Thursday, December 18, 2008

How to Take a Great Holiday Photo of Kids? ....Simple Bribery!

My kids are so overly's not funny. I've been pushing a camera in their faces nearly daily ever since they were born...documenting every detail of their little lives...but that doesn't stop them from acting up & not cooperating.

They are 2 and 4 after all...and it's in their nature to be restless! I'm just thankful they get along as well as they do.

You may ask how did I get them to behave so well? My answer is simple bribery! It works like a charm! I know what they like and dangle it in front of them like a carrot before a donkey!
The closeup of their faces shows what they look like, but I also think it's nice to show how big they've grown over the past I also like the standing poses. (notice how the tree only has ornaments up boy likes to play 'the grinch game' and un-decorates the tree...puts the ornaments in his toy shopping cart & runs off with them)

The photo of babygirl in the horse just tugs at my heartstrings because that toy was mine when I was her age...and I even remember riding in it reminds me of my Nana...who is no longer with us.
You can see in this photo.... the challenge I had to get them to behave...this is the 'behind the scenes' photo... where I'm scrambling to just get them to stand next to each other & have them both look at the camera at the same time!
I probably should put this one on my card...simply because it's how they 'really' are!
...And they are tremendous fun!

It's difficult for me as their mom to choose which one to go with for our annual holiday cards...because in my eyes they're all adorable... so I may have a few of each printed & mix them up for the different people on my list.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Looking for Super Fun Aprons or Kitchen Towels...then shop HandyJan's shop on Etsy!

Looky looky at what I bought from etsy seller & fellow Ohioan... HandyJan!
If you love fabrics with whimsical fun vintage flair & have a kid who is messy or need a unique teatowel to brighten up your kitchen... then I highly recommend you swing by her shop to see what else is in store! She even has purses!

Here are a few of my new personal favorites!

a super sweet every day apron:

a super sushi hand towel:

another whimsical hand towel for your inner rockabilly:

sweet vintage mexican purse:

Here is a convenient link to her shop for everything!

I had the pleasure of meeting her in person...she's so sweet & friendly...super customer service...the kind of person you would suspect is behind such fabulous handmade items! It was hard to pick just one holiday apron...but I tell you what...I'm going back for an everyday apron with Christmas money after the holidays!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Preschooler Holiday Activity Fun! Gumdrop Trees!

What you will need:

1 box of toothpicks
1 heavy duty pair of scissors
1 or 2 bags of gumdrops
styrofoam cone... purchased at any craft supply shop
1 enthusiastic kid ...if you have more than one child...then double the amount of cones & gumdrops!

Cut the toothpicks in half before child starts & put the scissors out of their reach. :^)

Show child how to stick the toothpicks halfway into the gumdrop & push gumdrop into styrofoam cone. THere are no rules on how the gumdrops are to be placed on the this is totally fun!

If your child is good at following directions & learning from example...then this is the perfect activity for them. Be sure to constantly supervise your child...for ages 5 and under...gumdrops can pose a choking hazard...not to mention trying to eat a gumdrop with a toothpick sticking out of please be a responsible parent! ;^)
Have fun!

Note that I did this activity with my four year old while his younger sister was sleeping...2 years old is too young.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Nature is a Wondrous Thing....

These are a few photos of my father in law who is a falconer with his Harris Hawk, Tara. He has over 30 years experience in bird handling & has even saved Tara from West Nile disease.

Falconry is not for everyone...and his bird is not a 'pet'. If you think you'd like to do it, then you have quite an undertaking ahead of you to get yourself educated ...and would even have to apprentice with a seasoned falconer & get licensed to do so.
Here is an informative website on falconry & it's history:
...and a link to the National Falconer's Association here in North America:

It is simply stunning to see Tara take flight...a truly magestic graceful!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Making Lollipops!

Last week I made some lollipops using a family recipe...and it was nice to be able to eat my creations for a change!

The kids were especially appreciative!

First you boil water, sugar & cream of tartar together...
...then add colors & flavors & pour into molds.

Sassafras & Cinnamon are my favorites I think...but they're all good & I always add more flavor than the recipe calls for to give them that extra kick!

Words cannot describe how good it smells in the house when I'm making candy...but if you've ever passed through Bryan, Ohio...and have smelled the candy being made at the Spangler candy company...makers of dum dum pops & candy canes...then it's kind of like that....only better!

...It just smells like Christmas to me!

I love how the lights from this little tree look when reflected in the pops setting up in the molds.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Coping with loss....

My wonderful Grammie passed away this past Saturday

...I'm missing her so much.
She was a wonderful lady ...a matriarch who was the glue that held the family together. For years the family would get together on the Fourth of July for a mini reunion at Grammie's house. Perhaps my Dad or Uncle will take it over now that she's gone.

I take some comfort in knowing it was her 92 she's been ready to go...she went without suffering with family by her side.

I did a drawing of her, and will post it when I feel that I am ready...just feel like keeping it to myself for now.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

My Baby Rocks in Vintage Style!

I love that my kids have been able to play with some of my childhood treasures. I remeber rocking in this when I was a little girl! Although my 4 year old is starting to outgrow it, Babygirl will be riding it for awhile yet. Things were made to last back in the day!

I absolutely adore the style of the horse.

Maybe one day my grandchildren will also rock in it.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Another Weird Bug... Shouldn't they be Hibernating or Something?

It's not like we live in a tropical climate here in Ohio, but we sure do get a variety of strange little visitors!
If anyone knows what this bug is, please let me know!
Thank goodness it was outside!

Getting all Artistic-Like with Babygirl Photos

Just taking a break from 'work' and playing around a little with some older photos of my Babygirl.

Monday, November 17, 2008

isewcute is currently featured on Tres Fun!

..because it's not just fun...its Tres Fun!

Here's what they said about my 'Pick your Favorite Color Glitter Heart & Sugar Love Sprinkles necklaces!

I’m not sure why smallish gifts are always placed in the “stocking stuffer” category. It makes them seem less important, ya know? I think any gal…young or old… would be quite pleased to find one of these amongst her gifts this year: the glitter resin heart pendant necklace from isewcute!

Glitter possibly not her thing (*gasp*)? We also love the Sugar Love sprinkles necklace too!

You can find lots of fun, sparkly, whimsical designs from isewcute on etsy. Now, to pick a favorite…

Thank you Heather & Amy @ Tres Fun! You Guys Rock! ;^)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

1 Outfit... 3 different looks for Babygirl

I love this fabric to complimented my girlie's coloring to a T! So I made this easy-breezy summery outfit for her.

I used no's just a simple peasant top & bloomers with elastic waist & neckline. I loved how it turned out!

...then disaster struck!

Her outfit was washed by accident with a dark blue shirt....
...oh the horror... but it's not that bad...only I loved it more the way it used to be...

so I tried some RIT dye remover on it to restore it to it's original color & it did this!

Maybe it will have a 4th look as I'm thinking of dying it pale pink...we'll see!


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Was going to draw something naughty...

...and this is what I came up with!

What can I say but I just go where creativity happens to take me even if it's a completely different direction...unless I'm working within certain boundaries.

I wasn't working from any reference...just out of my I'm aware it's not perfect...but I think it does look like I'm happy with it. I drew it the old fashioned way with pencils & imported it into my computer to tweak it & mess with the contrast.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Not always a 'kodak moment'...

My DD is 2 and is really asserting her independence...I'm both proud and protective & she just wants to do what she wants to do! The funniest thing is when she stands there looking at me when I tell her no...and she'll just stomp one little foot in protest! Her older brother is getting to that point where teasing her is a total delight for him...until I step into the picture & correct the situation. I always ask him if he'd like me to do (insert whatever he's doing to her here) to him & if he'd think that would be fun. When he says no...and he ALWAYS says no...I gently let him know that it's not much fun for babygirl & to cut it out. It works for a little while...but only for a little while! LoL! I am blessed because they do get along & play together well most of the time.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Gloomy Day Collage...

Well, most of the leaves have fallen from the trees & the sky is layered with clouds which appear even darker against the horizon & it's very chilly & overall quite gloomy looking outside. Most days like this make me feel all warm & cozy I refer to them as 'grey flannel days' ...

Here is a collage I did which sums up my feelings on the weather!

Friday, November 7, 2008

This is so cool... DoSiDough ...A Kid Friendly Etsy Shop Review!

DoSiDough... Handmade doughs, crayons & chalks for your handmade kid by Cynthia

DoSiDough creates beautiful crafty supplies for your budding artist!

I happened to stumble upon this shop when creating a list of favorites for a future treasury...having a minute I try to plan ahead in case I ever snag one.

I hearted this shop because I have 2 kids under 5 that just might need some of what DoSiDough has to offer!

I was first attracted to the product because of the beautiful color & then stayed for awhile sipping my coffee because the item descriptions are hysterical & so dang entertaining!

Cynthia even carries a gingerbread scented dough...but don't try to eat it...even if it does smell good enough!
Here's what she has to say about eating her dough... "Suitable for all ages, however you know your child best. This dough is non-toxic, but don't eat it on purpose. Ewe."
(so hard to drink coffee while reading the descriptions such as I risk snorting coffee out my nose laughing)

Please visit Cynthia's shop to check out her other wonderful products such as watercolors as well!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Now That's a Big Cat!

I love how the perspective in this photo really exaggerates his size. We're lucky he's such an easygoing cat...more throwpillow than cat...usually just lays around...which may be why he is as big as he is!

He isn't winking...lost his eye due to an infection as a kitten...we adopted him this way & think he's just perfect.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Unconventionally Amazing Soap...a Fabulous Etsy Find!

Grumpygirl's lollipop guild soap is a total treat for your senses!

When putting together a treasury a couple of weeks ago, I knew in a heartbeat that I HAD to HAVE IT!

Just looking at this soap made me feel like a kid presented with a new box of crayons!

Wait! It gets better...

...when this soap arrived at my house it was very neatly packaged in a rainbow of recyclable shredded paper & the bars were carefully wrapped in printed polka dotted tissue! I could smell it as soon as I opened the box...reminiscent of childhood days with a giant rainbow swirled lollipop! The scent was spot on perfection!

It has been such a feast for the senses!
Nobody said baths have to be boring, & I highly recommend it to anyone!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Preschooler's Imagination...It's a Beautiful Thing!

When you have kids, I believe the secrets of the universe are unlocked for you & you see everything in a whole new way!

Everyday I'm amazed with the things my kiddos come up with....and even though I teach them...they usually end up teaching me something in the process.
This is not a costume for my little's a whole world of possibility & food to feed her imagination! She actually becomes a fairy when she's wearing it!
This is the beauty of chilhood.
Remember to live joyfully in the little moments that really matter the most!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Celebrating Halloween Early...with Cupcakes!

Nothing fancy here really...just made up a Betty Crocker Yellow Cake Mix...baked it into 24 cupcakes...we used Halloween liners sent to us from Grandma (thanks Grandma!) ...and iced them with milk chocolate frosting, Halloween sprinkles, & festive Halloween cupcake decorations (also from Grandma).

My 4 year old did all the decorating & is proud as a peach!

His little sister really appreciated his you can tell by her expression!

We don't keep a lot of junk food in the house this is a real treat!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Bugs...they repulse & fascinate me at the same time!

Just saw this creepy little thing clinging to the window screen & had to take a macro photo. I'm sure I'd pass out if it landed on me...he's pretty big...nearly an inch & a half long.

Does anybody know what kind of buggy this is? Please leave a message if you do! I'll read up on our little visitor!
I'm especially freaked out by the little sharp spiny things on it's back. It reminds me of the art of H.R. Geiger

Thursday, October 23, 2008

:¦:-•:*'""*:•.-:¦:-•*STROMBOLI RECIPE*•-:¦:-•:*'''''*:•-:¦:

Stromboli is Fabulous!
Ham, mozzarella cheese, & pepperoni rolled up in a loaf of bread...a real treat & great alternative to pizza!

For the bread dough:
1 1/3 c warm water
1 pkg. yeast
1 tsp. salt
1/3 c. shortening
4 cups plus a bit more flour

Mix water & yeast...add shortening, salt, & then flour one cup at a might want to use a pastry blender to cut in the shortening. When dough is a good consistency & not too sticky, then you've added enough flour.

Knead it a bit & then roll out to about 1/4 " thick or so.

Filling ingredients:
1lb. ham
1 lg. pkg. mozzarella cheese
pepperoni....usually 30-40 pieces works good
(I've also done a veggie version with sauteed spinach, mushrooms, green pepper, onion, black olives, & can experiment with anything you would normally top a pizza with)

lay the filling ingredients on in this order...ham then cheese then pepperoni. I did the cheese as the first layer before...and got a hole in the bread as it baked...& was such a mess!
Roll it up like a jelly roll while pinching the ends & edges closed all around. You can wet your fingers with some cool water to help it stick.

Let rise for 2.5-3 hours.

Bake in preheated oven about 40 min. @ 375 degrees fahrenheit.
When crust is a nice golden's generally done.

Slice up hot & serve with marinara sauce either on the side or poured on top. Delish! You'll thank me for this's THAT GOOD!