Saturday, June 26, 2010

What's going on around here

Suzi shows what she learned in her first dance class

I was just looking over my last few posts. When did this become a craft blog? I have been making lots of things recently, but sometimes it's nice to talk about something else. A lot, good and bad, has been going on lately. Here's a quick update.

1) Almost two weeks ago my dad had a stroke. It wasn't a horrible one, and he is okay, but it scared us! He spent a few days in the hospital and a week in rehab, where he worked super hard to get back on his feet and come home ASAP. He is now back and I can hear him, Jordan and my brother Paul in the den playing Wii Sports. We are proud of his hard work in therapy and so happy to have him home!

2) We have been over at my parents' house trying to help them out as much as we can. I reorganized the kitchen and the next morning we had no idea where a couple of things had gone. Oops! At least it looks nice!

3) Daddy got a Wii for Father's Day. My brother Brad (a recreational therapist) insisted it would be good "Wiihab," and he was right. I love it too and I am eating some serious crow now because I previously scoffed at video games as a waste of time. But the Wii Fit is so much fun!

4) I have decided to enter my recycled plastic crafts in some contests/events. The outcome may not always be favorable, but I love making these things and there is no reason to keep making them if there is no one else to enjoy them. I don't expect to make money, but I thought it'd be fun. If I do get rejected I am going to keep going and try harder next time!

5) I have had to take a couple of involuntary breaks from making stuff because I overdid it and my hand got swollen and sore. That was about a week ago and it still hasn't gone completely back to normal. Cutting tough plastic with regular scissors probably isn't too smart. I want some of those superscissors that can cut through shoes and pennies. I used to wonder who could possibly need those things, and now I need them!

6) Ivey's Uncle Paul came up with a great new nickname for her: the pterodactyl. The name refers to the ear-splitting squawk she lets loose anytime she doesn't get what she wants, especially food. AAAAAWK!

7) Elimination communication with Ivey is going okay, and if you saw her dirty diapers as of late you'd understand my motivation to get better at it. She has started eating lots of different foods (watermelon, cantaloupe, beans, bread, Cheerios, cheese) so her poops have fully transitioned and are no longer of the harmless breastmilk variety. A poop in the potty is cause for major celebration.

8) Suzi is taking summer dance lessons and loves them. I think we may enroll her for a full class in the fall. She is also showing lots of interest in reading letters off of signs and other things she sees (although she can't tell what the words are yet). Soon it will be time to get a little more serious about homeschooling!

9) Jordan and I paid off our van yesterday! Next month will be three years since we bought it, and we paid it off a couple of years earlier than we had to. We are so excited to have that behind us, and we are hoping the van lasts us a really long time.

Okay, I think we are caught up. Now I am going to play some Wii, watch the new Alice in Wonderland, and possibly scavenge for craft supplies later. Have a good weekend!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

A serendipitous crown

Last night I tried to make a necklace with some upcycled wire and plastic. I was certain it was going to be gorgeous. It looked pretty good until I put it on, and then... Well, it was a big, BIG flop. Jordan said it reminded him of one of those Elizabethan collars they put on dogs to keep them from biting themselves. I didn't take a picture of it so you will just have to use your imagination. Later Suzi and I were playing with it, and when it wouldn't fit over my head, I asked if it looked like a crown. Hmm, it sort of did! So the failed necklace (which is lying around here somewhere) gave me the idea for this (adjustable) crown I made this morning. My next one will be better. I'm thinking maybe butterflies, and something a bit more delicate.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Crafted since Saturday

Plus more.

And believe me, there was plenty of opposition.

Today I caught her with four of Suzi's raisins stuffed in her mouth.
(Those are a no-no for Ivey.)
I love her but she drives me crazy.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Review: Prima Princessa presents Swan Lake

Suzi just started her very first dance class, a short summer program. She's almost as excited as I am (she's adorable strutting around in her dance outfit). So it was perfect timing for us to review Prima Princessa presents Swan Lake! We were sent a free copy to review.

This 40-minute DVD features excerpts from Swan Lake performed by the Paris Opera Ballet narrated by a cartoon ballerina, Prima Princessa. Ballet steps are explained and demonstrated by ballet students between acts, and little girls are shown dancing and having fun in their tutus.

Suzi loved it, of course. With the help of the narrator, she caught on to the story quickly. She loves stories with princes and usually pretends to be the prince. When Prima Princessa said "now it's our turn to dance," she made me get up and dance with her. Then she made her daddy dance. She tried out the steps being taught and made up some of her own. Cute!

Here she is enjoying the show:

I know it's blurry but I couldn't resist sharing. Suzi strikes a pose!

I don't have anything negative to say about it. As an adult, I would've preferred more of the ballet and less of the dance demonstrations, but it's best for little ones the way it is. The dance lesson montages each play over again, which Suzi loved. Also, I don't know if the DVD could've held her attention the way it did with any more of the ballet, especially if it had been presented without breaks. I think it does a good job of making the ballet something little children can understand and enjoy.

The price? Only $6.99! You can't beat that. It can be purchased on Amazon and would make a great gift for a little girl who already has oodles of toys. Prima Princessa presents the Nutcracker is coming out in September, and Sleeping Beauty will be available in January. We will probably end up getting the whole collection eventually. I don't mind; I liked it too!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Elephants on parade

I made this yesterday. Suzi said she liked it. When I asked her what it looked like (just praying she'd say elephants, because I drew them myself) she said "it looks like hut, two three four!" This is a Disney's Jungle Book reference. So it was a success. I think they will probably live in Suzi's room.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Butterflies, different and improved

I spent a few minutes the other day googling "how to draw a butterfly" and then practicing, and it improved my milk jug butterflies. They are now a more realistic shape. I also got a pair of tiny, sharp, pointy scissors and I love them. I'm trying the new idea of throwing all the tools for one craft project into a little zipper bag so I can find all the stuff I need when I need it (one of my biggest problems) and take it with me to work on when I go somewhere.

I made a mother-daughter pair of butterflies for a friend who is having a baby girl in a few weeks. I tried to get Ivey to model the baby butterfly, but she was like, no. She wouldn't be still, so this was the best picture I could get. Plus her head is really too big for the headband.

Anyway, here are the two butterflies together:

And here's the mother's butterfly from the pair:

Working with recycled plastic has been fun these past few days and I think it's something I'll continue to develop. Next I'd like to make a tiny butterfly, maybe for a ring or earrings. Love making tiny stuff!