No Pine needles here!

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Its Christmas Eve! Yay! I am all done with gift wrapping…yes, an achievement in itself since its not even midnight yet. The Mister helped with the Santa letters and true to his style it was typed out and not handwritten. Guess, Santa needs to catch up to technology and modern times like everyone else. And here I was all these years using my not so good hand to painstakingly write letters to the kids from Santa….sigh…how is it that Dads always take the shortest route possible and still make it to the top of the kids list? Hmmm….

So, the kids have been asking me for a long time to get a Christmas tree and I have been having them make do with decorating the mantle or doing decorations around the house. Not that I have anything against the tree. I just did not want to add to my long list of things to do, even if its once a year. Knowing myself, I would be going crazy trying to outdo my own best efforts where decorating the tree was concerned. Or worst still actually killing myself to make those unique, one-of-a-kind, pinterest worthy ornaments! (Not saying that’s not going to happen still). But, tonight I caved in and just put something real quick together. My love of tree stumps and holiday lights all combined and got together to create this party on my family room wall. I love it..what do you think? Don’t mind the birthday wrapping and don’t judge or maybe do : ) Though not a tree hugger, I hate to see perfectly good wrapping paper being torn to shreds and thrown in trash so I save and recycle the paper most of the times (only exception being Christmas : ) Aren’t I generous?) or even throw in some newspaper…a bit of juicy news while unwrapping never hurt anyone ; ) I think the bits and pieces of various gift wrapping paper makes it that much more colorful and gives the “gifts under the tree” unique character. You know me, all about the unique stuff!

Can’t wait to see the kids reactions tomorrow morning. I am as excited as them for Christmas morning. Their generosity and love makes me swell with pride. My little man who is down with flu, actually took money out of his savings and wrapped that for all of us since he couldn’t get us a gift and my little Miss Feisty, got after me to take her shopping so she could spend her money buying gifts for us. (Gift of the Magi story comes to mind here). I am so proud of both of them. I wish their generosity towards everyone grows with them.

Very Merry Christmas wishes to all and a wonderful and creative 2015. Create beautiful new memories and cherish the old ones. Signing out as I need to make sure Santa makes his appearance…wink wink…downing the cookies and milk as I sign off. Lucky me!

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Of cookies and treats!

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Love this time of the year. The home smells heavenly with all of scrumptious, sweet, delectable, rich, and savory baking going on. The decorations make the home look so festive and jolly. I sound like quite the Martha Stewart, don’t I?! Well, I did do a whole lot of baking. Cookies mostly and kids took care of the decorations. I am sharing a picture of the awesome job they did decorating the mantle. Didn’t they do just great? Although, I have to admit, I had to hold myself back and not obsessively rearrange and add to what they did with their sweet, little hands with so much thought and planning between the two of them. So proud of my two munchkins. But when you have obsessive, compulsive need to do things your way, its hard to let go! Being a Mom though does help you turn it down a notch : )

The cookies turned out awesome and were shared with the very thankful staff at the kids school. The ones I have at home are being devoured by yours truly, more than anyone else. And this is when I don’t even like cookies that much….sigh, doesn’t look good, does it? I will definitely be making it to Santa’s naughty list if I keep at it. I do need to share the recipes with you though. Here are the links to the recipes on epicurious. I love their recipes and most of the times they are right on mark. The reviews by the site users are a great resource for recipe modifications/additions as well. Let me know if you put a twist of your own on the recipes. Happy Baking!

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Jelly-Bowl-Cookies-13502

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Basic-Butter-Cookie-Dough-13504

Time Warp: To the 1930!

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As promised, here is a glimpse of our Grant Wood’s painting American Gothic’s recreation attempts. When it comes to elementary school kids you can imagine the silliness and fidgeting that comes along with it! Boy, was it tough to convince them to get into the costumes and on top of that to look serious and rather stern! As the story goes, it was Mr.Wood’s sister, Nan, in the painting and she was not happy about being made to stand next to an older gentleman, who was Mr. Wood’s dentist Dr. Byron McKeeby, and made to look like his wife. She wanted everyone to know that she was the “Farmer’s daughter” and not his wife. Once the painting was released to the public, a lot of folks were shocked at the depiction of an older gentleman with a much younger wife! Wood, bowed to the public and changed his story behind the painting to depict an Iowan Farmer and his daughter. It’s one of the few paintings to achieve iconic cultural status, along with Leonardo Da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” and Edward Munch’s “The Scream”. It is one of the most reproduced and parodied images ever made and has inspired as many spoofs & controversies.

Now that I have explained the intrigue and story behind the American Gothic, back to our recreation. So after multiple trips to the area thrift stores, we managed to get some similar looking clothes for our costumes in the painting. A bit of rick rack here and a bit of adding the collar there and voila..we came close!  Another Mom painted the backdrop and what a fabulous job she did of it : ) We had so much fun having the kids pose for this recreation, though if you will ask them, they will say “not so much”….but, they will come around once they see the results. I insist on it.

What do you think? Does it look like the real deal? Also, here’s a link to a creative spoof SNL did on the painting!

There is no blue without yellow and without orange!

Its a beautiful thing to be truly inspired by a work of art and its essence. For me the artist who invokes countless feelings and emotions, is Vincent..of the Van Gogh fame. For as long as I can remember, I have been crazy about him and his work. His art has that surreal and mesmerizing quality that enthralls you just by looking at it. He was an enigma. A genius who was misunderstood and died oh so young. Imagine, if he had lived just a few more years, what more evocative works of art he might have produced. The reason I write about him today, is because as I mentioned in one of the previous posts, I am working on an art booth for our school. Last year for the same booth, we did Van Gogh as one of the artist who’s self portrait we recreated with kids. It was such a success and the results were nothing short of true beauty. This year we are doing the American artist Grant Wood and recreating his painting the “American Gothic”. Will post the outcomes of that soon. For now, here is a glimpse of the Van Gogh’s portrait recreated at our school.

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Crafty Moms of Suburbia!

Glue-Day-072It was one of those days, when WFH seems to reap rich benefits for the public school system! Yes, I am one of those Moms who much to my Mister’s chagrin devote an inane amount of time towards my kids school. (What can I say, I work hard and smart all at the same time). Being a member of different school committees though hard work, is a lot of fun. You end up meeting other insane Moms who are on a mission to better the life of every student in the school and might I add proud to do so. Huge shout out to all the public school volunteers without whom our kids life at school would be devoid of super crafts, crazy event nights, ice cream and pizza socials, gardening and field trips. But, I digress. The reason I started writing today’s post was to tell you the secret glue sniffing society of Moms is still alive out there…I mean right here ; ) After, what were some very fruitful meetings, I and another Mom got together to do some prep work for a very important International Night coming up this week. We had tons of cutting/pasting to do and what did my partner in crime bring? Good, old, brush type applicator glue….voila, we were getting happier as we were crafting and realized that it was the Elmer’s Rubber Cement that was making us happy : ) Seriously!

After I have written this post, it seems kind of insignificant and pointless that I even started writing it! Oh well, all I can say is that it was the glue talking! Happy Crafting people…ditch those hot glue guns and get a bottle of Elmers Rubber Cement and put some Pharell Williams on your itunes. Dance like no one’s watching and craft like no one’s judging!

Game of Thrones

So, ready? Here goes…I have become a GoT (Game of Thrones) fan recently and to the extent that I while away my precious, mayhem free nights and swap it with marathon GoT shows.

I love the medieval times and can clearly see why the phrase “Good to be King” came about! It truly was good if you lived in Medieval times as a king. Cause if you were anything else you life could have been dreadfully short, your death most probably violent, life if you had the good fortune of living, full of excesses, good times and deep, dark dungeony spaces. (autocorrect wants me to correct the word dungeony, but I will ignore that for the sake of effect and images it conjures, agree?) So, as I was saying, I got so inspired that a painting I did, screamed GoT to me. I am posting a picture. Tell me what you think? My first after what has been probably a good 20 yrs since I painted last! My not-so-better half thinks it s a huge stretch when I titled the painting “Game of Thrones”. What do you think?untitled (106)

The wrong way around!

Yes, that’s right! I seem to be doing this the wrong way around. Typically, everyone who is a creative artist or wants to be one, starts by a blog, gets followers, opens a FB fan page, starts pinning, tweeting…you think it and they do it..but all post having a blog. And what do I do? I do it all in reverse order! So, what is prompting me to do blogging now after all these years of being content Etsying, pinning, FB’ing and tweeting? Don’t ask cause I won’t be able to tell you. The only thing I can say with confidence or faux pride, is that being a WFHM, there are times when I start hearing voices in my head and at this point instead of having a one way intense conversation with them, I decided to pen them down and start a dialogue virtually and not just mentally! Yay…..its a first step, so please don’t judge : )

I have decided that I am going to grace you all with ramblings of my creative although messy mind by penning down posts every now and then and taking you on a journey with me. Sounds exciting? Why do I visualize you shaking your head in the negative? I will pretend I did not feel that with my strong ESP powers and instead just carry on with what I was saying : )

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