Category Archives: Art

Acorn PSA

Bugs.
Overall I really like bugs. The girls are fascinated by them and they provide a lot of fun and interesting toddler discussions.
We love the outdoors. We spend most our days in the fresh air. It encourages so much curiosity and imagination. Watching the girls experiment, explore and create is motivating as a parent.

The other day Sarah and I went outside to collect some sticks. We were going to do some Christmas projects, and I love to use natural (and free!) elements.

After we made a few ornaments Sarah was still wanting to make more things. We ventured back outside and collected a bucket of acorns.
We have a yard full of oak trees, so the acorns are overflowing.

We gathered all our goods and went inside where Sarah made rows and streets glueing acorns on paper.

Then today something happened.
The acorns sat in a bucket last night, awaiting the next project. Elanor found it and dumped it into a Christmas bag she found. Then back into the bucket (she loves dumping and filling things). At one point I heard her drop all the bucket contents on the floor so I ventured into the kitchen where I began singing our “clean up song”. While I was picking up the acorns I saw something yellow’ish. I stopped, looked again and saw several small off-color things. They were larva. Somewhere between 5-10 little tiny crawly larva. 1 was moving and then the rest slowly started “waking up” and moving. I immediately stopped Elanor from helping clean up and went to grab my dust pan. Actually that’s not true, I grabbed my camera and THEN the dust pan. Sarah and Elanor both wanted to see the crawly subjects, which I made them stand a good distance away for.

I took a few pictures after cleaning up all the acorns and sticks, trying to figure out what the things were.
I swept them up and threw them away and then Stephen notified me he found another pile of deserted acorns with tiny things laying around.
I have since swept and vacuumed several times.
I keep getting that gross itchy scratchy feeling on my skin.

So consider this a friendly Public Service Announcement, from my home to yours – don’t trust the acorns.
And if you really want some, for crafts, decorating or what not, save yourself the time (and want-to-puke-in-mouth feeling) and buy a bag from a friendly acorn-safe craft store.

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Our original craft area setup. Pre-larva invasion.

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Feb Fun

A few Saturdays ago we spent a fun day at my sisters house. They recently moved about 10 minutes away, so spontaneous hangtimes have happily increased. In case you haven’t caught on, over the past few years, my sister has gained a huge fan. This particular person would probably start her very own fan club, if she knew such a thing could exist. My little sister is a huge mentor to one of the most precious and important people in my life. RiRi, you are a huge deal, in case you weren’t aware. I don’t have to worry for a second about the impact you will have on my daughters. They, no, we, are incredibly blessed to have you in our lives. We look forward to years upon years of goofy fun times together.

That was an unexpected sentimental moment… let’s move on, shall we.

For most of the afternoon the boys were busy installing a new stereo in our car. Bluetooth is a new thing right? I’m always about a decade behind with technology.

While the boys did their thing all us girls kept busy in the backyard.

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Sarah & I had some fun one on one time while Elanor took a nap

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Fun Play with RiRi

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My first “niece” Sheila ;)

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our stick art

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It was a great afternoon. The weather was so beyond perfect that it would have been wrong to not spend it outdoors.

Date Night

Stephen and I had a date night this past weekend. One of my great friends from church has a sister that does Painting Parties. She does them for birthday parties and the like, and offered to do one to raise money for our church mission trip. 2/3 of the money went to the fundraiser, so basically she gave everything she made, I doubt her cut even covered all the supplies. I say that because people, we went through a lot of paint. That’s a large canvas, and mixing paint colors is fun. I get why Sarah likes to make such big messes now.

The event was held at a local coffee shop, so not only did we get to paint, but we drank delicious drinks and got to support the small local business man. That’s a win-win-win folks.

It wouldn’t be a post, especially an art-based one, without some pictures, so here we go. Remember – this is our first painting experience, so don’t get those expectations high. Also, if you don’t wanna see my oh-so-exciting step by step you should just scroll all the way down.

 

Check out those mad circle skills!

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Let there be sky!

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and grass…

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what’s a space of grass without an initial-etched tree

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I snapped some photos of Stephen doing his artsy thing

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Check out that concentration

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My candy colored tree. Apparently I’m craving Valentines candy…

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The right side felt too open so I added an extra tree…

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Our finished products

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Our Painting Party Group Shot

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We both had a lot of fun. It was cool to see how we were all painting generally the same thing but they all came out so different.

The experience makes me more excited about continuing art with the girls. It’s so expressive and individualistic. I also think it would be a wise move to start investing in buying paint in bulk. It’s also time to make Sarah an art smock. I made one for my niece for Christmas and I’ve been slacking since then. Once the sewing machine gets put away the projects seem to stop. I should make a dedicated craft space… Yep, I’m adding that to my to-do list. Gees, I need to end this, I keep giving myself more things to do.

Here’s to a craft-filled, to-do list accomplishing, art-filled week ahead!

A Day Inside

Now that we have two girls that are always on the move I have had a new job: Education. Yes, as parents we are in trade educators, but being purposeful with their learning is a whole new ball game. You guys, kids LOVE to learn. Seriously. I don’t know it it’s because they see the excitement on their parents face when they learn new things, or because their little sponge brains have a built-in need and desire. Either way, I’m more than pleased to comply.

Our kitchen table has turned into a schmorgesborg of arts and crafts. I want our children to be responsible adults one day and I think that begins now.

Most recently we (being Sarah and I) have been learning how to use scissors. Sarah has been doing wonderfully. I am always right there with her while she practices. We are focusing on learning how to correctly hold them in one hand. I never would have imagined learning something so basic is so confusing in the start. This could be because she is young, but that doesn’t make her any less unwilling or desiring. I want her to learn how to safely use all sorts of tools, craft supplies, instruments, and the like. Accidents happen, and the best way to avoid them is to learn proper safety. That in itself is proving to be a hand full of lessons, and I am enjoying being able to see her understand and learn all of these new small skills.

Science is one area of school I never excelled in. For whatever reason it never kept my interest and because of that I never could wrap my brain around the things my teachers were talking about. This past week, however, I got to teach Sarah about the different properties of water and liquid. With all this cold weather we were able to watch the rain turn into ice and then later icicles. Sarah was fascinated. Seeing the ice grow longer and thicker over the course of just a few hours. Watching all the icicles form was a great visual aid. The entire day she wanted to go outside and play in the rain. It was far too cold for that, which is why she had such a blast when Stephen took her out before bed to see it all up close. While I’m sure she didn’t fully comprehend that water, when reaching temperatures below freezing, turns itself into ice, she did get to see it all happen. Nothing makes science more fun that hands on experience. In my opinion, anyways.

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Truth bomb: This is what our kitchen table looks like most days

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We also spent the afternoon eating our hearts content of strawberries

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They were delicious to the very end

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Now that Elanor is becoming more and more curious about everything I’m trying to find ways for her to participate in our activities. It’s more than twice the work since they are on different levels. Sarah playing and building with playdoh is very different than Elanor trying to sneak bites of it. One child can play while I’m multitasking, but not quite both of them.

Any tips or ideas for fun and simple activities for a one year old? I know I did things with Sarah but my brain can’t seem to remember back that far. Heck, I can’t even recall things from a week ago most days. Pregnancy brain doesn’t end when you have your kids, it just transfers into mom brain. That means I’ve had 2 cases of pregnancy brain + 2 cases of mom brain. That’s a total of 4 brain-cases… I doubt that truly means anything, but the math sure holds up!

What say you, internet dwellers? Any suggestions that don’t involve my 1-year old daughter ingesting crayons/playdoh/chalk/marker-breath/stain-scrubbing-removal? Ya, I know, I just got rid of all your immediate ideas ;)

Share away!

A Few To-Do’s

Thought I would show you a few photos of some items I have on my to-get-done-ASAP list.

With the weeks quickly passing by I am no longer able to ignore my randomly placed piles of crafts and projects that I have lying “out of reach of a toddler” around the house. Our kitchen table has been hidden under a sewing machine, empty frames, and random fabrics for far too many weeks now. It’s time to get my crafting/project/decorating list dwindled down. Let’s view a few of these items, shall we…

Nursing Shawl Fabric:

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Update: As of Tuesday we can mark this sucker off the list! I was inspired by this nursing shawl that cost a pretty hefty penny. I found the (what I think is) identical fabric at JoAnns marked down to $10, and used a lovely 25% off coupon WITH a gift card my sweet hubby got for me. So not only is this project now complete, but it was F-R-E-E!

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Next up: Initial Wall Letters

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I’m still deciding how to decorate these. My friend Ashely got us the “E” and covered it in diapers for a cute and very useful gift. I couldn’t resist going to get an S so each girl could have a letter on the wall. Now to just decide on how to cute-ify them…

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( This next one is just an inspiration picture, not one from our home )

Chalkboard frame/Bin Storage

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We have this same storage unit from Target. It is currently in the play room and I’m trying to decide if we should move it into the girls room or not. The chalkboard frame on the wall is also something I’ve been drawn towards, but not positive if I’m gonna follow through on. I guess this “To-Do” is making a decision on yes or no for both ideas…

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Most recent addition to the list…

Elanor’s Baby Blanket:

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This idea was inspired by my friend Sara. She made her daughter a blanket for the hopital and I LOVED how personalized it made all their first pictures together. This fabric is by designer Anna Maria Horner, and I just can’t get enough of her work, so I decided to bring some into our own home. Let me tell you, once you start looking up fabric online it can be addicting. I’m glad I was able to find exactly what I was looking for instead of settling for something I only somewhat liked from JoAnns. Hooray for etsy.com!

I really liked the idea of having something cool, wintery, and also warm and personal just for Elanor to have in the hospital. This go around I’d love to have pictures of our baby in the hospital with a sweet blanket, not the hospital white with red & blue lines blanket that they provide you with. It’s a warm cotton flannel, so it’ll be perfect for when we leave the hospital too. Now I just need to use my sewing machine and make it ready and put it in our hospital bag (which I should probably start packing as well…)

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Homemade Onesies:

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I have a pack of plain white onesies and some RIT dye that I’ve got to combine in a pot of hot salty water. This photo above is of a onesie I actually did finish. Let’s hope the fabric-dying goes as well as I’m hoping.

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Well there ya have it. A list of some of the things I’d like to accomplish this weekend. Let’s hope Sarah cooperates and let’s me get my craft-on. Poor girl is cutting her last 2 bottom teeth and has been a little extra clingy. Thankfully it’s the weekend so Stephen is here so she can rotate between the two of us! I sure do love the weekends!

Happy, cool weathered, weekend.

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The Truth of Exercising

Stephen and I own a few of these books, and I also subscribe to the comic series and this strip was so completely accurate that I had to share. Hope you enjoy ;)

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I don’t know about you, but this is how I usually feel about the gym. I just wish I remembered that wonderful ‘after’ feeling before I hit the snooze button in the morning…

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Accessorizing

To start I have a confession to make… My name is Cassie and I never accessorize. Let me be a little more detailed for you:
[If] I wear earrings they are almost always simple silver studs.
Necklaces are worn, but pretty much only at weddings or when I’m feeling sassy.
I wear my wedding band, but not always my engagement ring (it only takes scratching your baby once to learn that lesson).
Can I count a hair tie as a bracelet?!? If so I am a wrist-accessorizing pro!

On Saturday I got together with my friend Nicole for a craft day (that project will be coming soon). While playing around with some felt she taught me how to make a flower. I feel like a pro right now with my new found cutting-circles-and-making-a-pretty-flower skillz. After I got home I decided to try making more flowers, but this time out of cotton. I grabbed some old t-shirts that I never wear and cut some strips out of them. Shortly after that the hot glue gun killed over and I continued on with super glue. Ya gotta work with what ya got, people.

Here is what I ended up with…

aqua shirt and an old white t-shirt

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And some more pretties

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oh the difference a phone and regular camera make…
(this one is from my camera, believe it or not)

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On Sunday I grabbed a bobbie pin and used a sweet white flower to pull my bangs back.

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These 3 are because I just can’t help myself. She is such a hoot :)

I didn’t know my nose crinkled. Interesting…

I love the POP the flower adds :)

She loves to copy our mouth actions!

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Nothing like a successful project weekend. I’m actually pretty proud of myself for finally doing a project that I found on pinterest.com

There ya have it friends. This could be the start to a whole new method of hair styling. Barrettes are a form of accessorizing, right?! If not, I give up.


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Framing the Walls

This past week I completed a long-overdue project and figured it was time to share it with you. Aren’t I nice ;)

Okay, this is how it all began…

(please ignore the beautiful Caricature)

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After letting all of it sit on the kitchen table for a few days we moved our work to the floor for more space.

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After rearranging frames for almost a week I got the final layout figured out and decided it was hanging time. Thanks to the internet I found the most BRILLIANT way to hang pictures…

It looked something like this

 

Here’s an up-close look of what your frame will look like:

( click on the photo for the how-to )

Using this method with all the frames made it so ridiculously easy to hang everything exactly where I wanted it. It made the process go by crazy fast.

Gotta love tips from the internet :)

So, after doing this method with all the frames I ended up with a brand new looking wall.

Here is the finished product

Our new and improved living room!

What do you think? Now that I have both these projects completed and hanging I almost want to swap which walls they are on. However, that would be way too much work so it’s definitely not happening!

It only took me a year and 8 months to get something on the walls. At this rate I should have our home decorated in about 6 1/2 years.

Hooray for goals!

 

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Page Recommendations

One of the things I really enjoy about the internet is when I am directed to a website that interests me. Today was a day that exactly that happened.

The website is called Wordle and it’s not only fun, but really easy to use. The basic concept is that you are making personalized art for your home. However, instead of using images and pictures it uses words, phrases, names, letters, etc.

Check out what I made while playing with the site today.

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I was making something with the theme of “Trips”

You simply fill out a list of however many words you want, and then the site compiles them into a collage for you. You can choose the font, color, and layout of the words.

I am not naturally artistic, nor am I able to paint, draw or take awesome photographs. The idea that I was able to sit at home and make something artistic while sitting on the couch was pretty great.

I am very impressed with how easy the site was is to use. Personally, I plan on using this site to personalize our walls here at home.

If you have some time check it out. It’s really easy and fun. There’s a gallery of examples to give you idea’s of what you can do. Or, if you go at it like me, just type in some words that interest you and see what you can make!  Have fun.

Herbs at your Convenience

Tomorrow morning we leave for the lake, and I need to hit the sack soon for our early drive.

I hope you all have some exciting plans scheduled, or maybe no plans at all so that you can simply sit back and relax. Maybe have some delicious fruit salad, bbq ribs and lemonade or sweet tea.

For now I thought I would leave you with some inspirational photos of a project I plan on tacking this coming month…

Here are the basics to this cute and functional idea. You take these average coffee cups:

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and turn them into this:

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How cute is that?  For step-by-step instructions just click on the link above.

I can imagine it hanging on the back porch by our grill area. All you need are a few different cans of spray paint, however many coffee cups you desire, and some herbs and spices to grow!

I can’t wait to try it out. The internet is full of so many artistic and useful ideas!

Now, it’s time to pack.  Have a great Memorial Weekend everyone. Remember to thank those that are serving our country and protecting our freedoms.