Friday, January 25, 2008

When Pigs Fly

"It's kind of fun to do the impossible." —Walt Disney

I created a flying pig (from wood and aluminium cans) that serves as a reminder to live my dreams and ignore the pessimists, dream crushers and doubters. Yes, even when that pessimist sometimes happens to be me.

Besides everybody knows that pigs really do fly in

Monday, January 21, 2008

Sweets for the sweet

This is the kind of "sponge" cake you were thinking right?! What 6-year-old boy would want anything but a yellow sponge that wears clothes? It's a big deal to me to make my kids birthday cakes. No bakery, no store-bought, no, never. One of my psychological hang-ups is the need to bake and decorate all child b-day cakes myself. I hope some day my children can look back at their b-day cakes and see all the mommy love that went into cake creations that were admittedly far from perfect. To begin I always have a birthday cake consultation with the soon-to-be star of the day about interests and dream birthday celebrations. This latest interview resulted in my first character cake and don't think I didn't ask "Are you sure you want Sponge Bob? Really, really sure??? 100%??" I'm not a big fan of duplicating characters or promoting TV watching, but this year I caved. Maybe it had to do with Brendan coming off a 5-day flu bug. Regardless he got his wish. Hopefully I can avoid making another Nickelodeon cake for the youngest in two months.

I have taken a few cake decorating classes to learn some tricks and get just a bit better than before. Having the right tools makes a big difference. And if you crave vibrant colors like I do you have to use gel paste to color the icing.

These are for the classmates. Since I'm behind for Cara's birthday, I'm settling up both birthdays by sending sugar cookies to school tomorrow with both Cara and Brendan. I made myself do something simple—bright and happy birthday colors with lots of colored sprinkles. Only when I snapped this picture did I notice how the Nancy Thomas studio prints resting on the counter had inspired my cookies. How obvious.

Happy 6th birthday're the sweetest boy I know.
XX00X Love, Mom

Saturday, January 19, 2008

visual heat wave

brrrrrrr....Ohio is chilly today. I am NOT a cold weather kind of girl. It's in the low 20's dropping into the single digits tomorrow--yikes! So for warmer day visual focus I've provided a sunflower painting of mine. If you stare long enough and turn the below up to HIgh maybe we can convince ourselves that it really isn't that cold outside.

During the winter this guy makes it possible for me to get my work done in my cold basement office. Speaking of work I've had a lot this week. I'm finishing up a magazine design and preparing for another birthday. Our middle child is turning six and has requested a sponge cake. Stay tuned...

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Is it Monday yet?

It's been a long week. The middle child was acting strange last Tuesday. On Wednesday when I woke him for school, I discovered that the sick monster had paid a middle-of-the-night visit. Feverish, pale, lethargic and hoarse led me to think that perhaps I'd have an extra child home with me. To confirm, I presented my 'areyoureallysickorjusttired' test by calmly noting out loud that today was gym day at school. Brendan replied that he was too sick to go. Stay home on a gym day? Check. He passes.

For the first 2 or 3 hours I tried (really I did) to keep the sick child sequestered namely from miss lovey-dovey-two-year-old Nora. That was before I caught her drinking right out of Sick Child's cup and realized that my efforts were fruitless. Nora needs to be right next to her siblings loving them and sharing everything. On sick days, I usually give a reprieve from my tv and Nintendo playing limits. Nora of course wanted to be supportive (above) so she's "playing" with Brendan. Brendan let Nora "play" his Nintendo while Brendan used big sister Cara's. Everyone knows that Nora is hardly trustworthy with a Nintendo so after the photo snap Nora was diverted to more appropriate two-year old activities (swear).

Finally, after 4 long days of a nasty flu bug and ear infection things seem to be looking up. Brendan is planning on going back to school tomorrow. And in case you're wondering Nora was sniffling by Friday. Hopefully the rest of us can stay healthy ....wait...did I just say that??? I'll be knocking on wood, throwing salt over my shoulder and avoiding black cats for the next several weeks. Happy January.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Half-price Inspiration

I treated myself. And I'm not talking about the cinnamon streusal muffins (although those are a treat too.) I'm a pretty lucky girl having one of my very favorite stores on the planet less than 4 miles away. This past weekend I spent some time soaking in the color palettes at Anthropologie which makes it a work-related trip ; ). I splurged on that clearance-priced potholder. The nostalgic pattern and color make me want to bake rich, wintry, comfort foods. Potholders CAN make a person happy.

Okay, I didn't make it out with just a potholder. I snagged the last "D" of the clearance fabric letters too. My strong attraction to letter forms has resulted in an extensive collection of "D's" all over my house. Kind of like a "D" I Spy ( blog entry idea...I'm making a mental note.)

The first thing my husband said when he spied yet another D was "you could make that." I know he's right and honestly I thought that too....but honey, did you hear me say CLEARANCE! And I need this D standing around for inspiration. How can you not buy inspiration when it's marked half-price? So upholstered letter forms are now on my (very long) to-do list. Actually I'm proud of myself for making it out for under $20. Daley Dexterity Deserving Dignity (sorry—that came too easy! maybe I should lay off the D's??!)

Friday, January 4, 2008

If Only She Had a List

Here's my latest character...that naive girl with the red hood. Maybe if her mom had sent her to Grannies with a 'To Do' list she would have remembered that Mom had told her not to talk to strangers. If Red hadn't talked, the wolf would have never known she was on her way to Grannies. That big bad guy wouldn't have stuffed poor Grannie into the closet and sabotaged what was going to be a nice visit between a little girl and her Nana. Then Red might have made it to the cleaners. Thank goodness a hunter rescued the pair. Talk about a story that could have had an ugly ending.

The concept of putting all inclusive lists on my kids of what to do and not to do..."Don't fight with your brother/sister", "Be nice", "Eat your vegetables", etc. is thought provoking, but probably not practical (definitely not cool). I guess I'll continue to repeat all my pearls of wisdom over and over hoping that something will eventually sink in. Unfortunately, life experience and mistake making is the best teacher. I'll bet you Little Red Riding Hood will NEVER talk to a wolf she meets in the woods again. And just how long do you think it will be before her mom trusts her to take goodies to grannie by herself?!?

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


Life isn't about finding yourself.

It's about creating yourself.

This past Christmas one of my BFF's gave me a plaque with that saying. I've been saying it over and over to myself for the past several days. It's exactly the hit on the head I needed to break out of the 'who am I funk' I've been suffering through over the last few months. No more of that silliness. It's time to go at it.