Monday, November 28, 2011

Finding Marbles

I have a very vivid memory of my most favorite teacher, she was my third grade teacher and her class has given me many memories I still carry with me.

This particular memory involves a, what seemed at the time, huge mason jar and some marbles. As a class we earned marbles for things like actually being silent for silent reading, walking quietly in the hall, not terrorizing the sub, and you know, good things. When the jar was full we earned a whole hour of recess. I remember how she would quietly walk to the jar and drop a marble in while we were doing an activity as asked. The sound of the the glass on glass energized us to keep at it and made us all feel proud.

Why in the heck am I telling you this? Well, because some teachers lessons last a lifetime. I have been having some major battles with my 4yo about TV, full out tantrums. We were lucky to have skipped over the terrible twos and somehow landed in the crazy 4 1/2s. I tried all sorts of thing to no avail, then I remembered the marbles.

It has worked like a dream! We are down to maybe 2 shows a week adding up to a half hour or 45 minutes at most. No crying for more or even asking at all until the jar is filled to just past the pink paper.

Arrow indicated where the marbles need to be. 
Marbles are earned for all sorts of good behaviours  from picking up unprompted to doing things the 1st time I ask. Once full the marbles are turned in for two shows. Simple!

A really full jar.
The thing I like best is that instead of getting punished for "bad" behavior we get to focus on all the good stuff that is going on. It has changed our whole mindset, both his and mine.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Fabric Love

Long ago I made a sort of pact with myself to only by fabric or yarn with a project in mind. So far I have been really good about it, although that doesn't mean I have a stash of someday project yarn (and fabric) laying around.

When I came across the Loulouthi collection from Anna Maria Horner I really wanted to buy some of it but had nothing in mind and really didn't need another project. What did I do? I plan on making a king size quilt and bought a bunch of fat quarters, that's what.

 30 Fat Quarters! I need more to actually make the quilt.

Lined up all pretty!

With my track record on quilts I'm saying this will be done in oooh, say 5 years?  I kid, I hope. I'm aiming for early 2012! Wish me luck!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Critters for Warmer Necks

Since the hats I made last year for the boys still fit and I haven't made a scarf in ages these cute critters seemed like just the right thing. Half toy, half practical winter garment.

The Low Down
Pattern: Morehouse Farm Frog Scarf , I bought it as a kit but you can also just buy the pattern
Modifications: I increased less for the head to make the scarf as a whole smaller so that it would be kid sized and I knit the legs for only 15 repeats. I also put stitches on a holder instead of binding off for front legs because I really do not like the backwards loop cast on (or as they call it in the pattern an e loop cast on) 
New Measurements: widest part of mouth 4",body 2 1/2" wide, 39 1/2" long from tip of toes to bottom of toes.

He loves that the mouth can open.
I don't know if you can tell but there is a band aid that you can just barely see on Loki's forehead. Don't worry he's fine it's just for show. It all started when I told him the story of peter pan. The thing that stuck was Tinkerbell, he is now totally into fairies. He has been wearing wings from my costume all week, even to bed. Enter the Tinkerbell and friends band aids that my Mom got him. He used them up the very 1st day on himself and his stuffed animals. All but one fell off. He is going on 4 days wearing this band aid on his forehead. Nothing I can do or say can convince him to take it off. I may just have to do it in his sleep.

Moving on...

The Low Down
Yarn: Gator 2 ply 
Modifications: None!

Do you know how hard it is to get one kid let alone two to pose together for anything? It's hard. Between asking to see on the camera, goofing off and pushing each other it's darn near impossible to snap both looking at the camera.
It was between this,

or this.
and a few others they were just blurs