After many years in the non-profit sector (with the last 8 of that founding/operating/directing a children's art and farm camp), I'm now a stay-at-home mom who homeschools my two daughters.
This is perhaps the most challenging - and rewarding - position I've held. I feel so fortunate each day that I get to spend teaching and learning with the girls.
I enjoy photography...and documenting everyday life around the home...including homeschooling, crafts the girls and I do, cooking, the pets (2 dogs, 5 cats, miniature horse, and pony), nature, and wildlife. Come visit MY BLOG to read about life at the farm.
When I have breaks from homeschooling, I make natural toys by hand for my daughters and others that are made from wool felt and sheep wool. They are made by sewing/embroidery or needlefelting...both crafts that I truly enjoy.
I also make translucent window stars (like these window stars I made). The stars have been such a fun and creative way to add some beauty to the home, and to daily life.
I enjoy participating in swaps and meeting new people throughout the world. Receiving mail filled with creative work by others is so inspiring!
About my Daughters
Sophia and Olivia are 9 and 7 respectively. Both were born in China and adopted at 11 and 10 months respectively. Both are loving, generous girls who care deeply about others – people and animals.
Both girls have special needs which were unknown/undisclosed at the time of adoption. Olivia is legally blind in both eyes. She wears glasses so she can see, but definitely responds better to tactile/sensory items that she can touch. She also had a wide range of developmental and speech delays (many of which have been addressed); and is currently being monitored by an endocrinologist who is watching her short stature/low weight. Sophia has multiple allergies (dairy, cats, dogs, dust, dust mites, cockroaches). Both girls have Sensory Integration Dysfunction.
Both sing in choir and perform about once a month. They take classes through two homeschool co-ops to connect with other children and learn new subjects (ceramics/pottery, home economics, computers, piano, and literature + art) as well as take swimming lessons.
The girls also do a lot of birdwatching since there are many types of birds here (we live on almost 10 acres of which we’ve kept the majority in its natural state). They enjoy going on nature walks and discovering animals that live or pass through here (deer, pheasants, fox, coyotes, snakes, owls, eagles, and turkeys).
Photography, embroidery, needlefelting, cross-stitching, bookmaking, needlepoint, collage, colored pencil, sewing, and quilting.
I enjoy trying new things. I have tons of ideas that I’ve clipped from magazines for scrapbooking, but haven’t sat down to do that yet.
Since being a part of Swap-Bot, I've tried new projects which have been fun and challenged me creatively: ATCs, dotee dolls, altered matchboxes, inchies, and button fairies.
My favorite colors are purple and green.
Lilac, lavender, rose, ylang ylang, sandalwood, patchouly, and lemon.
Peter Gabriel, Talking Heads, U2, Barbra Streisand, Enya…any artists along that line. I also like new age and classical music. Will listen to jazz. Enjoy listening to music from the eighties. I do not like rap or other offensive music.
I read MANY books to my daughters and enjoy books that are well-illustrated and have a good story line, especially those that are classical or “old-fashioned" (ones written in the 1930s-1950s).
The books I enjoy tend to be from several sections in the library: arts/crafts, inspirational, and non-fiction about something I’m learning about or teaching my daughters (I homeschool them).
"There is no life I know, to compare with pure imagination. Living there you'll be free, if you truly wish to be." - Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
"If you find it in your heart to care for somebody else, you will have succeeded." - Maya Angelo
"May the sun bring you new energy by day, may the moon softly restore you by night, may the rain wash away your worries, may the breeze blow new strength into your being. May you walk gently through the world and know its beauty all the days of your life." - Apache blessing
"You have everything you need...if you just believe." - Josh Groban - Believe (Polar Express Soundtrack) Lyrics
These movies are ones I could watch many times and they wouldn't get old for me: Defending Your Life; The Birdcage; Dead Poets Society; The Truman Show, Wizard of Oz; Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory; Sound of Music; Arsenic and Old Lace; Mrs. Doubtfire; Best in Show, and Waiting for Guffman. Don’t have large blocks of time to watch movies, unfortunately.
Small gifts to put in my daughters' Christmas stockings or under the tree - I've had a lot of unexpected and/or increased bills due to storm damage on the home, caregiving for my parents, and medical bills. Anything that I could put in the girls' stockings or use as gifts from Santa would be greatly appreciated.
Japanese fabric - anything larger than 6"x6" would be great!
Vintage Christmas items
Fat quarter of Christmas fabric
Essential oils: I ran out of lemon and patchouly and would love to use them in blends I make again.
Zines - either ones you've written or ones you want to pass along.
Fountain pens for doing calligraphy/Spencerian handwriting - they should have a flexible nib. I'm looking for the kind where you don't have to dip them into ink since I'll be teaching my oldest daughter how to do calligraphy and would prefer not to work with ink initially.
Map postcard from your state - My daughters are learning U.S. geography and I'd like them to find different states on the map when they receive a postcard. (Their names are Sophia and Olivia.)
Assisi embroidery patterns - Here's an example: Assisi Embroidery Pattern.
Bubble bath soap.
Japanese Craft Magazines - Anything related to felt food, making little stuffed animals (mascots), sewing, and/or quilting. Would love to see "Cotton Time."
Sashiko Fabric - Am looking for pre-printed fabric with different sashiko embroidery patterns on it.
Paper Punches - used is fine. 1" square, circular, tag, or any shapes would be great.
Craft Magazines that You Are Done Looking At - Ones that I enjoy are Living Crafts, Home Companion, Somerset Studio, Cotton Time, and any craft magazine (especially ones that focus on paper crafts.
Something for my Daughters - If anyone feels inclined to send something to the girls, I know they would LOVE it.
~~~~~~~ Please Note: Please do not send items that smell of smoke. I have asthma and allergies (Sophia has allergies as well), and smoke is something neither of us can handle well. Even if your item is beautifully constructed, but it smells of smoke, I unfortunately cannot have it in the home. Thank you for understanding. ~~~~~~~
Sophia - is 10 years old and likes:
anything that is pink or purple
anything about people who work in zoos. She is thinking that she would like to work in a zoo (in the nursery area), so anything about zoo careers, working with wild animals, or items that she can use for pretend-play would be wonderful.
Olivia - is 8 years old and likes:
anything that is red or blue
otters - this is her new favorite...can't seem to get enough of otters!
anything related to "The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe" and Aslan
Barbie doll clothes and/or accessories
Anything related to pandas - She wants to grow up and "work with pandas" - so anything related to pandas, caring for pandas, studying pandas, or items she could use in her pretend-play would be wonderful.