Take a Hike!

Getting outdoors is a huge priority for our family!
We love to see God’s creation, to watch the changing forest floor, look for signs of wildlife or look for signs of human impact on the trail. Since we recently moved to North Carolina we have new trails to discover. We visited Lake Norman State Park in Troutman, NC. They have a lakeshore trail that has a 5 mile loop, which we still have not made the whole trail…the 2.5 mile trail is already about a 3 hour hike.
We are originally from Marysville, Ohio. And if you know anything about the terrain in that part of Ohio it is FLAT! In our new location there is very little flat. This trail is no exception, we are up and down, at the beach, in the trees, crossing footbridges and traversing steep drop-offs. I’ll share a few photos of the trail:

at the water's edge

at the water’s edge


hands in!

hands in!

This was also a great way to observe some things that we have been studying in our Botany lessons at home. We compared different types of bark and the purpose that they serve. We could see root structures of trees that tipped up out of the shore line, we could see lots of carved initials in the trunks as well!

bottoms up!

bottoms up!


We collected fallen leaves to take home and press and found many different types of mosses.
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Nature affords so many lessons, tracks, trails, nests and holes are all tucked in and throughout. Each trip the kids discover something they have never seen before. Getting in touch with nature is like looking at the hand of God. His creative genes are passed down to us as well as we draw trees and flowers we are copying the master artist! I love walking with the kids, hearing a woodpecker and we all freeze to see if we can locate him, or listening to bird songs. It is always an adventure!

Next time we will take our nature journals! I am sure there will be plenty of undergrowth to observe now that spring has sprung here!

Egg-cellent!

Each year I love decorating eggs. I can’t tell if it is the simplicity of the orb or the smooth shell, the way the egg fits so neatly in my hand, but I just love it!
Last year I was in a bind, I had my eggs but could not locate the egg coloring kit I had previously purchased. I looked high and low without luck and today was the day to color….
So I pulled out some art supplies and we started coloring eggs with watercolors, pencils, Micron pens, and crayons.

emptied eggs, watercolor pencils and more!

emptied eggs, watercolor pencils and more!

I emptied the eggs this time which was a first. We used a needlework needle and poked one end, then holding the egg over a cup we poked the other end and blew out the insides. My boys really liked that whole process. We had scrambled eggs for dinner too!

Then we started coloring!

egg designing

egg designing


pretty in pink

pretty in pink


daddy even got in on the action

daddy even got in on the action


Egg decorating with watercolors, pencils and Micron pens

Egg decorating with watercolors, pencils and Micron pens


happy eggies

happy eggies

I think we all enjoyed the process and the results!
Let me know if you try this and share your pics with me too! I would love to see what you design…

A Quilted Story

A dear friend of mine has an interesting story of what brought her to the point of adoption. We’ve been friends for about 7 years, homeschooling our children together, taking classes to keep our teaching licenses current, and directing a local homeschool support and co-op group in Marysville, Ohio. When she shared that she and her husband knew that God was leading them to adopt after serving in the foster care locally I knew it would be special. She’s an amazing mom so adding another sweetie to her brood seemed perfectly natural.

My creative mind began thinking about how to support and gift her with one-of-a-kind gifts. I naturally turned to fabric because who wouldn’t like a baby quilt made personally just for you. I started collecting fabric that I knew she would love, her favorite color is purple! I also knew that they applied for a special needs baby boy from China, so I had those thoughts in my mind as I kept my eyes peeled for that perfect blend of cultural and colorful pieces.

Once she received her first photo of the little one that would soon be part of her family then I started working. I am a creative person. I have been sewing for years and have checked out many books at the library on quilting but it always scared me. I had worked with my aunt on a quilt just to learn with her when I was younger. I have started several tops and given up too many times to count…

Using grid paper I drew out my idea and design, measured and cut my fabrics, laid them out on the floor and began machine sewing them all together. I used 11 different fabrics with an elephant motif fabric as my inspiration for all the colors combinations. I know that traditionally there is a quilt top and quilt backing with the backing being more plain, but I chose to do something a little different. I also chose to add an applique of the two continents that would be involved in the quilt and here is the results:

Here she is opening the gift... both shed some tears

Here she is opening the gift… we both shed some tears

Quilt backing with the United States and China connecting two little hearts

Quilt backing with the United States and China connecting two little hearts

The quilt binding is baby blanket satin for softness

The quilt binding is baby blanket satin for softness

The quilt front is a combination of flannel and cotton prints

The quilt front is a combination of flannel and cotton prints

It's such a blessing to bless someone else, especially someone you love

It’s such a blessing to bless someone else, especially someone you love

The doodled elephant was my inspiration fabric

The doodled elephant was my inspiration fabric


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Justin Li joined his forever family on January 20, 2014 and I am so thrilled that I was able to have a small part in that celebration!

Interweave is currently hosting a contest for a quilt story. This project was a perfect start for that type of story. Each contestant is to chose their own prize package from the interweave store so here is a list of items I would love to have in my art stash!
Carve Stamp Play
How to Get Started Teaching Online Workshops
Art Lessons 2014, Vol. 2 Pan Pastels
Claudine Hellmuth Gesso
Golden Light Molding Paste
Pan Pastels
Iridescent Primary Color paint sticks

Kandinsky meets the Davis Crew

I love combining literature in our learning and this week provided a opportunity to do just that. A great book caught my eye at our weekly library visit and I brought it home to the delight of my little artists! We read the Noisy Paint Box by Barb Rosenstock. Once we finished reading we immediately gathered up the materials needed to get creative!

Materials needed:
Drawing paper 11×14″ ( I really like 80 lb. paper for light mediums including watercolors)
oil pastels
chalk pastels

Make sure you cover your surface and roll up your sleeves because this is going to get colorful and messy!

Literature inspired art

Literature inspired art

I gave minimal instructions:
1. using an oil pastel of your choice draw three lines anywhere on the paper, curved, angled or straight, off the paper is encouraged
2. using another oil pastel or the same one draw two circles and one other shape of your choosing, overlapping is great!
3. using chalk pastels color and blend each area of the paper, add details, other lines, textures and patterns are all encouraged!

chalk pastels

chalk pastels

Kandinsky's art

Kandinsky’s art

messy fingers

messy fingers

The results are brilliant colors, messy fingers, and happy artists!

very abstract

very abstract

very happy artist

very happy artist