October 31, 2010

Le Petit Artiste

Today the Camsters and I decided to do some painting. I was sooo tempted to whip-up a painting smock for the occasion, but resisted. It took all I had.

Since the Camsters is only 8 months old and EVERYTHING goes in her mouth, I am not comfortable using real paint with her. Even if it is "non-toxic". Wednesday I looked up some "homemade paint recipes" online and most were either made out of flour and water or cornstarch and water with food coloring.

I started with one cup of flour and 1/2 a cup of water, but ended up adding more water until it was a more pancake-mix consistency. This recipe made a lot of mixture so I divided it onto three plates. Then I added gel food coloring (which I think results in brighter colors) until the colors were nice and bright. If you end up trying this project I suggest using colors that won't turn into "mud" when mixed.

Triple Color Combos That Always Work:
:: blue, green, yellow
:: red, orange, yellow
:: blue, purple, red

Notice there is paint on her legs, but none on her paper?
Splashing in the paint. Blue is the most appealing today.

This is sooo cool Ma!

Here is Camster's painting debut. We hope to have her other works in some local galleries soon. Perhaps even a 'red series' in the future? Depends on how much studio time Camsters gets in this month. In the meantime... Enjoy!

"Wind on the Grass"

"Meadow Flowers Along the Mountain"


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October 27, 2010

French Bebe

I've tried to make a cute baby beret three times now and they never seem to look right...
Does anyone know if there is a good free sewing pattern or tutorial out there for baby berets? I think my problem may be that I'm trying to convert an adult size to a baby size. Maybe I'm using the wrong material? Who knows.

Perhaps I'll try to learn to knit or crochet or whatever so that I can make nice looking baby beret. 'Cause you know I'll make like 50 of 'em!

It looks "okay", but there's something off about it. Hmmm.

I'm just striking out lately. Jeez... I'll try to bring you some GOOD ideas soon.

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Owl Cake Test

My little sweetpea's birthday is in three months which may seem like a long time to plan a party until you factor in Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas festivities. The wake left behind Christmas is worst of all for my procrastinating tendencies. I never feel like doing anything but snuggling up with a blanket and watching movies after December has come and gone.

Which is why yesterday I decided to start auditioning cake recipes. First up was this CUTE owl cake I found featured on Parenting.com with many many responses.
Picture here

You basically have to bake two small bowls of cake mix to put together for the round ball head and two slightly larger bowls for the body and -theoretically- they sit on each other with a dowel in the center to keep them stable.

Now, I will be the first to admit that I am no master baker. However, this beautiful picture, simple directions, and many many positive responses led me to believe this was do-able for a 1st birthday cake.


Yes, that IS a chopstick sticking out of his back.

One wonders if any of those people with the many many misleading positive responses ever actually MADE this cake. This my friends is all I could salvage. The four bowl-shaped cake pieces cooked perfectly. There was so much hope for the little guy until I stacked them on top of each other.

Tragedy struck when the weight of the head instantly broke the body in half. It was like in movies when the earthquake makes the ground crack with record breaking speed revealing nothing but a deep dark abyss below.

Husband told me to just glue it back together with frosting. But trust me when I tell you that no amount of frosting could have glued Humpty Dumpty... I mean Little Owl back together again. Then I tried trowing some glitter sprinkles at it hoping it's looks would improve --which only made it look worse. Remember that! Glitter does not fix all in the baking world.

I swear I can bake a decent looking cake...

Moral of this story: Parenting.com is living in a fantasy world of upright 3D cakes... don't listen to the many many responses.

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October 16, 2010

12 of 12 | October

I know I'm a little late with this one, but I have limited Internet access... so weep for me.
For more info on 12 of 12 look here and join in!

1. "Mornin' Ma!"
2. At Grammy & Grampy's digging up organic potatoes
3. Look at all them homegrown potatoes! (I feel like talkin' hillbilly today I guess)
4. Potater farmin' with my work gloves

5. Birds eye view of the Camsters
6. Birds eye view of her best buddy, Smokey
7. A very studious cucumber
8. Bacon wrapped apricots... Yum!

9. Homegrown "Mr. Stripey" tomato from my parent's garden
10. My mama makin' salsa
11. Camsters working her way over to Smokey the dachshund
12. Husband in true form: using my electronic toys whilst ignoring me. (You rarely get to use the word 'whilst'... so I do it when I can)

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October 13, 2010

Random Thoughts :: October

:: Isn't it fun to watch babies figure things out? This is the front of the book... this is the back of the book... this is the front...
:: Oh my gawrsh it's almost time for 12 of 12 again
:: I hope I don't forget
:: I'm sure I will
:: I feel bad that the only stuffed animals I make for the Camsters are weird, but I cant help it. Teddy bears are boring. Stuffie guinea pigs and creepy stuffie French men ROCK!
:: My eggs benedict with "fool proof" hollandaise sauce went over so well with Husband on Saturday that he has requested it again for tonight
:: And he thought I couldn't cook... ha!
:: I love Billy Holiday. "Gloomy Sunday" makes me want to dance slow-like. Maybe someone will buy me a 'best of' cd because they love me.
:: Christopher Walken is funny even when he's not trying to be.

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How do you type the sound a raven makes?!
"Crawwwk" is my best bet.

Last weekend I bought a set of 10+ hand puppet patterns online here. So far I've made the raven with moveable mouth and a simple horse. Of course I just happened to have black crushed velvet in my mondo fabric stash. What could work better? And black vinyl-leather for the beak and feet... score!

As for the simple horse-- I probably shouldn't have used fleece. I should have used flannel. Fleece just stretches too much when it comes to stuffing the head. Live and learn. I'm planning on making a movable-mouth horse next by adapting the donkey pattern. I found some inexpensive tan corduroy and some cute trim to use as a bridal. We'll see. I'll share of course when I finish it.

Even if you're cheap like me... I mean frugal... I would highly recommend this pattern set. You print them right from the site and it's only $15 for 22 puppet patterns total. So far I've found them very easy to follow and put together. Kudos to you puppet pattern lady!

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“Fool Proof” Hollandaise Sauce

Ok. You know you'll want to make this tonight. Don't lie to me. You know deep down it's true.

For a wedding gift we received Bride & Groom Cookbook which has nice big pictures, easy to follow recipes, recipe variations, and things I would actually WANT to cook. Hallelujah!

Saturday night we bought a small boneless precooked ham due to an eggs benedict craving and hoped to God we could pull off the hollandaise sauce. Let's just say I am not the best cook in the kitchen, but I nailed this one thanks to this cookbook. Give it a try and I promise you will not regret it... Just don't go anywhere near that scale for a few days... And go for a walk afterwards... that might help... maybe...

::Hollandaise Sauce from Bride & Groom Cookbook, Chronicle Books, 2003::
Serves 2

2 egg yolks at room temperature
2 tsp heavy cream to room temperature
1/4 tsp kosher salt, plus more as needed
Dash of cayenne pepper
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and heated until bubbling but not brown
2 tsp fresh lemon juice at room temperature
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar

Put the egg yolks, cream, the 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and cayenne in a blender. Blend on high speed until smooth and frothy, 2 to 3 seconds. With the blender still on high speed, add the hot butter in a thin, steady stream, then add the lemon juice and white wine vinegar. Season with kosher salt to taste and a generous pinch of sugar. Transfer the sauce to microwave-safe cup or bowl.

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The List

My family has a little ongoing joke about how the Camsters is going to have bragging rights on so many things. I volunteer with quite a few projects and programs around town and having a baby hasn't stopped me.
Camsters follows me everywhere I go and usually enjoys getting out of the house and meeting new people.

I've been meaning to compile this list for her baby book, but I'll start it here for all of our amusement. Enjoy!

I've been teaching potter wheel since before I as born.
I've been snoopy since I was 3 days old.
I've been breaking into houses since I was 3 months old.
I've been putting together art shows since I was 4 months old.
I've been teaching Chinese brush painting since I was 4 months old.
I've been running Summer Arts Camp since I was 4 months old.
I've been riding horses since I was 5 months old.

I've been eating otter pops since I was 5 months old.
I've been laughing at Grampa's bad jokes since I was 5 months old.
I've been teaching ceramics since I was 6 months old.
I've been playing percussion since I was 7 months old.

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It’s Getting Cold

Its getting cold, but we're keeping out little butts warm on our new polar bear rug!

My parents recently got new carpet in their basement. Since it's so dark down there they opted for white (and it still looks a medium beige in their dark cave). My mom and I actually had this idea at the same time... I had seen one like this on Etsy and my mom thought a rug like this would be a neat Christmas gift for my polar bear loving niece. What kind of animal is a polar bear for a favorite animal? Weird kids...

Luckily, my mom had two big scraps of her new white carpet. One for niece #1 and one for the Camsters. All we did was draw the outline on the back and cut it out with a box-cutter. Then we added gianormous (yep.. it's a word) buttons for eyes and a nose. The ears were just little carpet scraps with pink felt hot glued on.

Ta da!

Now I know that not everyone has just gotten carpet installed, but if you know someone who has... grab a big scrap and make an animal rug!

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October 10, 2010

Don't worry...

Don't worry... I AM alive. I know I haven't posted lately, but on Wednesday I have about a bazillion posts of projects I've working on. You will love me on Wednesday. I promise.

See ya soon!

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