Tuesday, May 31, 2011

This Morning

I got some extra cuddle time with this one before he and his sister headed off to their grandparents for the week.



nessa dee

Thursday, May 26, 2011

IF: Soaked



nessa dee

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


There’s never a shortage of reminders that I have an active and imaginative 5 year old running around my house…


And never enough reminders to clean up after he’s done.


nessa dee

Monday, May 23, 2011

For a friend…

Here’s a new creation I made for a friend:



nessa dee

Friday, May 20, 2011


Remember when I got eaten by the shark, and I promised you an explanation? Well, I’m finally getting around to explaining. Here goes…

My mom wrote a story, a fable about learning, inspired from what she observed as a middle school librarian. She observed so many kids who didn’t realize or seem to care when it came to getting an education, or didn’t know why getting an education was so important.  She wanted the kids to look beyond the here and now and see that school was preparing them for life. Thus, Feathers was written to share with a group of 8th graders at her school. My mom asked me to create some illustrations for her to show as she read the story. Once she shared Feathers with the group, the response was immediate. The kids really  understood the symbolism and teachers started asking for copies of the book.

That was two years ago. 

This is where the shark comes in.

Though my mom’s been begging me for years to finish illustrating her book, it took a kick in the pants for me to [almost] finish it. We were asked earlier this year to do an author/illustrator visit in Port Aransas during the school’s book fair. They didn’t threaten us with sharks, but this gave us the motivation we needed to get something tangible to present to the kids. I have to say that my mom did the bulk of the work to get this book ready and printed, while it probably would have taken “death by shark” threats to get me to work faster. [Thanks for your patience, Mom!] But it is done, and we made our deadline to be able to share the book with kids ranging from 2nd-8th grade, all of whom were able to grasp the meaning of the story. Here are just one of the many classes we talked to that day:


And the book…





If you would like to know more about the book, or are interested in getting your hands on a copy, my mom [Donna Van Cleve] is the lady to contact. Visit her site here. And while you’re there, check out her other books!

Ciao for now!

nessa dee

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Signs of Summer






Swimsuits, bare toes, and popsicles…sure signs that summer is right around the corner.


nessa dee

Monday, May 16, 2011

This morning…

I watched my kids eat donuts while munching on some fiber filled English muffin topped with peanut butter. I didn’t have to do math, though. Ha!

DSC_0122-1I helped Finn, or rather, Finn helped me pick up all of his sticks in the yard and shove them in the playscape before they became dangerous projectiles to the teenager mowing our lawn. I think hoarders might come a callin’ unless we have an intervention, but at least we’re set for the winter.


I’m enjoying watching half of my garden grow…

DSC_0125I’m not enjoying watching the other half get eaten by some sneaky critter.

After months of looking for a sectional for our living room, we finally found one we both liked…only to discover that it’s too big for our space. Back to square one.


Mapmaking is fun!


Maybe I should have made a scale map of our living room before I went sofa shopping.

Guess who got bored?

DSC_0130-1Do I know where I’m going with this? Nope.

I need to throw out my Mother’s Day flowers.


I still need to take down Finn’s pirate banner.

And I attempted to take a picture of myself jumping on Finn’s bed, but I hit my head on his plane, my camera died, and I gave up.

Happy Monday!

nessa dee

Thursday, May 12, 2011

IF: Beginner


Kick your legs back… now forward… back again…forward again…back and forth…back and forth…


nessa dee

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Speaking of Finn’s pirate party…

After posting about the pirate banner yesterday, I realized I never shared the pics from Finn’s party. It was thrown together in about a week because of our crazy schedule and lack of foresight. But when all was said and done, I think it was a pretty successful little shindig.

We had a lot of pirate d├ęcor…


a fun little scavenger hunt for the kids where they collected pieces of pirate gear…



a map cake to eat…


and of course, lots of presents, including a life-sized Jack Sparrow action figure!


For a last minute party, it was pretty arrrghsome!



nessa dee

Monday, May 9, 2011

Happy Monday

This morning…

I let my boy sleep late, and just watched him for a while.


I’m wondering if I should finally take down the pirate banner from my entryway. It’s been a month since Finn’s birthday party.


I’m enjoying my beautiful Mother’s Day flowers. Thank you Dad and Jonathan!


I’m trying to outsmart my new smart phone.


I’m working on an exciting new project.



I guess I’ll be playing Clue later, hopefully not with the dog.


I’m thinking that I should forgo cleaning the house and just join my now awake and very energetic son.


Here’s to jumping on beds!


nessa dee

Thursday, May 5, 2011

I’m writing this from the belly of a shark

I don’t know why I thought this was a good idea. It seemed harmless at the time…


But then the shark decided he liked the taste of the delicacies that were carelessly posing in his jaws.


He swallowed.


Thankfully the kids were able to hold on to those massive teeth and eventually climb out of the shark’s formidable jaws, but as for my cousin and I… well it might be weeks before we’re digested. We’ve made some new friends, though. [previous victims of the shark’s wrath.] And you have to hand it to the shark, enticing people into his mouth for the perfect photo opportunity. Smart move.

I’ll tell you why we were visiting this shark’s area when I have more light to write by. [It’s quite dark in the belly of this beast.] In the meantime, I’ll leave you with a hint:


Well, I’m off to meet with my shark belly friends and see if we can figure a way out.


nessa dee