• artsy fartsy,  Bug,  Family Matters,  painting

    watercolors and funky pants cards

    battle field of color

    We got the watercolor paints out again the other day. I LOVE watercolors. We haven’t been painting with them as much ever since I introduced the wonder of acrylic paint to Baby Bug. She thinks watercolors are for sissies now. Who wants to paint with the wimpy watercolors when there are messier, goopier, gooier paints to be had?!! So I had to hide the acrylics for a while.

    not quite getting the dab first, blow second technique

    Thankfully, if I seem to be having fun with the wimpy paints, Baby Bug is likely to join in the fun. So fun we did have! We blew the paint around the paper with straws and made funny many-limbed monsters like this green monster:

    green monster

    painting the marble

    We painted marbles and rolled them around on the paper. That was a lot of fun. I read about doing this in an old issue of Wondertime Magazine. They have great photos that instantly sucked me in. I never even really read the directions but got the gist of what to do by just looking at the photos.

    playing with negative space

    Then we painted some leaves from our neighbor’s Japanese maple tree. It was a little tricky for Baby Bug’s little hands to hold the leaf still but that didn’t really matter. She’s more about the process than the end result anyway and anything that combines her love of paint AND leaves was a win-win situation for her. I think she would have painted every leaf on the tree if I would have let her.

    sunset light

    When we were done, we had quite a gallery of paintings to hang up on my make-shift drying line—that is actually the party lights we have strung from the rafters of our patio roof. I’ve been eye-balling the art gallery clotheslines (can’t find a link right now but I’m sure there is one somewhere) that many artistic mom-bloggers have been writing about lately but I’m a little short on wall space so the party lights will have to do. I actually liked the dangling art decorating our patio so I left it up for a couple of days.

    cutting up the artworkpieces

    It’s just fun to collaborate with her this way. I’m sure we’ll keep doing this for years to come but it will probably be more of a push and pull than it is right now where I just take over and do whatever I think is best.

    glue is fun

    We sliced and diced and then had some fun with the stick glue. Two hours later I made made a whole passel of fun little graphic cards. They are a little more modern than my usual fare but I like them.


    I had father’s day in mind as well some sympathy cards for some relatives of ours. Toby’s aunt passed away earlier this week and I thought they might appreciate something that celebrates life but is not cliche like something you would buy at the grocery store. Toby’s got plenty of artists in his family so I think they will get it.

    his side of the family

    In fact, his aunt was quite the quirky artist herself. That’s her on the far left. Check out her pants. I didn’t know her well but I loved her because of those pants. That and her house was the most amazing house ever. I wish I would have taken pictures the two times I visited. I’m sure it’s been written up in a magazine somewhere. It’s that kind of house. She will be missed I’m sure.

    2 sets of cards, 2 sets of postcards

    So these cards are sort of a tribute to her and all the people out there who wear funky pants to weddings. I think she would have liked these cards.

  • Bad Mom,  Bug,  Family Matters,  painting,  Super Dad


    a new easel!

    It’s been like Christmas here lately. Every day we’ve been getting new things. Some things, like this easel, I bought but most everything else has come in the mail. We are one bunch of spoiled brats when it comes to getting fun things in the mail. And most of those fun things come from you guys! So thanks a lot you spoiling spoilers!

    Just kidding. Of course we LOVE snail mail and I will try to blog about each little wonderful thoughtful thing we have so generously received but it’s going to take some time because, did I say it already? WE ARE SPOILED!!!! And we’ve gotten a lot of things!

    While we are on the subject of spoiling, I should add that Toby wasn’t very happy with me regarding the purchase of this easel for Baby Bug. He is away on another business trip and you know how it goes, when the cat’s away the mice will play! By playing, I mean painting of course.

    painting flurry

    I’ve had it in my head to paint several paintings while he is gone. It’s so much easier to paint and make a mess when he is not around to get after me about cleaning up. Toby hates clutter and while I’m not a very cluttered person in general, I am very cluttery when I’m in the middle of a project. My motto is: I make BIG messes but I clean them up in a big way!

    So anyway, I had it in my head that if I got Baby Bug her own easel then she might leave my paints alone. “Ha ha, very funny” you say? It was a thought. I don’t know how well it will work. As you can see I need very little justification to go out and buy Baby Bug something neat and fun to play with. Especially when it only costs twenty bucks! How could I not buy it! Of all people who should have an easel, I think Baby Bug should have one. Right? Right!


    Toby does not think so. You know why? Because he thinks she is spoiled. He thinks that she will not feel her talents as an artist are special (Don’t you love how we already assume she is a talented artist?) because she has everything any artist could ever want before she is even old enough to realize that these things are special. He thinks that she doesn’t care where she colors or paints. She draws on the wall, the couch, the floor, on paper, not on paper… etc etc. What’s going to make an easel special to a two-year-old?

    finger painting with watercolors

    Bah Humbug. So maybe he has a point. But this is also coming from the guy who doesn’t think she needs a puppy or a goldfish either. Cold-hearted, I say!

    I guess we just have different ways of looking at things. I’m a little short-sighted, thinking about how I am going to get through the day and keep my little busy bee occupied. Toby is thinking of her career as an artist. I say, the easel won’t hurt but maybe I’ll hold off on buying her a laptop. She can use mine. (!)

    Toby comes from a very different childhood than I did. I was smothered with gifts even when my parents couldn’t afford them. I remember photos of me at birthday parties sitting in the middle of mountains of presents. Do I remember any of those presents specifically? Maybe. Not really.

    Does Toby remember his presents? Yes. When he was ten (not two), his dad gave him a single-reflex camera. I don’t think it was anything fancy. Just an old beat-up Pentax (correct me if I’m wrong Ponnays… Toby is out of phone distance) but that camera was everything to Toby. It still is.