Tuesday, April 28, 2009

ADD Reader

I have an attention deficit problem. I can pay attention in class. I can pay attention at home. But I can't pay attention to only one book. I have been this way since my teenage years. I usually have at least three books on my nightstand. Here's what I'm reading right now:

Twinkie, Deconstructed
I'm about two thirds of the way through this one, and it made me realize that pretty much everything we eat comes from petroleum or corn. The author, a food science writer, investigates how each ingredient in a Twinkie is produced. It was quite an eye opener about modern food production. Yikes!

Lotta Jansdotter's Simple Sewing
I just finished this one, although I haven't made any of the projects yet. They are definitely simple projects - the only one you'd really need a pattern for is the garden tote. The real inspiration from this book comes from her fabric patterns and appliques.

The Miracle of Mindfulness, Thich Nhat Hanh
I've been meaning to read this one for a long, long time. Mindfulness is something I try to practice, and this is a simple, beautiful book. I'm about a third of the way through this one.

Alabama Stitch Book, Natalie Chanin
Just started this one, but i am blown away by her beautiful clothes that are all HAND STITCHED, by local women. Amazing clothes, and inspiringly ethical business practices.

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle
This is my go-to book right now. Barbara Kingsolver documents her family's experience in eating only local, seasonal food for one year. It's chock full of information about modern food issues, the environmental impact of shipping food, and nutrition. Since the information is woven into the story of her family, it is informative yet reads like a story. I'm a hair short of a hundred pages into it, but I'm already checking each item in he produce section for where it comes from, and planning my menu on seasonal produce. It convinced me to plunk down double the price for organic, local asparagus the other day, and it was soooo worth it. Max actually ate his whole plate plus one of mine. I think many of us who enjoy cooking know that seasonal produce is always better, but how many times have we been seduced by those out of season berries or corn, only to regret the purchase after the first bite? You need to read this book, then give it to your best friend to read. I'm hoping to get caught up with the book club on simplemom.net, where I first heard about this book. If you have not checked out Tsh's site yet, you should. Lots of good info there!

So there you have it. Five books and counting. Yes, I have an attention problem.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sneak Peek for Scrap For A Cure

Guess who is the May guest designer for Scrap For A Cure? The kit won't be out until May 1, but here's a few peeks of the fabulous goodies you will find inside. Madeline's gonna love this kit!

and one more...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day!

It's no secret that I'm a wanna be hippie mama, lovin' my homemade cleansers and altered old clothes. I'll also be the first to admit that I have a long way to go on the green scale, but I try. One wonderful aspect of green living is the frugality, and since I am now paying for private OT for both kids, frugality has gained more importance in my house. In honor of Earth Day today, I thought I'd share just a few upcycled projects from around my house:

I love to reuse fabric! Old clothes, table cloths, curtains, sheets can not only be repurposed, but existing seams and trims can be utilized to cut down on sewing time! The tote bag and scrapbook storage bags were made from vintage table cloths and scrap material.

This slip case and scrapbook were made from my first iPod box.

The decorations from Max's birthday party are now bedroom decor. 

Due to both frugality and philosophy, I've challenged myself and the kids to see how green we can be this summer. Today Max planted the container vegetable garden he received for his birthday (he loves to garden!) Compost bins and solar ovens dance in my head - let's see if they end up in my backyard!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Happy Birthday, Max!

We had a homemade party this weekend. We had lightsabers,


a jumpy house, friends

and lots if fun. We are so blessed ti have you in our lives. I love you little guy.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Baby Love

After a little stitching and background paper, this little fellow went off to live on the wall of baby Sabrina's room. I haven't done many nursery illustrations (I drew rainforest frogs for Madeline's nursery!), but I really enjoyed it. I think I may create a series. But, that will definitely happen after I draw the "pin the blue lightsaber in Luke's hand" game.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Some Bunny

Some bunny came in

and saw the banner

left the dog a treat

the kids went searching

and found lots of good stuff

Friday, April 10, 2009

Tweets and Finds

I joined Twitter, just because I kept hearing about it everywhere, and Facebook has been so much fun. I'm still learning it, for sure, but I have made a few cool discoveries:

Rupydetequila - her illustrations are adorable (and her English is even cuter!)

Pikaland - okay, not a new discovery, but I follow her. I have loved this blog for a long time. I like to end a computer work session by drooling over the highlighted illustrator of the day. Seriously good stuff.

Claudine Hellmuth - okay, not a discovery either, but you get to see the person behind the art when you read their tweets. I took an on-line class with Claudine, and during the live Q&A she was so open and generous with her knowledge and experience.

I'm still working out the whole how you find people thing, but I certainly have no trouble finding people on Etsy. Here are just a few favorites right now:


I ordered some prints from her last year for my father, and they were beautiful. Stunning, really.


How freakin' cute is that?????? I need one of those!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Max's Invitation

His party is, obviously, a Star Wars theme. I had originally designed an invitation with a cool cartoon image of Luke Skywalker (Muggs style), holding a lightsaber, but when Max saw it the next morning he told me:

"No, mommy! It's all wrong! I only want a blue lightsaber on there, that's all!"

While I like the design, I think it looks a little sophisticated for an almost five year old. But that's what he wants - simple. One game. A jumpy house. Lightsabers. No costumes. Is her really only five?

Monday, April 6, 2009

A little bit of this and that

Not much art happening around here lately - more painting the grout in the kitchen, taking the kids to OT, reading about food allergies and nutrition and trying to plan Easter and Max's birthday. I did get a wonderful package in the mail yesterday, all the way from Tasmania:

It was from my blog friend, Sharmaine,, who whips together these amazing, to die for layouts every day! I am in awe. Having these new goodies is making me itch to get back to my table, and the kids were thrilled to have chocolate cookies all the way from Australia. They have a particular fascination with the country, and at least once a day will ask me what the people in Australia are doing at the moment. They are fascinated by the time difference. Thanks, Sharmaine!!

Now that we are paying for two private OT sessions a week, I have taken a renewed interest in budgeting. Through Ali's site I found simplemom.net, and have spent a few nights exploring the current and many past posts. Recently she posted her dinner menu for the entire month of April, and it intrigued me. I usually meal plan only a week at a time, and loosely. She themes each nights (ie - pasta on Mondays, stir-fry Tuesdays) which I immediately stole. Max has had such a difficult time with dinners and transitions lately, so this seemed like a great way to address both. Since a few Facebook friends have asked, here is our menu for the month:

Mondays - pasta
Tuesdays - Mexican
Wednesdays - chicken
Thursdays - soup/salad/sandwiches
Friday - pizza
Saturday - pork or beef
Sunday - leftovers

April's Menu (with links to on-line recipes)
6 - spaghetti
7 - soft tacos or beef fajitas
8 - BBQ chicken with my special sauce
9 - grilled cheese and salad
10- pizza (trying Bob's Red Mill gluten free mix)
11 - flank steak and rice
12 - Easter dinner - ham
13 - zucchini pasta carbonara (I made a light version and it was still super good!)
14 - chicken and summer veggie tostadas
15 - honey glazed chicken stir fry
16 - chicken noodle soup and salad (my concoction)
17 - pizza
18 - maple pecan pork chops and apple hash browns
19 - left overs
20 - Max's birthday choice
21 - nachos
22 - BBQ chicken again (Matt's favorite)
23 - grilled turkey or ham sandwiches
24 - pizza
25 - beef and veggie stir-fry over rice
26 - left overs
27 - chicken fettuccine
28 - tacos
29 - crock pot Italian chicken
30 - left-over chicken sandwiches with artichoke hearts and feta

It is very SPD friendly and kid friendly, but it works for me. I keep the list in a binder that has my iCal print-out for the month, household stuff from Fly Lady, budget info and plans for any home/family thing I'm working on for the month (like Max's party). This way I have everything for the house in one place. A big shout-out to simplemom.net for the idea, as well as several of the recipes. You should go check it out now - not only is it a great site, but she's having a Croc give-away. And the spring Crocs are actually cute. Cute enough that, fashionista snob that I am, would actually wear them! Go take a look here!