Thursday, October 21, 2010

we're moving!!

Just a block away...but after putting in an offer 7 months ago, we finally closed on the house yesterday. It is a home I have loved since we first moved here 5 1/2 years ago.  Now we are making that scary jump into the unknown that is "californiarealestate." This new world includes things like earthquake-proofing the foundation and termite inspections.

Our goal is to paint and get new carpet in the next 10 days and move in by Halloween (scary thought - the move, not Halloween). I've been pouring over my favorite design sites and my inspiration binder that I started putting together in March when we submitted our offer. It's a whirlwind of to-do lists, but D and I are excited to be working on it together.

After stumbling upon this inspiring post by SouleMama (if only we could all be as awesome as she is) I'm thinking I need to set up our library/studio first:
Library (18)

Doesn't this space ooze creativity?! There's no TV in sight! I'm trying to convince myself to cancel the cable when we move - the jury's still out.

I'll post more design inspirations as we dive into the projects on our list. First, here are my current daily reads:

Little Green Notebook
Apartment Therapy

Sunday, October 17, 2010

picasso update

I posted the lesson for the Picasso portraits over at KidCulture. Check them out! Here's Little S working on her masterpiece.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Mondrian at KidCulture

I wrote up my Mondrian art lesson for the preschoolers over at KidCulture. I've got some great pics of the class working on their art, including the Picasso portraits, but must do some photo editing before I post them. I don't think it's appropriate to post pics of kids that aren't my own (I'll blur their faces in photoshop). Art class is going well - it takes a lot of time but I really do enjoy it!
File:Mondrian Composition II in Red, Blue, and Yellow.jpg
Mondrian's Composition II in Red, Blue and Yellow, 1930

My friend and KidCulture author Becca just told me she's been invited to join a Fine Arts Class with 8 other mothers from her ward. They rotate having the children in their homes and preparing an arts lesson for them (I assume it includes music, literature, etc). Doesn't that sound lovely?

I was recently on a blog where the author-mother wrote that she decided to put away her passions like sewing projects and other creations in an attempt to spend more time with her children - teaching, helping them practice instruments, etc. I thought to myself how happy I am that my passion for art can be translated into projects, museum visits and time with my kids quite easily!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Picasso at Preschool

I'm teaching Picasso at the preschool art class today. We'll be attempting Picasso-like self-portraits. I'll let you know how it goes. In the meantime, you can create your own Picasso masterpieces at PicassoHead.
Above is one of Picasso's works I'll share with the kids: Maya with her Doll, 1938.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I've been out of the office...

It feels like I've been all over the place! I went to Washington, DC on a last minute trip to see my brother get married on a boat on the Potomac, I started teaching an art class twice a week at Little S's preschool and I launched a new blog.

Check out the new blog:
This blog idea has been swirling around in my head for almost a year. I gathered a few like-minded friends together to be contributors and it finally launched a few weeks ago. KidCulture is dedicated to arts+children.

Friday, July 30, 2010

she cut it herself

You can see some of the hair laying below on the ac unit - there were piles of it. She did it at 6:45 am while sitting on the back porch playing with fabric scraps.

Me: Little S, why did you cut your hair?
Little S: My hair kept getting in my eyes.

My guess is that the ac kicked on and blew her hair and she got frustrated.
Did I mention I was going to have some sisters pics taken in a few weeks, not to mention my sister's wedding in Oct. I think I'll start giving her the vitamin (D, I think) that promotes hair and nail growth.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Santa Barbara and birthday week

I turned 31 last week...

D instituted Birthday Week when we were first married. The tradition has lasted these 12 years and I think my birthday week 2010 was the best yet. I'll post more of the week's festivities later but we finished the week with an overnighter in Santa Barbara as part of the festivities celebrating the blessing of Ryan and Whitney's twins (though we couldn't make it to the actual blessing on Sunday).

Ryan and Whitney's families rented a beach house for the weekend and they offered us their extra room Friday night. (Chris had his last weekend of MBA school at UCLA - we missed him but are excited for him to be done!) The weekend was awesome - staying up late Friday talking and laughing, brunch on the beach Saturday and a trip to the Santa Barbara zoo included feeding the giraffe! Not to mention the delicious coconut birthday cakes Whitney made for me and the best part - holding those cute twin boys all weekend.

Little S took this picture of D and I - she's becomming quite the photographer.

Little S chickened out and wouldn't feed the giraffe after the giraffe shot its tongue out a good 8 inches at her. D stepped in to help. Apparently, the tongue felt like sandpaper.
The lion was sunning right in front of us - Baby J, Izzy and a random kid were posing, though Izzy doesn't like any kind of cat including giant ones.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Getty Family Art Days '10

We braved the crowds and traffic to attend Getty Family Art Days - Leonardo da Vinci themed this year. It's the third or forth time I've gone and I must say that the budget constraints hitting the art world were apparent at the Getty festivities. All the kid projects were paper or cardboard - nothing too fancy, but fun, nonetheless. Projects included sketchbooks with Leonardo drawings on each page, horse models (out of said cardboard pieces), frames, and decorating a postcard that the Getty would mail to anywhere you wanted in the world. Oh, and a guy dressed as Leonardo was wandering the Getty campus answering questions and posing for photo ops - Little S thought it was kinda like Disneyland. I'm sure that's what the Getty was going for.

We attended with my friend Cass and her 3 kids - all 8 of us piled into her van for the trip. She got a speeding ticket on the way there but that didn't dampen our spirits. 81 mph, come on, it's the flow of traffic! Good thing she didn't get caught when she was going 95 on the way home. Clearly tickets really make drivers think twice before speeding again.

Cass's kids getting the instructions for sketch book construction.
The boys with their finished horse models. Colin tore pieces for the legs so they would bend accurately - what an artist!
Little S wouldn't pose with her horse, but here is its portrait - three legs and all. She insisted on not attaching a 4th leg.
Baby J is obsessed with writing utensils. As soon as she saw the big kids drawing she had to get right in there, too. The Leonardo skull drawing is a bit morbid but Little S kept telling everyone that it was no big deal, "it's just the bones in your face."
Helping tie the sketchbook together - I just liked how the sunlight was falling into this shot.
We had 3 strollers between us and Cass tried to carry her 2 up four flights of stairs. I was laughing so hard when I looked up and saw her trying to load all of this like a burro. A passerby took pitty on us and helped carry one of the strollers (D was outside with Little S otherwise he would have helped).

Monday, May 24, 2010

San Francisco

Last week D and Baby J and I enjoyed a long weekend in San Francisco with our friends Chris and Nicole and their little Isabel. (Little S stayed with Grandma and Grandpa in Vegas -a big thank you to them!) We've decided San Fran is our new favorite city. It's close, architecturally beautiful, cool weather, art-filled, and the shops, the shops! The list goes on and on.

Basically, we ate our way through the city. I think we all gained weight during our 5 day stay. D even declined a treat at Ghirardelli Square because he was full from the day's eats!

Our friends Evan and Carrie and their boys were with us Saturday and Sunday. All of the people in the pic above piled into Carrie's van at one point - don't ask how, we just made it work.
Evan and his son enjoying the local chocolate.

A dozen macaroons from Paulette. My favorite was almond flavored but peach was a close second. Rose tasted too much like my grandmother's lotion.
We stayed one night at Nicole's grandmother's home just outside the city. Grandma's entry gate provided lots of fun for the 4 kiddos running around.
Saturday morning breakfast (and later lunch) on the water at the Ferry Building - so many fantastic food shops.
We had to show Baby J the ugly sea dogs! She thought they were pretty funny. You can see Coit tower above Baby J's head.

Other highlights included:
Our day in Berkeley and Sausalito visiting shops recommended by my friend Susannah: Heath Ceramics factory - so awesome - handcrafted tiles since 1948 founded by an inspiring woman, Edith Heath!

Castle in the Air and Tail of the Yak in Berkeley - whimsical, creative hotspots - I want to take one of the classes at Castle in the Air sometime. The lovely items in the shops made me want to throw away all the ugly plastic toys in our home and start over.

Lunch at Cheeseboard Pizza in Berkeley - unique and delicious co-op restaurant.

We also stood in line for breakfast at Dottie's True Blue Cafe. Worth the wait - even the locals stand in line for the "best breakfast in San Francisco." Carrot butterscotch muffin was awesome as was the coconut french toast and the 3 different egg scrambles we ordered.

We'll be back soon!

back in the saddle

I've been on hiatus. No major reason - just general aversion to blogging and sitting in front of a computer. Since my mom has requested pics of her granddaughters numerous times I will try to be more consistent.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

love art

Today is a big day for the arts - it's Arts Advocacy Day 2010! Various arts groups visit capitol hill today to remind congress that the arts are essential to our education and they should not be left out of future reform legislation. A few famous people will be milling around the Hill, even testifying in congressional hearings.

In honor of this important day, I'll share a few of our recent art endeavours. I've directed 2 art days at Little S's preschool class in the last month. The first was all about Jackson Pollock. We read the children's book ACTION JACKSON We looked at a few pics of Pollock in action - working on his famous drip paintings. Then we headed outside and I had a giant canvas (about 6 feet)for the kids to try their hands at action painting. I had a bucket of tools and oddities for them to choose from, pie plates of various paint colors for them to dip the tools into and then drip/splatter/toss them across the canvas. All the while Louie Armstrong was playing in the background (because the book we read stated that Pollock loved to listed to Jazz).

Overall, the Pollock project was a hit. Even when more than one of the kids started scooping paint with their hands from the pie plates onto the canvas and then smearing it around like finger paint. I never said they couldn't do that, right? My mantra with child art projects: It's About the Process, Not the Product! They loved it and I came home with paint in my hair, on my back, even my watchband got a smear - obviously, a successful day at school. Seeing the kids enjoy themselves and let loose with creativity is what it's all about.

Less successful was my Dada project a la Marcel Duchamp. I attempted Happy Accident art where the kids dip string in paint and drop it from above their paper to see in what shape the string lands. They liked it for a few minutes, but most wandered off. BUT, the bigger success that time was the book I read. Whereas they didn't love the Pollock book (Little S said she didn't like the pics - they were in this loose illustrative style), the kids were captivated as I read them Art by Patrick McDonnell. This book is our family favorite, given by my dad to Little S when she was 2. It was the first book she memorized - she LOVES it and I do, too.

So, save the arts in your schools and love the arts in your homes.

Friday, February 26, 2010

She Walks

...a few months earlier than her big sister did. Baby J loves watching other children run - she squeals in delight if her big sis will run full-speed at her and Little S is happy to oblige. In fact, Little S spends much of her time trying to get a laugh out of her baby sister. Yesterday in the car they were taking turns laughing at each other, each round making the other sister laugh louder and with a stronger "belly laugh." By the time we got home I was laughing, too. These are the days to remember...

Baby J loves to put anything around her neck - beads and even grosgrain ribbon she finds laying about the house (as in the first pic).

The girls are loving the dress-up box these days, too. While we were in Reno Little S had her Grandpa dressed in some of these duds. Uncle Scott was a willing model a few weeks ago. Lastly, a pic of one of her favorite spots in the whole house - Little S's doll bed. When Baby J gets a moment to herself in big sis's room, we almost always find her perched on the bed. Don't you love the crossed legs? So cute while pretending to eat something from this bundt pan.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Busy Work

Recently, I've been having problems with my photos uploading to my computer. I don't have any current pics but I thought I'd share some projects.

I'm in the early stages of locating a to-die-for flower girl dress for Little S to wear to my sister's wedding in October. I have yet to find the "to-die-for" part so I sent the inquiry to Gabrielle at DesignMom and she posted my question and her answer on her blog this past Monday (many sources were referenced in the comments, too).

Speaking of the kiddos, we are loving books by Jack Prelutsky the past few weeks. His rhymes are fantastic! Ryan and Whitney were given two of his books at the twins shower and after flipping through, I knew Little S would love them. This week we're enjoying The Wizard (illustrated by a BYU-I graduate it turns out) and Ride a Purple Pelican - a collection of rhymes in a Mother-Goose-meets-Shel-Silverstein style.

My friend Becca keeps a "good things" blog here and her blogroll on the right column is full of inspiring ideas. The past few days I've found quite a few projects I want to make (some require D's woodworking skills), including this tutorial on Montessori number rods from A Handmade Childhood.

Lastly, I've been obsessing about Ikat fabric. I've been looking at it all over the web. I finally bought some home dec weight Ikat-style fabric on Monday that I've been wanting for some time. (At $3 per yard, who could resist?!?) This is it:Nate Berkus used it for his line at HSN. It is a long story about how I came to this realization - I won't bore you (maybe I'm too late?).

Hoping D can figure out my photo-computer problems soon. I've got pics of our walking one-year-old to share!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Valentine's Day

Last week we were heart attacked by the girls from church. Little S was so excited when she woke up and saw all the "love" in the front yard. She ran out and started rearranging the hearts among other flower pots. I turned around from taking the picture below and spotted Baby J sneaking out the front door to see what all the commotion was about.

We made heart flowers for Little S's school valentines. She cut about 1/4 of the 48 hearts for the project. I was up late last night assembling them and she signed her name on each this morning. When I dropped her off I was impressed with all the other valentines sitting on the class cart - I think she'll come home with quite a haul today.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Dr. Seuss baby shower - twins!!

warning: lots of pics

D and I enjoyed a quick weekend trip to Reno to celebrate the upcoming arrival of Ryan and Whitney's twin boys. (Little S stayed at our house with D's parents). We bunked at the home of our good friends, Chris and Nicole. Nicole is Whitney's sister - obviously, we love that entire family.

Nicole put together a fabulous shower brunch - Dr. Seuss' Cat in the Hat theme with red, white and baby blue everything. She throws my kind of party! Beautiful decorations, unique theme, and special personal touches - like the red and white striped chair covers she and her mom made for the 45 (gasp) chairs. Nicole's degree from the Cordon Bleu in Pasadena informs the delicious party food she prepares, too. This was a shower not to be missed.

Place settings for each of the 45 guests.

Baby bingo to promote audience participation during gift opening - I didn't win.

the happy mama at 27 weeks along

Nicole and I wore the same colors - oh well, it was a TWINS shower, right?

croque monsieurs, mmm - you don't want to know how much butter was used on these babies

These two woke up from naps toward the end of gift opening and quickly started devouring blueberries. They even fed each other - such cute little friends. I'm just noticing all the polkadots in this pic - even Baby J's tights were polkadot!

Part of my gift to Whitney - I made this nursery art (I use the term loosly here) for the boys. The project was a comedy of errors - after finally finishing it late the night before we left, the plexiglass frame shattered during a hard plane landing en route to Reno. D and Chris had some glass cut for me before the shower, but it was pretty sharp and Whitney cut her cute finger while opening the gift. ugh. That seems to be the norm with most of my projects these days...

Later in the evening, we celebrated Izzy's first birthday!! Two parties in one day - both organized by Nicole and much of the food made by her as well. She's supermama.

I love this pic of the birthday girl with her doting grandmother (who, by the way looks young enough to be Izzy's aunt!)

Baby J loved playing with the Izzy drink bottle during the festivities. Such determined eyes!

Baby J's rock star fingers

These two friends enjoyed the royal seats at the party - it was Baby J's actual birthday on Saturday and Chris and Nicole were kind enough to have her join the cake eating mess.