Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Taking the Crafty Out of the House

We have been finding the "crafties" outside of the home this past week....
My sister and I took the kids to a paint your own pottery place on Monday.

I had never been to one before, although I heard that that can be fun. Megan, my sister, took Gabby the week before to a different location and just gushed about it. So she invited me and my kids (and Cate too, of course) to join her at a place a little closer to our hometown. It was ok... the kids liked it, but I was not really feelin' it, I guess.

I wasn't thrilled with the selection of things for the kids to choose from... I just keep thinking, "This stuff will be collecting dust in my house soon." Maybe I'll feel differently about the whole experience after we go pick up our finished pieces next week. Or maybe I should have painted something for myself, a nice coffee mug or a plate or something... but it was killing me to spend $40 on this stuff to begin with. It also put me in an agitated mood that the chairs there were super flippy and 3 kids in our group flipped their chairs over! Or maybe I was just being a grouch...

Cate chose a bird and painted it blue and yellow. Her parents will love it I'm sure.
Dominick and his dino.

Gabby chose a cheerleader.

Ethan and Hudson both picked out skulls. Ethan wants to put his in the fish bowl.

I also signed up Hudson and Ethan for art classes at The Mill Art Center in a nearby town. The location is beautiful... and old stone building with a fabulous restaurant on the first floor, and art gallery and classroom space on the second and third floors.

Hudson had his first class on Tuesday. It is a cartooning class taught by his art teacher from school. He loves to draw comic book figures and has a real knack for it. His class is once a week. Ethan's class is called Pottery, Pastels and Paint. He'll go everyday (except Thursday) for a week. How fun!!

Monday, July 28, 2008


We must be having a sweet tooth around here... The kids and I made some chocolate covered bananas the other night after being inspired by this post over at the Crafty Crow.
Ours were no where near as pretty as Andy's at Dinners on Me... since we didn't have any popsicle sticks we used the bases that came with our popsicle mold. They were a bit long (and therefor poked out the side of the banana) but such is life. And then the kids said there was too much chocolate on them.... Ah hum, what??? I say. Whose children are you?? They preferred the banana plain. So I then just froze two bananas au naturale and Alex ate them up this afternoon. (I have to admit that every time I type the word "bananas" I sing that Gwen Stephani song in my head... this "bleep" is bananas... B-A-N-A-N-A-S....)
On now to more sweetness...
Ethan was sad the other night because both his brother and sister were invited to sleep over at friend's houses and he wasn't... and daddy was not home... it was just me and him... so we made a cake... just for the heck of it... and put a candle in it and sang "Happy Thursday"... just because.

And check this out!! I know... I am such a nerd, but I was SO EXCITED about the fact that I actually grew potatoes!
I mean, I do realize that potatoes must be grown somewhere by someone... but this thrilled me! I had a rooty looking potato in my bag that I tossed into the ground when I put my tomato plants into the garden back in May. A lovely leafy plant grew. But it was starting to get too big, and I was dying to know what was happening under the dirt, so the other day I dug it up. And low and behold there were actual potatoes in the ground! It was like having a baby... I was so excited!! I washed them and swaddled them. I took their picture. I ooed and ahhed at their sheer existence. Then I chopped them up, spritzed them with olive oil, sprinkled them with salt and pepper, cooked them until the were nice and crispy and ate the best freakin' homemade french fries ever! (I promise I never did all that with a baby!)

And, just because I do claim this to be a craft blog...
we did a lady bug craft from Kid Craft Weekly. I wanted to try it with the little one I babysit for, and my boys joined in as well. It was a bit beyond Cate (3), and although he did a nice job, it was a bit below Hudson (8), but Ethan (6) enjoyed it.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


...I am posting about something crafty! Finally...I know, right? Two reasons for getting back into the crafty groove... we have vacated the lake house and my sisters have gone home. (Two sisters live very near me; in fact my youngest is spending the night at one of their house's tonight...but since they are here all the time we don't have to get together everyday like we do when my other sisters visit, because we don't see them as much.) So things are settling back down and I have discovered that I have become, like so many do, addicted to freezer paper stencils! So easy! So satisfying! I have a short attention span and love instant gratification- so this project is perfect for me!
The hardest part is cutting out the stencil. I am not very adept with the exacto knife, so simple shapes are best for me. And I feel like a complete idiot when I cut off the part I meant to keep...trying to picture what is negative space and what will be painted...the brain is old... but I think I will get the hang of it.
Above is the space ship shirt I made for Hudson. Good thing I got a picture of it because he helped his dad paint the floor of the tree house this evening and got blue latex paint across the front. :(
These are 2 little ones I made... carrot is for my new nephew Griffin, and the birdie- I'm not sure yet.

Chicken Update

My how they have grown!And I'm pretty sure that at least one (McNugget) is a rooster...he cock-a-doodle-do-ed today. Crap.
This is their "play pen" or as my brother-in-law calls it the "chicken tractor", because we can move it around the yard and the chickens till up whatever area they are in. We've moved it about 6 times in the 2 months we have had them and they have done no permanent damage to the yard (not that I really care if they did). The top has two removable pieces, one solid, to give them a little sun protection, then other is screened to make it lighter. We can easily slide the tops around or take them right off, to feed and water them, or hop inside if need be!
They love to roost on the edge of this little barn. My husband made this for my daughter to play with when she was 2 and in a "nay-nay" (horsey) stage. It was her Christmas gift, along with some Beyer horses that year. She outgrew it very quickly, and we had a handful of legless horses laying around for a while, but I was really reluctant to get rid of the barn. It has been a book receptacle, a toy box and most recently it sat empty on our back porch...until the chickens arrived. Now it is their sun shelter and their perch.
And isn't this the cutest little chicken house ever? My husband made it. It's nearly finished- just need to paint the white x's on the doors per my daughter Alex's instructions. The slanty part on the left lifts open to reveal a storage area for their feed and bedding. The other side opens up to the hutch itself, so that we can get the chickens in and out. There are two screened in windows for ventilation, and there is a perch inside. Because it is warm out we don't put them "to bed" every night, but when it starts to get colder we will. It is pretty comical watching the chicken get wrangled up out of the play pen and transported to the coop!

Saturday, July 12, 2008


I know, I know... I have disappeared again. I think that this blog thing will be harder in the summer. Although I love reading everyone elses entries at the end of a long hot summer day, but darn it... I am just too tired to write my own post! And I have nothing to say, so there.
My sisters from out of town have been up here visiting. We all got together at my parent's house on the lake for the 4th. Between us there are 14 children (ages 17 down to 3) so we are a loud, rowdy group with varied ideas about parenting.... and let me tell you, that can be hard.

Anyway, so that is what I have been doing.... spending time at the lake house (which my parents own but rent out for most of the summer, so when they have it for two weeks we spend lots of time there) driving my daughter back and forth to her Broadway Camp, taking the kids to soccer games and practices, swimming, giving Ethan a mohawk, hanging with my family. But things will settle down here I think. The lake house is rented starting on Monday, so tomorrow will be our last swimming day. One sister left today... another leaves on Monday.

I have done one crafty thing... I finally tried my hand at freezer paper stencils and made this t-shirt for Ethan. He was tired of having me take his picture... can you tell? (It is an octopus in case you can't tell.)

But oh,oh,oh!!! I almost forgot!! I got my Pay it Forward package from Indigo Girl!! It was delivered to me by my daughter and husband at the lake house a few nights ago... so i had to explain the whole "blog contest thingy" to my extended family...but they thought it was like Christmas!! My sister grabbed the Literary Mama book right away and my husband dove right into the dark chocolate... in fact the package was so ripped into that I couldn't even photograph it!! But guess what was buried at the bottom just for me????