Thursday, April 19, 2012

Pinch me, we have PIE

we LOVE Blessings Farm
everything about it pretty much...
we love our wee little town
our lovely region
we EVEN love our neighbors!
and their amazing skills!
and the blessings they bestow upon us
the best of all, their friendship and prayers!
One of the fantastic skills Mrs. M has is baking
and THIS is her latest GIFT to our family!
She baked it fresh
and brought it over warm
sorry the lighting is bad..
it just.. well.. was bad
but this pie..
was not
really delightful! 
it was also Raspberry Pie!
Raspberries are one of my ALL time FAVORITE ever!
Thank you Mrs. M
though you will probably NEVER read this blog
you are LOVED
and so wonderfully well thought of!
Pinch me,
we have PIE!

Littlest Room - Assembly Day!

It's assembly day for the Littlest Room...
and I am beaming with excitement..
As a part of home education..
we see learning as sort of three fold
one watches and learns
one comes along Teacher learning new skills step by step incrementally
going from doing a new skill here as the Teacher completes project
building on skills until you get to the third phase..
WAIT !!!
how long does a level  take?  as long as it takes...
one does the project on their own
Teacher is quite near if student has a question, 
or "gets stuck"
that's it...
HOW do Test them?? 
The "Test" comes when it comes.. 
VERY Naturally 
When said "Student" completes the project...
and never once needed assistance...
never questioned "self" and panicked...
and the project is done..
and done well, very very well...
phase 2 is sort of apprenticing on a a job..
THAT is where Buddy is at..
for the most part on projects like this,
he is NO longer a watch and learn guy..
He's super excited! 
Princess is at the tale end of apprenticing on jobs like this..
She is Level Three..
is this going to pass out??
Will this be her "TEST"

She sure is behaving like it..
She has diligently learned to study directions,
 reading the process and drawings carefully
She has learned her tool set and knows how to handle her tools

Little Man has pulled up a chair..
him DECIDING he wants to be a phase 1 guy...
this may change in 3 may not..
each kid KNOWS when it becomes interesting
and you know..
because they stay..
they watch..
they want to get you hammers and screwdrivers
and they LISTEN to what you're telling them..
you don't have to force it
if you follow this process

So far Princess has had no inquiries..
She is quiet and careful and taking her time..
regardless of Buddy's taunts that they will "win"
She is now mature enough to know we don't RACE at this sort of thing

The ONLY time she asks her dad for something is...
for her tool back..
Machine Man keeps disappearing with HER screwdriver ! 
see THERE it is again! 
Buddy is really taking instructions very well
learning to have self control
and LISTEN are both important LIFE SKILLS
we want all our children to have before they leave our nest
and while some Life Skills come easy to some children
and other Life skills come easy to other children
we believe they ARE actually SKILLS
needing to be taught, encouraged, and nourished 
Today a skill Buddy is working on..
holding the screw and it's driver very very straight
Buddy is very good at assembly
This comes VERY easy to him..
he's a "natural" as they'd say... 
Princess is at the stage of putting together her drawer here!
Wooden dowels can be tricky,
and we don't have replacements..
Looking like she's nearly GOT IT! 
Ta Dah!
Job completed
project done well
very very well
and without assistance
looks like Princess passed a Skills Test!
woo hoo!!!
on to the next assembly project!
Here Buddy is a beginner Phase 2
While Princess is clearly end Phase 3
She still has skills to learn here
but will be far more involved in this project 
than when we've done similar projects in the past
parts needing "assembly" 
Buddy is Assembling ! 
mounting side rails! 
helping HOLD STEADY! 
Center beam installed! 
way to go! 
Time for slats!
first side in.. 
all complete 
After C.S. Helped bring in the box thing for beneath the bed
time to unroll our mattress..
it is memory foam
and nice and comfortable! 
unrolled it looks silly
but it needs to FILL with air!
Thankfully we will be gone for a few days
and it can fill while we are away! 
Ta Dah! 
One bed and two nightstands assembled!
What a BLESSING Princess & Buddy were!
Thanks to C.S. for hanging out with Little Man so lessons 
(lessons he has passed out of)
could be learned by his two siblings 
woo hoo!
Littlest Room is nearing completion! 
yeah Team!

Monday, April 16, 2012

little inspirations

I wanted to share
some sweet discoveries
as I found
as we all were working on clearing the garden.
this fern is so small, and growing right out of a crack in the rock

heavenly smells
more delightful than this blend of pinks with yellow and greys 
a view to the farm house
standing beneath the bee tree
it smells delicious
and its colors rapturous
and it sings
it is a bee tree
and at certain times they are humming
they don't even notice us
so busy are they at their work..
Need to call the family bee keeper...
i have got oooodles of questions!

The Littlest Room... completely PAINTED!!

in all that spare time i have (giggling!)
I like checking out different decorating sites here and there...
and quite some time ago...
I came across something called Chalk Paint
not to be confused with Chalk Board Paint..
both SUPER fabulous and SUPER fun
but... different from one another...
Chalk Paint by Annie Sloan seems to create a look
that I just LOVE... that makes me think of 
living in the South of France...
that brings back happy,
joyful memories..
it ALSO seems to really respect the wood
and the ages of pieces..
see our trim is old
very very old.
EVERYONE who looks at it online thinks it's cherry..
it isn't
this was an old farmhouse
there is no way they could afford to have that much Cherry Trim..
they couldn't even stain the whole floor
they stained around the carpets.. remember?
so that said... it's some oak, and some other woods 
sort of hodgepodged with some truly lovely accent pieces 
all stained cherry
and not all done very well...
with lots of .. well issues shall we say?
I think it pulls together quite nicely
as a whole..
having NO desire to take it down
we wanted to respect it's age, and uniqueness..
they really went to a whole lot to make things LOOK really good
and they did it on a dime..
(sound familiar?)
I totally respect that too..
so the thought of putting regular paint on it seemed wrong...
it would chip eventually and look worse..
it would look like I was trying to make it look brand new.. 
I don't want it brand new.. 
I just want to get a new look...
Annie Sloan Chalk Paint to the RESCUE! 
now to find a distributor...
there aren't many..
so after lessons one day Princess and I took a wee road trip!
and we met Nancy of Tattered Tiques!
and she is SUPER lovely, 
SUPER helpful
and SUPER inspiring...
we can't wait to go BACK!
Nancy was very informative, 
willing to explain how the paint works 
and just so lovely to chat with!
here's a sneak peak at some of her pieces!
so right up my alley!
it was a blast to go there and see how 
the chalk paint looked up close and not just on the internet.

and buy some we did!
I had saved some money for some many many months
and had exactly enough to buy
(with about a dollar and change to spare!) 
chosen colors?
Paris Grey
and Pure White
I also bought the clear wax.. 
just forgot to get it in this photo..

my plan?
to paint the trim PURE white
and some furniture pieces the Paris Grey 
I have my Coffee
 and the birds are singing JUST outside
the Littlest Room 
I have my Painting Partner, Princess ...
and we are ready to go!
Months of anticipation
planning... dreaming 
I can't begin to tell you how wonderfully this product goes on
I can't begin to blab on enough on how beautifully it stretches...
nor can I begin to tell you 
just how much I hate it on my trim...
time for more of that coffee... 
do it hate the paint? 
or the color...
definitely the color...
it's so washed out..
it looks sloppy on the cherry..
but what else can I do..
I spent a LOT of money..
ALL my money
and I have to get this right 
I need it done before I leave for 
I need it done so when Machine Man comes..
We can assemble the bed ...
and this.. to me this is hideous
so I did what I do 
I prayed..
I drank coffee
and prayed and had the craziest Idea...
what would the grey look like..???
probably worse...
well.. why not try?  I have NOTHING to lose.. right?
yep I really like the contrast a whole LOT
but will Machine Man??
will he think it's super dreamy and romantic too?
Princess loves it
and she's getting super good with working that brush!

whatcha think?
think I am crazy?
I probably am..

after one gets on the paint,
it's time to wax it on..
I chose the clear wax..
hmm I like it !

here's my little cloth to wipe off the excess...

and Walla!
isn't it lovely?
I can't WAIT to get furniture in here!
and pretty curtains...
oh MY!
so clean and pretty, and honoring of the period..
you know what..
it really does make me think of France.
as for Annie Sloan Paint,
it's a HIT!
and as for the Pure white..
I guess IT will be the color for some furniture! :)
so exciting!
can't wait to get back to Nancy's shop..
thinking.. green for the front door...
wonder what Machine Man will think of all this...