artaboutthoughtsjournalfun
Tuesday, March 09, 2010 1:05 PM

now with a side order of cute



Allow me to present Sophie's lunch! This proved to be such a hit at school yesterday that she has requested the same lunch for the next two days as well. Some of the girls at her table didn't want her to eat it because it was too cute! I forgot to show her little bottle of water... My goal is for her to have healthy lunches, but if we can get in an extra helping of cute then so much the better. It's amazing what a few strokes of pencil or a fun shape of food can do to make lunches more appealing. :)

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Saturday, March 06, 2010 6:00 AM

the 6th annual michelangelo project

Today, March 6th is Michelangelo's birthday! To celebrate the birthday of one of the world's most inspiring artists, I invite you to participate in this project.



What you do:
1. Do something creative today, March 6th. It can be something you love to do, something you've forgotten how to do, something you've never done and always secretly wanted to try. Here's your excuse! Some ideas are:
- paint/draw/collage
- sculpt (like the master)
- write a poem, a short story
- take a photo
- visit a museum or art gallery
- sew
- cook something exciting you've never made before
- see an art film, foreign film, or movie about an artist

2. Come back here and share your experience!
Post a link to your creation, write about your trip or creative process - share your creative story with others. How creative can we get?

3. Link back with the above graphic if you've written about it on your site.

4. Have fun, for goodness' sake! This is not about being perfect or creating the best piece of art. It's about embracing your creative side in whatever form it happens to take.



I can't wait to hear your stories!

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Friday, February 12, 2010 6:52 AM

Happy Valentine's Day!

All you need is love, love. It's easy!


(Note the Norwegian house slippers on Sophie!)

As promised.... the annual Nazzaro family valentine! For reference, Sophie is 6 and the twins are 5. Waaaay back in the day, I used to have to do three separate photo shoots and photoshop them all together so that I could have just ONE picture where those babies were all even looking in the right direction. At least they've stopped eating the hearts. How fun are these going to be when they're in high school?

Watch them grow up....


(2009)


(2008)


(2007)


(2006)


(2005)

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Sunday, December 20, 2009 10:39 AM

adorable ornaments to make on a snowy day



Yesterday, while the weather outside was frightful, I finished up my ornaments for my CCD class (which of course, got snowed out! But of course, if I hadn't made them, we would have gotten 2 inches). The Nativity ornaments were for my class of Kindergartners and the Angels are for Paul's class of 1st grade girls.



I was inspired for the Nativity ornaments by a craft my twins had made in Mrs. Messina's class last year. They were so simple and so lovely, and I felt like they really captured the essence of what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown. The kids painted everything themselves, which made it so much sweeter. These both would be fun to do with kids, letting them personalize and get as creative as they want.

You could paint these any way you like, and if I had more time I would have gotten way more detailed with them (arms on the angels, a star at the top of the "barn", maybe some glitter.... though I did add glitter to baby Jesus. He deserves some glitter!



How to make Nativity ornaments:

Use the hacksaw to trim the legs of Mary and Joseph to height. You can see in the picture at the top that Mary's are cut almost all the way, and Joseph's are slightly longer. You don't want to make them too long or you won't be able to make the top of the triangle close. Baby Jesus is made from cutting one of Mary's discarded pieces of wood in half. Use the sandpaper to smooth all rough edges. Paint all pieces as desired.



When dry, hot glue a bundle of spanish moss to the center of the large popsicle stick, and then add more hot glue and Baby Jesus. Glue Mary and Joseph to either side, making sure first that the other popsicle sticks will be able to meet at the top to make a triangle. Glue both sides of the other sticks to form the triangle, holding them until they set. Turn the triangle upside down to glue the top together. Tie a loop with your twine or ribbon, and personalize. You're done!

How to make Angel ornaments:

Paint a face and hair on your doll pin. When dry, get out your gold paint and paint on a halo and a band around the neck.



For the wings: cut both ends off a large popsicle stick on an angle, so that they form a heart when placed on top of each other. Paint both sides gold. (I also think these would look lovely painted a deep red, or in rainbow colors, or sprayed silver, or... you know. Have fun with it!)

Cut your doily into quarters, and then cut a semi-circle shape out of the top of the pie shape. Put hot glue all around the neck of the doll pin, and place the center of the doily piece in the front under the face. Press and glue all around (doily will overlap in back).

To glue on wings: lay wings on table. Add glue. Press twine/ribbon loop to hang ornament, and then quickly press back of angel on top. Hold until it sets, then let dry flat until it cools.

Merry Christmas!

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Wednesday, December 02, 2009 8:31 AM

making the most of it

I'm a little bit nervous this morning as I get ready to go pick up 15 or so paintings I dropped off to be framed in October. I'm treating my dabs and splashes of watercolour (and coffee, and glitter) as Art, and I kind of don't know how to handle it. When I first met with the framer, and we were trying out mats and things, and I saw everything laid out on the table, I actually had a moment where I thought I was going to cry. It's the first time most of these paintings have been liberated from their sketchbooks where they get painted, scanned, posted here on the site, and then tucked away for what? - I don't know - safekeeping?

But while pretty much everything that's getting framed has been on the site, where people who like me/art/fairies/whatever have seen it, I'm now going to be showing it in public. Which I haven't done for a really long time. Before the art show earlier this year, I hadn't hung anything publicly for about 20 years.

This weekend we'll be hanging all of these at my library, which is one of my favorite places in the world (I say this as I sip coffee out of my mug: "It's your library... make the most of it" with a line drawing and the name of our library on it. I kid you not.) And that, while it's exciting, also scares the pants off of me. But in a good way.

I'm not hoping for anything from this. Nothing past hanging them up and seeing what happens. But to enjoy that they'll be displayed... hopefully for others to enjoy too.

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Friday, November 06, 2009 3:44 PM

Artists: check this out!

I found this through LinkedIn... if this applies to you, go for it! Cards will be featured on Greeting Card Designer blog which has 400-500 visitors daily. Send submissions to: kateharp@aol.com.

The article says...
Christmas cards are the top selling cards of any category, and I'm writing an article on unusual Christmas cards for 2009.

Cards will be featured on this blog whose 400-500 readers a day include agents, editors, stores, and reps.

This is great opportunity & free promotion for you.

If you have a card you'd like to be considered for the article:

-Send jpg image of card to Christmas Card Article
-Send Artist's name (or company name)
-Send Artist Contact Information
-Include direct link to how we can purchase the card.
-Card cannot be a one-of-a-kind craft project. We must be able to purchase multiple copies of the card.


Deadline November 10th.
Article will be published in mid November.

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Thursday, October 29, 2009 12:24 PM

word up!

The costumes are (mostly) finished, and the kids couldn't wait another moment and begged last night to put them on. So naturally, we had a photo shoot!



Peter, or as we call him, P3T3R, is a robot. He didn't want to put on the gray sweats that go with his costume, so use your imagination there. He chose where the "buttons" go - pretty much everything on his costume is recycled! His helmet is really a shade for lightbulbs, and the buttons are all lids from milk and orange juice containers. The big red one (which Peter says is the STOP! button) is from grated cheese. It was so fun to make and even better, he really participated in its creation.



Angela is WordGirl, which meant I also had to make an entire costume for her monkey sidekick, Captain Huggy Face. it's okay... WordGirl is the best educational show since the Electric Company (the 70's one please, not the new one)! We finally got some good action shots with her and Captain Huggy Face!



Sophia is Judy Moody and her amazing hair transformation is nothing more than me folding her hair in half and clipping the ends in her face so she has Judy's messy bangs. Her hair is normally down to her behind. She looks like a different kid! She was fascinated, posed her pants off, and then begged me to put her hair back to normal again. She's doing the pose from the cover of the first book which she has next to her. "I Ate A Shark" (the "A" wound up under her armpit) is a shirt Judy makes in the book.





P.S. If you are not familiar with WordGirl, check out this clip - the show is just awesome!

And see Captain Huggy Face dance here.

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Monday, October 26, 2009 7:08 PM

what I need for to do the job



Hello, peoples. Fall has kicked my behind to the curb and back again.

I have been too busy to sit down, too busy to post, too busy to paint (and that has me actually crying at times), too busy to return calls and emails. This school year has brought about a schedule unlike anything we've ever had before, and the weight of it all now falls on my shoulders because of our schedules. I keep thinking things will taper off, and they don't, so the answer is for me to have more help. I joke all the time about how I need a Temporary Secretary; now we're trying to figure out what I can outsource. (Paul's suggestion: like laundry!) I think to myself, You were able to paint when you had preemies and a one-year-old, you can do this! I just need to figure out how not to do *everything* and save my energies for what's vital.

I'm thinking of doing NaBloPoMo again so that I will write every day in November. It will force me to sit, breathe, have some tea, and visit that creative space for a while. There will be links, there will be answers, there will be art, and there will a showing of my artwork by the end of November I'll be gearing up for as well. So check in and hang in there with me as I figure this stuff out.

Note: the image above is about 15-16 years old. It's an illustration I did for my college's literary magazine, The Lion's Eye. I found it the other day while cleaning out an old portfolio. Scary that I still painted like me, even back then!

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Wednesday, September 09, 2009 7:26 AM

We go bento

Sophie's very excited about having LUNCH at school now that she's in the first grade. We are going bento to have as little waste as possible. No plastic baggies, no paper, and apart from this special lunch, she'll be eating leftovers from (planned ahead of time) dinner. The cuteness factor is a big plus too, of course.

I'm excited too - it's a chance to get creative in the kitchen and make sure they're eating healthy at school. Besides, it's fun!



Sophie's lunch, clockwise:
Watermelon balls
Purple cabbage salad
Little container of soy sauce
Veggie sushi rolls with carrots, cabbage, cucumber, and avocado
Annie's bunny grahams
Not pictured: Her water bottle and chopsticks (she wants to bring them!)

Angela is bringing her own container of sushi rolls for a snack (again, she wants chopsticks too, but she's actually pretty expert with them)

Peter wants pretzels and goldfish crackers today. Tomorrow they've all requested roasted chickpeas for snacks and Sophie's having an apple and cheese sandwich.

Anyone want to swap recipes? :)

Ultra-inspiring links to get you started:
Vegan Lunchbox: You don't have to be vegan or a have a fancy lunchbox, but this mom shows some excellent twists on old favorites. Sophie's first-day-of-school lunch was inspired from this site.

Lunch In A Box: Great site with lots of recipes and tips for making lunches fun and to get you up and out of the kitchen fast.

Bento accessories and supplies: This link's on Amazon, or go on eBay and drool over all the fun stuff they have. I think we might get a set of teeny sauce containers. You do not need any of these things, by the way. They're just, again, cute.

Cooking with Dog: We love love LOVE Cooking with Dog. It's a Japanese cooking show you can subscribe to on YouTube, that is hosted and narrated by Francis, the poodle. This link is for bento - look, an apple rabbit! Just awesome. We are fascinated by the dishes they make, though I have not attempted any of the recipes... although I did try to make veggie sausages into octopi and they just didn't work (maybe not enough fat?) Anyway, these are just so fun to watch.

Bento Boxes Win Lunch Fans: How timely that this was in the NYT this morning. :)

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009 8:08 PM

how to make ice cream cake



Note: if you want a crumbly base, use just cookies. If you want it to stick together, mix the cookies with some melted butter and then place in the bottom of the pan. Enjoy! And if you make one, let me know!

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Thursday, August 06, 2009 4:36 PM

Yesh!



Finally, catching up on things... I wanted to spread the news to those who don't already know that I got to design a theme with Patrick McDonnell for iGoogle! It's a MUTTS theme, natch. It's been so very exciting to get to be a part of this, and it's also been so very hard not to spill the beans!

The theme changes several times during the day, and there are even a few Easter eggs... see if you can find them!

Further Sophie update: recovery has been very slow for the Sophster, but today she actually opened her eyes, played with her brother and sister, and drew a picture! Woo!

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009 9:20 PM

a house for fairies



Keeping in line with the creativity running through our summer, we crafted a fairy house in our backyard.

{Meaning I really wanted one there.}



We went along the lines of this school of thought and tried to use things only found in nature, though I couldn't resist recreating this acorn-marble lantern - you all know I would totally have one in our house in a heartbeat.



The fairies haven't had a chance to leave a thank you note yet as it's been sooooo rainy! Maybe a couple of them got to take refuge from the grey and drippy weather and sit out a storm while they wonder if their furnishings would fit inside. It's small, but cozy, with a lovely front lawn:



More resources to build your own fairy dwellings:
* Drool over the amazing furnishings here. I so totally would live in a house that looked like this.
* Make over a dollhouse as a fairy house
* Sweet! I love the bed.
* Or put "fairy house" into Google image search and get some great ideas!

and....
* Bookmark this now: Notes from Halfland. I've been a longtime reader and admirer of Shelley's work as she crafts an entire miniature world for her stop-motion animation film. I am in awe of her creativity and stick-to-it-ness. She is the real deal.

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009 9:34 PM

jumping for joy



I've been in a whirlwind over here at Creativity Central. I've been trying to take photos and I'll be uploading and posting more stories. I swear that every day right now has moments where I stand back and think, wow, this is my life, and it's like a storybook. Every day, I'm constantly growing, creating, doing, making. And every morning I wake up so eager to do more and to see what the day will hold.



Today, I'll show the dresses I've been making for the girls out of tshirts. I am making them up as I go along and it's so fun! Three are done, I have about 5 more to go.



Angela is holding up a picture referencing My Milk Toof, a new family fave. The tooth is saying "I don't wanna."



While I sewed the dresses, I let the kids make their own stuffed animals, whatever they wanted to do. Sophie made - I cannot make this up - a stuffed JOHN DENVER doll. For most of today, Mr. Sunshine on My Shoulders was riding around in that front pocket. God, I love that child.

Life is good, people. Life is good.

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Sunday, January 04, 2009 8:36 PM

three balls and a frog



I foolishly didn't have time to scan in any of these Christmas presents (held by my awesome niece and nephews, their proud owners), so I had to settle for snapshots as they were opened. I'm especially miffed I didn't get a good shot of Kermit, as he came out pretty darn good.

But my favorite story is about the space pic in the lower left corner - it was for my nephew Joe, who as I understood, wanted "the night sky." So I looked up what the constellations would look like on his birthday, masked them out, added a moon, and painted it up. One night while I was talking to him on the phone, he mentions the TIE fighter he wants in the picture. "What TIE fighter? I'm done!" I said. But he's my nephew, and one of my godsons, and darnit, it's Christmas, and I love him, so I went back in with a wet brush and lifted out a whole bunch of sky and made him a TIE fighter, and while I was at it, made the moon into the Death Star for good measure. I think it came out even better, so everyone wins.

So I was telling my brother (his dad) that there's now a TIE fighter, it looks great, the force is with me, and all that. And he says, "Which kind of TIE fighter did you paint?" and my blood ran cold. I had no idea there was more than one kind! Luckily for me, the one I painted was the correct one. Phew!

While my pre-Christmastime was very busy with all the painting and crafting, I can honestly say it was also exhilarating. I spent my time painting and painting and painting, and I was so proud to when it came time to wrap them. I learned something new with each painting, and yes, there are even more to show (and... to finish.... ) I still also have one yet to scan and two more still to start! I'll show Peter's (which I did scan) next, and Paul's which is a work in progress that is proving to be quite a challenge.

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Monday, November 24, 2008 7:00 AM

Brand New: POSTERS!




The biggest prints EVER! For the first time, Tree/bird/heart (with Angela, top) and Storytime (with Peter, below) are now available in 16" x 20" size. Printed on thick, high-quality photographic stock. Enlargements show great detail of the creative process - see pencil lines, brush strokes, and coffee splashes close up! Perfect for children's rooms or just those young at heart.

♥ $30 (+$5 USPS). Email me for orders. :) ♥


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Friday, November 21, 2008 8:41 AM

Take the Handmade Pledge

I Took The Handmade Pledge! BuyHandmade.org

If you didn’t see the “handmade pledge” button last holiday season, here’s your chance to be a part of it for this year. Instead of adding to the commercialism of the season and spending extra money, why not try to make your gifts, or purchase them from those who do?

Why buy handmade?

Buying handmade is better for the environment.

The accumulating environmental effects of mass production are a major cause of global warming and the poisoning of our air, water and soil. Every item you make or purchase from a small-scale independent artist or crafter strikes a small blow to the forces of mass production.

This year, I’ve already told friends and family that if they’d like, I’ll paint a picture of pretty much anything they want for Christmas this year, instead of buying a gift. So far I've had requests for the night sky, Kermit, koalas, soccer balls, and (this could only come from Sophie) "A lamb and a cat, both wearing boots." My kids know also that they will be getting homemade dolls and can pick out some of their clothes as well, and my husband already has asked for a painting with “lots and lots of trees.”

Buying from small businesses and crafters assures artists that they can keep doing the work they do so well. And if you’re lucky enough to be the one doing the creating, you’ll see the joy that comes from making – and giving – a present that’s one of a kind.

♥ Take the Handmade Pledge here.
♥ Check out Etsy for all sorts of simply gorgeous artwork, jewelry, and other homemade items.
♥ Have you taken the Pledge or are you an artist with things to sell? Leave a link in the comments and tell me about it!

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Friday, November 07, 2008 8:36 PM

large art, large living

The posters arrived... and holey moley, are they gorgeous! I have one little thing to change about the Storytime poster, but the Tree/Bird/Heart one looks amazing. Every stroke, drop, and sketchy pencil line is blown up and I think I like it even better than the original size. I'm very happy with it.

We just have to calculate shipping costs (and buy us some tubes!) and if you want one, you can have it! Yay!

Magical thinking for today...

I partied with my co-workers (I work from home and they are over an hour away, so I don't get to hang out with them as much as I would like.) We had italian food, ordered lots of dessert and shared it all. My boss ordered a dish ending in "dolce vita" purely for the name.

I took advantage of the unseasonably warm weather by wearing a little black sweater and a very full and fluffy skirt the color of a bright fall leaf. I wrapped a necklace of earth-toned rocks around my wrist as a very chunky bracelet.

Sang myself hoarse in the car by putting the iPod on alphabetical order, and singing whatever came next.

I've been planning out all my Christmas artwork presents... and I'm having so much fun doing it! For some reason, I don't find this overwhelming in the slightest bit. Tomorrow I start on the dolls for the kids.

Laughed myself silly watching YouTube videos with Paul and the kiddos.

How did you live out loud today?

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Tuesday, November 04, 2008 6:52 PM

Magic frame

You know what, I had a thoughtful post about voting, but as I already sort of wrote about it here, watch this instead while you're waiting for all the election results to come in! This is a hilarious take on what has to be hands down, my absolute favorite 80's song and video... tell me you never wished this could actually happen to you!



ps ~ By the way, we now call doorways at my house "magic frames".

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Saturday, November 01, 2008 9:21 AM

boo to you!


Boo!

I know it's November and all, but I couldn't pass up the chance to post these little ghostie finger puppets I made for the kiddos one night while watching Grey's Anatomy. We're still in Halloween mode here, which is fine with me - I've never been one to rush holidays. In fact, I'm rather annoyed that there are Christmas commercials on NOW, when, as Sally Brown says, "I haven't even finished eating my Halloween candy yet!" One of the main reasons I'm bugged by it is because I am starting to work on Christmas stuff and I like to feel like I'm getting a jump on the competition. :) My goal is to handmake as many things as I can - but more about that later, that's its own post for another day.


Angela, poster child for cuteness.

As stated earlier, I'm going to be posting every single day for the entire month of November. My (rough) theme is The Month of Magical Thinking, where I will make the most succulent and alive choice every chance I get. So far this morning, that meant staying in bed a little longer, reading a book and watching the autumn morning light shine through the maple leaves and turn them golden; choosing a mug with gorgeous Van Gogh purple irises for my morning coffee, chocolate chip pancakes, and a sparkling fairy pin on my long grey belted cardigan. Everyday things hold magic in them. That's one truth I know for sure... will you look for the magic around you today?

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Thursday, September 18, 2008 6:42 PM

help me pick!

I'm going to submit work for my local art association's member show this October. I can submit two paintings, and I (thankfully!) don't have to sell them. They might not use both, depending on space. There are awards to shoot for, but I mostly just really want to see my paintings up on the wall, eat cheese and crackers, and mingle with like-minded art lovers. Soooooooooo:

Suggestions! What should I send in? I have till maybe over the weekend to figure this out (gotta get framing!) Thanks!

This just in: The incomparable Martha Stewart has a new blog. This is a Good Thing.

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Friday, August 29, 2008 7:47 AM

Mushaboom



My new favorite video. Feist is new to me, but after seeing her sing 1234 with muppets I had to go look up her other songs (and I figured out where I'd heard that song before) and I was completely sold on her. This video in particular is so totally me - a little quirky, girly and magical, and hello, flying toast! I love it.

We'll collect the moments one by one
I guess that's how the future's done.


ps ~ I have been drawing/painting a bunch, but I can't show you! It's for an upcoming job, and I'm super-excited about it, and all will be revealed at the proper time. (I love sounding mysterious.... )

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Sunday, August 17, 2008 9:34 PM

sew, baby, sew!


Test-driving the new machine.

I got an awesome birthday present - a new sewing machine! It's a pretty simple machine, but it's going to be able to do the things my old one doesn't - namely, it works. I have a beautiful old incredibly heavy, built-into-a-cabinet machine that belonged to my Grandma, a professional seamstress. When she passed away, it was the only thing I asked if I could have. I just love the idea of placing my hands where my Grandma's were, and creating something new like she did. Unfortunately, over time, either my ineptitude or just time has made it harder (and incredibly frustrating) to use. It's in real need of a tuneup, so in the meantime, I have the much simpler little workhorse to feed my sewing needs. And in time, Grandma's will be restored to its former glory, and hopefully I'll be so much of a better seamstress that I'll know how to use the myriad of attachments that it has!

I have so many projects that I've either had bookmarked or socked away (or worse - tried to do by hand) that now I just can't wait to get to. Like...

Halloween costumes! The kids want to be these guys this year, and I am just itching to get to it.



I'm starting to scout around for fur (maybe shaggy blankets will do in a pinch?) While this trio gives it a good shot, I think have a better way in mind. I want to make the Snowth heads as hoodies, so I can place the horns and the eyes in the right place, and then the kids can peek out the mouth holes. As for Mahna Mahna himself, the whole hoodie can be orange fur, and Petey (or Angela, currently the jury is out on who gets to be the leader) can wear round sunglasses with a nose attached. (Yes, we have given this a lot of thought.) Instead of doing trick or treat, they can say "Mahna mahna!" when someone answers the door.



Remember these? Waaaaay back in the day, I wanted to make each kid a doll to dress up that looked like them. We wound up getting t-shirts that we dyed in tea and they're a lovely natural color, I got embroidery thread that matches their eyes - but the machine didn't work, so I never made a pattern or anything. I am SO looking forward to making this trio (and their clothes!) This pattern looks easy enough to start with.

And then there's...

Angry Chicken's 5-Minute Skirt.

♥ How fun is this Bird Mobile ?

I like my skirts fast and cheap.

♥ Some wrap dress patterns here.



♥ One more link: photos of the DC trip are here. Enjoy!



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Friday, August 15, 2008 10:50 AM

Life's like a movie, write your own ending. Keep believing, keep pretending.


Me, Kermit, and Jim at the Henson Memorial Garden on Wednesday at the University of Maryland, following a trip to Jim Henson's Fantastic World at the Smithsonian. Naturally, I'm wearing a green dress.

Today's my birthday, and what I have learned about this year is that I have so, SO much more learning to do. And dreaming. And creating. And you know what? I'm really looking forward to it.

Here's to the lovers, the dreamers, and you.

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Friday, April 11, 2008 7:40 AM

Please, try a pee

As I had been steadily losing my voice* for the past few weeks due to the constant repetition of key phrases and the high volume in which I have to yell to make myself heard, Paul has made me a couple of handy recordings. This is my favorite one. (The other so far is "Please clear the table." I'm also hoping for the combo "Go try a pee and put on your pajamas".) Please feel free to download it and use it in your house. The secret is to loop it so that they HAVE to go try a pee to so that you will make it stop.

Enjoy!

PleaseTryAPee.mp3

*voice is getting better, thanks

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008 8:52 PM

flower girl



I did this one with the kids sitting at the dining room table after school one day. Sophie had a hard day and I wanted to cheer her up, so I sat her down and sketched her sweet face. The kids told me I should make her a fairy, what color to paint the petals, and when I said I wanted to try tea instead of coffee this time, they cheered me on. The bizarre part is that the tea went on pink (Red Zinger), dried a gorgeous slate-greyish-green, and has now over time settled into a more warmish grey. Again... the scan doesn't do it justice, but the detail helps a bit.

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Sunday, January 20, 2008 9:12 PM

dryad



More coffee, more glitter, more watercolour. The inspiration for this dryad was the creative totem/fertility goddess I created last year in clay - she sits in my studio and just makes me smile. Although I have once been called a dark-eyed naiad, I have a real connection with trees, and I've been looking for more ways to bring nature inside in the cold weather. And what I really need to do is bundle up, go outside more, and BE among the trees.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008 9:05 PM

riding the tiger



A metaphor for my life right now. I'm doing my best to ride in peace, wherever it takes me.

Closeup: coffee, glitter, watercolour. These paintings are making me really happy, how about you?

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Friday, January 11, 2008 8:09 AM

the night tree

Inspired by a new favorite Christmas book, The Night Tree, and Soulemama's solstice tree, we set out on New Year's to make our own tree for our little friends. In the book, you think the family's out searching for a Christmas tree, but they're really going into the woods to decorate a special tree for all the animals in the woods.



We made popcorn-and-pomegranate chains, chains of cheerios, orange slices, and the ever-popular pinecones with peanut butter and birdseed. Was it messy? Absolutely. But lots of fun. Sophie finished her string first, so she read us The Night Tree while the rest of us finished up.



Peter and Sophie join hands in front of the two arbor vitae we decorated. As we don't have the woods in our backyard, we thought we'd put the goodies somewhere near a window so the kids could watch the birds.

In the story, after the tree is decorated, the family sings a carol (I think we sang "Hark the Herald Angels Sing", and we did it ala A Charlie Brown Christmas with our heads thrown back and noses in the air) and then drinks cocoa. As my kids don't really eat sugar, this suggestion was met with much excitement.



Angela is making the most of her hot chocolate experience.



The view out our window, which now boasts a proper birdfeeder as the kids wanted to feed the birds all year long. The lumpy thing in the corner is a canvas-wrapped amaryllis, which we planted while the girls sang "The Garden Song." You don't know how badly I wished I'd filmed it.

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