Where does pink lemonade come from?

 “Where does pink lemonade come from?”

“From pink lemons… OF COURSE!”  Bahahah

I just crack myself up.

This goofy little joke got me started on a painting… a pink lemon painting to be specific.

I thought it would be funny to paint a pink lemon… and what’s a pink lemon without a partner painting… a green pair.

I admit, the green pair isn’t quite so clever (I like to call myself clever… as opposed to silly… or juvenille…)  But I wanted to set off the pink with a light green.  And I actually sort of like the ridiculous pink lemon next to a regular ol’ green pear… it makes you ponder color choice a bit more.

This is actually more of a collage than a painting.  I started by painting paper in greys, pinks and greens.  I, then, cut out the fruit and other details like leaves.  I used modge podge to hold everything in place… and there you have it.

So what do you do when life hands you pink lemons?  Make pink lemonade… or paint it at the very least.

With love,



Art Room Week(ish) in Review

screenshot-instagram.com 2015-09-24 10-11-45So, it honestly hasn’t ended up being much of a week for me!  I’ve spent 2 of my 5 work days at home… sick… in bed… BLAH!

I’d much rather be at work, feeling good, creating art… But that just wasn’t my week!

So, in the 3 days with the kiddos, they did create some amazing things!  But I didn’t get as many pictures as I usually do because I just wasn’t feeling great!

But no matter how you feel, you can’t help but smile when you see these pumpkins, right?!

I LOVE this first grade lesson.  The kiddos learn about geometric and organic shapes, and used that knowledge to draw pumpkins from observation.  We then mix the primary colors to paint our pumpkins… throw in a few stars, a little moonlight… and voila:  Fairy tale pumpkins.

Cut to my shoes… What do you think?  I spilled a little blob of paint and then decided to just go for it. I was a little concerned that the paint wasn’t going to stick to the shoes, that it might just chip off, but it seems to have soaked into the canvas.  I think they may need a bright splash of color, but they’ll do for now!

These mobiles created by kindergarten were a bit of a surprise hit.  I stumbled on the idea while researching Mondrian on pinterest.  I really love the idea of having students create 2-d and 3-d versions of art work.  So to begin this lesson we collaged red, yellow, and blue squares.  We did a little printmaking along the way to keep things interesting…The following week we created a piece using the same key elements only instead of a 2-d, flat piece, we created 3-d hanging mobiles.  I was a bit afraid that the concept of taking something flat and bringing it to a 3rd dimension would be confusing, but not at all.  The kids loved it and  I love their results!

… And then little treasures like this… Left on my desk while I’m hurrying around doing a million things.  These may well be my favorite part of teaching:  The quiet, little notes that remind me how lucky I am to teach these germ-infested artists…  Definitely worth a couple sick days!

So that’s it for my week-ish in review.  I’m hoping next week will be a 5 day, healthy, and art filled!

With love,


Fall solstice + A garland project

 I am a mid-westerner at heart…  I can out-courtesy wave anyone, I say pop, I admit to attending my share of tractor pulls … AND I just LOVE seasons.  Although that may be the former mid-westerner in me speaking, because current mid-westerners DO seasons, but don’t always LOVE them… Either way… It’s fall, and I’m loving it.

Pumpkin everything, falling leaves, crisp morning air…

I am all ready to decorate for Halloween, but I’ve been given a strict timeline for decorating this year.

I can get out of hand, and decorate like months before the actual holiday.  Let it be known that years ago… MANY years ago…. I decorated for Christmas exactly 100 days before the actual holiday.

So, a strict timeline may not be a bad idea for me… So October 1st.  That is when I can decorate for Halloween….

But FALL… well I can start decorating for fall now… Because it is FALL (like one day in)!
IMG_3233I was playing around with ideas for leaf garland and had a couple of flops.  But my flops have come full circle and I am loving what I came up with.  I started by scavenging for leaves.  I found that the sturdier leaves, like holly leaves, worked best for this project.  I stamped the leaves I found onto an ink pad like this one.

Then, I dusted the leaves with embossing powder and ran a heat gun over them.

These sparkling little leaves are beautiful.  I don’t think that you can quite capture the iridescence of them in a photo.  I varied the color of the leaves by using multiple colors of ink and embossing powder.

The last step was simple… Just stringing the leaves onto some embroidery floss.  I did put a little dab of glue on the leaves’ stems to keep them from wiggling out of their knots.

And there you have it… FALL, not Halloween, decorating ideas.  Until October 1st…

With love,


Pretty pictures… and SLIME

Those two go together, right?  Well, they seemed to go hand in hand this past weekend at my house.  When I was scrolling through pics on my phone “pretty” and “slime” were the common themes.

I’ll get to the pretty first.  How stinking pretty is Winchester?!… and how incredibly picturesque is this lovely little group of friends we have.  Between just roaming the city, hiking, and a “pizza party” (AKA 5.99 Anthony’s PIZZA!) this week was filled with beauty and tender moments like these…

     IMG_3183      IMG_3211

And now to the slime….  I saw this recipe for slime and just had to try it.  I have many fond memories of Gak, Floam, and Nickelodeon slime.  I’ve just been waiting for O to be old enough to really appreciate some good ol’ slime.  I’m really not sure who enjoyed this more… me or him.  It just so fun to smoosh, dangle, and swing around.  I did alter the recipe that I linked to and wanted to share what worked best for me.

I did 2 batches of slime and they came out very differently… both fun, just different.

For firmer slime (like it’s gonna be in your house slime):

1 5 oz bottle of glue

food coloring/liquid watercolors

optional glitter

2/3 C Sta Flo Liquid starch.

For ooier, gooier slime:

1 5 oz bottle of glue

food coloring/liquid watercolors

optional glitter

1/4-1/2 C Sta Flo Liquid starch

In both recipes mix all ingredients except liquid starch.  Then slowly add liquid starch.  Start to stir with spoon, but as it thickens you may want to use your hands.

One of my batches started to get oddly stringy… it was also kind of fun, but unexpected.  I put it into a strainer and ran warm water over top, and it changed the texture back to slime.

We stored our slime in a ziploc and it’s still going strong.

So here’s to the important things in life:  Beauty and Slime.  Our world would be incomplete without you both.

With love,


Date night at home

So, I’m not sure what took me so long to figure this system out!  Galen and I always feel strapped for alone time.  Between work, kids, friends… It seems that we end up with the short stick.

Well, these last couple weeks we’ve been trying something new:  date night at home.  It has been such a treat at our house, I thought I’d share it with you.

So, it’s simple, and I bet 90% of you are like… DUH!  But, what we do is get the little dude his dinner… Then put in a movie for him (I usually try to avoid too much screen time, but sometimes it’s necessary for sanity!).  Then we eat our dinner… and TALK!  We never have time to just talk!  It’s been such a great way to reconnect.  We’ve been trying to do it once a week or so.

I’ll throw a little recipe at you that is a staple at our house:  Roasted chicken. We ate it at our last date night and as always, it was perfect.   It’s so easy and can be thrown together in so many different ways.  I love recipes that can be changed according to what you have in the house… and the only things you NEED for this recipe are chicken and olive oil, the rest is flexible.

Roasted Chicken

Olive Oil

Chicken Breast (3-4 for this cook time)


Vegetables (root vegetables work great!)

Preheat oven to 400.  Brush chicken breast with olive oil.  Season to your liking.  I usually add salt, pepper and garlic, but seasoning differently can yield interesting results!  Every now and then I throw some wine on at this step, or quartered lemons….  Put in large baking dish and drizzle a bit (3T-ish) more olive oil on top.

I put in the oven for about 10-15 minutes.  Then pull out and add veggies.  Sometimes I put in quartered red potatoes, sliced onions,  sometimes carrots, brusselsprouts are good, beets can be different and add nice color…  Just whatever veggie you have on hand!  If chicken seems dry at this point I add more olive oil.

Continue to bake for another 20 minutes or so.  Check chicken to see that’s it’s cooked through and serve.

It’s such an easy clean up too!  Just one pan.  A lot of times I will serve this with bread to soak up some of the juices and oils left in the pan.

This recipe is similar and a bit more specific if you prefer.  I like to keep it organic and flexible when I cook, but I know that’s not everyone’s way!

Date night and roasted chicken… Don’t mind if I do!

With love,


Perfect play doh

IMG_0018What kid doesn’t love play doh?! and what Mom doesn’t love the HOUR of quiet time you get when you hand your kiddo play doh!  We use lots of play doh at our house…  We have a play dough kit:  extruders, cookie cutters, rollers… all thrown together in a little box.  In the summer we throw it out on the deck so we don’t have to worry about mess.

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I thought I’d share my go-to play dough recipe with you.  It’s the same one I used growing up.  The smell of this play doh brings back all sorts of memories.  We had a play doh dental kit growing up, oddly enough.  I googled around for a pic to show you, because it’s just too wierd to imagine!  I feel a strong urge to find one of these for our home.  EBAY… I’ll get looking!  So without further ado… a 30-something year old tried and true play dogh recipe!

Perfect Play DohIMG_3169IMG_0022

1 C flour

1 C water

1 T cream of tartar

1 T vegetable oil

1/2 C salt

Food coloring

Mix all ingredients in sauce pan. Put over low-medium heat and stir constantly.  Keep over heat until ball forms.  Then get to work PLAYIN’!

Hoping your family gets as much fun… and grown up quiet time… out of this recipe as ours has!

With love,


Art room week in review

What a fun week in the art room!  I’ve seen a couple new lessons come full circle and I couldn’t be happier with the results!  Painting is in full swing now and I made, what I consider to be a major development, this week… SPONGES!  I always have trouble with paint colors get mixed as the kiddos are working.  I put one brush in each color… and the brushes stay are to stay in that color… no mixing in the cup… great THEORY!  But in reality, little hands make mistakes!

So, this week, I decided to try sponges when color mixing.  This pumpkin painting is the perfect example.  The kiddos painted yellow paint on with a brush, and then used a sponge to dab red paint.  The yellow paint miraculously stayed yellow and the sponge created a nice texture.  VICTORY!

It’s the small things, people!

The leaves pictured below were made using a similar process.  They were painted by third graders and in addition to sponges, they used oil pastel rubbings to create texture.  I LOVE the results.  These leaves have so much depth that they almost glow!


The Keith Haring inspired drawings that 4th graders started last week are finished!  They are sooooo much fun.  I can’t even look at them without smiling!

And this painting… NO WORDS.  Kids are such wonderfully, creative little beings.  I don’t think I could replicate this painting if I tried… The line quality and color choices are so unique.  I’m a little jealous of the family that this gets to keep this piece.

Just a few highlights from the week!  Happy FRIDAY!

With love,


Apple pickin’ and the crisp that followed 

 Marker Miller is pretty much an institution in these parts.  It’s a lovely apple orchard that offers pick your own, has a market… and a PLAYGROUND!

The weather was feeling very fall-ish today, so we indulged.  Round of one of apple pickin’… Complete.

We picked a peck of golden delicious, which are my absolute favorite.  While we were at Marker Miller, we couldn’t possibly leave without cider donuts and ice cream.

I don’t think Marker Miller is not known for their ice cream, but they should be.  It is so incredibly creamy and the flavor is spot on.  We purchased the salted caramel and it has just the right amount of sweet and savory.

Upon leaving the orchard I had my vision… this ice cream with a crisp… and so it began…


The crisp that followed the orchard turned out perfectly.  The recipe is one I’ve used for so long that I have no source… some cookbook I came across years ago…and then changed over and over.  I’ve made it so many times that all the numbers have become quick approximations.  I can throw together this crisp without a recipe card, just going through the motions.

For Filling:

Fill a pie pan with peeled, chopped apples (4/5 apples), 1/2 C Sugar, 2 T tapioca

For Topping:

6 T butter, 3/4 C sugar, 3/4 C brown sugar ,2/3 C flour, 1/2 C oatmeal, dash salt, t vanilla, dash of cinnamon and nutmeg

Pre-heat oven to 350. Make filling first and let sit while assembling crisp.  Put crisp ingredients into mixer and stir until small chunks start to form.  Sprinkle crisp topping over apples.  Bake for 45-60 min, until bubbling in the center.

The flavor balance of the crisp was perfect.   I literally made myself sick on this stuff tonight… I just could not stop eating it!  I hope you and yours enjoys this crisp as much as me and mine did!

With love,


Motherhood and paper marbling

You ever have one of those days where you wonder “What am I missing?… What am I doing wrong here?… Do I have any idea what I’m doing as a mother?!”…  A day full of temper tantrums and defiance… I certainly hope I’m not alone here.

That was our day today.  It was a rainy, indoor, sleep-deprived, sleep-depriving…. kind of day.

Well, in between tantrums today we fit in some paper marbling…  We actually had a pretty significant disagreement mid-marbling…  But we both survived!!

We started by filling a shallow dish with shaving cream.  This was O’s favorite part.  He spent a good 20 minutes just playing in the shaving cream… Hands up in the air giggling… Our happiest moment of the day!  Then we used an eye dropper to add liquid water colors.

 Next we took a knife and swirled the paint into the shaving cream. Then we laid watercolor paper on top. We pulled the paper off and left the shaving cream sit for about 15 minutes before rinsing in the sink.  Make sure you use watercolor paper for this, regular paper would just fall apart with this amount of saturation.            

I’m loving our paper.  It was by far the most successful part of our day! Thinking of making some sort of fall leaf garland out of it or maybe collaging it… Only time will tell.
Only time will tell…So true in so  many ways today..  Hoping tomorrow, or at least some day, I feel like I’m getting this whole motherhood thing right…

Only time will tell!

With love,