Thursday, July 16, 2009

Strollin' & Scootin' Around the Neighborhood ...

One of my most favorite pastimes is to stroll ... take in the sights of wherever I may be ... and breathe. Since retiring our stroller (which I still feel pangs in my heart to push that thing!) and (sniff, sniff) our dear Red Flyer Wagon, I now "stroll" behind our children as they scoot. Just another reminder how time just keeps on marchin' on ... BLAH! Finally remembering to take along my camera, I snapped shots of my best-loved homes that I find simply inspiring. My dad just shakes his head at me and laughs.

This is the home of a childhood friend of mine.
Her parents were incredible artists.Being in their home as a child, I felt in awe of the creativity that it exuded. I can recall walking through room by room and feeling as though it was magical. Portraits in the making erect on easels, sunlight filtering through colored glass along windowpanes, attic cubbies filled with vintage Barbies and dolls, worktables overflowing with canvas and paper with tubes of paint and stain scattered in disarray ... everywhere I looked - my heart felt full. I suppose the art bug bit me early ... (*smile*)

Our walk continues on this street to a home that should it ever go on the market ... I would beg and plead for my husband to consider it's purchase! I find it dreamy & cozy ...

A more stately home with lovely gardens ...
Bunnies at play ...

... led us to a door fit for a whimsy, storybook cottage!I want that door!!!

Our stroll, of course, was wrapped up when we arrived at the playground ... but I didn't mind ...I got to place a check mark on "Our Summer To Do List" - - Swing Barefoot.

(Don't judge me, ladies ... I wish I had time for a pedicure!! :)

Invent your world. Surround yourself with people, color, sounds, and work that nourishes you.


PJs & Sandcastles

" Ta - DA!"

"...I don't know much about sandcastles. But children do. Watch them and learn. Go ahead and build, but build with a child's heart ..."

-"Making Sandcastles," Author Unknown

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Twirling Bubbles & Whimsy Paper ...

These past few days of weather have been heaven-sent! I am in pure bliss with the brilliant blue sky lasting from sunrise to dusk and the lovely, cool breeze keeping the heat off ... what better time to twirl bubbles through the air?With yesterday as our book club meeting, I was super grateful for the good weather!

We discussed the first half of ...
So far - I COMPLETELY love this book! It reminds me of the stories that I enjoyed as a child ... similar to the Bobbsey Twins and Trixie Belden ... children playing outdoors all summer long, seeking exploration and adventure. Love it!
This story is the tale of four Penderwick sisters that take a summer holiday with their father and stay in a lovely, little cottage on the grounds of the Arundel Estate, where they meet Jeffrey, the son of Mrs. Tipton - who is portrayed to be the snooty owner of Arundel - and Cagney, the 19-year old groundskeeper. Rosalind, the eldest sister, seems to have taken on the role of caregiver since the death of their mother. Jane is the aspiring author - always dreaming and romanticizing everything. Skye seems to be the skeptic of the bunch. And, Batty, the youngest, trusts all her secrets and wishes to her best friend, Hound - the family dog - and is never seen without wearing her butterfly wings. Precious. What I found most endearing about these sisters is their loyalty to one another ... the Penderwick Family Honour.
I was thankful that all of the girls shared the same enthusiasm for this book as I felt. Although we are just halfway through the story, the number of stars the girls rated it thus far ... (drum roll) ...
Infinity & beyond
(to quote Maggie)

Yea, Penderwicks!

Moving onto our creative time, I knew that it would be slightly hectic. Thank the Good Lord that my helper was able to come and assist me - Thank You, Thank You & Thank You, again, Megan!! She is just the sweetest!
Some girls were finishing up their Wonder Paintings, while others were learning a new craft ... Marbleizing Paper.
Here is how you can make your own whimsy paper ...

What You Need:
Paper Cups
Craft Sticks
Food Coloring

Cooking Oil
Aluminum roasting pan

Small eye droppers
Paper (we used Linen Resume Paper)

What You Do:
1. Fill several paper cups 1/3 full with cooking oil and add several drops of food coloring. Stir thoroughly with a craft stick.
2. Fill your tray with an inch of water. With your dropper add a few drops of color to your water.
3. Gently swirl the color around until you like the pattern. (Note, this did not really work for us - not sure why - so we just sprinkled the oil dye here and there.)
4. Carefully place paper so that it lies on top of the water.
5. Lift the paper off immediately and let it drip for a minute.
6. Hang the paper on a clothes line or a flat surface to dry.
And, there you have it. Whimsy Paper ... :)
To have a loving relationship with a sister is not simply to have a buddy or a confident -- it is to have a soulmate for life.
- Victoria Secunda

Monday, July 6, 2009

A Rainy Week + Clutter Amuck = Perfect Time to Organize!

What a week we had last week ... I almost thought to take a trip to Lowe's for some lumber. You know - to build an ark!?
We had HAIL ...
We had "FUNNEL CLOUDS" - yes, there was rotation! (are you smiling, Miss?)
(this pic is courtesy from my storm-chasing sis)

And, as I mentioned before, it looked like Dorothy & Toto landed with a thud in my studio ...

See ... I wasn't exaggerating.

So, what better time to dig my way through the rubble but while its raining kitties & pups outside?

And, I am happy to report ... not only did the sun break through just in time for the Fourth, but I also declared victory ...

Some freshness to the window to bring in that summer light ...
I even came across one of my favorite drawings ...

A replica of Classic Pooh, "Tat, Tat - Looks Like Rain" (how appropriate for this week!)

By the time that I finished up in the studio - I was on a roll ... Look OUT! I was on a mission to minimize & declutter!!

I even tore apart all of our closets & dressers (check!) and gathered 10 bags to Goodwill and 5 bags to the trash can - - truly, it refreshed my soul!

I was on such a roll that I even gave my daughter's bedroom a do-over; moving furniture round and such - - it's almost scary, isn't moms? ... to see what can be collected under a bed! Beyond Yikes!! Now, I know why she is so quick to clean her room!! HUMPH!
Remembering that she expressed her embarrassment of having her baby portrait hanging up on the wall (due, I believe, to the visible butt crack ... LOL! - gee, I thought it was endearing!!) ... ... I reluctantly removed it and arranged some flowers to hang in its place.

She was pleased.

And, goodness knows ... that's what we, mamas, strive for ... our children's happiness, or one could say, "just peace in the valley." :)

All in all ... a lot accomplished, but gee-whiz ... still so much to do!

The good news - the sun is shining and should be for the week - woo-HOO! Translation ... Paint store, here I come!! Gotta get to those stairs!!

I can see clearly now, the rain is gone
I can see all obstacles in my way
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind
It’s gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright)Sun-Shiny day.
-Johnny Nash