Thursday, September 18, 2008

Online Education - learning at home

No, this isn't a post about homeschooling your children...I'm sure that will come in the future...maybe next year. This post is about continuing to educate home. The number of resources available on the internet is astounding.

Want to hear more about what you studied (or wanted to study) in college...listen to podcasts from Universities across the world.

Want to learn more about theology or biblical history without going to seminary...listen to entire semesters worth of classes on your Ipod while you are cleaning the house or folding your laundry.

A couple of drives back and forth to work/school/the store/playgroup could get you through an entire lecture series from your alma mater.

I recently started to listen to lectures from an apologetics class from Covenant Seminary. I was curious what else was out there, so I started searching...and guess what...almost every large university has some type of educational podcast or lecture series online.

I've started compiling a list of different here to see the whole list. Anything to add?

Just a couple:
Continuing to exercise your mind is a wonderful thing. God gave us minds that are curious about so many things...what are you curious about?

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Homemade Playfood: Sweets

So, I have a bit of a sweet tooth, and now a slight addiction to sewing playfood. Since my daughter also has a sweet tooth, and her birthday was a few weeks ago...everything lined up just right for me to work on this project. I have cookies, donuts, and cupcakes (one of which matches the actual m&m cupcakes that I made for her birthday). This is probably my favorite playfood project thus far. A little of this was done on a machine, but the majority was done by hand...but that gave me more time to listen to online apologetics lectures from my husband's school while I was sewing.

The cupcakes follow the same pattern as the muffins from my last post; the only difference is sewing yummy frosting and decorations to the top instead of fruits or vegetables.

For the donuts, I had to come up with a new pattern (to be attached in the near future). I found this tutorial for the donuts that helped a lot. The eclair is pretty easy since it is just an oval. So, with all of them, the donut was sewn and stuffed, then the icing was decorated, then finally, the icing was sewn onto the donut. I found two tricks that made the donuts easier (1) on the donuts with a hole in the middle...I cheated and just machine sewed really near to the edge on the interior hole...yes it shows a tiny bit, but my daughter hasn't mentioned the imperfection while playing with it, so I figure it's fine. (2) Second trick: If a hole is completely covered up, no one will ever know it is there...and it can save you a lot of time (this is a trick I learned from this site while I was sewing mama pads).

So, this means I sewed the outside circle (wrong-sides together), turned it right-side out, sewed the inner circle on the top of the fabric...then I cut a 1 inch slit that I knew would be covered by the icing. I jammed in plenty of stuffing then hand stitched my hole closed. At the time, it looked like donut surgery...but you can't tell the difference now, because it's covered by the icing.

I used the same trick on the eclair, but since there was no donut hole in the middle, I actually used the "hidden stuffing hole" to turn the fabric right-side-out, too (this is what the mama pad site used this technique for).

In the end, I think I liked the donuts best out of all of these.

Last, but not least, the cookies. Directions: cut two circles and an icing blob; sew icing blob onto one piece of cookie with sprinkles; sew two cookie circles together, pausing to stuff slightly before finishing. Definitely the easiest of these sweets.

Awww...look how happy she is opening her bakery box on her birthday.

And...she's actually played with them since!