Friday, February 27, 2009

IF: Breezy

On a purple breezy night the pink elephant does roam, casting sleepy spells. I saw one once upon a time.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Spring has sent me a gift

The amazing world of the Internet, letting us meet people we never met, talking to strangers who become friends, meeting kindred souls in places far from where we are!

Yesterday I received a wonderful letter full of spring from Bulgaria. It came from a wonderful lady Rossichka that you can often see here on the blog. In this day and age a real letter with real stamps from other country is always a treasure. This treasure had a little spring miracle in it. It had a beautiful postcard and two Martenitsas. Martenitsa (Bulgarian: мартеница /ˈmar.tɛ.ni.ʦa/, plural мартеници, martenitsi) is a small piece of adornment, made of white and red yarn and worn from March 1st until the 22nd March (or the first time an individual sees a stork or swallow). Mart (март) is the Bulgarian word for the month of March. The name of the holiday is Baba Marta, a Bulgarian tradition related to welcoming the upcoming spring. The month of March, according to Bulgarian folklore, marks the beginning of springtime. Therefore, the first day of March is a traditional holiday associated with sending off winter and welcoming spring.
I never knew of this holiday, but I fell in love with it. My kids loved to hear the story of the knitted little people travelling all the way from across the ocean to wish us a happy healthy spring. This kind of geography lesson will last a life time.
Thank you dear Rossichka! I am always very happy to see you here and your comments are the most wonderful! Since there is nothing green to hang it on outside, the Martenitsas will meanwhile live on my bamboo in the kitchen. And hope that that will welcome spring into our home.
Meanwhile in the Russian Orthodox Calendar this week is called Maslenitsa.
Maslenitsa (Russian: Ма́сленица), also known as Butter Week, Pancake week, or Cheesefare Week, is a Russian religious and folk holiday. It is celebrated during the last week before Great Lent—that is, the seventh week before Pascha (Easter). Maslenitsa corresponds to the Western Christian Carnival, except that Orthodox Lent begins on a Monday instead of a Wednesday. The Orthodox date of Easter can differ greatly from the Western Christian date. In 2008, for example, Maslenitsa was celebrated from March 2 to March 8.
Sorry for all the wiki info, but it is hard to resist. We made pancakes this weekend and have been eating them since then. Except for the days when I had a horrid stomach virus, and did not eat anything at all.
And to honor this ancient holiday I introduce a new Tea Party with a Maslenitsa twist. They do have pancakes on that table:)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A lesson plan

Some of you might find this useful, and I find that it is crucial to write down good lesson plans. Being a computer addicted soul, what better way to write it than here?

My last Fridays lesson was about green.
Each color has a family. A large one too...Uncles and aunts, nieces and nephews, brothers and sisters, grandparents and many many others. And since they are all related they do look a lot alike, but still they are all different.

Dark green, light green? could be cousins.
Yellow-green and olive--could be mother and son.
blue-green and mud green --brothers?

The idea of the lesson was to find them all. Find as many as possible. First on a painting done by one of the Masters (Monet in this particular instance), then in a flower that I have growing nearby, and then on the paper. We used watercolors, since this is the medium I am best familiar with. I let the kids use my own paint and my own brushes, and thus the quality of the colors was as good as it gets. They were very happy about that, and have proven to be a very careful lot. I would not do it with all of my students, just these ones;)

And here are some of the pictures from the lesson.
We ended up drawing the jungles. Lots of green leaves of all shapes and sizes, colors and hues. At least as much as they could imagine.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Movie Monday 22

A very old favorite of mine. Was saving it and savoring it.
Hedgehog in the Fog

Friday, February 20, 2009

IF: Instinct

The nestling instinct took over as soon as the sun started shining

Thursday, February 19, 2009

a work in progress

I don't think I ever have shown one here...since this is all I've got going now I will show it off.
A custom portrait in the making for a fellow etsian from Canada (Hi Tanya!)

listening to Russian rock and eating sunflower seeds to keep the energy up and the creativity afloat

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Right Now

...We just finished our morning studies with the kids. Andrei is reading Dr. Seuss's Cat in the Hat , and then a Russian book (Sasha and Masha), I also convinced him to draw a bit which is never easy to do and this is what I got

...I need to go out and get some milk and dish washing liquid, which means we have to get dressed and go outside and this does not sound like fun--it's been cold and windy here in NYC

....Anna is mastering the scissors and that means the floor is covered with little bits of paper, and that means another cleaning job is coming up
....And a chess game as well, we are at a point now where I sometimes loose to Andrei, and that's a wonderful feeling , no matter how much I do not like to loose.

And finally, I should share my new pendant designs in my Etsy shop, very excited to have received them the other day!(click click)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Dibble Dabble, sribble scrabble

This guy came out while I was doing my morning homeschooling with Andrei.
Sometimes it is quite a chore, and sometimes I manage to engage both him and Anna into doing something productive and QUIET and then I can sit next to them and draw. Oh what a idyllic picture it is. All of us in the living room, round the same table, drawing and writing...(we are lucky if it lasts for 20 minutes)
Then the cat comes in thinking that he also needs to be part of the process, and somehow being part of the process for him means sitting right on top of whatever I am working on.
But today it was good--I finished the Lion. And here he is! Will add him to my Etsy shop right now.(click click)

Movie Monday 21

After a long search I found touching, gentle and extremely well done

About a kid waiting for his parent, and then the parent waiting for his grown up child

P.S. the composer for the animation is Peter Nalitch (see post below) It is a small world after all! I had no idea when I found this animation

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Never fails to make me smile

Some of you I am sure have seen/heard him
The coolest Peter Nalitch

Friday, February 13, 2009

IF: Celebrate

Celebrate new Life!
Celebrate Spring!
Celebrate Love!

Thursday, February 12, 2009


A mysterious procession solemnly passes my kitchen (looking reproachfully at the dirty dishes)
made these guys the other day, and the post card was sent to me by a special student of mine from Massachusetts

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Give Away!

Just because I did not have one for a long time.
Just because I got new designs for the mirrors.
Just because it is warm and sunny outside today.
Just because I think spring is coming.
Just because I am in a particularly "give-awayish" mood today.

Like before all you need to do is leave a comment (let's make it more interesting by posting something cheerful), and be sure to check back to see if you are the winner.
I will keep this give away open until Valentine's Day. The winner will receive both of these lovely mirrors in little bags. Post away!
AND THE WINNTER IS Jessie Lilac!!!!
JESSIE I need your email address so I can contact you with more details.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Doll House 2

I brought a light with me this time, and I took much better pictures:)
Now you can actually see what I was talking about in the previous post

Isn't it amazing? and for those of you who are not into toys, please forgive me. Toys are my weakness, especially hand made ones.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Movie Monday 20

A fun one to watch! We had a good laugh
all together

Friday, February 6, 2009

The most wonderful doll house I've seen!

I love Fridays. I do.
Somehow even though I do not work outside of the house Friday means an end of the week and has a closing, concluding something feeling .
Now Andrei takes chess classes on Friday too. He waits for it all week, and I always sharing his anticipations and fears also wait for Friday:) . I am more connected emotionally to this boy than I could ever imagine being..but this post is not about me. It is about the house we go to. And the doll house that is in it.

Chess classes are now taking place at the house of another homeschooling family. Robyn(Mom) Lucy(10) and Finn(12) are there to tolerate us. Andrei and Anna love coming there. Andrei has discovered Lego Star war toys that Finn has in great abundance (now we also have joined the cult of Star Wars). And Anna and myself fell in love with the doll house. It is truly magical! It has a feeling of a real home, and it is filled with personality. The carpets are made of knitted patches, Japaneses fabric and paper. The dishes are handmade out of clay by Lucy and Finn. There is even a clay fire in the fire place. And oh, there is a drawn map in the living room. I did not take a picture of that. There are some sort of god hand puppets guarding the house, and there is something that looks like a totem inside. This doll house is bursting with creativity and artistic energy!

Robyn is a fellow Etsian, and has a shop called Wee Ball Yarns . You can see I placed an ad of hers on the left column. And I have never seen how yarn is spun, and find it extremely beautiful.

So without further adieu, I have some photos that I took today. I will have more, since I want to do a story about Lucy's doll house. And I want to take better pictures. Today's did not turn out so well.

IF: Time

Does anyone know what they did after the tea party?

As usual it was time for a good book

Thursday, February 5, 2009

2 Tresuries by Schooling at Home Etsians!

Yay to the the multitalanted homeschoolers of Etsy! I am impressed how many artisans are choosing to homeschool. And thank you to the ones who curated these ( and mompotter )

Those are B*E*A*U*T*I*F*U*L! (click the image to visit)

Never stop drawing--that's the key!

that's what keeps me going--no time for big projects--do little ones! that's my motto lately.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A new print and some inspiratiom

A new print I am listing today,from my personal archives, something I painted a few years ago..I rediscovered him today, and decided to list as a print in my shop.
I like the little guy:)

And then totally unrelated, a ceramic Ukrainian Artist that I discovered on flickr. Isn't she(?) amazing?! Click the images to go directly to her flickr account

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Movie Monday 18

Just in time for Valentine's Day

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