Saturday, 29 December 2007 05:00

PDF Creator

Today’s free homeschool resource is PDF Creator. PDFCreator is tool to create PDF files from nearly any Windows application. Use it in any program you can print from. It is particularly useful for creating electronic homeschool reports to be emailed or stored on CD. Have you designed something in Word and want to send it someone and keep the formatting you used? For instance, you recently downloaded a cool font and created something with it. Odds are that others don’t have that font. Print it to PDF!
Friday, 28 December 2007 05:00

Happy 4th Day of Christmas!

Well, this has been another interesting Christmas at the Entmoot Academy. Usually I get sick at Christmas. Normally it is bronchitis—this year it was my lower back. I could barely walk on Christmas Eve, and I couldn’t straighten myself out. Christmas Day was a bit worse, but now I am finally getting more mobile in an upright position. This has really limited some of the things I normally do at Christmas. My cinnamon dough ornaments have still not been completed. They sit forlornly on the cookie sheet we baked them on. I have a spray can of polyurethane to spray them with, but that hasn’t been done yet. We obviously cannot give them out for Christmas gifts, but we could at least put them on the tree. Maybe I will feel up to it today. Who knows! We had Gregg’s mom, sister and her family here for Christmas Day. His uncle and my mom were sick, so they couldn’t join us. We had a good time anyway. The kids received some great gifts that they really liked. Since I wasn’t very mobile, I got to sit back and watch everyone else do all the work. Gregg brought me my plate…
Sunday, 16 December 2007 05:00

Cinnamon Dough Ornaments

Well, yesterday we started working on our Cinnamon Dough Ornaments. I have to say we will never make these again. Most people are just more able to pull off these crafts. I am hopelessly craft-LESS. I'm also very tactile oriented, and the feel of the dough was more than I could handle. And I smell cinnamon everywhere. I baked them last night, and they are sitting on the counter waiting to be shellacked and then decorated. I don't know where the shellac is, so we will have to wait for Gregg to get it out of his shop. Actually, I may get Gregg to shellac them so that I don't smell shellac and cinnamon all day. Then we will decorate with glitter glue. I thought about going ahead and decorating with the glue, but decided against it. The shellac should keep the glitter glue from soaking into the ornament. Actually, they may turn out nice yet. I'll post again when we've finished and give an update. In my next post, I will post how we have made ornaments in the past.
Sunday, 16 December 2007 05:00

Stained "Glass" Ornaments

The past three years we have made what we call Stained "Glass" Ornaments. They are not glass at all. First we design the ornaments using a print or graphic program. We start with a circle, and then put our design inside. The simpler the design the better. You can use a different shape than circle, but those seem to be easiest for us. I prefer to use Celtic knotwork or imagery inside of mine. Here is a generic one we made last year. Then we print it on inkjet transparencies in black using mirror-image setting. Be sure to set the paper setting to transparency, otherwise it won’t be very visible. It would work much better to print on a laser printer using laser printer transparencies, since you wouldn’t have the coating to deal with. The inkjet transparencies are not cheap, but a hundred of them will last for a long time if you are careful with them. Next we paint them using glass stain or sun-catcher paint you would purchase at a craft store. We use both the type that has glitter and the regular type. They coordinate well on the ornament. Be sure to paint on the side that…
Saturday, 15 December 2007 05:00

Christmas Thoughts

My favorite time of the year is Christmas. I'm usually the first to put up my Christmas tree, and the very last to take it down. Our family has several traditions that we love to incorporate into our Christmas in order to really focus on Christ. We've pulled some traditions from liturgical churches, just because we love Christmas so much. As I have already blogged that we were late putting up our Christmas tree, it should come as no surprise that we are behind on most of our traditions. Last Sunday we finally got our tree up and decorated (after a trip to our local Walmart at 12 midnight to pick up more lights for the tree). Everything else is still sitting in boxes in a spare room. My crèches are still boxed up, the Christmas dishes aren't being used. We did wash the holly glasses, and I am using a Christmas mug my mom gave me. That's about it. Am I being a humbug? No, I'm just soooo fatigued and sick of being sick. I'm so dispirited that we haven't done more by now. Today, amid laundry duties (because I don't think that anyone in the house knows how…