Monday, January 20, 2014

Freezer Paper Stencil Martin Luther King Jr.

Hooray for freezer paper stencils!  They enable me to make an easy tshirt for Noodlebug for just about any holiday.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Handmade Valentine Limited Edition Kiwi Crate

We have been fans of Kiwi Crate for years.  So much so that I became an affiliate. I have really been enjoying the seasonal mini-crates they have been releasing.  Noodlebug and I did a Halloween and a Holiday one.  Now, Kiwi Crate is releasing a special crate for Valentine's Day!

The set contains everything you need to make 24 handmade pop-up cards.  In my experience, Kiwi Crate is serious when they says EVERYTHING you need is included. That is one of the things I love about them!  As a busy mom, I don't have time to run around and gather a bunch of supplies.

This limited edition crate is available now for $14.95.  Go here and find it under "Shop" and "Mini-Crates." 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Painting with Noodlebug

Noodlebug and I sometimes like to go to our local coffee shop on the weekend for warm beverages.  Since it is located downtown, we tend to go for a walk afterwards and look in the shop windows. In the window of our local independent bookstore was an original painting of Pete the Cat by James Dean.  Noodlebug decided that he had a burning need to paint a picture of Pete the Cat.

We grabbed our Michael's coupon and headed to the store. I let Noodle pick out colors of cheap acrylic craft paint to use.  He begged me for a real canvas.  And only a LARGE real canvas would do. Luckily, Michael's had a five-pack of 16 x 20 canvases on sale for $9.99. I figured a $2 canvas would be perfect for this project.

I am the type of person who gets inspiration from  looking at another picture.  I think Noodle is the same type of person. We went onto my computer and I showed him lots of pictures of Pete the Cat.  He chose this one to copy:

(image source)
We recently took a class at the Schulz Museum that taught us how to draw using shapes.  I tried to get Noodle to look at the picture in terms of shapes.  I had him sketch a picture of Pete with a pencil first.  It was hard for him to get the scale.  There was a lot of canvas to fill!  Next, I set him to work painting the background. To make the paint go further, I mixed it with some basic medium.  Then, we started with Pete's head.  I told him to think of Pete's head as a football.  Then, he put the ears.  The ears were a bit narrow at first so we looked at the original and talked about whether Pete had wide ears or narrow ears.  At times, Noodle would get frustrated when his painting didn't look EXACTLY like the original. When he had trouble getting the shape right, I would help him flesh out the edges or I would make a mark for width so he would know how far to paint.  Then, Noodle painted the body.  I helped him with placement of the feet.  His first attempt at Pete's tail really frustrated him.  I painted over the part he didn't like and he tried again.  Then, he did the arm.  I suggested making a roundish circle on the end for Pete's paw.  He asked me to do the handle of the mug so I did.  He did the cup and the hot chocolate and the steam. I added a little white to the top of the mug since Noodle had the beverage going all the way to the top. Next, we did the eyes. I told him to use the football shape again. Start with a frown on top and then connect it with a smile on bottom. He did the iris and pupils.  He had trouble with the nose so I added one edge to make it more triangular.  He did the whiskers.  His first attempt got him really frustrated.  It kind of reminded me of Don Music on "Sesame Street."

After some major artistic tears and tantrums, I painted over the whiskers and we took a break.  After lunch, we came back to the painting and he finished the whiskers and signed his work.  I would say that 80% of this painting is his work:

We have four more canvases so I think he may be inspired to make more!  It was fun and frustrating and a very good learning experience for both of us.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

My Word for 2014

Happy New Year!
My Christmas break was difficult.  I look forward to this time with my family every year and I had hoped Noodlebug and I could do all the fun things that we never get to do while I am at work.  It was not to be.

Noodlebug's stomach flu appeared on the way home from Christmas Eve services. Instead of excitedly waiting for Santa's arrival, my poor guy spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day throwing up. As he slowly began to mend, my mother fell ill.  I checked on her regularly as I juggled a sick child and out-of-town guests. On Saturday morning, she didn't answer the phone and I found her on the floor with a high fever. They admitted her with pneumonia, heart episodes and a fractured shoulder. While heading back and forth to the hospital, my husband and son BOTH fell ill again. I am trying desperately to hold down the fort.  Thank goodness I am still well!  I keep playing Elton John's "I'm Still Standing" for inspiration.

2013 was a hard year and it went out with the worst kind of bang.  I am hopeful for 2014.  There is  a lot I would like to accomplish including taking Noodlebug to Disneyland for the first time for his birthday. We have saved half the money so far! 

I signed up for Life Book again even though I didn't make it far last year.  I still love it. I also signed up for the new Brave Girls Club course called THE WALK.  I'm hoping these classes will focus me on making time to be creative.

My word for 2014 is "thrive."  I am hoping to thrive in all areas of my life.  Most importantly, in the areas of health and finance. 

(image source)

I hope this new year brings you all every kind of happiness!!!