Friday, July 27, 2012

A Sophisticated Halloween Wedding

I am working on a custom order for a bride that will get married on Halloween. In her own words: "it will be a sophisticated Halloween wedding."

I used glittered spiders embellished with rhinestones. The fabric orange roses with the netting makes this card soft and feminine, while the damask background makes it a classic.

What do you think?

Embellished spiders

The inside.

Another option of image.


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

My latest Custom Order: Dominic's Album

Hey everyone,

today I would like to share with you my latest Custom album. This one was made for Dominic, Dom is his nickname. This album is made of MDF and stands at 8" tall. It is about 13" long and it so gorgeous.

You can see it HERE before I embellished it. On the video I talk about the first stage of creation and what all goes into making this artwork.

here are some of the details. I used Webster's Pages, Graphic45 and Prima papers. I used some 6x6" papers as mats for the boards.

I also used Webster's Pages flowers, stickers, buttons, ribbons and so much more.

I also used Papertrey Ink, Martha Steward, Ali Edward and other stamps.

Here is the feedback from my happy customer:

Hi Tereza,
OMG it came out amazingggg!! I absolutely love it :) Thank You sooooooooo much! It was well worth the wait.
Thanks again & I definitely will keep you in mind if I should/want anything custom made in the future. Your work is to die for :)


Saturday, July 7, 2012

Using Your Gifts & Dreams to Jump Start Your Homeschooling Journey

I have met a couple of mothers who are interested in homeschooling or planning to begin this journey but have no clue where to start. 

Sometimes they think they have to do school at home and dread how to even begin. 

When I try to explain to them about unschooling or interest-led learning,I always get a blank look in their eyes. You know the one?

I began homeschooling my first daughter before she was born. How could that be you ask? Well let me begin from the beginning. to continue reading this post click HERE...

*** this is a guest post at Christina's Interest-led Blog ***  Thank you Christina for the opportunity!!

Happy Weekend!!


Thursday, July 5, 2012

Learning Log of June 2012

Summer is HERE!!!

Books - 
Read Aloud to all

* Bible Every day.
* Guido's Gondola by Renee Riva - a book written in poetry format. Is big always better?
* I Speak Dinosaur! by Jed Henry
* Unexpected Treasures by Victoria Osteen - another book in poetry format. Talks about kindness, God's plans and helping each other.
* God Gave Us Love by Lisa Tawn Bergren
* Dreams by Ezra Jack Keats
* The Barn Owls by Tony Johnson
* Max Ruby's Bedtime Book by Rosemary Wells
* Bats at the Beach by Brian Lies
* Painted Dreams by Karen Lynn Williams
* A Perfect Pet for Peyton - HERE is review and more information on this book. Below I have a link to a website for a quiz to find out your child's love language. 
* The Children's Book of Virtues by William J. Bennett

Music - fun songs the kids decided to learn

* Gonna get a Hamster by the Jimmies
* Dynamite - the version from Mike Tompkins.
* Karaoke Version of Dynamite

Artwork from the Children's Art Camp
DS6.5 independent reading list plus listening to above books:

*  Click, Clack, Moo Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin
* Dooby Dooby Moo by Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin
* DS6.5 read more books, but he is still in that phase that he might NOT FINISH a whole book. He is mostly browsing and reading a little here and there, which is still good. So most of the time, I can't keep track of what he is reading. He goes to bed with a couple of books every night. I am searching for more BOY themed books that will hold his attention long enough for him to read them from beginning to end. Any suggestions are welcome.

DD9 independent reading list plus the books above:
Scratch Art 
* Voyage with the Vikings #1 - The Imagination Station (Adventures in Odyssey)-   this is a series similar to the Magic Tree House with a Christian emphasis and view point. We have begun collecting these because my DD9 is an adventure book aficionado. I recommend these if you have children who prefer adventure books to read. Like Magic Tree House it has a lot of history, science and cultural information in them.
* Attack at the Arena # 2 - AIO series
* Peril in the Palace # 3 - AIO series
* Revenge of the Red Knight # 4 - AIO series
* Showdown with the Shepherd #5 - AIO series
* Problems in Plymouth # 6 - AIO series
* The Girl Who Chased Away Sorrow - The Diary of Sarah Nita, a Navajo Girl - New Mexico, 1864 - Dear America Series book.
* Cam Jansen and the Mystery of the Monster Movie by David A. Adler
* Cam Jansen and the Mystery of the Circus Clown by David A. Adler
* Young Can Jansen and the Library Mystery by David Adler - (this and the Can Jansen's books listed below were Level 2 easy to read chapter books. I got these for my DS6.5 but DD9 ended up reading them. She reads everything and anything that she puts her hands on. Cam Jansen is a 9-10 y.o. that has a photographic memory and is always solving little mysteries. Check out more on Cam Jansen HERE.)
Watercolored fishes
* Young Cam Jansen and the Baseball Mystery
* Young Cam Jansen and the Dinosaur Game
* Young Cam Jansen and the Ice Skate Mystery 
* Painted Dreams by Karen Lynn Williams
* A Rumpus in the Night by Nick Ward
* Pony in a Package by Ben M. Baglio
* Frontier Schools and Schoolteachers by Ryan P. Randolph
* Strong and Free written and illustrated by Amy Hagstrom
* Oscar, Cat-About-Town by James Herriot
* Smudge, the Little Lost Lamb by James Herriot
* The Boy and the Cloth of Dreams by Jenny Koralek
* True Tales of Animal Heroes by Allan Zullo
* Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator by Roald Dahl
* Mr Popper's Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater
* 90 Minutes in Heaven by Donn Piper with Cecil Murphey (reading it a second time)
* Danger Lies Ahead by Paul McCusker - Adventures in Odyssey - 4 books in 1
* Point of No Return by Paul McCusker - Adventures in Odyssey - 4 books in 1
* Frindle by Andrew Clements - I found this book at our library. It was a new addition. I quickly browsed Focus on the Family Book Reviews on this book to find out if it was appropriate for my DD9. What I like about the Focus on the Family website is that they dissect the book by the content , i.e. Christian beliefs, s*x/ ki**ing, profanity and more. They even list helpful Discussion Topics. I appreciate websites that help me make wise decisions on the content of what I want my children reading or watching.
* Mapping Penny's World by Loreen Leedy - you can see other books from Loreen Leedy in my Learning Log of May 2012 or her Website HERE.  
* Can't you make them behave, King George? by Jean Fritz
* The Apprentice by Pilar Molina Llorente
* Follow the Trail by Jessica Loy
* The Corn grows ripe by Dorothy Rhoads

Websites/ Cool Links we have discovered.

* Keys for KIDS - Daily Devotional for FREE on line. I began doing this with the kids last month and it really is working out for us. It takes about 5- 10 minutes to listen to the story and the Scripture of the day. The fun thing is that we always have a little discussion afterwards. Nothing forced or coerced, the children voluntarily speak out their thoughts on what they heard. this is exactly what I was looking for!! Afterwards we pray together.

* Science News for kids- DD9 checked this site out and read some articles. If your kid is a Science geek they should enjoy this site.

All the wonderful veggies I haven't had to buy this Summer!
* The Love Language Mystery Game for Kids - this is a quiz to find out what is the love language of your children. It was fun to do this together with each one of my children. I already knew their love language but it was fun to see the light bulb go on in their eyes when they found why Mom is the way she is, and why they like what they like. I highly recommend the book A Perfect Pet for Peyton and this quiz.

* Wild Kratts -  

* Activity TV website - This site was a hit with my children last year. Just the other day when my DD9 was bored I suggested she check out the site for new activities. There are so many fun things for the kids to learn and watch. they can learn how to do MAGIC, Dance and Cheerleading, how to cartoon, cooking, science experiments, crafts and so much more. There is something for everyone. It's definitely a site worth checking out. 

Field Trips/ Summer Camps/ Out of the home Activities  

Collages the children made at the Art Camp
* Karate classes.

* Tumbling Class - The kids took this class last Summer and it was so good for them. It improved their flexibility and balance; they learned how to do cart wheels and some fun exercises. So we decided to do it again this Summer. It's amazing how much you remember when you are interested in an activity.

* Birthday Parties, Karate Party at the Water park, 

Teaching the techniques to be used on the next project.
* Art Camp - The Fayette Art Museum hosted an art camp for children for a whole week. Daily for 3 hours the teachers taught the children about different artists and their styles and techniques. Most of the artists were modern ones and the techniques involved collages, painting, coloring, drawing, even metal sculptures.This was a wonderful experience, I hope to do it again next year.

* VBS ( Vacation Bible School) - the theme was Aviation. The children got to see how planes are used all around the world to spread the Gospel of Jesus. Some of the places they visited were the Amazon, Madagascar, Alaska and Colombia where they learned about a little girl who used her knowledge of sign language to minister to deaf children.

* Summer Reading Program at our Local Library - the theme was DREAM BIG. The children did crafts, played games, sang songs, had a pajamas party. We had an astronaut come speak and share about NASA projects and outer space. We also had Animal Tales and The Groove Club kids lead a pajama party.

I highly recommend Animal Tales. If you are a teacher or a leader of a children's organization or activities geared toward them, you want to have Animal Tales over. They are wonderful with the kids. They bring live animals of all kinds and let the kids hold them while they explain about each one of them. We have had them in our Public Library 3 times. Each time they come they bring different 5 animals related to the theme being covered. This time the theme was dream big so they brought animals that were mostly nocturnal. They brought a porcupine, an owl, a snake, a toad and a Coatimundi. You can see this program and description HERE.

Activities at Home
The yellow liquid is the corn syrup left after we boiled the Sprite.
* Science Experiments: We boiled a Sprite so I could show the kids how much sugar there is in a can of soda. We repeated this experiment. We talked about evaporation, condensation, molecules in solid, liquid and gas states. We talked about calories, vitamins, protein, minerals, nutrition. We compared a can of soda, 2 eggs, a container of yogurt and a large apple. We talked about how much calories each one had and their nutritional value. I wanted to substantiate why I don't allow them to drink sodas. I think they have had sodas twice in their life time and always mixed in with fruit juice and water, never plain soda. I think they got it!! Next time they ask me for a soda, I will  say "remember our Sprite experiment?"

* GAMES: Sudoku with colors, Wii sports, Wii board game, monopoly, Uno, Rory's Story Cubes.

* Strategy games using Critical Thinking books: Can you find me? used it with my DD4.5; Math Analogies  and also Mind Benders with DS6.5 and DD9. These were fun to work with. If you got the money to invest in these they are a great resource. If not, you can always find free worksheets and computer games online for free.

* Lots of drawing, coloring, jewelry making by DD4.5 (she discovered patterns!), cutting papers with scissors (DD2.5),

The children learned to enjoy green beans this Summer!
* Helping in the kitchen:  practicing using knives; making cakes; mixing dough; washing and cutting vegetables; making scrambled eggs; toasting bread, waffles and bagels; serving each other water; setting the table; making their own sandwiches; buttering their own bread; cutting tomatoes;

* Computer Games: Backyard monsters, Missile Madness, Angry Birds, Stronghold Crusaders, Feeding Frenzy, Rumble Trouble, Banana Bugs, Bookworm, Seven Wonders of Ancient World, Moshi Monsters, Card games; Kingdom Rush.
* Improving on their chess game under Grandpa's tutoring using No Stress Chess Game. I highly recommend this game. It comes with a set of cards that teaches how each piece moves and the rules of the game. There are 3 ways to play the game using the cards. Even after you learn the game, you can use the cards to make the game more exciting. Even DD4.5 is playing chess!!

* Playdate with homeschooling friends. The children swam, played Wii, chess and had a great time

* How to make Omelets in a Bag 

* Free Play: from taking care of babies; cooking and tea party; pretending to be a pack of wolves; making tent and forts out of pillows, furniture and covers; playing fire bird and hunters - one is the fire bird and the others are hunters, they have to catch the fire bird and tame it; playing dolphin, mermaid in the swimming pool;

* We had a big Summer storm one night and the next day we found a pine tree down on our lawn. The children helped Dad saw the tree into logs and move them into the woods. The cleaning crew did a great job. Afterwards everyone was sweaty and dirty, but happy with the mission well done!!

* Riding our Go Cart.

More veggies from our garden! So good and fresh!
* Lots of gardening: fighting black bottom rot in my squashes, harvesting greens, eggplants, green beans, tomatoes and so much more. Jalapenos and green peppers should be ready any day now. Sunflowers are gorgeous already hanging and growing daily.

TV Shows/ Movies/ YouTube videos
* National Geographic - The Incredible Human Machine - film from Netflix. My kids watched this again. You can see my REVIEW of this on my Learning Log of May 2012.

Self portraits from the Art Camp.
* Barbie and the Three Musketeers and other Barbie movies - DD4.5 is on a roll! :)

* The Adventures of the Young Indiana Jones - on Netflix... these are episodes of a TV series. I found this series from gleaning Christina Pilkington's great website. She is an interest-led homeschooler and always has some great information on her site.

* Madagascar 3 - we went to the Drive In to watch this one. I am not a fan of Drive Ins but it's a family tradition. Once a year, we take the kids and we bring popcorn and snacks and we enjoy some good family time.  It wasn't so hot this time and the mosquitoes were on vacation! :)

* Egypt's New Tomb Revealed - Best of Discovery Channel - vol 3.

* Despicable Me

* Tim Hawkins - Full Range of Motion - if you like clean comedy, this one is for you. We watched with our kids. But you might want to preview it before you sit down and watch with your little ones.

* Tim Hawkins - Insanitized - another fun, full of laughter comedy show. There is so many more excerpts on YouTube. Tim also has a website where you can purchase his videos.

* Two weeks in Hell - from Netflix.

Did you know the okra plant had such beautiful flower?
 Mom's Eclectic Reading List
* How-To Hydroponics by Keith Roberto
* Frontier Schools and Schoolteachers  by Ryan P. Randolph
* A Survivors Guide to Home Schooling by Luanne Shackelford and Susan White (still reading it)
* The Connected Child by Karyn Purvis (still reading)
* Managers of Their Chores - A Practical Guide to Children's Chores by Steven and Teri Maxwell (still reading)
* The Logic of English - Teacher's Manual - you can see my initial review HERE.

It's been a busy month but I am so happy my children got to experience so many new things. There is a lot more coming in July. So be sure to check back. I am also writing a guest post in July. What have you been doing?

Happy Summer!