Thursday, February 22, 2007

It was used

Okay, the sewing machine had already been used. USED! Not new and shiny and fresh out of the box but used. Well, it was still shiny and it was new to me but it wasn't the same. It's gone and I'm searching. This has happened to us a lot in recent years; there were several baby items we bought for the boy and when we got them home we opened them only to find that they'd been used and then stuffed back into the box and returned. Do people just buy a sewing machine, use it for a project, then bring it back to the store? I would feel such never-ending guilt.

As promised, here's beautiful vintage baby doll quilt number two. I love this design.

I spent a couple of hours last night starting on the basement (the one I'm painting to do the parenting class with the boy... oh, and I suppose I'm also doing it now to buy a new sewing machine!). I enjoy taping and like the preciseness of it all. On the way home in the car I was listening to NPR. The show (which is one I don't generally care for) was focused on technology, specifically laptops as the primary vehicle for learning in countries with extreme poverty. I can go on and on about this because I've thought so much about it (given my personality I could probably go on and on about it even if I hadn't really thought about it much, but I digress); when I was teaching I received a grant for around $15,000 of training and technology for my classroom. So I won't go on and on about the issue, and if you stick with me for a second I'll get to my point (Geesh... I'm such a windbag), but have you ever seen the Alliance for Childhood? My dad (also a teacher-- Mom too) showed me the site years ago. They did a huge study on computers and children.

Anyhow, we're rounding the corner on my point here: I found the show's discussion about constructivism to be really interesting. I've thought a lot about constructivism as well, and certainly in my first grade world and in my boy's world my interpretation of it really is how children learn best. Then I was thinking that "learning by doing" (which is not, incidentally, "constructivism" but is an extremely watered-down sound bite that works for our purposes!) is really how most people seem to learn best. As I was driving I realized that I have been so happy learning by doing in these recent months. Physically creating things (be it a splat mat, a little play kitchen, a bird...) is so satisfying to me and it's something I didn't have much of previously. I was learning about teaching every day in my former life, but this is different and fulfills a different part of me. With the boy I'm relearning about how we do every little basic or even big life thing, because he's learning about life as we go through our days. Focusing on those steps, creating things on my own... It's important. And I'm glad I'm able to be doing right now.

Are you still there? Well, if you are, here's a list of things I've been enjoying lately. They're all connected somehow, but you know how you can look on the internet for fifteen minutes and you can't for the life of you remember how you got there?

  • Optimist looks to be a good start. I'm not as into "modern" as all of this, but there's a good mix of fun, inspiring things for kids.
  • Pretty Darn Swell is such a great idea. The artists donate a portion of their sales to designated organizations, and they have a great group of artists. I think this came to me via Daily Candy.
  • OH MY GOODNESS... Have you seen all of these free, fun patterns, appliques and prints over at Ottobre? Of course you have. But go look again! It's such a wonderful resource. And it's free!
  • These are so much fun. I love just creating designs but I might actually make some neat stuff if I spent just $3 on some of these embroidery patterns over at Sublime Stitching.
  • I think the Craft Mafia idea is fantastic. I so wish I had a group of other crafty people to "band together" with. I suppose surfing in the internet craft world is something, but I so wish I had something similar to Laura's Friday group.
  • I absolutely love this site, Tea Time, and can't understand a single word in it. No, that's not right. Under that cute baby picture (scroll down) I understood "adorable" in the comments! I saw that crib and all I could think of was how you could totally fit a pop can through those bars. I'm such a worry wart.


marion said...

thank you to love my blog!
i don't understand all what you say but i read you love tea time!
i love your blog too! you are so creative ( your bird's name is Rose like my daughter!)

bye bye!
kiss from France! ;)

Matroskin said...

I just found your blog. Lovely, inspirational things. I just bought a 2nd hand mini quilt but didn't realize it's for a doll. I just liked it. I use it in my baby's cot, although it's too small. You can see it my blog, in the entry "Second hand finds". It's made of lovely sixties fabrics and was 2 euros (=really cheap).

Amena said...

Interesting to know.