Come into our garden

8:19 AM

And now, a brief post about gardening. Well, not really. I don't do much gardening though I do have very specific ideas of what I like and don't like and am not quiet at all about sharing that information with the person in my house who actually does do the gardening. I'm a lucky girl that he is so easy going.

An adventure was had by all yesterday as we visited Stanley's Greenhouse. To say it was packed with both plants and people would be an enormous understatement.  The checkout lines were immense and I'm only glad I didn't have to wait in one, though there were many things I would have loved to bring home.

Like this Hydrangea.  How gorgeous is this?  I've never seen this color. Normally it's pale pink or blue or purple.  

One of the cutest things was the miniature terrarium section -filled with tiny garden furniture; like for fairies or gnomes. It was SO dang cute!!!  I certainly don't need another hobby, but it is soooooo tempting!

Here's a simple one they had on display.
Wee garden!

There were many plants and flowers that I had never seen before and many that I thought would be  lovely in our own garden. We've decided to wait an entire year before we do any major changes to our yard since this is our first year here.

This ColorBlaze Sedona coleus is in contention for complimenting our boxwood in the front of our house. How gorgeous is this!?

ColorBlaze Sedona Coleus

They had beautiful succulents, like this Hens & Chicks.
Cobweb Hens & Chicks

These were so cool but really kinda creepy - like a family of spiders is lying in wait.  I passed on these but did buy a plain Hens & Chicks for my kitchen window sill.

Beautiful blossom!
I have no idea what this flower is, I didn't take a photo of the tag.  If you know what it is -feel free to leave a comment.

Here's one last photo - of my husband in a pith helmet, because everyone should have a pith helmet.


The Next Step - What does the State Require?

9:40 AM

Now that we've decided to homeschool the next few months will be filled with research. There are so many things to consider.

Here are a few things we need to research:

  • The state regulations for homeschooling
  • Homeschool education styles
  • Our daughter's learning style
  • Local homeschool resources (support groups)
  • Online homeschool resources
  • Family budget for curriclum and supplies
  • Selecting curricula

So far it's been relatively easy finding information regarding Tennessee state laws in regards to homeschool. As with many other states our options are to either register with the school district as an independent homeschool, enroll in an umbrella school, or choose an accredited online school. 

Enrolling through the school district leaves us subject to the public school regulations regarding standardized testing. As far as I can tell, it is the same for the accredited online schools.  Since this is one of the reasons we want our girl out of the public school system we'll be enrolling her in an umbrella school.

Here in TN the majority of the umbrella schools are church related schools (CSRs) and many of those require a statement of faith.  I don't have a problem with the requirement per se, it's just not for us.  So, my search has taken me in the direction of a more secular based umbrella school that will still provide the same options for opting out of testing.  Two schools have surfaced in my research. The HomeLife Academy and The Farm School.

Both places basically provide record keeping and transcripts should we require them in the future. Neither umbrella places restrictions on what curriculum we teach so we will have a lot of flexibility in what choices we make.

So, now we decide which one is better and I'm leaning towards HomeLife Academy as I've found quite a few positive reviews on the Secular Homeschool Forum   I also like that their reporting is in one location, whereas The Farm School uses another resource for that.

One decision down and many more to go. It's worth all the time and effort..this girl deserves the best.


Homeschool a-go-go

5:16 PM

The decision has been made.  This is the last year of public school our daughter will attend. Beginning in July (yes, July!) we will all be on a new journey to teach our girl about life, help her discover who she is and who she wants to be. And we can totally do that if we teach her ourselves.  We made her and it's our job to teach her.  Having her home will mean learning can and will happen all the time, not just what we can fit into the few short hours between homework and bedtime when we're all tired and frustrated.  It will be a new way of life for us, but it's going to be good.

I realize this is primarily a crafting blog and that I don't normally drag my personal life into it, but as my lifestyle changes, so will my blog.

Coming soon, you'll be able to find posts about our homeschooling adventures listed under a new page called, amazingly, homeschool.   I hope you'll stick around - there will always be plenty of handmade to be seen - but it may not always be my hands making it.   And that's a good thing too.

doctor who

Weave FFFOF Swap

9:24 AM

Here are a few pics of my recent swap piece done for the Fifth Friday Festival of Fabulousness Swaps over on Weave.

The swap theme was Bestiary - which gave everyone quite a lot of leeway for creativity and subject matter.    My swap partner posted a pic to the forums a while back of David Tennant as the 10th Doctor, so being the total Doctor Who geek that I am, I made my piece to fit in with both themes. ;)


I printed Brannigan's pic on a piece of cotton - which I think was a remnant from the back of a set of cotton curtains that used to hang in my daughter's room.  After printing him, I embellished him with stitching, using DMC 100% cotton floss.

Brannigan's Nose

I've noticed that kitty noses tend to look like little dots in close-up photography so I decided french knots were going to be perfect for his nose.

Tiny Chain Stitches

I used tiny chain stitches to outline his bomber hat - though they are hard to see with the naked eye.

The total finished size of this piece is 4".  I think I worked on it roughly 3 hours. It's hard for me to stop when I'm embellishing - when is it too much? Is it not enough? I think I'm happy with the way he turned out and my swap partner really liked him, so that is a win-win!


blog feature

Too Cute Tuesday!

8:53 AM

Heyo!  Look who's featured on Too Cute Tuesday over at Mr. X Stitch!  Olisa was kind enough to feature my little bunny trio of patterns on her weekly blog post and I am dead chuffed!

Take a peek over at the Mr. X Stitch site; Jamie has  it chock full of stitchy goodness. And, if you're looking to chat up like-minded stitchers  join the Weave community.   

You should also check out Olisa's blog, she is a very talented artist.

I'm currently involved in a swap at Weave.  I can't show you what I'm working on until my swap partner receives it, but I promise to post pics when it's done.

Until then, here's an up to the moment photo of Pretty Little London by Satsuma Street - work in progress.

Total work time: 28 hours 4 minutes. Worked space: 6" x 4 3/4"

Hope you're having a stitch-filled week!


New Pattern - Bee Mine

12:46 PM

New pattern out today in my Etsy shop

Bee Mine Pattern

I am admittedly caught up in the hexagon craze so I wanted to do a little something with them, but at the same time keep it simple.

Even stitching

I noticed when I began stitching the edges of these little gems it was super easy to keep the stitching even, using only 3 stitches per side. 

Where sides meet

Instead of doubling up on the sides that abut each other I decided to do a quick whip stitch along those edges and then return to the normal back stitching.

The bee was originally colored with lemon (DMC 444) and black (DMC 310) but wowza, it was shocking against the other colors. Yucko.  Instead I opted for topaz and beaver grey. I think these softer colors work better with the varying shades of pink.

Next up in the hoop? Who knows!

Happy stitching!

cross stitch

Pretty Little Paris - WIP

4:03 PM

Now that we have successfully moved and have somewhat settled in, I can get back to blogging and sharing my works in progress, tutorials, and other tidbits with you.

Currently I'm working on a pattern called Pretty Little Paris by Satsuma Street on Etsy.

I'm using Fiddler's Cloth in 18 count.  I love the bright colors - and have a room that is filled to the brim (hopefully tastefully!) with all the colors of the rainbow.

I miscalculated while preparing the fabric for this design and am now realizing I will not be able to frame it in a hoop as I originally planned.  So once the stitching is done you will all get to see a tutorial on just what to do when that happens. I'm not saying I know now, but hopefully something will occur to me.

Here's the progress thus far:

Progress on Day 1
I love the way counted cross stitch looks, but it is definitely a focus intensive craft for me.  I usually add up time spent on a project by how many episodes of a tv show (or movies) I'm able to listen to while working.  This one was a movie and a half.

Progress Day 3
This part was done over two days.  The tower was the second day and the bits to the left were the third.

Progress day 6
Several days went by before I took another progress pic; much ado over Christmas!  I have now lost count of how many hours I've worked on it.

Progress Day ??
This is the point at which I realized my project would not fit in the hoop entirely as I planned.  As you can see to the left the trees are now out of frame. I'm not sure if I felt more stupid or more mad. I love the colors though and how it's looking thus far!

Progress Day #@!#^
So that little bit of building on the top right is the top of a windmill, which I *think* might fit without my having to move the hoop.  Crossing fingers because there is not enough fabric on the right to move the hoop any further; which I discovered today.

There are two other patterns that I purchased along with this one so I could make a trio of them in my living room.  I also purchased Tokyo and London.  Jody has seven cities to date and I would love to have them all.

Sadly, while I'm working on personal projects it means I am not working on new patterns for my shop. So the next few weeks will see me focused on a new Valentine pattern and then I can go back to Paris.

What projects are you working on this year?

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