Waxed Leaves

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Nathan and I got a little crafty last night.  We dipped the leaves we had collected from the yard and the park into candle wax.  The effects are gorgeous.  At least in my humbled opinion.  I plan to use the leaves in various ways around the house, and maybe even use one as a future love letter to a stranger.  (I’ll keep you posted on that last one)  I thought about using them in a photo frame, or perhaps making a garland out of them, or maybe adorn them inside of a glass vase, along with some of the pine cones and acorns we have collected as well.  What do you think?  Any ideas?

 

If you’re interested in doing this with your rascals, then I’ll tell you how I did this really fast.  I bought a block of candle wax at Michael’s craft supply store.  Had the hubs cut a 1/4 chunk off, then I grated it on a cheese grater.  I preheated the oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.  Nathan emptied the shavings into a disposable, aluminum 8×8 pan.  Place it into the oven until it is completely melted.  Once it is melted, you simply dip each leaf into wax, coating each side, and then place onto wax paper to dry.  //Tip:  The wax cools quickly, so I placed the pan on top of one my stove top burners, turned to low, in order to keep the wax melted.  If it starts to dry, when you dip the leaves, the wax won’t be translucent.//

a hat for yarn along

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I finally started knitting Nathan’s hat for this winter.  He has been asking about it on a regular basis, which tells me that he anxiously waiting for me to finish.  I decided to go with the Big Easy pattern that Ginny used.  The pattern is exactly as the title describes it; easy.  It’s the type of pattern that I can work on while doing other things.  It doesn’t require as much concentration as some of the others I’ve knitted.  I can stop at anytime and be able to pick it up without questioning what stitch I am on. 
As the saying goes–So far, so good.
Currently I am reading Jefferson Bethke’s book, Jesus>Religion.  It is his first book that stems from his controversial video that made the news and spurred debates for weeks.  I’ve been a fan of his videos for over a year now, and if you’ve ever watched them, his book is written much of the same way.  He writes just as he speaks, making it a fast and understandable read.  He talks about homosexuality—since his mother is gay—and other debatable topics.  It has been a really good book, and if you’ve ever felt stuck on the hypocrisy within the American church, then you should pick up this book.  It has good insight, but many would still argue over its chosen topics. 
Then again, when has religion not spurred debates or cause a person to become defensive?  Any way, pick it up, even if you don’t have a belief. 😉

Linking up with the lovely Ginny, today for her weekly Yarn Along!

Back Breaking Work

No lie.  Pulling up sod, digging holes, tilling by hand, lifting heavy bags of dirt…it hurts.  I was sore for two days, which is pretty sad because I pawned most of the work on Bubba.  I don’t know how he persevered through it because I pooped out.  
I came to the realization that there is no way I could make a living digging ditches, peeps.  I tip my hat off to all the hardworking folks out there, because they have a hard job.  Back breaking, too.  
No. Really.  My back ached.
Alright, I won’t whine anymore.  I promise.
The result of our hard work is beginning to show.  We started by marking our garden off with skewers and some yarn that was leftover from Halloween.  
That was the easy part. 
Then we had to remove the sod in our ghetto, homemade wheel barrow. (an empty plastic tote attached to our dolly).
Next we dug holes, tilled it a bit, and then filled it with dirt.  Then I jumped ahead and planted the seeds and potted plants which took up most of my day.  I’m not sure if I should have since the weather has been toying with us lately.  One day hot, one day chilly, but it was warm for a solid week before I planted.  However, a pesky cold front is heading our way tonight.  Hopefully the plants survive.   

We are being ambitious this year so I hope our garden will flourish.  I need to pray about it.  Praying worked for me last year.  I know this because our garden actually produced despite having nature working against us and it being my first real attempt.  
To wrap this post up, we have seeds planted along with markers on the rows.  I started my herbs in paper bags.  It is the first time I’ve done this so I hope it works.  The last little thing we have left to do is set up the fence around the garden which should be finished next week! 

Until next week…
Liz

Let’s Make Some Great Art

…have you heard of this book?  It’s pretty cool, and so far, it is getting the thumbs up from Nathan.  I bought this book for a whopping $2.48, used online, with the sole purpose of integrating it into our homeschooling routine.  In the last two schools Nathan attended, neither of them offered Art class anymore, which I find a bit sad.
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Back to the book.  If you haven’t guessed by now, the book is called, Let’s Make Some Great Art.  It’s geared towards younger kids, although my husband and I have found ourselves wanting to do some of the projects, too.  My philosophy:  there is still a child left in all of us; they just tend to come out more when you’re around children all the time. 😉
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Any way, I had Nate create his own art journal by using one of my old hardback books.  (I’m sure Charlene Harris won’t mind.)  He ripped out quite a few pages, and then he glued every two pages together.  Once he is ready to paint, all he has to do is spread a little bit of gesso medium onto the page, and it will act as a blank canvas.
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To ease him back into the rhythm of art, I had him do a straight forward lesson over optical art, which is about creating work that has a sense of movement.  He really enjoyed it!  So much so, that he did both front and back of his paper. 
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(Let your eyes become unfocused while staring at the paper! It will begin to have a little movement!)
Like I said before, so far we really like this book.  It’s not intimidating, and it gives you plenty of prompts to follow, in case your the type of person whose brain completely shuts down when faced with a blank piece of paper! Ha! (That’s totally me, btw)  So if you are a homeschooler, and in need of a book to incorporate art into your lessons, then I highly suggest buying this book.  I can pretty much guarantee that you won’t be disappointed.

A Throw

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I started working on my throw and so far, I’ve only experienced one hitch.  It was the  cast on method.  I had never used the long tailed cast on before and it took a few tries to get it down.  Once I figured it out, it proved to be a very efficient method.  I’m actually a little further along than what is pictured, but, I had already taken this set of photos a week ago and decided I may as well use them!
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So you know when all the books you put on hold at the library come in at the same time?  Yeah.  That’s what happened to me. 
I’ve been reading a little bit in each book every day; although, despite my best efforts,  I’m sure I will be rechecking them out soon. : )  
The Case For Christ is really good.  This book was written by an atheist, of all people!  It was a famous journalist, Lee Strobels’, journey to prove Jesus didn’t exist, only to end his four year journey by becoming a believer.  This is a, the proof is in the pudding, sort of book.  It’s kind of a slow read because you want to memorize all the information for that ONE day that you run into someone who asks you challenging questions.  If you’re an atheist, this book will answer nearly all of those hard questions that want proof that the bible is a reliable source.
The other books I will comment on next time.  If I tried to explain each book today, this post would be a mile long!
Instead, I will leave you with a list, incase you’re interested in any of them.
Linking up with Ginny, today.
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Last Day

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I would love to be typing you a verbose foreplay of words today, but I just don’t have it in me to produce mind blowing material.  So I guess I will keep this post short, sweet, and simple for you.
During the last day of my niece and nephew stay with us, I had them do a craft project that I had promised them they could do earlier in the month.  Better late than never, right?  The project went along with the bible lessons we were doing, which was about living and knowing the word of Jesus. 
They had way more fun with it than I anticipated, and it kept them busy for a few hours!  I don’t have a picture of their “final product”, but I can tell you what they did. 
–They each painted the wood blocks and then Bubba put a loop of string on the back of each one, so it could be hanged onto the wall.– 
If you’re interested in doing it with your kids, this is what you’ll need:
scrap wood/blocks of wood
1” small nails
hammer
twine
paint w/paintbrushes
All I did was draw the outline of a cross onto their blocks of wood for them as a guide.  I let them hammer in the nails and wrap the twine in whatever direction they chose. 
Once they finished, Bubba burned the frayed twine to keep it from unraveling over time. 
Annnnnnd…that’s pretty much it. 
We Miss You Already Kaily and Kayden!

Beginning With A Blanket

I’m in the beginning stages of knitting my very first blanket.  I’m sure this is the first post, of probably many, concerning this throw.  It seems easy enough, but the fact that I have never knitted such a large piece before, I have a feeling that I may become overwhelmed at times. 
Even so, I am really excited to get it started and to have something I can cuddle with this Fall season.
As for the hat; I finished it last night.  I thought I would finish it sooner than that, but life dealt a different set of cards for me this past week that didn’t involve knitting.  This hat if for my husband, but I had my son model it for you today, since Bubba was busy mowing the lawn.  He did a nice job playing my model, haha.  
It is sort of funny that the last hat I made, that was for a child, I was the model.  And this hat, made for an adult, my child modeled. HA!  Go figure. 
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So the hat came out the way it was supposed to be.  It only took 4 tries.  I still have a little trouble “sewing” the ends together, but I’m sure I’ll get the hang of it one day.  The pattern wasn’t my favorite.  If I redid it, (Lord help me!)  I would do the whole hat in the k3, p7 pattern.  Any way. It is finished.  That is all that matters to me at the moment.  By-the-way, if you’re wondering, the hat is a slouchy hat.  I purchased this book for the pattern.
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This is a crummy picture, but the yellow yarn is for the blanket and the blue yarn is for Nate’s hat.
Until next time,
Liz
PS~ I’m reading a book called, The Mailbox.  It is a christian book based on the real life mysterious mailbox that sits on a North Carolina Beach that has an anonymous guardian.  I’ll tell you more about it next time because today, I’m not feeling very well.  Boo. 
Linking up with the lovely, Ginny, today

I’ll Be Seeing You :: Free Throw Blanket Pattern

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Before I begin rambling about my knitting, I want to express a few things about this book I finished called, I’ll Be Seeing You.  Girls…this book…it is good.  It breathed new life into my book reading funk.  This book romanced me, made me cry, made me feel nostalgic, and it certainly makes me miss the lost art of writing and receiving letters.  I hope you will check it out.  I found mine at the local library. 
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Now onto the knitting.  This hat for my husband has finally picked up speed.  I’m not sure why, but I just wasn’t in the mood to sit down and knit for awhile.  But now I am halfway finished, and could probably finish it within the next two days.  This is the same pattern that I tried and miserably failed, not once, not twice, but three times.  I wasn’t going to give up though.  Everything is going great with it, so I guess I can say that the fourth time is the charm! 
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After I finish this, I will be starting on this blanket, in hopes that I will have a nice throw for the Fall season.  I figure this color, might be nice for it.  I’ll let you know when I start it.  I will also be working on a new hat for Nate.  I suppose that is it this time around!
By-the-way, this throw blanket is a FREE download, and it looks nice. 
Linking up with, Ginny.
Always,
Liz

Finally Finished My Knitting Project…Successfully

This knitted hat that I am wearing is actually for my daughter, who is one.  Although it fits my head neatly, it’s actually a slouchy hat.  I wanted to take pictures of the hat on her, but when I finally dragged out my camera and its tripod, she had already fallen asleep.  So, it’s my head that you get to see as the model.  Ha!  Although, I think it looks much cuter on, Rori. 
And just to say this, it is much harder to take photos of yourself than I imagined.  I give major kudos to all the bloggers and models who make it look easy!

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After the horrible experience from the first hat I tried to knit, it was a relief to have finished this one, and have it look decent.  As for the hat that had a terrible beginning and ending, I’m trying that same pattern again, hence the above photo of the gray yarn.  I’ve procrastinated with this one so far.  Hopefully my creative juices will start flowing again, giving me the umpf I’m needing to start my clicking my needles together.
The book I decided to read, The House On Oyster Creek, was a book I was excited about reading.  So much so, I talked about it frequently to my husband, who politely smiled and nodded at my enthusiasm.  He doesn’t understand my excitement for new books. 
Sadly, the book has been very disappointing.  The tone just doesn’t set well with me, and the descriptions seem to drone on and on.  I’m going to push through another couple of chapters to see if it picks up before I decide to take it back to the library.
So, if you want to see waaaaay better knits, then head over to see Ginny, at Small Things.
Anyway, do any of you knit?  Want to knit?  I would love to see your projects, just leave me your link in the comments below!

Garden Gate

We kind of live in a mini-forest with a lot of deer that frequently visit our lawn,  so putting a small fence and gate around it was a logical move.  My husband installed the whole thing…god bless that man!

As for that little green fella at the top, he and his friend hang out in the garden.  He also enjoyed hanging out in my hair one day, causing me to slightly freakout.  I screamed, did a little dance, while shaking my hair violently.  My children thought my screaming and dance was just too cool, so they started to scream and dance…except my oldest…he just watched and laughed from the window.

Until next time!