We are heading off to the Life is Good conference this weekend! We were going to go last year, but then I chickened out at the last minute because we weren't unschooling anymore, we were free schooling. But this year we are going because the Free School has a table there, and I've changed my mind about not unschooing. We are still unschooling, now we just do it with a lot of other families - which by the way is SO nice.
I went out photographing with Austin yesterday (he's one of the advisors at school). It was so much fun.
He drove and I got to enthusiastically say "stop, go back" every once in a while to get a good photo - here they are. The final photo is of my friend Lily and her dad, they spent the afternoon at our house.
We made frog heads today. Tomorrow we (almost the whole school - those who aren't on the camping trip, a lot of the parents and a few grandparents) are going to be in a parade through downtown Portland. I plan on taking as many photos of us as I can while wearing my frog head.
Chris Lutter spent the day with us helping us design and build the frog heads. It was one of the funnest things we've done in a while (we spend this weekend painting the dining room, so of course it was more fun!).
I'll post more photos from the parade as soon as I can.
Nothing new, same old same old. Busy at the kid's school, we'll be learning to make frog costumes soon because we're going to be in a HUGE parade. Been asked to put at least 10 pieces of art in a friend's shop. Taking lots of photos, listening to lots of music, watching strange movies. Not working in my studio and feeling a little guilty about that.
We went blackberry picking today. Some of us actually brought home more than we ate! There's enough for 2 batches of jam, a peach blackberry cobbler, and a few more for just eating. I think my fingers will be purple for days.
I finished reading the new Harry Potter book on Sunday. The kids and I are reading it together now. They keep asking me to give things away though - like who's blue eye is it in the mirror, who dies, does Harry live? I haven't caved yet.
So I told you that I started playing dungeons and dragons last week, right? My character is a knight of freedom, female, green eyed, and she carries a sword. I made a doll to represent her. This is the first doll I've ever made just for me and I couldn't be happier with her.
It's muggy here, not too hot, but humid like crazy. It's making us a little grumpy, no one is sleeping well and people are a little touchy.
I went on a field trip with the kid's school on Monday. We visited a glassblower's studio and took a small hike and learned about edible weeds. Very cool.
Now that our studio is set up and I'm spending a lot of time in it, we've decided to remodel that space into living quarters for me, Jeff and our kids (3 bedrooms, a living room and a bath - no kitchen). We'll move the studio into the family room in the basement where it was going to be in the first place. I have no idea when the remodel will take place, but it sure would be great to get it started before summer was over (finished even!).
I'm working on a ferris wheel - it's already looking great and I haven't even paper mached it yet. But I have managed to work out the spinning part! I'll post photos soon.
Tomorrow I'm joining the kid's school again for a hike up Powell Butte, I haven't really been hiking here (except for the great one we took in Forest Park) so I'm excited about it.
Jeff is busy reworking his resume and writing his paper. He's also doing a lot of stuff around the house (when isn't he?) like putting in hooks for hanging plants and getting dirt for the veggie garden.
The weather here is gorgeous - it was 87 on Monday! Today is a bit more reasonable, only 72.
Here's the finished studio space (ok this is really only my part of it, but still, here it is!). I've been working out there making pennants to hang from the ceiling (and since I had a lot of extra fabric I made some to sell in my Etsy shop). I love it out here. So do the kids, they say it's even better than the studio space we had in our old house. I agree.
This Friday will be our first open studio night (I'm thinking decaf and rice krispie treats). I'm so excited! If you are planning on being there (Melanie, Leslie, Jenny) - leave your kids at home, bring your stuff to work on, dress warmly, and bring your bathing suit cause we may want to take a break and get in the hot tub!
Joy and Amy I wish you could be there to join us, we'll certainly miss you (well, I will anyway).
The kids are still loving school, Robin is getting into D&D big time, taking archery classes, karate, Japanese, sword making, and making friends.
Stu is also taking archery classes, going horseback riding next week, the ballet this week, listening to books on cd, playing Uno, and making friends.
I'm making a photo book so that my sister can take it into a local cafe because she asked them if they'd be interested in hanging some photos (I'm lousy at selling my stuff, I need help with that part. The photo above is part of the book). So I may be getting work out of that - keep your fingers crossed. I'm also going to two evening meetings at the Free School this week - busy busy.
Jeff is still subbing and enjoying it for the most part - some of the jobs are weird, his last night tutoring is tonight (until this summer when he's been asked to come back to work - YAY!).
Spring is here (it's actually been here a few weeks) and our tree house tree is gorgeous! When my dad was here he kept asking what kind of tree it was and we kept telling him that it was a tree house tree. We're thinking now that it's also an ornamental cherry tree.
This week is all about finishing the painting in the studio. There's a lot of painting to do and I'm not terribly excited about it, I've injured my elbow somehow (probably all that heavy lifting I've been doing) and now I'm having a difficult time picking up anything with my right arm. Of course that means that I'm not called on to dishes very much, so there's a plus to the pain.
Yesterday was so beautiful here. The sun was shining, kids were happy (for the most part) and it was almost warm. We ate dinner outside, sat in the hot tub, and just enjoyed the warmth of the sun. Great day.
Last weekend Stu and I went to a huge Earth Day celebration at a park here in town, the Free School had a booth set up and we helped stencil some shirts before it started pouring rain. It was fun, but I'm thinking that Earth Day would be better in the summer when it's warmer, I'm such a wimp.
I have more meetings coming up for the kid's school, thank you letters to write, kite paper to find, and a shadowbox class to flesh out. We're aiming to have the studio up and finished by the end of this month!!
I've put a lot of photos of the stenciling at the Earth Day booth the school had on my flickr site if anyone is interested in seeing them - www.flickr.com/photos/artfulblogger .
My dad and stepmom were here last week. It was a good visit. We walked over the Hawthorne bridge and then down two more (Portland is a city FILLED with bridges!), then back over the first one again, we ate gelatto, went out for great food, visited Powell's City of Books twice (can't have too many books), hung out at the kid's school for a few hours (that was fun!), and just enjoyed each other's company.
I'm sitting on two committees at the kid's school, and I've been asked to join the board next year (of course I said yes, how could I not?) and also host twice a month deschooling sessions for people who are going through that. So life is getting busy again. I'm also planning a class that I'll teach there later this month (if we can save up enough toilet paper rolls), and I'm thinking of another class where we'd learn to make folded stars (not origami, but that would be fun too).
Robin is learning about Japanese history, looking into doing some apprenticing with a sword maker here in town, and learning to speak and write Japanese (he came home with language homework last night and was fast to get it started and finished - he's never had homework before and he was thrilled, announcing it to everyone!). He's SO happy. Oh and he's started making a character for D&D (I knew he'd love playing that).
Stu is spending most of her time playing and making secret clubs with friends at school. She's also asked for a few classes to be taught - multiplication tables, sewing. beading (that started last week), handwriting (which they started today), and singing (she wants to learn to sing harmony).
Next week they start archery at school, both of the kids are excited about that. Friday they are making paper from lint (I'm going to that class). They've been swimming with their class mates, to the ballet, on long bike rides. I'm not sure this honeymoon phase with the school will ever end.
I'm still taking my camera with me everywhere, I can't wait to spend days and days just taking photos. Soon, when it's not raining, I hate getting my camera wet.
Jeff has finished drywalling the garage, we've taped and mudded about 1/3 of it, painting that part will start this weekend. Then we move all the stuff back and tape, mud and paint the rest of it and MOVE IN!!! YAY!!!!
On a sour note, mom's car was stolen about a month ago, we got it back but it took 3 plus weeks. It's fine after a trip to the body repair shop and it's cleaner than it's been in years. My car was broken into the night before last. No damage, just the cds stolen (Gipsy Kings, Lyle Lovett, Joni Mitchell, Jerry Douglas, etc...) and a nasty cigarette smell hanging around. The cds can be replaced and the smell is almost gone, but I really need to remember to lock my car door.