Thursday, July 25, 2013

Make and Listen Along: Making & Sharing Spaces

~ On Thursdays I will post what I have been making and listening to as creations grow. 
If so inclined post, on your blog or flickr, about what you have been making (on your own or with little hands by your side) and listening to while you create. It can be new music, flash backs, a song or a whole album... whatever you like. You can be stitching with needle & thread, yarn, paper crafting, painting, cooking... and beyond. Share what you are making and the tunes that are fueling your creativity. Then come back to my Thursday Make & Listen Along post and leave a link in the comments so we can be inspired right along with you! ~

I have been taking Lori's Master Class in Project Based Homeschooling and this week the emphasis is on environment, the spaces available for creating and project work. 

I decided to focus on our studio space first. For the kids it had become more of a place store work in progress, also known as the dumping ground, or just come get supplies to head off and work somewhere else. I was using it to do a lot of sewing, but with my personal project work pulling me more toward the computer and spending less time at the sewing machine there is really no need for the machine to be up all the time at this point. 
Also with the desk against the wall traditional style there was only room for one chair and therefore one hot body to sit and work. My plans for putting another table in here have not come to fruition and I need to work with what I have at the moment.

So it was the obvious place to start when looking at our creative space. 

This is what it looked like the day I walked in to start moving things around. Desk piled high with stuff,  a work in progress on the floor, books almost falling over on the shelf, art supplies crammed into boxes with said books falling over onto them... not exactly inviting.


The first change was to shift the desk. When I saw another class member had done this I knew it was just what was needed here.


As soon as furniture started moving my girl joined in because she loves, loves, to organize things. Please don't interpret this to mean that her room is clean all the time. We will share that in a minute.

We added to our nature art by putting up our Nova Scotia nature shadow box and the sweet acorn my mom's friend painted years ago (you know, when toll painting was all the rage.)


We placed all of the pens, pencils and markers on the windowsill for easy access to anyone working at the table. The box with painting supplies came out of the cave closet and under the desk for quick access.


The shelf needs a bit more work (for my stuff on the top two shelves) but the three lower shelves that are most used by the kids were simplified. On the two bottom shelves are their "skills" and project boxes. They have things in these boxes that we are working with to improve skills and they are also filled with project information and things in progress.

For that middle shelf we made a blank book and notecard box, moved their math manipulative box and wooden letters down so they could get to them themselves, filled two metal boxes with various sized index cards and post it notes, and placed their magnetic puzzle of the US there as they use it often.


 There is still work to be done (cleaning out the closets a bit more, making better use of the bulletin board and the addition of another chair) but as soon as the current changes were made the room was being used more... before I had even finished with cleaned up.

It is a work in progress and I expect more changes will come in the next few weeks.

My daughter, with the addition of a desk, has finally managed to organize her resources and specimens in a way that she is happy about. I thought I would share what she has done.


Her room is the brightest in the house with two windows and white curtains (with bugs on them) to let in a lot of light. She hung her solar system in a row in front of her big window over her desk. We gave her the big bookshelf when we moved here because the living room has built-in shelving. She loves that shelf. She is constantly moving things around. It this photo her lamps are on the floor (don't ask, I have no idea why) and the pile of books next to her bed is a constant, as she reads a ton but refuses to use the little chest of drawers next to her bed for books.

On the big bookshelf is a rotating display shelf, at the moment her fossil collection is on display.
Her guide books are on the shelf below with more boxes filled with specimens under that.


Her desk drawers are filled with more specimens. In this drawer is part of her rock collection.


And her top drawer is filled with her insect specimen boxes. Those are watchmaker cases, tin with clear lids, of which we obviously need more because the insect overflow is in the plastic bag!


While all of this organizing and making of better spaces was happening this was playing in the background, right along our old standbys

What have you been making?
What is on your playlist?
Please do share!



20 comments:

  1. Gah! F.'s collections are the best! Love that. I think I need those watchmaker cases for *my* dead bugs. Like the bumblebees in the attic which no one around here thinks are cool except for me.

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    1. Zombie bumblebees ARE cool!
      Those cases are too. The best thing ever for her insect collection.

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  2. thank you so much for sharing this <3

    love love f’s specimen and rock collections — and love how you’ve given her the freedom to decorate her room with what she loves!

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    1. Thanks for the inspiration Lori!
      F would have it no other way... Even if I wanted to try to change it! :-)

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  3. What fantastically lively spaces! I'm in love.

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  4. Where do you get the watchmaker cases, Dawn? Locally, or do you order them? I can see them coming in handy here for all sorts of things. My 9yo and 4yo also have rock collections...

    My studio needs work. It's on the summer list (which keeps getting derailed by illness and life). Had I known this was the week everybody was doing it I might have been inspired to get to it!

    Here's my post this week: http://amyhoodarts.com/2013/07/25/finally-some-making/

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    1. There is a link if you click on watchmaker cases in the post. We have not tried to get them since we have been back in the US but that was the Canadian company we got them from locally while in Nova Scotia. I need to check on how much it would cost to have them shipped here or try to find a US source. I will let you know what I find!
      Thanks for joining in this week!

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  5. I love seeing your spaces! Thank you for sharing.
    I have no idea how I missed the master pbh class. It would have been perfect for me to do while my 2 oldest were away. sigh. At least it will come around again..
    I'll be posting shortly :)

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    1. The class is GREAT Alex. Get in the wait list for sure (I think the next one might even be full but get in touch with Lori.)
      Looking forward to your post! Come back and leave a link!

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  6. I love what you have done with the studio room! I wish our windows in our back room were lower so that we could use them for art supplies. Instead, we are in the process of purging (I get all excited just saying the word!) the back room and getting rid of things that the boys are not using much or at all so that we can make room for open space. I'd like to have a cleared wall for a bulletin board for each boy plus a big table for their projects. My pet peeve is having things laying around on table and floors. This way they could keep out their work and it will have more meaning for them, knowing it's not just something to put away at the end of the day.

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    1. It sounds like you are on the right path Tam!
      A place to leave things out is so important!
      xo

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  7. Here is my post:
    http://lifeonacanadianisland.blogspot.ca/2013/07/make-listen-number-sixteen-lots.html
    :)

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    1. Thanks for joining in again this week Alex!

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  8. All I can say is that your daughter is living a rich life. What a life filled with knowledge and exploration. It feels like she is creating her own museum!

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    1. That is exactly what she wants to do. Her plan is to buy a great big house and live upstairs while she creates a museum down stairs. And everything would be free and hands-on!
      She has plans this girl of mine! ;-)

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  9. Dawn, I love this post! What neat kids you have!!! I have my masters degree in early childhood education and did my fair share of studying project work as well as implementing it in my classroom when I was a preschool teacher. I LOVE project work! Your creative studio looks fantastic! What a place to learn! (It's been a long week here and so I didn't get around to posting any make and listen. Hoping to jump on board again soon). :)

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    1. Thanks Summer!
      It is wonderful to see a spark that leads to a project and all of the creative work that comes out of it.
      The school right down the road from where you are has a Charter School within the school and they do a lot of project type work there. I don't know how much of it is child-led but I went to visit and they were doing some very neat stuff!
      I would love to have you join in again! Always fun to see what you are making and listening to.
      Hope you have a relaxing weekend!

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  10. I love to organize stuff, It's a weird hobby but it does make me happy when I do it. I love the table set longways from the window and the row of pencils pens and markets is beautiful! Your daughter's room is so much cleaner than when my daughter lived here...

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    1. It is a good hobby!
      Her room has it's moments. When I popped in to take photos it just happened to be a good moment. ;-)

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