Friday, April 30, 2010

May Day, May Day!!


"May Day, May Day!" Isn't that what ship captains use when their ship is in distress? Well, it hasn't come to that yet, we've made it through April and it has come and gone in a whirlwind of research papers. (Deep breath) Now on to May!
That means only a few more weeks of school, and after helping with those papers, the next few weeks should be a breeze! (hahaha...guess I still have to get them through Finals!)

The first of the month means "update time" for me on the two selling sites I'm on: To Dwell in Primitive Thymes and Early Work Mercantile.

While researching Vancouver, BC...I did a little research on a doll bust I bought about a year ago. I didn't find anything about it in particular, but I did stumble upon an interesting doll made by a man named Joel Ellis. He was an innovator and patented many things. You can read more about him here: Doll History and here is a link to a photo of his dolls: Doll Photo

I became intrigued with his dolls and was inspired to make a Joel Ellis style doll ( very loosely based on his). Her name is Felicity Wellcome (I'm reading a novel now that had the last name of "Wellcome" for one of the characters and thought it was fitting.)

Instead of maple and pewter, I used muslin and paperclay to make Felicity. Here are a few photos of her process. I used the half a papermache egg idea again for her bust, neck and head area.
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Felicity can be seen on: TDIPT

and because I was so inspired by Mr. Ellis' dolls, I painted one on canvas. When my boys were younger, they had speech therapy to help build communication skills. One of the things they worked on were idioms. So, I thought it would be an interesting and quirky study in the "literal sense" to illustrate a common idiom. I've painted a Joel Ellis style doll slightly teetering on a pin cushion to illustrate the idiom, "on pins and needles".


"She Was on Pins and Needles" is also on TDIPT


On one of my thrift store runs, I found a large bag of wooden objects. I had no idea what they were, but $1.00 (plus it was half -off a certain color tag day)...so, for .50 I took home the bag and and emptied it out. I started putting pieces together and realized I had purchased a bag of small wooden boxes! It was a great find! And after I realized what I had, I remembered an old Tole painting book someone had given me a long time ago...before I even thought about painting as a possible hobby. The book is entitled "Treasure Boxes" and it had some ideas about painting these little wooden boxes.

Sewing Notions on EWM

I ended up going with a sewing theme....great for Mother's Day (if your mom likes to sew!).
Continuing with the "sewing theme" , I painted silhouettes of four sewing tools for Early Work Merc too.

Sewing Silhouettes are on EWM

~Happy May!~

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Catching Up

Okay, go ahead and ask me anything you've ever wanted to know about Henry Ford and his Model "T"! Want to know anything about the assembly line he used to make the cars? His methods of advertising? Anything at all? :-)

I feel like an expert now after helping my son with his research paper. That's what we've been doing here for the last few weeks....research papers! Both sons are required to write one this semester. One son has now written his closing paragraph about Mr. Ford and the other is just starting his research. He wants to write about Vancouver, BC in hopes of a family trip there someday. So now we have another few weeks of research and rough drafts. But at least I've learned a few tricks to streamlining the paper writing process!

(Ethan getting his braces Off!)

If you stop by once in awhile, you may know that I home school my boys through K12 .
And if you've read older posts, you also may have read about our sons. Both boys are on the Autism spectrum. You may know someone or have a family member, or two who is on the spectrum as well. It is April; which is Autism Awareness month, and since I started blogging a few years ago, this is the month I usually post a little about our family and our boys.

(Ben getting ready for his braces.)

This year, I thought I'd share about a recent experience for BOTH of them. A few posts ago, I showed you a photo of my older son's braces. Ethan got his off last week, and on the same day, just a few chairs down, my younger son, Ben, got his on. For both boys, sensitivity is a huge issue; loud noises (although when they make their own loud noise, it doesn't seem to bother them, go figure!), certain clothes, tags in clothes are always ripped out before I can cut them out... I'm forever repairing collars!, certain food textures and temps, etc., anyway.....you get the idea.
So, for people with autism, foreign objects in the mouth are a huge sensitivity issue. Actually, braces for ANYBODY are a huge sensitivity issue! But for my guys, who had/have to have braces for medical reasons, we waited until they were a little older to start the process.

(Ethan, "after"....he was still reclining in the chair and looks a little sleepy!)

Change and transitions are also something we are working on, so for Ethan, (after threatening to get the pliers and rip his braces off the first week he had them on!!),~ jump ahead two and half years, and the CHANGE of taking the braces OFF was a big deal! The braces now had become his "friends"....but after Dr. Gold (and he is "golden", because he is a wonderfully patient man) talked Ethan into taking his off, and wearing a "cool" retainer. Ethan is looking and feeling a lot older without his braces. I think he feels a little more grown up, which is a great thing for his self-esteem.

(Ben "after", with braces on the top row....his favorite color is red...so, the color bands he chose are red and black; like the stripes in his room!)

And a few chairs down from Ethan, the ortho technician was readying Ben's teeth for Dr. Gold to put on his new braces. Of course, Ben was excited by the "idea", but once they were put on (just the uppers for now; bottoms will come later)...he threatened the same thing Ethan had wanted to do when he first got them on while we were IN the orthodontist's office! (This is were I wanted to crawl under a chair!)...But, Dr. Gold was patient yet again and nothing my boys do, or SAY phases him. He convinced Ben to wait a week and see how it feels then....so far, it's been a little over a week, Ben is fine, and I've hidden the pliers! :)

As they get older, we've noticed that they are handling these sensitivities better and better. I know a little of it is just getting used to something, and accepting it, and some of it is maturity. They've both come a long way, and we are so grateful for both of them!

Now, in a few weeks...I'll be able to help you with your travel plans to Vancouver, BC! Get your passports ready! Unless you already live there, and you could help us with our research paper! :)