Friday, July 15, 2011

Featured! (and prints I've been working on)

A really terrific blog featured my shop in a massive giveaway.  And I'm glad, not only because any publicity for the shop is welcome, but because I've fallen in love with the blog that featured me.  To enter the giveaway (you can win one of my prints or some other really amazing items) click HERE. You can enter until July 20. Thanks Susannah!

And, some prints:

These two are custom prints for my friend, Candida's, nursery:

And another custom print for my friend, Jamie.  Hoping to inspire her two little girls :)  Anybody have a heartwarming quote for brothers? My boys need a little inspiration, too! :

So, check out my shop, spread the word, and if you would like custom work, I'm more than happy to oblige!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Craft Exchange

 My super cute friend, Candida, had the brilliant idea to start a craft exchange.  Once a month, we make something for each other, and then mail it off.  It's so fun to search out ideas, make the chosen item, and mail it.  And, it's really fun to get a package in the mail!
This month, our first month, I made her an eye pillow.  It's filled with flaxseed.  She can keep it in the freezer so it's nice and cold, and it's great in reducing puffiness in eyes, and aiding in relaxation (especially if you live in uber hot AZ!).  I used mine while I practiced Hypnobabies in preparation for Natalie's birth, and she's practicing Hypnobabies now in preparation of the birth of her third baby in just a few short weeks!
I made a simple sack using unbleached muslin, and then embroidered and pieced an envelope cover for it.

She made me a shirred ruffle scarf.  I'd take a picture of it, but I'm wearing it right now (because I love it).
I can't wait for our next exchange!

Summer So Far, Photo Overload, Etc., Etc.

I had the best of intentions to post all of our summer they happened.  Then my computer crashed.  Ug.  But let me tell you, that computer was trying to die from the moment I bought it.  I guess it finally got its wish, and I finally got a new computer (thanks to my rad brother who BUILT me a new one).  But by the time I I got my new computer, I was so backlogged on posts that I was overwhelmed, and I kept putting it off, and neglected my poor, poor blog.  Today though, I am biting the bullet and I'm going to try to catch up...all in one post.  Are you with me?!

Summer school is going strong...though my ability to document it in photos is lacking :)

In science class, we've learned all about reflection and refraction, water molecules, sound waves, carbon dioxide, and centrifugal force and centripetal force.  Awesome.  My kids are now bursting with knowledge :)

In cooking class, we've covered various different kinds of cakes, and how to make rolls.  Yum! My kids love to cook, and I must say that they've become handy little kitchen helpers.

For art class, we've covered Degas, Georgia O'Keefe, Alberto Giacometti, and Picasso.

Ethan turned 5:
These are the rockin' cookie monster cupcakes that I made. (please excuse the bad pictures.  Ethan's birthday pictures were sadly lost in the computer crash :(  I stole these two off of my facebook page, but the quality is less than ideal)

Money for a gift is always a huge hit!

Matthew turned 7 and I threw him a chef birthday party.  Sewing 15 chef hats and aprons nearly sucked the life out of me, but the party was a lot of fun, and made all the work totally worth it.  We made pizzas, fruit sushi, and shirley temples.

We had a great, laid back Fourth of July.  We went to our town's parade, I made apple pies (totally American, right?) we had a barbecue with family, and then went to see our town's fireworks display. The weather was PERFECT.  In fact, the weather all summer has been absolutely wonderful.  

So excited for our town's parade.

Phew.  All done.  Kudos to you if you made it to the end :)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Summer School: Art

For our first art lesson, we learned about Edgar Degas, and his work "Blue Dancers".  We talked a little bit about his technique and the materials he used.

Then I gave them some paper and colored chalk, and set 'em loose.  The LOVED it!

Summer School: Science

For our summer school, some days it's just me and the kids, and some days we combine with my SIL.  She teaches science and outdoor preparedness, and I teach art history and art technique.

Look at the rapt attention:

Question: Is it possible to move this soda can without touching it?:

Let's get some help from Ethan and his friendly electrons:

It worked!!

Using the scientific method to record our findings:

Science is fun!! (Check out the static-y hair!)  :

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Hours of Fun at the Park

Even though school got out just last week, we've already logged hours of fun at the park.  I love it.  One of my big goals for the summer was to spend as much time outside as possible.  And since James drives our big 'ol family car to work (our only car), it's given us lots of opportunities to be outside.  We love to walk to the library, and especially the park. 
Natalie is fearless when it comes to playground equipment.  She loves to climb, and is the only kid I know who actually squeals "weeeeee" as she plunges down slides.  She is fiercely independent and yells "noooo!" if anyone offers to catch her or hold her hand on the slide.
And to the boys, the park is a magic wonderland from their imaginations.  At any given time the playground equipment can become a pirate ship, spy headquarters, their posh mansion, or any one of hundred different things.  I'll be sad when my kids out-grow playgrounds.  But for now, we're soaking up every minute of it.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Summer School Day One: Cooking

For our first day of summer school, we headed to the kitchen to do some cooking.  For our first recipe: chocolate chip cookies!!

They learned how to scoop up the dry ingredients, then level them off with the flat edge of a butter knife.

Using the hand mixer was probably their favorite part :)

Natalie helped by snitching cookie dough.

Okay, maybe licking the beaters was the best part ;)

Watching the cookies bake.  Waiting is just so hard!


This is the recipe we used from the Ghirardelli Chocolate website:

The Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie
11 1/2 ounce(s) 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Chips
2 1/4 cup(s) unsifted flour
1 teaspoon(s) baking soda
1/2 teaspoon(s) teaspoon salt
1 cup(s) (2 sticks) butter
3/4 cup(s) sugar
3/4 cup(s) packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoon(s) vanilla
1 cup shredded coconut - this wasn't in the recipe, but growing up, we always added coconut to our cookies.  It makes them extra delicious!
Preheat oven to 375ºF. Stir flour with baking soda and salt; set aside. In large mixer bowl, cream butter with sugar, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Gradually blend dry mixture into creamed mixture. Stir in nuts and chocolate chips. Drop 1 tablespoon of dough per cookie onto ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake at 375ºF for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown.