Monday, April 30, 2012

Learning by connection

Recently, I read this article in Scientific American.  The article summarizes research in to how human memory works.  It turns out humans tend to remember things in clusters.  If asked to list animals, the majority of respondents will list them in groups say pets, then maybe farm animals and so on.  It is believed that this way of memory formation came from foraging.

Last week, I stumbled upon this article.  Scientists are studying children and the way they learn complex things, such as language in, order to create computers that are smarter.  One huge limitation of computers, as they exist right now, is they lack the complex thinking skills that involve clustering and connecting things, especially things that are random or seemingly unconnected.

 Biology has wired the human brain to seek and create connections between pieces of information.  As young children, many of the connections we make come from the environment around us.  We may learn that peas are green, that mom does not like peas from her facial expression, that grass is green too but we don't eat it, that cows do eat grass, and so on.  These connections are random and connect the information we see, hear, smell, taste, and touch together into a database we can access.

The primary limitation of most educational venues, such as schools, is that they disconnect this powerful approach to human learning,  sever subjects from one another, and remove children from the experiential world they had been learning in up until they started formal schooling.  A classroom is not a natural learning environment, it has only become the standard learning environment.

School settings lack what the real world offers, the opportunity for random information to collide and connect in unexpected and unpredictable ways.  While writing this post I thought of a quote I found in the Harvard Business Review (May 2012),
"We don't need to send kids to school to have a curriculum delivered to them.  Instead, we should be focused on helping kids become adept learners who, given the access they have on the internet to the sum of human knowledge, will be asked to create their own education rather than receive one parceled out in classrooms that in no way resemble the real world."  Will Richardson
 Doing research on Will Richardson I found this video.  It is a great time to be a self directed learner.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Gender trends: toys tell us a lot

I first heard of Sweden's new gender neutral pronoun 'hen" on the NPR show Studio Q.   Although I am not sure how I feel about a gender neutral pronoun nor do I have any idea if it would actually lead to more gender equity, it led me to think about the opposite trends I have seen in the United States.

I think it was last year my oldest daughter noticed that Wal-Mart stores have split their toy sections and labeled them "Boys" and "Girls".  Since my daughter often crosses gender lines while toy shopping, she found this development really annoying.  Since I am not a fan of Wal-Mart, I am more than happy to shop somewhere else, preferably a thrift store.

But the toy differences go deeper and perhaps say a little about how far our culture has come on gender equity, or not.  Take for instance Dizzy Dancers and Beyblades.  These two toys are essentially the same platform, a top.  The Beyblade, marketed specifically to boys, have an arena for battles.  The Dizzy Dancer, marketed only to girls,  is cute and plush and comes with a dance studio.

 Then we have Bakugan.  Dragons and insects and other creatures that roll in to a ball.  The balls pop open when they roll across a special magnetic card and pop up, to do battle.  The girl equivalent, Zoobles.  They pop up on their "habitats" or homes to look cute and some of them have babies.  Hmmm, do you see a trend here?

Apparently, Brene Brown's data was correct in this Ted Talk.  Males are admired for violence and winning in our culture and females are admired for looking good and being nice, and although it was not in the slide, raising babies.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

People who feel right...

Dr. Sears has a saying, "Children who feel right, act right."  When I first read this statement it made perfect sense to me and I have tried to use it when working with my kids.  I have come to discover that there is an additional statement that can be made here, "Parents who feel right, act right."  And one more, "People who feel right, act right."  It is very easy to look at behavior of children, parents, or practically anyone we see and forget that the behaviors they have come from what is going on inside.

Recently, many people have begun to speak out about bullying.  The part of the conversation I see being left out is that bullying is a symptom of a deeper disease.  If bullying has increased in violence and rate of occurrence it might be because kids have less freedom than ever before.  It might be the pressure kids and parents are under starting earlier and earlier to be good at everything.  It could have its roots in our cultures continued reliance on a dominance and subservience model, a model that by its nature leads to violence.  Whatever the root causes, a conversation about how to stop bullying that does not take in to account where bullying comes from has limited potential success in changing anything.

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Art of Curiosity and Wonder

This big box of awesome landed on our doorstep yesterday. In it were various science kits, a molecular model set, a microscope, and ,of course, slides for microscope viewing. I greeted this box with a hearty, YAHOO!! Upon opening the box, however, a little "I have no idea what I am doing with this stuff" set in.

I spent most of my 9th grade biology class in the hall. I am not really sure why. I remember the teacher, a boisterous man who wore a lot of hawaiian print shirts. I know I had a propensity to be very social, a trait that would get me in trouble until I started applying for jobs in the real world and then it would be a huge factor in my favor. Go figure.

I remember bits of physical science class. But I think what I learned in school about science was that it involved a lot of math and required a bunch of experiments you were not interested in and really did not understand.

Over my adult life, my understanding of what science is has evolved. As I learned that so many scientific advancements were discovered by mere accident and unbridled curiosity I began to see that I am very much a scientist.

Watching the girls play with the microscope yesterday and talk about what they saw on the slides with one another was amazing. "Did you see that Mina!", Ari would say with amazement and glee. To hear Ari explain what she was seeing in terms of art. To see the girls build whatever they wanted with the molecule set- no plan, no need to actually make a certain molecule. Makes me believe that I am indeed raising a couple of scientists, no matter what they end up doing with their lives.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Happenings and Stuff

On Sunday, Mina and I went to local museum called The Leonardo. We spent most of our time in the area of the museum where you make art. Mina made a puppet using cardboard, skewers, and various markers. Her puppet reminded her of the movie Despicable Me and that was on the menu as soon as we walked in the door from the museum.

On Monday, we spent some time working with light and various things like sheets and cereal boxes to try and create a shadow puppet theatre for her puppet creation. Cereal boxes with sides removed and a piece of paper over one side work well if your puppet is small, a sheet over a table works well if the puppets are bigger, in case you want to try this at home.
On Tuesday, Ari began the first of what will be a rather long journey in orthodontics. She was pretty brave. Then we came home to do some science with peeps.

Peeps were injured. We melted them in the microwave. We soaked them in vinegar and water to see which would dissolve faster. Peeps were smashed and cut in to tiny pieces. We expect to be having a visit from the Peep Authorities anytime know. We have no excuse for our behavior, other than no one in our family will actually eat these nasty things except Mina.

Oh the carnage, the horror, the ummmm, well humanity is not quite right here I guess.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Broken Vases

I remember how I felt the first time I held my oldest daughter in my arms. I am going to be completely frank and say the words in my head were, "Oh my God, what have we done". An armadillo on a desert highway as a big rig convention was coming in to town could not have been more afraid. Back then I did not realize that somewhere in the folds of my brain I had latched on to an idea that I could ruin her. Over time, through doing a lot of work on myself, I have come to the idea not only that I cannot ruin my kids, but that no parent is responsible for how their kids turn out. The way I thought of to illustrate this point is the vase and the seedling.

When my oldest daughter was handed to me, the thought process in my head was comparable to being handed an expensive, irreplaceable vase. Vases have no potential, they have already become what they will be, they have no will of their own, a vase will not spontaneously jump of the table. The keeper of the vase is solely responsible for what happens to the vase, if the vase breaks it is all your fault.

Children are more like a brand new hybrid seedling the world has never seen. The keeper of the seedling is going to have to guess at first what the seedling needs. Does it like a lot of water,a little light, or a little water and a lot of light? The keeper of the seedling has no clue. Only by interacting with the seedling and then experimenting as the seedling grows can the keeper know what the seedling really likes and what the seedling really needs.

One thing we know about seedlings is that some can grow anywhere. Some can withstand absolute negligence, drought, wind, some can even live if uprooted and turned upside down. Some seedlings can survive anything.

This is not my way of saying that it does not matter if kids are neglected, abused, and mistreated. As full human beings in their own right, kids have a right to be treated with decency and respect. My point is that I no loner believe that parents can break their kids. Parents are part of the picture but they are not the whole and I believe that often parents take too much credit and too much blame surrounding how their kids "turn out". If we want to enjoy the parenting journey, it makes more sense to study our little seeds, give them what they need, and watch them grow.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Kitten Theory of Parenting

I am a mad scientist and all of life is my petri dish, beaker, and lab. I used to be horribly afraid of making even the slightest error. I thought if I could be absolutely perfect in every way, I would be safe from harm and criticism. Perfection and striving for it are a straight jacket and I put that jacket on myself and then waited for life to get better. And it didn't.

I am not sure how I got from the straight jacket to the mad scientist. I can say it took a lot of inner work, a ton of support from my husband and friends and a recognition that life is uncertain and unpredictable. Recently, I have seen the mad scientist in me busting out all over the place. I hear myself saying things like, "Let's just try it." Or "What can we learn from this no matter how it turns out." Or even, "What is the worst that can happen." Some of the time I don't recognize myself and it stops me in my tracks and then I remember that I am a mad scientist in my own life experiment and I see Dr. Horrible in my mind and I giggle, cause I find myself really funny sometimes, and keep on going.

About a year ago I was at the veterinarian with our two cats. There was an article on the wall about kittens and kitten behavior. One particular line of the article struck me. The gist of it was that kittens fight to know their own limits, know how strong they are, and that this behavior helps them to be better cats. It helps them to be a cat who knows when to stop or in other words knows where the line between playing and hurting is and then can learn not to cross it.

I remember coming home and sharing this idea with my husband and because humans are animals, whether we want to accept that or not, inquiring whether or not this might apply to kids. And then I forgot about it completely, because I get distracted by shiny objects, oh and digital ones too.

The girls have been getting to a point where they were fighting about everything all the time. John and I were getting in the middle because we thought it was our job. We have modeled problem solving, walking away, and other ways of handling differences. We have sent them to their rooms, asked them to sit for a minute and think about it and other strategies. Nothing really seemed to be helping.

Last night we talked about what our next strategy was going to be. I call this strategy The Kitten Theory of Parenting. We know our kids really well. We knew that Mina, although only 5, would not back down from Ari. We knew that if it came to blows Ari would run, quickly. We knew that they both had safe spaces to go to and we knew we would be here if it went bad fast.

This morning the girls got up and started to fight. John and I remained radically silent, offering no options, opinions, or judgements. When Ari asked me for my input I observed that each of us has to manage the only thing we can manage, our own behavior and got in the shower.

By the time I was out of the shower they were playing together. John and I are a little dumbfounded and we know that The Kitten Theory of Parenting might have just worked by fluke this time. But the mad scientist in me is pleased that once again we saw life for what it is, a grand experiment, and gave it a try.

(Bwahahahahaha, I will clean you my nemesis. You will rue the day we met.)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Stop the car

When I was a young child, probably around 5 or 6 I had an interesting experience. An experience that as I look back on it now, tells me a lot about what I must have been like as a kid and also helps me to reframe my interactions with my own kids.

One day, my family and I were driving down the street. I remember very little about the street or the car for that matter. What I do remember is that it was a car with one long seat in the front. I was sitting near the door with my oldest brother next to me and my mom on the other side of him. Of course, no one wore seat belts because the 70's was the age of taking your life completely for granted every time you got in a car. I am not sure why I was near the door and my older brother was in the middle. For one thing, I have a 5 year old and she is prone to playing with latches and opening things at the worst possible moments. Although, looking back, I also see that my brother often acted as my human shield from my mother, at least while I was small.

Back to the story at hand, driving along my door either became loose or it became obvious it never had been completely shut in the first place. I remember the ensuing conversation. My mom told me to trade places with my brother so he could open and shut the door. I told her no. This went on for some time all the while my mom not pulling over to the side of the road and stopping the car. When I finally tired of the arguing, I just took matters in to my own hands and pulled the latch to open the car door. Once again, car still moving. This was not a particularly well thought out move, but please remember I was 6. I fell out of the car and the only reason I did not get run over by the car was because of my white knuckle grip on the door handle. I guess my mom finally decided it would be a good idea to stop the car.

I don't remember what happened next. I don't remember being hurt in any way. I do remember that I was punished by being kept home from a bowling outing that I had really been looking forward to.

There are days when my younger daughter seems to have zero impulse control, where she does not think at all before making a choice. When I remember my child self, I see that I was lot like her and that I can work with her to help her make safer decisions. And I become fully aware that sometimes you just stop the car because you can't get anywhere arguing with a head strong 5 or 6 year old, or adult for that matter.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Being sick for most of January and the early part of February and gutting my diet to get things managed led to some incredible discoveries for me. Specifically, that I am incredibly sensitive to both wheat and sugar. I had a really fascinating experience when I had wheat for the first time after a week of veggies, juicing, rice, chicken and really basic foods. I ate pizza with our family and felt drunk. Vision blurred, head woozy, not thinking straight drunk. I found the experience less disconcerting than I did revealing. Somehow, I had been having this reaction to certain foods and not noticed. I had a similar reaction to sugar after eating cupcakes on Monday night and I still can't wrap my head around how I could be so altered and not know it until having these experiences. I can honestly say that getting really sick was probably the best thing that could have happened. Without being so totally unwell, I might not have stumbled upon just how much these two very normal things affect me. (Ari, pretending Panda is her new baby, photo taken by Mina)

Backyard Camping

The girls have this game they like to play on a very regular basis. They like to go in to the backyard and then pretend they are in the wilderness. Another variation of the game is the like to pretend they are "back in the old days" as Ari puts it. Yesterday turned out to be a wonderful day for this game.All of our fire pit wood has gotten wet in the backyard over the winter, so I helped the girls fashion a makeshift camp fire with some little candles we had hanging around the house.This photo is a little strange. I took it through the window upstairs in the house. When the girls get playing the way they were yesterday, the last thing I am wiling to do is keep getting in the middle of it. Their make believe goes a lot more smoothly if I offer supplies and a little assistance and then get out of the way completely.
They stayed out on the trampoline until it got dark, then came inside and made up another game and on it went.
Now to backtrack a tad. Earlier in the morning, Mina and I made pancakes on a large electric griddle. I am finding that cooking offers so many wonderful learning opportunities. Not just the math of measuring, but chemistry and many other things that just come up. Whenever we get out this particular griddle the girls like to throw little bits of water on it and watch it dance as the heat turns it in to steam. Yesterday, Mina asked if she might pour a small cupful of water on the griddle. After assessing the safety of doing so, I got her a little medicine cup, like the ones you get with children's pain medicine. It was fun and surprising to see that larger amounts of water formed first small bubbles and then joined together to create large bubbles that danced across the griddle until the water evaporated completely. Also, the water left behind calcium and other minerals on the griddle. So much science in such an unexpected way.This is a new favorite activity of Ari's. I picked up some wooden skewers at the store for no particular reason. I thought they might make interesting craft supplies or building materials when we create stuff out of marshmallows. Ari wanted to try burning one in a candle and then went on to discover that if you burned it, then put the flame out in a little water, you create a writing implement.

Another Ari creation.
Mina wrote this yesterday. It is a sign she is going to post on the door to her room. No dogs? Well that is because Panda, who is still a puppy, has a strange addiction to the eyes of stuffed animals. She chews them out leaving a big hole. Not surprisingly, this is alarming to the girls. Finding a favorite stuffy with a hollow ocular cavity is not so fun. I am impressed with how quickly Mina is taking to writing and how much she just does it on her own. I am pretty satisfied with the way natural learning unfolds and the wonder and magic of it happening right in front of my eyes in ways I could neither plan, predict, or obviously control.

Monday, February 13, 2012

If you can't be with the one you love...

eat a cupcake. :)

John is headed to Texas tomorrow for 2 sleeps. We have been doing this travel thing for awhile now and this is the most effective way to count it out for kids. So we had our Valentine festivities this evening. No big party, just a whole lot of love.

I finished up a project I have been working on, just fast enough to hang it up for about 48 hours until I take down Valentine's and start feeling lucky.

Tomorrow is one of our 2 no screens day, two days a week we attempt to use no internet, television, or other screened device. So far, I totally love it. The kids have no clue we are even doing it which must say something about their needs being so totally met they don't miss the devices. That means I will be saying see ya later until Wednesday. Hope your love day is joyful.


Grandma Michele has been wanting to have the 4 local cousins over for a fashion show and lunch for as long as I can remember. Last week, it all came together, much to the delight of pretty much everyone involved.This is Grandma Michele my husband's mother. She had on a lovely jeweled blouse that seemed so fitting for Valentine's Day.
Mina, striking her pose. She refused to take off her pajama top and funny enough, it matched her dress.
This is my niece, isn't she cute.This is her sister, equally as cute.

Did I mention that this fashion show included a lot of interpretive dance? I should mention that because it did.Love these girls.
The fashion show was followed by a lovely brunch made by Grandma Michele and then a play date. Then that was followed by a day at the roller skating rink and then a sleep over and then a day at the swimming pool.

Monday, February 6, 2012


Saturday we had an unexpected visit from our local cousins. While John and his brother watched Star Trek. I am totally not kidding here.Spencer and Ari played Minecraft.

Seth built himself a fort.

And the 3 smaller girls did a lot of this.

No one wanted cousins to leave and Mina requested a sleepover, which was not possible this particular night. I think I see some in our future.

Friday, February 3, 2012


So the other day when we hydrated spitballs Ari put some of them in a concoction of orange juice and soy sauce. We wondered what might become of them and yesterday, I took a peek.

They took on the color of the mixture and they were lightly sticking together, which the other ones did not do. They also only hydrated about half size which we are assuming is from the salt content of the soy.

In other news, the girls built themselves a fort and then pretended to be in jail.

Adding to the randomness of this post I took a little stroll down memory lane this morning that was started by these socks.

I can't wear these socks without thinking of Donny Osmond. I was only 6 when the Osmond Show went off the air, I was not one of those pre-teen or teen girls who had posters in their rooms and wanted to marry Donny. I was much to young for that but I did remember his socks. I got to see a taping of the Osmond Show when I was 5. My big sister from the United Way took me. I remember very little of the actual show but I remember going and thinking it was pretty cool.

Then, in junior high that same big sister actually dated one of the architects of the Osmond Studios. Who lived in this incredibly cool house in Emigration Canyon that I had the good fortune of getting to stay in on various weekends when I would go visit her. I even spent a couple of whole weeks there in the summer which was pure heaven. No siblings, no grown ups all day, just me some books, some cd's, and miles and miles of hills to hike on. This would also be the time frame in which I would discover the authors Tom Robbins and Jean Auel both considered too mature for my age. I went on to read everything they wrote up until I was in high school. I still remember the mixture of guilt and pure joy with which I would read their books.

Flash forward to my high school years and the Osmond Studios were sold to a company who did team building exercises using obstacles courses. I can't remember whether I went there with the class officers group I was in our the at risk kids group I was in. I was never sure if I was in the at-risk kids groups because I was a class officer or because I was an at-risk kid. I never sought clarification and now well I just think it is funny.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Written on the errr...table

It isn't every day you go out to eat and upon sitting down find that your daughter's name is carved in to the table. And we totally did not do it, promise. Not our style.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Getting out of the line

I was talking to Ari on the way home from the library tonight about my choice to not listen to my intuition. I asked her what she thought was in my thinking that would drive me to do something that was obviously not healthy for me. What she had to say was astounding.

"It was like you were a horse in a line. All the other horses started to walk and then started to run so you ran too. You were afraid that the horses would leave you behind so you kept running, even though it was making you sick. What you really needed to do was just get out of line."

Have I mentioned lately that having a conversation with this highly unique person is like having a conversation with my wise old grandma.
(The wisdom and playfulness of children are possibly two of my greatest joys in life.)

What is really going on here...

" A lot of parenting difficulties come from seeing a problem, seeing a solution and turning the solution in to the new problem." Joyce Fetteroll

Awhile back I posted this quote on my FB and asked people to replace the word parenting with other words as I saw this as a quite pervasive life mistake. Today the idea of focusing on the problem, or what you think is the problem and then solving it has really charged in to my awareness. Let me back track and tell you the sorted details.

I have been sick for most of January. I caught a cold early on that morphed into ear infections. While I was still on antibiotics for the infections I caught a nasty four hour flu. The combination of the flu and the atom bomb to my gut that is antibiotics led to digestive issues. The digestive issues have been lingering and unpleasant. I will give myself some credit here for not panicking, but then I have to take most of the credit back with what I am about to say next.

I sat with myself and had a little Q and A about the state of my health. I thought, " What changed in January." Then my intuition quickly informed me that the health issues went much further back and I was ignoring the trail of them. Lets see there was the cold sore in December, the massive asthma attack in October, the strange and pervasive rash in August and then it gets all blurry. But then it hits me, that last time I felt vibrantly healthy and whole was when I was regularly doing yoga. By regularly, I mean every day for about an hour.

I sat with this information for awhile. Why did I ever leave yoga in the first place? I started running. Why did I start running? I.DON'T.KNOW. Add to this that in January I started walking on the treadmill regularly but honestly my body did not want to do it. My body has been giving me clear signs for well over 6 months that I am not doing what is healthy for IT.

I did yoga last night and felt like I had come home. So far today, stomach happy. Not just calm but happy. It has not even been calm for probably 2 weeks. I guess the question that remains is why did I choose to start something and keep doing something that obviously was not good for me? What thinking drove me away from my intuition that my body wants yoga and not running? And why was I so willing to suffer through it, I mean really suffer, with not feeling good and also the backlash that serves up in my relationships and everywhere else in my life?

The big piece of credit I will give myself at this point is that I did not go into my regular pattern of attacking the symptom with fury, throwing every thing I have at it. I really have patiently waited for the stomach issues to subside, tried a few things here and there, and all the while had a sense that a piece of the puzzle just was missing. I might have been able to solve the stomach "problem" only to find it somewhere else like I have for the last 6 months.

(This is my coffee face. See what happens when the kids get the camera, I go all crazy eyed.)

Monday with Mina

Mina reminds me of the characters from the Laura Numeroff books. The characters in her books are very busy moving quickly from one thing to the next. Yesterday I got out some crepe paper for her to make a craft. This craft.Which she glued together in less than 5 minutes and had moved on to the only logical thing she could move to next, dressmaking.

I think the cat next to her is relieved she is not making him a dress.As you can see, the crepe paper wrapping went on for awhile and with every color at her disposal. Then she started running around the wall between the kitchen and the livingroom yelling, "This is the longest dress ever."
Next she took scissors and carefully cut the whole dress off of herself. Making a nice pile of what she called "leaves".
So of course the only logical thing to do next is to get your mom to bury you in the leaves.
And then throw the leaves at her.Then Ari came in to the room and they decided to try and make her a dress out of the leaves.
Which did not go so well, I think crepe paper will be needed today for further clothing making.

Along with crepe paper play we also finished a catapult today- this thing took forever because I broke some of the dowels and had to find replacements.

Then we had to get out the spitballs to use with the catapult. Ari wanted to know what would happen if we rehydrated the entire bag. And this is what that looks like.

They are incredibly fun to play in and launch with the catapult. Fortunately, all of these fit in to a big plastic freezer bag where they will stay nice and hydrated until we launch them or until the girls find some other use for them. Ari wants to buy and hydrate enough to fill the bathtub and then sit in them but I don't know if we are headed that direction.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

3D felt hearts

For years I have made the same paper craft around Valentine's Day. It involves cutting heart shapes out of paper and then gluing them together to make 3 dimensional hearts. When I thought about making this particular craft earlier this week I realized I only had red cardstock. I also have made a comittment to myself to buy absolutely nothing I do not need to and knew I would have to find another craft or another method. The alternative became felt. I had felt in pink, white, and red just waiting for me in the craft room so I set out to translate the paper craft in to a felted craft, it was fairly easy.

Here is the finished product:

Start by cutting out 3 felt hearts. They should all be the same color felt- my first prototype had 3 different colors and it did not look good.Next take two of the hearts and se them together along one side.
Notice my stitching isn't even. If you are really concerned about having perfectly even stitching I suggest practicing. Where I am hanging these no one will ever notice.
Now, open up the joined hearts along the middle, take your third heart and attach it to the unsewn edge on only one of the other felt hearts.
You can see how I have pinned it here, I actually pinned each edge before sewing. I did not want to get down to the point and find they were off but if you are experienced with felt it might not be necessary.
There is only one remaining side to sew but first you will need to insert some ribbon. The length of the ribbon is not important, mine was about 22 inches and it was that length because that is what I had sitting in my ribbon supply. :)Place the ribbon down through the top of all three hearts. You want to make sure that when you start to sew your last side, you catch the ribbon with your needle and thread as many times as you need to so it will be securely fastened to the felt hearts. My ribbon was tiny so I went through it twice before using the same thread to sew the final remaining side.
This is a nifty little trick I learned from a sewing class. It is called burying your thread. You push your needle through just one of the sides, pull tightly, and then cut. Then it looks like this:And you are done with one felt three dimensional heart.

The second heart was added on the fly and while I was on the phone so there are no pictures. The only thing that is different is the ribbon comes all the way up through the bottom before being secured at the top of the second heart.

Happy crafting!!!