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Thursday, March 31, 2011

How To Make A Drop Waist Ribbon Skirt.

On the right hand side of my Blog there is a link to a post called "the wearing of skirts". It us a blog about the social reasons I wear skirts, specifically ribbon skirts. The cultural teachings if why are not included since we do not write such things down.

In this blog I will write how to make a skirt. It is a ribbon skirt because I make it one. However it is also just a drop waist skirt. Someone else could make it and it would be just a skirt. Ribbon skirts can be of various cuts, particularly everyday ones. I like the drop waist. If you want to learn specifically about ribbon skirts then our teaching is (as with all things) that you need to talk to someone about it IRL.

Onto the skirt.

Start with your fabric. I like a Native print. That is optional. I buy usually a 44 inch across fabric, 2 meters or yards long.

* Hold the fabric the right way up. Measure down 24 inches, snip an rip across the the fabric. Repeat.
Now you have 2 pieces that are 24X44. These are your skirt sections

* now measure down 5 inches. Snip and rip across. You now have a piece that is 5X44. This is your waistband.

Do this again but just 1.4 inches, repeat. You now have 2 pieces that are 1.4X44. Together they will become a drawstring.

* now measure down 11 inches and across 23.6 inches. Snip and rip. Repeat. These two pieces are your drop waist pieces.

This time measure out 2 pieces 6X7 inches. Snip and rip. These will be pockets.

Easy ennit? No patterns or pinning.

Now to sew...and iron.
My machine in set at length 2, width 5.

1. Sew two ends (right sides together. Iron seam open. Iron your drawstring in half (wrong sides together) lengthwise. Open it up and then iron each edge to the fold. Then fold shut leaving no raw edges. Sew entire length. Now you have a 1/4 inch X 88 inch long draw string.

2. Now fold the waist band end over 1/4 inch and iron. Then iron waistband in half (lengthways). Open and turn edges under (1/4 inch) and iron. Then iron it all shut leaving now raw edges.

3. Sew the two sides of the drop waist (wrong sides) together with a 5/8th inch seam allowance. Iron open fold.

4. Next open waistband. Place drop waist onto of the opened waist band (wrong sides together). Place so that there us about 5/8 of an inch of drop waist extending past the waistband. Place the drawstring on top. Fold over waist ban enclosing the top of the dropwaist. Pin and sew shut.

5. Iron a 1/4 inch hem around all 4 sides of both pockets. Sew top hem. Place on front of drop waist about an inch up from the bottom edge. Pin and sew 3 un-sewn sides.

6. Sew (right sides) together the two skirt pieces. I always make sure the bottom edges are even. Iron open seam.

7. Set sewing machine to a length of 4.

Now sew across the of the skirt. Do Not back stitch to knit as this is a basting stitch. Next (pulling thread lightly) gather the skirt until it is the same width as the drop waist. Even out gathers. Pin the top of skirt to the bottom of the drop waist (wrong sides together). Now set sewing machine length back to 2. When done open, iron down seam and sew seam down.

8. Fold bottom edge if skirt over about 1 inch (no more) and iron. Then fold over again, iron an sew. Thisis your bottom hem.

9. Next I pin and sew in the ribbon. I do not cut it until I have finished sewing. In the meantime I just pin it up. If the ribbon is narrow I sew down the middle. In this case it us a wider ribbon so I sew along the top edge.

10. You are almost done. Now turn skirt inside out with right side together. Pin, setting bottom edges even. When done sew entire seam making sure not to sew the waistband at all.

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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Do I Plan To Much?

I have been writing my kids curriculum the past year with the exception of math. I have enjoyed it. I have worried about it. I have spent many hours that was once free time on it and I think I have planned to much I it.

You see often I spend hours putting together pages in a uni study or to go with a boom or whatever and thought 'ok so this unit, these work pages, this science project, this history that math...that's what we will do this week. We almost never get it all done. I worry we are not accomplishing enough, That the kids waste to much time, that I have organized our time poorly. It is only now however that I have wondered if maybe I am asking for to much work in a week. I need a new plan for next week. I need to also figure out what is a reasonable amount of work. But I will. Not sure but I will think of something and then I think my kids and I will be happier people, and I re try the work box thing.

Do any if you do this?

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Monday, March 28, 2011

Every Moms Happiest Day!

Indy pooped and peed in the potty. Best of all he told me when he needed to go!


And a timmies reward!

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Saturday, March 26, 2011


Today I had breakfast with my Dad an Indy.

After we went to a thrift store while waiting for my Mom who was taking a class on making cards. At the thrift store Indy found some tools. So now at home he is fixing everything. He says it is hard work :)

I also got some treats too:) my Mom asked if I would go to the fabric store with her and make Dad a summer house coat. Turns out there was a members sale and I am a member. My parents decided it was too good a sale not to buy fabric.

I got ten meters ($5 each), some ribbon and thread as well as fabric for Dad (a nice plaid seersucker).

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Wahtha Ceremony

This week we celebrated the sap from the Maple tree, we call this sweetwater or Wahtha

So yesterday we went to the Wahtha ceremony. I had every intention if bringing you a blog full of pictures but I forgot my phone. It was an odd feeling being without it.

So I will tell you.

The day started with everyone gathering and greeting each other hugging dear friends and family who we saw earlier that week or not since last ceremony or social. Then before noon we came to gather to start. We start with the thanksgiving address (short version, about an hour) and a smudge and a good teaching about the sweetwater. We stood as a family and enjoyed the teachings that we all hold dear and know well.

This is a special time of year to me. I met DH at sweetwater and I had Indy at sweetwater. I cry every time :)

Thus year my little Ko-Ko was asked to be the young Woman who handed out the sweetwater. She did so slowly and carefully (traits she usually doesn't exhibit). She said Nia:wen to each person as they thanked her. We don't say your welcome. We repeat back thanks.

After there was goo food , lots of talking and then singing and drumming and I sang my heart out. The Native highschool came. They greeted all the old people. Gave out hug to them and their Aunties and socialized well. They hung out with SW which made him feel big and one of Sunny Nots friends incites Ko-Ko to hang out too. This was nice because unfortunately nit many kids were there. Another benefit to homeschool except that when my kids were in ps I always pulled them anyway.

The day did have somewhat of a sobering mood at times. Jan Longboat a dearly loved and respected Elder who I had just seen a month ago at the Elders conference, and a dear friend of Grandma Claus, took a heart attack the night before. She is in hospital recovering. We all prayed for her and she will be in our hearts each day as we give thanks. So I ask those who read my blog, what ever your spiritual beliefs please pray for our Elder's recovery. This is a kind lady with some of the greatest medicinal knowledge and general plant knowledge in all of Canada. Nia:Wen (thanks).

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Giving Workboxes A Try

A number of Homeschooling parents swear by the workbox system. There are pages, articles, websites on how to implement the workbox system. I have read (OK mostly skimmed) a number of these. It sounds like a good system, but just not for me.

Last night however as i was on a roll getting worksheets, lapbooks and unit studies together for the week (yes I made the kids my own pre-packaged lapbook but I can't share with you due to an unfortunate delete of half of it after printing the first copy, at least I could copy for myself what I had printed, anyway, back on topic). I piled them up into the kids baskets.

You see I have baskets that hold the kids work while in the bush, on vacation, or if at home hold stuff or supplies for a few days or the week, much like a work box system but on a scale that takes way less space. just one stacking plastic dollar store basket each, plus one for me holding shared books and plastic envolopes for each kids finished work,

I know it nearly is a work box system but since they are each doing mostly the same thing they move on to the subject I say. But as I piled each kids entire week into a basket last night I though why not make a list outlining what is to be done and let them do it each part when they want. My rule I gave them is that what is not done Friday will be done on their own time over the weekend, and mostly on their own.

SW was thrilled to work at this own pace as he does in math. I pointed out that I would like to see what he is doing early on so that if he is way off base I can show him (we have had this issue in math). I also said that if he doesn't understand to google first. He likes it and was off. He did more of the reading side of things today. I hope he passes himself well.

Ko-Ko was way easier to manage since she felt more in charge (YEAH!) I am worried for sure about how she is pacing herself. If she doesn't do more she will have a lot to do on the weekend.

Runner I am hoping learns some independence. He thought he was more independant today, I didn't feel that he was but hopefully what he is feeling is the idea that he can be (baby steps). He definatly will be done if he keeps this pace up.

So I see why parents like this, and I didn't feel (yet) like I was teaching the same thing 3 times over. I hope this works for us.

....And guess what I have in store next week? SW has something he wants to learn about so we discussed how he can spend his week learning all about it on his own. So (for SW at least) next week will be very unschooly, don't tell DH, he doesn't know what unschooling is and somethings are easier not to explain, but rather let happen and speak for themselves :)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Last Snow?

I was once told that the snow or storm after St Patricks day was called Sheila's Brush. Since then I have always waited fir her snow every year, relieved that we would have spring at last. Before writing this blog today I thought I would research this weather tale. Turns out it comes from Newfoundland. Makes sense since this friend was a Newfie but the tale seems to have held pretty true here too in Ontario, at least from what I can remember.

It is said that Sheila was the wife (maybe Mom or sister) of St Patrick. Each year after his day she sweeps away winter with her brush, giving us that last snow. Hopefully today's snow was that brush. The weather network has us scheduled fir one more snow. Perhaps this snow was nit enough today. I however am holding onto my Dad's weather tale that little boys who lie grow up to be weathermen.

The above picture was taken out my window at the start if today's snow. The picture below us one I took yesterday.

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Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Curious George Birthday Party

Indy had his birthday party today. He wanted a curious George party with bananas. He opened some great gifts, played outside with a friend and cousins and ate lunch and cake.

Now that the party is done my kids are all outside laughing and playing Toss Across with Indy.

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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Indy's 3rd Birthday

Today my youngest turned 3.

He played trains.

Made Chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast.

Helped set the table.

Received a Tupperware Jr. bake set.

Did some reading including his 'structions (instructions).

Baked his cake & Received his St Patties hat ( a little tradition for him).

Saw Gnomeo & Juliet, and saved all his treats for home.

Had supper and cake.

He used 2 forks. When SW offered a third fork he replied "don't be diculous" (ridiculous).

It was a good day. He will have a little party on Saturday.

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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

We finally completed a lapbook... a decent amount of time.

We have tried lapbooks. And a month later we finished.

So I did a pre-made one. The written content will vary by child (age and ability).

The kids spent the day with friends and got to school work around 3pm.

Runner is done. SW is still working on it. Ko-Ko decided to do all math today and lapbook wrap up tomorrow.

It was much more enjoyable then before. Some families (us) need it laud out for us I guess. And yes I realize that the fault of the month long lapbook is mine.

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Monday, March 14, 2011

A Sign Of Spring

Yes, last week I was whining about our awful weather and spring nowhere in sight.

And today was not warm. It was sunny and 2C (35F). So I am still having our spring break later.

But... when I was out walking with Sunny Not we saw that much if the snow had melted which made us happy. Yes the thing we waited for in December we now want gone. And it is going.

When we returned we looked around our new yard a bit. We moved in with it under snow. And we discovered a bed of perennials in front of the house. Some sprouting up though the soil. It was exciting. Spring is coming. Yes we still have to deal with Sheila's brush but then we will perhaps be able to really say spring is here.

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Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Value of Boredom

I let my kids get bored. They whine about this. I ignore it. Eventually they overcome their boredom. As Mom always said (an I now say to my kids) boredom breeds creativity.

Runner built Lego to his hearts content.
Ko-Ko practiced gymnastics

SW read a book.

Indy played with Runner, ran in circles and played with boats in the tub. It was a quiet day so DH and I went out for lunch together an then to the book store. I bought three books. They were all on sale and I paid $16. I enjoyed reading for a bit before work today.

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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Corn Unit Study

*sigh* I can relax! I have finished our corn unit study.

Yes I know that most people would study corn in the fall but that won't help us much. we wil be growing corn (and other things this year) so it makes sense to learn about them ahead of time. I have to wake up in a few hours, but maybe I will be lucky and other family members can get up while I sleep.

Yeah, not likely, but I am remaining hopeful.

So if you like here is a link to our corn unit study. For SW I take out the tables with the words in the fill in the blanks, and generally have him write more or do some extra research.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Planning Our Powwow Season...and those extra pounds.

Today a friend called me up to plan out the powwow season with me. We powwow at a number of the same powwows. She does more then I do, traveling with another friend who thinks she won't go this year. Her issue is body image. My body image has sure changed in the past year and a bit. i am not happy with it and am thinking it is time to join the Native centers weight loss program. I am glad that allthough I am not happy with my currant size that it will not control my life. It will not keep me from things I (and my family) love to do. I am also happy that a negative self image will not be passed to my children (especially my girls) from me. Telling Ko-Ko that her friend and Mom don't plan on joining us this year was difficult but it did lead to a good discussion about image.

So why am I throwing friend issues out here and will I get to the powwow planning part?

Yes I will get to the powwow part.

I think it is important. Our image of ourselves impact our kids, maybe not as obviously as not taking them to powwows all summer as they usually do, to enjoy a part of ones culture, but they still do. How many of us don't wear a bathing suit, or wear something over it? Some may not because they are so reveling, but what if we don't because of how we look in them? what does that say to our children? I was one of those lately. Last week though I bought a bathing suit that fit well and I am happy with, fatter tummy and all. Do we groan on the scale? Do we whine at the candy counter? Clearly their are many areas to work on while at the same time improving our body in a healthy way...lets keep the groaing to times when we are out with friends and the kids are at home...or when they are tucked in bed and we are trying not to midnight snack...time to call our healthy living worker.

Onto the powwows. So the plan is No Hiawatha again :( *sigh
Kingston Children's powwow, June 17 & 18. Not fantastic, but local.
Scugog Powwow, July 16, 17 & 18. Like this powwow. Biggest one we do.
Algonquin Park Powwow, August 5,6, & 7. Our favorite and grows every year. The msot traditional of any we have ever been too.
Tyendinaga Powwow. August 12, 13, 14 We will see what we can do. It is 2nd home for Dh's family who come from the six, but we are to often to close to the politics (except me who just ignores it for the weekend).
Golden Lake Powwow August 19, 20, 21. This should be just Ko-Ko and I with friends, or this year, with one other friend, of course we will see many friends there. It might be as big as Scugog
Silver Lake August 27 & 28. Might go up for a day. Another local one, not the greatest, but local.
Queen's University Powwow Sept 24th. it's decent, food sucks but we will deal.

August is packed for powwows around here as you can see. This means money plays into it. Wish it didn't but gas keeps going up and so does food, and while we will be fed some meals (all at the park) there is still snacks, travelling food, and food during the week at the park. we stay the week at the park (Algonquin) but this year I am doing that grocery shop...hotdogs and beans all the way!.

I also have to finish sewing. It has been hit and miss. But I have some beadwork to finish for myself, and I have been collecting material for Ko-Ko for a new regalia. Weather or not I get to sewing it will be another thing. It should be done in the winter, but as long as I plan, cut applique and buy materials at this time I feel OK. I prefer to sew in spring. Mostly because one year I made a regalia for Sunny Not in the winter and by spring she couldn't even get it on. She grew 5 inches! It scared me off a bit. Prep work in the winter feels like I am still keeping the traditions, and that prep work (like cutting applique) can be very time consuming.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

March Break?

So I wasn't ready for New Years and now I am not ready for March Break. Surprised? I am never ready for March Break, I always seem to be broke until the end :(

Nature does not seem ready either. The last two years the kids have been out in jeans and sweatshirts. My Southern friends, do not fool yourself, the temp was probably 45F-50F. But spring was on it's way and the snow was gone. This year I am doubting we will be so lucky. It is half a week away. The last week of March would make so much more sense for those of us in Northern climates. FYI the picture showing next weeks March Break weather is showing high and low temps in Celsius where 0C is freezing.

So I have discussed with the kids the idea of working through next week. We will make sure they get time out with friends. We will do a number of unit studies since they tend to be the most efficient use of time. Then we will have a week with cash to do some activities and hopefully some nice weather to be outside in. This also means I will push to wrap up Rome this week.

I also am hoping to use our tax return money for an educational vacation. I am thinking Toronto. We went to Ottawa last year but Toronto means staying with family and saving the cost of a hotel. So I need to make decisions on what we will do there and how we will get there. I am thinking bus, and then use transit to get around. Plus the kids would be thrilled to take a subway train....ah the things that thrill children :) This station at the museum would thrill all ages though.

So stay posted. I am sure the plans will spill out on these pages as the coming weeks unfold.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Today was the big day when we built the working model of an aqueduct.

I actually thought this was going to take several days. The day started off rough. Ko-Ko was upset that we were having math first and decided to have a meltdown. When that was over we got to work. I hope that one day we are past her meltdowns.

On To The Aqueduct.

First we needed to build the bones of the system. This was the mountain (a plastic container that had dip in it, on top of some cardboard), the bath house (bottom of a milk carton), sewer (side of a milk carton) and the pipes (straws). Fitting the straws into each container and each other and then securing them to prevent leaks was the most difficult. We ran water through this system several times finding and fixing leaks was the most frustrating. This was where I was most involved.

After that it was the details and this is where Ko-Ko and Runner really excelled. Houses were built, a temple to Jupiter (from our time-line), a triumphal arch, roads, out door toilets over the sewer, a Colosseum and of course bathhouse and aqueduct. The model is not to scale, that would have been tricky.

Here are 2 videos:

This one the kids tell about the features of the model.
And this one you see the model working. We colored the water blue to make it more visible.
The sound is not great so I recommend using speakers or headphones.

Carnival Of Homeschooling March 8th 2011

The Carnival of homeschooling is up for this week. you can find it over at Time4 Learnings online homeschool blog.

Monday, March 7, 2011

RRRolling up the RRRims

It's another Tim Horton's feature for my blog, and I think you may enjoy it even if you live on the timmies deprived side of the boarder (USA)
Be sure to check out the very fun videos at the bottom :)

So we went to Tim Horton's today and did our best to win. Runner had a coffee. I had hot chocolate.

Rims were rrrolled all around Timmies. Some (like us) took it to a professional level with the wondrous Rim RRRoller. It handily attaches to your key chain.

We rolled in excited anticipation to discover.....

that we were winners of a BRAND NEW ....

cup of coffee

Whew, did you manage to deal with the anticipation? Good. Now apparently there is some science to all of this that thankfully our beloved Rick Mercer has uncovered for us and is available for your viewing pleasure here on you tube.Well I am sure March will be a glorious month of rrrolling and winning. If your are wondering what it is all about I have a few more you tube videos for your viewing pleasure.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Relaxing Sunday Morning.

I am relaxing this morning / early afternoon and it is SO nice :)

I woke up with no big pressure. I don't work till 3:30pm. The house is not a mess, the kids are up and eating while watching cartoons with DH. I stayed in bed for a bit reading magazines. I bought Archeology and The Economist yesterday so I enjoyed some of each for a while. The I sat and watched Indy play trains and now I am on the computer.

What amazes me is that since moving into this much larger house there is less housework. I think it is because the stuff all has room to be put away and the amount of dirt made and tracked in by each person is spread over a greater space. Basically Moms living in a smaller space have a lot more work to do. My daily chores are now dishes, laundry, wiping counters and tables and small pick ups. Sweeping has become a twice a week thing (except the kitchen), and major cleaning is weekly. It is so nice. Anyway I am off to do some more reading, see you all through out the week with all the busy things ahead of us :)