March 31, 2010 a friendly egg carton out.

so...did anyone recycle the egg carton after they did all that egg blowing?
mine was sitting in the recycling bin,
looking egg-stremely sad every time i walked by it.
hmmmmm!  what.s a girl to do with a gloomy protector of eggs?
well...give him a new life of course!
here.s one easy-peasy idea for the wee counters in your life.
(my mom used to do this for us and then for my own children)
rescue the carton.
take a round object (i used a quarter) and trace around it, making enough circles for the cups in your carton. (mine had 18) then draw your numbers in the circle. (or you could just draw the numbers right on the carton itself)
cut it out and drop it in.  (you can add a dab of glue if needed)
then the best part.  candy!  i chose m&m.s
( i think i would be so much smarter if all my earlier
learning projects would have included chocolate!)
have the little tykes count out the number of candies that
goes with the number inside the carton.
then drop them in.   the reward for getting it right is obvious!
(it IS obvious right?)
tip- if you used jelly beans to count with,
making a jellybean bracelet afterward is a cute idea too.
 i would wear those bracelets!  seriously.  i would!

there are so many other fabulous things you can do with an egg carton
(bell idea from martha stewart)
...and if you are really ambitious and need a new pendent light in your home...
here.s the craft for you...the directions can be found here!

so go help a friendly egg carton out!
as always, i.d love to hear and see all your clever ideas.

March 30, 2010

"that blows eggs mom"...

easter is just a hop away and been thinking of the easter traditions i had growing up.  one of those was "blowing eggs"...when i told my kids about it, they thought it sounded like the coolest, grossest thing ever!
here.s what ya do...
take an ordinary egg.  washed well and dried.
poke a hole in one end with a pin or an ice pick or a fork. or if one of those martha s. types you will use a dremel motor tool.
but that.s not me!
i like to use a smaller hole on the top...
and a bigger hole on the bottom.
then you find a small child who likes disgusting projects and are brave enough to put their mouth over the small hole, making a good seal 
and have them blow!
-over a bowl of course-
(you may want to poke an unfolded paperclip in the egg first 
to break the yolk. i, personally like to make them work at it.)
wash the insides of the eggs thoroughly and let them dry overnight or stick them in the microwave for a short time to dry.  now you have the lightest little blank egg shell canvases to decorate to your little bunny heart.s content!  i.d love to know what egg-citing creations you come up with!

{disclaimer: i know some of you are already cringing at the thought of the salmonella feast i might have invited into my kitchen, so if that is you...know that you can use a ear bulb syringe or a small straw or any other clever thing you can think of to blow out the yucky contents of the egg}

hippity hop!

March 28, 2010

if your name is on!

if your name is stella and you are an artist then before you read below...
you must go here!!!!
and listen to the song my 10 yr. old daughter micah found for you!!!
(even if your name isn.t might dig this little number by d.g.)
if you go here... you might remember my day at the scottsdale arts festival with the lovely stella! the end of the day in the middle of starbucks, miss stella gifted me with this awesome children.s book called..."my art"  it is filled with lots of clean, blank pages just waiting to be filled with drawings and doodles.  each page has a prompt for you to get your artistic juices flowing.  together we decided to complete each prompt in the book one at a time.  
the first one was "i can draw me!"
(which is a lie because i cannot draw i looked at a photo of me and tried...)
needless to say, i was suppose to post "me" weeks ago and my scanner broke just in time to save "me".  but now i am so far behind on the prompts i have run out of excuses and so i had to resort to taking a photo.  this is really hard.  this challenge of putting something "out there" into the world that you know stinks.  something that you aren.t happy to put your name on.  have any of you ever done something like this?  promised to deliver and then wished (because of fear) that you hadn.t?
stella choose the 2nd prompt, which was..."i can draw my favorite dessert!"
(okay stel...this is NOT my favorite dessert, but i tried and tried to draw creme brulee 
and it just wasn.t workin for me!)

{prompt number three: "i can draw my favorite zoo animal!"}

on your mark, get set, go!

you can get your own book and play along at your local starbucks!
or just forget the book and use the back of your grocery list.  
that works great too!

March 24, 2010

...tangled sky studio.

drum roll please.
* * *
enter the horns.
* * *
presenting to you...
"brown paper packages tied up with string"
(and she.s finally mine.  all mine)

(i.m quite open about the fact that i lost my mom 5 years ago 
and when she died, so did one of my best friends.  and oh how i miss her.  
so i.m always on the lookout for things that remind me of her 
or spark those "loving arms around me" feel.  make sense?)

some people have "a-ha" moments...
i have "a-ha" artists!

beth is one of those artists for me.
i first found beth by researching "encaustic" painting.
in her own words...  "encaustic painting is an ancient technique 
using layers of beeswax, resin crystals and pigment".  
encaustic actually means "to burn in".  the beeswax is brushed onto 
your substrate while it.s hot and then quickly hardens.
i am in awe of encaustic painting.  i love the layers of the different mediums and the gentle depth that it creates.

quite simply...
"brown paper packages tied up with string"
 spoke to me on many personal levels
and i am so grateful that she waited just for me.

beth is one of those people that you can.t wait to meet in person because you know when you do, it.s gonna feel like sitting down and chatting with an old childhood friend.  i love her passion for her work and the process it takes to create a piece.  i love that she shares her knowledge and is soooo accessible.  i love her devotion to her family.  and her affection for good cooking and wool and stitching and "imperfectly perfect handmade goods".

(some of my beth billups favs below)
"she dragged her baggage blindly. (but dreamt of letting it go)"

"where does the time go?"

"3 things.  (strength. grace. beauty)"

can ya tell i love this girl!
i know you will too!

(find her here!)

March 22, 2010

...LIBERTY for all.

i was 19 when i first went to study abroad in london, england.  
i remember discovering the most magnificent store 
on great marlborough street.

all the little quilt ladies i knew told me it was a must 
to pay a visit to "liberty"...the famed british fabric house.
"liberty" fabrics are most well known for their 
bright colors and often floral patterns.
i always felt just as happy eyeing the bolts of gorgeous cotton threads
 in "liberty" as i did in any london art gallery.  
 it was like a museum all on it.s own.
(the store was born in 1875 by arthur liberty who began importing and manufacturing what actually came to be known as his art fabrics.)
imagine my excitement when i walked into my local "target" store over the past weekend and stumbled upon their new "liberty" line!!!
honestly friends....
they have garden goodies and darling dishware.  pretties for the rain or a sunny ride along the boardwalk.  "manly-floral" ties for your favorite hunk or ruffled floral rompers for the newest little pink person in your life.  i about walked out of the store in the silky p.j.'s and don.t even get me started on the new pillows i want for my sofa, the perfect bedspread i eyed or the flower encrusted office supplies i.m pretty positive i need 
in my art studio this spring.

i highly recommend a stroll through your local target museum store and if you don.t have one where you live, take your own online tour of  "LIBERTY" right here!!!

(and to my darling british know who you are...
i.m sooooo envious!!! loves to you!!!)

March 20, 2010

...the magic of taking a breath of fresh air.

"As a child,
 one has that magical capacity to move among the many eras of the earth; 
to see the land as the animal does;
to experience the sky from the perspective of a flower or a bee;
to feel the earth quiver and breathe beneath us; 
to know a hundred different smells of mud...
and listen unself- consciously...
 to the soughing of the trees."
(valerie andrews.   a passion for this earth.)

our exploration of sedona, arizona.s red rocks yesterday.
breath taking.
i highly recommend getting out in nature
observing it through a child.s perspective.

happy weekend to the best friends a girl could ask for!