Friday, May 30, 2008

Vintage Needlepoint

Assalm Alykom:

I have been selling on Ebay for about 1 year now. I read in a book once that you should sell what you like. Anyone who knows me knows I love all types of crafting. My first items that I sold on Ebay were old vintage buttons and a couple of needlepoint pillows. After that I was hooked on searching for those items. I search estate sales, yard sales and thrift stores for old vintage handmade items. Here are some photos of some of my favorites. This little trinket box is so cute and has all needlepoint on the top. I listed it once and it did not sell, but I will try again.

This one was a beauty. I think that it sold for around $20. I just love the colors. It was a huge picture. It must have taken the person so long to do.

I purchased this one at a yard sale. I wanted to keep it, but I did not like the way the purse does not close. That is the style and just was not mine. It sold for $20.

This one is a chair cover. I purchased it with a bunch of other stuff, super cheap. It sold for around $20.

This one is so cute because it is a clock. It sold for around $10

This has alot of detail and sold for around $8.

I love the retro design of this one. It never sold, but I will try again.

This little guy really surprised me. He went for $122 to a buyer in Canada.

This was another shocker she is so simple, but she went for $79.00 to a buyer in Canada.

This one has such fine needlework. It never sold. I am surprised because it is in with the retro look.

I love this little picture and decided to keep it.

This was a beauty that was done in a stylish chrome 70"s frame. It went for around $50.

This is a sweet little pillow and sold for around $10.

I just love the old handmade items. I cannot resist not to keep some of the ones that I buy. I hope you enjoy looking at some of these art pieces!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Oak Meadow Sixth Grade

Assalm Alykom:
The sixth grade is the best of all of the grades I taught this year. It is very organized and the material is interesting to my son. It starts out by having them make an outline map of the area of time that covers the Ancient Times up to the Renaissance. We are adding countries until the end of all the lessons. I love this integration of geography. The curriculum basically integrates the history with the grammar, vocabulary and spelling. I did not get the reading books because it was Greek Myths and another book about the middle Ages and the Renaissance. I really do not like those books for reading. So we just substituted reading other books from the library. There are definitely things that I needed to skip and substitute. However, overall the projects and papers had many choices. This way, we picked things that suited us from an Islamic view. There is a great deal of written Islamic History during this time. Therefore ,many of the written reports my son did was related to our history. The Science is good too. It is studying animal and plants. Each weekly lesson has many questions to answer and a project or two. In the end, they take a five question test that usually requires a little bit of writing. I really love the way the math is taught. Most traditional school text books teach a math concept, and then there is a test after a few concepts. They may never return to that concept the rest of the year. This math teaches a new concept each week. Every other week there is a "review" of all the concepts. Also every other week there is a test and this test has many old concepts from before. Therefore, every week there is either a review or a test. Overall, I like the sixth grade. There is a great deal of writing and research. My son does complain about this, but after all the whining, he is able to do it. He says that he cannot do it because it is to hard. My motto these days is "It may be hard, but it is not impossible, and you can do it". He does do it and does a great job!

Vintage and Violets

Assalam Alykom:

This is an introduction to a new category on my blog. The new category will be "VINTAGE" I have been selling on Ebay for about one year now. During this time, I have cased garage sales, estate sales, and thrift shops. During this most exciting search, I have bought many wonderful vintage items. Some I have kept and some I have sold. Many of them are handmade beauties. Some of the things are neat and interesting books and some of the things are beautiful pieces of costume jewelry. I am introducing this category with violets. My Irish grandmother always loved violets. Her house was filled with them, and I loved them. I love how their leaves look like a piece of delicate green velvet. I adore the delicate flowers that bloom continuously for my pleasure. Therefore, I like to keep violets in my home. A few weeks ago, I was at a garage sale and picked up an old book about violets. In this book, I found a lovely newspaper clipping with a wonderful poem. Here is the poem:


Why turn so fast those pages of time,

Thinking happiness lies in some other clime-

When so much can happen within four walls,

Just making a home and meeting its calls.

For life's great happiness comes from within,

Not the number of countries we've been in;

It's simple contentment that makes life shine,

I'm thankful Lord, for this home of mine!

Author: Mildred Lee Klan

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Walking Stick

Assalam alykom:

My children wanted to make walking sticks. We collected some sticks from outside and went to work. I decided that I wanted to try one too. My son started his first. He was working so long and hard to whittle the bark off, then sand it all down. He then varnished it, and it looked pretty good in the end. My stick was much taller than his. I started trying to take the bark off, and I really did not have the patience. So, I decide that I would just leave the bark on and decoupage it with Mod Podge and tissue paper. I started by tearing small pieces of tissue paper. I applied each piece over another with the Mod Podge until I achieved to color and look that I wanted. Finally, I just put several coats of the Mod Podge until it was very shiny. After it all dried, I wrapped gold jewelry wire at the top an glued a few beads and accent pieces. It turned out better than I expected. It was much easier than taking all that bark off and varnishing it too!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Clothes Pin Dolls

Assalam alykom:

A few years ago, I bought a huge bag of craft sticks at a yard sale. Well, we dug them out to make a covered wagon for my daughters 4th grade project. In the bag we found a whole bunch of wooden clothes pins. I had seen some projects about how to make dolls from them so, my daughters and I attempted to make some of our own. Here is how we did it:

We took the clothes pin and wrapped a pipe cleaner around the middle to form the hands. We used a hot glue to make it stay. Then, we picked our clothes from scraps of fabric and trimmings. We also glued them with the gun. We glued beads to the ends of the arms. I thought this made them safer. we glued yarn to the head for hair. The last thing we did was paint the face and paint shoes on some of them. The Praying ones, I did not put any hair or arms.

This first doll in blue, I used an old piece of linen that had some nice embroidery on it. My 9 year old daughter picked out the outfit.

My 3 year old daughter picked this wild hair!

This is my favorite. She is made with vintage fabric and an old piece of embroidered linen.

Another wild hair by my youngest daughter.

This one is made from an old vintage pillow case that had the trim that was unusable. Part of the trim was still good and made a lovely skirt for her.

My 5 year old picked this one's outfit. I love it she looks so elegant.

Oak Meadow Fourth Grade

Assalm Alykom:
I have kind of a love/dislike relationship ship with the fourth grade. Compared to the 6th grade in which I also teach, it is like it was written by a different company. It has some of the aspects in which I love, but in my opinion, it was not written or organized very well. The substance is there, but the material is disorganized. The 4th grade is summarized by saying that it teaches state history and moves a little into U.S. history. It begins by having the student learn the topography of his state. The student makes a model of the land he lives in. Then, it moves to learning and observing all the plants, animal and habitats. After that, the student starts to research the people that inhabited their state. They have to do some research on the Indians and do a report on them. Along, they are reading very nice books that are related to the subject. We did some projects and reports on our state history, bird, flower, motto and seal. We have about 11 weeks left and the subject has moved to the U.S. history and the movement of the people out West. Along the way there is some nice projects that my daughter has enjoyed. We just finished making a log cabin and a covered wagon. As soon as I get a picture of it, I will put it on my blog. The thing that I dislike is that sometimes it just seems like there is not enough to do. It will have about 2 weeks in a row that just says review and teaches no new skills. Maybe, for my family this is not good. During these times, we just supplement more. The Science is kind of integrated into the Social Studies. There is not much to it. We studied the native animals and habitats in our state, a little about nutrition, and we are now studying about the stars and planets. I think the thing I really dislike is the Math. It has a large amount of errors in it. They are aware of the problem and hopefully will issue new editions to correct it. I would not advise that you not waste your money on the teachers manual. It only has answers for math. You can work the problems yourself. The rest is not answers but guidance in your teaching. I did not find it much guidance. If you have a library near you, do not buy the reading books. There is one Indian reader that you need that Oak Meadow makes themselves. Overall, I liked the curriculum. It has great substance and teaches the child learning through his own research. My daughter expressed to me that she liked the independent work. I do supplement the website edhelper. I print out grammar,math and reading worksheets to make sure that she is at a 4th grade level and to plug in work when there is nothing but review in the curriculum.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Kindergarten Oak Meadow

Assalm alykom:

The first thing you need to know about the kindergarten is that it is VERY informal. It does not have the child reading. It only focuses on recognizing letters. It does not really even focus on writing them. My daughter was in a Pre-K 4 program and she knew all her letters and could read easy words. Once I started this program, I could see that it was not going to be enough for her. As far as math, it was only having them recognize numbers up to ten. She could already write them up to 100. I think if you have a child who your starting from scratch with, this would be fine. For reading them stories, they have the Beatrix potter stories in one book. You could save some money and just get them from the library. There is a nice craft book. I really should not have bought it because I have a passion for crafts and usually incorporate my own with my kids. I did buy the health book called Growing, Growing, Strong. It is used for the first three years. It is a really nice book. It teaches them about their body parts, germs, washing and more. It has nice activities and is put together very nicely. The rest of the curriculum has them connecting with nature and observing things outside, such as the change of seasons. Even though the kindergarten was less than I wanted, I am still going to purchase the 1st grade for her. I could see the reading book titles and they will be the level that she is at. I do not know about the rest. It is all a chance I have to take. However, based on the higher grades, it seems to be a good fit for my family.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

A Review of Oakmeadow

Assalam alykom:
I get quite a few private emails asking me what do I think about the Oak Meadow. I decided to just make it a blog entry and hope people can be helped from it. This entry is going to be the advantages and disadvantages of the curriculum in general. I used the kindergarten, 4th grade and 6th grade this year. There is a definate difference in the quality of each grade. It is not completely uniformed. I like some of the grades better than others. I would say one of the biggest advantages is that it is very affordable. Compared to other major curriculums, it is functional for a large family to be able to afford several grades. Another great advantage is that it is reusable from one child to another. There are no work books. There is only text books. The student writes all his work in a note book. This is great for someone who has four children like me. I can just pass it down to the next child with out having to buy anything else. Oakmeadow is designed to teach the child to independently learn and observe. Therefore, he or she is not just reading from a text book and then being tested on what he or she read. Nor, is he sitting down being drilled with worksheets. The student is continually researching and learning through writing assignments and projects. This could be an advantage or disadvantage, depending how your child learns. Because the price is low compared to other book companies, the text books are pretty plain looking. The ones I bought last year are all black and white photos and not very exciting looking to the student. I found each grade to be different and not all grades that I taught, I feel the same about. Stay tuned to my blog and I will go into more detail about each individual grade. One more word of advice, If you live in the States or Europe where there is easy access to the library, I would not buy any of the reading books. They are all common books that are found in the library. This will save you some money in the end.