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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Art History - Pieter de Hooch

It is art day here as I have been missing it. I thought I would head over to the best Charlotte Mason resource I know, www.AmblesideOnline.org and see what they had going on in their Art Schedules. One of the blessings of homeschooling is you don't have to follow anyone's schedules, but when you want to do so, they are there!

I had never seen Pieter de Hooch's art, but it is lovely and full of color and light. He was a contemporary of the Dutch Master Jan Vermeer, and you can see similar styles and certainly similar dress to his paintings. Pieter de Hooch's art is more delineated to me though - stronger lines and crisp. I like them both for different reasons!

Ambleside features three of his works:

Courtyard of a House in Delft, 1658, now in the National Gallery, London


I think this is very clean looking - even with the broom on the ground. I remember reading that the Dutch always liked their cities clean and had a cleaning day where the whole city essentially cleaned the buildings and the ground. I don't know if that is true or not, but I thought it was a great idea! This has that post-cleaning feel to me a little bit. 

Woman Peeling Apples, c. 1663, now in the Wallace Collection, London


This has an almost religious feel to me. I can't exactly say why. Perhaps it is a mother/child thing, but anyway, I love the domesticity displayed here - and such a clean home! The lines and details on the fireplace and the clothing are very appealing to me. Here you see the light coming through the window. I love the shadow of the light on the wall.

At the Linen Closet, 1663, now in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam


This is my very favorite of these three. I just love the deep rich colors and the fine detailed painting he showcases here. Do you see the bright sky through the window and the door? When you click on the close-up of the painting you see how much the artist uses white to highlight certain aspects that he wants to bring out. The light from the outside definitely draws the eye. I just love this one.

Had you ever heard of Pieter de Hooch's art? What do you think? I sure wish I could paint like that! 

To read more about him and see more of his art, you can visit these sites:



Monday, May 20, 2013

Late Monday Musings


What I'm thinking: That it is almost summer. That I am blessed to be a mama. That I have a wonderful husband. That I am so happy my daughter has such a wonderful young man in her life.

What I'm reading: Just started a book called The Bad Popes. Wow.

What I'm listening to: The sound...of silence.

What we're learning: How Kikkomann soy sauce is made! We went on a tour on Friday at one of their two US factories and wow, was it interesting! Math with Math Mammoth right now (via the Crew) and a little grammar here and spelling via The Phonetic Zoo there. I am going to start Classical Conversations' PreScripts Cursive with my two daughters soon too. No history or science right now as we are on a much-needed co-op break. I always hit a wall in May. I always have and probably always will. LOL

I am just getting ready to start reading Stories from the Old Squire's Farm that came to me courtesy of Paperback Swap. It has been on my wishlist for years. I couldn't believe I got it!

What I'm watching: We just wrapped up a season of Doctor Who and Elementary. What are you watching?

What's cooking: I love making huge salads that are filled with all sorts of things. I made a huge romaine salad tonight with the following ingredients: tomatoes, avocados, red onion, sweet pepper, garbanzo beans, hard-boiled egg, bacon, chicken and blue cheese crumbles. I make my own dressing out of apple cider vinegar, olive oil, garlic, Gulden's mustard, and Bragg's Liquid Aminos. It. Was. Delicious. It is one of our family summer (or summer weather) favorites. What do you love to eat when it is hot outside?

What I'm buying: I bought our family a brand new tent for Mother's Day. My kind of gift. :D

What I'm thankful for: That I live in California where the growing season is long and the fruits and veggies are delicious.

What I'm creating: Art lessons for fun for the kids over the summer.

What I'm praying: For all those in Oklahoma tonight that have lost loved ones or that still don't know if they have.

What I'm planning: Meals for the next two weeks. This freaks me out.

What we did this last weekend: We cleaned out the garage - which does not sound like much, but I love purging and wow, was it good to get it all delivered to the DUMP! We also had a lovely post-church afternoon at a dear friend's home.

What I'm looking forward to: Each and every day. They seem to keep getting shorter and shorter the longer I live. I don't want to squander them.

A picture to share:

Swing dancing with my girl. Love these two.



Have a beautiful week!


Friday, May 03, 2013

You know it's spring when...

When I start writing about gardens and post pictures of my EarthBoxes! I don't get paid a single dime from EarthBox.com, but I probably should! I just happen to love them because they work for us.

People often ask me if they work and what I plant. This is how we began our growing year--with snap peas:


Pretty unimpressive, right? Well, everything has a small beginning!

This is what it looks like now--just two months of growth:


And it produces such pretty flowers...


That turn into these...


They are sweet and delicious!

The ladybugs love them too. 

(Affiliate links below.)

Some of them might be from our own growing experience. We bought this ladybug kit and this is what they look like when the ladybug larvae arrive:


They eat and eat for days and the all of a sudden, something goes off in their tiny brains and they crawl up the side and hook onto it: 


Then they form a hard shell that is soft at first, but it hardens. 


Then the ladybugs come out! We let them go after a few days into our garden.


It was a quick process, but fascinating to watch! The other one we did was the butterfly kit. The kit comes with the net as shown in the photo on Amazon and then you order the caterpillars separately. Five of them arrived a lidded cup with their food:


Seems pretty unimpressive, right? :) It was to me, but I knew what would happen so we just left it on the counter and watched them grow. They almost look like they are dead, but they definitely are not. Talk about monster eaters and growers! They get big very fast and then over the course of a day or two, they form chrysalides and hang from the top of the container. Once that is done, you pin it to the side of the net and wait for them to emerge. All five of our caterpillars transformed. This is what one of our transformed painted lady butterfly look like!


As you can tell, we let them go. They are so lovely and such fun to watch emerge. I cannot recommend these kits enough.

We also bought Where Butterflies Grow book to go with it:


Spring or summer unit study!

Enjoy your spring!