Archive for July, 2009

This is the quilt that Sophia is working on for the county fair. She picked out the fabric, measured, cut, pinned, and is sewing the pieces together.

The top of the quilt is made from 100% cotton fabric; and the backing is flannel – so she has two different textures to her quilt which is nice.

She’s very excited to see it come together. It’s the largest quilt she’s made to date.


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County Fair preparation are underway. The big project Olivia is entering this year is a quilt. She picked out the fabric at a quilt shop in Pella, Iowa and at Joanns.

The central focus is the dog print fabric from Pella. The other fabric she chose ties into the dog print fabric (red, white, and black).

With the exception of measuring and pinning, Olivia is doing the quilt herself. She selected all her fabric, is cutting it into strips, and will sew it by machine. The finished quilt will be 48″ x 72″.

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Finally…a horse that is Olivia’s size. Adopted Hoss on Sunday, July 19th. He will be coming to the farm as soon as the girls and I get the barn ready.

Hoss was rescued and taken into the care of the Minnesota Hooved Animal Rescue Foundation. Adopted him from MHARF.

He stands 31″ at the withers…so he’s very small. He’s calm, stood patiently while he was groomed, let Olivia lead him on a walk with no problems.

His body has been shaved because his coat was pretty heavy and the weather was hot. His normal color on his body looks more like his face.

Because he is young and healthy, Olivia can do obstacle courses, jumping, and other activities with Hoss. From a homeschooling perspective, this is great for phy ed as well as learning about responsibility and caring for an animal.

She’s eager to start doing chores, she said. Already on Monday morning, she asked twice about when she can start working in the barn to get it ready for Hoss.

Also would like to see if Hoss may be good for visiting nursing homes and seniors who have memory loss issues, like Alzheimer’s Disease. Have seen this done in other states, but nothing like this exists in Minnesota (to my knowledge). He certainly has the perfect temperment/personality for it.

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Sophia is doing jumping with a miniature horse. This horse isn’t hers…it’s one that is owned by a family who helps the Minnesota Hooved Animal Rescue Foundation.

Sophia is trying to find either a miniature horse or small pony that would fit two needs: (1) riding – both trail riding as well as jumping; (2) doing obstacle courses/jumping like is shown in the picture.

From a homeschooling perspective, this provides a child with lessons about responsibility, caring for an animal, and exercise.

The MHARF is looking for a miniature horse or pony that fits these needs. The other good thing…a horse or pony that was once neglected or abused goes to a loving home. Everyone benefits which is the ultimate goal.

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This is a gingerbread house Christmas ornament that is my own design. I found a picture of gingerbread house cookie that I liked and modified it to be a Christmas ornament.

The ornament is made from wool felt and cotton embroidery floss. It is about 3 1/2″ tall and 2″ wide. It is hand-embroidered using the blanket-stitch.

I posted this ornament in my shop on Etsy, Harvest Moon by Hand. Within an hour…it was gone. So, I’ve made another one and it is available in my shop.

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3 Sets of Envelopes
Originally uploaded by Pictures by Ann

How many trees worth of paper have you used in your lifetime?

It’s not a question that most people think about…or WANT to think about. It is so easy to waste paper. Yet, by making a conscious effort, you can reduce the amount of paper you consume each year.

One way to reduce the amount of paper you use is to make envelopes from wallpaper that is in wallpaper sample books.

I had several wallpaper sample books on hand, and wanted to find a use for them rather than just having them sit in my closet. Looked through the wallpaper, and chose some pages that I thought were pretty.

I hand-cut, folded, and glued each envelope. Made three different sizes of envelopes, and then wrapped each set with a bow.

If you don’t have the time to make your own envelopes – or prefer to purchase handmade items for yourself or as gifts – the envelopes are available in my shop, Harvest Moon by Hand.


Letter writing is a great way for children to practice their writing skills. It’s even better when the envelopes are pretty and make an environmental statement!

The envelopes are great for bill paying, book making, scrapbooking, or organizing craft supplies. Tuck an envelope with a special note in a lunch bag, a suitcase for a young adult headed off to college, or under a pillow.

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We went to the annual Dragon Festival at Lake Phalen this year. The event showcases the 2,400-yr-old tradition and sport of dragon boat racing. There also are performances, displays, and activities that help increase cross-cultural understanding.

One of the performances was by the Sumunar Gamelan Ensemble led by Joko. When I use to run Create & Cultivate Art Camps for children at the farm, Joko was one of the artists who taught the children. He’s a great artist/educator, and I was so happy that Sophia and Olivia were able to see and hear the Gamelan Ensemble.

At the end of the performance, Joko asked if anyone from the audience wanted to learn to play the gamelan. Sophia and I volunteered. We were guided to the gong section.

I started out with the little gongs and Sophia was going to play the large one. She wanted to switch, though, and play the smaller ones.

It was such a fun experience, and one that both of us will remember for many years.

So, what is a gamelan? Here’s the definition from Wikipedia:

A gamelan is a musical ensemble from Indonesia, typically from the islands of Bali or Java, featuring a variety of instruments such as metallophones, xylophones, drums and gongs; bamboo flutes, bowed and plucked strings. Vocalists may also be included.

The term refers more to the set of instruments than to the players of those instruments.

A gamelan is a set of instruments as a distinct entity, built and tuned to stay together — instruments from different gamelan are generally not interchangeable.

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