There’s a goat in my planter!

And I mean, literally! There’s a tiny goat that lives in my little planter, inside our home. So, just as a dear friend of mine posted on FB about a finished succulent garden that she had done in a beautiful planter pot, we got talking and I told her about the little goat that lives in my rock planter, along with some other animals that are scattered between various pots and plants and even little trays with pots and plants (FYI- I love plants, and animals, in case you didn’t notice!). She loved the idea and placed a little elephant of her own in her new succulent garden pot. Voila…I had a simple idea, sometime back, that seems to have caught on! I have no idea why I glued a seriously tiny goat on a little rock and placed it alongside my plant in a rock planter! None. Though, I do love it so much. Did I tell you about the hippo that lives with the Aloe Vera plant? Ah… that’s a story for another time. In the meantime, here is a picture of the hippo along with some other pictures of goat, pig, and stuff.

I am also attaching pictures of my friend, Sylvia’s, succulent garden and a terrarium she made with another little elephant : ) Sylvia is truly my creative soul sister (I stole this from her) and she adores plants as much as me. If given carte blanche by my husband, I would be creating a jungle inside our house as well as outside. I think he knows, which is why he gives me the evil eye every single time I buy a new plant…..One day, unbeknownst to him, its bound to happen…..heh..heh…(insert evil laughter here)!!

 

 

 

 

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The ever elusive Spring 2018…

Isn’t it always the case that Winter refuses to give up on us even when we are crying for it to? Like every year, this year too, the Spring weather is eluding us. So, we did have some days of pure bliss. You know, the kind of days when its warm but not too warm, and cool but not too cool…essentially the weather that we read about in books as Spring : ) Yes, that. Cannot complain though. Virginia is that wondrous state that more often than not, misses the brunt of the winter wrath that Weather Gods unleash on our surrounding states. Thank you God!
We just got done with our Winter err… Spring break. We had a wonderful road trip to beautiful and historic Charleston SC and Savannah GA. We were hoping for warmer weather than what greeted us there, but we warmed ourselves with the historical tours and tales of bravery amidst adversity. It is literally like walking through the pages of a history book as you tour these two cities. If only these walls, cobblestone streets, trees, rivers, and stones, could talk! Oh! what sadness, agony, pain, hope, happiness, desire, and triumph they would speak of! They would talk about the resilience of the human spirit amongst the darkest and toughest of times. It was a history lesson that my 10 and 13 year old could almost picture in those surroundings. My son wanted to read every single thing written/displayed at the Slave Mart Museum in Charleston. He was moved by the words, images, and artifacts that he saw there. Our one regret was not being able to do the tour of the plantation. The day we had it planned, it poured almost the entire day. Another reason for us to go back there : )

Both of these cities have a almost haunting calmness to them. No one seemed in a mad rush to get somewhere or have a device glued to them. Its almost like the tourists forgot to take a million selfies or something. Surreal one would say! Maybe its the vibe of these cities that calms people down. I have to say though that both these places had such instagrammable spots that I had to flip my phone out to take more than a few pictures much to my 13 year old’s chagrin. I am sharing some of the pictures here. Go and visit these two places if you haven’t already. And, if you have, do share your thoughts. Did you feel the same way as us?

Of Paper Flowers and other Teacher’s Gifts

Teacher’s Gifts…Ah, that mind boggling category that comes around every school year a few times annually. Thank God for Pinterest. I love it for its massive inventory of ideas and then some. We have always done handmade teacher’s gifts along with the quintessential gift cards. This year hasn’t been any different. My 11 yr. old loved making the special gift for his teacher as did my 8 yr. old, for the Valentine day, for hers. Here are pictures of some of the gift projects we DIY’d for them. Pretty sweet!

Hope you will enjoy it. Do share pictures under comments, of any DIY gifts you do for your teachers.

 

Crafting n then some!

Hallelujah! I am back. I know I say this with every post! Guess, some folks are just not cut out to be on top of their regular posts on social media. Case in point, yours truly. The one bright spot on that is though, that we do a lot of crafting, baking, art, writing, and teaching here at our home to compensate for our do-nothingness on social media especially blogging.

We have been busy bees and been doing a lot of artsy stuff. I did complete another painting. The kids meanwhile did more than a few, courtesy of being in my art class. They are doing great and improvising on their pencil sketching and painting skills. They have understood the basics of art pretty well and rattle off about shades, tints, neutrals, hues, values, elements of art, all in one breath. Which I think is quite an accomplishment by the way. They are also getting used to talking about various artists and their incredible art. I love that some of this is taught at the school too. I think the public schools do a great job of inculcating the love of art in children. Both my 11 yr. old son and 8 yr. old daughter adore art. Some of their favorite school projects are the ones where they could use their creativity and come up with a unique perspective on a project.

Since October (which is when I blogged last), we have been through quite a few class parties, teacher’s gifts as well as art classes at home. All of these required some sort of creative twist or two. I am sharing pictures of some of these art projects. Hope you will enjoy viewing them.

Until next time…which hopefully would be sooner than later!

Ciao..

 

The elusive tree-minus Treehouse

Yes! Our tree house aka the clubhouse is finally done! Phew…..what a ride its been. From some rough, old pallets to this tiny house. We love it.

So, I was thinking the other day that maybe the reason I got so obsessed with this project is because we have been watching “Tiny House Living” and “Tiny House Hunters” on HGTV which probably stoked my obsession with the tree house. It doesn’t help that the kids started watching “Tree House Masters” on Animal Planet & “Tree House Guys” on DIY network around the time that we started building this bitty thing. Talk about pressure from our little bosses (rolling eyes here). As they say, all’s well that ends well. We are hoping that this tiny house will be part of a whole new set of memories that the kids will create with their friends or by themselves as they sneak an indulgent snack or two and some sugar laden fruit juice or even candies to pour over some interesting books with adventure and mystery much like their own time in there.

Here are some pictures of the little house. We can’t wait to make a sweet, fragrant garden around our Tiny House come Spring : )

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Adventures in 5th Grade

My first born is now in his last year of elementary school. We have mixed feelings about this. The fact that next year he will be in middle school sort of hits home the fact that losing the ‘elementary” school title makes it official that he is no longer a little kid but an aspiring teenager! Whoa…where did that come from? Don’t get me wrong, 5th grade has been great. I am finally a room Mom this year. Figured that for my son’s last year at elementary school, I could do this. I have volunteered at the school and kids classrooms always but never wore the Room Mom crown. I am glad though that I committed to it this year. We get to plan the big graduation and other fun stuff for their last year of elementary school. Yay!

So, just the other day, my son sprang a surprise on me. He got off the school bus and told me he was running for President! I did a double take on that. So up until now our school has not had a student council or any student officers, so this is a wonderful, pleasant surprise. Preparation for his nomination speech has reached a crescendo and tonight we finalized on his pitch speech to get a formal nomination. If he wins that, he will be debating with the other two candidates and then the voting happens and the finale. The President shall be chosen and the Student Council will come into being. I can imagine all of us going crazy with the campaign posters if he wins the nomination. We will be all over Pinterest and our art supplies, putting our best artist skills to use. My 8 year old is so excited that she is already making flyers and posters for big brother much to his chagrin and even rallying her friends to his side : ) Little sisters are the best, aren’t they? I speak here from experience ; )

Here is a snippet of his speech. Irrespective of the outcome, I am so proud of him. He came up with the Ari_SCT_Speech
speech on his own as well as thought of the agenda all by himself.

What do you think? Would he get the nomination?

Next blog post, we will be back to the clubhouse aka the ‘non-tree’ tree house. I still owe you all the final pictures : )

 

 

Refresh and Re-Use

As it so happens, even though the clubhouse is done, thanks to hurricane Joaquin and all the rain it brought along with it, I have been unable to take decent pictures…sigh…I had the blog post ready en all but sans pictures it did not make sense to post it.

So, instead, I did a quick project to keep the rainy day blues away. The kids table that I had bought almost a decade back after my son was born had been staring me in the face with its little toddler pout. The baby toys are long gone along with the little toy trucks and construction kits that were the theme for the play room back then. As my daughter came along, we kept the cutesy table with its little toy trucks etc. on it since she seemed to enjoy it. But now with the kids at 8 and 10 yrs. old, their interests more along the lines of action figures, video gaming, dolls, pretend play, board games and lego, the table really was in need of growing up as well aka a makeover. I decided to do something that wouldn’t start looking childish in a few years, and would carry them through their tweenuntitled (56) untitled (57) years. And so, this is what I came up with the leftover paint. What do you think? Its settled down quite well in it’s surroundings and is commanding the room like it belongs in it.

That’s it for now. Until my next post then.

Stay creative and keep creating!

The Poppy Chair

It’s all about the chair. The Poppy chair.

I always get caught up in myriad projects all at once. There are a million ideas flitting about in my head and accumulating. Instead of sorting them out in the order of preference, I always end up diving head long into multiple projects. From hoarding up on surprise thrift store, yard sale finds to my DIY and makeover projects, its hard to keep up. Its tougher than it sounds. I am working on it though. One project at a time. Next up, is the completion of kids clubhouse that I blogged about last time.

As I mentioned in one of my blog posts back in February (yikes) , I scored a mid century modern chair which was just too gorgeous to pass up on. The idea was to paint it and reupholster the seat cushion. While the painting happened soon after I brought it home, the fabric for the cushion was another story. After months of procrastinating and thinking that I will design my own fabric for it, I relented and just ordered something off of Spoonflower. This most amazing website lets you design and get your own fabric printed as well as has a vast array of fabrics in every theme or color you can think of. Since I love poppies and they are so reminiscent of 50’s-60’s to me (don’t ask why..maybe the opium vibe that I get from it ), I went with a mid century modern poppy kind of print. It works perfectly.

I also had some cool mirrors that were thrift store finds which I painted and used to make a cozy, little corner for my Poppy chair. Yes, its been nicknamed “The Poppy Chair”. It commands attention and is in general quite demanding. I am attaching a picture. Let me know what you all think. I adore this new corner. Did I mention before, its all about the Chair? Even the cast of Game of Thrones would agree with me….their chair has had bloodshed follow it, while mine is pretty harmless and in general evokes feelings of creativity and happiness. So much better ; )

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Time really does Fly…believe it!

How is it that one month has passed since my last post? I had resolved to be more regular with my blog but somehow the time just flew by. I think we use the phrase “time flies” so loosely without realizing that actually, magically and unbelievably, time does beat us each time. Sigh…

Kids are back at school and the Summer camps are a thing of the past. Before my Fall Art classes start, I used whatever free time I could salvage and embarked on a new project. This one is for the kids. Its a treehouse minus the tree! Ok, so its a clubhouse as the kids call it or a backyard playhouse but why get into technical terminology when any and all of these words scream fun! My poor husband did not know what he was signing up for! It all started during the Summer vacation when the kids and I made one of our many trips to the local public library. As you have probably guessed, we are still big on actual physical books and not much for e-books. We or rather I, checked out this book titled “Housebuilding for Children” thinking it will keep kids busy and I will give them some wood pallets and scrap wood etc. to tinker around in the garage. But, no sooner had I got the book home that I realized my folly. Soon I was hearing things from the garage that sounded like “Mom, can I use the saw?”, “Mom, I want to hammer something”….oh well, that ended pretty fast. We had to take it up a notch and get some muscle power in there. Why buy something when you can make it yourself. We obviously like to make things just a wee bit difficult or lets just say challenging, for ourselves. Makes life that much more interesting. Ha. In steps Daddy..completely in the dark and not knowing what to expect. From there on started a laundry list of materials needed, construction plans, math tutorials and lot of enthusiastic neighborhood kids who wanted to help. After some hits and misses, we have a pretty decent house up. Sure its missing the roof, the window frames, the front step, the landscaping, and the interior decorations but all in good time.untitled (29) untitled (25)

Give us couple more weeks and you shall see what two amateur carpentry enthusiasts along with two little minions can accomplish with their extremely limited wood working skills but intensely high motivation to create something from a scratch.

Do you have any ideas about how we should finish the roof?

Back from the dead and yes its Summer!

Back from the dead! I am not even going to talk about my extended absence from my blog. I think I have truly reached new heights when it comes to blogger disappearances! To admit I am ashamed about it would be truly an understatement. But, shame can’t hold me back….

I have been having a busy summer. Amongst other things, I started teaching art or rather STEAM art part time at a new academy (NoVA Enrichment Academy) near home. For those of you who are not familiar with STEAM, its STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) with infusion of art in it. Pretty neat eh? The kids are hilarious and I love how they twist and shape each art assignment to their own interpretation. These are kids ranging in age group from 6-8 years and as you can imagine their imaginations and creativity are boundless and not yet hampered by conventional ways of thinking. Sometimes I feel, we get boxed into the conventionality and lose our perspective somewhat. We did various projects based on science concepts and wove them into the art tapestry. The results were incredible! Here are a couple of pictures that I think you all will enjoy. There’s tons more stuff to share especially considering the amount of time I have been absconding..but I will get to it slowly. Don’t want to make this post too long and boring. I need you back the next time : )untitled (20)untitled (19)untitled (16)