Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Sketchbook Project

Just signed up for

Won't you join me?

Queen of Candycorn

What I'm working on right now
A fun little Halloween series of birds. 3 will be in the shop. One is for a blogging friend. What are you working on?

P.S. Thank you for all of your sweet comments on my photo's. It made my day :)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

3 Months

3 months

3 months tomorrow. Can't even tell you how much I adore this little man!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

New Shelves

Welcome to the new & improved room of Sloanie!

See the before ::here::

I got rid of her desk. It was left here by the old owners & I thought she could use it until we got her something nicer. It ended up turning into a junk magnet. I threw away a huge kitchen size garbage bag full of trash. I'm not kidding. How does that even happen? So no desk for right now.

Remember the shelving system I bought at a yard sale for $16? It needed to be painted. There were marker scribbles on a good portion of them. I would have painted them myself but since I have a broken arm my husband offered to do all the dirty work ;) Dean set up a spray tent and went to work painting them black. The bummer was because they weren't real wood it peeled right off. Opps! So he went back & bought a tinted primer & another bucket of black paint. He had to sand everything down lightly. Then he primed and painted again. What I was hoping would be a pretty inexpensive redo ended up costing about $150 in paint. Double opps!

I think it turned out great though don't you? Dean still has to finish painting the two sets of doors and add them on but I am totally in love with it. Sloan is also. I was able to organize the rest of the books. Can you tell we love to read around here? All of her books are on the left. Classics are on the top right shelf. Compilations, Caldecott's, & my Sendak collection are on the second shelf down. The middle has picture books the little ones can enjoy & the bottom two shelves are filled with board books and early readers for Zoe & Aris. We don't have cable & her TV is set up to play videos & DVDs. Once the doors are done it will hide all the videos. 

There are many other projects I have planned for both of their rooms. I have to do them as time & money allow. So even though this shelf cost a little more than I wanted it to to finish it, it would have cost way more to buy brand new. I am so happy with how things are moving along. Hoping this new shelving system will keep things a little more organized.

I linked to this wonderful ::blog:: & look forward to sharing future projects again very soon.

Book Mess no More!

Much better wouldn't you say?
(See before in post below)

Vintage books & books from my childhood.

Paperbacks all in a neat little row.

Golden Books old and new grouped together.

A place for everything & everything in it's place.



it should.

Now if I could just get them to clean up the kitchen area. I'll take what I can get :)

Pictures of Sloan's room coming soon!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Outta Control

Room #1

The bookshelves overrunneth 

& spillith over

time to cleaneth this mess!

Room #2

This is my daughters idea of clean

(insert smile with slight twitch here)

It's outta control people!
I'm hoping that the improvements we made this weekend will really help with all this clutter. The proof is in the pudding I guess. Whatever that means.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Vintage Goodies

I will be adding some beautiful old books & other goodies to my Artfulife Vintage Shop throughout the weekend.
You can find them
Hope you are all having a wonderful weekend. Me, I'll be painting giant pumpkin signs for my friends local pumpkin patch. It's almost time to get all my Halloween decorations out & I can hardly wait! I actually have room in this house to decorate. What are your plans for the weekend?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

6 More Weeks

My new cast

The last one was on for 5 weeks. You can read about how it all happened ::here:: & ::here:: This 2nd cart will be on for 6 weeks. Thankfully it's healing properly & at this point won't need surgery. The Dr. did warn me of the possibility of a third cast. Yes you read that correctly. Scaphoid fractures can take forever to heal & if they don't heal a rod has to be inserted in the hand. I'm really hoping to avoid that if possible. It was a huge relief to realize the uncomfortable pain was real & not just in my head. This cast is longer & it is already easier to pick Omri up and hold him. I have so many paper ideas I'd like to turn into art. A few more cards to finish for this ::site:: Everything is on hold. It's hard for me to grip with my left hand. You should see me change a diaper right now. Pretty hilarious. I can still paint though. I'm working on two giant wooden pumpkins for a local pumpkin patch up the road. I'll share those with you when they are done. Also have a couple of ideas I'm working on & hope to share very soon. Just trying to get back into the swing of things. The wind has been a little knocked out of my sails. Just have to rethink & reevaluate my art & how it fit's into family life. I'm aware things will get back to normal soon.

In the mean time I'll be snuggling up this little man. Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Last of the Pears

Yummy Goodness

I learned how to can last week. A friend invited me over and she showed me how. Let me tell you it is one messy process. The end result is soooooo worth it. We made Pear butter that night. 5 batches in all & split the jars. I have pear butter coming out of my ears. Since it is so delicious I don't mind. On Sunday I looked at the last of the pears sitting in our basket. They were hitting that scary point. You know the point where they still taste good but no one wants to eat them because of all the brown spots. I hated to let them go to waste. I figured if I could make pear butter I could make pear sauce. It was easy! I didn't follow a recipe & the sauce turned out perfect.

::Here is what I did::

wash & core 20-30 pears
I left the skin on because we like the chunkier sauce
put in large cooking pot & cover with water
bring to boil & boil for 30-45 minutes
remove from heat 
ladle pears from pot & set aside the cooked "juice" into a bowl for later
mash up cooked pears & put back in pot
add 1 1/2 cup of sugar (although next time I will add much less)
1 tablespoon of cinnamon
cook at slow boil for 30 minutes

It made 3 large mason jars of the yummiest pear sauce. I didn't can these because I knew our family would eat them too quickly. However next time I'll do more and finish the whole canning process so I will have some whenever wanted. What did I do with the "juice"? I made it into pear cider.

::Here's how::

pour juice back into pot
add 1/2 cup of sugar (like I said I'll add less next time)
a dash of cinnamon
a pinch of nutmeg
& a smidge of cloves
cook at a slow boil for 30 minutes.

My girls love it! The only thing wasted from the pears were the cores. My only complaint is now that I am eating homemade it will be hard to buy store bought. Think I'll be making my own applesauce from now on. Really in truly this process takes a little bit of time but is worth it in the end. If I can do this anyone can. It's super easy. If you end up making some pear sauce, please let me know how it turns out :) 

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Colonial Dress Re-due

Front of dress

Sloan came home a few weeks ago and told me about her colonial day that was coming up. She also told me she would need a dress for that day & that she didn't want to be a peasant. She wanted to be an aristocrat. Where does she come up with these things? You can imagine my delight when I found this vintage dress at a yard sale last week. The lady at the sale wanted $5 for it. I offered her $5 for two dresses & a groovy pant outfit. It took a little convincing but she went for it. I have no problem dickering. I start low and I'm willing to go up if I really want something. I knew I didn't have enough time to make a cute dress from scratch so this would have to do.

Back of dress

It was a little too long for her so I gathered it up on both sides to add a puffy look. Then I cut up two skirts I had bought years ago. They never fit properly but I loved the plaids. I stitched around the sides and sewed all three together at the top. Did I mention I started this the night before her big day? So I didn't have enough time to rip the back of the dress apart and attach the bustle properly. I just attached it to the back on the outside.

Front of dress

Then I took the different layers and attached them with several stitches on both sides. I made sure I did it in such a way that it allowed the fabric to have a balloon look. However I needed to hide said stitches. Hum? Almost midnight and not many options in the sewing basket. I grabbed the silky blanket binding tape that I've had for years. Cut it up & made it into bows.

Back of dress

It's not perfect. Seriously, don't look to closely or you might see just how quickly I threw it together. Sloan loved it. That made it all worth it. Her favorite part? The poofy butt :)

The bustles

We "powdered" her hair with white flour.

All that was left to finish the look was to put on her makeup & powder her hair. Remember she wanted to be an aristocrat not some lowly peasant, lol. Yes that is here real mole, not one I put on ;) I explained the history of wigs and powdered hair & how only the wealthy could afford it. She looked so adorable! I guess the kids at school made fun of her white hair. They said she looked like an old lady.

Sloan with her teacher

On colonial day she had a blast making yarn dolls, butter, playing colonial day games and a few other activities from that period in time. All of the 5th graders had learned a colonial dance over the last few weeks and performed it for the parents that morning. They all did a great job. Sloan is so happy at her new school. I can't even tell you how grateful Dean & I are for her new teacher. She comes home happy everyday from school. She is also making better grades. Great teachers make such a difference! 

I'm hoping to take the other dress I bought at the same time and make it into a medieval style dress. It's bright red velvet with an empire waist. Super tacky but I think it could become another fun dress re-due. Maybe for Halloween? Who knows :)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Tuesday Shop Update

I'll be updating the shop later today. So drop by ::here:: and take a peak at all the new goodies I've added! Hope you are having a happy week.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Almost Time

Aris Labor Day Weekend

There is a chill in the air. The kind of chill that leaves a longing in your heart. It fills my mind with memories of my childhood. Walking to the bus stop in crisp new jeans & a favorite T-shirt. Backpack & yellow pencils. The smell of manila drawing paper. The whole school year ahead. Life so new & unexpected. New friends & old. Costumes right around the corner with the promise of scrumptious family suppers. Tucked into a warm & cozy home while chilly rain storms come down. The wish to stay under colorful piles of blankets for just a few more minutes. A small goodbye to the hot sticky days of heat. A welcomed reprieve. Marvelous summer we will fondly say farewell. It's almost autumns turn to dazzle us with her colors & fill our hearts with her memories.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Our Weekend Was Filled With.................









What was your weekend filled with?