Weekly Wrap-Up: Summer Projects

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While the kids aren’t quite done with school this year (we have one last American History Club meeting next week that the kids are slowly working on their projects for), they are done with full days of school for the month. To celebrate summer vacation, we managed a trip to the book store and craft store where both kids got to each choose a book.

The used book store was first. Miss Adventure found her book quickly – Midnight (Warriors: The New Prophecy, Book 1) by Erin Hunter. There are several different Warriors series. This one happens to be about cats, but if you prefer a different anthropogenic animal, you can also have bears (the Seekers series) or dogs (the Survivors series). Erin Hunter is a pseudonym for five different authors who play different roles in creating the books and series. If she likes the books, at least she won’t run out of books to read any time soon!

Mr. Curiosity had a much harder time coming up with anything to read. He was interested in The Ruins of Gorlan, the first book in the Ranger’s Apprentice series by John Flanagan, but of course they didn’t have the first book. We came home and requested it from the library, so he will get to read the book soon enough.

Mr. Curiosity did have better luck at the craft store. He’s really been enjoying doodling and sketching and other drawing activities, so I pointed him towards a Zentangles book, specifically Joy of Zentangle: Drawing Your Way to Increased Creativity, Focus, and Well-Being by Marie Browning. It introduces Zentangles (essentially little doodles), provides some drawing instruction, and then shows how to do different patterns. Mr. Curiosity has made about a dozen in the 24 hours we’ve had the book, and he immediately went on the website to order official Zentangle sketching squares.

Here’s an example of what he’s done so far:

Mr. Curiosity's favorite Zentangle so far

Mr. Curiosity’s favorite Zentangle at the moment

I pushed Miss Adventure in a different direction. She learned to crochet from a kit she got for her birthday, but the kit limited the patterns to squares and circles. I thought she might like to try a fancier pattern, and as soon as we saw Nicky Epstein Crochet for Dolls: 25 Fun, Fabulous Outfits for 18-Inch Dolls by Nicky Epstein, we knew we had a winner. These are definitely more complicated projects. Part of the trick is just learning the terminology and abbreviations. She decided to start with the Southern Belle circle vest, and made it through the first round and half of the next (with several stitches ripped out and two trips to the internet to interpret the pattern or look up a stitch) before her hand got tired. It’ll definitely keep her busy. I just find the staging of the images used in the book to be quite amusing. The dolls are set up like a real model would be, with all the proper accessories and surrounding paraphernalia to sell the outfit.

I’m just happy the kids found some good projects to keep themselves busy when it’s too hot to play outside over the summer. I’m sure we’ll be reading quite a few books as well. I’ll be sure to share some of our favorites.

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