Posts

November 2018 Desktop Wallpaper

Happy November beautiful friends! Here is a poem the girls and I have been working on memorizing. Simple and yet lovely.

The stripped and shapely
Maple grieves
The ghosts of her
Departed leaves.

The ground is hard,
As hard as stone.
The year is old,
The birds are flown.

And yet the world,
In its distress,
Displays a certain
Loveliness—

By John Updike

The desktop is inspired by the shifting palette of the landscape. The paint color chips come from an antique book about the science of color mixing. I love the subtle variation in hue. Enjoy!

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 image you want. Select ‘Save image to camera roll’. Then from your camera roll set your home screen/lock screen or both.

iphone wallpapers:

November 2017 Adventures in Homeschooling

Last year we began homeschooling Lucy (8), Hattie (6), Beatrice (3), and Arlo (1). 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.

Writing and Letter Forms:

As part of our history reading, we learned about Cuneiforms which then led to making our own fonts and lettering.

Harriet had her first show and tell at her Homeschool Access kindergarten class. She worked very hard filling out her “Read All About Me” Poster.

Arlo’s 1st Birthday:

On November 18th, this handsome, ornery, little dude turned One!! I can’t even believe it. He has discovered the joy of food.

He always seems to have a mischievous little twinkle in his eyes.

His tiny makeshift snowman birthday cake made out of cake pops.

Enjoying his cake pop under his new name banner (a one year old tradition for all the kids)

And another birthday celebration with grandparents in Kansas.

Playing with a birthday gift from his Aunt and Uncle. 

Around the World:

To learn the continents, we made our own fun version of pin it maps, really enjoyed this Hopscotch song about the continents, and played map games.

We kept adding to our museum of world monuments by making a great wall of China, a Statue of Liberty, and a Sphinx.

http://s28969.p27.sites.pressdns.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/IMG_5268-2.jpg


We took the Statue of Liberty downtown to visit our own tiny Statue of Liberty (right after reading Her Right Foot – which was so great).

We enjoyed another Top Munch box – this time from Germany!

Science Club:

We started an impromptu science club. Our first experiment was to remove the chlorophyll from leaves, then we did some experiments with old Halloween candy, and finally we made lungs out of old plastic bottles and balloons! So fun!

Art and Crafting:

Lucy immediately decided our house was not festive enough and added tiny hats, trees, reindeer antlers, and presents to all the photos/artwork.

 

We made handprint turkeys

Someone got over her fear of the hot glue gun.

I made a ridiculous thing. Peg dolls for days….

Lots of late night sketching

Decorating paper christmas trees

 

Gaming:

I like for November to be our family game night. So I usually add a few new games to our collections. This year I found these beautiful spectrum cards.

This silly but awesome game called “There’s a Moose in my House”

And my current favorite, Qwirkle

In the Kitchen:

Would it even be November without lots of wonderful goodies to bake?

Two books really dominated our kitchen decision making this November. Baking Class for the kids, and Bravetart for me. Both are great.

   

Homemade graham crackers from Bravetart.

Practicing knife skills

Lucy baking braided bread

And Lucy making her first original contribution to the Thanksgiving feast

And Music:

Music always together. Usually with a little brother crowding in on the fun.

In the Prairie and Great Outdoors:

We got to go home to Kansas for Thanksgiving this year which meant lots of beautiful walks on the farm/prairie.

 

 

A couple of woodworking projects –

we built a teeter toter just for fun out of random scrap boards.

 

And I worked on cutting pieces for an upcoming project in Houston

Thanksgiving:

We feasted and celebrated. It was beautiful. We are full.

Matching Thanksgiving outfits from Grandma DiDi and Grandpa Ed

 

Discovering and Rediscovering the magic of Calvin and Hobbs together.

Our thankful tree

And an adorable pilgrim girl

 

Much love from us,

November 2017 Free Calendar Desktop and iPhone Wallpaper

November is my favorite transition month. The days moving from autumn into winter. Enjoy this cozy new wallpaper for your screens. Much love,

Betony

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 image you want. Select ‘Save image to camera roll’. Then from your camera roll set your home screen/lock screen or both.

iphone wallpapers:

November’s Adventures in Homeschooling

This year we began homeschooling Lucy (7) and Hattie (5). 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.

November was such a beautiful and memorable month around here. Most importantly, we welcomed the newest addition to our family on November 18th – sweet Arthur Thaine. A Boy! Heavens!

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Processed with VSCO with c3 preset
We are still adjusting to what it looks like to have one more around here, but mostly things are going well. Momma needs more sleep, all the girls are in need of a little extra snuggle time, and chaos is reigning just a little bit more in our house, but it is all so good and everything feels right. And we are all relishing the tiny ears, coos, and fluffy hair of  our tiny Arlo.

Here is where we have been during the month of homeschooling –

COOKING and MATH:

Since November is meant to be about all things feasting, we took a break from our normal Math rhythms and learned about fractions, addition, and measuring through the very practical handicraft of cooking. I found this highly reviewed kids cookbook on Amazon. (And these inexpensive but very practical aprons  – the kids each picked their own color). We also got these fraction sticks to help explain how fractions work – very helpful when measuring ingredients.

004956-r1-015-6_2 img_7159

The girls – with very little help from me – made ‘grab and go’ granola bars, popcorn balls, homemade orange juice, breakfast sandwiches, yogurt parfaits, perfect grilled cheese,  parmesan chicken bites with dipping sauce, and more. Lucy especially loved the independence of doing everything herself. And all the recipes were tasty! The cookbook also has lots of fun stickers and punch outs in the back.

img_6484 img_6536

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Processed with VSCO with c2 preset

Our cooking month’s finale was of course a grand Thanksgiving feast.

Processed with VSCO with c3 presetProcessed with VSCO with a6 preset

One other little note on Math –

We have LOVED the new BigNumbers Ap from Dragon Box. It sneakily teaches lots of cool long addition and subtraction.

img_6792

GAMES GALORE:

Our second theme for the month of November was Games!!

A couple of new favorites that we added to our collection:
gmc2-1 sum-swamp-2 pic38668 51u2tp9c1pl-_sy355_
img_6478 img_6481 img_7129

CURRENT EVENTS:

A day was spent on our political system, voting, and elections.

A thank you note written to the president for his service.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Watching election results come in –

img_1533

A visit to our city hall

img_6605

And dropping off our ballot.

img_6603

READING AND LITERATURE:

Here were our reading books for the month:
taleofdespereauxbookcover  the-pilgrim-stories-new

Plus ALL the Thanksgiving books (especially thanks to Read Aloud Revivals beautifully curated list):

Processed with VSCO with c2 preset

Tea time mostly had to move inside because it is starting to get CHILLY here! Not nearly enough snow yet though…
img_6573

Art and Handicrafts:

Especially while passing the time waiting for the newest addition to our family, Lucy, Harriet, and I all worked on our own little illustration projects.
Me on a whole series of Alphabet Letters (the first part of are available here).

img_6490

Lucy on a whole series of Christmas Reindeer to sell at Indie Arts Greeley (a wonderful local craft show that has become a family affair)

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

And Harriet on a whole series of Christmas Trees that she also sold at Indie Arts Greeley’s Winter Market.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Here is their practice set up for the market –
Note: I love this tradition. I feel like they are learning so much through the process – talking to customers, making change, money math, etc.
img_7064

We made concrete candle holders and poured soy candles (which Tim’s scented in various wonderful Christmas scents)

img_6944

15196086_10153880909290706_6125340426821684027_o

The girls rolled beeswax candles

img_6763img_6771

And we got out our little loom and started work on a colorful scarf (alongside our Native American study)img_6790

History and Culture:

Instead of choosing a country to study this month, because of Thanksgiving, we decide to read about and explore Native American stories and culture.
Here is a sampling of the library books we found –
img_6774

Good old fashioned audio tape books are the greatest –

img_6777

An unseasonably warm November made for perfect teepee building weather – and the perfect location for tea and stories.img_6780
img_6782

Our history study of Jamestown lead us to creating a lego reenactment of Jamestown, John Smith, and Pocahontas.

img_6472

Nature Study:

This month’s nature outings weren’t anything grandiose. Just simple quiet times visiting and playing in some of our favorite spots and soaking up the last warm days.

Processed with VSCO with c2 preset

Processed with VSCO with c2 preset

Swinging on willow branches

img_6625

Weaving willow branch baskets

Processed with VSCO with c3 preset

Colorado sunsets

Processed with VSCO with c2 preset

img_6668

Processed with VSCO with c2 preset

And a little moss collecting from beside our house made into a simple terrarium.

img_6674
Sketches of what moss looks like through a microscope.

Processed with VSCO with f3 preset

And leaf jumping of course.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

CHARACTER:

For November, we continued our family tradition of making a Thanksgiving tree table altar.

Processed with VSCO with c2 preset

And finally, to get into the spirit of Christmas/Advent, we put together a box for Operation Christmas Child together.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Processed with VSCO with c2 preset

November Free Calendar Desktop and iPhone Wallpaper

Happy November 1st! Hope you all had a grand time last night.  Here are our three little spooks –

Processed with VSCO with c3 presetProcessed with VSCO with a6 presetProcessed with VSCO with c2 preset

 

 

And here is some new artwork for your screens!

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:

november-2016-desktop_v2

iPhone Wallpaper:

iphone_november-2016_v2 iphone_november-2016

A really exciting Giants & Pilgrims magazine feature in UPPERCASE!

We are pretty darn excited to be featured in our favorite Art & Design publication – Uppercase magazine.

Here is a link to the current issue. We are in issue 31 on page 10!

 

November Ideas and Activities around the Theme “Bread”

For this entire year I’ve been doing an at home curriculum with the family (Lucy 6, Hattie 4, Beatrice 1). Tim and I call the project “Abacus” and we’re sharing it each month for the fun, challenge, and community of it. Each month we choose a theme and then come up with a bunch of activities around that theme. Read all about how to use this list and our heart behind this project here.
Explore past months themes here.

Our theme this month is “Bread.” To me it is a month of reflection and purposeful simplifying of habits. “Bread” is about that which sustains us. Bread is foundational and simple. Yet speaks deeply of home and family. I want this month to be about three things – ritual, simplicity, and giving. Sometimes it is the everyday routines that are most beautiful. The activities repeated over and over again until they almost become prayers. I just read this little snippet from a book I am reading and love how it is put –


“We do chores twice each day, 7 days each week, 365 days each year. Where we live there’s nothing unusual about this; many of our neighbors adhere to similar schedules, and have for half a century or more. Sometimes I consider the math: Twice daily multiplied by 365 is 730, multiplied by fifty years is….36,500. Thirty-six thousand chore times. It is almost impossible for me to fathom, it feels insurmountable. But of course it is not. Sometimes, chores are just chores: haul the water, throw the hay, run the fence. Cold, hot, wet, dry. Hurried. But often, I think of chores the way I suspect some people think of a practice – meditation, or yoga, or a prayer. Maybe aikido or a musical instrument. I like to think of chores this way; it seems to give me license to sink into them, to inhabit them in a way that would otherwise elude me.”

From Home Grown by Ben Hewitt

For us these daily rituals are making beds, morning coffee, feeding the animals (birds, bunny, and cat), preparing meals, a quiet walk around the block before dinner, reading together at bedtime, cleaning up the house after kids are asleep, and ending the day with a cup of tea in the rocking chairs on the front porch – I want to dig in to these simple practices this month.

NOVEMBER Dates to Take Note of:

November 1st – All Saints Day
November 3rd – Election Day
November 11th – Veteran’s Day
November 26th – Thanksgiving Day

Local: Greeley, CO events:

November 6th – My “Becoming” Art Show! (At the Atlas Gallery)
November 28th – Indie Arts Greeley Winter Market at Atlas Theater
November 20th – Becoming CD and Art Release Party at Atlas Theater

 

HOME & KITCHEN:

A purposeful slowing down and simplifying –
not buying as much,
not driving as much,
looking at our devices less,
getting rid of clutter,
eating simpler,
not planning as much.

Put flannel sheets on the beds and get out the cozy pajamas and house slippers.

 

 

Read this article called “Bread is Broken” about the Bread Lab – and find some heirloom wheat varieties to sample

Weekly bread baking – be ritualistic about this. Be able to make our loaf from memory and hone it down to a family recipe. Make the girls part of this ritual – kneading, punching down dough, taste testing.

Here is my families favorite bread recipe. It is called Rabbit Hill Oatmeal Bread. My parents had it on their honeymoon on the east coast and it has been a family favorite ever since. It is a rich caramel brown bread that smells deeply of molasses and home. Slather it with extra butter and eat it warm with no adornments needed.
51U8exLEDYL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

My father always does a reading before any special meal. Tim and I have come to love this book called Common Prayer. Each day follows the same liturgy as it takes you through 365 days of reflection, with additional prayers for special events like moving into a new home, losing a loved one, or holidays.

 

MAKE:

Showcase pressed leaves and the last remnants of autumn by making these lovely sun catchers.
JeansPhotos_10-2015_Pic-34-2
We started a tradition last year called the Thankful Tree Table Altar a beautiful idea conceptualized by our friend Greg Nordin. – Each day we each add a leaf to the tree of something we are thankful for. It is a lovely centering family activity.
IMG_1858
Get out the Knitting and quilting baskets

Make these simple useful baskets from clothesline
6a00d8341c4ea853ef01bb08204f82970d-800wi

 

OUTSIDE:

Rake leaves just to jump in them
DSC_0079

 

Thanksgiving mixes – for us, Thanksgiving/November music is old hymns, warm crackly records, and layered folk voices. Every year we make a themed playlist. Here is one favorite from 2006 –

BOOKS:

We have recently discovered that books about food, like Dragons Love Tacos, provide great inspiration for getting our very picky eaters to try new foods and enjoy meals. Now I just need someone to illustrate a really thrilling book about broccoli….
Pick a book, make a meal around it, and read the book while eating it.
90ff3a270a7c8e4d578dffe2559e70fb 70cba006b58e4b5662245c8048b2b276 9bdff37c03ffa8e51520d57ed8d3e952 images greeneggsnham blueberries-for-sal-by-robert-mccloskey Sendak-nightkitchen strega_nona

Anticipation of the first snow Books:
51mNf4x1bAL._SX399_BO1,204,203,200_ owl-moon the-snowy-day  2627806901_b6fbd5427e_z


For me – The Life Changing Practice of Tidying Up
life-changing-magic-of-tidying-up

Several people have recommended books recently about simplicity living – clearing out clutter. One idea that stuck out to me challenged you to ask three questions when evaluating whether to keep something or not. “Is it beautiful?” “Is it useful?” or “Does it bring you joy?” If the answer is not “yes” to any of those, than it is time for it to move on.  I am giving myself a challenge of Weekly filling a tub to donate to a thrift store. Areas of attack:

Kids Clothes
Basement Storage
Games and Toys
Kitchen Extras
Knick knacks and decorative items

Speaking of donations, I want to spend more time this month donating time, money. and food to places that need it. Always baking an extra loaf of bread to send with a friend, participating in a food or coat or toy drive, and finding ways to bring the girls into the acts of giving as well.
DSC_0096

Time to get baking. Happy November!

November Calendar Free Desktop and iPhone Wallpaper

 

November is muted colors, fiery oranges and reds fading to browns and purples. The chill that has been hiding in the air stepping forward and taking the stage. Mittens and coats become a daily reality. It is a month of hot soup, casseroles, and feasting. A month about reflections on family, memories, and home. To dig into November, read this simple poem, make this perfect autumn chicken dinner,  and follow this practice of Thanksgiving.

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.

High Resolution Desktop Wallpaper:
NOVEMBER 2015 desktop_v2 (1)

iPhone Wallpaper:
iphone NOVEMBER
iphone NOVEMBER_v2

Around the Table

Instagram

#aroundthetable

Have you ever snapped a shot of your dinner or dessert? This month focus not just on your good food, but capturing the wonderful people you’re eating with as well. Use the hashtag #aroundthetable.

Printable Placemat

 

Someone actually gave us some artfully done paper-placemats that we’ve used on occasion (with the way our kids can destroy a table, a paper-placemat isn’t a bad idea once in a great while…)

So Betony Coons designed a printable placemat for this season’s holiday meals.  Enjoy this “one-last-thing” to worry about!

 

Click here to view as an 11X17 printable pdf –>
Almanac_placemat