Until the last drop of sun burns its sweet light/Plenty revolutions left until we get this thing right

last year this week- a good one though...we are doing it again

We made a pendulum paint machine today. That is what Finn named it. He actually named it a pen-din-din swing machine. Anyhoo, we experimented with tying several paint bottles and other bits from the recycling bin filled with paint upside down under a tree branch with twine and letting em swing!!! We had a blast with our trial and error art lesson. It was a bit of expansion from the Pollock lesson- more "out there" art. We found that water and paint mixed in a milk jug works well but can be very messy. We don't like soda bottles, but we like paint bottles! We used some of dad's old paint canvas and then some kraft paper. I think these would make excellent wrapping paper for upcoming birthdays! I might even use it to wrap some of these in for the etsy shop.

We didn't go into much science with the lesson- more fun that anything...but for older kids you could talk about pendulums and science. I recall going to a science center each year with my school and they had a giant Foucault Pendulum and it was mesmerizing. It was in the main lobby and sometimes I would wish to not even go into the building, to just stay and watch it swing. To just stand and organically learn Newtons 1st law of motion. To open my eyes wide at the thought of rotation. I would love to see that exhibit again.

Every day I wake up and it's Sunday

Me and Blaise took off for a bit yesterday and hit the thrift store. I had been itching to go thrifting for couple weeks. Score. I found a brand new Bialetti espresso stove top machine! I am enjoying java now before the boys really wake. They are with me downstairs as Joe sleeps still, but they are yet to fully rouse.
They are in that precious ten minutes of weekend morning just awake- a kinda place where I guess they are still groggy and processing dreams and thinking about last night. It is a quiet place.

We worked with some dye yesterday for a gift for a new baby in the neighborhood. We took some old white stained clothes and they are now reborn. I think recycling and hand me downing can be a great way to welcome new kiddos. I feel just as confident taking over a little basket of hand me downs as I would a gift from Target. I actually feel better.

****Clearance Sale over at old shop here. Please check it out. One teether left at sale price. I am moving everything to little alouette. Merci. :)

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With my own two hands/I can reach out to you

You know those framed art pieces that sit dusty in thrift stores or in yr own basement?
The inspirational quote with majestic mountain backdrop or that Monet Starry Night from yr college apartment?
They always look so sad to me and sometimes I buy them for a quarter just to do things like this:

We took Styrofoam meat trays and made some prints
like these ones from valentines)
simple simple
Just carve yr image with a toothpick in Styrofoam!
(We used some of daddy's old blueprints for paper)
Then we took a sad little Rosemary poem print picture and decoupaged Finn's prints right over the glass. It is drying nicely and for gift giving you could go over the top to make sure no bubbles were trapped, but for a four year old he did a great job!
We also had some cool prints left over in the Finnian organics series to give as cards.
It was a very productive morning and Finn learned to recycle and upcycle and think about art beyond perfect crisp new supplies!

Too bad the rest of the day is looking kinda like this:

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My whole life was like a picture of a sunny day

We love to make paper crafts here and Finn is collecting a little scissor collection. He loves to cut! When we go to the craft store he heads right to the cutter isle as he calls it.
(HELP-should I be buying left handed scissors for him? He is a lefty - am certain)

We made recycled lanterns this year (check it out) and it was fun, but Finn had trouble helping me then, but now he is like Edward Scissorhandhole.

Daddy sometimes has leftover blueprints and plans from work and we like to recycle them into art. Today we made giant lanterns to hang outside tomorrow night for our 4Th of July festivities. (It is our first real firework and such night- Joe the Brit and young kids ya know?) It was Joe's idea though, to let em stay up late and watch the fireworks! I am so excited!

You can make lanterns with any size paper and the simplest way to make them is to fold over the paper and cut on the fold. Make a bunch of slits but do not go all the way across the paper- leave an edge at the top. Unfold the paper and staple the short edges together. Cut a strip of paper for yr handle and VIOLA! It is good fine motor practice for the little guys and I can't believe how gorgeous they look hanging from the trees. If I were a real fancy pants I would string fairy lights through them too!

It rained on a few of them today, but the rest are safely tucked inside for Friday night. They look amazing against the green lush trees. I cannot wait to see what 20-30 of them look like in the backyard with some luminaries and sparklers. They are really simple, but make a major statement!

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Hey window pane/Do you remember?

It has rained for two days and for the children it is hard times. We are normally outside a lot and I have found with two boys this is necessary. We pulled out our favorite puppet book and had shadow puppet work again. Finn wanted to make snakes, boats, sharks, large teeth, and crazy Bob Dylan puppets. Love him. We created cool puppets and tucked Blaise into his crib for a clandestine puppet show. (We tried to include him,but he chewed on Bob's head and it was ever so sad) The puppets are simple to make and have become a favorite pastime round here on rainy dark days. We use old cardboard boxes and junk mail, small brads, and wooden skewers to make our masterpieces. What do you do on rainy days without a car?

Also...My mom sent a bunch of my old clothes in a bag and I about died when I found my old name shirt. I laughed out loud at the thought of me walking around with my full name on my shirt in 1979! I remember though, I loved this shirt. The moment I touched it I was flooded with memories. My long blond hair in braids and a round belly running and jumping through the same stages as Finnian. I assumed it in shirt heaven along with those special few shirts I still wonder about(The Cure 1989 Disintegration tour tee and perfect heather reversible grey soft tee from Geneva Hills) Where do some things go? Some things stay at yr parents house for over 30 years! I had to snap a photo of Finn in my shirt. I had to.

it's that little souvenir of a colourful year

I was feeling that urge to make today. We went to the first outdoor farmers market of the year in our town this morning at 7:30am. We let daddy sleep in and had a blast walking around and thinking about all the yummy food that is back! Asparagus hello!
The annual plant sale was in full bloom and looking amazing.
Later the boys left to go spend the night with grandma and papa and Joe decided to take a nap...so I made this:
(I have been gearing up for my tag sale next Saturday and wanted to salvage some of the small scrappy stuff that I figured might not sell and would be tossed or donated. I thought it was a cool way to preserve some trinkets for the boys in an useful way.) How do we collect so much nonsense?

I never did believe in the ways of magic/But I'm beginning to wonder why

I've been making art smocks for kids for COMFEST.!!!!
I tried to sew smocks at first and found that it was time consuming and pricey, so I had the idea at the thrift store to purchase a bunch of 99 cent uniforms and scrubs and jazz em up for art smocks. It totally works and it is green and fabulous! I feel really good about them as they are all unique and funky and I hope they find good homes with artsy wee ones this summer. Finn loves his!
I am loving pinwheels this week. They are so simple to make. Here is a cool template.
On our walk today we stopped at the pinwheel garden at the local church to look and Finn was obsessed with dandelions. He swears he has never made a wish on one. I told him I was sure last year we did this. His memory is funny like that. He can remember certain things now with clarity, particularly anything involving sugar or going fast, but some things he does not. So we sat down and blew the seeds off dandelions for a bit and Blaise was delighted of course and it reminded me of last year and the fireflies.
One of the things I think Finn gets from Joe is his delight in the here and now. They both are like that. They both tend to allow the pure joy of a moment wash over them and are able to block any other stimuli and simply be. I find that I am like this rarely. I want to be like this more.

Caroline laughs and it's raining all day

Blaise made his first picture today. He has not been interested in crayons too much.
He just wanted to eat them until today. He loves Sharpies though- who doesn't? Anyhoo he sat and made this lovely work of art with a sharpie and a crayon this morning. I am so proud.
Finn and I also refinished and old brass chandelier for entryway too. Red rocks.

It's a rainy day and I think we are gonna watch Mad Hot Ballroom and make nan bread as I slowly deprogram Finnian.
(He spent the weekend with grandparents)

And these things that we have given you/They are not so easily found

We had some Earth Day fun at the local children's consignment shop where Jack and Finn made bird feeders!
I have quietly vowed to buy no clothing this year for my boys. I spent a lot of money on nice clothing when I worked and I realize that it was crazy. Obviously I can't go out and drop loads of cash right now on clothes, but I think if I were a two income family again that I still would not. I feel like the boys are in constant state of play, movement, and art as of late and nice clothes would only hinder that motion. Hell, Finn prefers a costume to any article of clothing in his closet anyhoo. I will buy second hand this year if I need to and that is why I love the local Red Rover store. It is nice to support her shop and other families in the consignment way. I have made some cash too from selling some old clothing to her- bonus!

It's funny how everything is so relative to where you are this moment right now. My friend Tedd used to tell me this a long time ago. He also told me that I would change and grow and sprout in a hundred different directions until I knew most everything about myself. It's funny how you think about things. Are there sentences in yr head that just stick against the goo of yr mind wall and stay dormant for years- but can burst right out when you need em? It's weird how tiny moments stay so vivid. For me, it is often advice. I was quite a jackass when I was younger, but I must have had sense enough to store away some small tokens of smart from my elders. They are rolling around today in my mind.

Thought is like a little boat upon the sea

Finn got a broom for his birthday and it came in a large box. (I know...he asked for a broom LOVE HIM) The box has been tempting me all week and I did not put it out with recycling on purpose. I asked Finn what he wanted to make from it and he said wings. I was thinking amazing curved painted wings and a story about Icarus. He was thinking Buzz Lightyear Star Command wings and running round the house.
He won.

We also started messing around with potholder looms last week, but I realized he is still unsure with the over/under concept at times. I am sure it is normal to become frustrated with it and the fine motor it takes. I told him we could do it another day and then today decided to make a quick under/over box tool. We just cut slits in the cardboard and pushed ribbon through the maze as we chanted the magic words- over and under a few hundred times. It was relaxing in a weird way and he liked it.

I will post the winner of the market mag

later today :)

Cause there's too many places I've got to see

Blaise likes to rise earlier and earlier lately. Um, like at 3am for the last several nights. It seems his circadian rhythm is well screwed up for some reason. Mornings have been long and I rage a bit. But, I feel as if I have at least accomplished more in my zombie fog lately. Morning folk must be all jazzed by lunch at all the items they can tick off their lists I suppose. I like the night though. I pray Blaise falls back into normalcy.

"I daresay you haven't had much practice," said the Queen. "When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast." Alice in Wonderland.
Early this morning we made a birdhouse. We used recycled materials and a milk jug. It kept us busy and I was able to ingest enough coffee to resist the urge to scream out. We cut a milk jug and used the bottom for the base and poked small holes for twine to hang it. We used old bias binding and cut out shapes from the extra jug plastic. Finn pasted some colorful paper on the bottom and then we headed outside with some stale bread. I am looking at it outside the window just now. It sparkles the backyard.

This is the birdfeeder I want to make all by myself.
and I saw some cool bird feeding inspiration here

Payin anything to roll the dice/Just one more time

Starbucks in the morning with Jess. Tripping giggles all morning long. We have been friends since 1992/so much between us. She just moved back from Portland, Maine to settle near me. Me! Lucky me! We sat around and made our business cards today for our little project we are unleashing to the world this summer. It was a morning of delight and yet when creativity starts buzzing along so fast and furious, it can be hard to not shake with the energy. I think the large coffee had a wee part too. We talked about Hillary and history and feminism and I walked out into the snowy glaring white day renewed and frenzied to create.

My dear Kate met HC last night. She talked about the way she felt in this historical time as she carries a baby girl in her belly. I am sure she will blog about it today.

Give me spots on my apples/But leave me the birds and the bees

Me and Finn are crazy for gardening this year!!!
We had tomato plant beds last year and we made a vow that when we moved we would plant a garden! We spent the morning at our local hardware store (so so lucky to have a little indie store in walking distance) getting to know Mr. Kelly and learning all about seeds and frosts and plants and agriculture. We also got an impromptu history lesson on our town and some lollipops. It was kick ass.
When I go to Lowe's or Home Depot I have to chase down an apron wearing employee and pray they will give me a few moments and some knowledge and point me in the proper direction. I think Mr. Kelly would have invited us for lunch! It reaffirms the fact that I am so glad we moved to this smaller place. (this slower pace) I am so glad we bought the house that nobody wanted bc of all the work. I am so happy that we can walk everywhere and that our town is like a village.
After nap today we are going to start some seeds and work on our herb garden.
I like the simple ideas of naturemoms and this article and download from Wondertime.

I would also invite you to check out Sk*rt's amazing Giveaway! Leave a comment and be entered! Woo woo!

But when we rise it's like strawberry fields

Finn loved the lanterns in the photos from Avesta's wedding and I thought I would make him some paper lanterns for his room. I went with a simple design that can be made easily with any size paper. I actually used the DESIGN WITHIN REACH catalog again! I had such a good time making owls with the catalog last time that I thought I would keep on keeping on with my DWR pal. I was so honored to be on designmom.com (Oh how I want goddess Gabrielle Blair to adopt me) and apartment therapy's ohdeedoh.com with my owls. I am happy to be able to create cool decor for the kids rooms for free. I think Finn will dig his new art when he comes back tomorrow from mama and papa's. I think he will be making some with me for brothers nursery!
There are a ton of sites that give simple directions. I tend to glaze over with directions...so what I did was just take pages from the catalog and fold lengthwise and cut slits into the fold. I unfolded the paper and glue sticked the short sides together. I glued a strip at the top for a handle and TADA! This is a wonderful project for preschoolers who can sorta use scissors- small mess ups will not show while hung! Have fun!