Saturday, February 6, 2016

December Reflections ~ The Last Half {A Little Late!}

Obviously I am a little late sharing this post, but I am trying to be a little better at finishing my series of posts when I start them! 

In December, I participated in Susannah Conway's December Reflections. I completed the prompts on my Instagram, and also shared the first 15 days here on my blog. But I forgot to share the last half of December! 

So here they are...

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Nature Inspired Art & Music Appreciation ~ January

As part of my nature study goals for 2016, I planned on adding a little art & music appreciation. I will do quarterly "reports" on my nature study but for this, I am hoping to check in at the end of each month.

In January, I started this study very simply and enjoyed that intentional addition of art and music to my days very much. I thought I would share with you, in case you are interested in adding a little bit of art and music to your days too. This past month was classical but I am not sure yet if each month will have the same "flavour", I am open to whatever inspires me! 

For art appreciation, I wanted to look at winter scenes, especially scenes with snow. I found several that I loved and created a Google Art Project gallery. You can see my gallery here: Winter.

I have always loved Monet's work and found The Magpie my favourite this past month. I set it as my computer's background so I could see it everyday, many times a day. I printed a small version and added that to my nature journal. 

I read the commentary on the Magpie at the Musee D'Orsay site, where it is currently. I also read the entry in Wikipedia about this painting, which led me to look up other winter scenes by Monet. 

Claude Monet painted "La Pie", an oil on canvas, during the winter of 1868-1869 in Normandy.

The Magpie by Claude Monet. 

For music, I listened many times over the month to Vivaldi's The Four Seasons: Winter. I used the Winter Nature Study with Art and Music Appreciation by Barbara McCoy (from Handbook of Nature Study) . She had shared a beautiful performance by the United States Air Force Band. I listened to this one too many times to count, really! I love it. I also found an old CD we had of The Four Seasons and put that on several times in the my kids have listened to this piece many times too! 

For fun, I searched this piece on YouTube and found many great videos, and also came upon this one by The Piano Guys. It blends the modern Let It Go (yes, from Frozen) and Vivaldi's Winter. I like this one too!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

The Pumpkin Passport ~ 2016 Year Long Cross-Stitch Project

A new cross-stitch year long project and a cup of almond milk hot chocolate...

In November 2012, I started doing a little cross-stitch project. I hadn't done any since my early 20s! It was an adorable pattern from The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery and since then, I have completed several of their patterns. Last year was so busy for me with starting my Etsy shop that I didn't have much time to dedicate to a year long project. I am not sure if I have more time now, but I did miss that type of project so I signed up for this year's Pumpkin Passport

Each month, there will be a new country to stitch. January is England. The rest of the year is a mystery!

So far, I am caught up, with the Let's Go for An Adventure title and the first month completed! I only left out the bottom frame as I prefer to wait until I have one design at least done underneath the title. This is going to be a really fun project with twelve different countries showcased. 

Cross-stitch takes time and is not something that can be rushed through. I enjoy it, I usually work on this while watching a movie or an episode of a tv series. I do like to take it along with me too, and have in the swimming lessons and other similar places where I have to sit for a while, waiting for one of my kids. 

If you are interested, you can still sign up for this year long project, check out the details at The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery. They also have many other cute projects!

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Nature Anatomy: The Curious Parts & Pieces of the Natural World ~ Book Review

Nature Anatomy is written and illustrated by Julia Rothman with help from John Niekrasz. I read this book as part of my Nature Study Goals for the year. This is the second book I have read so far. You can see my to-read book list here, and what I read so far here. 

image from Goodreads

The beautiful illustrations drew me in right away! Once I started reading, I was hooked by the content too. Each chapter is filled with interesting information about nature, from weather to things you might see on a hike to a great section on birds, and so much more. 

Check out this link to Julia Rothman's website to see more inside pages of the book!

This book is going on my wish list, it will be difficult to return it to the library! I have found myself picking it up many times after I finish reading it, just opening it at a random page and enjoying reading over again small sections at a time.