Thursday, February 26, 2009

They're in the Mail

Rachel's artist trading cards are in the mail as of this afternoon. Have they been done and ready to mail for a week and a half? Yes. Did I not want to look like a total slacker and mail them on the absolute very last day? Yes. I am glad to see that we (she) were not grouped with a bunch of over achievers, as she has yet to receive any yet herself. I'm not complaining at all.....just really glad to see that I'm not the only one who likes to have the deadline clearly in sight before acting.

The photo doesn't show all the detail in the cards, and aside from the one in the middle you might be thinking "She's six? Really?", but let me explain. We tried our hand at mono-prints and went for a more abstract look with she then stamped on. She did insist on one rainbow painting though, being that she is a six year old girl and all. I'm not so sure she loved the whole mono-print thing and I think it may have something to do with a conversation I was involved in not too long ago about how kid's at Rachel's age are really concrete thinkers. There are right answers and wrong answers and that's that. A picture is what a picture is, and nothing more. I tried to get her to look at her prints and think about what they might remind her of, but the titles all relate to what she stamped on top. "The leaf picture", "Tall flower picture", etc. Anyhow, I think it was a learning experience for both Rachel and myself. Now I'm excited for her trades to start arriving.

Since Rachel's trading partners came from places all across the States, from as far West as Washington and as far East as New Jersey, I decided to pick up some Chattanooga brochures to send along. My kids love to pick them up when we travel, so I thought other kids might enjoy seeing something about where their partner lives. I sent a general brochure, as well as one for Rock City, the aquarium, the Choo Choo and the Bluff View Arts District. We threw in some stickers and some cool chip board animal cut outs as well. Hopefully they will be fun packages to receive.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Momentum lost

Seems I've hit a slump in the crafting. The past week has been consumed with some serious cleaning up and out at my house. I have so much "stuff" that I'm finding it hard to manage my life, as the stuff seems to be taking over and can't be controlled. I partly blame this on the little folks in our house, as I don't remember tripping over stuffed animals daily seven years ago. But I'm tripping now, and trying to do something about it. All of it. So the evenings have been spent in covert operations that would make the girls yell "that's my favorite!!". It's all their favorite - that's why my actions have to take place under cover of darkness.

I did do one fun thing though. Several months ago a mother from Rachel's class asked me if I liked to craft. How could I say no. My emphatic yes landed me the responsibility of making the girl's kindergarten pottery piece for the school auction which starts next month. That sounded all good and fun as well, until I realized that it was up to me to make something attractive that other parents would want out of fingerprints. So this is what I came up with. The centers of the flowers are their fingerprints, I painted the petals - that would have been too many fingerprints to try and manage quickly in one morning. Anyhow, I was pretty happy with how it turned out. I'm not thinking I'll bid on it....unless no one else does, but I do think it would be cute for the right person.

So here's hoping that the crafting mojo comes back soon and I can hit the ground running. If nothing else, I have another birthday bunting to finish in the next two weeks, before an incredible little girl turns four. Four! How can that be?

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Extent of My Craftiness this Weekend

What's that you say? All you see is a door in poor repair? Yes, that would be my crafty endeavor for the weekend. It doesn't look like much, and quite frankly, it isn't. We set about priming the kitchen walls Saturday morning and intended to make it a family affair. The girls were very excited and anxious to get started, but I fear there were so many "rules" that came with the territory that it became less interesting, especially for Sarah. Rules like "Only paint the walls", "Take your shoes off if you leave the kitchen" and other fun ruining things like that. Mean parents, I know. While Jim painted the ceiling, I decided to tackle our back door, which was white and in various stages of peeling paint. Granted, now it looks much rougher, but the paint is coming off easily with just a paint scraper. If we want natural wood, we'll have to use something to actually strip the beige base coat though, but that remains to be determined. Like all the other details we haven't settled on yet.

Funny story though. Sunday night Jim had all the wiring hooked up, cans in the ceiling, etc., so he "debuted" it for the girls. Rachel was incredibly impressed and told him "That man is going to be so proud of you.". (I think "that man" must be the cabinet maker). Then she looked across the room and said, "But that door, not so much.". Apparently Momma's work wasn't very impressive. Granted, Momma would have gotten more done if she wasn't getting snacks, going outside to play, fixing lunch, wrangling little girls, etc. That comment keeps ringing in my ears and making me laugh though.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Birthday Bunting

Here's Rachel's birthday bunting, all sewn up. I ended up leaving the letters as they were. I may try a freezer paper stencil for Sarah's, as I noticed Alicia Paulson did in her book, Stitched In Time. Perhaps that's the trick. For this bunting, I cut two strips of the same fabric 2.5" high and 13" long and one contrasting fabric 3" high and 13" long, then sewed them together with the contrasting fabric in the middle. From that I cut three triangles out of each piece that were 6.25" across the top and whose sides were 9" long. I also cut triangles out of a different print which is the backside of the bunting and used the same fabric for the whole back. I used a .25" seam allowance and a chopstick to get the points pointy once I turned them right side out. Easy peasy.

If you haven't seen the post over at Wise Craft or House on Hill Road, and you have kids ages four or older who like to craft, be sure and check out the Artist Trading Card swap that they're organizing for kids. Rachel is excited to start and even more excited to get mail. Kids will be paired up with similarly aged kids and they will each make five to send. Deadline to sign up is Friday and cards have to be mailed by 2/28. You can send an email to with your child's name, address and age to get them included. You'll get your group emailed to you on Monday. Now I've just told you just about everything, but go read their posts as well. And if someone can tell me how to keep my almost there four year old from feeling very upset at not getting to participate, please let me know!

Monday, February 2, 2009


Somebody turned six last Thursday. Actually, two very important people had birthdays that day...Rachel and my Dad. Their birthdays are a mere 60 years apart. This isn't the post I'd intended to write, and I certainly didn't intend to write it the week after her birthday, but we were busy celebrating and the weekend got away from me. So here are six things about my sweet six year old.

1.She has eyes and a smile that will melt your heart.
2.She is so very sweet, loving and kind.
3.She has a style all her own, which she classifies as "fancy". Mom is not allowed input.
4.She is, and always has been, a great eater. The girl will even eat frozen broccoli! And green beans make her excited!
5.She is a rule follower.
6.She knows how to choose her words.

We celebrated at school on her birthday, with pizza and cupcakes, and another little girl in her class who shares the same birthday. That evening the four of us went out for pizza and ice cream, the latter we ate while shivering. The girls warmed up by dancing to what appeared to Jim and I to be a "Best of the 90's" compilation while eating theirs. Due to the state of our house and the general chaotic nature of life right now, we opted out of a big party with friends and let Rachel choose one friend to do something special with. So on Saturday we went out for pizza (again) and then went to see Hotel for Dogs. She had fun, we had fun, and I didn't have to try and make my house look like it's not the construction zone that it is.

Now I just get to sit back and marvel at the fact that my tiny baby, not even six pounds when she came home from the hospital, is now six years old, is learning to read, and is the tallest girl in her class. Wishing you a wonderfully happy sixth year, sweet girl!

(And yes, those are Christmas lights in the background. At least they're not still on the bushes!)