Monday, May 20, 2013

Baby Shower Gifts

For My friends baby shower I made two gifts inspired by various pins on pinterest. One was a faux chenille blanket, and the other was an altered onesie.
 The blanket started with one layer of cotton quilt fabric and three layers of flannel. I pinned them together as I ironed them to keep them from shifting during quilting.
 Sewing diagonal lines approximately 1/2 inch apart (this took a lot longer than I thought it would)
 I cut through the three layers of flannel without cutting the top layer.
 I squared up the quilt and then added a satin blanket binding.
After the blanket was washed the edges of the flannel fray in this cool wavy pattern.
 I just added three layers of jersey cotton to this onesie to make it a sweet little dress. No one else will have this outfit.

 Blanket and Dress
And my Goose was happy to model for the picture shoot.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Baby Shower

 The last week has been very busy with projects, all of which I could not post to the blog. I was getting ready for my friend's surprise baby shower. She has two boys and is now having a girl and I wanted to use the opportunity to have a surprise party. I think there is nothing better than a surprise party. To not be expecting anything and then have something delightful happen. What fun.

I made the cake and had so much fun with the gum paste decorations.
The cake was a lemon box cake with milk substituted for water, butter for oil, and an extra egg. I also added the zest from one lemon. Between the 4 layers of cake I added a filling of seedless Raspberry preserves. The bottom of the cake had a trim of fresh raspberries.
My messy work area

 Flowers drying

 Finished Cake

 With cake work I did not manage to get my gifts completely finished. I will show pictures of the baby gifts once they are complete.

And I just had to share the joy of a good piece of watermelon.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

What I have accomplished and what I have not

In this generation of pinterest and blogs it can be easy to believe that everyone does amazing handmade crafts and artwork, has a spotless house cleaned entirely with homemade cleaning supplies, makes gourmet dinners from scratch every night, uses cloth diapers but only for 1.5 years when their children learn to use the potty with nary an accident, homeschools their perfectly behaved children and goes on interesting dates every week with their charming husbands.
I want to make sure no one believes I anywhere come close to meeting this "Norm." Not that anyone who knows me ever would.

So things I got done this week:
  • Washed 3 loads of laundry,
  • Gave my family food to eat
  • Invented a new recipe
  • Finished a painting
  • Worked on a small quilt project to show to Blissful Home Guild - topic Homemade Gift Ideas (Pictures to follow)
  • Had 3 tea parties with my daughter
  • Nursed the baby countless times
  • Got the kids to bed
  • Read books
  • Made cookies with daughter
  • Cleaned off the table
  • Swept the floor of cheerios 24 times
  • Cleaned out the sandbox
  • This Blog

Things I have not gotten to
  • Folding or putting away any laundry
  • Feeding much more than PB and J or pasta for several days in a row
  • Grocery shopping- new recipe was mandatory to take advantage of what was available on hand
  • Starting another painting
  • Making the tea parties beautiful enough to photograph, we were wearing boring clothes and eating off of the coffee table, no special decorations
  • Giving the kids nightly baths, bedtime came and I was too tired to tackle bathtime
  • Reading Adult books
  • Cleaning off the foot tall pile of paperwork on the dining room Hutch
  • Moving things up the stairs from the pile on the stairs
  • Vacuuming
  • Mopping
  • Cleaning bathrooms
  • Finding the lost movie from the library
  • Sending mothers day cards to the amazing mothers in my life
  • Clearing countertops in the kitchen
  • Taking out the trash on trash day
  • Getting to church on Sunday- potty training and fussy baby made the whole thing seem too daunting

Friday, May 10, 2013

Milkweed Complete....I think

Milkweed is complete, at least I think it is. Sometimes it is hard to know whether I have reached a spot of completion. It will have to sit around for a few days or weeks and I will decide if I need to change anything.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Garden Flowers

We took a visit with the Community Center to Meadowlark Gardens this morning and for it was a grand adventure.

 Stopping to smell the flowers
 Mushrooms in the woods
 Korean Garden
 Looking at tadpoles in the pond
 Reading the Alphabet book
 Turtles in the lake

 Way ahead of the group

 Tea party

And for Kate, an update on her painting. Small changes but it is developing.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Lots of Flowers

Today I shifted the shadow... again. I also started working on foliage and flowers. Lots of flowers in the background and on the dress.

Strangers at the door.

Last week I answered a knock at the door to be greeted my two middle Eastern looking Man. One stood back on the sidewalk and the other introduced himself and shook my hand and then stepped back. I assumed at first that they must be salesmen because this is typical behavior for a salesman but they had no paperwork with them.
The guy said to me "We just bought this house on foreclosure"
I replied "Um NO you didn't!"
He tried to tell me that he had just purchased our house through some foreclosure deal and I adamantly kept insisting that he indeed could not have and he was wrong.
We had recently refinanced the house so I was concerned that someone had gotten ahold of our paper work and was trying to pull a scam, I just wasn't sure who was getting scammed, us or them.
He asked if we were renters and I said No we own this house and it has not been sold to ANYONE. 

Finally after trying to convince me they had bought my house for several minutes they checked their cell phone again and said "Oh sorry we had the wrong house number" And the headed across the parking lot to go check out another house.
I immediately texted my husband telling him that strange men cam to our door saying they had bought the house.
It is a good thing he called me right back because he was about to call the police and have them descend on these guys. I filled in the story and let him know they had indeed left. He was close to home so he checked them out as he drove in.

 It was such a strange experience. I figure they must have walked up to our house and thought "Wow we really got a good deal. We have a very nice front yard, except for the lack of grass coverage in our lawn. Beautiful fence and landscaping, and it is certainly above par for the neighborhood. If they had seen the improvements we have done on the inside especially our diy remodeled kitchen, They would have been even more happy with their "purchase."

One of the best things we grow in the garden "Flying Trees"

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Popsicles and wing walkers.

Yesterday the kids and I met friends and went to an Air Show. It was fun to see all of the stunt flying. and planes. The coolest thing was watching a lady walk on the outside of the plane as it flew. She was on the top, on the wings and even hanging from the bottom. She must be amazingly strong to be able to maneuver in all of that wind. 
Afterwards I went over to my friends house and the kids played in the backyard while I got started trying to put together a new swing set. The instructions were over 80 pages long and it was going to be a big project but I wanted to help if I could. I love to construct things and figure out complicated assemblys. What a sense of accomplishment when things are done.
 Today the kids and I took a picnic lunch to the playground. After playing for about 5 minutes we had to turn around and go home for a potty break. But only once the promise was extracted to come right back. When we came back to the playground there were several kids a few years older than my son playing basketball on the courts nearby and he stood watching them with rapt interest so I sent him over to ask if he could play. They let him join their game and after he looked completely confused at first, I started yelling some directions and he got right into the action. He could not throw the ball high enough to reach the basket but he sure tried. He did very well for a first pick up basketball game. 
After we came home the kids enjoyed Popsicles we had made.

 It took a while for Baby Goose to figure out why anyone would want to eat something that cold but once she did she was loving it.

A little time painting this evening has left me trying to figure out exactly which way the shadows should fall since my reference photos have different orientations.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Fun with a Propane Torch

Today my husband and I worked on replacing a utility sink, hoses for the washing Machine and shut off valves. I got to do lots of soldering and figuring out the design for the pipes. I also got to use the propane torch. I love to have a challenge I can tackle and figure out. Plumbing is not really very hard but it is always fun to have a different mental challenge.

And what is more fun than a really, really hot fire!

During Nap time I was trying to work some on the painting and the baby woke up from her nap so I strapped her on my back, I was soon also joined by my boy who kept on asking a bazillion questions and trying to get right in the middle of things, but how can you ask a little boy to get back to his scheduled nap time when he says, "mommy I love to watch you paint"?

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Milkweed goes green

Today I showed one of the priests at my church a picture of my Pope Francis painting. He thought it looked nice and we had a good conversation about pursuing painting and about practicing Architecture. It is nice to have avenues to get to know people better by sharing my art. I learned more about him and he learned a little more about me.
In the Afternoon I sat at the Vienna Arts Society Building for three hours along with the baby. Several society members came in at the beginning and it was nice to chat with them and then no one came in for the next two and a half hours. The baby took a nap and I looked at a few good art books, while carrying the baby around in the Ergo carrier.
Towards the end of the sitting time I started getting a headache which got rapidly worse on the way home. By the time I got home my head was hurting so bad and I felt nauseous because of it. I handed the Baby off to my husband, took some Excedrin and lay down in the dark to clutch my head and try to feel a little better. I got up two hours later to get the kids to bed and still felt bad but was getting a little better.
I decided that I should not go to painting class  but did paint some from home as my headache receded. I was glad that the headache did not completely ruin my chance to paint. Mostly green paint.
I am a little concerned about this painting, I am not totally confident in the size and placement of the figures. Are they the right size in relationship to each other?  I am just not sure. I need to get more paint on to get a better feel for how it looks. My skin tones also need a lot of work. Need to mix new tones, I was trying to see if some already on my pallet might work but I think I need to be less lazy.
Unfortunately I am now wide awake and unable to sleep because of the caffeine in the Excedrin. But it gives me a chance to write this post.
I am so glad that my husband was home and was able to take all three kids, get dinner and keep them entertained. Without any complaint, after he had already done a lot with them all day long. On his days of he hardly got any time for himself.