27 October 2011

Un Lieu Sur Terre on "M6" French TV Channel website

Sometimes I google my brand name to see what comes up. 
Do you do that too ?

Well, turns out that this morning I discover that a journalist wrote a nice article. 

Sweet !

So here is the "Google translate" translation 

since the article is originally written in French : 

"Textiles and objects bucolic"
A Place on Earth is the story of a mother called Lila who loves to tell storiesthrough objects that surround it. His work focuses on two values: thehandmade and respect for nature. Presentation of bucolic creations and ecological Lila.

The designer has inspired more than one string to her bow, she speaks as well as screen printing lino printing, appliqué, hand sewing and machine,fabric painting, mono prints, but also the use of raw materials ... All these skills combined give creations handmade textiles that tell stories withpoetry and refinement. Each piece is unique and emphasizes positive thinking through messages, to provide inspiring objects of well-being and belief in themselves. The textile designs are transformed in turn intocushions message, chairs "upcycling", in talismans or postcards.

The sign A Place on Earth is also environmentally friendly and has decidedto use only recycled materials or fair trade and organic farming in order to leave a small footprint on the planet.

Deco ideas on Deco.fr: ecological creations of a place on Earth - with M6DECO.fr D & Co http://www.deco.fr/actualite-deco/402316-creations-ecologiques-lieu-terre.html # ixzz1c3VKznhI

19 October 2011

Les Amanins

Last August I attended one of the best educational workshop I could find in France.
I heard about this "Ecole du Colibri" while reading Pierre Rabhi's books and watching the great documentary by Coline Serreau called "Solutions locales pour un desordre global".

I heard about the school and the documentary they made about their school. I got so impressed that I called them up and signed up for their workshop. 
The learning style was something I personally never heard of.
 It is called " Cooperative pedagogy" and could be defined like this ::

This pedagogy of the project allows students to enter an experimental approach in which he constructs hypotheses, edited, modifiesenriched with direct knowledge of the meaning and which would be usefulThey are encouraged to work in partnership with others to collaborative work to achieve a common goal. It is this "common purposeis the theme of the project and gives meaning to the actions taken. The teacher is there to supervise, support and especially not to work in place of the student. He supervises and directs the child if it gets lost or discouraged.

Since September 2006, the project includes Amanins of an elementary school. One of the objectives that had set the association: "the education of future generations to respect for the individual and the environment" and past experience of  Isabelle Peloux, wife of Michel Valentin and active member of project, spurred the creation of this school. Isabelle Peloux, formerly a teacher in the Lyon region, was felt with great dismay the gradual disappearance of the link between school and human activities. The establishment of a school in which learning integrated with life and actually make sense for it was a kind of dream. The project Amanins with its diversity of activities: agriculture, construction, energy ... the natural setting in which it occurs, and professionals from all sectors that circle was the perfect opportunity to realize this dream, for to emerge from the earth that allows a school to work on the problem of "what children we leave to our planet"
This school took the name "School of the hummingbird," referring to the tale of South America often quoted by Pierre Rabhi in his lectures:
"One day, says the legend, there was a huge forest fire. All animals terrified and appalled watching helplessly disaster. Only small hummingbird was busy, fetching a few drops of water in its beak to throw on the fire. After a moment, the armadillo, annoyed by his actions ridiculous, said "Colibri!You're not crazy! You think it's with these drops of water are you going to put out the fire? "The hummingbird replied then," I know, but I do my part. "Legend has it that each animal be concerned that their own way did his part and that the forest was saved! "
The moral of this tale is that individual actions no matter how small it is important. The school's Colibri is a place where we seek the smallest possible thing to improve, change to evolve in her work and go to the other.
You will understand that school is not an ordinary school. The service differs from conventional schools.

We started slowly implementing it at home. 
It does not come "natural". 
It is something you need time and effort to make it part of way of living. 
But it is so worth it !

Thank you,  Isabelle for all your kindness in sharing your experience with us.
Thank you for all the fun we had playing the "cooperatives games".
I hope to come back next year.

16 October 2011


I was reading the other day,  

"Mind are like parachutes, they work only when opened"

I have to add this quote to my other favorite ones which is 
"It is not about the path, it is about the journey".

So far our debut with homeschooling  had highs and lows. 
It is to be expected. 

We are getting familiar with the unfamiliar setting (home), the unfamiliar teacher (me) 
and the unfamiliar schedule (mornings mostly, or when we travel it is whenever we can adjust place and timing to make it happen).

 I am slowly realizing that it does not have to be in the same setting (aka our office room turned into a school room). It is actually good for everyone's sake when it happens in different type of environement (indoor / outdoor).

I downloaded a bunch of pictures the other day and thought
 that it will be nice to share some with you.

getting familiar with Montessori materials for our big girl 

A really easy one as a first step, back at the end of August...
She is now adding thousands as easily as the 8+3
that was given for reminding her where to place value
(Mom, that's way too easy for me !)

{PS : Simone , you are my hero!}

mixing the old material (from her great teacher
from last year and the new one (among them : Stories starters)

too nice to stay indoor : class in the park

What i enjoy the most :: girls cooperating (here on a geography project)

MORE on the "Cooperation factor" later...

Yep : sewing is part of our homegrown curriculum.
Just like many homeschoolers out there ( Hello !!)

(I am all about hybrid: a mix of Montessori + Waldorf philosophy)

Miss Tessa reading to her big sister
(Alana was patient since Tessa is a beginner  but eager reader)

Alana focused on her "stamp game"

I also wanted to share something that I found out via this great blog 
that I follow regularly.

This is what seems to be the first documentary on homeschooling.

3StoryFilms is working on an upcoming documentary entitled:
Class Dismissed: Education And The Rise Of Homeschooling In America
Class Dismissed will be the first full-length documentary devoted to exploring homeschooling as a viable alternative to the industrial school model. This film will show how homeschooling is not only rapidly growing in popularity, but how it crosses all social and economic boundaries and covers a wide spectrum of the population. It will answer the questions that many people have and break down the myths that surround homeschooling.
Class Dismissed will challenge its viewers to take a fresh look at what it means to be educated, the difference between education and schooling, while offering up a radical new way of thinking about the process of education.
For information about the filmmakers, to see videos, read their blog, or donate to the project, visit the link above or check out their Facebook page.

15 October 2011

The Fibershed : a homegrown wardrobe

I found this great blog and really nice concept via my Eco Etsy online group. 

It is SO inspirational. 

"Except for notions (buttons, zippers, etc), everything in Rebecca Burgess' wardrobe has been grown and designed within 150 miles of her home".

Might not be highly realistic for everyone out there... 
But, really,  how cool is it that you could tell the name of the sheep 
who provided their wool to knit your sweater !??!

And oh, I like very much  the "zenish" atmosphere of her home !

Can someone tell me where to 
find this "pedal wool spinner" ? 

It looks very meditative !

She has a really nice blog .

I truly invite you to go visit it 

01 October 2011

Is this a chicken coop ?

Oh! that "big move" coming up pretty soon is certainly keeping us busy! We have been down that path many times to know the feeling. But with age (yep!) comes a different way of dealing with stress level. Well, at least for now (J-3 months) . So far, so good ! We will see how the last weeks in our current home will truly be. 
Hopefully not as frantic as the ones we experienced 5 years ago when we left Sunny California for Paris, France.

Right now, the energy around our house is spent on dreaming.

So today I would like to share with you our new craze :: chicken coops !

We first went to our local and very well supplied library and gathered as many as we could find books on bees, goats, chickens, gardening.

Then came the search online...

First on Etsy 

Chicken Ark down payment
Found via Chicken Ark

And finally from Designer  + magazine websites ::

Handcrafted Chicken Coops by Drew Waters

Handcrafted Chicken Coops by Drew Waters
(This one reminds me of the inside of our girls miniature doll house !)

Breed Retreat by Frederik RoijéBreed Retreat by Frederik Roijé

found via Ready Made + Design Milk

But our favorite one is the most definetely this one ::
(I know, this is NOT the true "Laura Ingalls and Co" type of chicken coop)
But it looks really neat and seeminlgly easy to clean.
And it comes in different colors ;)

The next question is :: how many chicken ? 

 What do you think ?