bok (chicken in a sweater v.II)

This is not my first chicken a sweater.  But this is the first time I actually knitted a chicken sweater.  We all learn and grow.

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This grand Wyandotte hen is a gift to our egg family.  As in the people who have chickens that lay eggs that we buy and eat. Because we feel pretty good about that and like to show some appreciation.

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The hen was sewn and stuffed, then prim'd (primed? primmed?) with coffee and baked in the oven.  Afterwards a thin whitewash of gesso was painted on, a touch of acrylic for colour, followed by pen and ink details.  Legs and wings attached with thread an buttons.  And, of course, the sweater was knitted and secured with a button.

One can take the sweater off, if one would prefer, for a bit more chicken-ly authenticity.

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I realize that it's hard to judge how big she is from these photos so I will just tell you that she just fits in two adult palms held together in a scoop.  She feels a bit leathery (not at all like feathers, perhaps something to think for future sweatered chickens) and smells delicious, given her coffee bath.

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It'll be sad to see her go but I'm sure she'll be much happier on the farm with others of her own kind.


shop update

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I was feeling a little bit wacky tonight and did some pattern shop updates.  One exciting for me is learning that Etsy would allow me to change my shop name from its featureless failure-to-commit name of Sweetshop (postpartum decisions - not to be trusted) into something that, well, may also be another dubious postpartum name decision, but one that has grown on me and you may actually recognize.

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Another good thing is that all the patterns, with one exception of the giant file of the Fair Weather Jacket sizes 5-8, are now available as instant downloads, which should make both you and me happy.

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The best part of all this is getting to review my pattern illustrations and check out how young my babies once were!

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Aw, curly little hairs and tattoos!  It's amazing how the childs change, yet don't.

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Ahem.  So, beyond my little tangent about the childs, if you do head over to Indietutes Patterns shop, feel free to ooh and ahhh at all my hard work tonight. 

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facing the Ultimate Reality

I am a little bit devastated today.

I am grieving for a man who was a complete stranger to me yet has imparted more wisdom and grace upon me than any other.  Terry Pratchett wrote really funny books about really serious, big things.  His worldview has guided me and comforted me for the past twenty years of my life.  It's Pratchett's words that brought me to adulthood and helped me find my way through the confusion of early motherhood and the dark fears that is at the center our mortality.  He was more parent to me than my mother or father ever could be.

Today is very sad.  The world makes much less sense without you in, Sir Terry Pratchett. 




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I started this doll five years ago.  I finished it yesterday.

My life is all process now.  With the childs, ten and six years old, their activities, homeschool, my activities and friends (oh, yes, I insist upon a life outside my home, even if I have to drag the childs with me), nothing is ever Finished.  Accomplishments are few.

Process is where it's at.  But I don't delude myself in thinking that domestic process is progress.

I try very hard to enjoy the act of doing, rather than achieving, but I fear that as an essentially lazy individual that I enjoy life most after the work is done and I can look at my finished product and think, 'thank god that's over with.'   

But, in ten years time, when the girl is in college and the boy out late nights with his friends, I will have plenty of time to create product.  Which is why I now try to keep lists of things I'd like to make because I have ideas galore that I have no time for during this age of process. 

Lists that I try to believe are in themselves a product, although, honestly, they really are process in disguise. 

Ah, one day.


media blackout

I didn't want to do it but I feel I must.  To sooth my anxious homeschooler soul.

I've put all media on hiatus, except in very limited circumstances, until our homeschool objectives for year have been met.

No video games, no movies, no YouTube.  At the announcement, there were pitiful cries of grief and gnashing of teeth all around me.

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My heart was cold to all the raving and whining.  We are more than halfway through winter and the childs have done maybe ten percent of the actual, technically very little, curriculum work that I believe is important to do, just in case the childs choose to enter into public school again at some point.  That option is theirs; I would like to ensure it is a real one that they can take without feeling anxious that they won't have the academic background.

I guess I'm not feeling like the loosey goosey unschooler I wish I could be.  But, structure, damnit.  Achievement.  Paperwork!

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I wonder how long it'll take them to catch up on nearly a year's worth of curriculum work?  I shouldn't think it would take more than a month, really, if they wanted.  I know motivated children can accomplish a great deal in a very short amount of time.  Here's my concern, though: my attempts to inspire them to do this small amount of schoolish work by banning media may not work out as slick as I hope.

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For the first few hours of even thinking about not being able to play video games, both children went through all five stages of grief, several times over.  Exhausting.  And then, darn it, they just sort of forgot about it and went outside to play.  And when they came in, they drew some pictures, listened to a book on tape (Alvin Ho by Lenore Look, by the way, very funny) and rearranged the living room furniture and hung some pictures.

Not a single curriculum workbook page was even attempted.
Clever resourceful children are the worst sometimes. 

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