Sunday, August 20, 2017

3-D Painting Inspiration

While doing some "research" on YouTube for a flamingo painting class I taught last week, I stumbled across a fantastic idea from Monte Mart; painting in 3-D. How did he do this? By literally opening the tube of paint and drawing with it on his canvas to create texture that sat on the canvas in the form of painted poppy stems. What a mind blow! Plus, who doesn't feel inspired when you hear that accent (swoon)?

While I didn't use this technique for flamingo legs, it did get my wheels turning... and then lo and behold, my online pal and Community Manager for, Jessica, sent me this awesome project for creating Salt Dough Paint. What a co-inky-dink! So, without further a-dough (!), here are the instructions Jessica sent me for how you can get busy getting funky as a flamingo yourself:

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Push Weeks

About once a month or so, I find myself feeling a bit overwhelmed by the amount of planning I've compiled into one week. This week is definitely one of those "push weeks!"
Yesterday, I proudly took my first shipment of handmade greeting cards into a local vendor, Purdy Cost Less Drug & Pharmacy. I'm thrilled to be offering my one-of-a-kind greeters within my own neighborhood out here on the Key Peninsula. It's hard to believe I've been in the greeting card sales business for about three years now! But, I still love it, so what can I say, I'll stay in :-)
Tonight I'm hosting a CraftWithAnna fundraiser for the Red Barn in my booth at the Key Center Art Walk. It's my first time participating, and actually, my first time attending, too. Needless to say, I'm pretty excited. I had grand intentions of filling up my 80 card space rack and making a bunch of planner-journals to sell... well, that didn't exactly come to fruition! However, I've got lots of cards to display anyway, and a few other handmade things that I can offer up to interested shoppers. The most important part of tonight, for me, is getting involved with my community crafters and raising funds for more art classes at our local youth center <3 I love seeing what people make and knowing that in some way, I've inspired them! Paychecks of the heart are so much more rewarding, right?
Then tomorrow the girls and I will get to play with a large amount of our friends during a few hours of showers at a nearby park... with record setting heat to deal with, an outdoor shower would be pretty pleasant, but this one will be a baby shower for wee August, due at the end of October. I'm considering wearing bikini top and skirt, lol cause "baby," it's gonna be HOT! I can always come home and jump in the horse trough pool we cleaned out last night though :-0
Friday I'll get a little break-maybe. We're in the process of shopping for an rv, and that's where a lot of our family time has gone over the last month or so. It's interesting to say the least. We finally put a deposit down on "the one," only to immediately reconsider, which is basically the story of our life lol. Perhaps by the end of the weekend I'll be figuring out how the heck I'm going to pull one of those busses into our twisting turning pot holed driveway though. I'm pretty sure the air conditioner unit being below the floor would be a bonus, considering the amount of low limbs we have around here and my inability to clear them while preggers! "Whoops" is not a refrain I want to adopt when driving a big rig, you know?
Saturdays are reserved for fun, and I'll be teaching a painting class this coming Saturday afternoon~  in my previous blog post, you can see an image advertisement for that. Should be a lot of fun, but I always try to test out my classes on my own children first, and thus far, I haven't squeezed that in... Hay, I've been a busy gal! Oh, well, we can't always work so hard, and after all, there are a lot of people who don't get to spend their time making as much art as I do, so I'm not complaining. I have complete access to enjoying my family, healthy snacks to consume when I'm getting low, and not many of my friends get to go about their work in their bathing suits!  Besides, Saturday night I'll get to unwind with a round of karaoke, celebrating my mom's birthday with a large glass of kombucha, my new go to for when I feel like I need to have a festive beverage.

So what's taking up your last month of summer (gasp- did I really just write that)? I hope it's something fun... even better, something crafty!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Mini Me's

Well, baby is growing by leaps and bounds, and my heart was leaping with oohs and ahs when I reviewed these sweet pictures taken in our midwives office at the Birthing Inn of Tacoma. Aren't Sunday and Ray just the spitting images of each other? From their expressions, you can almost hear them saying, "Mom, you can keep dreaming of having a baby that looks like you, but we know better!"
Well, one can dream at least :-)  and really, what better option is there while I fill my time, #waitingforAugust <3

Friday, July 14, 2017

A New Wrap On Kids Activities

We have been raising poultry for about the last three or four years at our house, and you know what? As a result, we have a TON of feathers floating around the yard. Whether it's by unfortunate bird snatchings by coyote, dive bombing by ravens, or just plain molting, birds tend to shed feathers the way toddlers shed clothing; here, there, and everywhere, and especially when you've just gotten them cleaned up :-)
Feathers hold a certain fascination for me. As a craft embellishment icon, they are wings down one of my faves. In fact, I rarely use them, and just look at how pretty they are still in the packaging most times- gah! Native and First America cultures have long used feathers for symbolizing a connection to Nature, and even adorn  their outfits and costumes with Spirit Animal representations of their strength and power
Figuring on my desire to inspire others and get more kids interested in artistic expression, my internet friend Jessica Lightle, Community Manager for,   sent me this amazing post to share with you, and lo and behold, it puts to use all those beautiful, fancifully enticing feathers!


Branch Weaving

Kindergarten Science Activities: Branch Weaving

What You Need:

  • Twigs
  • Leaves
  • Rope, or raffia
  • 1 Liter bottle, clean and dry
  • Optional - feathers or beads

What You Do:

  1. Ask your child to hold a twig in one hand and line it up with the mouth of the bottle. Tie the twig to the bottle using the rope. 
  2. Holding the twig and bottle with one hand, ask him to hold another twig up to the bottle, lining the base of the twig to the mouth of the bottle. Help him tie this twig in place, weaving the rope in and out of the previous twig.
  3. Repeat this process with at least one more twig, or as many twigs that will go around the bottle.
  4. Encourage him to add in feathers and leaves into the rope weave, adding more rope as needed.
  5. Tie additional rope at the top of the twigs for hanging his branch weaving from a tree.
Ta-Da! You've just created a masterpiece! Adorn your front entry way, line your driveway, or give them away as dream catchers to your older kids heading off to college.  However they turn out, you'll have a few less floaties around the house to pick up this summer <3 Thanks, Jessica!
If you enjoyed this activity and want to see more incredibly inspiring projects to keep your kids busy this summer, follow THIS LINK ...and let the creativity abound!

Monday, July 3, 2017

Summer Yum

Do you ever try on an outfit for the day and then say to yourself, I really ought to save this for (insert special occasion here)?  I do this. Constantly! I also do the opposite; try on an outfit that I've pictured so fantastically in my mind, and then look in the mirror and say, Hmm, that's not what I expected! I guess whichever of those choices you feel most inclined to identify with, the fact is, we are human- or at least, I am- and with humanity comes CHOICES.

Many of us learn at an early age that there are parts of our body not to love. What plants that in our forming mindset? The careless phrase of a parent? A more intentionally demeaning comment of a peer? Mental comparisons to the influx of imagery on tv, in magazines, movies, etc? And there are so many parts of our bodies, again we are presented with a myriad of choices about what not to love!

Well, there's one thing I'm loving about this third pregnancy: the "advanced maternal age" bracket I'm residing in has brought the wisdom to hear those negative self-image comments and completely disregard them as being total bullsh*t. Yep, my bras don't fit. Do I want a reduction? No, I want to feed my baby with the nourishing milk I believe I'll have the capacity to offer him. Oh joy, none of my pants now feature a non-elastic waistband. Do I wish I were thinner? Not if it meant my baby wasn't getting the nutrients he needs to live up to his full potential for the rest of his life. You see, I've embraced a new kind of attitude about what it means to be large and in charge :-) In charge of what I think about myself- what a concept!

Do I love it that my daughter's head bounces off that rounding tummy when she runs to give me a hug? Do I love it that I can no longer suck it in? Do I enjoy going through my closet and pulling out another round of "can't squeeze into that anymore" clothes? YES!

I tried to jog to get the mail the other day~ if you'd seen me the way I seemed to feel, you'd still be laughing. Half waddling duck stride, with lot's of arm movement, but only on one side cause I was trying to hold my boobs down. Oh yeah, cute! So, I'm taking a pass on anything more strenuous than strolling.

I tried to get past an chair sticking out into the aisle at a restaurant. Well, I thought for a moment I was stuck until I went up on tiptoe and lifted my belly over the top of the chair back. FUNNY! So now, I ask politely if someone can move their chair in a bit for me to get through.

Every time I stand at the sink to wash dishes, I seem to get Braxton Hicks contractions... well, I still haven't figured out a way to get out of that chore, but you'd better believe that along with my self-perceived body image verbiage, I'm working on it ;-)