Thursday, February 19, 2015

Valentines Day and Zebras at the Zoo

Happy Valentines day!  (a few days late!)

This is Levi's valentine shirt, made with the only zebra fabric I had on hand, chosen because we got to meet the zebras on valentines day!     I really like this pattern though next time I will make the arms longer.  Levi seems to have monkey arms - I used one size for width and 2 sizes up for length and the arms just fit him in length even though I made the cuffs a little wider!     I'm going to modify it some more to make it work, because the body and shoulders fit him really nicely. 



Embroidery design from Lynnie Pinnie.  This one didn't stitch out quite as nicely as I'm used to with these designs, I'm not sure why but I didn't worry too much for just a valentine shirt. 


He paired it with his "twist and shout" pants.  

Some pre-party crafting: 


We went to the Explorers Club Valentine Party.   He used his metal detector to look for treasure (didn't find any)

And climbed a tree




On valentines day, we went to the zoo.    We got a special invite to see the zebras before anyone else.  The new extension allows you to see the camels, lemurs and giraffes more easily. 



Levi showing off the "love monster" I made him for valentines day.   They gave him zebra ears to wear too!

Jahari (the big male) kept looking at us on the new bridge.  It looked like he was asking us for snacks, now that the new extension goes along the edge of the giraffe area.   Giraffes usually get snacks at the giraffe platform.  


And another giraffe was easily seen

The zoo had a quartet serenade the zebras (both girls)  for valentines day.  They had bouquets of "flowers" made from hay and apples. 



Finally the zebras came out.   They were hiding a bit at first, because they aren't quite used the rhinos who now have to share their enclosure. 







Aren't they pretty? 


More love monsters I made for valentine gifts!  

Happy Valentines Day!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Twist and Shout pants

I got to test the new "Twist and Shout" pants by Made by Jack's Mum.   These pants were really easy to make, came together nicely, and have a unique "twist" (literally!).     As you can see, the leg of the pant looks like its twisted, but its really just the way the front and back pattern pieces are shaped.   I used two colors of corduroy, but these will work in one color two, and can be made in other fabrics.   There are 3 different waist options, but I went for the faux fly, which has a snap (or button) that functions, but still pulls up and down with elastic.    They have an "extra long" option as well, which is great for slim kids and gives the option to roll up (so more room for growing)
I also added an "&" embroidery to the leg, as a nod to the name of the pattern!   









Florida Earthskills Weekend

Levi and I attended the "Florida Earthskills Gathering" which was a 4 day gathering to learn "earthskills" (primitive type skills), and spend some time outdoors.    There are many different classes for kids and adults in all kinds of different earthskills, plus typical camping activities like hanging out around the camp fire.   Check out all of the classes here.

We camped out in an area designated as "Family and Elder" camping, which turned out to be a really nice spot because we were close to the kids area and the main fire, which was the central gathering place.     Every morning there was a "morning circle" where activities for the day were announced.   There was a morning and afternoon class each day with many to choose from.  

The kids program had classes for them as well, and lots of games and running around too.   They built a "fairy garden", did tye dye with black walnut,  learned how to start a fire with a bow drill, went on edible plant walks, did some henna tattoos, made natural soda, played a lot of "hand tag" learned about some local fish, did some water critter catching, and had a great time playing outside.   They even played "man hunt" which is something like hide and seek/tag but in the dark with flashlights. 

The classes I took were:   Didgeridoo making (from bamboo), an edible plant walk and bamboo craft (I made a bowl, cup and utensils from bamboo), and stargazing.     I only got to take a few classes because I did "worktrade", I helped with the kids program in exchange for a very reduced rate for the gathering. 

The food was really good - vegan and vegetarian options always, and fresh grown food.    Everything was cooked over the campfire!  

There was a camp fire each night (the last night was a big huge bonfire), and people would sing songs and play instruments and tell stories.  

It was a really fun experience for Levi and I, and we learned a lot of interesting things.   We will try and attend again next year for sure, hopefully with even more friends to join us!

A beautiful description of the Earthskills Gathering by Nettle and Thread here

Morning circle: 



 Levi has a snack from the kids area (they had fresh cut fruit, sugar cane and tea).   The tents behind him were where some of the classes met.

Levi and his new friends carving sticks by the main fire.   Many of the kids spent a lot of time making "hatchets" carved from wood. 


Main Fire

Levi near the kitchen, behind him is an oven.


Kitchen area and to the far right is the bathrooms (which were porta potties, but did flush, so gross, but tolerable!)

Me, our tent, and the didgeridoo and cup I made from bamboo.   (yes, I made the skirt too, I will be making some to put up for sale as I've gotten many requests!)

Some more about the didgeridoo class can be found here from another student in the class. 

Levi on the slackline we set up behind our tent - many kids and adults came and tried our slackline!

(I made this outfit too of course)


Nothing to see here, but this is what the Earthskills gathering sounded like at night.   One is the fiddle music, and the other has fiddle music, drumming, kids having a snack, and the hoe down. 










And as usual, I made Levi some clothes for the occasion, 3 shirts and the "crazy pants" he is wearing in the picture of him carving by the campfire.   


This describes Levi well: 

Camping shirt, of course. 

And this one is a combo of embroidery and screenprint, inspired by this

Some fun on the backs as well. 

 



Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Groundhog Day Lapbook, and Two Little Dresses

Levi wanted to learn more about groundhogs for Groundhog day so I found him a lapbook and we chose some of the activities to do. 

First we had to find out what the "results" were this year, so we watched this quick clip here.

This was the lapbook I found, from Homeschool Share, we didn't make every single element, but did talk about all of it and made many of them.    I introduced classifications for the first time, something I find confusing myself.  We learned about diet, rodents, the history of Groundhog's day, how groundhogs help/harm farms, and how much dirt groundhogs can really move (700lbs!).  

We also watched this short video, all about groundhogs. 



Here is Levi's finished lapbook! 

The cover is actually a paper bag puppet printable, I found it here.   Paper bag puppet printables are great for lapbook covers because they are already split.   Levi chose to paint this with water color paint.   



 


And Levi presents his lapbook the phone rang in the middle and threw him off!  


These are some little dresses I made.  I don't often make girls clothes, so its fun when I get to!   These are from a free sewing pattern, the Izzy top.   I added some length to make them into dresses.   





And now I am back to sewing, getting a few more shirts made for Levi for our camping trip this weekend.   We are very much looking forward to the Florida Earthskills Gathering!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Brevard Zoo Kangaroo!

We had another Brevard Zoo Jaguar Society event today, this time with the kangaroos.   We not only got a talk, but got to meet them too!   

One of them, named Bindi was very friendly and was incredibly soft.   She loves to be scratched under the chin and puts her head wayyyy back for it. 

We learned that their back legs are "connected", they move together.   They are called magapods (mega = big, pod = foot, which Levi knew from Mr. Science).    We saw up close how much they use their tails for sitting, moving and balance.  




They have a burlap bag that the kangaroos "kick box" for training - kangaroos must support themselves with their front feet in order to kick, so they kind of grab on.   


Here she is in action, though not kick boxing! 







This one, J.C. is 4yrs old, but they still give her bottles because it makes it easy for the keepers to examine her while she is busy.   

Bindi came up to everyone to sniff (here she is sniffing my mom's ankles) 

... and Levi's boots

And his "pouch"

Bindi let Levi follow her around and pet her. 


And notice his outfit?   I made it last night just for the occasion.   Orange, turquoise, some kangaroo touches... perfect!    I saw a circle pocket on Project Run and Play, by Max California, and loved the idea.  I've had it in my head to use for a long time, but finally was inspired by the kangaroos to use it!  
This is made from flannel, which I bought when it was on sale - its soft, cozy, but not TOO warm for our not-so-cold weather (that we think is freezing anyway). 

The buttons are cute mushroom shapes that I bought on ebay forever ago, nothing to do with kangaroos but I liked them so I used them!





My sweet kangaroo had fun at the zoo.