Wednesday, March 27, 2013

KSL Blog Of The Week

I was so honored to be chosen as KSL's blog of the week! I was starting to panic a bit last night. I still have my head cold and sound like a frog. I had broken out thanks to generous pregnancy hormones. And I wasn't quite sure of what I would wear - I wanted to show some artistic flair, but that's hard in the 7th month of pregnancy.

After a whirlwind morning and dropping my girls off with the most wonderful neighbor ever, I was finally ready for my television appearance.

If you would like to watch it, feel free to click on over here!  Thanks so much KSL for having me and welcome to my new readers!!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Vintage Easter Craft Inspiration

I have been well most of this winter even with the girls getting the flu -strain B and numerous colds. However, my body finally succumbed to an awful head cold. I have however become a netti pot fan! 

A couple of evenings ago, I really needed to do some creative work to ease my spirit. I dragged out some materials that I've been hoarding for awhile - vintage tart tins and yarn cones. I searched my random Easter ephemera and scoured Pinterest for some ideas. Here is my spin on vintage Easter decor! A number of these will be carefully wrapped today and sent to those I love.  


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Domesticated - Painted Plaster & Encaustic Art

I raised to respect and love the domestic arts - and I do with all my heart.
 My latest art piece, "Domesticated"  is an ode to one of my favorite hobbies - baking! 

Using my new favorite methods.. Layers of plaster on a wood plaque.. Shallow carved using Urban Threads embroidery designs.  Truly, there are soo many ways use to embroidery patterns beyond it's intended use. A fabric and lace apron dusted in chalk, stamped, and covered in beeswax...

A few more layers of paint - reminiscent of those fun, flour messes that build in our home after a day of baking cookies.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Easter Cupcakes!

Mmm... Easter treats by far are my absolute favorite! I love the colors, I love chocolate and honestly I do enjoy nibbling the ears off milk chocolate bunnies. I've been searching Pinterest for some cupcakes to knock my socks off. I love single serving desserts -- helps me with portion control and it's really easy to ship the rest off with my husband to work the next day.

As I was searching on Pinterest, I mentioned these Cadbury Egg Cupcakes to my hubby and he was literally drooling before I could finish my sentence. He's a Cadbury Egg maniac! Well my short search was over, I don't think I would be allowed to make anything else. These amazing creations were created by Pizzazzerie - head on over for the recipe.

Now what color to decorate them with?? 

A Rebuttal Of Sorts

As I was settling down this evening and surfing the internet, I came across a blog post that has kept me up now for a couple of hours. I'm not going to link to it, mention it by name or in anyway give this person more attention. And when I'm done posting this, I'll be done this with this matter entirely.

Here is the gist.
There is seems to be a shift in this country. Everyday I see angry adults, bullies posing as adults, adults ready to judge anyone different than them. It is out of control, folks.
I firmly believe that this is a major cause for the bully issues in our schools and violence in our country.
Children are being fed anger by over sized spoons.

I take holidays, birthdays and the average Wednesday to an extreme.
I love to create and celebrate. I love to find joy.
I love searching blogs and Pinterest for new and fun things to do with  my children.

I am not doing this to punish my fellow mother friends.
I am not competing with you.
I am not keeping tally.
I am not singing, "Neener, neener, I'm better than you" behind your back.

I am keeping my sanity.
I stay at home most of my days with two young kids and a bun in the oven.
I get bored playing Barbies on the floor.
I won't let my kids watch TV nonstop.
People, I'm looking for something fun to do with them.
I'm trying to grasp on to their innocence and surround them with it for as long as I can.

I Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Flickr, Pin, etc. just about all our major fun activities.
I'm not trying to make you feel bad, insecure, insufficient, etc
I'm actually trying to connect with you.
I'm trying to inspire you.
I'm trying to have fun with you.

I have tons of flaws.
A crap load.
But do you want to read that on a regular basis?
I'm pretty sure tons of my warts are there for the public viewing anyway.

The bottom line is every parent is just trying to get by.
We are trying to do as well as our parents did.
We are trying to have our kids avoid doing drugs, having sex or creating violence.
None of us were given a manual.

So please, back off.
If I do more silly antics with my kids than you do, I'm sure you were better about reading to them.
If I serve them a fun and healthy meal, I'm sure you had a more meaningful playdate.
I don't care.
And you shouldn't care what I do in my home.

If you don't want to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, then don't.
But could you please keep the pee out of my Cheerios, because we're just here trying to have a good time.

((end of rebuttal))

Monday, March 18, 2013

Easter Pillow Tutorials

Am I the only one that gets a little nutty when Easter lands in March? In my brain, Easter is in April, that way I have proper time to enjoy it. Alas, it is in just a few weeks. Time for the Easter Bunny to get moving on baskets, decor and treats.

If you are looking to add to your Easter holiday decor, I have a couple of pillow tutorials that you may want to check out -- everything from faux chenille to free motion sketching. Running short on time like me? You can use these techniques on gifts for Mothers and Father's Day!

1.) Shabby Chic Eggs

2.) Foundation Pieced Cross Pillow - this also makes a beautiful Baptism/Christening gift!

3.) Faux Chenille  and Reverse Applique - Good or Bad Egg Pillows

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Teaching Kiddo To Sew

My husband and I have long planned two of Kiddo's 5th birthday gifts. I wanted to give her a sewing machine and he wanted to give her a pink BB gun - I guess we are both eager for her to follow in our footsteps. Both gifts were something that would not be shoved in a toy box and forgotten in a week. Both gifts encourage bonding, one on one time with her. I desperately wanted to buy her the Janome Hello Kitty sewing machine, but since I have a total of 5 machines already it was hard my husband to swallow the idea of bringing in yet another machine. We agreed to gift her one of the machines my mother had given me as a backup machine. I decked it out with hand cut vinyl stickers including her name. At 5, that's about all you need to do to make her happy.

Ever since she opened her gift last week, she has been requesting time with me to learn how to sew. The first gift she wanted to make? A quilt for her baby brother due in a few months. Yes, she knows how to melt Momma's heart! We finally had time today during Baby Girl's naptime and we decided that Sundays will be our sewing lesson day.

I was really nervous as how to begin, but we took it slow and made it fun. I let her choose some fabric from her birthday stash and my own. We then practiced basic straight stitching with her on my lap moving the fabric while I manned the presser foot. After just a few times she was eager to start an actual project. We decided to do a small quilt for her. My first two quilts were gifts and I encouraged her to make her first project a gift for herself, something she would always have.

After just a row of sewing the squares together, Kiddo again wanted more independence with the machine. She eased off my lap and squished into the front part of the chair. She manned the presser foot, lined up the fabric and used the safety pins ALL by HERSELF! I was astonished and so very proud. During our session I did let her once sit on her own and try it completely solo, but it was a little too much and our seam allowance went a  little crazy. Kiddo learned the importance of a seam ripper, though of course I did that part.

This session she completed all 4 rows of the quilt. Next week I will help her piece the rows, measure the final size and finish the quilt. Her pride in this amazing accomplishment is one I will always remember. Yes at age 5, children can learn to sew. I can't wait to see what project she picks out next!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Our Brave Party!

Somehow our sweet Kiddo turned 5 this past week and ended up having three, yes three parties! Today was her last party - a Merida Brave themed celebration. I've tried hard to reign back the amount of work I put into these parties, but some things are just too fun! Here are some highlights..

Archery target cupcakes - chocolate of course!

 Mason jars full of little chocolate bears - just like the triplets..

Carrot and celery "arrows" with ranch dip dressing.. We also bought a ton of pizza from Costco. You can order in advance and have them baked. Easy, peasy!

Slightly spooky witch lime pineapple punch..
(OK, so where's the spooky part of this punch? Ugh. Apparently you can't store dry ice for long in a normal freezer. My best attempts to prepare in advance backfired on me bad this time. The ice had completely dissipated by this morning.. so the punch was not too spooky..oh, well!)

My husband gave me pink and purple tulips the day Kiddo was born; we have to have them present at each birthday of course.

A really easy rag  plaid wreath..

Blue wisps filled our home leading our lads and lasses to the festivities..

We were blessed with a gorgeous day of sun.. and so the kids spent most of the day playing on our swing set and running around..

And a gorgeous day requires an impromptu picnic.. There is nothing Kiddo loves more than laying on a blanket in the sun.. I honestly couldn't have planned this, I was thrilled this day was full of so much relaxed fun.

I've decided to NOT plan too many games and activities for toddler parties. They just want to play- that's all. I did however spend the last couple of nights making this Brave archery target pinata. Jam packed with over 7 pounds of candy. Sorry parents!

With so much candy, even our littles had bags overflowing with sugar..

Kiddo with one of her sweet friends..

And the favors for the party? Again, I tried to scale back but had to make a few fun things. An easy tartan sash with Celtic pin. Simple brown bags stamped with the same Celtic sign to hold all their candy. The stamp did not take long to carve and I love adding a few handmade touches.

It was really such a fun day. The parents were relaxed, the kiddos were happy and the sun was shining. I couldn't ask for more!

If you would like tutorials or in depth information on anything, please drop me a line!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Sea Port - Encaustic Art & How To Wall Mount Thin Wood

Sea Port is my latest mixed media piece of art. It began from a day of doodling compasses and transformed into an abstract dreamy vision of days at sea. This piece is another wood panel layered in plaster, paint, pastels, wax, shallow carved and more! All the layers really add to its dreamy nature. In the end it cried for a bit of bling, a bit of a frame.. so I soldered it with lead free silver solder and buffed it to a high polish. I hope it speaks to you! It makes me miss my California hometown terribly..

Then when I was finished I was perplexed as to the best way to wall mount this art. The wood I work with is typically 1/4" thick, too thin for sawtooth hanger nails. I decided to mount another small piece of wood at the top and drill through both. This art is now super secure and ready for the wall.

Monday, March 11, 2013

DIY Tutorial - Transfer Inkjet Image to Wood

I have been wanting to work with Tula Pink's Full Moon Owl that she created for Urban Threads. Since I've been working with pyrography and wax, I decided that I wanted to do something in mixed media rather than embroidery. This afternoon I purchased the pattern and printed it out. I had intended on transferring the image by graphite paper and stylus. Unfortunately, because this image is so detailed it was not going as smooth as imagined.

I refused to give up and began to search on the internet high and low for ways to transfer an inkjet image on wood. I found a couple that included glue, Mod Podge,etc but I would have to wait 24 hours. I don't have patience and I wanted it now. In the end I was able to complete the transfer with a wax paper method and here's how you do it!

Step 1.)
Tape a piece of wax paper to a sheet of ordinary copy paper. Be sure to print out your image on to the wax side - you will need to print out the mirror image. My inkjet printer is the worst piece of junk ever (see the awful ink lines?!) and I was able to do this, so I'm very confident that you will be able to as well.

Step 2.)
You will want to secure the printout on to your wood piece - image side down. Burnish the back with even pressure, making sure not to shift the paper. You will want to do this step fairly soon after printing the image out.

Step 3.)
This is how it came out. Now it's not a perfect, but it is exactly what I wanted and need. Now for me I will begin burning the outlines with my pyrography pen. However, if I wanted to I could leave it and cover it with varnish.

Such easy fun with unlimited possibilities!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Encaustic Jellyfish Art

The Sinking Jellyfish, my latest encaustic collage piece. I adore jellyfish, I would love to have a huge tank of them in our bedroom. They have this amazing calming effect on me, I love to watch their underwater ballet.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Hippity Hop - Chocolate Bunny Mixed Media Art

I started this piece a couple weeks ago. I had some spare time and just was playing. When I first started with  fine art mediums, back in high school, my favorite was oil pastels. I still have a large supply of them and thought it would be fun to try them again. The first layer reminds me of jelly beans - bright, yummy rainbow of colors. From there I built up several layers of texture and finished with my favorite Easter candy - a large, chocolate rabbit. Just makes me want to bite the ears off! Hippity Hop  is a much sweeter piece than I've been doing lately and every time I see it, I want a handful of candy.


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