Monday, February 11, 2008

I have been working towards my Masters in Library Science so that I can return to education as a school librarian. One of the professors in the program is Dr. Lesesne; her speciality is Young Adult Lit., and she maintains a blog with wonderful reviews of current Young Adult fiction (wow, is it different than it was 25 years ago!). I haven't had the pleasure of taking a class from her (the university is in Huntsville, Texas, and she's taught classes at distance ed locations almost everywhere but here, it seems!), but I love to read her blog. I found this there, and thought it was really wonderful. Words, even as few as six at a time, can be powerful.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Back to School

Another first day of school-- and I can't believe I'm the mommy of a fourth grader! The youngest is in first grade-- how did THAT happen?! (She picked out that outfit herself, and directed me in fixing her hair. I'm so glad ONE of us has some sense of style!)

I'm in school, too-- taking Children's Literature this semester through Sam Houston. This one is almost entirely online, and it's an amazing amount of reading! Not only do we have more than a dozen books on the class list, we have to pick a book for each of about twenty awards! It's a good thing I like children's literature!

This has been a terrific class, not only because I'm enjoying the reading, but also because I'm discovering great books for my girls!

In class, the professor had us choose a children's picture book to analyze the art. Where the Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak, is the "perfect" picture book: as the boy goes deeper into his imaginings, the pictures take up more and more of the "white space" on the pages. As he sails towards home, the pictures (and his imagination) get smaller.

The book I chose was Zen Shorts, by Jon J. Muth. A panda, named Stillwater, appears in the backyard of two children. He shares three stories, each of which offers the children a new perspective on the world and on each other. Muth uses soft, gentle watercolors to tell the main body of the story; the three "zen" stories Stillwater shares are illustrated in playful ink drawings.

Meg's favorite stories in my collection for class are the Mr. Putter and Tabby stories, by Cythia Rylant. Both Mr. Putter and Tabby are old, but they share adventures and learn something new in each story! These stories are illustrated by Arthur Howard in pencil, watercolors, and pastels; the illustrations are cartoonlike and playful-- I enjoy these almost as much as Meg does!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Socks, Jersey, and Bedtime

These are the socks that I finished this morning!
My husband has been working in St. Helier, on Jersey, for the last 4 months-- the OLD Jersey, the Channel Island off the coast of France. Part of the "deal" for him going was that his family got to visit him there, which meant I made my first international trip this summer! It was a wonderful place to start; Jersey is under the umbrella of the United Kingdom, so it's very British. As we (mostly) speak the same language, it was an easy first international trip! I travelled there alone in June, then took our girls for 10 days at the end of July.

Joey is staying at a simply lovely bed-and-breakfast in St. Helier; one of the girls who works the desk is Sigi. She's Austrian, but speaks English fluently, and from what I could tell, French, too! She was one of the nicest people you could ever hope to meet-- she always had a few minutes to visit, and couldn't have been kinder to the girls. I know she had days off, but she would be there when we left to explore the island in the morning, and still be at the desk after dinner. I made these for her in hopes that she'll remember to take time to put her feet up!

This is at Greve de Lecq, on the northern coast of Jersey. The beaches are very rocky in places; the tide goes out up to 40 feet, so at low tide, lots and lots of beach is exposed-- and the beaches can look different at every visit! The girls especially enjoyed exploring the tide pools when the tide was going out-- we found lots of red anemones, limpits, and even a small fuscia jellyfish!

And this would be me and a Jersey Cow (in the Jersey Museum, although we did see lots of "real" ones!). And yes, they do make the best milk in the whole of the wide world. Exceptional ice cream, wonderful "Lemon Curd" yogurt. . . waaaayyy too good, probably.

I have more projects than I care to admit to, but I find it impossible to resist the temptation to add more to my pile. (I'm currently working on the Bauhaus Fair Isle sweater from Interweave Knits for my husband, French Girl's Chantal cardigan for my sister-in-law-to-be, and I have socks to create for Birgit, another young lady at the B&B in Jersey!) This stunning yarn was purchased from Catherine of MamaLlama! I knew her "back when"-- from our knitting group that started three years ago. She's an excellent knitter who has followed her talents into creating beautiful hand-dyed yarn!

I found this on her Etsy site and just knew it needed to be made into Jane's Hedgerow Socks from Knitter's Review!

And now, as I go to put my darling daughters to bed, I leave you with "The Bedtime Song".

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Another "cheater" blog entry, but I found this at Lissa's blog and thought it was wonderful! I have yet to read David Copperfield, but will be certain it's on my list (Mother and I watched the entire BBC production of Bleak House in Crested Butte this summer, and it's my goal to have it read before the girls go back to school!)

You're David Copperfield!

by Charles Dickens

Coming up from a childhood that felt abusive, you have risen through
hard work to gain a place of stature in your life. You've spent altogether too much time
in factories and end up misspelling a fair number of words. But in general you are seen
as a beacon of hope for others who might not be as fortunate. Lots of people keep
mistaking you for a magician and are waiting for you to disappear.

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

I've started an actual knitting entry, and will post that once I'm back to my own computer. We flew home from Crested Butte yesterday, and I have yet to get my own computer plugged in!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Work it Baby!

Two finished items to share! And I had my bestest models to show them off!

The first is A-Clapotis-of-My-Very-Own. Since everyone who's picked up needles in the last three years has done one, it seemed appropriate for me to finally create one of my own! (Sadly, this is the first knitted item I've worked for myself-- everything heretofore has been a gift, and often gifted before I could be bothered to take pictures. This is truly a celebratory entry!

Started June 17th and completed July 6-- while in the Channel Islands and then in Colorado!
Yarn: Handmaiden Silk Maiden in "Yarntopia" colorway

Dragonfly Shawl, pattern by Yarntopia's own Karen Edmondson (I am a true fan!)

Started June 27 and finished July
Yarns: Manos del Uruguay as the base, Dragonfly (Crystal Palace), a couple of Tilli Thomas ribbon yarns, Little Flowers, and a black chenille (Project was underwritten by my mother, who thankfully supports my habits, making the TT yarns possible!)

My brother John is tying the knot on October 13 to a women who is absolutely terrific (she seems to mostly like us, too, which works!); her wedding colors are red and black, so this is for Kelly.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Friday, February 23, 2007

Oh my. Blogger has changed things while I've been away. Hopefully I can catch up!

Found this and laughed so hard I just had to share. One of my (future) professors at Sam keeps a really good blog (YA literature), and she had hers posted. Go find your aliases-- this was quite funny!

Jennifer Kristine Haveman's Aliases

Your movie star name: Almonds John

Your fashion designer name is Jennifer Amsterdam

Your socialite name is Ninny

Your fly girl / guy name is J Hav

Your detective name is Elephant Stratford

Your barfly name is Gruyere Tequila

Your soap opera name is Kristine Bella Vista

Your rock star name is Licorice Speedboat

Your Star Wars name is Jenidg Havmik

Your punk rock band name is The Frazzled

I'm still knitting (a little faster now!) I'm currently working on a faux-Fair Isle baby sweater for my niece, who shall be joining us in late May or early June. I've got Fiber Artist felted slippers on the needles (made a pair for my lovely MIL for Christmas, who commissioned a pair for her sweet neighbor), "Chantal" (another French Girl pattern!) just started, and a scarf from Scarf Style started for my Aunt Linda (it's made from "Touch Me" yarn-- the absolute softest, best behaved chenille!, with a cable up the middle. Kind of a "take a break" project as it's fairly repetitive. Only had the yarn waiting for a year now-- at least it's guaranteed to be cold in Chicago next year!)

I've also started the Master of Library Science program at Sam Houston State University. They have a satellite program here, so I'm able to attend classes less than 10 minutes from home, and do most of my classwork online! Now that my baby is in Kindergarten, I have a little freedom to return to teaching-- but in a different form, this time. I DO beg Sheryl and Amy for more knitting classes to teach, since it's a wonderful study break. (YOU buy the world a Coke and teach them how to sing, and I'll teach 'em all to knit. Share the love however you can!) I'm taking two classes-- an "Organization of Collections" class, which is eating my lunch (you know, those Dewey numbers don't come already-printed. Who would've thought?! And the magic of the online library catalog search? Somebody has to input that "magic" and do it RIGHT for it to work. Yep.) and a lovely "Collection Development" course, which is kind of fun. Policy development now, but censorship is on the horizon! (Check out the Newberry Award winner for this year. I haven't read it yet-- it's on my bedside table, though. You'd think the ALA might want to avoid controversy like this, with all the wonderful children's lit that's available. It has a pretty good premise, though, with lots of potential-- I'll let you know!)

O.k., Kristine Bella Vista is going to go eat dinner with her husband, maybe watch a movie. I'll be back later with pictures! (of the knitting. JUST the knitting.)