Tuesday, February 26, 2013

just some art journal fun

Some of these art journal entries are a couple of months old.
I haven't had a lot of time to journal lately,
but what I have had has been so nice.

From December,
more experimentation with negative space:
"Snow had fallen, Snow on Snow,"
a line from Christina Rosetti's "In the Bleak Midwinter"

The snowflakes were fun.

A complainy entry from way back
when I had to drink crazy amounts of water
for my kidney stones.

Happy New Year complete with glitter glue
that Little Man generously shared.
(Turns out fireworks are hard to draw!)

And two from this week!
I must be getting tired of winter.
Something very bright and warm sounded nice.

Lovely morning drawing in the sun with some coffee.

Linking up with Jennifer's Studio Sneak Peek.

Monday, February 25, 2013

art together

Last week while Sweet Pea and Baby Boy were resting,
 Little Man, Brother, and I
got out the "grown-up paints" (aka acrylic tubes of paint)
gifted to the boys by Grandma and Grandpa
and spent some quality time creating together.
(I love that they're finally old enough that we can do this!)

Even our painty rag looks kind of beautiful.

"A Giant Crevasse" by Brother

"A Whale Ship" by Little Man

"Colorful Base for Calligraphy" by me

Friday, February 22, 2013

orange marmalade

In a recent Bountiful Basket order,
we received a bag of Seville oranges,
which it turns out,
are sour and seedy
and not good to just eat.

They are, however,
excellent for making orange marmalade
due to the high pectin content in their many seeds
and the usual high sugar content in the marmalade.

I don't particularly like orange marmalade,
but it's a great favorite with my mum and my Little Man.
So I set out on a work of love: making orange marmalade for them.

I used a clear and helpful recipe I found online
and experienced lovely results.
(I've never made jam without a box of pectin before!)
I even ate a little of it,
though most of it has been reserved
for the true orange marmalade fans.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

thank yous

More than a little of my spare time
the first month after Baby Boy arrived
was spent writing thank you notes.

Thankyous for meals and visits,
clothes and toys, diapers and cash,
and first-baby-of-the year gifts
from local businesses.

Though I am truly grateful
for the outpouring of love to our family,
sometimes the consumption of my precious free time
with thank-you-note-writing
grates on me.

I bolster my attitude with the fact that
thankyou writing is
its own sort of art form.
One that (I think) I do fairly well at.
As an artist, this pleases me.

And silly as it may be,
having cute thank you card to use
is also tremendously comforting.
I loved using these adorable cards from Pepper Pot.
The cute graphics and charming details
(the backs of the cards! the delightful tin box they came in!
the coordinating plaid lining the envelopes!)
never failed to make me smile.

I got mine at a charming local shop,
but you could get some from Amazon
if you can't live without them.

This is not a sponsored post.
I just loved these cards so much
that I had to share.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

handpainted handprint mugs

In addition to Benjamin's valentine mug,
I used my Pebeo paint set and thrifted cups
to make hand print mugs for my Mum
and my mother-in-law.

I traced my children's hands on paper,
making templates which I then stuck to the cup
and outlined with dots.

Dissatisfied with the uneven nature of the dots I used
to outline the hands,
I decided to fill in the hand prints on this first mug
with freehand swirls, dots, and hearts.

I'm an artist who likes to painstakingly sketch and plan first,
so this was wildly out of my comfort zone.
And the cup did turn out somewhat...wild.
In my newborn-stage haze of sleep deprivation,
I despaired,
fearing that this looked like one of those nightmarish trinkets
you see in the thrift store and pass by,
smirking with a hint of disdain.

I think I might even have shed a few tears.

my mom loves it.
LOVES  it.

So the fate
of my painstakingly hand painted mug
will be a happy one:
a long life of use,
not forsaken on a thrift store shelf.

(Can you tell that hormones
and sleep deprivation make me more dramatic
than usual?)

This second
"more normal-looking" mug
(Benjamin's words)
will be either a belated birthday gift
or an early mother's day gift
for his mom.
I expect that she'll like it
just as much as my mum likes hers.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

one month

Ahem. Yes, Baby Boy is actually more than
one-and-a-half months old.
I'm running late on my blog post,
but the photos were all from the week
he turned one month old.

At one month Baby Boy...

mama milk on demand

anywhere relatively quiet
but preferably snuggled up on mama's chest
not in the middle of social situations

soft, monosyllabic, coos
hearty cries ("MAAAAAAA") when distressed

lifts his head and looks around
flails his fists and kicks his feet with vigor
makes a lot of "duck faces"
occasionally smiles
studies the world around him with solemn face and furrowed brow

being in motion
dry diapers
having his head rubbed

sudden loud noises
sneezes (see above)
his car seat

[first smile for the camera]

Monday, February 18, 2013

valentine mug

My parents got me a really cool set of Pebeo paints
for Christmas last year.
I have been not-patiently waiting to use them
on some blank thrifted cups I had stashed.
A couple of weeks ago
I  finally decided to just leave the laundry for a day or two
and get some painting play time in.

One of the mugs I decorated
became Benjamin's Valentine's Day gift.
A simple saying plus a cute penguin couple plus little hearts,
and BAM--I had a gift-worthy cup in my hands.
I neglected to get Benjamin a card this year,
but this mug plus some of his favorite teas
put a smile on his face
when I presented it to him last Thursday.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

boy art

"Happy Birthday"
and a jaguar boat
by Little Man for his Nonna.

Spider Man
by Brother
also for Nonna's birthday.

"A Shark" along with some O's and L's
by Brother
for Grandma
(I love this one so much that I was sad when he gave it away.)

"A Squid in Some Water"
by Brother
for me.
(YES! So pleased to hang it on my fridge.)

Saturday, February 16, 2013

preschool and valentines

[first day of preschool]

 This month there was an unexpected opening
in one of our local preschools.
One of my friends is on the board of directors
and was able to offer us the opportunity
to start Little Man mid-semester.

He began  last Monday
and was so excited,
that it was impossible not to catch his enthusiasm.
We are, however,
facing a bit of a learning curve
as we work on fitting our schedule around it.
Preschool has yet to become part of our routine.
It'll happen.

I was excited that he got to start before Valentine's Day
so that we could make some of the cool valentines
that I have been pinning.

We selected these simple yet unique
guitar lollipops from Zakka Life.
(I'm so, so thankful for the nice people
who provide awesome free printables.)

Little Man was able to do most of the work himself,
cutting and assembling like a pro
with just a little help.

They turned out fantastic!

Sadly, we had a break down in communication,
and in spite of his excitement to share them with his friends,
his awesome valentines came back home again in his backpack.
I almost cried (hey, yesterday was just an emotional day).
But in a quick call to his teacher,
I got the okay to try again Monday,
so it's all good.

I also free-handed some simple valentine hearts
for Little Man's teachers.
He colored some of the details and signed his name.
These did get delivered yesterday. : )