Sunday, December 30, 2012

Only Five Minutes Left! Quick Make a Robber!

Henry's class did a paint-a-long project for Christmas gifts and look what he wrapped and put under the tree!

I love it and it's beautiful and it hangs crooked and the snowman is a...robber.

When I asked about it, he shrugged and said, "The teacher said only 5 more minutes so I just made my snowman into a robber."

Of course.
Merry Christmas thieving balls of ice!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Moe's Cups Saving the Day...

We've been busy cleaning up Christmas decorations and when it comes to packing up the tree ornaments, I'm in a dilemma every year.

On a different but related note, I love Moe's so much. Too much. Welcome to Moe's! I'm always so welcome there. Plus they make me an Art Vandalay any way I want.
Kids eat free per adult entree on Tuesdays so we end up with a lot of Moe's kids cups.

Empty cups + small Christmas tree ornaments = packing solution.

Welcome to Moe's! And easy ornament storage!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

One More Reason I Heart Publix

I love Publix Grocery Store.
So Much.

First the BOGO deals that match up with manufacturer coupons is awesome. So is Mattie in the bakery area who hands out free samples. So are the deli workers who watched my belly grow through pregnancy and then kept slicing me turkey and giving samples to baby Corinne once she was here and yelling for more turkey.
So are the baggers who never balk at my random selection of reusable bags and are patient with 3 kids who are out of patience with the grocery store and try to use the water fountain in ways that they shouldn't. And they still walk me to the car and talk to me about their gardens and grandkids.

Sometimes when I forget my cloth bags, I ask for paper.
Then I thought HEY I can use these paper bags to wrap Christmas presents!!

After I used up my old supply of bags, I got some more and WHO KNEW that Publix was interested in  doubling grocery bags as wrapping paper too!

They got this awesome Peace logo going on:

Thank you Publix!!!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Alternative Gift Giving for Our Teachers

Preparing for teachers' gifts either gets me really excited and inspired, or totally stressed out and worried too much about what others think. 
This year was fun.

We had many teachers to buy for, as well as our awesome postal worker delivery lady (she likes to be called the Queen of Letters). 
This year we also sponsored our first child through Compassion International. His name is Moises and he is 6 years old.

You can also give gifts through Compassion, so we made a donation toward clean drinking water and sanitary bathrooms. Nothing is funnier than bathroom humor to 2nd and 3rd graders, so it felt like an appropriate theme in our house.

I typed up this letter:

and cut a slit to feed a charm on a chain through.

These charms I ordered from Whitney at ">"

The chains are long so folks can wear them around their necks, or hang from a rearview mirror, or on a doorknob - wherever. It's just a reminder. Which we all need.

Someday, when I grow up, I'd like to celebrate a Christmas that is complete with gifts that help others and at the same time are gifts people actually want, and wrap the gifts in an environmentally-friendly way, as well as not have as much stuff at the end of the day. Also no stress and more sleep.
I can't wait to grow up.

Merry Christmas, y'all.

Here's what the letter said:

Merry Christmas!

Thank you for all that you do through the year.

In honor of you, we have made a donation to
Compassion International

Specifically, we donated to:

Help Build Water Reservoirs for Children and Families
Children in rural Ethiopia often travel an hour each way to collect water — water that is often contaminated and makes them ill. You can help construct a water reservoir that would benefit a community of more than 20,000 people — including nearly 600 Compassion-assisted students and thousands of their family members.

Give Children Access to Safe and Sanitary Bathrooms
For those in poverty, a bathroom is a luxury. In rural areas sanitation facilities are unheard of, and in urban areas they are often shared by multiple families and are breeding grounds for disease. You can help ensure that a Compassion child development center has a clean bathroom where the children can practice good hygiene.

This H2O token is to remind you of what a difference you make in the lives of our children, and thereby in the lives of children in need.

The token is made by Whitney Crane of Word,

Blessings to you this season!

Virabhadrasana II, Chocolate Chip Style

For a recent Holiday Party, I was supposed to bring something sweet. 
So I found a cookie cutter in the shape of Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II):

Sweeeeeet, y'all!
Yoga humor is so funny...

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Angels All Around Us

I go to a Christmas Brunch every December and see women I only see once a year.
I never want to miss it. I only have 362 days until the next one.

So I painted angels on old palette boards with acrylic and gesso for each:

Then I got so inspired I did more for the mantle:

Anybody need an angel?
This is so fun...

On to Cats!

Remember Gesso, the Doggie Boy?  Now I've moved to Cats. Next is a Pig, y'all.

Meet Cleopatra, the Royal Cat:

She began as a plaster cat with brown ribbon decoupaged in layers with googley eyes attached. Seriously.

So when I peeled the decoupage off, and painted it blue, the glue in the plaster made white spots on the blue.
So I outlined the white spots in blue paint and added some designs (inspired by Zentangle, of course) and Voila!

I covered her in a good dose of Mod-Podge to shiny her up and I think she's pretty happy.

Next, the Pig...

And One Thing Led to Another...

I went to a painting class last week to paint a Christmas window.  It was like a sips-n-strokes but on a window, not a canvas.

We started with this:

And laughed and talked:

Following the pattern...and order of events...

Here's me at the end of the morning

When I brought it home, I added a layer of black paint on the back and then painted the frame red.
The instructions were to write "Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!" on the frame, but I didn't.  I'm such a rebel.

So I like painting on glass and found a piece in the garage, along with a frame that fit it. With black I painted footprints and fingertips as if you were standing on the ground and reaching to the floor. This is a Standing Forward Fold in yoga, also known as Uttanasana.

I hot-glued it into the frame and then glued a cardboard back and then taped for reinforcement.  There is no hanger. But it's good to go to prop.

Then I wrote a note to one of my favorite yoga teachers, thanking her for all her beauty, and put a big red bow on it.

When I gave it to her tonight, it took her a while to understand, but then she SAW it and now we have ideas for prints of so many other poses!  So fun!

Then I got a hankering to paint a cow's skull on glass.  You know, just like you do sometimes.
This was more challenging than I thought. I painted negative space first in black, then covered the back in white.

Thank you, Georgia O'Keeffe, thank you.

And painting on glass is awesome, y'all.

Monday, December 03, 2012

Christmas Program, Stars and Bells

Our church Christmas Program, Stars and Bells, was last night. 
Luckily Bobbie and Pops came and brought us snacks beforehand and then took pictures during.  
Also, luckily Mimi and Papa took Corinne home with them so she could nap and boss them around before coming to see sister and brother on stage.

However, Henry decided that The Stage was not his thing. So he was the Special Assistant to the Pianist. He did an awesome job and maintained a great attitude.  
Building character, y'all.

Svea sang her heart out to the tune of glitter and bells and sweetness.  She's there in the middle with her hair tucked behind her ear.
Henry is gazing off into the distance.

When Corinne was not dominating Mimi's iPhone, she was in her "princess dress" with her "princess bow" in her "performance coma" she assumes anytime anyone is on a stage.

The shadows in this black and white picture are just perfect, but for the record, the dress is bright pink and the bow is bright green.  Of course.

Merry Christmas, y'all!!

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Going On A Trip

Do I go to Decatur or Tokyo or Chicago or Jacksonville?

Somehow, I'm needing an Aunt.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Drop Out

So some of y'all know that I am an art school drop out.

I'm okay with that.
So instead of going back for Art this Fall, I came up with my own syllabus.  It involved drawing and painting and new recipes and patience and letting things go and massive forgiveness of self and others. All good work, right?

Yessss, it definitely has been.  And I added a yoga class on Thursday nights at J. Darby Farm. So healing.

And I crochet with old ladies the fourth Tuesday of every month, and meet with those struggling with infertility the fourth Monday of every month, and meet with Ladies on the second Monday of every month to discuss Lady Issues, and every Wednesday a group of eclectic awesome women get together to laugh and talk about meaningful stuff. It is a full semester. I am grateful.

I still miss drawing with tragic 18 year olds, but maybe again soon.

For now I'll pull weeds and cook and care for kids and home and husband and grandparents and read and play and crochet and knit and paint and draw and sew and sort and dust and pull things out of the attic as I put things in the attic and then move them to the basement - is anyone else doing this too??

Sweet life, y'all.
I am grateful.

Gesso, The Doggie Boy

One morning, I went to the best place ever, America's Thrift Store, and found this dog.  
My friend Leah laughed at me. 
The dog called to me.  
So I bought him.

I covered him in gesso, so Leah and I named him Gesso.

Then Corinne loved him and named him Doggie Boy. She drags out the "y" in Boyyyyyyy.
She and Svea helped me paint him all sorts of colors, and then I went back with black acrylic paint and a small brush to add tattoos on the colors.

Then I added furniture pads on the bottom to soften his stance.

My neighbor Faith down the street wants to buy him.  I love him, but I can let him go.

I had no idea it was so fun to paint a dog!
So in the meantime, I have found and purchased a cat and a pig...good times, y'all, good times.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Divine Fractions

We went camping again, y'all.
And I enjoyed it.

I wish Corinne had...but she got up at 1:33 in the morning and wanted to paint fingernails. Then she wanted to ride her bike. Then she wanted to go potty, so at 2:00am we are in the bath house with the other nighttime critters, balancing on the potty. 
Good times. 

We went for a "hike" the next morning:

And Svea was Wonder Woman, of course.

We took the dog this time and I think she votes we camp every night.

While I was walking along with Svea, Henry had the dog and Brian had Corinne, Svea asked me about fractions. She wanted to know if I knew about them.
I told her that I knew a little about them, but that I wasn't very good at them.
She asked if I knew that the top number was PART of the whole, and the bottom number WAS the whole.
I told her I did.
So she said that that was just like her and God. She was the top number, just part of it all, and that God was the bottom, God as ALL of it.

I had to stop for a minute so my brain could catch up to agree with her.

While Corinne is not enjoying fractions yet, metaphorically or literally, she was enjoying using the flashlights, writing in her journal, walking with Daddy, and being near the camp fires.
And food. Of course, food.

Since Diary of a Wimpy Kid has experienced a resurgence in our house, I brought some old blank notebooks with our camping gear.  Turns out that the kids LOVE to journal by the moonlight.
Corinne kept pointing to the moon, then to her paper and saying, "Circle! circle!"as she scribbled circle after circle.

The next cold morning, we got ready for another hike. Guess who got a lollipop for the journey, and guess who refused to wear a jacket though his lips were blue, and guess who changed clothes 3 times before we left?

Sugar is not the right answer to the guesses...

I hope all of you get the equivalent joy that our 18 hours camping gave us!

Halloween 2012

Turns out...Halloween comes very naturally to Corinne, Svea and Henry.  
In that order.

Corinne was a witch with a pink pumpkin bucket and she was enthralled with all the free candy. She was NOT enthralled with her witch hat.

She even stole candy from our own bucket that was for the other Trunk or Treat-ers.

Here is Mr. Bones. Made out of PVC pipes. Ha.

Corinne with her fist full.
Just the way she likes it.

Here's our CREEPY trunk at Trunk or Treat, and Mr. Bones in his knee socks.

Handsome Henry as the Punisher (?!*&%$) and Bieber hair.

Here they are!  Svea as a rock star that is Hannah Montana-ish but the wig was not working so well, so it's more like Miley Cyrus-ish.  Corinne is the hatless witch.  Henry, the Punisher with no weapons allowed.

Happy Halloween, y'all!  Hope all of your candy is already gone and not lingering in your kitchen, dining room, bedroom, lunch box area or dog's bed!!

Monday, November 05, 2012

The "W"

On this eve of the presidential election, Svea is gearing up for her report to her class tomorrow.

She has been researching the president of the United States of her choosing for the past few days to present her findings to her class.

Get it?  She could choose ANY PRESIDENT.

So she chose George W. Bush.
In my shock and awe, I asked her why she chose him.

Her answer: he wears a tie and is cute.

She is not allowed to date until she is 39 and is currently moving out of my house.

So instead of dressing up like George W.,  she is taking sugar cookies with a "W" in icing she wrote on them. Remember, these cookies were imprinted with icing tonight and have to survive a bus ride tomorrow with a creative 2nd grader who often forgets her backpack [daily] and likes to shake the cookie container for effect only.

Sidebar: she asked me tonight if she was taking the bus tomorrow. I said, "Yes."
She almost fell off her stool and said "WHY WHY WHY????"
So I looked at her in surprise and she relaxed and said, "OOOOOOOHHHHHHH. I'm taking the bus because I take the bus EVERY morning!"

These "W" cookies are doomed.

I can't make any political comments or apologies or encouragements, so I am sending sugar and a copy of So You Want To Be The President in case they want to read that together during reading time.

God bless the USA, y'all.  Please vote tomorrow.

And then go buy yourself any awesome, beautiful cookie to your liking.