Tag Archives: Homeschooling

Mermaid Skirts! by Niamh

photo-6I have taken a sewing class three times. It’s really fun. So far I have made a drawstring bag, two skirts, and a little purse.

photo-6 copy

The last project I did in my class was a skirt made with really cute fabric with mermaids and little seahorses on it.


I was excited when I got to sew a skirt at home for Clara. We are going to wear our matching skirts for Easter.



For my next project I am going to make an apron. I would also like to make a skirt for my American Girl doll, and maybe for my sister’s doll too.

By Niamh


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Once more, this time with enthusiasm…

We’ve been featured in one way or another on two different blogs recently.

First, Nibsy sent two of her Bear Flag tea towels to the Bear Flag Museum. She based her design on the original Todd Flag, which was designed by William Todd (a nephew of Mary Todd Lincoln) and raised at the Bear Flag Revolt in Sonoma, California in June of 1846. Nibsy’s father kindly screen-printed some tea towels as well as a few t-shirts featuring her design. The tea towels were a featured entry on the Bear Flag Museum blog.


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I have been subscribing to Brave Writer for three years now and we really enjoy it. I sent in a photo of the girls having a Tuesday Teatime, with appropriate baked goods, tea, tablecloth and cloth napkins-and of course, some poetry. We were pleased to be selected for a blog entry by the folks at Brave Writer.



Since we’ve managed to make an appearance in the blogosphere, maybe it’s time to get back to blogging.

Nibsy has relayed a desire to do some guest posting here at Southpaw Grammarian, so watch for future posts.




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Mason Jar Butter

I got this idea from a post I saw at Craft Knife.  We’ve tried it twice now.  This is so easy I cannot believe I haven’t been making my own butter for years…..except that when you come right down to it, buying pre-made butter is probably far less expensive ounce-for-ounce than heavy cream .  But that’s not nearly as much fun, is it?

I am borrowing the instructions from that post since trying to come up with something different seems like reinventing the wheel:

Necessary materials

  • Clean Mason jar with tight-fitting lid
  • Heavy whipping cream

1. Fill the Mason jar about 3/4-ish full of cream.
2. Shake the crap out of it until it turns to butter with a little buttermilk on the side:

Making butter in a mason jar is supposed to take approximately 10-15 minutes of vigorous and consistent shaking. You can stop during the process, unscrew the lid and check on the progress of the process-and you’ll still get butter, or if patience wears thin: whipped cream. We spent longer than 10 or 15 minutes since we took frequent breaks to check on sample the cream as it moved along.

 Clara was only interested in the first step, and only after I’d let her have some cream for her sliced peach.

We’re going to follow up on this activity with an  oil vs. water science experiment and continue with the oil-wants-to-separate theme. Nibsy was amazed how quickly the cream transitioned into butter once it had reached the whipped cream stage-and that it actually turned yellow.

The homemade butter found a happy home on and in a number of food items in our kitchen.

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If you give your kid a camera……….

…she’ll most likely take you aback completely  by sharing her perspective on the world as her (then) four-year-old self sees it:

These were all taken in February of 2008, just after Nibsy’s 4th birthday, with my now defunct Sony camera.

Guitar detail/February 2008
Lacquered box detail
Antique lamp base detail
Easel detail/February 2008
Portrait of the mother/February 2008
Nutcracker close-up/February 2008
Please note: she didn’t want to put it away with the REST of the Christmas decor!
Dollhouse from a  four year-old’s vantage point/February 2008 
Ivy geraniums and Siberian bellflowers/February 2008
Photographer’s toes and boot/February 2008

And if you let her use your camera, she’ll probably drop it and break it.  So going forward, you’ll probably want to buy her a camera of her own that is designed for children and is less fragile.

And if you get her a camera of her own she’ll probably take pictures of things that catch her attention, like animals or interesting scenery:

The majority of the following were taken with Nibsy’s own Polaroid a800. 

 Deer and more deer/March 2010
Vulture roost/July 2011
Lake Nacimiento in Winter, at over 100% capacity/March 2011
Lake Nacimiento/March 2011
Oak Hill Market in the rain/March 2011
August 2011
August 2011
August 2011
View of the lake from the car window, while crossing the dam/August 2011
Feather/August 2011
Tiny bunny/August 2011
Fountain at Mission San Antonio de Padua/November 2010
Colonnade and cast iron cauldron at Mission San Antonio de Padua/November 2010
Portrait of the mother and the sister/November 2010

And she probably will also take photos of animals she loves:

Our Tallulah/February 2008

Nanny’s dog, Murray, who passed just recently and is missed/July 2011
Miss Molly Marmalade/January 2011

Molly/July 2011

Ophelia/August 2011

And she’ll probably take some pictures of the vegetable beds that she helped build and plant:

Tomato plant, chard in the background/May 2011
Tomatoes and tomato blossoms/May 2011
Zucchini blossoms/May 2011
Pepper plant/May 2011



Greens/August 2011

Eggplants/August 2011

Ripe cherry tomatoes/August 2011

And she’ll almost certainly take pictures out in the garden when she’s scouting for fairies at dusk, after all should she spot one (or hopefully more than one) she’d want to have photographic evidence to back it up.  And nevermind Elsie Wright and Frances Griffiths, and those Cottingley fairies!:

Looks like a good spot

January 2011

Did you see any?

She might take pictures of her art work:

Self portrait/July 2011

Cat detail/July 2011

And she’ll probably surprise you and take some very sweet pictures of her little sister, even though they fight ALL the time and get on each other’s nerves!

In the playhouse/July 2011
Miss Clarita Chiquita/December 2010
July 2011

November 2010

August 2011

August 2011

She might even take a picture of her Nanny with curlers in…….ssshhhhhh!

November 2010

She will probably try her hand at self-portraiture by experimenting with the camera’s timer:

Self-portrait/July 2011

And if she does all those things, she’ll almost certainly take pictures of things that she just likes, just for the heck of it. 

Screenprinting project with her daddy/December 2010

Playhouse kitchen/July 2011

A well-made and dreamy bed/July 2011

Bears with Nibsy's quilt, handmade by her Granny Great/July 2011

And if she does all of that? Well, chances are she’ll continue taking pictures, but who can say where she came by it?

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