Thursday, August 27, 2009

The little plum tree that could

Yay!!!  Our plum tree...

We've had this plum tree in our backyard for about 10 years now. It has gone through Jack and Scully's puppy years; it's had most of it's trunk bark scraped off; it's been pruned to within an inch of its life after half of the branches died; its had its trunk on the chopping block as we debated on getting a new tree; it's been neglected and sadly abused but yet it keeps surviving. Hmmmm....possibly this is another life metaphor here.

Or perhaps it's just that with all the rain we got this year that it was finally able to reach it's full potential.

Look at all the plums we got!!!

Whatever the reason...our little plum tree that could delivered us a bumper crop of yummy plums this summer. And for that, our mouths are juicy, our fingers are sticky and our bellies our happy.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Weekend Wrap-up: Re-modeling & Craziness

Ahhhhh.....our new floor...

Yeah, yeah I know I am a day late for this to really be an accurate weekend wrap-up. But do you not know by now how disorganized I am? Besides, this really was a crazy weekend. My parents went to visit my oldest sister and her family at a cool horse show in Reno and that left just the right amount of days we needed to camp at their house so that Ross could finish a very, very long awaited re-modeling project at our house.

We have been in our house for 10 years now. It is the first home that we have bought and it has been a work-in-progress from the get-go. But if that doesn't describe us in a nutshell, then I don't know what does. Our family is truly a work-in-progress and boy does our home reflect that! :-) Someday I will have to dig out some of our earliest re-modeling photos. Suffice to say that our small 1180 sq ft home that we purchased in 1999 has had everything torn out(except for the dishwasher and the tub/shower combo in the bathroom), re-painted, re-surfaced and/ore completely re-modeled. And after the twins were born, we also added over 1000 sq ft and a new garage/shop.

Apparently we don't like to finish projects. Because this baby is on-going and constantly being changed. I am sure there is something Freudian in that. Okay, okay I digress. Anyway, over a long four days. Ross not only took out the ugly kitchen tile, he then installed new hardwood and re-sanded and re-finished all the hardwood downstairs.

Re-finished Living Room Floor


And in between all of that we still managed:

A car show...
Hot Rod's favorite this show.
Lil' Mermaid's fave this time
...where the kids always make us take a picture of them in front of their favorite hot rod at each show.

An air show...
Madras Air Show
Madras Air Show
Hot Rod's Salamander
....with face painting (and arm painting).

letterboxing with friends...
Cool rock cairn!
Papa & His Peelu
Bridge to Terabithia? beautiful Shevlin Park.

County Fair Arts & Crafts & Photography Entries

Geesh...I am still running behind with posts here. Fair was a month ago and I am still stringing out these posts. Oh well. There is no time limit on craft appreciation, right?

My Fair Entries

Okay, in an earlier post I talked about the craft challenge we entered into with our OC family members. My sister Kristen, niece Mac, Nephew Brady, my mom, Hot Rod, Lil' Mermaid and Peelu all challenged each other to enter at least one item in our respective hometown county fair. I entered the above items and several photographs.

The card on the left is hand stamped and handmade by yours truly. And the card on the right is also handmade by myself but the picture on it is a copy of an old photograph of my grandmother and her sister, sitting on the porch of their parents' home in Los Angeles in 1931. The skull fabric was also handstamped by myself with a stamp that I hand carved from my own drawing. (Soon I'll do a post about my stamp carving addiction!)

I also entered some photographs. But I was in a rush and had to register for the classes before I had totally picked out all of my photos. So a few of them probably don't really go in the categories that I entered them in, but oh well. Here they are. (Okay, being a total geek again - I did win one ribbon (hee hee). Or I should say that Peelu's sweet expression while reading did, in the character study category.)

Peelu ReadingCan't you just imgaine....Major driftwoodBeautiful fingersS with a fossil encrusted rockOne of my fave Pictures of Lil'MermaidMy GoofballsHmmmm... still not sure about the snow

Hot Rod's Entries:
S with his Fair Entries 2009

Acrylic - Wall-E robot
Watercolor - Fire breathing dragon
Pastel - Red dot
Mixed Media - Collage Robot
Other Craft - Camouflage God's Eye Weaving
Colored Pencil - Solar System
Sewn Toy - Robot Pillow
Recycled Art - Silverware & Candle Scone Wind Chime
Baked Clay - Another Fire Breathing Dragon

Lil' Mermaid's Entries:
Lil' Mermaid and her Fair Entries

Acrylic - Self Portrait
Watercolor - Mermaid
Crayon - Jasmine with her butterflies and trees
Mixed Media - Fairy Collage
Recycled Craft - Clothespin & Sink Drainer Wind Chime
Other Craft - God's Eye Weaving
Pastel Chalk- Green Border
Baked Clay - Pizza

Peelu's Entries:
Peelu and her Fair Entries

Acrylic, water color and Mixed Media collage. She even got a blue ribbon! :-)

We even got PREMIUM MONEY!! I am SUCH a craft geek! Geesh, entering things at the county fair - heck yes. It was so much fun! This was my first year doing it in about 23 years. Peelu's first time and the third time for Hot Rod and Lil' Mermaid. The challenge is on for next year already. What will you enter in your county fair?

Monday, August 24, 2009

It may be poison....

Is this the cutest purse...

....but it's darn cute!!

Seriously. Is this NOT the cutest purse/clutch/lil' bag pattern you've seen lately? It's called the poison apple pouch. I got it at this cute etsy shop, owlmushroom. This is my first bag type of pattern. Remember, years ago it was a few afghans and more recently small bowls and several dishcloths. But I ventured out and voila....I did it! It was a very easy pattern. (The only part I had any problem with was the stem of all things.)

I originally got it because you can also use wool and felt it and we know I am on a felting kick lately. But for some reason the cotton version called to me first. But I think I will start on a green wool one very soon. I used Lion Cotton in Poppy Red and Clove for the stem. The leaves are Lily Hot Green. I am such a dork but I have to say I am proud of myself that I started and finished this in 24 hours. Oh, the kids? Oh yeah....I guess I better go let them out now....

Cute lil' model with cute lil' clutch

Cute lil' Purse with cute lil' model!

More Art Love

We have been very lucky to have a special little friend spending some time with us this summer - G-Bug. She has been very game to try many of our craft ideas. This past week we broke out some more worry boxes from my Dancing Mermaid class.

A worry box is a place to put your worries. The kids can write their worries on a piece of paper and put them away in the box "to get them out of their insides" (as Hot Rod says). Then when the worry is totally gone, they can take the paper out of the box and burn them or tear them up so "they go away and never find you again" (so says Hot Rod again).

The Process:
Waiting for the paint to dry

Worry boxes in progress

The Results:
From G-Bug
Some more sweet worry boxes

From Lil' Mermaid:
Front & Inside of R's Worry BoxBack of R's Worry Box

From Hot Rod:
Hot Rod with his Worry BoxA Much more cheerful Hot Rod with the inside of his worry box

I LOVE that the kids totally got the idea behind the boxes. And I LOVE that G-Bug made a box for herself (the cute girlie with the flower in her hair and earrings {how cute is that?} for herself, the heart for her parents and the flip flop for her friend).

That makes my heart happy.

Current Garden Love

Just some yummy garden photos of the past week or so:

Here come the pumpkins

Pretty flowers & yummy results:
Peas & Beans

Funny looking but delicious:
Crazy broccoli

Harvesting excitement:
Wax Beans & Pole Beans

One of our highly trained gardening professionals:
Bean Boy

Extensive field research:
Field Tester

Cutting edge garden experiments:
Pink beans?

And it's all due to this guy. Don't ya'll wish your gardener was this cute? ;-P
The Master Gardener

WIP Crochet Projects

A little afternoon crocheting....

A little afternoon crocheting last week. I love rainbows!! Can you tell. I think this will be another felted bowl. But much bigger. So I am expanding the size on my own. Woooo..very brave for me! Of course, now I have figured out that doing your increase in the same spot every round makes for a not quite circular circle! Oh well, live and learn.

WIP?  A new, big felted bowl, maybe?

And this is my first open work crochet pattern - a market bag made from Red Heart eco-cotton. I really love the yarn. But I was confused by a few things in the pattern. I am pretty sure I did some of it wrong - but really, who says the pattern has to be right?
WIP - Market Bag

Of course, we'll see what it comes out like.....

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Pssst.......I'm a Mermaid Warrior too!

When my niece, Mac, was here a few weeks ago (sniff, sniff) we did a few art projects that I learned from my Dancing Mermaid e-class that I took. I love, love, loved Mac's beautiful art that she created. But I forgot to share what I made that weekend too. Wanna see? :-)

My art journal:
My Art Journal

And my affirmation cards (kinda more ATC/ACEO):
All my Affirmation Cards/ACEOs
My faves, up close:
Love Many Things Affirmation Card/ACEO
Patience is Beautiful ACEO/Affirmation Card
Brave ACEO/Affirmation Card
Happy Affirmation Card/ACEO

Thanks for indulging me! :-) Ciao!