homemade paint

Have I mentioned that my 2 littlest boys are like little tiger cubs– constantly chasing and pouncing and wrestling each other?  Running and squealing and slamming doors?  As happy as I am that they love each other so much, it is exhausting trying to keep them from doing real damage to people and property, and the hugging and kissing of bonked heads, fat lips, and squished fingers is near constant.

homemade paint

We spend lots of time outside.  They wade for hours in their little inflatable pool on our back deck where I can watch them from the comfort of my air conditioned kitchen.  But everyday I’ve tried to have some mom-made activity to keep them calm and absorbed for an hour or so.  Lately that’s been painting.  Usually with watercolors,

homemade paint

but they use them up so fast (it’s all about the process for them, not the finished product) that I decided to try making some paint the other day instead.

homemade paint

I used the recipe found over at Small Things.  It made a lot of paint!  I’ve got four 8 ounce jelly jars of it in my fridge.

homemade paint

It’s at the ready so I can have an hour or so of peace…

until clean up, at least.

birthday tree

A few weeks ago I picked up a copy of Better Homes and Gardens May issue.  On page 78 there was a photo of a child’s playroom with a crazy beautiful tree toy on a shelf.  It looked like a tree that needed to be in our family room, but I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what it was.  So, I took a photo of the magazine page, posted it to flickr, and asked the internet to help me.

It worked!  It’s called a Totem Tree by Kids On Roof.  I decided to treat myself to one for my birthday and it came today, a day late, but that’s fun because it stretched the celebrating out a bit.

totem tree

The boys and I put it together tonight while Barry took pictures of us with the new lens he got me for my camera.

putting it together

going up

birdhouse on top

lots of leaves

Now, doesn’t it look like it should have been there all along?


get away

We ran away to soak up one last summer weekend in the mountains, and since I was wanting rest and relaxation we decided to forgo the tent and sleeping bags and coolers and try something new.



We hiked in Rocky Mountain National Park,

over the rainbow

thin air



dream lake

all of us

and the Sweet-pod got some extensive testing.

in the sweet-pod

I must admit, though, that my favorite place on our trip was the Craft and Design Center.

craft and design center

craft and design centercraft and design center

Big windows, open spaces, shelves and shelves of paint, wood, ceramics– everything you could ever want to make, make, make all day long.  Just the kind of place I dream of running myself someday.  Come in, pick your project, take a class, or just have at it.

Some day.

The kids all painted a wooden toy and loved it.  If only we had had more time…

Next time we go I am totally weaving a basket.

a little decorating

Sorry again for the absence.  I know I need to quit apologizing and just get to work.

Do you want to see what I made?  Isn’t that what this blog is all about?  Well, look–

family wall

After nearly a year in this house I’m finally getting some favorite photos up on the walls!  The silhouettes were something I’ve wanted to do forever.  After seeing the ones my friend Jodi made and how quick and easy they were to make, I set out to make a set of my own.  In just one afternoon Barry spray painted my wooden ovals white, we snapped a quick side view of each of the kids, I printed them out using Pages (our desktop publishing program) making sure all their heads fit nicely in a 5 x 7 rectangle, set those printouts on some dark grayish-brown-nearly-black cardstock, traced around their sweet heads with an exacto knife, then Mod-Podged those little heads onto the white wooden ovals.  Whew!  Just about as instant gratification as a craft project can get.


I love how they turned out– especially the hair on my boys.  I just can’t get over Hunter’s fluff.  I just want to freeze time.

super fluff on the move

He certainly doesn’t.  This guy is on the move and in a hurry.  I’m constantly finding him in the corner of the laundry room or wedged under the piano bench.  But I have just one request of that hair that can’t lay flat and those squishy rolls–

Please don’t go away– ever.  Okay?