Monday, August 31, 2009

1st Day of School

Today is our official first day of school, and every year I take pictures of the kids on their first day. I have them hold up their fingers to represent either their age or grade they’re in. This year, they both held up three fingers as Audrie’s in the third grade and Finn is three years old. It usually turns into a ‘see who can make the craziest face’ contest.





 A&F-3  A&F-1 A&F-7

But, in all the madness, I sometimes end up with a couple of sweet pictures… A&F-5


and it makes it all worth it.


nessa dee

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Crafty Friday: Paper Dolls

When my daughter was five years old, she made a paper doll out of construction paper and countless outfits for this doll. She spent so much time creating different articles of clothing and accessories, including cell phones and hair bows. Three years later, making paper dolls still garners enough excitement and creative juices to keep her occupied for hours. Who knows, maybe I have a little clothing designer in the works.

Here’s what you need:

-construction paper or card stock
-fabric scraps or scrapbook paper
-markers & crayons

To make this project a bit easier, instead of free handing the paper doll shape and clothing, we printed off wonderful templates we found here. We printed them onto a pretty weighty card stock to give the dolls some stability. Then, the cutting begins.


I should note that with younger kids, this project requires a lot of help from a parent with decent scissor skills. I found myself cutting out the majority of patterns, while Finn enjoyed cutting the scraps of paper into even smaller scraps of paper. He then dictated what he wanted me to do and left the room to go play with Legos.

Once all of the templates were cut out, the designing begins! For younger kiddos, crayons, colored pencils, or markers can be used to color the clothing items and draw faces on to the dolls.


If you want to take the project a bit further and do even more cutting, you can decorate the clothing with fabric scraps, or scrapbook paper. The easiest way we found to achieve this was by gluing the paper doll clothing onto the back of the fabric or paper. Then, cut the excess fabric or paper around the template. For the hair pieces, we experimented a with a bit of felt to add texture.


If you want a plethora of outfits, decorate both sides of the clothing to make it reversible [as my daughter cleverly figured out.]

paperdolls4 paperdolls5

Extra clothing can be made by using the templates as a guideline to get the correct size. Just make sure you leave tabs on the clothing to attach them to the doll. The same goes for accessories. Belts are easily made by cutting a strip of scrapbook paper longer than the waist of the doll.

Once the accessories are made, the fashion show begins.


Happy Crafting!

nessa dee

The Big Reveal

I’ve been hinting at a project I was working on and giving you sneak peeks, and I am now ready to share the big news. I’m participating in the 5th Annual ABC’s Children’s Picture Book Competition this year! I have been paired up with Sheila O. Lindsay to illustrate a picture for her delightful poem entitled Dandelion Snow. In this sweet tale, three little girls all dressed for Sunday School decide to have a little race before church. The three girls stir up dandelion snow as they race back and forth in their backyard, smudging their faces and dresses, before being discovered by Mama.


The stories will be put to an internet vote September 20th through October 4th, and everyone is allowed to vote once daily for the two week period. The book with the most votes will receive a publishing contract for their winning entry! So, mark your calendars, spread the word, tell your friends, family and people you meet on the street!


nessa dee

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

IF: Caution


Oliver’s mother is a little too cautious when she sends him out to play.


nessa dee

Monday, August 24, 2009

A Boy’s Best Friend




nessa dee

Friday, August 21, 2009

Until Next Week…

Well, I’ve been consumed with a couple of projects this week, celebrated my anniversary, and am now heading out of town this morning, so I didn’t get around to crafting with my kids. So, we’ll make paper dolls next Friday. In the meantime, here’s a couple of pictures of one of the projects I’m working on:


What, you can’t see it? How about this one:


I guess I need to work on focusing my camera. Oh well, here’s me obsessing over my project and the mess I create when working:


It was taken last night, hence the lamp, and poor lighting. The face over my left shoulder looks kind of creepy.

Have a good weekend!

nessa dee

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

9 Years


The supreme happiness in life is the conviction that we are loved. - Victor Hugo

I am truly happy.

Happy anniversary, my love.


Monday, August 17, 2009

Finn’s Room

After several requests to show my kids’ rooms, I might have mentioned that I would after I got a few things finished first. Well, Finn’s room is still not finished, but since it’s been a while since I made that statement I’ll share it anyway. I apologize for the picture quality. I took these in the morning and his window faces west, but anyhoo… welcome to Finn’s explorer room:


This is looking in from the entrance. His bed was my brother’s bed from junior high through college. I plan to paint it black one day [his crib was black], but that’s further down on the “to do” list. The bedding was stolen ‘er borrowed from my mom. I sewed the curtains to match his baby bedding. I’m not a great seamstress, I didn’t have a pattern, I just kind of winged it, so don’t look too closely at them. The airplane was a gift from Finn’s grandparents.


This is looking back the other direction. The entrance is the door to the left, and his closet doors are on the right. My original plan was to paint an outdoor scene with a farmhouse and a red plane flying over, plus a dog and frog by a pond. Well, I nixed that right after I started painting it. The explorer idea came after lying awake in the middle of the night, uncomfortable from the pregnancy. The whole concept is of a boy [Finn] and his dog [Odyssey] traveling all over the world. The color palette came from two bolts of material I bought for $10 about 3 years before I had Finn [just in case I ever had a boy.] I painted the scene, the plaid wall treatment and the chair rail to coordinate with that fabric that became his bedding. I was 8 and a half months pregnant when I finished.

doors4 doors6doors3

doors5armoire This is the top of Finn’s armoire. These are supposed to be decorative, but they’ve been a part of many imagined adventures.


This is Finn’s art gallery, which is displayed by his changing table. The changing table was purchased for $10 at a garage sale. It started out white, but as with most of the furniture in my house, I painted it black. I stenciled the star on to match the chair rail. I know Finn’s potty trained, but the table houses a bunch of toys and books, so it earns its keep. The two plastic boxes underneath are full of wooden train sets which were given to Finn from a neighbor. They have been some of the best toys we’ve owned. The rug is from Ikea, $14.99. The dog on the rug is an ornery mutt who made her way into most of the pictures because she thought I was playing with her.

Well, that’s Finn’s room. His is one of my all time favorite mural’s I ever painted. [I was a muralists for almost 4 years until Mr. F came into the picture.] His room’s always this clean, and his bed’s always made, and I didn’t stage this at all. Nope. Not one little bit.


nessa dee

Friday, August 14, 2009

Crafty Friday: Masks

This project was requested by my kiddos, so I was happy to oblige.

Here’s what you need:masks1

-construction paper or card stock
-string or ribbon
-markers & crayons
-faux feathers

Step 1: We printed off mask templates onto cardstock to give us something to start with. We found them here.

Step 2: Cut out the mask. For the eye holes, fold the paper in half through the middle of the eye and cut a slit to get you started. This way, you won’t have to cut into the edge of the mask. Then, punch holes on either side of the mask for tying the ribbon through.masks2

Step 3: Start decorating the mask. Audrie decided to fill her mask with colorful designs before adding embellishments. Finn went straight for the glitter and then added a few beads for an extra touch.

masks5 masks3 masks6

Step 4: Once you’re finished with all of the decorating, it’s time to add the ribbon for tying the mask onto the face. First measure the length of the ribbon you’ll need. I did this by stretching it around half of my kids’ heads. I then added a bit extra, enough for tying through the holes, and tying a bow at the back of the head. Cut two pieces of ribbon, and secure each piece to the mask by tying a knot through the hole on either side.


Step 5: Wear the mask!

masks9 masks10

Happy Crafting!

nessa dee

Next week, we’ll be making paper dolls!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

I’m pretty sure the librarian thinks I’m crazy

sneakpeak2We go to the library every Monday. It’s just two blocks from my mom’s house, so on our weekly visits, we take a little walk to go check out books. The last few weeks, though, the kids have been too busy playing to make the trip with me. I go to pick up the requested books, but then I start searching. I’ve been pouring over the children’s book section, going up and down the aisles, looking at every book, trying to find some inspiration. You see, I’m in the middle of a project… a project I’m super excited about…a project I’ll tell you about soon, but for now, it’s a secret. The thing is, when you’re sitting on the floor for an hour, scanning every children’s book in the library, and you have no kids with you, people start wondering what you’re up to…even give you strange looks. It doesn’t help too when the majority of the books you take home for yourself are recommended for 2 to 5 year olds. So yeah, I’m pretty sure the librarians have had a few conversations on their lunch break about the crazy lady in the kids section. But hopefully, it will all make sense pretty soon.


Ciao for now!

nessa dee

Tuesday, August 11, 2009



Sometimes waiting for rain in the middle of a drought can really test your patience.


nessa dee

Monday, August 10, 2009

Drawing Lessons

Have I told you how great it is to have a teaching assistant around the house? If you don’t have one, I highly recommend hiring someone to help in the raising of your kids. My teaching assistant constantly gives lessons to the youngest of my brood. The lessons cover a broad spectrum of subjects. Sometimes the lessons are spontaneous and brief, and sometimes they are long and elaborately planned out. On this particular day, a recent purchase of a dry erase board prompted a lesson on how to draw a boat.

First, there was a demonstration.


Then, the assistant guided her student through each step.

draw1 draw3


They studied the finished result for a bit.


A short critique followed.

draw6 draw7 draw8

Then, they started the process over again.


Teaching assistants. They are priceless.


nessa dee