Friday, June 29, 2012

Notes From The Week - June 29, 2012

Too hot - even for water balloons. We're gonna need more popsicles I think. I am going to keep the linky love going for now. Hope you find something wonderful. ~OP

-Book Landscapes - These are really beautiful.
-Pretty pressed flowers - Nice and easy DIY.
-House props - Interesting tidbit on items used solely for display purposes. Thanks for the link Glutennifer.
-Photo Transfers - I have wanted to try these so badly. Does anyone have a laser printer (pew-pew!)?
-Pretty Photos - They make me think of Fall (too early), but in a good way.
-You are not special - Something to think about when praising our wonderful babies.
-Wool Landscapes - I think I see a yarn volcano in my future.
-Retro Library Posters.
-Colorful Garden - Made from miniature cameras.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Dog Days

The high was 108 today in the STL, so I went on an extended popsicle break. I rather enjoy breaking blog protocol and am changing things up again. It's skittish, erratic, and fun. ~ OP

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Recycled Art Canvases

This summer the kids thought it would be fun to have an art show before school starts back up. They are working on different types of projects each week and learning new techniques. Since the idea for the show was not planned for, neither was a budget. In an effort not to stifle creativity, and keep an eye on the wallet I came up with some guidelines for their materials. I will fund any project (without exorbitant costs) if:
  • All previous projects are 100% complete before moving on. I am going to try this myself, because I notoriously have several unfinished things "going" at once. They are welcome to start something else while their paint dries, but the materials must be on hand.
  • They must dig through the recycle bin, goodwill bag, or house for materials first. If they find something they want to use, they must make use of it in a timely fashion so we don't have a mountain of recycling clutter.
  • They have to try hard and have fun! After that, I will pick up whatever materials they need.
I have seen several posts recently reminding me about using old cereal boxes as art canvases. That fits with our art show plans beautifully! Below I have compared three variations of this upcycled art supply.

  • Great coverage
  • Labor intensive, but easy
  • Uses more supplies
  • Good texture
  • No waste
I used newsprint we had on hand instead of tearing out book pages and I am pleased with the result of it. It did however take quite a bit of time between seaming the edges, tearing the paper, and adhering with ModPodge. In the grand scheme of DIY, the labor is minimal, but by comparison to the other canvases, too much work. Let's paint already!


  • Great coverage
  • No texture
  • Smelly - it must be done outside
  • Minimal time and effort
  • Waste from spray can
I already had spray paint and it was by far the shortest and best covering method. The drying time was shorter, but it smells terrible. Because of this, you are bound by the weather as to when you make it and you end up with an empty paint can at some point, but if you are in a hurry this will do.

  • Thin coverage
  • Good texture with brush or roller
  • Takes more time
  • Minimal waste
  • Easy peasy
Obviously, this one will need several more coats of paint since I used craft paint instead of wall paint primer, but I had every supply on hand and it was cathartic brushing the paint on. No good for a time crunch though.

I will probably use a mix of the three canvases to offer more variety to the kids. I won't buy any spray paint for this project, but rather use what is in the house to keep the cost and the smell down. I believe I favor option three the most, for its therapeutic qualities. Have a great afternoon! ~ OP

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

We've Got Fruit

Big Beef Tomato
Hooray! All three varieties have sizable fruits on them and the Roma plants are huge. Luckily the only pests we have encountered are those wascally wabbits who have vandalized every bed in the yard...and up went the rabbit fencing. If I see them contemplating the steel enclosure for too long I deploy my professional rabbit chaser Boober because Bella is no hound dog. I don't even think she knows what a rabbit is. ~ OP

Monday, June 11, 2012

Notes From The Week - June 8, 2012

-Dude thinks he has a mustache growing (see photo). I think I have more facial hair.
-Numbers - I thought of Jenn when I read this.
-I made friends with a Robin who visits with me while I garden and I am quite fond of her now. Boober named her Pretty. I named her baby Fledge.
-Wildflowers - Info on cultivating wildflowers. I thought you spread the seed and let it go...
-Infusing play into work - I particularly like the suggestion to pretend your coworkers are robots or vampires. Just think if everyone at the office did this.
-Bud has one zinnia blossom so far. She's a deep pink.
-Double Chocolate Bacon Cookies - Hubble might get these for Father's Day.

How was your week/weekend? I received a July issue of Real Simple the other day and could not believe it was already time to think about the 4th. I feel like summer just started. The kids and I are making the most of our days, but it is making it difficult to fit in mommy's extracurriculars (i.e. crocheting, blogging, photography, creating). I still get to do those things, but the schedule has no room for nudging right now. We might burst, but we are having lots of fun. ~ OP

Thursday, June 7, 2012

My Apologies

Conversation with Mel (not verbatim, but close):
O: As usual, I was doing too many things at once and the chocolate scorched or caramelized. It looked kind of like ganache, so I spread it on some pretzels with some peanut butter and it worked out!
M to J: She's really good at figuring out what to do when something doesn't go according to plan.
O: (in defense) Well, I just hate wasting stuff and it was either that or I was going to have to make the family stand over the bowl with spoons until it was gone (in jest).

Later between Mel and J:
J to M: Yeah, I just love her little critters and animals she makes.
O: Are you talking about me? For real?
J: Yeah, I loved the ball you made and I don't know how you follow the patterns. That's beyond me.
O: It was a lot of fun to make and went super quick. I was surprised....yada, yada.

Notice, not once did I thank either one of them for their compliments. Mel has been a friend of mine for years and J is a degreed art major. I highly value their opinions and reacted as though I don't deserve to hear those things from them. I thought this was an area I have improved in over the years, but the light bulb went on last night showing me the stairway to improvement.

What is so difficult about accepting that someone thinks you are good at something, especially when you can share their sentiment? I notice that I skip the gratitude in favor of a logical, but unnecessary defense for my actions/creations/thoughts/writing. I notice that it often leaks out here. In thinking over this last night, I also recalled feeling more intimidated, thus more likely justifying myself, towards the males I look up to. I feel like that comes from the shortage of verbal praise men offer and being spoiled on the positive feedback many women are anxious to proliferate.

However, I can't do anything to control another person, nor do I want to. I can however, work on my reaction to praise and the lack of gratification I perceive from someone I admire. I am going to try to respond thoughtfully and gratefully when I hear something nice. I am going to avoid interpreting a lack of response from someone else as disdain. Although I have a penchant for self-deprecation, I am going to give myself more gratitude and flexibility. So, thank you Mel and J. You are very kind. Oooo, see! Already improving - baby steps - boogety. ~ OP

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

On Top of The Laundry

I thought making a monstrous heap out of the clean laundry would make folding it more fun. The kids certainly enjoyed it. I got stuck between the pile, a basket and a table leg at one point, but I got quite a chuckle out of rolling around in there. Hubble, on the other hand, was not impressed. I should have pushed him in it. He just didn't know what he was missing.

Now that the pile is under control and I am home everyday, I am making a point to wash, dry and fold one load each day, provided there is enough laundry for a load. No more baskets of dreadful, unfolded raiment all over the house. The kids separate their clothes once a week, I run it through the cycle, and they put them away. It's not as fun as a mountain of clothing, but it is far more manageable. I like that.

What do you do to stay on top of drab chores like folding laundry or washing the dishes? Which chore is your least favorite? ~ OP

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Rabbit Spirit

Who do I spy, behind the flowers?

I waited for it to pass, for hours.

A shy and bouncing funny bunny
with two large, round eyes

I can't believe it! It just might, no it couldn't be,
A Totoro Surprise!

So much cleaner than having an actual pet rabbit, and I think, cuter. This Totoro was originally destined for my niece on her 8th birthday, but he was not completed in time. After my most recent Gabba debacle, I decided to finish Totoro and give him to Boober for her birthday since she shares her cousin's delight with the little rabbit spirits. As for my neglected niece, I am hoping to come through with her own Totoro very soon. He is so sweet, though, I may have to make one for myself as well .~ OP

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Notes From the Week - June 2, 2012

Bella encounters a baby Robin

-My dog has been under attack from the resident Robin Gang all week. Most of the babies are full size now. Hooray!
-Lego LOTR Video Game!!! - Are you kidding me? Awesome!
-Got a double chin - Try this trick for better photos.
-The Joke That Got No Laughs - Love this poem.
-We are learning about native birds and color this week. Our plan is to have an art show towards the end of summer to showcase the kids' creations.
-Fraggle Rock Movie - Like, for sure, really.

Kind of a slow week. I'm in a funk. Think my protein might be low. I have to house to myself and am loving the quiet serenity. ~ OP