty good about that and like to show some appreciation.

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The hen was sewn and stuffed, then prim'd (primed? primmed?) with coffee and baked in the oven.  Afterwards a thin whitewash of gesso was painted on, a touch of acrylic for colour, followed by pen and ink details.  Legs and wings attached with thread an buttons.  And, of course, the sweater was knitted and secured with a button.

One can take the sweater off, if one would prefer, for a bit more chicken-ly authenticity.

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I realize that it's hard to judge how big she is from these photos so I will just tell you that she just fits in two adult palms held together in a scoop.  She feels a bit leathery (not at all like feathers, perhaps something to think for future sweatered chickens) and smells delicious, given her coffee bath.

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It'll be sad to see her go but I'm sure she'll be much happier on the farm with others of her own kind.