Friday, September 28, 2007

Frugal Friday--Learn Outloud is an online store for audio and video learning where you can browse over 15,000 educational audio books, MP3 downloads, podcasts, and videos. They offer some free downloads that can be played over your computer or uploaded to your MP3 player for listening on the go.

It's the last few days to download the free audio book of the month for September: Art Masterpieces. "This audio presents essays on 22 great works of Western painting by such masters as Leonardo Da Vinci, Raphael, Michaelangelo, Titian, Sandro Botticelli, Rembrandt and many more. Most of these writings by prominent art historians and literary figures have never been on audio before.

Each MP3 file in this collection covers a different painting and has a high quality image of the art work embedded into it (which can be viewed in iTunes). Also included in this collection is a supplemental PDF which features images of all 22 paintings. Be sure to download this unique audio book which is available for free exclusively through through the end of September."

This is a great download. The PDF gives high-quality graphics of the paintings, and the MP3 file provides small graphics for your MP3 player, though you need the bigger graphics to better study the paintings. This offer ends with the month, so be sure to take advantage of it before time runs out.

More Frugal Friday at Crystal's place.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

6 Free Dr. Mom Otoscope Give Away from P&M Dermasalve Compounders

Check this out:

Compounders of P&M Dermasalve are giving away 6 Free Dr.Mom Otoscopes. Click HERE for details.

What you Win:
Dr. Mom Slimline Stainless LED Otoscope $26.97plus 5.95 for s/h. Retail value $32.92 with shipping/handling. Your Dr. Mom Otoscope comes with instruction sheet with pictures, 2 AAA Batteries, and 3 Reusable Specula - 2.5mm infant, 3mm child and 4mm.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

CCHS Monthly Lecture Series is Up!

This is so fantastic! These free lectures are going to be spectacular. The series back in August was really informative and inspirational. It's very generous of Classical Christian Homeschooling Conference to offer these for free, as it is for the speakers who generously offer their expertise and time. Each lecture is offered every second Thursday of the month from 5-7 PM Pacific Time. Here's the lineup:

October 11th, 2007

The Great Books, Classical Mathematics and the Great Conversation
Fritz Hinrichs

November 8th, 2007

Why Study Shakespeare?
Norm Lund

December 6th, 2007

A communal reading of C.S. Lewis' The Abolition of Man
Fritz Hinrichs

January 10th, 2008

Classical Christian Education and the Early Church Fathers
Wes Callihan

February 14th, 2008

Augustine and Cultural Relativism
Matthew Turnbull

March 13th, 2008

April 10th, 2008

Frankenstein and Modern Myth: Connecting Classical Learning and Modern Worldviews
Bill Dawson

May 8th, 2008

Classical Christian

Mark your calenders!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The NEA Doesn't Like Us

To wit:

"B-75. Home Schooling. The National Education Association believes that home schooling programs based on parental choice cannot provide the student with a comprehensive education experience. When home schooling occurs, students enrolled must meet all state curricular requirements, including the taking of assessments to ensure adequate academic progress. Home schooling should be limited to the children of the immediate family, with all expenses being born by the parents/guardians. Instruction should be by persons who are licensed by the appropriate state education licensure agency, and a curriculum approved by the state department of education should be used.

"The Association also believes that home-schooled students should not participate in any extracurricular activities in the public schools...."

Apparently homeschoolers' tax dollars aren't as good as public schoolers'. They don't seem to like us very much.

Perhaps if they actually educated all the children they insist should be in the hands of a professional teacher they wouldn't be so irritated that homeschooled children get excellent educations. Real professionals should be able to handle a bit of competition.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

New Internet Magazine

Seasonal Delights is a new magazine available for downloading with a free subscription. And it's beautiful. From the About page:

There is no season such delight can bring, as summer, autumn, winter, and the spring. — William Browne

Seasonal Delights is a quarterly magazine. It is primarily designed for young ladies and their mothers, but can be enjoyed by anyone who loves celebrating the joys of each passing season.

Seasonal Delights is scheduled for four issues each year, in September, December, March, and June.

Seasonal Delights is published electronically as a PDF file, and is formatted for 8.5 x 11″ pages. It is a full-color publication, and is produced by Kelli and Phillip Winn.

If you would like to receive the current issue of Seasonal Delights, all you have to do is subscribe!

Continuing On With SRE

Hopefully, our small project has opened a new avenue of creativity for you. There are numerous books, kits, and patterns available. Sometimes a magazine will feature a fun project. When you shop a resale/remaindered bookshops, be sure to check for SRE books.

My introduction to silk ribbon embroidery came through Sew Beautiful magazine. You can purchase back issues, which also contain loads of information on heirloom sewing, smocking, shadow embroidery, and much more.

Some inspiration I received from SB:

Boy's button-on suit. The ladybugs and the fence are silk ribbon.

A simple dress with SRE sunflower bouquet. Very nice for an older girl.

And a floral print dress with my own smocked design:

The buttons are enhanced with silk ribbon stems, leaves, and French knot blossoms.

The Reader's Digest Complete Book Embroidery has a chapter on SRE, and makes a great reference for several different kinds of needlework. It can be obtained on Ebay.

The Art of Silk Ribbon Embroidery, by Judith Baker Montano, features some background info as well as some of the women involved in promoting SRE. Projects include a doll, an ornament, decorating bow ties, purses, sachets and picture frames, as well as embroidering on transferred photographs.

Two-Hour Silk Ribbon Embroidery, by Malissa Williams, presents over 200 quick designs which showcase the versatility of SRE. The flowers, of course, are there, but so are the veggies and fruits: pumpkins, red peppers, peas in the pod, grapes and strawberries among them. There is quite a variety of vignettes in many themes.

On a more advanced level is Martha Pullen's Silk Ribbon Treasures, which combines SRE with heirloom sewing and smocking. Absolutely gorgeous!

Some online retail sources for SRE books, kits, and supplies include:

Stitcher's Paradise
Discounted Needlework
Cam Creations
Helen Gibb's Shop
In Good Company

Completed SRE Project

Obviously, I'm not too bright for scheduling my part in the Finishing School during the start of the new school year. I was given the opportunity to change it, but didn't have the foresight to take advantage of that opportunity.

Here, at last, is the finished project. I hope you can see the dimensionality of the work, especially the Spider Web Rose.

Only seven more napkins to go!

Actually, despite my extreme tardiness in blogging about the project, the needlework itself went quickly. That's one of the beautiful things about SRE--you can complete a project quickly, and you can work a more extensive project in a reasonable amount of time. Even if you can't blog about it in a timely fashion. :-\

Thursday, September 6, 2007

SRE Stitch Guide

Okay, so scheduling my week of the Ladies Finishing School at the beginning of the school year was not so smart. On top of things I am not. Let's just plunge in and make something beautiful.

To thread, lock, and knot the ribbon, see this how-to page. Note that silk ribbon is not allowed to slide through the eye of the needle like floss.

Here is the stitch guide for the design provided:

The vine/stem is worked in stem stitch with two strands of green floss to coordinate with the green ribbon you chose. Most of it will be covered by the ribbon stitches, but it serves as a skeleton upon which to place your stitches.

The Straight Stich Rose, shown in the diagram as a full on rose toward the middle, is also called a Spider Web Rose. Follow the link for a diagram of how the stitch is made (scroll down to find it). Use two strands of matching floss to securely work straight stitches to form the five spokes. When weaving the ribbon through the spokes, keep the ribbon loose and allow it to twist. This is a dimensional stitch and should stand up from the fabric.

You will use Japanese Ribbon Stitch to form the other flowers, buds, and leaves. This is a versatile SRE stitch and is used as a basis for other stitch combinations. Five-petal flowers are formed by bringing the needle up in the middle of the flower for each petal. Buds are a single Ribbon Stitch in the flower color with a green Ribbon Stitch to either side and overlapping the bud stitch. Leaves are Ribbon stitches placed singly or in small groups. Again, do not pull the stitch too tightly or you will lose the lovely roll over at the tip.

French Knots are used for flower centers and as accents (there's only one such accent in this design). Don't despair if French Knots are difficult for you when using cotton floss. You'll love how easy it is to make beautiful French Knots with silk ribbon.

As you stitch, make sure you do not come up or push down through a knot. This will cause resistance that will pull the work on top and ruin your pretty stitches.

You may wish to practice a bit on a scrap piece of fabric before you begin work on your chosen piece.