Friday, August 3, 2012


This week Brennan and I finalized the adoption of our son, Theo!  The journey to this point hasn't been easy, but we couldn't be happier.  We went to the courthouse Wednesday morning and waited in a room with children's' toys for about thirty minutes.  When we were called in to the courtroom (they called families in one-by-one), our families were able to come in with us.  The judge said she and our lawyer had taken care of everything and now she was happy to introduce ... and she used his full name with our last name.  It was kind of surreal.  The time in the courtroom took less that 10 minutes.  Now we have him for a lifetime!

Adam and Jesse (my brother and his fiance) in the waiting room. 
My dad and Theo.
Us with Brennan's parents.
Us with Aunt Terry.
The must-have shot of us with the Judge.
Us with my mom.
And Brennan and Theo at the restaurant afterward.  Yay!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Cutting up a canvas!

One of the bloom true canvases I had just wasn't coming together for me.  I was pretty much done with it, had several images within the canvases I liked, but it wasn't cohesive.  This was it:

So I decided to cut up the canvas to make several different pictures.  Here are some images of Brennan framing the paintings and of the paintings themselves.

I like the final products.  These paintings are interesting to look at because of the dimension and texture and they were fun to create.  I plan to get some good painting time in this weekend and will hopefully have some good results to share!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

New Art Studio

Ah summer!  It always flies by.  My summer To Do list is still growing but here we are in the middle of July.  We've had some family members come stay with us for awhile so I had to move my painting stuff out to the garage.  I'm not sure how this will affect my paints because it's been so hot lately!  So far it has made them softer - the fluid acrylics even separated a bit and were really fluid.  But hopefully I can make it work. 

Here's a wide view of how it's set up.  Fortunately most of the hardware was already out there.  I just brought my art table and easel.  I love having such a big garage.  Now I just need a fan...

I have to include some pictures of Theo enjoying the new set up.  I don't have to watch him quite as closely out in the garage.  He can have more freedom and fun with the paint and that's a big bonus to the location.

This is the one I'm working on at the moment.  It's my second canvas from the bloom true course.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Coasters for Mother's Day

For Mother's Day I decided to make my mom and Theo's biological grandma coasters with our pictures on them.  I found the idea on pinterestNaptime Decorator has so many great ideas!

I found tiles the right size for about $0.37 each at Lowe's.  I grabbed a bunch, plus some other sizes for future crafting fun.  I printed out a dozen or so pictures, not sure which would end up being the right size/look for the coasters so I wanted extra.  I think that cost $3-4.  The other materials I needed were sponge brush, mod podge, a clear protective coating - I used polyurethane, and some felt-y super slider things that I gorilla glued to the bottom of the coaster so it wouldn't hurt the furniture.  I had everything except the polyurethane and the sliders  - I borrowed the first and bought the second for about $5 at Lowe's. 

With all the materials gathered, I cut the pictures to size, mod podged them to the tiles, covered the images with mod podge (two layers, allowed to dry) and then the polyurethane.  When it was dry I attached the sliders and voila! 

Monday, May 14, 2012

A Family That Needs Help

One thing I love about the blog-o-sphere is that we pull together when someone really needs help.  I read today about a woman, Alice Hansen, who died from complications of childbirth, leaving behind a husband who just graduated with his MBA and doesn't have a job yet, and three small children.  If you can help, here is the blog post by Heidi at Honeybear Lane.  They are accepting donations to help with the funeral, medical expenses, etc.  It was Heidi's brother who just lost his wife.

My thoughts are with this family and especially with Heidi's brother who will have to find a way to be strong for his three kids.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

My first mother's day gift!

I received a rose for Mother's Day today from a coworker.  It's my first mother's day present ever so I thought I ought to document it.  :)  Here's a pic of me with the rose and one of Theo and me.

Holocaust Survivor at 108: "I was Thankful and Happy" (Top Videos)

Holocaust Survivor at 108: "I was Thankful and Happy" (Top Videos)

What an uplifting video.  I can learn a lot from this woman.  :)

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Making a mess

I have so much fun doing arts and crafts with Theo.  I used to draw some when I was younger, but didn't really experience much art outside of school.  Actually, that's not entirely true.  My mom is really creative.  She works with ceramics and photography.  But neither of those are that easy to do with children.  Now as an adult I love to paint and I'm so glad Theo shares my enthusiasm for the hobby.  Best of all, he doesn't mind that I'm not very good!  Like me, he just likes playing with color and getting a little messy. 

Here's a pic of him working with me on one of my bloom true canvases.

And some pics of him working on a big canvas we pinned to our wall.  I'm going to end up having to paint the floor and paneling because we're making such a mess but it's worth it!

And this is how the bloom true canvases are coming along.  The first is on layer 12,321...or that's how it feels anyway.  The second is on layer 7 or 8.


Saturday, April 21, 2012

Bloom True painting class.

I took an online painting class called Bloom True taught by Flora Bowley.  It was all about painting freely, intuitively, from the heart.  I'm analytical and critical in my painting, at least I have been in the past, so this class was really outside my comfort zone.  In fact, the class was technically over in March and I am still working on the canvases.  But it was so inspirational and FUN! 

We put down layer after layer of color without thinking about the end result, without expectations or a plan.   We also alternated warm and cool colors in the beginning to avoid muddiness.

There were many layers like those above and then we added symbolism - again just following our heart and not putting too much thought into it. 

Those two shapes a little down and to the left of the middle represents hummingbirds. They're supposed to be tenacious, protective, stronger than they look.  And their wings beat in the shape of the infinity symbol so they also represent eternity.    

Some close ups!

I am not finished yet...I have no idea when it'll be finished or how it'll look.  I have another canvas I'm still playing with too.  But painting this way is so freeing and scary.  I loved it.  Thanks Flora!

The Ol' Melting Crayons Project

I love crafts. I love color. I love finding fun projects to do with Theo.  This one I found on pinterest was perfect!

We took two pieces of construction paper and glued them together for extra support.

We put some glue down - it was serious glue, not Elmer's. 
And we laid the crayons down across the top.

We let it dry overnight.  In the morning we melted it with my old blow drier; it doesn't get very hot and I'm impatient so I had it on high. The crayons splattered everywhere!  I'll probably have specks of color on our dining room table and chairs forever lol.

Here's Theo admiring the final project.

I figured out how the timer on my camera works and we took a picture of us with the end product.  Someday I'm going to hang a bulletin board in his room and I'll be sure to pin this on it.

DIY Lamp from books

I saw a craft ideo on pinterest that immediately made me think of my brother.  It's a Stacked-Books Table Lamp.  The whole thing probably cost about $30.  It did take a little work - we screwed up our first effort and had to start fresh, but was fun and Brennan and I got to work together on it.  Most importantly, I like to give Adam really personal gifts and I felt like I found something he'd get a kick out of.

You can follow the link above for detailed instructions, but here we are working on it.

We took a stack of classic hardcover novels plus a couple of our favorite books (I snuck a Nancy Drew in there and I think Brennan added Wizard of Oz.)

 Brennan had to clamp the books down and drill a hole through them.
 We bought a lamp kit at Lowe's and stuck the pipe through the books.  Brennan had to try several drill bits and screws before he found the right fit.  He screwed each book into the one below.
 I cut out some pages in the bottom book so the chord would have somewhere to go.
 Yup, I contributed!

 And, as Theo would say, Ta Da!  A new lamp for Adam's desk!

Painting on Book

For my brother's birthday, I thought it would be fun to have Theo paint him a picture.  But I wanted it to be special and since Adam is an avid reader and book Blogger (see, I decided Theo would use pages of books as his canvas. 

First we put mod podge down on an old, unfinished painting of mine.

Then we laid pages from a couple of books/comics down. 

Pat! Pat! Pat it down!

We let it sit for a couple minutes to dry.  I'm pretty impatient so it didn't sit long before we brought out the paint..

And then Theo went to town finger painting. 

Happy 29th Birthday Adam!