Friday, July 29, 2011

InstaFriday 7/22 - 7/29


Pancakes with our blueberry lime jam. Best pancakes ever.


My first encounter with food coloring to color the icing for cupcakes.
Stained fingers, counter and mouth. Don't try this at home folks.


Sailboat cupcakes for Jack's birthday party.


Happy Birthday Jack at officially 8:17 PM on 7/25 - you can see his hoop art wall in this post.


My pretty things from Meg.


Checking to see if the pears are ready for pickin'.


Wake up daddy, nap time is over!


Mug love left unfinished so I could do this post and go to sleep.
They will be finished this weekend and added to the shop.

Happy InstaFriday!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Mandipidy's Baby Shower


Today I am getting together with some other ladies for a baby shower for Mandy.

Mandy I know you must be counting the for Miss Abigail to arrive.
Until she comes I tell you, sleep. Spend every day sleeping because you will never sleep again.
Okay, I am teasing you :)

Here are a few fun things I thought I would share with you though:

1. Diaper wipe warmers are a bit overrated. We received one for Charlie who was born in January. They did keep the wipes nice and warm, but from the time I actually got the wipe out of the warmer and kept a little, squirmy, upset baby in diaper changing position the wipe was cold. You could save the money and buy an extra pack of diapers or 2 huge boxes of wipes.

2. Swaddling is not overrated, if your baby will tolerate it. I know some friends who swear they swaddled their kids until they were 4 years old. Haha. No really, I swaddled both boys until they turned into Houdini and the Hulk and busted out. There are a ton of swaddle blankets out there and I heard the Miracle blanket is totally worth it, though we used Summer's SwaddleMe and they worked most of the time.

3. Take lots of pictures of your little one because you can never have too many.
AND you will forget so much since your brain shrinks.
On both of the boys' one year birthdays we went through the year in pictures, and it was a sweet way to remember the year and see how they grew.

{my favorite picture for obvious reason, every one is happy}

4. Baby-wearing can save your life. I wore Jack 99% more than I did Charlie, and if I could go back I would have worn Charlie.  It took a while to get used to wearing a baby in a carrier, but once we figured it out  I was able to do so much more, and he was happy because he was close to me.
I used a Moby and BabyBjorn (from a consignment sale for $15!!!), 
and have heard wonderful things about ERGO.

5. Mr.Wonderful advises to not take deep breaths while changing diapers. He has increased his lung capacity greatly over the past 2 1/2 years and mastered a breathing technique where can literally not take a breath while changing a diaper.

6. Never say never. There were so many things I said I would never do.
I will never take my child for a car ride to get them to go to sleep.
I will never let my child sleep in my bed.
I will never let my child eat [insert snack/junk food] for dinner when they won't eat anything else.
It is about survival most of the time :) and you will do what you have to do.

7.  And last but not least, just love that precious little baby.
God chose you to take care of her.
You can do it.

Do you have anything you can share with Mandy?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

♥ I heart art ♥ Melanie Mikecz - toems



Meet Melanie. The freelance illustrator behind toems.
She specializes in a mixed media style that charms children and adults alike.



When did you first begin creating art?
My earlier artistic memory is sitting at the kitchen table and coloring on a giant piece of butcher block paper. I was probably 3 at the time.




What is your favorite/most sentimental creation? Why? 
These hot air balloons (below) are probably my most sentimental piece, not because they are the coolest thing ever. Rather they represent the time I finally found my groove. I floundered for years trying different techniques and styles before I found something that worked for me.




Is there a project you've always dreamed of creating? What would it be? 
My dream project would be to do one of my geometric designs at mural/wall size. So far I have been limited by my studio space, computer memory, and printer capacity. Someday...



Click on each image to view more of Melanie's work, 
and please be sure to visit her shop and site..
You can also keep up with her on Facebook.


Thank you for sharing with us Melanie. I ♥ your art.

ALL ARTWORK COPYRIGHT MELANIE MIKECZ 2011

Monday, July 25, 2011

one year




Happy Birthday Mr. Jack.
We love you so much!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

put the lime in the blueberry {and a recipe}

This summer we decided one of the things we wanted to accomplish was learning how to can produce.
So, yesterday we began our canning adventure by making blueberry lime jam.
I know.
Blueberries and limes. What?
I would have never put the two together. However, Mr.Wonderful is a bit more experimental than I am, and I'm glad he is because I really enjoyed how our first batch of jam turned out.
It would be awesome on pancakes so we might be eating pancakes smothered in this flavorful goodness this morning.
Next up are strawberry preserves and pickled peaches, oh and BBQ sauce and maybe salsa.
I know what you are getting for Christmas :)

Do you know how to can/preserve?
What's your favorite thing to make?

If you have never canned before you can buy this canner set, a recipe book and jars from Target.
Here is the recipe taken from the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving:
Yield: about 6 half-pints (well it did 8 for us)

4 1/2 cups blueberries
5 cups sugar (yeah that's a lot)
6 tablespoons Ball Classic Pectin
1 tablespoon grated lime peel
1/3 cup lime juice

Crush blueberries one layer at a time. Combine crushed blueberries and classic pectin in a large sauce pot. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Add sugar, stirring until dissolved. Stir in grated lime peal and lime juice. Return to a rolling boil. Boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim foam in necessary. Ladle hot jam into hot jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Adjust two-piece caps. Process 15 minutes in a boiling-water canner.

Enjoy and let me know if you make something!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

having a Ball {you know what I like}

Yesterday Mr. Wonderful and I did some canning for the first time.
We used Ball jars of course.


What is it about simple, glass jars that are so appealing? Especially the vintage ones that have the glass lids?

1. {Be sure to check out Abby's work. I love it!}
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Tomorrow I will share with you what we canned and the recipe. . . think limes and blueberries.


lollipops

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

♥ I heart art ♥ Leonora Jennifer - Yellow Heart Art



Meet Leonora. The artist behind Yellow Heart Art.
She makes awesome art, passes out free printables from time to time, and is pretty-super-great.

 


When did you first begin creating art? 
pretty much right when I came outta the womb. Pretty sure I entered this world wearing a paint stained smock and had charcoal underneath my fingernails.


What is your favorite/most sentimental creation? Why? 
If you  mean something that someone else has given to me it would have to be my "granny square" scarf that my grandma crocheted for me. She has fought a battle with breast cancer for quite sometime now--and about 3 years ago she had to get one of her breasts removed. While recovering I tried to get her mind off of things by keeping her "creative". I went to Michaels and bought all these ballin' colors of yarn and headed over to where she was staying so she can make me the scarf. It was nice sitting on the edge of the bed with her while she just whipped up this amazing creation. Funny thing? Found basically this exact scarf in macy's the following year being sold by "Free People" for a redic amount of money. Grandma: 1 retail: 0.



 

Is there a project you've always dreamed of creating? 
What would it be? 
dude I want to learn how to sew in the worse.way.EVAH. Since I'm a graphic designer I have already used spoon flower (a website that does fabric printing) to get my designs printed on fabric. How uh-may-zing would it be for me to create my OWN fabric AND hand bag collection?! Dude, that would be ROCK STAR STATUS. Vera Bradley who? Try Leonora Jennifer THATS WHO. BOOYAH. BOOM. Leonora: 1, Retail: 0

Click each image to view it in Yellow Heart Art's Shop.
Keep up with Leonora and her silly antics on her blog, and I am sure she would love if you stalked her on Twitter and Facebook.

Thanks Leonora, I ♥ your art.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Is this real life?


Guess who I met (in real life a.k.a. not over email/blog/twitter/text/phone call)?
Yep.

We didn't go to a conference. We didn't meet for dinner or coffee.
We took a family vacation.



Alison is very tall, and I am showing you with a ridiculously ugly face how much taller she is than me.
She took photos of our family since I didn't even pull my camera out the entire time (I was enjoying our visit too much).
She made me this amazing chevron print bag. It is perfect, just like her and the 25th apple pie that was consumed this weekend.

  
We drank lots of coffee because my our children don't sleep and because Alison really likes coffee.
Our boys played together: Charlie and Grayson, Jackson and Jack.
For some reason her husband didn't end up in any pictures - we still love you Scott.


Okay, this picture is pretty much just for vanity purposes. I was waiting for Alison to arrive, and I had on make-up.

 

And this one was because I was very much in love with the collection of coffee cups in our cabin.
I wanted to take this one home, but I didn't. I promise.

I am so glad we are friends in real life now.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

new and news!


The past two weeks at my house have been really amazing.
I have taken a break on my made-to-order states/countries [read why here].


My break has given me a chance to:
- not think about painting when I need to be present with my boys [that sounds so funny, but it's true]
- connect with some other mamas whose boys also had heart conditions
- work on things for friends [that were long overdue]
- not have to rush for a deadline
- not paint at all if I didn't want to
- just enjoy being a mama [it's not all snuggles and smiles, but you know what I mean]
- paint some things I have wanted to for a while

So, go check out what I have been working on!
Oh, and check out Life Rearranged, there is something good going on there.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

mint {you know what I like}


As you can probably tell from my recent post with my toe nail polish and my mint green mustache I have mint on my mind.

Do you like mint green? What about as a nail polish? I thought I wouldn't like it, and I really didn't at first, but it grew on me.

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lollipops

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Miami Vice?


At first when I was working on a color combination for my little mustaches I was going for a dark blue, a turquoise and a red.
Somehow, I ended up with these three.
Teal Blue . Peachy/Coral Pink . Mint Green

Miami Vice anyone?


Heck yes.

I have added the mustaches to the shop, along with more camera paintings, one in white and the other in black.
I have a few other things to be listed this week and a coupon code for you on Paint Me a Picture's Facebook page. Check it out.

Miami Vice images found here.

Monday, July 11, 2011

i heart {chinoiserie} art








I heart art is back!
I am lining up artists to feature and share with you on Mondays. 
It's a great way to begin your week with pretty pieces of art and a chance to "meet" the artists.
Today I just wanted to share a few pieces of  Chinoiserie inspired pieces I found on Etsy.

What kind of art do you heart?

{Are you an artist? I'd love to feature you work. 
Or, do you have a favorite artist you would like me to feature? 
Contact me and let me know.}