Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day Weekend



We had one of those crazy fun weekends. Here's the rundown starting with Friday...

We decorated our front porch. Our porch is the type of porch that begs to be draped with holiday buntings. I love it.


I went and had some girl time with friends.

We did a bit of work in the children's garden (more on that later.)

Bryce and I went to a poolside party where all the attendees had to wear madras!

Naps were taken.

Time was spent with Bryce's Dad who is visiting.

We went to our community pool that we finally got into after being on a wait list for five years!


We made homemade strawberry ice cream with berries from the farm!

We went to a small gathering with friends and ended up dancing!

We watched a Memorial Day parade.

I made cupcakes for a quintessential Memorial Day pool party that we all attended.


Grace lost yet another tooth. The companion to the very one that she lost just last weekend.

We had such a great weekend and I loved every minute of it but... I'm exhausted from all this fun! I hope you all had a great weekend too!


Friday, May 28, 2010

Sex and the City Party

I thought it might be fun to post about a Sex and the City party I hosted two years ago when the first movie came out. I didn't get great pictures of the food and drinks (cosmos of course!) because this was BC- before blogging! But I do have great pictures of the fabulous women who attended! It was a lot of fun!

I made the invitations using a heated embosser and glitter! I tried to stick to a black and hot pink color combination in as many ways as I could.


Everyone was encouraged to dress according to a favorite character from the show. It was a lot of fun to see everyone in clothes that they would not necessarily normally wear! Even though I love Charlotte's character I thought my hair lent itself to Carrie. Talk about big hair!




Fortunately, hot pink rhodendrans and peonies were blooming at the time so they added a festive touch to the color scheme as well.


P.S. We are gathering for cosmos and cupcakes (and to go see the movie) next Friday!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A fairy letter and a lost tooth


Grace lost her front tooth yesterday morning! Of course this meant that a visit from the tooth fairy was eagerly anticipated!

She and Harris laid out a few things for Ruth (that's our fairy's name). They included some notes (Grace helped Harris write his) and some bits of nature.


Have I ever shared that Grace and Harris have received letters from the fairies? We have a Valentine Fairy that leaves notes on Valentine's day and they are so sweet and tiny! Grace was thrilled this morning to discover that Ruth left her a note in the place of her tooth! I love Ruth's parting words, "Remember to brush, floss and smile!"


Grace's new look is adorable!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Peonies


Be still my heart. These beautiful flowers all came from our garden. For the past several weeks we have had a pretty steady flow of peonies but this combination takes the prize so far. I'm in love.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Marshmallow Tin



Several months ago I was browsing through an antique store when I came upon this tin. I liked it at the time but did not purchase it. However, on the drive home an idea came to me as to what would be the perfect use for it. I had to go back and buy it. We used it for the first time on Friday and I am delighted with its new use. Can you guess what we are using it for?

Add some of these...


And these...


Now we are ready to make s'mores at a moments notice!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Campout


Bryce got a new tent in preparation for his and the children's annual camping trip. Of course as soon as it came the children (and Bryce!) wanted to try it out. Thus the three of them had a backyard campout on Friday evening.

We cooked out, had a fire, roasted s'mores and then everyone retired to bed. They went to sleep in the tent- I went to sleep in the plush confines of my own bed. It was a win-win situation!




We have really been enjoying the book, Campout by Lynn Brunelle. It has all sorts of interesting, informative information covering every aspect of camping and nature. It even has activities to do and crafts to make.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Strawberry Season



It's strawberry season, which means that our local farm has opened its gates for those of use eagerly awaiting the first strawberries of the season. The children love picking the berries but they love eating them more... even before we get out of the field!

After we picked berries Grace was inspired to write a poem.

I showed her this watercolor and she decided to try her hand at that as well. We are really celebrating the berry this year! The only problem? We eat them so quickly that they are gone within a day and we don't have enough to make shortcake!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Self Portraits




For Mother's Day the children gave me self portraits. I adore them. I think that this might have to become a tradition. Can you you just imagine over the years how they would change (both the children and their ability)?

Monday, May 17, 2010

A Nature Study



Several weeks ago, when the children and I made a bird bag treat, Grace's interest in our backyard birds was piqued. One day I found her in the yard observing our nesting Robin. I love it when the children spontaneously pick up these activities. I try to encourage just such things by having books, pads, and even binoculars at the ready.


The nest that is on our fence.




Saturday, May 15, 2010

A Fiesta Party


Kristin and I recently helped our friend Barbara with her son's fifth birthday party. Considering that we didn't even begin talking about the party and/or theme until two days before the event I think that it turned out pretty cute and a lot of fun.

Kristin and I made a sombrero hat cake. My favorite part were the gumballs!


We served little scoops of sprinkle covered ice cream with the cake.


We used tissue paper to make gigantic flowers and a banner for the table.



Barbara made lime-aid drinks for the children (and some margarita's for the adults!) and we garnished them with little key lime slices. She also had little tacos, guacamole and chips and salsa to eat!

There was even a pinata that the children had fun breaking open and then wearing parts of it around as a hat. Harris even brought this home!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

SmartyPants

Grace has had standardized testing at school all week. Tomorrow is her last day and I'm sending this sweet treat along to help celebrate being done.

P.S. I would like to give credit for where I saw this idea but cannot seem to find the website. A search of my reader and google has turned up nothing! Maybe it was a magazine...

P.S.S. I was going to send these in for the whole class to celebrate with but our school has a policy against ingredients with sugar as the first ingredient for class wide treats.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

How to make spoon garden markers


I first saw spoons used as plant markers on this etsy shop. I just thought they were darling! After considering how many I would need to order (and later perhaps add on to) I thought maybe I should try to make some myself but was really unsure where to start. I tried to do a google search on the spoons but didn't come up with much. I then typed in "metal stamping" and came up with a short video on how to stamp jewelry. After months, I mean minutes, of more research I felt like I was ready to dive in. It's really easy and fun.

I got lots of old spoons at a local flea market. They were $1 each and some are silver plated and a few are stainless steel.


For materials you will need metal letter stamps, hammer, sharpie black marker, rubbing alchohol, silver polish and a rag. I first looked online for metal letter stamps and found a large variety ranging from $30 to $160. However, I ended up getting mine from Harbor Freight (they have lots of locations!) and they were only $5.99!


Also, the jewelry video recommended using a metal bench block to put under the spoon while you were pounding on the letters. I didn't think that I needed this so I just used the wooden work bench. However, I did discover that it was cleaner and more precise when I used something metal underneath. I wasn't going to buy a bench block so I used the metal plate on Bryce's vise.


I ended up laying all the letter stamps out and putting them in order. This helped a lot to speed up the stamping process!


When you are ready to begin you simply hold the stamp and pound on it with the hammer several times. I found three or four pretty strong blows to be adequate. When you begin stamping make sure that you don't move the stamp until you are done pounding on it, otherwise you may get a shadow letter. Also, double check to make sure that the letter is facing the right way...I did get a backward E once. I didn't worry too much about the letters being perfectly straight or spaced evenly apart from one other. I think that all of these imperfect things add to the charm of the spoons!


In order to get the look of oxidation that makes the word stand out take a black sharpie marker and completely fill in the letters.



Use a cotton ball of alcohol to wipe off the marker and then polish the spoon. And that's it! Easy right?


P.S. I was also going to use forks and knives because I think that would be super cute (especially for a kitchen garden) but in the end the vision of children running, tripping and impaling themselves on my garden markers was too much to bear.

*Update:  Here are the stamped spoons I made for Valentines (with Chocolate!)
 
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