Learning and Exploring

Photo: Ursa Minor and a “magic box” that makes whole entire decks of cards disappear! gasp


Over Christmas someone gave the boys a “magic” set full of some 150 pieces of plastic and stuff. The boys were thrilled. I was…less enthused… because omg so many pieces and they will all be lost in an instant. Also, it came with an entire instruction book full of all sorts of instructions and the boys are just earning their “functional reader” badges. I don’t need another thing to manage. “If you want to learn the magic, you’ve got to do the work,” I declared.

The box o’ magic tricks languished in the playroom for weeks and weeks. I was perfectly ok with that.

Well, in a fit of boredom over the weekend, Ursa Major unearthed the kit. In the unregulated zone that is the playroom, he opened the box and scattered all the pieces. He seems to have grasped on to the two most accessible tricks: one box that makes a single card “disappear” and another one that makes an entire deck of cards disappear. They are simple devices that I’m sure you’ve all seen before (if not, I won’t ruin it. Magic is real, ya’ll, and kinda sacred), but learning the trick still required a bit of reading, a bit of practice, a bit of confidence boosting.

There is nothing better in the whole wide world than listening to two little boys figure out something. I absolutely love listening to them discern and discuss, fight and regroup, discover and triumph. The best part is that the triumphs often come by accident. No less than three times over the last two days have I heard, “I did it!” “Oh yeah!? How?” “I…I don’t know. But I did it!” “Well, but, show me now!”

The featured photo is of the deck trick. Ursa Minor figured out how to do it by accident, then blew into the kitchen to show it to me. Of course it didn’t work. It took him a few tries to figure it out again. Once he didn’t, he couldn’t stop. I guess the manual doesn’t say anything about now showing a trick more than once. 🙂

I really must say, this is a fun age. Mom told me that this would be the fun age. “You get out of babyland, out of toddlerhood, and there is this sweet spot before it all goes to hell during puberty.”

Well, I guess that’s what this is. The sweet spot is pretty sweet. May it last forever and ever amen.

The boys weren’t the only people learning and exploring this weekend. I had a bit of time to work on my applique project and would love some feedback. Which do you think is better? This is angel with halo in front of the wings….


This is angel with halo behind the wings….


I’m pretty sure I know which one I like more, but I am getting mixed opinions and I’m curious what others think. Remember, there is hair to be embroidered onto the head and the halo, so the halo isn’t the main visual here.

And the wings won’t be those strange blobs. They’ll be bunched and textured with this perfect embroidery floss I found. I can’t wait to do those. They’ll make or break the piece.

I’m learning a lot about my vision for this project and I’m excited about the results so far. Despite how I feel about this weekend’s work, I think I might go back and cut again. While this won’t be a quilted piece (I’m going to be embroidering in the details and then matting for framing), I’m worried about the raw edges of cut pieces. But if I “turn” them, tucking them under so as to smooth things out, I’m worried that the dimensions will get all wonky… especially those arms. So, it’s back to the scissors for me. I’ve got plenty of fabric to play with… and who knows? These might still get used.

There are still a lot of details to work out before I can start putting things into place and actually start stitching. I think I might be going back to the fabric store. School vacation week next week is mighty inconvenient. I have plenty of knitting and writing to do in the meantime. And mothering… and all sorts of other important things.

Anyway, I’m writing this post as a reminder that good things can happen when boredom kids in and inspiration strikes. Don’t forget to do a little exploring and experimenting this week, Dear Reader. It’s good for the mind and the soul. You never know what you’ll come up with. Make room for the whimsy of learning this week and tell me all about it on Friday.

This week is ours, Dear Reader. Let’s make something wonderful out of it.

Until Wednesday, take care.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Trish says:

    Kuddos to the kiddos for 1. realizing WHERE to spread 5 million pieces and actually figuring out any of the tricks in the kit. 2. My own experience with kiddos and such things is limited to stepping on pieces, cursing then throwing the pieces back in the toy bucket. 3. Have you ever used MistyFuse with your applique? Quilter Sue Bleiweiss uses it a lot. You iron it on to the back of the fabric. It fuses one piece of fabric to another (usually the backing) and it keeps the attached pieces from fraying. I have some in white and in black if you want to give it a try.

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