Posts

June 2019 Wallpaper

For the desktop, click on the image above to view the large size image.

Happy June friends! Here is a bright primary colored wallpaper to bring a little happy to your screens.

Much love,
Betony

iphone wallpapers:

For the iphone wallpaper, navigate to this page on your phone and then click and hold on the image you want. Select ‘Save image to camera roll’. Then from your camera roll set your home screen/lock screen or both. I make a couple different ones so that you can use what works best for your device.


A Food Fight Party, Playing Planets, and Video Games Come to Life…. June’s Adventures in Homeschooling

This year we began homeschooling Lucy (8), Hattie (5), Beatrice (2), and Arlo (8 months). We’re including this on our Giants & Pilgrims blog as all our family adventures seem to impact our art & music so much! Also, we just like sharing the stories. So we’ll be sharing posts on the themes we’ve been covering each month and calling the adventure “ABACUS”! Our hope is that these posts will help spark creative direction and inspiration for your family as well as giving us somewhere to be document and record our experiences.

Ahhhh. Summertime.  We aren’t doing anything structured for homeschooling over the summer, but it is wonderful to see how unschooling (or chasing the spark) can play out on these long summer days.

Parties and Outdoor Play:

Lucy planned an Epic food fight battle for her 8 year old party.
So fun! We did three rounds – breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Each round had a specific food and challenge. Thanks to some other mom tips online, it went off with out a hitch.

So silly and fun.

A letter Lucy wrote to her future self, with instructions to mom to give it to her on her 8th B-day.

Trying out her new penny board with some pro tips from friend Calvin.

June backyard pool party vibes…

And garden sketching and reading (also notice the Hidden Valley Ranch because they made themselves a salad from the garden as a snack – ha ha ha)

Rolling down the hills races at the University

Exploring the new city “stained glass” park!

First swing ride for Arlo-man (and the photo that motivated mama to give him his first haircut ha ha!)

Robots Galore:

Lucy got several Robot kits for her birthday. She LOVES robots. Her current obsession is trying to figure out how to get all her robots to do her chores for her. Hmmmm…..

Audio Books/Read Alouds:

We have recently “discovered” audio books (thank you read aloud revival audio deals!). Here are a couple we enjoyed this month – (Tim read Harry Potter book two out loud – so wonderful to get to relive these with our kids – and we have loved these Jim Kay illustrated versions)

 

Lucy dressed up at Mary Poppins

Outer Space:

The only “theme” we played with this month was planets and outer space. We used some Pinay Homeschool handouts and made polymer clay planets.

Lucy drew some stellar rocket ships

We enjoyed lots of space/aeronautic books from the library. I particularly LOVED the Armstrong and Lindbergh mouse adventures. Wonderful illustrations and stories – great sneaky histories for kids.

We also read Magic school bus in space

Did some planet play at the Windsor park

Circus Circus:

For Christmas this last year, Tim got the girls and me tickets to Cirque du Soleil’s “Luzia”. The whole show was about Mexico. It was utterly breathtaking. And so neat to be able to share with the girls after our Mexico study last October. I have seen a lot of their shows (and loved all of them) but this was by far my favorite.

I mean, they made it rain on stage – utterly magical.

Some Papel Picado inspired backdrop.

And then some fun circus books from the library

Lone Valley School:

Greeley has a historic park called Centennial Village that is run by the greeley museums. The two older girls participated in a day camp there at the beginning of June called Lone Valley School. They loved it. Lots of old fashioned activities and fun.

They were so into it that the second day they insisted on wearing period specific costumes.

Here is a photo of the old fashioned school house and some of the drills from their primers.

Morning breaks consisted of time playing old fashioned games like stilt walking and ring toss.

Making and Baking:

Fort building around the dining room table.

Marionette dragon making activity at the library

Lucy really wanted to invent a recipe and bake it. So, with a little help/suggestions from mama, here is her recipe she came up with “Lucy’s Mini Cupcaks”. They turned out surprisingly delicious!!

Dino Days:

Tim took the girls to Dinosaur days at the Colorado Model Railroad Museum

Art:

Lucy has really been honing her portrait/drawing from life skills. This is a drawing she did of Tim while he was reading Harry Potter out loud.

And here is Harriet’s wonderful “portrait” of her imaginary friend “Twinklebell”

Clay can get pretty messy, so summer is the perfect time to play with ceramics since we can do it outside.

Dance Recital:

Lucy and Harriet both danced in their studios annual dance recital.

Celebrating with ice cream in the park afterwards.

Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild:

Our best friends lent us their Nintendo switch at our house for the month. We are not really a gaming family, but we have loved all of the Zelda games since the very beginning. It has been so fun to play this incredible game as a family. It is breathtakingly beautiful and so fun – rock climbing, cooking, and so so much world to explore. So, we had to have a real life Zelda adventure as well… Everyone will be a little sad to return the switch next month.

June 2017 Free Calendar Desktop and iPhone Wallpaper

I cannot believe it is June already. Our family has all sorts of fun planned for this month – a dance recital, camping trip, a special birthday, summer camp, and more. Oh what a wonderful month June is. I hope you enjoy this new bright time and artwork for your screens. Happy summer!

For the desktop, click on the image below to view the large size image.
High Resolution Desktop Wallpaper:

 

For the iphone wallpaper, navigate to this page on your phone and then click and hold on the iphone images. Select ‘Save image to camera roll’. Then from your camera roll set your home screen/lock screen.

June Free Calendar Desktop and iPhone Wallpaper

Happy June friends!

Here is a fun summer reading list to dig into, a “Collection” of ideas for June from last year, and a little poem just for the month.

Enjoy this new desktop for your screens – open roads, broad skies, and so much green.

For the desktop, click on the image below to view the large size image.

For the iphone wallpaper, navigate to this page on your phone and then click and hold on the iphone images. Select ‘Save image to camera roll’. Then from your camera roll set your home screen/lock screen.

High Resolution Desktop Wallpaper:
JUNE 2016 desktop_v2
iPhone Wallpaper:

iphone_June 2016_v4 iphone_June 2016_v2

“Collection” Theme Round Up (from Abacus: our creative home curriculum!)

The end of June was spent on the road on the way to Wisconsin, so I missed getting this round up of our June “Collection” theme posted. Still lots of good memories here with hopefully some ideas you can carry over to your own stories.

Click here to see the original June post with the complete list of Collection ideas (which is where these came from)

Outside:

On our road trip through Nebraska and Iowa, every time we stopped for gas, the girls and I collected wildflowers from the side of the road and pressed them in a little flower press I brought with us. We forgot to bring a flower book, so most remained un-identified, but it was a lovely way to make a boring stop more fun.

Giants & Pilgrims pressed flowers for "Collection" themed activities

Thanks to our dear friend Lindsay, we had our second annual “Sleep in the backyard” night. It was made extra beautiful by the singing campfire songs out of a book collection of classic song lyrics.
IMG_5448 IMG_5450 IMG_5451

Processed with VSCOcam with c2 preset

 

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

IMG_5474

I used some old letterpress trays I had laying around to make our “Collection” themed wall. My plan was to fill up the wall with all sorts of found treasures over the course of the month, it still has a lot of empty spots, but it has been the perfect place to stash tiny treasures. I think I will keep it up for a bit longer. I’m enjoying having somewhere to put those tiniest of tidbits.

Its hard to see from the photo, but we found several insect skeletons, lots of cool rocks, little figurines, an old brass button, a key, a more. You can also see the beginning of my silhouettes collection.IMG_6221

History:

We visited the Build Frontiers exhibit at the Greeley History Museum where the girls and Tim had a great afternoon playing with legos. The best two take aways from the day were these cool passports that the city of Greeley History museum is doing, and also a great lego app called Lego Movie that is pretty great.
IMG_4469

(Rattlesnake Kate is a Greeley history celebrity – seen here immortalized as a lego mini figure)

IMG_4475

Art:

In celebration of Flag day, Lucy designed this flag – hopefully we can sew a version of it and hang it on the treehouse. (The page came out of this Maps companion book)

star flag_2

We spent a whole lot of time this month working on all sorts of tiny drawings – all of which are getting compiled into our first ever wall calendar called “Collection”! I will have the calendars up for sale on this site soon! I picked up the proofs this week and they look pretty great if I do say so myself. It helps that there are some fabulous illustrations done by these two cuties.
IMG_4954

Giants & Pilgrims Collection theme

We had a tea party with using my teacup collection for Lucy’s 6 year old woodland fairy party. Here are some photos from the magic filled afternoon:
IMG_5244IMG_5225  IMG_5251

Giants & Pilgrims woodland fairy birthday party

Giants & Pilgrims woodland fairy birthday party

And in the spirit of fairies, we had several fun days using bits and pieces to make fairy houses.

IMG_4928

Giants & Pilgrims - making fairy houses

Movies:

Not a good movie at all, ha, but we did watch “National Treasure” for it’s contribution to the “Collection” theme 🙂 I suppose my 6 year old now does know what the Declaration of Independence is (sort of…)

IMG_5397

Books:

For reading, we started “The Borrowers” and immediately realized it was still a bit old for the girls. Besides that, we have just particularly enjoyed working on our summer library program sheets and picking up lots of good stories from our local library.

We did check out and read a lot of Jan Brett books and then went to her show in Fort Collins at the Contemporary Art Museum. So neat to see her work in person! Her attention to detail is pretty insane. You cannot help but admire her work.

IMG_5359 IMG_5362 IMG_5367

Giants & Pilgrims visit Jan BRett

Home:

And finally, in the spirit of “Collection”, we got rid of some of our own collections by having a garage sale 🙂

IMG_5137

After clearing out my old frustrating dresser and a chair, our bedroom got a little refresh with this awesome vintage filing cabinet.IMG_5181

 

That’s all for June and “Collection.” On to “Maps” for the month of July!

June Ideas and Activities Around the Theme “Collection”

Giants and Pilgrims’ “Abacus” is a creative home curriculum centered on a monthly theme. This month’s theme is Collection! All the bits and pieces that make up a whole, taxonomy, pressed flowers, and collected works of literature, poetry, and music. We wanted a theme that lent itself to playing outside, picking flowers, and long evening walks.

Read all about how to use this list and our heart behind this project here.

Below is our comprehensive activities list. Choose a couple to do with your kids to enrich the month or try to accomplish the whole list! What would you add? I would love to hear your ideas and plans for the month.

Dates in June to take note of/celebrate:

 June 14 = Flag Day
June 21 = Summer Solstice & Father’s Day

Our List of “Collection” Activities:

SCIENCE:

Learn about Scientific Naming and taxonomy.
Herbaria - Johnson exsiccata

A perfect way to go about that seems to be to make a little collection of pressed flowers


Learn about Curiosity Cabinets and make one – I will probably pick up some old drawers from the Habitat for Humanity ReStore and we will use the magic of hot glue to put it together.
CuriosityF
Looking at curiosity cabinets ties in nicely with the art of Joseph Cornell and his shadow boxes
 

GEOGRAPHY:

In celebration of Flag day, look at all the different flags from around the world, and sew our own flags to put on the treehouse (or summer club house of sorts).
(For slightly older kids, the book Swallows & Amazons, is great)

Collection-national-flags

Speaking of the treehouse, we want to have our second annual sleep over out there – enjoying the sounds of the night, the stars, and the summer air.
IMG_9814

Take lots of lovely summer evening walks – and find little treasures.
DSC_0067

I used some old letterpress trays I had laying around to make our “Collection” themed wall. My plan is to fill up the wall with all sorts of found treasures over the course of the month.

IMG_4865

HISTORY:

Have mom share some of her love of button collecting with the girls. So many tidbits of history and folklore. The buttons have so many stories to tell. Check out her fun etsy shop here. She is also about to release a new site called “House of Button” that should be pretty neat.
buttonsbest

Visit the Build Frontiers exhibit at the Greeley History Museum (and of course play with legos)
603832_10153139837429187_5842496359310328894_n

ART/CRAFT:

Draw lots of collections of tiny items (hopefully we will be making these into a calendar that will be available here!)

Visit the Denver Art museum (now free for kids) to see the collected works of Joan Miro exhibit with studio time (through June 28) (we didn’t make it last month, so I thought I would roll it over 🙂
MIro_logo_hero

Last month at Denver Union Station I saw a little collection of hand cut paper silhouettes. I think I am going to start my own collection of them. Isn’t this fabulous!
silhouette_art_country_living

For that matter, I also want to continue adding to my collection of tiny art – I love this because they are small, I can afford originals of some of my favorite artists. Note to my artist friends, I would really love to curate our own version of the “Enormous Tiny Art Show” if anyone is interested 🙂
IMG_4923

Revisit the Collection a Day blog that Lisa Congdon did in 2010 – this is just lovely to browse through and get inspiration from.

Documenting:

Jump back into our Journaling – specifically using my sister Katie’s awesome tiny squares method. She just adds one each day, or to capture a little moment she wants to remember. #documenteachday
10968366_10153177583113690_4483944923264886664_n

PLAY:

Have a tea party with using my teacup collection – probably for Lucy’s 6 year old woodland fairy birthday!
IMG_4924

MUSIC:

Listen to Ars Moriendi by The Collection
url

The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra – Moonrise Kingdom
41nkU-zs0OL._SY300_
Curate a Curiosity Cabinet Playlist

WATCH:

Indiana Jones
We Bought a Zoo

READ:

I want to read tons and tons. That is what summer is about for me. Lazy days filled with quiet reading.
We will definitely be participating in our libraries summer reading program. Their theme this year is “Super Heros”.

crop_Newsletter-header_2015

For Grown Ups:
Collected famous stories – I am really interested in trying out some of this curated list from Powell Books.
landing-short-list-2014
This list also has some I would love to read –
landing-page-25-books-2014

For Kids:

Read Collections of Nursery Rhymes, short stories, and poems

Read the Borrowers by Mary Norton (they collect all the tiny things we don’t use)

the_borrowers

Read lots of books from Jan Brett’s extensive collection and then go to her show at the Fort Collins Contemporary Art Museum.banner_Brett-2015

June Calendar Free Desktop and iPhone Wallpaper

Happy June everyone! School is out, the birds are singing, everything is green and bright, so here’s to soaking up the sunshine and collecting the bits of summer. Our theme for June is “Collection”, so here is a collection of some of my favorite tools! Enjoy!  For the iphone wallpaper, navigate to this page on your phone and then click and hold on the iphone images. Select ‘Save image to camera roll’. Then from your camera roll set your home screen/lock screen. For the desktop, click on the small thumbnail below to view the large size image. Note – the illustrations here are from an old french dictionary. So, thanks old french dictionary. You are awesome.

For iPhones:
iphone june

June 2015 desktop

Summer Reading List

It’s that time of the year. Dusting off the front cover of books we’ve intended to read for a while or picking up something new for the big car ride is a great tradition around our house. Betony Coons made a list of some of her favorite summer reads for our June Almanac. Here’s to getting lost in the pages. Leave some of your favorite summer reads in the comments below.

Some of my Favorite all-time “Summery” reads – Betony

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

Wild by Cheryl Strayed

The Giver by Louis Lowry

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

The House of the Scorpian by Nancy Farmer

Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kid

The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale

 A Natural History of the Senses  by Diane Ackerman

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

Gift from the Sea  by Anne Morrow Linbergh

New and Selected Poems by Mary Oliver

A Photo-Challenge Contest: #mundania

Here’s a June photo-challenge that we are turning into a contest! Do you see the majestic in the mundane? the uncanny in the common? the beauty in the everyday?

Follow the prompts given for June (enough has been given that it could be daily, but you don’t have to have a photo for each one…) and bring out just how special life is; even in the normal, so-called boring moments. Do your best to make these prompts into captures of beauty.

Use the hashtag #mundania to share these pictures.

The BEST IN SHOW photo, judged by Tim & Betony Coons and Wes Sam-Bruce, will win 3 limited-edition art prints from Almanac No. 1!

1 Laundry

2 Breakfast

3 Front Porch

4 1:00 PM

5 Refrigerator

6 Lawn Care

7 Working on

8 Where I sleep

9 Mail

10 Dirty dishes

11 Morning routine

12 The commute

13 Coffee

14 Bedtime routine

15 Lunch

16 Clutter

17 Shoes

18 Pet

19 Currently reading

20 Dinner

21 Rest

22 Groceries

23 Summer

24 Garbage

25 Cleaning

26 Computer/ Tech

27 Home

28 Street

29 Favorite place to sit

30 Friends

June Theme and Poetic Intro: “COMMON”

June is here and Betony and I are in Kansas with family. That’s why we’re a little late posting this month’s theme online. But, as you’ll get the feel with the poem, it fits that we’d be late this month.

Here’s to having some empty and free days this month, to be filled with all the people and things you love!

“Common”

June is a day. An empty day

free of projects, appointments,
obligations, meetings, productions,
schedules, units, measurements, team functions

a sunrise and a sunset with nothing but the common, plain,

everyday life
in between

What happens when the day belongs to you
and yours?

Summertime? Family? Life?

It begs questions because of it’s rarity

but great moments of the nothing, mundane, everyday,
common Life
is what makes the days

worth living

 

 

—- Featured image from Kathryn Buncik’s Art

www.kathrynbuncik.com