Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Larger than life

Sandwich Tomato Landscape Original Collage $30  by Wald Wolken on Etsy
This image represents how my life feels right now. Those larger than life sandwiches, with all their layers are the responsibilities on my rather small size plate. And yeah, collectively those responsibilities feel larger than life, and a bit scary too. And yeah, even though I am so busy it is absurd - I am still, somehow, able to laugh.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Couldn't We Ride?

The new Muppet movie has me thinking about The Great Muppet Caper, which I saw when I was in first grade. This scene blew my mind - all of the Muppets riding bikes. I remember my jaw literally dropping. I had no idea how it was done. It still impresses me today, love it.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Keep Drawing

There are days when I want to draw, but just can't get to my sketchbook. Today was one of those days. This video is amazing, inspiring, and reminds me to return to the page as soon as I can. 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Favorite Things Friday: Curtis Mayfield

Heard this song on the radio today (thank you KEXP ) and fell in love with it, I definitely need more Curtis Mayfield in my life. Here are the lyrics:

Hush now child,
and don't you cry
Your folks might understand you
by and by
Move on up
towards your destination
You may find
from time to time

Bite your lip
and take a trip
Though there may be
wet road ahead
You cannot slip
So move on up
and peace you will find
Into the steeple
of beautiful people
Where there's only one kind

So hush now child
and don't you cry
Your folks might understand you
by and by
Just move on up
and keep on wishing
Remember your dreams
are your only schemes
So keep on pushing
Take nothing less -
not even second best
And do not obey -
you must have your say
You can past the test

Move on up!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Drips and drops

Rainbow Gumdrop Tree Fine Art Print $15 by CCreativity on Etsy

Can't stop eating spice drops today. Thinking about what else we could do with the big bag I bought (instead of stuffing my face with them when my kid isn't looking). Feeling happy about dinner that cooks itself. Listening to the rain and wind outside. Looking forward to having some family photos taken by this talented lady - even though I have no idea what to wear. Looking forward to eating this and this next week. November - so far so good.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Slow Day

Anna Hat by CrocheTrend on Etsy Pattern $8
Last night I hosted about 17 people at my place for a meeting, and today I am totally wiped out. We took a day off today - not getting out of our comfy clothes all day, not leaving the house, finishing this hat (above), coloring, taking a 3 hour nap, and eating pancakes for dinner. Thank goodness for taking a slow day.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Let's Groove

I think I have a thing for Earth, Wind and Fire. This video is awesome - I mean, check their outfits! It will be a while until I can boogie on down to this (got a nice torn hamstring), but once I'm out!

Friday, November 11, 2011

25 Holiday gifts (you and) your kid can make

I fully realize that we haven't even hit Thanksgiving yet, and here I am talking about Christmas, sorry T-Day. But thinking ahead in the case of handmade gifts is pretty necessary (believe me, I've learned the hard way). This year, I have a 4 year who old seems exited to make as many holiday gifts as we can. Here are 25 ideas for you to try with your kids, and to get you inspired to spend some time making things together. 

Mixes in Jars. We've been making jars of hot chocolate mix for family and friends for the past two years. My kid loves to help me measure and dump the layers into the jars. Try  giving hot chocolate mix, BBQ rubs, cookies, and soup mixes.

Salt Dough Ornaments. We made a bunch of these last year, and I loved playing with the dough as well. Try mixing food coloring into the dough ahead of time instead of painting - so much fun. Recipe here.

Stamp your kids art on cards. Follow these easy instructions to get one of your kid's adorable doodles made into a stamp. Then have them stamp it on cards to give as gifts! I love getting stamps made at

Monogram a mug. Check out this cool tutorial from DesignMom. I seriously want to get my hands on one of the Porcelaine Pens she talks about. I mean, you could draw anything on a plate or mug. How cool is that? Move over kid....

Make a piece of fine art. I love this idea and tutorial for making a limited edition print using scratch foam.

Fabric Fun. Armed with a scanner, you could make yards and yards of fabric out of a little doodle done by your kid over at Spoonflower. You can actually get a piece as small as a fat quarter. I'm particularly fond of a hot pink spider my kid recently drew, and can just picture it as a fabric pattern. Then think of the possibilities! Older kids could sew napkins, table runners, pillows, aprons.... 

Mix up some glitter dough. You could pre-mix this fancy, scented play-doh recipe or help your kid assemble it as a dry mix in a cute jar. Pair with some cookie cutters and you've got a kid friendly gift that your kids will also love putting together. Try the Martha Stewart glitter for extra pizazz.

Bake something delicious. Since my kid loves to bake with me, we have enjoyed giving neighbors loaves of this Marbled Chocolate Banana Bread or this Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread for their freezers (for a breakfast or tea time treat after the holiday sugar rush wears off).

Good clean fun. Kids will love mixing up batches of home made bubble bath. Both of these recipes look great. One, from The Green Parent and the other from DesignMom. I love the idea of packaging them in squeezable bear bottles. Older kids could even make fun labels.

Shrink it. I still have a Shrinky Dink ornament I made when I was 3. I'm excited for my kid to try this craft this year.

Recipe Dish Towel. This is a super cute idea that would be perfect for a family member who has everything. I love the idea of asking the child how their favorite recipe from grandma is made, and putting that on the towel instead of a traditional recipe.

Secret Hollow Book. Probably better suited for older kids, since it involves an exact o knife, but oh so fun to make and receive.

My Favorite Tunes. My kid is really starting to express her musical tastes. Right now she loves any song that is in French or Italian ( Lou Monte, and Edith Piaf: thanks Pandora). This year, we want to make a CD collection of her top 10 songs from this year to give to her friends. Any relief from 'kid music' is greatly appreciated in my house. 

Marble magnents. A friend made me these a few years ago and I love them. Your kids could do a whole set of magnets featuring the faces of family members, their favorite book or cartoon characters, or any other fun theme.

Stash buster yarn bowl. I love the look of this yarn bowl from Blissfully Domestic and am sure that a kid would love to make it. Not only does it look super cool, it could really help get rid of a lot of my yarn stash!

Custom Calendar This is great, computer-free idea for making custom calendars, and a great way to purge some kiddo art!

Button wreath ornament. Kids large and small love to string stuff on wire or string, and I love how simple these ornaments look. Buy a bag of bulk buttons from the craft store and string away!

Name magnets. Have your child shape the letters in their friends names using fimo clay, add magnets to the back and you have a unique personalized gift that also spells F-U-N.

Patchwork notebook. This would make an adorable gift for anyone who likes to journal, and a fun way to use up extra sheets of scrapbook paper or old magazines.

Ruffle Scarf.  Made from a tee shirt, this scarf would be fun for an older kid to make for their friends.

Snowman Pencils. Making a batch of these to give out to classmates or friends would be super easy and fun.

Kid art on everything. Using sites like Zazzle or Cafe Press your child's art can be placed on mugs, ties, shoes, notecards, sigg bottles, and even iphone cases. And don't underestimate the simplicity of giving a nicely framed piece of your child's art as a gift. 

Make a Silhouette picture. Here's a super kid friendly and low tech way to make a silhouette picture. Love this.

Interview you child on a certain topic, especially if they are too little to initiate a story on their own (what is your favorite thing to do with Grandma?, etc) Then, using a site like Blurb, make a great bound book featuring your kid's interview. Pair it with photos of your little one to make for a lasting keepsake for special people in your child's life. Or scan in drawings done by your child. There are some fun ideas about writing stories with your kid, here, and to get the conversation going try these fun conversation cards.

Finally, wrap your handmade creations in homemade gift wrap . Another fun way to re purpose a lot of the kid art you have hanging around your house!

Favorite Things Friday: Geriatric Version

Yeah, this drawing looks like it could belong to someone 3 times my age. I'm feeling 3 times my age this week, for sure. This week is dedicated to my heating pad. It has been the constant companion of my groin and butt. Sorry, that's graphic I know. I pulled a muscle mid week, and wow. Ouch. I've also been dripping each and every thing I eat on myself, causing me to become close friends with my stain stick. So much excitement this week I can hardly stand it. We've been teaching the kiddo how to play dominoes and she loves it. I also whipped up a batch of Paula Deen's Pumpkin Bars (and promptly spilled some on myself) But the bites that managed to make it to my mouth were delicious. I've been indulging in a daily cup of hot cocoa each morning and I kind of love it. This is also that time of year in my part of the world where, if we get lucky, we need both sunglasses and Smartwool socks. Hopefully next week will be more age appropriate. Happy Friday!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Webb Wilder Credo

Webb Wilder Credo Letterpress Poster $25 by YeeHaw on Etsy
I'm adopting this credo (and I need to pay attention to the last item on the list - time for some new glasses).

Monday, November 7, 2011

Work In Progress: Gnomes

I made it to my desk at 5:50 this morning (thank you daylight savings time)! Here is a little screen shot of what I am working on. Hopefully these guys will be ready for their debut soon. Happy Monday, people!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Totally inspired

After catching up on my favorite art blogs the other day I was totally inspired and blown away by this film made by Danny Gregory and his son Jack Tea. If watching this doesn't make you want to bust out your sketchbook and pens (or visit New York) you need to have your head checked.You can see more of Tommy Kane's amazing sketchbook work here.

New bucket list item: visit New York and DRAW everything.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

10 blogs that make me feel like drawing (a list)

LOVE - Limited Edition Giclee Print : $20 by Helen Dardik on Etsy
As I get back into the swing of creating after a time away, I find that I need a good dose of inspiration to get started. Why is getting started always the hardest part? Here are some of my very favorite blogs to visit when I need a little inspirational kick in the pants.

1. Flora Chang's Happy Doodle Land
2. Unicorn Poo
3. Danny Gregory's Blog
4. Gemma Correll
5. Ingela P Arrhenius
6. Mary Kate McDevitt's tumblr
7. grainedit
8. Kate Hidley's Hollow Log Blog 
9. Susie Ghahremani' s boy girl party
10. Helen Dardik's Orange You Lucky

Friday, November 4, 2011

Favorite Things Friday: Chips and Chanter

Yes! Finally some drawing on this blog. Hello Friday! Here are some favorite things from this week - probably the most normal week I've had since June. The practice chanter that my bagpipe teacher lent me, that sounds a bit like the bagpipes when I am doing it right, or like a duck being hugged a bit too hard when I'm not. Salty, crunchy bagel chips spread with soft cream cheese. Honeycrisp apples - I think they are almost out of season. I've been eating 2 per day just in case. These boots, which I just can't quite get out of my mind. And, yep. 5:30 am. I'm love you even though you are dark and cold and feel like the middle of the night. Happy Friday, everyone.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Fall on me

Milk Sweater by Pixiepurls { Pattern available for $7 here }
Thinking a lot about this little sweater. Knit in this fabulous yarn. While drinking a lot of this homemade hot chocolate mix, munching on some 5 minute artisan bread slathered with butter and jam. And watching rusty colored leaves fall from my neighbor's oak tree.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


"You Are OK" Vintage Letterpres Type  $70  by monkivintage on Etsy
 "You can learn new things at any time in your life if you're willing to be a beginner. 
If you actually learn to like being a beginner, the whole world opens up to you."
 - Barbara Sher

Sooo...last night I took my first bagpipe lesson. It was a fun, yet humbling experience. It has been a really, really long time since I have been a complete beginner at something. And it was hard, I'm not going to lie. Trying to get my fingers just right on the practice chanter, and trying to get them to do what I wanted made my brain hurt. I kept wondering, how long until this things feels as comfortable as a pencil in my hand, or how long until I can finger notes on this thing like I do the flute I've played (for only 29 years)? It made me realize how much more challenging it is to be a beginner, especially as we get older - but also what a powerful experience it can be if we learn to enjoy the process. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Firsts on the first!

Ok, so NaBloPoMo didn't go so well in October - the kiddo survived a bout of Hand Foot and Mouth disease and a double ear infection, and I took a few trips to the hospital for some scary blood tests. Luckily all is now well, and I am hopeful about the month of November!

And tonight? It is my first bagpipe lesson. Yes, you read that right. Bagpipes. Learning how to play the bagpipes is on my bucket list - along with marching in a pipe band. I'm even surprised by it myself. Anyhow, as I creep closer to the big 4-0 these funny dreams of mine have started seeming even more important. I got a set of pipes for my birthday, so that sealed the deal. Bagpipes now - clarinet and guitar next. I'm planning on being a totally eccentric octogenarian.