Saturday, June 30, 2012

Under the Sea -- A Challenge

As members of the Blogging Business Artisans Etsy team, we have a monthly challenge to create something that follows a suggested theme -- June's theme was brought to us by Erika of Artful Rising who challenged us to create a project with the theme "Under the Sea."

Naturally, my thoughts turned to a collection of sea creatures for the kids. I decided that a frilly starfish, a cutie seahorse, and a couple of little fishes would go into my play set.

I needed to make a bag to hold everything -- I started crocheting one, and then changed my mind! (Something I do quite often!) I get part way done and then rip it out and start again on a different tangent -- do you do that?

I love this chubby seahorse. He's just so round and cute! 

Here he is showing off his cutie little multicolored fins. 
He's quite proud of them, you know ....

This is miss starfish with her gal pal fishies.
Well, the green fish might be a boy, but he's not telling ....

I knew I wanted fish on the front of the bag and at first thought of crocheting an applique to sew on, but then decided that a felt fish would be cuter. So I made the bag out of felt (easy peasy with two sheets of felt from the craft store) and then cut out a little fish and sewed it on. Even stuffed it a bit to make it chubby and interesting for little hands! Then I crocheted some bubbles and sewed those on. I think it came out pretty cute!

These little sea creatures are making their debut in my Etsy shop!
miss starfish is oh, so excited!

♥♥♥  To see other Under the Sea challenge projects, check out the BBA team blog!


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Flora and Fauna .... of the weird variety!


We used to have a perfectly lovely Bradford Pear in our side yard -- I say "used to" because sometime in the spring of 2010 our town was infested with webworms ....

(no, not the internet web worms, but the tree web worms -- 
hehehe couldn't resist) 

They seemed to be everywhere, spinning their evil webs and doing their best to kill off unsuspecting trees. Unfortunately, our little Bradford Pear fell prey to their webs of destruction.

The poor thing never bloomed again, and the next year it began to turn black and weird looking. It scared me .... I dared not take a photo of it lest a few webworms still lurked about.  ; )

We didn't plant anything where it once grew .... thinking we would someday.  But then there started a growth of sorts -- strange looking, but interesting nonetheless.

It grew and grew ..... and became an alien being.

 Now I'm scared to chop it down for fear of the alien creature that surely lurks among its branches.

Evil pods waiting to hatch its alien babes

I think I'd better make me an aluminum foil hat like in M. Night Shyamalan's "Signs" ......


Speaking of weird alien creatures ....

Here's the fauna that lives in our house.  As I said, very strange.

He goes by the name of Oliver and looks very much like your common everyday kitty, but I think that's just to throw us off ....

though he does manage to look very innocent ....

If you have a cat, please be careful. I think they're communicating with the Mother Ship.

♥♥♥  Linking up this Flora and Fauna silliness over at Miss Jenny's where we are studying the letter F for Alphabe-Thursday!

Jenny Matlock
Signs photo credit


Thursday, June 21, 2012

A Budding Entomologist

We were going to catch butterflies. But we found katy bugs instead ....

Noli the Entomologist was armed with her trusty butterfly net, looking up to see the butterflies flying about. Then something kinda icky and creepy catches her eye .... and it's making a funny chirping sound. We look, and there is a katy bug! (Katy bug, aka cicada in big people talk.)

A little background -- when Noli's Uncle Adam (my son) was a little boy, he called cicadas "katy bugs" and the name stuck. It is, after all, a very scientific term, you know.

So we snuck up on the katy bug, Noli armed with her butterfly net, and me with my trusty camera.

Girl vs Bug

Dare ya to touch it!! I double dog dare ya!

We looked closely and could see how transparent their wings are, and how iridescent their bodies. 
(Click on this pic for a real up-close-and-personal look!!)

We found a shell clinging to the lawn mower and talked about how they live underground for as long as 17 years, and then climb out to the surface, find a twig or leaf (or in this case, a lawn mower) to attach to, and then leave their shell as adults.

"How do they know when to come up from underground?" asks Entomologist Noli.
"I guess they have an alarm clock!" jokes smarty pants grandma.  

Then we went to learn a bit more about katy bugs from the trusty internet.
("They are really called cicadas, you know" says Noli -- she never lets me get away with anything ...)

One thing we learned is that katy bugs are eaten in some countries -- do you want yours grilled or fried?

♥♥♥  Linking Entomologist Noli and her katy bugs to Alphabe-Thursday at Miss Jenny's classroom, where we are studying the letter E!!


Saturday, June 16, 2012

Daddy Card and not a bit of pink ....

Noli comes from a creative family -- from art to needlework, china painting to ceramics, gardening to cooking, photography to woodworking, it seems that through the generations we have done it all. Her daddy is musical, her mommy is artistic. We are raising her to be creative on her own, to color outside the lines, to make your own instead of buying. She's only six, but she's got these lessons down!

So, in the spirit of handmade, she has drawn a sweet card for her daddy. Mommy helped her take a store-bought card and remove the front design. (When someone sends the dreaded store-bought card, Mommy saves it to use in Noli's craft projects.)

Noli took a rectangle of those stick-on rubbery kid craft things and sticks it on, covering where the original picture had been. She cuts out some designs and makes her picture, filling in the details with a pen.

She writes on the front, then thinks a bit and writes her message on the inside. Oops! a mistake! She changes her mind, and in typical kid fashion, scratches it out. Writes the rest. Uses plenty of hearts. Her card is full of puppies and kitties -- which are foremost on her mind right now.

She's very proud of the way she is making her small letter "a" now -- all curly.  
"No, it's not cursive, silly" she says to me, "it's curly."

I think Daddy will really love his Noli card.

♥♥♥  I'm linking Noli's Daddy's Day card to Pink Saturday / Father's Day over at How Sweet the Sound.


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Ducks Galore!

It's Thursday, and that means Alphabe-Thursday over at Jenny's place! Today we are studying the letter D and, for me, it's Ducks!!

Earlier this week I decided to go for a duck walk at a local park. It was a nice day, not too hot yet, and apparently too early in the (late) morning for a lot of kids to be playing on the playground. This park has a big lake with a hiking trail around it, lots of trees, a cute area to sit and watch, and lots of ducks!

I brought bread to feed them -- maybe not the best diet but they sure do love it!! 

Wait for us! We want bread too!

I love duck feet ....

and duck bottoms!!

all together now!!

This rippling reflection is awesome! (and the duck bottom)
Click on it to get all the awesomeness!

Swimming away 

Walking away

Coming back

Taking off

Gathered together

Is that bread for me?
Darn those pigeons, they got there first ....

So the ducks know where to cross ....

Wait! Do you think the ducks know which crossing to take?
I love the way the duck sign is the one with the WORDS!!

♥♥♥ Linking all the duckie cuteness to Alphabe-Thursday


Monday, June 11, 2012

Blue Chair, Blue Pillow ... and Oliver

Today's Blue Monday and at first I thought I didn't have anything to share..... then I looked around my office / craft room / Noli room / storage for my vintage shop (this room wears many hats!!) and landed on my blue chair with its cute kinda sorta blue pillow and realized that, of course, I have something blue for today!

I found this cute cross-stitch pillow at a thrift store, just sitting there looking all sweet and perfect among all the *ahem* cast-off, dirty, yucky lovingly donated pillows on the shelves.  I guess the blue in it is technically a gray, but from a distance it certainly looks blue!

And, hey, the back is blue!

Perfect for my blue chair! Which, by the way, I got sometime back at an estate sale for (drum roll, please) a whopping $25.00!!! In perfect condition -- no stains, rips or tears! Yay! A small size to fit in a small room that's already crammed full of a twin bed, four bookshelves and an office sized desk. Comfy too.

I like to sit in it and crochet while Noli plays computer games -- I have to be on hand to read instructions to her and for those hard words that she can't yet figure out -- plus I like to have the interaction with her.

Can you see Oliver over there peeking over the arm?

>^.^<  -- You just thought you were going to take a picture without
ME in it!

There he goes!

>^.^<  --  A leap of faith. Sometimes I'm not sure where my immense bulk, um, masculine physique will land. (See, I can use those strike-outs just like mommy can...)

King of the mountain!

>^.^<  --  Of course King of the Mountain ... especially when I sit on the BACK of the chair!

Funny how Oliver takes over every post that has even a mention of him in it!

>^.^<  --  Who, ME??

♥♥♥ Linking up Oliver's, er, MY chair and pillow over at Smiling Sally's Blue Monday



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