Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Hello, Baby!

He's finally here!

August Huxley made his debut on Sunday, July 29th.
He weighed 8 lbs 11 oz and was 21 inches long.

Dad, Mom, Big Sis and Big Bro are quite smitten.


nessa dee

Friday, July 27, 2012

Crafty Friday: Clothespin Dolls

I was hoping I'd be titling this post Crafty Friday: Baby Boy, but this little kid is being stubborn, I've been threatening to have to kidnap someone else's baby because I think this guy has just made himself a permanent home in my womb. Sigh. Can you tell I'm growing impatient?

Since I'm not cuddling a baby yet, we had time to dig into the craft bags I made for my kids. I filled each of the bags with printed instructions and all of the materials necessary to complete the craft. The kids decided on the clothespin doll craft because they needed some occupants for our box house. We used some great step-by-step instructions from a blog called dandee. The instructions are easy to follow and are accompanied by clear pictures. So, with our craft bag in hand, we got to work.

It wasn't long before I noticed that things were starting to deviate from the simple instructions. Some of the dolls were turning green, I was being asked for foil and ribbon spools, and all of my prep work was being tossed out the window in favor of new plans.

What's a tired pregnant lady to do? Just go with it. So, our simple craft turned into an all day affair, but what we ended up with was quite an array of little clothespin characters, and two very happy kids.

Here are our more normal clothespin dolls:

This is Max and Kyle...

Lizzie and Ash, the skateboarding ninja...

[By the way, Ash's pasta skateboard actually rolls. When Finn requested we make a working skateboard, I told them it couldn't be done. Leave it to my kids to prove me wrong.]

Here are our more creative characters:

Blackbeard the pirate...

Luke the alien...

in his special alien ribbon spool spacecraft...

with his astronaut friend, Phil...

There are a few more characters that weren't quite finished, but, like I said, I'm impatient at the moment, so they missed their cameos.

Happy Crafting!


nessa dee

My Silhouette

Our Crafty Friday project has turned into an extremely elaborate affair, thanks to my kids, and since I'm off to a doc appointment [hopefully my last], I'm not going to be able to get the craft posted before this evening. So, in order to amuse you, I thought I'd post a picture of my 40 weeks pregnant silhouette.



nessa dee

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Kitty Cat Painting


nessa dee

Monday, July 23, 2012

Playing Favorites

We try not to play favorites around here, but sometimes, just sometimes, it happens. Ever since we painted the baby's room and added all of the furniture, it has been the preferred spot for my kids. When they were supposed to be doing schoolwork at their desks they'd disappear. I'd find them, books strewn everywhere, in the baby's room working on the floor. They drag their beanbags into the space and hang out there all day. they drag their toys in there and build massive block cities in the one room I thought I could keep clean at least until the baby arrived. And it's not just the kids who are playing favorites. If we can't find the dog, she's usually under the crib, or making herself comfortable on one of the cushy surfaces in the room. If she could figure out how to get in the crib, I'm sure we'd find her there, too.

I, too, often find myself sitting in the chair, just staring at every little detail in the room. It makes me happy.

Maybe it's how bright and cheery the space is, maybe it's the decor that draws us all to the room, or maybe it's just the anticipation of the sweet little life who will soon occupy the room, but I think it's going to be our favorite space for quite sometime. 


nessa dee

Friday, July 20, 2012

Crafty Friday: Salt Dough Charms

I think I started officially nesting yesterday. I didn't clean my house, but I got this crazy idea to gather as many craft ideas as I could muster, and start putting together craft bags for my kids so they'll have something to combat boredom when we're cooped up here with the baby. I have to go buy a lot of craft supplies now to finish putting the bags together, and I feel like I'm running out of time to get it all done.

For today's craft, we decided to try our hands at salt dough charms. I've been trying to find crafts that would appeal to both a 6 year old and a preteen, and this one fit the bill. I found the instructions here.

Here are a few tips that we learned along the way:

1. If the dough's too wet, add some more flour, or water if it's too dry.

2. Don't try to sculpt big three-dimensional figurines [like my daughter did]. This dough is more suited to flat objects because it's looser and gravity will get the best of it. Plus, the baking time will be roughly  five days.

3. Keep the details to a minimum when sculpting. Add them in with paint. Again, if you're trying to recreate Michelangelo's David, then this isn't the right dough for the job.  Even making lines in the dough was kind of tough.

4. Make sure the holes are big enough for a chain, or a string to fit through, otherwise you'll end up with miniature tchotchkes.

5. Instead of an acrylic sealer, we used Mod Podge to seal our charms. Another option would be clear nail polish to give it a glossy finish.

6. Don't feed your dog any of the salt dough. It will make her crazy, and she'll beg for more the whole time you're painting your charms.

Happy Crafting!


nessa dee

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

IF: Lost

This is a revamp of an older illustration, and while I still love the old one, I wanted to try a little different style for Red Riding Hood by cleaning up the lines a bit.

I'm having a problem with my scanner really over saturating and brightening my illustrations to the point that they look like neon signs. I've been trying to adjust the settings, but every scan looks the same, so I'm forced to adjust the illustrations in photoshop, but they never look quite as good as the originals.


nessa dee

Monday, July 16, 2012

Hello, Monday!


:: I'm still pregnant. Why is it that life flies by so fast, except during the last few weeks of pregnancy? I feel like each day is just dragging on and on. I've been trying to keep myself busy, but my nesting instinct has manifested itself in all the wrong ways. I have no desire to do all of the need-to-do things like cleaning and cooking, but an extreme desire to start all of the want-to-do things like painting my bedroom, and rearranging every room in the house, which I can't do at this point, so it's quite silly. At least my kids have been quite an entertaining distraction lately.

:: Finn has become my personal butler. He waits on me hand and foot with all of my imaginary food desires. If only he could really cook. Sigh. If only.

:: When he's not butlering [I might have made up that word], he and his sister are trying their hands at being zombies. Actually, Audrie came home from a friends house with a zombie makeover, and Finn was so inspired that he disappeared with a bunch of markers and came back looking like this...

At least the markers weren't permanent.

:: After seeing a yard with a three story treehouse on HGTV, the kids have been inspired to revamp our own playhouse. They've been outside for the past three days making plans and asking for supplies.

I think this is the model for their new and improved playhouse...

Oh my. They are quite ambitious.

Happy Monday!


nessa dee

Friday, July 13, 2012

Baby Boy's Room: The Finishing Touches

Today's Crafty Friday is going to be postponed until tomorrow or Sunday because of my schedule, but don't fret. [you probably weren't] Instead, I have some exciting news. I finally finished the baby's room! All of those last little details are in place, and they are no longer in the back of my mind, nagging me to get them done. Okay, enough talk...let's look at pictures!

I ended up going with the larger polka dots for the robot picture mats thanks to your suggestions, and the fact that they were a much brighter orange. We flanked my robot painting with them, and I love how it all turned out.

I moved the pictures that were hanging next to the robot over by the closet, and there's still plenty of extra wall space around the room to hang pictures of this little boy once he gets here.

My mother-in-law bought the mobile for the baby from Pottery Barn Kids, and the colors are perfect. We hung it over what I call the reading nook.

I also added the little magazine rack from Marshalls which houses some of our favorite books.

And did you see them? Here, take a closer look...

Don't look too closely, or you'll see my bad sewing job, but they're finished! It took my mother-in-law coming into town and offering to sew the trim for me to finally get the gumption to finish them. You see, I'm pretty stubborn, and I don't want someone else to do something for me that I'm capable of doing myself. If I'm ever dragging my feet on a project, please threaten to do it for me.

Now that those last few projects are done, the room is almost perfect. I just need a sweet baby to finish it off.


nessa dee

Just in case you're wondering, here's a resource list:

* Paint color: Behr's 'Castle Path' from Home Depot
* Crib: Bassett Baby via Craigslist
* Crib skirt: Dwell Studio from Target [out of stock]
* Chest of drawers: Ikea
* Curtains: Ikea
* Ribbon trim and pillow material: Hobby Lobby
* Chair: Craigslist
* Mobile: Pottery Barn Kids
* Rug and book rack: Marshalls
* Dino pull toy: garage sale
* Big Boy the dog: Audrie's from when she was a baby
* Alphabet Wall Art: from various places including Hobby Lobby, thrift stores, and handmade. Each was     
   painted or covered with scrapbook paper, buttons, book pages, or map pages.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Big Dot, Little Dot

I'm trying to decide which scrapbook paper to choose for the mats surrounding my kids' robot pictures they made for the baby's room. I had my assistant [daughter] help me spray paint the frames a lovely aqua color, and I chose two different orange polka dot papers for the mats.

This is the mini dot paper...

And this is the larger polka dot paper...

[Hello, Baby!]

I'm leaning towards the bigger dots because the paper's a bit brighter, but I'm not sure. 

Maybe I'll just use both and forgo any decision making, but I guess that would be a decision in itself.


nessa dee

Monday, July 9, 2012

Hello, Tow Truck

This morning, I was greeted by a student of Hogwart's [not Harry Potter, I was informed...they just go to the same school],

and though he worked very hard performing all kinds of magic spells,

he couldn't fix my car. So, he just watched as the tow truck hauled it away, and I prayed that I wouldn't go into labor today. I really don't want to ride in my husband's truck to the hospital. It has no air conditioning.

Oh, Mondays.


nessa dee

Friday, July 6, 2012

Crafty Friday: Dioramas

Audrie has embarked on a new venture after I gave her a tiny box to do with as she pleased. This sparked an idea, and she's decided to make miniature dioramas to sell. Here's the one that started it all:

It's really supposed to have a red dragon in it instead of a deer, but Audrie's been making short films with this scene, and I'm not sure where the dragon disappeared to. Also, it has a little blue, glassy-looking pond that I failed to capture in the picture.

After making this little scene, Audrie needed some supplies, so I hauled her to Hobby Lobby yesterday, and she loaded up on small plastic animals, and little paper mache' boxes. Here is her second attempt:

With all of the toy buying, though, Finn thought he needed some new toys to play with. I tried my best to explain to Finn that Audrie was investing her own money in these items in the hopes of making some more money in return, and that he didn't need any new toys just to play with, but oh, this cunning little child did not give up without a fight.

"Mom, I want to start making dioramas, too, but I need Army guys to put in them," said the future lawyer.

Who am I to stand in the way of creativity? So, it was back to Hobby Lobby today, and with his money, I let him pick one package of toys, not the three he originally picked, for I know these dioramas of his will never leave his possession, nor will the toys be permanently affixed to the box.

We spent the afternoon gathering leaves and sticks and rocks, and Finn went to work.

Working from the back to the front, he ended up with an outdoor scene complete with trees, rocks, a stream, bridge, and tee pees...

a perfect background for his Army men.

Happy crafting!


nessa dee