Tuesday, August 30, 2011

diy dino-mat tutorial

You haven't really lived until you've heard a two-year-old try and pronounce brachiosaurus. 

Seriously.The sheer cuteness of it could rock the Earth off its axis. 

It's been dino-central over here at our little homeschooling adventure / 10 more days til kids start school bonanza. 

We went downtown to the Museum of Natural History to check out the new Dinosaur exhibit. It's the first one ever to house the bones of an adult, adolescent and baby T-Rex. Pretty cool!

While my 2 and 5 year olds aren't really ones to take it all in slowly, they did manage to touch real dinosaur bones, egg fossils and marvel at some really large skeletons!

Their gift store purchase was a set of 15 small dinosaur figures and we needed a place to play with them, so we came up with the idea of a Dino-Mat. 

First, we had a meeting to discuss what the word "habitat" means. 

Then, we had a conversation about things they'd like to see in their Dinosaur Habitat. Their choices included:
a cave
a mud pit
a volcano

I drew a square to represent the sheet and they drew in where they wanted each object to be, so by the end, we had a map or drafted plan for where to put everything.

volcano and mud pit

Everyone took turns cutting out and layering and drawing on the felt. Then we glued the felt pieces to the mat and let it dry overnight. 

Now their dinosaurs have a place to call home!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

out in the blogging world

I'm a little overwhelmed here with both kids home for another 10 days. My creative juices have soured. So I will instead share a few things in the blogging world that have piqued my interest:

It's gonna be purse week in September over at A Lemon Squeezy home! I would like to say with confidence that I am submitting something, but there are so many projects on my plate. I can see what purse I'd make in my mind, though! And it's cute!

And, in an effort to make amends with my Silhouette machine, I'm posting the link from I'm Topsy Turvy to this awesome tutorial on how to use your machine to cut fondant! I mean, who knew that was even possible??

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

tie 'em up!

Last weekend we went to a wedding with the kids - their first together (Mr. P. was a ring bearer when he was 2/5) and I was set on making bow ties for them. 

I had purchased this great turquoise and white silk pattern in a sale bundle for a mere $2.00!!

Of course I blew it off until the last possible moment. So the night before I frantically scoured the Internet for some bow tie patterns. I settled on A Lemon Squeezy Home's bow tie tutorial which looked like it was relatively easy and produced puffy bow ties. 

Problem was, the clock was ticking and I was getting tired. I still hadn't packed for San Diego (about two and a half hours south of L.A.) So when I got to the part where you take the small 2 1/2" by 4" piece to cinch the bow tie together, I took the easy way out. 

Instead, I cut a very long, thin piece of fabric, tied it around the center of the bow tie and began wrapping it again and again and again (to make it look like the knot in the center). I then tucked it under itself in the back and continued along with the tutorial...adding the straps and the Velcro. 

Saved me at least 35 minutes of much-needed sleep!!! I would like to try the tutorial the real way someday......(but I'm not sure anyone will invite my kids to a wedding again!)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Class of 2011!!

In case you were wondering why the posts have slowed over the past week....
Mr. P. graduated from preschool!!!

We are so proud of him!

I was asked to make a speech and I could barely get through the tears. I am sad that this time in his life s over, especially since the teachers and his friends there have had such a huge impact on him, but I was also so moved by the pride I felt! 

It's been a rough transition for him around here. He is the kind of kid who thrives on routine. So two weeks home with the "unknown" of kindergarten looming ahead has taken its toll. But we're doing our best and start "homeschooling" for the next 2 weeks per Mr. P's request. 

Wish me luck!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Tomato Quiche

I ate a lot of quiche when I lived in the South of France (we're talking circa 1996-1997), but it's not something I really eat or see a lot in Los Angeles. 

After bringing home some beautiful tomatoes from the farmer's market the other day, I decided to concoct an easy-to-make version of quiche. 

Here's the recipe in case you'd like to be French for a night. 

pre-made whole wheat pie crust
1 1/4 cup of milk
3 eggs
oregano to taste
garlic to taste
salt to taste
hot sauce if you like it a little sassy
20 slices of tomato
fresh basil

Heat oven to 375 degrees

In a bowl, mix together the milk, eggs, oregano, garlic, salt and hot sauce (you could also add other things like onions or olives). 

Crumble the feta (if not pre-crumbled) and place at bottom of pie crust. 

Pour wet ingredients on top. 

Decoratively lie the tomato slices in a circle to make it look pretty. Sprinkle with fresh pieces of basil and bake for an hour and twenty minutes (it should be cooked through - you can test with a toothpick....)

don't you love my messy kitchen??
Bon Appetite!!!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

the bag gets better

So, I was all set to go to that party with my handmade pirate bag in tow, when it dawned on me that while I may be eager to receive a new bag for my birthday, perhaps a 6-year-old boy might not be so enthusiastic. 

It's cute and all, but next to games or cars or things with batteries suddenly it's not so exciting. 

I revisited the Saltwater Kids blog hoping for some inspiration and boy did I find it! She suggested filling the duffel bag with all the fixings for a build-your-own fort. to gather the necessary goods. (I sent my husband out on this task). 

Here's what he came back with:
A sheet
A pillow case
A shower curtain

A flashlight

Look at these guys at the beach party! I can totally see them in ten years - a gang of teenagers just chilling by the Pacific. (Mr. P. is in the back standing up) 

Word from birthday boy's mom is that he made a fort that night and was planning ways to improve upon it tonight. (He's the son of an architect and a contractor so no doubt, the fort will be stunning). 

Saturday, August 13, 2011

a place to put the pirate booty

Tomorrow, one of Mr. P.'s closest friend is having his 6th birthday party at the beach. 

I had been holding on to this particular duffel bag tutorial for a while now, hoping a special occasion would come up. 

The tutorial comes from Saltwater Kids and it called the Retro Duffel Bag. It was quite easy to follow (the detailed photos really helped!)

I will say two things about the tutorial:

1. While it says you need 16 ½” X 5” for the zipper lining - you actually need TWO of these pieces (which becomes obvious as you read through the tutorial, but being a literalist, it took me a while to confirm my suspicions that something was amiss.)
2. My fabric store did not have any "jean" / "denim" material that was not a boring old blue jean - so I went with canvass stripes instead. Any thicker material will do. 

Doodle checks out the goods
In the middle of this sewing project, my machine had a nervous breakdown, so I had to jet over to Urban Craft Center for 45 minutes to frantically finish the project (thank you husband for watching the kids!). 

Today I took the machine apart and gave it a good cleaning. Lots of lint. I mean...lots! How often is one supposed to clean their machine??

To my delight my machine recovered quickly from all of its "issues" and we are friends again. 

Doodle wants one. Doodle needs one.
 I can't say the same thing about my Silhouette. Maybe we need therapy??

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Hello, Etsy!

Blogging, much like writing, teaching online and parenting, can feel very isolating. (Sheesh - it's not like I'm trying to hide from the world, but it would seem so considering how I spend most days). 

I was thrilled when I recently learned that I had been moved off the waiting list and into the summit that is Hello Etsy! taking place in Los Angeles on September 18th. 

The event will address small business owners and sustainability and it taking place at Tree People, an organization that helps people take responsibility for their environmental impact located at the top of Mulholland Drive. 

Anyone else out there planning on attending?? 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Quirky, Corky Art

A friend recently shared this link with me from lil blue boo (actually, everything on this site is great!) . You know I'm a sucker for a project involving corks. 

I mean, how genius is this!!! I'll be giving this project a try when we have our three-week vacation around the corner! Maybe we'll try and elephant or a dinosaur. 

Monday, August 8, 2011

And the Winner is......TAKE TWO

So, the first winner didn't leave any contact information and I left their name up here for over a week with no response which means.....I get to pick a new winner!

So, who will get to curl up with some popcorn and watch a fun flick???

Ruth who said: "Just became a follower. I happened upon this giveaway, and so here I am entering."

Congratulations, Ruth! I will contact you today! 

Friday, August 5, 2011

A little bit of this, a little bit of that

Wondering where I've been this week?

Celebrating! (It was my 35th on Tuesday) and potty training! And filling out forms for kindergarten and preschool! And finishing off a rough draft of my second young adult novel. And training for a 1/2 marathon I signed up for in Monterey in November! And enjoying the beautiful weather we've been having here in Los Angeles!

I can't believe my youngest is going off to school in a few weeks!

(His legs are suddenly so gangly!)
But I think he's ready!

I don't have anything specific to post, just some random things happening in my craft world:

I've been cranking out burp cloths in anticipation of my Etsy store opening in September!! 

What else should I sell there? What do people want to buy? I think I'll start small and see how it goes!

I have this basket on my sewing table full of two-minute projects: repairing ripped pants, broken straps, hemming on a project that I had blown off to start another project. It felt so good to work through this basket and "be done" with my to-sew list! 

My silhouette machine and I are not on speaking terms. I told her I needed some space. She is respecting my request. 

That's it from round these parts. Tomorrow night, birthday celebration extravaganza!

What are you working on?

Monday, August 1, 2011

Totally 80's Nails

This is kind of a silly post, but I had to share my new nails...because they're so fun!

They remind me of a pair of 80's Vans.  

They literally took less than 10 minutes to apply. They go on like stickers and then I just used nail clippers to cut / shape them. It says on the box they last about 2 days, but I'm going on day 3 and there's no sign of them coming off. (although, if I wanted them off, I could easily peel them off). 

I purchased them at Sephora, and although I can't find them on their site right now, click here and you'll be directed to the same brand I used only animal print. They give you such a long strip, I can get at least 3 applications out of one pack.