Tag Archive | county fair

Joy in July

July is, of course, a month that starts out with a bang with Canada Day and July 4th. It is also my mother’s birthday and full on summer activity. We went to the Zoo, entered in the County Fair, and I even made a Dragon. July is always a busy month.

This July we had family come to visit. Nana and Baba drove up with the cousins. So there was lots to do with them. 

Beach trips.20170730_113832

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20170723_132541Baking and ice cream making.20170730_205050

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Visits to the park.20170727_121540

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It had been a while since all the kids were together. 20170728_215230

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We were invited to a birthday party at a park!IMG_20170716_185230_219

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Of course there was LOTS of time to get to know Neko-chan better. Seriously I am in love. And so you will be inundated with pictures of fluffy amazingness. I just wish you could feel her through the pictures. SO SOFT!!!20170726_085520

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We visited with Cousin Robbie. Still a family favourite. Echo even got to sit on his bike! He wears all the safety equipment in this helmet optional state.20170710_184225

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Of course we watched some soccer games.

Aidan

Aidan

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And walked to the YMCA … A LOT. Ken had a business trip in July and the YMCA being so close was a life saver.20170724_113302

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Emanuel and Echo even won a colouring contest

Emanuel and Echo even won a colouring contest

Trinity and Emanuel have continued in their Karate adventure. IMG_20170727_192510_458

We even saw some produce from our garden.IMG_20170711_125555_800

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Found a Canadian penny on a walk!!20170712_123407

Bought ice cream from a passing ice cream truck.. a first for all of us!20170711_145817

I found time for Tim Hortons… of course!20170722_134506

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Ken and I joined forces to create a lovely chalkboard in the front entry. He does an amazing job with ideas I come up with!20170709_163333

We even managed to squeak in school!IMG_20170718_103122_561

And did I mention I am obsessed with my chinchilla? Cuz…IMG_20170710_143514_920

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It was a great July!IMG_20170708_143810_491

Haku… The Process of Making a Dragon

So first and foremost… I got the most amazing idea and pattern off of DeviantArt thanks to Aphid777. Check her out, her patterns are not tested and often leave a lot of wiggle room, but if you are ready for a challenge and an amazing result – she is the best! Small-ish Haku can be found HERE, her profile link is HERE

Spirited Away is one of my all time FAVOURITE movies. And Haku one of my favourite dragons. So when I came across this gem on my random look through the artist’s fiber art, well I knew I HAD TO make one of my own (with Ken’s amazing help).

First off my supplies… I used Caron Simply Soft brand yarn and stills from the movie to pick my colours. I used white, blue mint, blackberry and soft pink. IMG_20170521_142549_579

For detail work Ken used roving wool from a variety pack we purchased off of Amazon. You really do not need much for this sort of detail work. The process he used is called felting. 

For the actual structure of the dragon we purchased 12 GA solid white insulated wire from Menards. We wanted to be sure the dragon could be shaped without snapping the wire and hold form. 

For whiskers and horns we used wrapped in DMC floss color matched from pictures and super glue for ends. (E6000 would work too, except we couldn’t find ours).

For stuffing I used the usual fluffy stuff you buy at Joann’s Polyfil.

I had Ken cut and double our body wire. We went longer than suggested so we could cut as needed. The length we used was around 62 inches… 31 inches when doubled over.IMG_20170521_142549_580

I did not place the wire in the body until I had crocheted a bit down the length, going around the wire once it was in the piece was one of the more annoying processes of the project.20170524_234055

I also varied my amount of stitches to meet the bottom center of the piece from what the artist did. Again this is all eye balling and personal preference. I found that once my head was formed putting a stitch marker on the top of the nose of Haku made it easier to eye ball my return to center.

The trick was to consistently add stuffing without over stuffing, but a long stick was quite helpful. 

Once you crocheted to the near end of the tail it was time to trim my end and cover it in electrical tape to avoid a sharp bit poking through. Then PATIENTLY decreasing until you tie off and finish.

The belly is an easy one piece. If I make this again I would consider making the entire structure longer (mostly for fun with posing) and that would change count. But her pattern was easy to read.

Ears are a quick process. Legs took more work. We used a single piece of wire threaded through the body to each leg for our assembly. And did not poke our wire through the side of the leg as indicated.20170708_174309

Feet were added after, easy enough. (and obviously legs and feet were AFTER mane, but you get the idea)

The mane and fluff at the end of the tail was hooked in like when you are hooking a rug. I made sure to face all my knots toward the front of the body and to keep them close to center. Eyeballing and what you like is key. Lengths do not matter, as once they are in you take a cat brush and brush them until they are fluffy and then trim. 

Before brushing

Before brushing

20170717_142120Message_1500517039610Ken felted in our details and BANG dragon! I am super pleased with the side view though we feel we need to work on our eyes to better get the front view. Though front on loses the body so… not the view I want anyway! 

And there you have it…. HAKU! Into the local county fair he went. (Like the next day after completion. Nothing like JUST meeting a deadline). End result – first place in crochet, storybook characters! Not bad! 20170728_194459

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Happy Year of the Rooster!

Chinese New Year is a holiday we have tried our best to celebrate for at least 5 or 6 years now. This is all thanks to the families of our two gorgeous god daughters (Anna and Isabella). Their moms are from the same city in China (Ghangzou) and have been kind enough to help us learn how to fully embrace this holiday. I love the changing date of the celebration based on the lunar calendar and it has come to mean more than the “traditional” North American New Years to me. We do a significant amount of preparation for this holiday, cleaning, researching and shopping for food, reading out favourite themed stories (The Runaway Wok by Ying Chang Compestine). This year it was Trinity’s turn to do a full on lapbook for the season. She worked really hard on it and it shows.IMG_20170128_134718_976

We finished up our day with take out from our favourite Chinese food restaurant – The Rose Garden.

I have worksheets to share:

  • Activity Village HERE
  • Education.com collection HERE and chicken collection HERE
  • Definitely make sure you search EnchantedLearning.com for their resources HERE

Books to suggest:

  • Happy Chinese New Year, Kai-Lan! HERE
  • The Nian Monster by Andrea Wang (a new book for us!) by Andrea Wang HERE
  • Celebrate Chinese New Year by Carolyn Otto HERE
  • Chinese New Year Crafts by Karen E. Bledsoe HERE
  • Chinese New Year by Grace Jones HERE
  • Celebrating Chinese New Year by Diana Hoyt-Goldsmith HERE
  • Chinese New Year by Ann Heinrichs HERE
  • Long-Long’s New Year by Catherine Gower HERE
  • The Runaway Rice Cake by Ying Chang Compestine HERE
  • Fortune Cookie Fortunes by Grace Lin HERE
  • Red Butterfly by Deborah Noyes HERE
  • Red Kite, Blue Kite by Ji-li Jiang HERE
  • Kai-Lan’s Great Trip to China HERE20170131_140611

And a few DVD’s for you to hunt down:

  • Celebrate With Kai-Lan! HERE
  • Stone Soup (a read-along) HERE

Of course there is the lapbook Trinity used! Currclick has it for 3.00 HERE. This is put out by A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks.20170222_184327

20170222_18431020170222_184322And don’t forget our yearly video!

For our Chicken/Rooster research we had a couple books as well:

  • Chickens by Katie Dicker HERE
  • Young Chicken Farmers by Vickie Black HERE

I used this amazing designer to make this year’s Zodiac animal – the rooster. I used her last year to make a monkey as well (see my County Fair post from last here HERE). Her site is called All about Ami and you can find her rooster pattern HERE and the monkey HERE.IMG_20170128_134658_879

We also splurged this year and bought two dresses for the girls off of Amazon. They were not overly expensive and definitely not high quality, but so cute!IMG_20170128_134638_408

Of course we also picked up new shirts for the boys at Walmart. And buzzed the twins’ heads. New clothes and fresh haircuts in a clean house. And I mean CLEAN! We threw out, sorted, donated… you name it we got rid of excess. And it felt amazing. So Happy Chinese New Year All! Let’s hope the year of the Rooster is auspicious and prosperous!20170128_132722_HDR

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The girls love to sort through their toys and find theme friendly pieces.

The girls love to sort through their toys and find theme friendly pieces.