Zentangles

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How does a room full of unschoolers manage to be so calm?

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What can bring together friends and family in quiet contentment?

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It's the magic of Zentangles!  If you haven't heard of this wonderful art form, you can read about it here and here.  There's a wonderful Flickr site filled with Zentangles too.  I first heard of it last year, but didn't pursue it.  Then, this January I took that machine quilting class with Ann Richardson and she talked about them again.  I figured I had better learn more about it.  I ordered a kit and was blown away by the beauty and simplicity of this technique.  I took it to a Mom's Night Out and hooked all of them.  Chloe took the idea and totally ran with it.  She has no problem coming up with ideas, so she prefers to make it all up on her own rather than following any directions.

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For all of these kids, this was the first time they tried it and the results are fabulous!

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One of the benefits to doing a Zentangle is the meditative practice.  Everyone who has tried it has really enjoyed the calming effect.  I've heard from several parents that their kids are now enjoying the act of making Zentangles in their free time.  

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The above is Chloe's.  She follows her own muse.  I am in awe of her creativity!

PS- The photos are taken inside Dudley's, the shop mentioned in the knitted tree post.  In fact, this big table is where the knitting group meets.

Pumpkin Time

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Life is super busy again.  I guess this is life with teenagers.  One is quite possibly going back to school in the next month or two and the other is in a full-on college readiness mode.  I see a future of campus visitations as we start to think about all the future brings. 

Meanwhile, last week was full with unschooling adventures including this trip to the pumpkin patch and corn maize.  Friday was the most beautiful day of the whole week- about 75 and sunny!  Woohoo- it was perfect for a day outside.

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The corn maize this year had a safari theme, hence the jeep above.  One interesting thing was that the corn didn't grow as tall this year so there were places that it was only 3-4 feet high.  Most of it was tall enough to be a real maze.   

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I've been feeling a little like this lately!

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We actually got a bunch of the COOL kids together for a photo.  That's Smith Rock State Park in the background.
 

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After the Corn Maize, it was time to head to the U-Pick pumpkin patch.  A lot of the pumpkins were rotten.  Probably from all the crazy weather we had in early October.
 
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Mt. Jefferson is a fine backdrop for this field of pumpkins.

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Some of us had a hard time leaving all those other pumpkins in the field!  Much discussion ensued over which ones were to come home with us.

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Ryan had a great time loading them up.

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This cat is really cool.  It looks like it was carved in while the pumpkin was still growing.

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We ended the weekend with a birthday party for my mom.  I made this table runner for her from some lovely autumn fabrics.

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Mom and Dad got home safely from a two month trip to Alaska in their RV.  They had many photos and stories to share.  To round out the evening we had apple and pumpkin pie.  Yum!
 
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Pumpkins, Apples & Leaves

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You couldn't have Fall without them! 

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The other day it was pumpkin carving time at our homeschool group.  I just love the variety!  Chloe's is the big one.  It's actually the pumpkin that Ryan picked out, but he doesn't care for carving so he lets Chloe do his.  I'll have to show you the other one that Chloe did when I get a photo. 

In the meantime here are some apple picking photos.  It was such a lovely day!  I could live in apple country!  I have decided that October is the most perfect month.  Perhaps this year's October spoiled me.  I've always loved Fall, but now I know that this month is Fall at its most perfect.  The days have been warm and sunny, nights downright cold.  We wake up to frosty mornings, but by the afternoon are wearing short sleeves and taking another wonderful bike ride.  I'm sorry to see this month go because our weather is finally turning.  I'll not dwell on that now though.

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Boo!

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In the final countdown to Halloween I wanted to show this little mini quilt I made for my October swap partner, Kay at The Wonky Quilter, in the 6"-12" mini quilt swap.  I had a lot of fun with this one.  I really wanted to do a word and you know how much I love Halloween.  It went together very quickly, even with the hand quilting.  As much as I enjoyed this I think I'll have to bow out of any more swaps for the next couple of months at least. 

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For the most part October has been a marvelous month for weather.  The notable exception being the day we went to the pumpkin patch.  It was frigid and we only went because it was the only day that our homeschooling friends could go.  We did have a great time doing the corn maze and came home with a couple of huge pumpkins.

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On another day we went to this pumpkin patch which had one of the most adorable kitties I've ever seen, who even posed for a photo.  They also had a fantastic zip line.  We were the only ones there on a Sunday morning, so the kids could take as many rides as they wanted.

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Our camping weekend was fantastic.  The weather was warm, the wildlife was abundant and Mark and Chloe had a wonderful time making some ghostly photos.

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This mule deer came right into our campsite, looking for a handout.  We didn't offer any, but did get several photos.

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We had lots of good bird sightings including a red-breasted sapsucker, magpie, ruby crowned kinglet and this handsome great horned owl.  It turned out the owl's roost was right over our campsite.  We found lots of owl pellets around the base of the tree.  My mom took this fabulous photo the day after we left.

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Yesterday we took a trip to the Hood River Fruit Loop for some apple picking.  Photos of that next!

Chautauqua

The Oregon Unschoolers' Chautauqua was a huge success with the most fabulous weather you could imagine!  The kids played outdoors nearly the whole time and I got some much needed rest and relaxation.  There were hikes.

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Beach rambles.

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Temari ball making.

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Watercolors on the beach using sea water.

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A sea lion who came to visit.

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Even some knitting.  These are two at a time on a Magic Loop with one of the Regia Kaffe Fassett sock yarns.

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It was a blast.  There are plans afoot to attend next year.  Now we just have to convince more of our COOL friends to come!

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