Monday, July 29, 2013


Two years ago, the day after my birthday, I received one of the biggest surprises of my life.

Twelve months ago, I came face to face with that surprise.

And today, that sweet surprise celebrates his first birthday.

Sweet August Huxley,
You have brought so much joy and laughter to our lives in just one short year. 
Happy birthday, little boy.
I love you so.


Saturday, July 27, 2013


I might of, sort of dropped the ball when it came to monthly updates of my littlest, but since August will turn one in a couple of days, I thought I better finish these posts. Here's a recap of the last few months...

The 9th month was full of firsts...first tooth, first plane ride, first dance moves, first claps, first steps. You surprised us when you just turned one day and took a couple of steps away from the ottoman. You have a confidence that I'm pretty sure has been inherited from your daddy's side of the family. You can also click your tongue better than anyone I've ever seen, and you absolutely love to dance. Every time you hear music, or something close to music, you start to wiggle. You weighed in at almost 24 lbs., but your height still exceeds your weight in terms of percentile. 

At 10 months, you took off walking, and you haven't slowed down yet. You added quite a few new tricks to your bag, including waving, howling like a dog, giving kisses [complete with fish lips], blowing kisses, talking on the phone, brushing your hair, and rolling your R's. Sometimes you sound like a mini Chewbacca. Your dance moves keep getting better and better. You love to lean over, squat down, and start shaking your booty in what we call the "Boom Boom: dance. Your favorite book is Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, and you smile so big if I start to recite it.

At 11 months, you continue to learn new things almost daily it seems.You now wink at us [with both eyes...which I think is known as blinking, but it's intentionally nonetheless]. You try to sing along to Old MacDonald, but you only manage to say EEEE-OOOOH. You and the dog have a little alliance when it comes to mealtimes. She sits below your highchair, and you sneak all of your food to her, all the while staring at me as if I don't know what you're doing. You've learned to open the dishwasher and you'll stand on the door and proceed to dance atop your stage. I just hope my dishwasher makes it through the rest of the year. You'll sweep our floors, and throw everything you can find into my bathtub. You love to swim, but hate to be in your float. You prefer the dive-right-in approach to water. Your favorite book now is The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and we point out the caterpillar on each page.

You continue to make us laugh each and every day, sweet boy. I can't believe you're almost one. You've brought so much joy to our lives.

I'll eat you up. 
I love you so.


Thursday, July 25, 2013

IF: Robot

These are from a project I'm working on...

nessa dee

Monday, July 22, 2013

Beach Baby

There's so much to discover in this big, wide world.

Happy Monday!

nessa dee

Friday, July 19, 2013

Crafty Friday: Sailboats

As's a special Crafty Friday featuring the sailboats my mom and grandpa made for Camp Shakamalaca.

To make the boats, you will need scrap lumber, dowel rods, small finials, wood glue, and canvas, and while some power tools and a sewing machine were used to make these boats, they can be created without them.  I wasn't there for the making of the boats [just the decorating and floating], but I'll do my best to provide how-to instructions.

The first step is to take a 10" piece of 1x4" lumber and cut the corners off one end as to create the triangular bow of the boat. If you don't have a saw, some home improvement stores will cut the lumber for you. You can even nix the corner cutting and have a rectangular shaped boat.

The next step is to drill a hole that is the same size as your dowel centered 4" from the tip of your bow. This is where you will place the mast. Drill two more holes off center towards the end of the boat [as pictured]. These will be your "passengers." [Ignore the three small holes on the front...this is scrap lumber.]
If you don't have a drill, you can use a small mound of self drying clay to secure the mast into place.

The next step is to insert the dowels into the holes and add a bit of wood glue to secure them.

The dowel for the mast should be about 10" long, while the ones for the passengers should be cut to the size of your finial insert. Again, if you don't have the proper tools, ask someone at a home improvement store to make the cuts for you.

Next, glue your finials on the small dowels with a dab of wood glue.

For the sail, cut a piece of canvas in a right triangle with the straight edges measuring approximately 10.5" x 8", leaving a half inch extra on the diagonal piece as well. 

Begin hemming up the edges a half an inch on the diagonal and bottom of the sail.

As for the long edge, make sure you leave a pocket large enough to slip over the mast, like so...
Then, assemble your boat and admire it for a little while...

Next disassemble your boat and let the kids decorate it...

Finally, tie a string to the mast and float the boat...

Happy crafting!

nessa dee

Thursday, July 18, 2013

IF: Travel

From my sketchbook...

nessa dee

Camp Shakamalaca

Several years ago, in an effort to get my kids to get to know and spend time with their new cousins, my cousin , Jenna, planned a summer trip full of activities just for the kids. It was dubbed Camp Shakamalaca, a silly name Jenna had been calling Audrie for years. It was the start of a new tradition. 

This year's camp was held at my aunt and uncle's [Jenna's parents] lake house, and was conducted just like a summer camp thanks to the creative planning of several family members. Each camper had their own notebook with the camp itinerary, and the days were filled with arts and crafts, nature walks, swimming, scavenger hunts, various lessons including knot tying and boat floating, fishing, and games. The campers were expected to make-up their beds, and help with the cooking and clean-up. The kids had an absolute blast.

Thanks so much, Jenna, Tio Jay, Aunt Joy, Mom, and Papa for organizing this camp!

nessa dee

Monday, July 15, 2013

Hello, Monday!

I hope this Monday morning finds you well! 

:: This picture is from my aunt and uncle's lake house where we spent the better part of last week. I'll tell you more about this wonderful trip and its many exciting activities, but as per usual, I have over 500 pictures to weed through and edit before I post about it. 

:: One of the many activities involved floating these handmade boats. I'm going to share the step-by-step process my mom and grandpa used to make these for a special Crafty Friday this week!

:: I'm going to be taking advantage of this travel free week to finish a few illustrations I've been working on. [Please forgive the super grainy Instagram pic. I'll take better pics for you once they're done.]

:: I'll also be spending some time with the kids in our rainy day tent.

:: And, because I can't help myself, here's one more pic from the lake house...

Happy Monday!

nessa dee

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Drum Circle

I should have posted these pictures a month ago. They were from our trip to DC.  On the third day that we were there, we walked back to my brother's apartment through a huge park that sat across the street. We hadn't yet seen the park because it was surrounded by a stone wall that hid most of the park behind it, and it was easier to walk up the sloped streets than the many stairs that lead to green grass and tall trees. But on this night, we were lured to the park by the sound of beating drums...

What we found was a magical place filled with lush gardens, beautiful fountains, people of all shapes and sizes, performers, and, of course, drums.

And no drum circle would be complete without...

 more cowbell.
nessa dee