Saturday, August 14, 2010

Custom order Dolls from Etsy!

I wanted to share these dolls that I just finished!  A very groovy lady ordered them from me via etsy.  I made the little glasses out of wire and paper clay and glued them on.  I left out the side arms after failing miserably to attach them.  I think she still looks great!  I have thought about making glasses for my dolls before but this was my first attempt. 

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Colorful Cups and Balls for Sorting -- Motor Development

My daughter is about to turn 3!!!  I am working on a few hand-made presents for her.  She loves color (what child doesn't!) and could use some more motor practice so I put together this little play set.  I ordered all the pieces separately and luckily, they fit together great!  All I did was paint them and I still need to put my wood rub on the cups. 

The little balls are 1/2" in diameter and the scoop is 3" long.  I got them all here but there are many different craft suppliers. 
Anyone have a favorite supplier?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Little Story-telling books!

I recently painted these little open books I had ordered a while back.  My idea was that these would be great for encouraging story-telling or to keep a story going.  I wrote things like, "Once there was a little boy who wanted nothing more than...," or, "And then, a very strange thing happened."   I wrote in them with a fine-tip calligrophay pen but I think a regular fine tip pen would work better.  I went to the craft store to get one but ther were really expensive!! 

Here is one of my clothespin dolls reading one of the books. 

I was inspired to make this blog post by Counting Coconuts blog post today about storytelling!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

My Pyrography Chickadees were featured on Christy by Hand blog!!

i would really like to get into pyrography more!  ggrrr!

thanks, Christy, for featuring my birds along with other awesome pyrography goods from etsy!

Christy by Hand

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Fun with Pretty Rocks

We went to the flea market on Sunday.  The only thing we bought were these beautiful crystals.  They were $2 for 2 scoops and I though Dot made a good choice for her one [inexpensive] item she could buy.  She was immediately intrigued by the large glass container full of these multi-colored bits.  She held the bag of them in her lap the whole ride home.
We didn't get around to playing with them until the next day but she has really enjoyed them!
Dot really liked to hear the sound they made when she poured them into this metal bowl.  We sorted them by color, talking about the different patterns, shades, shapes, textures.
We used these little plain wooden pill boxes I have all over the place to sort them and Dot's favorite part was pouring them out again into the metal bowl!
We also examined the sizes of the rocks.  We had some tiny tubes made for holding glitter which we filled with as many rocks as we could noting that some would only fit in at certain angles and some would get stuck.
We also did a little role-playing where I was the magic lizard from Alexander and the Wind-up Mouse and she had the task to find me a purple pebble.  There are only 4 or 5 amethyst stones in the whole lot so it was no easy task.  When she did find one I said, in my best magic lizard, "the moon is round, the pebble is found, what is your wish?"  And Dot said she wanted to become a lizard like me!  It was very sweet.  But now she wants me to talk lizard every time we play with these rocks...

I would really like to find a nice book with big pictures of rocks and minerals like these so we could find out what their names are and how they were made.

Monday, July 5, 2010


Another rainy day so we looked to the blogs for some inspiration!  Thank-you Filthy Wizard for your incredible play-dough mermaid kingdom!  We were not nearly as ambitious but we made good use of those mermaid dolls I have been making!

Dot went from sitting in her chair to standing on her chair to sitting directly on the table top to play with our underwater mermaid castle.  The merfolk decided the roof was the best place for sleeping and all the maids climbed into the big shell for a nap.

Here is Dot sitting on the lap of a real mermaid ;)

rainy days

The rains are back!  After over a decade of drought I am so glad to see them. 

And, of coarse, it is great fun to play in the giant puddles!

Our 4th of July was a dud but I have never been a fan of fireworks, anyway.  We did play in the banyan trees downtown of a little while.  I tried to get Dot in the backyard to see what we could from there but she would have nothing to do with it.  Apparently the grass was too itchy.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

home-made lip balm!

I have been meaning to try out making some of my own lip balm for a while.  I am tired of buying expensive lip balm and it seemed like something so easy to make after the beeswax wood rub.

I didn't follow any recipe on this one!  It is just my wood rub remelted and coconut oil added.  It came out better than I hoped!  Hopefully I will be selling it soon!  The little wooden containers can be kept and used.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Restoration Project!!!! Matryoshka Dolls!!!!

I am very excited about this new project!  A friend of mine asked me to restore her husband's matryoshka dolls.  They belonged to his grandparents and he has fond memories of playing with them as a child.  I was a bit apprehensive when she first asked me.  I collect matryoshkas and all the ones I have are painted in what looks like water color washes that would be very difficult to repair.  But the ones her husband has are different.  They are painted in mostly solid, primary colors!

I think I am really going to enjoy this project!  I love mixing colors and matching shades.  I hope to make these little dolls look happy again so their little girls can enjoy playing with them like their father remembers doing when he was a child.

Custom FAU OWL

I got an order for several dolls a while back and thought I should get a move on making them or my patron might forget about me!  She doesn't need them untill Christmas so I have plenty of time to complete the rest.

The first one I completed was a Florida Atlantic University Owl.  It really gave me a lot of trouble!  The lettering was so hard for me!  I just couldn't get it perfect.  I made the 'eye-brows' and beak with paper clay.  When I look at the photo the imperfections are screaming at me.  Luckily, I don't think they are as noticable when I am looking at the real thing (or I would go crazy and start all over again!).

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Seeds of Change: more raw, less processed foods

Lately I have been inspired by personal friends and internet connections to change my eating habits.  While my diet isn't terrible it does, or did, include lots of processed foods like crackers, pasta, breads, etc.  I am not attempting to become a raw vegan but I am incorporating much more fresh fruits and veggies into the day.  Here is a picture of the breakfast that Dot and I shared this morning.  Blueberries, strawberries, pineapple, orange slices, avocado, and a hard boiled egg.  It was satisfying and held us both over through lunch.  For lunch dot had watermelon, bananas, and mozzarella cheese.  I had the rest of the avocado and some baked chicken breast (Dot had one bite of chicken). 

I started buying only dried beans a year ago and also eliminated most canned foods at that same time.  I still buy canned tomatoes to make my pasta sauces and canned black olives as well as a few jarred foods like green olives, pickles (although I am really starting to prefer fresh, raw cucumbers with a dash of vinegar on them), marinated artichoke hearts.  I also buy some frozen vegetables.

So, anyway, my plan is to keep adding more and more fresh, raw foods, and slowly, maybe replace the breads and pastas.  Replace them with what I don't know right now.  There is so much out there but it takes time to 'discover' it all.  And here I am trying to do make time to craft, which has been impossible lately, and now I want to start this new endeavor.  That is why I am starting simple.  We eat fruit and an egg for breakfast.  We eat fruit or vegetables and cheese for lunch.  For dinner, I don't know.  Tonight it will be baked chicken breast with black bean and mango salsa over brown rice. 

Thursday, May 13, 2010

a study in BLACK

Dot has been very persistant with her usage of black lately.  There will be a beautiful palate of colors in front of her and she picks the black.  It seems like she is testing the power of this obliterating color.  We were painting a card for her science teacher (today was the last class, sniff, sniff) today and not only did she paint it nearly all black but she continuously and methodically dipped the brush into the water, then the black and covered all the other colors until it looked like a pack of all black watercolors.

Yesterday, she was playing with a book that came with a dry-erase marker to draw on the pictures.  There was a sea turtle.  After coloring its eyes very meticulously and entirely black she continued to color all other semblance of life on the page black while saying, "the turtle's whole world is black."  It was a little creepy.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day Boating

We had a nice time out on the boat this Mother's Day.

For my mom, Dot and I made her a card with lots of glue and glitter, and picked her a bouquet of flowers from out back yard.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Pill Boxes

I have several little pill boxes I painted with bug themes.  This one is a polyphemus moth.

This one is a praying mantis....

Luna Moth.....

Monarch catipillar....

Venus Fly Trap Boy

I replaced some dolls at ARTpool with hair clips.  Now I will be listing the stuff on etsy!  I like this little guy!  He has a double venus fly trap on his shirt and a poor little fly that is about to be lunch ;)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Wonder Saturday

Part of our outside experience Saturday was a special art & science class mixture at the Wonder Studio
There was painting and water play outside.
Inside there was more painting, clay, water play, worms, meal worms.  Dottie really liked coating her hands in clay and dish soap.  She said she had, "soap gloves," and showed them to everyone in the room.  She also discovered she could get things to stick to the mirrors with clay.  She had some fun making faces at herself in the mirrors, too.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Wonder Studio Animal Encounter!!

Dottie and I take classes at the The Wonder Studio.  The instructor is a friend of mine and we have been lucky enough to be able to first take Wonder Art and now Wonder Science with her.  There was a special class today where the kids got to interact with a bunch of rather unusual animals.  There was a terantual, squorpion, lizard, turtle, alligator, hedgehog, frog, and 11ft bermeese python!

Fun in the rain!

Rainy morning but we still had fun outside.  Dottie went around watering all the plants outside.  No matter that it was raining!  They still needed to be watered!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


i want to start including some of the cute stuff Dottie says to this blog.

she has been throwing this one around lately:
"don't squirm, just eat a worm"

she is very interested in the different names given to baby, mama, and pop animals. she usually picks a kind of animal every few days to talk abot. she calls herself the baby name and me the mama name. right now she is a baby tadpole and i am a mama poison dart frog :)

more outdoor fun!

we went to our local botanical garden yesterday with our good friends!  it is one of our favorite places around.  we have a family pass so we can go anytime we have the hankering.  it always makes me feel better to walk through the damp and shady pathways, enjoyling the lush green....and trying to remember the names of plants that i learned in my plant identification class i took so long ago (less than 3 years but it seems like 3 lifetimes ago).