Face Off Barbie style


Anya (10) and Maddie (8) love watching the SyFy Show Face Off. It is a reality show for special effects make-up artists. Being on syfy the challenges typically focus on creatures, aliens and the like. The girls are fascinated by the process and love rooting for their favorite artists. One night I went in tho Anya's room to say goodnight and found a bunch of their barbies covered in clay. While they may not have realized they were being inspired by their Face Off viewing I picked up on it right away. Last night I mentioned that maybe we should do a Face Off challenge with their Barbies. I would give them a challenge and they would use clay and whatever else to implement their vision. They were up bright and early this morning and had started their own challenges before I even came downstairs. They combined two of their favorite things Face Off and Skylanders the video game that uses action figures to play. Each girl chose two Skylander creatures that they used to inspire their make-up creation on a Barbie. They first drew out their designs and then began to fabricate. They each came up with a back story for the creation. I have to say I was never a fan of Barbie as a plaything for my girls but if she can be used as a prop to such creative endeavors she will always be welcome in our toy box. I am beyond impressed with the results. How about you?

Anya's drawing
Anya's Creature in Progress
Anya's Reveal
Maddie's Reveal
Anya's second reveal I didn't get pictures of Maddie's second reveal. She was having an artists moment of discontent which was fine. It was a great process and I can't wait to see what else inspires them. S

I pinned it, I made it.


I've been doing a lot of pinning lately. It is a great place to find inspiration. One day I came across a pin this pin

so I decided I needed to do something with all my pinspiration. We have done a few projects but this one is my favorite.


It is the Deluxe Kid Wash from Family Fun Magazine and was very easy to make. Shopping for all the pvc parts took the most time. I cut all the pieces using a jigsaw but a scroll saw would work great. If you had more time and nice workbench with a clamp the kids could eaisly cut some of the pieces with a hacksaw. The girls used a Friskars hand drill to drill all the holes and they had no trouble.





Not a bad way to spend the afternoon.

Teacher Gifts 2011


Teacher gifts 2011

So this is a bit of a recycled idea but it's a favorite with the teachers and not a repeat for any of this years teachers. This was the original gift. This year I chose to use fabric in the school colors. I asked the girls to draw pictures with the school mascot a lion (or loin as Maddie wrote). I used printable fabric for the artwork. I had the girls look at some pillows for inspiration and they designed the pillows from there. It was fun to have them lay out the fabric and do some of the sewing. Maddie enjoyed the sewing a bit more than Anya. I would have had them do more but I put off getting this done until this week and most of the sewing happened after bedtime.

Anya's Pillow

Maddie's pillow

The quilts were for the art and music teachers. The girls love their specials teachers and their art teacher is retiring so we wanted to do something special for her. I didn't use a pattern, just pieced together the scraps from the pillow and stitched. It's been so long since I have done any sewing and it felt so nice to get back to the machine...

Quilt 1Quilt 2

and you know it feels nice to back to this space.

Playing with Clay


$8.99...for hours worth of fun and creativity. Well worth the money. Each project made, admired and then smooshed. Love that clay is all about the process.

Taking Time....


to crunch the leaves

understand our past



How I love taking a little time to enjoy a beautiful day with my beautiful family.

My best idea ever...


Okay, probably not my best but it does make life around here a bit easier.


This is what usually happens with all the papers coming home from school. I usually spend half the morning looking for whatever I need in the several piles in the house. It was getting to be to overwhelming so I came up with this.


Plain old binders, gussied up with some scrapbooking paper. One for each girl. Important notes in the front and any artwork or other papers in the back.


I picked up the fancy green 3 hole punch for 2.50. The biggest bonus is that the girls love punching holes in their work and notes so I don't even need to keep up with it. One draw back is that everything Maddie draws has been going into the binder and the girl draws ALOT. I think she needs her own binder or maybe an entire shelf of binders.


See what I mean? She likes to draw and write and create. There is no getting rid of anything she makes. I really need to come up with a system for all of this work.


(note the words up there say "fashion models", maybe they shouldn't watch project runway.)


A better system than Maddie sticking whatever she wants to the wall with whatever she can find that sticks. I should probably be upset about this sticking but how can I be mad at a little girl so proud of all that amazing work.
I'm thinking maybe a full wall of homasote that she can stick work to her hearts desire.

Little Pumpkins


Remember this sweet little kitty that we found in the engine of our car. Well, it seems the kitty has grown into a full adult cat and Sunday night she gave birth to 5 little kittens.
They are adorable and Pumpkin has been an amazing gentle mommy.

I've never been around for cat labor but I have delivered two of my own babies and have been present for a few horse deliveries. I read up and set up a quiet spot in my closet for her. I had a feeling sunday was the day but the day went along with no kittens and Pumpkin hung out with me on the couch as I watched the Bears game. We all sat down, had a nice dinner and then headed to watch the Amazing Race. Dan looked at Pumpkin and exclaimed "what does Pumpkin have" um that is a kitten. So much for the cat hiding out in dark quiet place.
The girls were able to watch one of the kittens be born and they were amazed and full of questions. Quite a few anatomy lessons have taken place with lots of honest talk about how the kittens were born (which led to how they were born) umbilical cords, determining the sex of the kittens, and much more. The only question left unanswered was the "Mama, how did pumpkin get kittens in her tummy". "Umm, well, umm, Look that kitty just yawned." So that's the news from around these parts. Anyone want a kitty?