Random Object Illustration Day 1

Who can guess what fluffy character I drew? If you guessed Don Freeman’s Earl the Squirrel, you are not only well versed in children’s literature, but also a talented guesser. You’d have to be. Ha! I now know I need to invest in some finer tipped pens.

Earl is my 4 year old’s favorite little guy right now and while I’m not thrilled with how my drawing came out, Q is. That’s good enough for me! Speaking of Q, how about another guessing game. You put a very cute picture of Q…

and a “design” she made,  together…

and who can guess what she wants to be for Halloween? Anybody else making room on the calendar for costume sewing this holiday season?

Edit: Here is my friend Anne Roger’s Random Object Illustration for Day 1. Did you make one? Send it my way!

Must Make Monday – Halloween, Holy *Beep* That’s Cool!

This Vegan Candy Corn just made my Halloween. Candy Corn is my favorite. Sure it’s a throw back, but I LOVE it! And this recipe is a lot healthier. Can’t wait to try it!

Parents‘ Spinning Spirits decorations look incredibly fun and not so hard that the kids can’t help. Now that they’re back in school, I’m really valuing our crafting time together and this seems like a perfect project we can do together to celebrate the holiday season.

Camilla from Family Chic made these awesome posable mummies for her kids and was sweet enough to make a tutorial so we can make one for ours. I’m thinking of putting a pink tutu on it. Quinby would love that!

Such a simple idea and easy craft and yet so, so cool. You cut scary eye shapes out of toilet paper rolls, stick a glow stick inside the cardboard tube, then tuck the lit tubes into the bushes and trees around your house for instant monsters/animals hiding in the dark. Yes! Thrifty Crafty Girl used orange light, but I’m thinking yellow or green for mine.

Artist unkown, I saw this on Pinterest and got excited. These are really great, but not so scary that they’ll frighten my girls. At least, I hope not!

Mine probably won’t come out as wickedly cool looking as Martha Stewart‘s, but this party punch idea is awesome and I definitely want to try it. Super cool for a kid’s party or an adult one. Although I’m thinking whiskey instead of rum. Just saying.

Nature Inspires Art

It has been a gorgeous September here in Portland, OR. Aside from being sick (for the second time this month!!), we’ve been trying to enjoy it to the fullest. Q and I have been going on nature walks every afternoon after her preschool lets out. I take the dog, she takes her little basket, and we walk and talk and collect whatever we spy as pretty or interesting. No picking from gardens allowed!

A friend in the neighborhood has a huge chestnut tree or conker tree across the street from her house. Q and I gathered as many as we could this early in the season. We especially like the ones still in the seed.

Before long, we started creating art with our findings. This brought an idea to my mind and I’ve decided to try it – Random Object Illustrations. For the whole month of October I’m going to try my hand at drawing on found objects. They don’t have to be from nature per say, just whatever item catches my fancy.

I’ve bought new pens for the project, talked my friend Anne into participating in it with me, and even had a trial run with this leaf. If any one else is interested in sharing their own Random Object Illustrations feel free to contact me and we can link up, or if there is enough interest I’ll make a Flickr group.

Flexing and improving my drawing abilities is something I’m always striving for. Having a project ensures that I’ll actually set aside some time everyday for practice. And as we all know, practice makes perfect. Anyone else a total failure at piano?

Speaking of practice, I’m trying to get the hang of dairy and egg free (vegan) pancakes. I made these pumpkin, apple cider, and chocolate chips ones last week and while they were okay I wouldn’t exactly recommend them. Any tips or recipes would be much appreciated! Happy Autumn! Happy drawing! And Happy eating!

Cuckoo for Applesauce

Want to know how to turn this…

into this?

Get your husband to do it! Hah! Sorry Hubs!!

That’s 50 quarts of homemade applesauce. The family and I went up to Hood River Gorge this past weekend. It was gorgeous! We didn’t pick our own, but we did go to one of the farms on the Fruit Loop, and scored a box of Tokyo Rose, a box of Crimson Crisps, and 2 boxes of Elstars. Delish! The girls also nabbed 14lbs of Stark Crimson pears.

Hubs ended up being the lucky one to get to make and can all that lovely applesauce. (I did it last year!) Thanks Hubs! With the 1/2 a box or so that was left over, I’ve been making soups with apples out the wazoo and tonight I’m planning on pumpkin and apple cider pancakes. Yay!

We also got a little creative with some apple science. More on this one later. Who else is loving apple season?

Beginning of Fall – Tuesday Thinking

This soup looks great! I’ve already made this and this in the last few days. I’m so happy to be making soup again! Yay fall!! Family Fun isn’t a site I frequent, but I found these great soup recipes on Pinterest and am delighted I gave them a try. 

I have a friend who swears by drinking ACV everyday, so I thought I’d try it. This recipe was WOW! something else. If you can get past the vinegar taste and the burning lips from the cinnamon not mixing in, it’s actually not so bad. 

We’re all back to school now and the kids both have several extra curricular activities. I realized last week while waiting through gymnastics that sitting and playing Trivie on my iphone was only going to be fun for so long. I needed something to help me feel productive. I’m easing in with this creative project. Yes, I am now that crazy woman with yarn sitting poolside during swim class.

What projects are you thinking about this week with the first sights and scents of autumn in the air?

Hula Hoops!

My friend Anne and her lovely family moved into the neighborhood back in June and this is just one of the many reasons I’m so happy they did. A crafting buddy! Anne and I made a total of 7 hula hoops on Sunday using this tutorial.

Two adult sized ones and 5 kid sized ones. All while our 4 girls aged 3-6 ran around her front yard like a three ring circus. Sorry! I couldn’t help myself. What I mean to see is they were hassling, ahem, encouraging us to hurry up so we could all get down to the fun stuff. Hula hooping! This is the hoop I made for Quinby. All the kid’s hoops we did using duct tape. Mistake! On ours we used electric tape. Much easier! And there you have it. Ta da!

Baby Goth, Party Girls, and Rusty Garden Art

One of our little friends had a birthday party tonight. This is what I made for the newly 6 year old with the instructions from her mom that she liked anything morbidly beautiful. Monster High was suggested and we did score a Monster High puzzle at the Dollar Tree.

But I wanted to make something for her, too. Going into my studio this morning, this vinage plaid struck me as perfect and black and blue were like a uniform for me in high school. Very Veronica from Heathers. You know. “Corn chips!” Anyway…

I had this little vampire from some fabric I got last Halloween. There was a really cute mummy and Frankenstein on the fabric too, but the girl said vampires are her favorite, so there ya go. It is lined with the blue pocket fabric as well because the plaid is fairly thin.

I think the sweet lace at the bottom really takes this skirt to the next level. Baby Goth! It was really fun to make and I’m totally happy with it. I wish more off the cuff projects of mine turned out so well!

The girls were giddy with excitement at getting to go to a night-time party. I even did PZ’s hair. I saw this tutorial on Pinterest, but I didn’t curl it first or use any product. Other than needing some blonde bobbi pins, I loved how it turned out and really easy!

Hubs and I were pretty excited about getting 2 hours to ourself this evening without having to pay for a babysitter. Yay! We took a long walk and had a late dinner at the SE Division food carts. Anyone tried that Gonzo place? It looks pretty yummy. This is a sunflower garden art piece I got during Plucky Maidens last week. I didn’t get the artist’s name. The man mannequin I got back in my Buffalo days. It’s been out front forever, but I think the sunflower compliments him. And, of course, our bucket tomatoes! We picked our first red one today!

The weather here has been so beautiful the last few days. Yesterday my friend Jenn Finn and I trekked out to Sauvie Island and spent the day with the girls at the beach. Simply gorgeous! The girls had a grand time playing in the sand while Jenn and I gabbed. It’s been a wonderful week and am looking forward to the weekend.

Less than two more weeks until school is back. Shew!

Local Awesomeness

Portland-area Mama, author, pattern maker, teacher, and now hopeful studio owner Shelly Dean Figuero of Figgy’s Patterns fame, needs help. Through indiegogo.com you can contribute in helping fulfill her dream of opening a sewing studio for children. I absolutely love this idea and contributed right away. I hope you do to!

 

Go here and contribute today!

A Semi-Staycation

Hubs and family friend Ollie took big sisters PZ and S on their First Annual Daddy/Daughter Camping Trip this weekend! (I don’t sound TOO excited, Right?) And while they were away, Anne and I took the littles berry picking on Sauvie Island. Hot, slightly stingy and very fun!

Q and I had a lovely dinner over at our friends Yancey, Robert, and K’s house. Ribs! And wonderfully flavorful roasted green beans, kale salad with toasted sunflower seeds, grilled peaches, and a tasty sangria. So good, guys!

Then, this morning my family returned home and we had a simple, stay-at-home afternoon and evening. Lots of family time,  comfort food (made by Hubs!), Olympics watching, (Go USA!), and even some time for crafting.

I got to teach PZ how to crochet a chain stitch and Q spent time making a book with pictures AND words. She also made a necklace for a little friend’s upcoming birthday. Her first handmade gift!! So proud. (smiles)

Sure, there will be some cleaning tomorrow, but to have such a relaxing, pleasant weekend was well worth it. A perfect end to such a wonderful birthday week.

Vitamix Recipes

I was talking to my friend Yancey tonight and she was telling me how she was planning on gifting herself, this next birthday, with a new Vitamix. (Thanks for dinner, btw! I’ll post a picture of Quinby in the skirt you knit her asap!) This reminded me that another friend of mine, Heather, got a Vitmix awhile back and I had wanted to post some of my favorite recipes for the Vitamix and a few I’ve still yet to try.

Yummy (and healthy) fruit sorbets. There are a bunch of good recipes here. May have to use some of the raspberries we picked today for one of these tomorrow.

This iced lemonade recipe from cheekykitchen looks lovely. I can’t wait to try it, perhaps with my usual shot of Jack Daniels. 🙂