Thursday, March 31, 2011

Hello spring!

Is gardening a creative activity? Well, I think so ... and even if it's not, photographing my flowers is surely a creative activity, right? We finally got the chance to go to a garden center and find a few flowers to fill our pots.

It's been 4 days and everything is still beautiful and thriving. Last year we didn't have much luck with our flowers. By the end of the first week, half of the plants lost all their flowers and buds and they had to regrow everything. By the end of spring some of the plants died completely.

This time around a kind lady, who was queuing behind us at the cashier and admiring our choice of flowers, recommended B-1! We bought a bottle and so far, so good :-)

This is a sedum we had for years. I think it's flowering for the first time!


Can't wait for this to grow into a strawberry!

Ranunculus - my favorite flower after roses and peonies.


Can't remember what this is called, but I love how they flower profusely.

I'm hoping to grow roses and lavender and some herbs, too. Last year we had basil and made the greatest blackberry/raspberry basil lemonade! More on that next time :)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Upcycling recycables

I'm so excited to start a new art journal. Since the new year I have been wanting to start a new journal ... you know, new year, new journal. But a big part of me also wanted to finish what I had started. I love the journal I started last year. I love the handmade feel of the pages and all the personal things I had entered so far. I just couldn't abandon it without filling up every single page.

And now ... well, now it's finally time to fill a new one with new thoughts and goodies!

Initially I wanted to buy a new journal. Now I have a new idea.
This year I have been wanting to:

1. go green ... or at least a little bit more green than before. I cringe every time I take our recycling out. It doesn't help that I hate cooking and we eat frozen food a few times a week and that I keep forgetting to bring our reusable bags when I go grocery shopping. (Sorry earth!)

2. use my stationary and scrapbooking paper. Since I can remember I have been collecting beautiful and cute letter sets, cards, notebooks and, in most recent years, scrapbooking paper. There is no better time than now to stop hoarding it and start using it :)

So I've decided to upcycle my recycling into an art journal (I hope that makes sense :) and mix in lots of pretty paper for journaling.

I hope I can keep it up.

Friday, March 25, 2011

The End.

I can't believe it, but I have filled up the last pages of my first art journal. Today I can't help but be so proud of myself! I truly enjoyed the whole process of filling it up: collaging, doodling, writing, painting, decorating with rub-ons and stickers ... every bit of it was fun and, for me, a step closer to being more creative. 

Here are a few of the last pages that I want to share from my very first art journal :)

Friday, March 18, 2011

She Art

Have you heard about the She Art Workshop?
Yes, I am taking another e-course. I just love the convenience of taking inspiring classes online. This way I can pay full attention to my kids in the daytime and pay full attention to what I want to learn at any odd time I have available.

This workshop is a mixed media class, which is taught by the very lovely Christy Tomlinson. I learned all about the different things I could use in a mixed media painting - which is pretty much anything, how to create backgrounds, and how to create cute girls.

What makes this class unique from the other ones I have taken, is that Christy teaches through a series of videos, instead of just blog entries. Christy is such a warm and wonderful person. Watching her demonstrations is truly inspiring, fun, and enjoyable.

My class is coming to an end (the class will be offered again soon) and I have finally finished one She Art.

It took me 2 weeks to finally be able to say: Okay this project is done!
I am in the midst of making another one. I hope I won't ponder on this one too long ... 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

St Patrick's day with the kids

A week ago, I received an email from school looking for a parent to volunteer to make a St Patrick's art/craft with the Kindergartners. Usually I'm quick to volunteer for such things. This time though I thought: A week? Gosh what can we make?

I ignored it.

Then a few days later, the email came again. No one had volunteered for craft time and within a second of reading it I found myself volunteering for it. All the fun St Patrick's day crafts I found online required toilet paper rolls or kitchen towel rolls ... things I just had no time collecting within 3 days. So I went straight to Michaels. Not much was left, except for shamrock doilies and green ribbons. My 4-year old thought that the shamrocks were very "St Patrick's day"-ish and that I had to get them. I did - mainly out of desperation. I wasn't sure what to do with them.

I went to another Michaels, a couple of Targets, our closest pharmacy and supermarket. All I could find was a few shamrock stickers. So I bought flower and frog stickers to add to the collection .. hoping that the girls (my daughter is in an all girls class) wouldn't mind frogs.

After sleeping over it I decided that we would use the doilies as stencils. So I went to a store to buy food coloring, went to school and we made this.

I'm happy to report the teacher was delighted and the girls had fun.
Perhaps it's time to think about Easter crafts?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

My art journal

A few art journal pages from this year ...

Many of the above pages use Boden Kids catalog pages. I love how some of their pages are not really about "clothes" but more about a "lifestyle". They sort of act like journaling prompts to me.

Hope you have a lovely weekend.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

*love* ribbons!

Oh my, oh my!
Blog surfing just spells trouble for me. So many cute ideas! So many gorgeous products!
Today I found Ribbons Galore! Good thing the shopping cart wasn't working so well. I added so many ribbons to it, the total was over $60 - *eek*. When I pressed Checkout, it all disappeared. I was disappointed, but then I thought, who buys $60 worth of ribbon and what am I going to use it for??? So I have decided to sleep over it and only pick 2 or 3 next time I visit.

But look at these gorgeous ribbon ... how can you pick just a few?





How can ribbon be so irresistable? And I just love the choices for boys! These days there is hardly anything cute for little boys anymore. Tonight I will be dreaming about ribbons :)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

An apron for a little boy

What's been cooking in my house?
Well, first off: a little apron for my little boy.

Click on the picture for a more detailed view. It has 3 pockets and stars embroidery on the tie. It also has a big hem. Just in case he loves it for a long time, and we'll need to lengthen it in the future.

Cute? Well, it's even cuter on my boy. But alas, although he was SO happy to get an apron, he didn't want to be photographed in it. I've tried for a week. So, I guess this photo will do ;)

Sorry you have to see the messy playroom. He was in the middle of playing when I made him put the apron on. The good news the apron has been worn a few times since. Our first project were little cakes. I made 12 regular size cupcakes for sharing with friends. And the rest of the dough went into a flat pan.

After it was all baked and cooled, I let my kids use cookie cutters to cut out little cakes for themselves.

We all made whipped cream, too. A favorite of mine. It's so easy for the kids to make and virtually little mess (as long the mixer stays in there :)

We spread the whipped cream on the cakes and sprinkled little sugar flowers on top of it. YUM!


As you can see, I had a very happy home that day. I must admit I LOVED the cakes, too. It's the first time I have tried Dr Oetker cake mix. I don't know why, since I use several other Dr Oetker products. Anyhow, it's a favorite in our home now!

PS. Oops. Yes my kitchen is messy, too! And my son took the apron off just before we took the photo ... haha. Is wearing an apron really that embarrassing? Maybe because I have never worn one. Note to myself: make a ruffly apron for myself!