March 2014

A Long Week

March 19, 2014

These-two The-Beginning Golden-Light Hand Watching-brother Working

Embrooidery-Sketch Spring Oh-no. In-Progress Looking

Don’t let that first picture fool you, for it has been a long week, and it is only Wednesday. Some weeks are like that, I suppose. They are the types of weeks where you dream of knitting and tea, of warm baths and long naps. You don’t actually get any of that, but you can still dream. They are the types of weeks where your kids cry, you cry, and life goes on.

There have been smiles too, of course, thankfully. Baby smiles make everything better, and this babe can sure smile bright. These golden days we are having make me feel dreamy about the turn of the season. It is hard to believe that Spring is truly almost here, and that flowers, and color, and warm nights, and long days, and lazy moments are just around the corner. Oh I can not wait.

My knitting seems to be dominated by texture right now. Do you all ever go through periods in your crafting where you see a pattern to what you like to work with? I find that the more texture I come across at the moment, the happier I am. I am working on a knitting pattern for a beautiful eBook that friends are putting together, and I am just giddy to finish it up. It is simple but fun, and a great piece to wrap up after a long yoga practice or a cool spring evening. The only hard part of these coming warmer months is saying goodbye to the wool that has been slipping through my fingers this winter. I knit all year round, but that heavy and warm knitting of thick wools is generally only saved for colder months.  I will miss it. I think that I will turn my attention to light cardigans in vibrant colors to ease the transition. I see an adult Tea Leaves in my very near future, and perhaps a simple dress for Emma Jeanne.

My embroidery basket is still never far from my feet, and my love of this art was certainly the surprise of the winter. I have been embroidering for many years, but never to this extent, and never with this must desire to learn about the fundamentals. I have piles of samplers from Rebecca that are keeping me busy, and I am taking a thread to a few of my sketches as well (the one of the left). So much vibrancy and life in embroidery. It is certainly a craft that cultivated patience as well as beauty, for I could knit an entire sweater in the same time it takes me to complete a simple sampler. It is worth it, though, in the end.

I planted all of our greens last week, and this is by far the earliest I have ever done so. I wonder how much I am going to regret that one in a few weeks when an inevitable snow storm comes roaring in. Oh well, I will take my chances for now. I am craving fresh vegetable from the garden, and I am going to follow in the inspiration that many of you give, and expand our garden this year.  I can’t wait to walk Emma Jeanne through the sunflowers and zucchinis, beans and lettuces, and let her taste each one. What a joy that must be for a baby.

I am procrastinating on returning to this crazy week, can you tell? I need some good book recommendations. I haven’t read much since Emma Jeanne was born, and I am ready to get lost in the evenings inside of a great novel. Again those dreams of warm evenings, soft candles, and a fresh picnic blanket are creeping into my thoughts. What have you read lately that you just love?

Okay, I must get back now. Perhaps I should bake a chocolate cake, that always helps. I swear I think that I saw a post from someone last week that talked of making a chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting like my Nana Catherine use to make. I need to go and find that recipe. Yes, it is a chocolate cake kind of week.

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Pensive Winter-Snow2 Emma-Jeane-Love-you Winter-Snow Observation9 Observation8 Observation1 The River Observation5 Observation4 Observation3 Observation6 Observation2 Observation7

Emma Jeanne turned 8 months old yesterday. 8 months, where did the time go? We celebrated as we have every month, with more snuggles, and cuddles and smiles. She holds her own in this crazy life of ours. She isn’t one for riding quietly on mama’s back, or sitting and playing with a small toy. Oh no, she wants to be where the action is. I suppose that is a normal part of having three older brothers, and having them always by her side. I can tell she has a beautifully wild nature, and she is not going to let any of this life pass her by.

 The snow is still coming and going in these final days of winter. A beautiful snow shower here, followed by golden light and a warm breeze. I can’t complain, this winter has treated everyone in these parts beautifully. My older boys continually inform me that the snow in the high country is “epic mom, seriously epic!”, and they have gotten more days skiing than any other year since they began. I know that as much as they love their winter adventures, they are so excited to break free and get their legs moving. Reading books in the trees, that is where they want to be.

The other day we found our way down to the river, in search of mud. If there is even a small patch of mud anywhere near by, my kids will find it. On this particular visit, it wasn’t just mud that they were searching for, but river water as well. We have a new science lesson coming up that focuses on different organisms in the water, and our river is certainly full enough to be home to a lot of life. The field trip sparked some interesting conversation, as I asked the boys to please bring their field journals and sketch materials with them. This was, as so often happens, met with a strange look.

I ask my children to sketch, a lot. Some teachers make their kiddos write a certain sentence over and over, I make my kids draw the same insect, or flower, or tree over and over. Up until now we haven’t discussed why in detail. Both of my older boys are simply convinced that they will be scientists when they grow up, and there has always been the attitude of “why would I need to draw if I am going to outer space?”. Fair question.

While we were collecting river water, taking photos of the growth of certain plants, etc. I asked them what the similarity was between the artist and the scientist. For once, there weren’t a lot of answers. They gave me their best guesses, and thought that perhaps it was a trick question, but there was nothing concrete that they could think of. “They are both observers of their environment”, I replied.

If you think about it, there is so much similarity between the artist and the scientist. Both are fascinated with the world around them, and both seek to explain it’s complexity, beauty, and function. I have an engineer and physicist for a father, and I can promise you that he sees the world as an artist would. Having the ability to artistically render what is in front of you; the shapes, forms, lines, and color, those are imperative for a scientist to be able to do. Yes, understanding math and scientific principles is clearly necessary as well, but art should not be over looked. Our schools, our society increasingly tell us that art and music are not important, that they do not give our children anything of value in today’s science and math focused world. I beg to differ. Art gives everyone, but especially scientists, a medium to explain what they see, what they are trying to prove, and what is happening in the world that they are studying. When we look at the scientific journals of some of the world’s most renowned scientists, art is everywhere.

Art and science are two incredible fields of study, and sometimes letting them dance together brings about a whole new way to look at the world of education. Children need to know that life is not singular. They need to be good at many different things in order to be great at one thing. They need to understand the way that things work, move, function, appear, and live.  They need to take apart, and piece back together, get dirty, experiment, explore, and create. Through it all, they need to find a way to convey what they are observing, and art is as great as a medium as any.

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