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Sewn Valentines DIY Tutorial

My Valentines for this year are still in the works, but I thought you might enjoy seeing these sewn Valentines I’ve made the last couple of years (see that old tank of a sewing machine? It is no more, sigh…). Basically I cut out cardstock hearts, traced them onto various papers (scrapbooking paper would work great), fabric, and even leather (basically use whatever you have on hand. Have fun making different combinations. I then sewed the two layers together – sometimes with either fun trim or a ruffled ribbon sandwiched in between using various stitches.
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Abacus: “Letters” – A Creative Curriculum List for February

Giants and Pilgrims Abacus is a creative home curriculum centered on a monthly theme. This month’s theme is “Letters”!
Read all about how to use this list and our heart behind this project here.


A couple of February Dates to keep in mind as you are scheming fun activities-

Groundhog Day = Feb. 2
Valentines Day = feb. 14th
Mardi Gras = Feb. 17th
Ash Wednesday = Feb. 18th
The Chinese New Year = feb. 19th

And if you are in the Greeley area, the Stampede troupe is putting on Treasure Island feb. 27 & 28

 

Letters:

Language/Writing:

Experiment with tracing paper – cool letters, etc.

Learn/practice cursive and calligraphy – I am excited to revisit this myself (later in the month I will post some really cool charts for this)

Penpal exchange for the month (anyone want in on this?)

Keeping Adventure Logs/Diaries

Adventure:

Set up letter writing stations around town

Visit the local Post Office (do they do tours?)

 

Art:

Make Sewn Letter mobiles 

Mod podge a set of Alphabet rocks

Illustrate our own animal alphabet book

Take an alphabet photo walk – #almanacalphabetseverywhere (put them together, spell names, etc.)

 

Building:

Construct valentine mailboxes – this one is particularly adorable

Table mailboxes

 

Reading: 

(Various age appropriateness here)
The Jolly Postman
by Allan Ahlberg
Letters from Rifka by Karen Hesse
Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
Griffin and Sabine by Nick Bantock
Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
Vocab – “Epistolary”


Movies

Tommy Tricker and the Stamp Traveller (awesomely bad 90’s movie)

Spellbound – spelling bee documentary

Word Wars – Scrabble documentary 

For the Romantics:
You’ve got Mail
P.S. I Love You

 

Music:

The Postal Service

Abc playlist -We will post ours on Giants & Pilgrims this month

 

History:

Illuminated manuscripts – I used to make these with my art class using parchment paper, that we would burn the edges of and metallic ink or gold leaf to embellish the drop caps with.

Stamp collecting – I am printing out some of these pages – http://stamps.org/userfiles/file/albums/2014-Issues.pdf and any time we get a letter this month with stamps on it, we will save them and add them to our stamp “album”. The pdf has some nice history stories behind each stamp.

 

Technology:

Typing games on the computer (suggestions anyone?)

Play with the typewriter


Kitchen:

Alphabet pasta/soup

 

Math:

Roman numerals

Learn about addresses

 

Games:

Scrabble
Boggle
Spelling Bee
In the Car – the alphabet game (could be a race), letter finding game, etc.

 

What would you add to this list?
Share your projects on our facebook group!

February Desktop Background and iPhone Wallpaper

Happy February! A month made up of love, chocolates, football, letter writing, mardi gras, the Chinese New Year, Ash Wednesday, ground hog day and oh so much more. We plan on spending the month digging into the theme of “Letters” (more coming on that tomorrow). And, if you are looking for more February inspiration and sparks, here is a beautiful Poem written by Tim called Send, a recipe for Simply Perfect Chocolate Brownies, and a downloadable pdf of envelope templates to start your valentine and letter writing endeavors. Happy February!

 

iPhone wallpaper:
iphone february

Click small image below to view large size desktop file.
february 2015 desktop v2

February Almanac Poem: The Bird Understander

bird understander

BY CRAIG ARNOLD

Of many reasons I love you here is one

the way you write me from the gate at the airport
so I can tell you everything will be alright

so you can tell me there is a bird
trapped in the terminal      all the people
ignoring it       because they do not know
what do with it       except to leave it alone
until it scares itself to death

it makes you terribly terribly sad

You wish you could take the bird outside
and set it free or       (failing that)
call a bird-understander
to come help the bird

All you can do is notice the bird
and feel for the bird       and write
to tell me how language feels
impossibly useless

but you are wrong

You are a bird-understander
better than I could ever be
who make so many noises
and call them song

These are your own words
your way of noticing
and saying plainly
of not turning away
from hurt

you have offered them
to me       I am only
giving them back

if only I could show you
how very useless
they are not

Arnold, Craig (2009). the bird understander. from http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/182920

Incredible FREE Art Download by Kyle Steed

Kyle Steed is a wonderful and accomplished artist. You’ve seen his work in commercials (the Walgreen’s new font) or maybe you’re one of his followers on Instagram (he’s one of their featured gramm-ers, with good reason: ). And Giants & Pilgrims LOVES him, his family, and his work.

Kyle graciously donated some of his doodling time to make a beautiful, hand lettered illustration for our February Almanac. We present it here now for download in postcard format. We suggest you print it on card-stock, cut out the postcards, and write a note to someone you care about.

The words come straight from our Almanac “poetic intro” for February, with the theme of “SEND”.

Click the link below to download a printable pdf of the postcards:

kyle_steed_postcard_send

See more of Kyle’s work at www.kylesteed.com

 

February Almanac Poetic Intro

Welcome to the month of February and to our online Almanac. It’s good to navigate these pages together for the good life.

For our Giants & Pilgrims February Almanac theme we chose the word “Send”. Most of the pages deal in this theme: the way we communicate to each other, the letters and notes we give, how love and care is something easy to feel, but hard to say. We felt this would be so appropriate to talk about within this month!

Here’s a poem written to expound upon these ideas. Encouraging the gathering of our words to go out to those who need to hear them.

February is a written letter
Words forming at the tip of our tongue
about to be spoken

 We believe in this edge 
of winter
Bending towards the promise 
of spring

 And so we dare to 
Tell, share, say, send
this love so easily felt;
so hard to put into words

 Against the fear we intend
to send it anyways