Thursday, June 30, 2011

How to: Make a Travel Find It Game

Pretty self explanatory.  As I was at the store last night looking for "travel games" for the kids for our up coming trip I spotted one of those Find it Games that come in a tube and look like lots of fun.  But then I checked the price tag and $20 was more than I wanted to spend.  So I decided to make my own for free.
I used items from our button bag that have various shaped buttons and ribbons.  I added a pom pom, a car, a penny, and  some pirate gold and ended up with about 45 different objects to find.  I wrote them all down first.  If you were to place all the objects on a piece of white paper and then take a picture of them and then print it out, little kids could know what to find.
 Then I filled a Gallon size Ziploc bag with rice:
You could make individual (smaller) bags with quart size Ziploc bags.  Then I filled it with all my objects and typed up and printed out the "Finding List" and lastly shook the bag with goodies up!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Watercolor Wednesday Week 22

Happy PPF Everyone!  Thank you for all your well wishes.  I'm feeling much much better this week!  

View my other paintings HERE.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Fence Finally!

Here is a photo of how it looked before.  I never took a before picture of that hideous scene and I'm actually pretty surprised I had this one.  I usually purposely took picture from a different angle as to avoid that scene.  Our neighbors over there are really quite nice.  They are an older hispanic couple and are rarely outside.

Here's how it looked after we tore down that monstrosity of a "fence" we had before:
 See where that 3 foot grass is?  That's where the borderline was.  We actually have an extra foot now in some places because that other fence was so uneven.

 And here is the finished product!  Much improvement don't you think?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sunday Sketches Week 13

This is taken from an old photograph I took.

View my other sketches HERE.

Up cycled shirt/tank top

 Took a mens polo shirt and laid an existing tank top on top of it, placing it on the bottom (but making it 2 inches longer than the existing one) of the polo shirt so I could use the existing hem.  I cut around the tank top making it slightly larger to allow for hems but also to allow for the growth of the 3 year old.
Then I sewed up the shoulders and side seams (right sides together) and then used (cut up) a yellow ribbed tank top and made the ribbing for the neck and arm holes.  There you have it.  Twenty minutes to a new tank top!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Up cycled shirt/dress

 Took a men's shirt, removed the pocket, laid one of Lilly's sleeveless dresses on top of the shirt and cut  around it (making sure to cut a bit bigger to allow for seams).  Made smaller sleeves out the existing ones and added elastic to the bottoms of the sleeves using the existing hem as the casing, evened out the bottom of the shirt and shortened it, and made a yellow tie for the waist.  Now she has a new dress!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Watercolor Series- Art Background

I'm thinking of doing a Watercolor series and I thought I'd start with my "art background."  My Grandmother on my father's side was a Watercolorist.  One of the best.  She spent years learning and teaching it.  Studying under Clive O'Leary, Lee Weiss, Claude Croney, Zoltan Szabo, Tom Hill, Frank Webb, George Cherepov, Tony Van Hasselt, and Betty DeMaree.  My father was an Art Teacher at Alta High School.    He learned from his mother as well taking workshops with alot of the same people as my grandmother.  He taught Watercolor lessons at night in our basement and sold paintings on the side to help make ends meet.  We were always taking paintings to various art shows.  As far back as I can remember I had a set of Watercolor paints.  Crayola when I was younger, and on my 10th birthday I got a set of the real deal Watercolors and brushes. ( Grumbacher and Windsor and Newton) most of which were hand me downs from my grandma and father (which I still have.)  I also got a coupon (at said birthday) to attend Watercolor classes in my basement with about 6-8 other people, (mostly older ladies.)
I took art classes all through Junior high ( Drawing and a stage building/painting class), and High school.  In high school we had a block schedule where you have "A" days and "B" days.  So you attend half your classes on an "A" day and the other half on a "B" day.  My senior year I had it arranged so I spent all of my "A" day and half of my "B" day in Art.  I took Painting and had 2 back to back drawing classes and AP (Advanced Placement)Art.  I received an Art Scholarship to UVSC where I took 3 painting classes and a couple of drawing classes.  I was planning on a career in teaching art like my father but youth and stupidity got in the way.  I dropped out and  went to work for my uncle in his Dental Lab making (sculpting teeth out of wax) to be turned into crowns.  I did that until my first child was born.  Didn't do a whole lot of drawing or painting during the next 5 or 6 years mostly due to very young children and the fact that I didn't have a space to do it.  I'd always get the paints out to do Christmas cards every year and would hate the fact that I was "no good " at painting anymore.
Last year we finally moved the kids to a room in the basement and that freed up a room upstairs that we turned into and office/painting room where I could leave my stuff out.  I painted more often but not a lot.  I started this blog in September of last year and I finally had a creative outlet.  Even if nobody was looking at it it forced me to create again.  5 months ago I set myself a goal to, every Wednesday (Watercolor Wednesdays) post all of the painting I had finished that week.  It forced me to be painting every week and my art work is showing the practice I've put in.
A few weeks ago I found a blog where I can link up my art work with other people around the world.  It's nice to have a place I can share my art work finally and see others work and get inspiration that way.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Miss Mary Mack

 Miss Mary Mack, Mack, Mack
All dressed in black, black, black
With silver buttons, buttons, buttons
All down her back, back, back
Or in my case down the front.  Ha ha!  I finally finished my dress.   I think of that song every time I see this dress.  It also has pockets which will be super nice!  Cost to make this dress: $4.  Fabric bought as a bed sheet at D.I. for $3 and pattern on sale at Joanns for $1.  Already had the interfacing and BUTTONS, so I didn't count those.  Sweet!

 Lilly took these photos and did a pretty awesome job.  Despite cutting the very top of my head off.  Thanks Lilly.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Watercolor Wednesday Week 21

Kind of feeling a little out of sorts this week.  Hubby's been working lots of hours and it's starting to take its toll on all of us.  

View my other weeks paintings HERE.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Ruched leg shorts

 I got my inspiration  HERE.  From Dana's Ruched leggings.  I thought they would make cute shorts.  I pretty much followed her instructions.  If you've never seen her site, it's worth a look!

I bought a "new" T-shirt from a local thrift store for 2 dollars and just laid my pattern on top of the shirt, using the hem on the bottom of the shirt so I wouldn't have to hem it myself.  DANA'S website has awesome instructions on how to create your own pattern using an existing pair of your child's pants or shorts.  Or you could chop off a pair of knit leggings that no longer fits your little girl or using an existing pair of knit shorts.

When the shorts are all finished you just sew 2 lines of elastic thread (About $1.50 at  fabric stores) to the outside seam of each leg.  It's the black thread in the picture.  I sewed one line on either side of the side seam.  Or you could stretch and sew a piece of thin elastic.  Then sew buttons to the outside and that's it.  I think it took me an hour to make these and Lilly loves them.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day

Here is my handsome hubby.  He's wearing the bow tie I made him for Father's Day.  (Thanks for thinking it was great.) There's a lot I could say about the man I love and why I love him.  As I've thought about what to write, there just aren't words to describe how much he means to me.
 First off, he is the most unselfish person I've ever met.  Hands down.   He would and does help anyone in need.   After being married for about a year, he took on the huge task of helping and taking care of my father before he passed away.   Helping him eat and shave and just talking with him or taking him for drives in his truck.  He would go to my parent's house every morning from 6 or 7 am until he went to work at 11 or 12:00.  He was a flower delivery driver at the time and would check in on my Dad at least once every day while he was out on deliveries. I can't say I would have done the same thing in his position.  I will be forever grateful to him for taking care of my father.
He makes me laugh.  Every day.  He cheers me up when I'm down.
He's a great father.  He's always helped me out with the kids.  He got up at night with Lilly and Max even when he didn't need to.  He would just be up with me because I was up.  Talking to me or just letting me know he was there for me.
 Lilly and Daddy

Max and Daddy

He always checks on the kids at night and makes sure everything is locked up.
He works hard for us so that I can stay at home with the kids.  I love him for that too.  He still tells me I'm beautiful and holds my hand.  He makes me the top priority when we are out and acts as if I'm the only person in the world.  He always eats the dinners I make, even when they haven't been that great.
He's way better at remembering to take pictures than I am.  If he hadn't taken pictures, we wouldn't have 70% of the ones we do have.
He supports me in everything I do.  He's never told me I couldn't do something and he always watches the kids when I need a night out with my sisters and Mom.
He never complains and he is always optimistic.
I love you Jarrett and I hope you know that.

Sunday Sketches Week 12

Here they are a little late, but better late than never right?   

View my other sketches HERE.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Lilly's Sketches

I was going to wait until Sunday to show these but they were just too cute.  Lilly (6 years) has been obsessed with comic books and Graphic Novel style books for a long time.  I think her father had something to do with it.   That being said, while I was working on a painting the other day she was looking through a Batgirl graphic novel and she started looking at and drawing some scenes and people from it.  I had to check twice on that guy with the cigarette in his mouth.  I thought she had traced it at first.  Nope, the original was about a quarter the size of the one she drew.  She just has a knack for drawing.  She has always been very observant.  When she was about 2 years old, we were driving in the car in the winter and she said to me "Look momma the mountains look blue."  I was 10 or 11 and my father had to point out to me in a painting class, that mountains from far away look blue or sometimes purple.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Watercolor Wednesday Week 20

I decided to to do 2 Wild River pictures this time because water and rocks are my hardest subjects and I'd like to change that. These  two are both done with Watercolors and Rice paper.  I'm not sure if I'm done with the second one.  I need more time to study it out.  Oh and Happy PPF to those who are viewing this on Friday!

View my other weeks paintings HERE.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

How to: Make an Easy Backyard Fort on the cheap

My husband thought of this idea and it was super easy and cheap.  We bought 12  half inch PVC pipe pieces at Lowes.  They were already precut to 5' pieces! Bonus!  They were $1.12  a piece.

We bought 8  half inch "Y" pieces (32 cents a piece):

Push the pipe into the "Y"pieces:
I was (and still might) sew some actual panel pieces out of bed sheets to put on the sides, but for now, draping the sheets over the sides and using a fitted sheet for the top works pretty good.
The best part is that since it's not glued together (primed with that blue stuff)  it comes apart for easy storage.

You can also make a lean to.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Yes we make messes too!

I've recently come across a lot of blogs and comments on blogs about people being "deceptive" of how they portray themselves on their blogs.  I hope I'm not one of those people.  That's never been my intention.  Nor was it ever my intention to make anyone feel bad that they don't do crafty things with their kids.  This is just me.  I love to create things and I love to get my kids involved.  My dad was this way and I'm just doing what I know.  I loved doing fun art projects with him and I want my kids to experience  that too.  I post the things that we've done, that were fun for us, thinking that maybe someone else would also enjoy them.  Although it's occasionally nice to know that other people have messes and make mistakes and that their "projects" don't turn out, who would want to read a blog that's all downers and full of projects "not to make." Or who wants to listen to someone complain all the time?  Not me.
First off, I have two little kids.  My house generally has toys everywhere.  Don't get me wrong it gets a good scrub down the beginning of every week.  Bathroom cleaned and floors mopped.  But the toys and the clutter,  and the art projects, and the toys  uggg!  It's enough to drive anyone crazy!  It's hard to balance spending quality time with your children, with keeping them entertained, and grocery shopping and cleaning and paying bills and making meals doing dishes and cleaning up meals.  I'm not perfect, no one is.  If you were to stop in on a surprise visit this is probably what you would see:
Office:  This table is almost NEVER clean.  The floor although vacuumed, has pattern pieces and elastic and  Lysol cleaning wipes on the it.  I am constantly making the children take their toys back downstairs and telling them to not leave them sitting on the table.  As you can see there is a purse and a batman figurine.
 Over in the next corner my fabric stash and watercolor paper stash ( in the box).

Living room:  This mess in this corner is almost always here.  It's become my dumping ground for all my paintings.  Mop, very dusty cubby (I dusted it off after I saw this photo) and put away those fishing game fish on the bottom cubby.
 Kids room:  Not terrible but not clean either.

 Toy room:  Hard to walk through with out stepping on something.

Basement living room:  Pillows and blankets strewn about.  Hand weights still not put away properly after workout because some children were whining that they "had to have a snack or they would die."  Folding chairs still not put away.
So yes we make messes too.  Yes my children get out the art supplies and cut up paper and leave it everywhere and most of the time refuse to clean up after themselves but that's just a given.  That's what happens when you have kids.  I try and balance the "letting them use their creativity" and not letting it get out of hand.
When I take pictures for my blog I  do usually clean the area up first.   It's hard to showcase something when there is too much going on in the background.   But "this" is what is lurking in the "other" corner.  Yes!  We make messes too!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sunday Sketches Week 11

This is Lilly laying on a blanket sketched with a live model and the one of Max was done from a photo.  He looks like an old man to me.  I think it's the sketchy lines.  Or the hair.  Who know, maybe if I had more time.


Friday night we went to Summerfest.  The video is of us on the first ride we went on.  The tornado.  It was also Max's first time on a "Big" ride.  Other than the Ferris Wheel.  He actually had to stand against the "you must be this tall to ride" sign.  He made it with an extra inch  (40 inches.)  He's tall for a 3 year old.

See that missing tooth!

The kids went on the kiddie roller coaster.  It was jerky, loud and all the kids were screaming.  Max hated it!  Every time they went past Max said "Stop this thing" to me.

The swing ride.  Of course like all the rides, Max has to check out how it works and where all the cables are going.

Then if it passes his approval, he can enjoy himself.

Gunny sack slide.  As you can see Max tried going head first.  The carny grabbed him just in time.

Tilt a whirl.  An old time favorite.  Brings back a lot of memories of me going on this ride when I was little.

And finally, Lilly and I went on the Star Trooper.  We both were sick the rest of the night.  This ride produced a first for me.  I've never in my life been sick from any ride.   I was fine for all but the last 30 seconds.   It was either a rough ride or I'm getting old.