Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Feathering Nests


During the past few months we’ve faithfully provided food for our little feathered friends to help them weather the cold. Claire has spent many mornings engaged in observation while snug in her pajamas. She’s laughed at the antics of the tree clinging nuthatches and the ever clever tufted titmouse, all from her perch in our living room window. To say we adore our little birds is an understatement.


Today, we are welcoming spring with homemade nesting material dispensers! I hope this will entice the birds to stick around through our gardening season eating bugs and laying eggs (hopefully where we can watch the chicks hatch).


We gathered a bunch of yarn, ribbon, dried grass and pillow fluff and stuffed it all into an onion bag. Hooray for recycling! Claire had a ball snipping the yarn into manageable pieces for the birdies. We also draped bits of yarn all over our bushes, it’s quite festive looking out there!


We’ve got our fingers crossed for lots of multicolored nests this spring! Every year there have been a few nests in the forsythia bushes, hopefully the birds will weave some of our colorful goodies into their creations.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Painting With Water

Here is Claire hard at work painting with her Buddha board -- a consistent favorite since Christmas. I’ve enjoyed HOURS of quiet while Claire kept herself amused painting with water. And speaking of fun toys, I was recently contacted by CSN Stores to review an item on their site here! I’m sure you’ve seen them before – they have over 200 online stores and carry everything from modern office furniture to cute cookware to children’s toys.


I still haven’t picked out what I’ll review with my gift card, so check them out and give me some ideas! I’m of course leaning towards something from the arts and crafts section. There’s lots and lots to choose from.


We’re off to enjoy the warm weather now and instead of painting with water we’ll be splashing and sculpting with the mud. Mmmm…brown nature paint. Heehee!

Oh My Sweet Beets! We Love This Dip.


Beets thrived last year in my garden. Tucked under the soil, they were safe from the deer and Claire’s busy little fingers. My cherry tomatoes didn’t make it to the table with my daughter’s constant snacking and let’s not discuss my zucchini plants that didn’t produce ANY zucchinis. This is three years in a row I’ve had zero luck with the most “prolific” of garden veggies. I was led to believe that zucchini were like the rabbits of the veggie kingdom. What on earth am I doing wrong?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Friday, February 11, 2011

Happy Hearts

Glue and tissue paper make for a happy child.

Art Project Roundup


We've been in full swing over here crafting up pretty pink things for Valentine's Day. The full scoop and "how to" is over at Chalk In My Pocket, but I thought everyone would love to see a few photos of Claire and the end results of some of our projects.

Spray Paint Valentines
DSC_0800   DSC_0811-1

DIY Block Stamps

Our little portrait artist is still creating lots large bodied stick folk. We made up these gift tags for Linda and Sandy for their belated Christmas gifts. The alphabet stampers have gotten so much use - thanks GrandBob and GranC!

This whole other blog took off a lot faster than I expected so I've need the help of my trusty assistant. I think I might photograph things too much - every time Claire draws something she takes off to fetch her camera.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Beans, Beans - They're Good For Your Heart {AND MORE!}

Three pounds of dried beans -- $2.00
One Large Plastic Container -- $4.00

A happily entertained toddler who is stuck inside with me? 

There are days when we're homebound all day - due to weather, illness or just my general lack of enthusiasm about completing laundry. On those days, I find it pays to have a special "something" up your sleeve. My newest device? The sensory bin.

I knew that kids went gaga over those bean filled tubs in the preschool room where I used to work so I figured I'd give it a try at home.  The tablecloth under the bin worked perfectly to collect any spills.

 The beans alone amused Claire for quite a while. She scooped, squeezed and dug for a good half hour. Once the zoo animals went in she pretended to be a zookeeper feeding the animals (beans) and scooping their poop (beans). This cycle of eating and pooping seemed perfectly reasonable to her.

This is our first venture into sensory play (aside from our summer sandbox) and Claire needed some gentle reminders about keeping the beans in the bin. There was one accidental tip over, but thanks to the tablecloth it was a quick clean up. All in all, it was a successful experience. I can't wait to try filling our bin with new things: rice, lentils, water or perhaps even shaving cream!

See our festive heart garland in the background? I just discovered our library's Ellison machine. There will be lots of die cut goodies gracing our house and art in the coming months!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Loving Google's Art Project Site!

I'm trying not to mix my "public blog" and private blogs, but this is too cool not to post here as well. Google launched a new site called Google Art Project where they use their "street view" technology to tour world famous museums, included are extreme closeups of masterpieces - I'm talking brush stroke zooming here.

You can read my whole techie teacher/enthralled parent take on it on Chalk In My Pocket. But really, go check it out -- this is not an art site just for kids.

I've been immersed all morning in Google's youTube channel and they have some really interesting videos about both the making of the application and restoration/preservation efforts at various museums. Very cool indeed.

To make up for my double post here's a dose of Claire cuteness. As you can see, I also enjoyed "painting" the snow with our watercolor paint in spray bottles! :-)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Snowy Day

One winter morning Claire woke up and looked out the window. Mother nature had dumped another foot of snow and her Mommy was desperate for something new to do. They decided to act out a favorite children’s book, The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats.
After breakfast Claire put on her snowsuit and ran outside. The snow was piled up very high. The doggies had made a path through the snow for her to follow.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Snow, Ice and Sleet...Oh My!

I've been trying to get outside for a little while everyday with Claire. Last week (before Mother Nature dumped ICE on us) we went for a walk in the state park - primarily because I wanted to check my mail. The boxes are at the bottom of the hill and I couldn't actually drive out of the driveway. Anyhow, once we're at the mailboxes down the road, we're already halfway to the park entrance so we decided to explore the woods.

Best idea ever! We cleared off lots of snow to look at the frozen creek (don't freak Mom, it's only 8 inches at it's deepest) and followed little critter tracks for a while before Claire announced she was d-o-n-e.

"My feets are too tired to walk anymore in this high, high snow."

She made it out without me having to carry her (thank goodness!) and fell asleep sitting up next to me at home. Score one for Mommy!


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