Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Mississippi Review - Part 1

As I mentioned last Friday I spent last week in Hattiesburg, Mississippi on a university run education/volunteer trip, and man, it was awesome!

on our way!

We spent 2 days driving down to Mississippi before spending 5 very busy days in the South, and then packed up for 2 more driving days to get home. It might sound crazy to spend 4 days driving for only 5 days there, but it was well worth it and made the trip far more affordable for everyone.

Of the 5 days there, 3 were spend volunteering, and two were spent seeing sights and learning about the civil rights movement!

I'm going to write a bit about my volunteer experience now, and I'll write about the traveling and tours a bit later in the week.

My Class!

My volunteer placement was at an Elementary school. I worked in a grade four class with one of the other volunteers on the trip, and we got to do a variety of different things during the days there. The main thing we did during our time there was to simply spend time helping kids with there work, and giving them one on one attention. We also helped the teacher make some posters for her classroom for the upcoming state testing. The most fun thing we did was to spend some time teaching the kids about Canada. It was so fun to hear there questions, and to talk about the similarity's and differences between our two countries. We also helped out at the after-school programs for reading and math. I quickly remembered how hard long division is!

The Friday after we left was their Black History Month Assembly, so we got to watch them practice for that a bit which was so much fun! The kids were adorable!

To be completely honest, I don't know how much I did in those three days, I mean I helped a few kids get through there reading, and made some posters, but in three days, not much can be done. I do know though, that I learned a lot about how amazing those kids are and how hard teachers work! I learned about the different things  that children experience depending on where they live, but I also realized, kids are kids. They are happy awesome little creatures, and so often they can find the positivity where "adults" fail too. I try my best to see the good in everything, and these kids sure showed me how to do that!

And a bonus, Southern kids have the cutest accents ever! And the amount of sass that they could toss out in one sentence was amazing! I may have been caught saying y'all all 3 days I was with them.... it was awesome.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Something Sunday 8: Mactavish Quilt

Finally, I have another quilt to post! I have been slacking so much in my quilting projects, and I'm happy to finally have another one finished!

I was able to work on this one a little bit during my break between semester in December/January. I had everything but the binding done for almost two weeks, and I finally got it all bound last weekend, and finished!

I always take a lot of in progress shots of my quilts, it's fun to be able to look back and see the fabric changing into a quilt... below is where I am basting the quilt.

This quilt was made for my Aunt and Uncle and my two cousin's who live in Winnipeg. I lived with them over the summer and wanted to give them a special Christmas gift. I know that it is almost mid-February, but I'm still calling this a Christmas gift despite how late it might be! I sent it in the mail early last week, so  hopefully it gets there soon!

The binding on this quilt is definitely my favorite part! The fabric is just so pretty, I posted about it right when I bought it because I was so excited.

Now I can get started on my long lists of quilts to make/finish... its going to be a good year for quilts!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Something Sunday 7: Valentine's Day

If you haven't picked up on it yet, Valentine's Day is my favorite holiday! I love all the hearts, and pink and all the goodness. (The commercials are definitely annoying, but I don't have cable, so I get to escape all the hallmark crap!)

I always try and make my roomies a gift for this special day. Its fun to have an excuse to sew some heart covered projects.

This year, I made two of my rommates reverse-applique heart bags and the third one I made a 'mug rug'. For those that don't know a mug rug is like a lager coaster, to use for snacks or whatever. (I have already given one of my roommates two zipped bags, so I thought something different would be nice.)

Side note: I have a bit of a mug collection, and this one is one of my personal favorites. I also have one from my trip to Washington DC last year that is quite amazing, I'll have to share my collection some time.

If you click on the images below to enlarge them you can get a better sense of the reverse applique. It is a  cool technique that I had been wanting to try for a while. For a first try, I'm happy with how they both came out!


I do my best to avoid buying any of the wasteful stuff they sell during February and thankfully I did well this year. (normally I cave and end up buying a few useless gifts). This year the chocolates were the only things I bought! I already had the kiss bags on hand from last valentine's day and the rest of the gifts were home-made. I'm definitely happy to be giving more hand-made gifts!

I also made a bunch of cards for the day! I have been trying my hand at scrapbooking a bit more lately and I'm having a lot of fun with it!

I didn't get the best pictures of the cards below, but they are clear enough you can get the idea. I was happy to find some adorable Valentine's Day paper to be able to make homemade cards too.

Hope you all had a lovely Valentine's Day 2012 :)

Friday, February 17, 2012

I'm Going to Mississippi Ya'll

Tomorrow, I leave for Mississippi for a 9 day trip. We are busing there and back, so 4 of those days will be on the bus, but it will only add to the adventure!

I am going with a group of students from the University of Guelph through a program set up to encourage community service learning. The learning theme for this trip is race and poverty. The group I am travelling with and I have been getting together periodically since January and have been learning a lot about the Civil Rights movement so far. It will be really exciting to finally go there and see it, and get to meet the people we have been hearing about. (We are teaming up with the University of Southern Mississippi, so we will get to meet some of the students there).

The plan for the trip is a combination of volunteering and learning, with a tourist day thrown in at the end where we get to visit New Orleans! Our first day there we start off taking the 'freedom summer tour' which focuses on the civil rights movement in Hattiesburg, after that we get to go to the African American Military History Museum. The next three days we will spend at our different placements (not all of us will be volunteering at the same place). I will be volunteering at an elementary school, and I am so excited for it! For our last full day in Mississippi we will take a bus and head to the gulf coast for a tour focusing on the bp oil spill and damages in the area before heading to New Orleans. Then on Saturday we will hop back on the bus and head home to Canada. I'm sure there will be so much more that we do and learn, but that is the main plan for the trip. With 4 bus days and 5 days in Hattiesburg, I'm sure I will learn a lot!

I can't wait to see the South, and to get to enjoy some southern cuisine! What's a trip without local food anyway? 

Ps to give some context to the this bus trip, here is a map of the route. We get to stay over in Kentucky for the night between bus days too. Bonus!

I still have some blog post planned throughout the week, but they have been set up to be published automatically by blogger. I've never really had a problem with that, but in case nothing shows up for the week, I will share everything when I get back!