Thursday, June 30, 2011

Freaked Out

I'm home alone today cleaning and organizing while Nature Girl is at her last day of art camp. Around 12:30 I heard the dog across the street barking and looked out the front door to see a coyote standing in my front yard. I did a double take. . .yep it really was a coyote. Cinnamon, who is a tiny little dog, kept barking. The coyote took a look a Cinnamon then trotted off down my driveway then around the side of the house. I couldn't see where he took off to.
Now, we live in a rural area so we have plenty of wild animals around, I just don't like it when they are in the yard in broad daylight. Nature Girl is always wanting to play outside, ride her bike or drive gator around. Seeing a coyote in the yard makes me want to keep her inside! Of course I know that's irrational, so instead I now have to show her a picture of a coyote and say if you see this immediately come inside. It freaks me out! I think I'll be spending lots of time outside this summer on coyote patrol.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Sweet Portrait

Nature Girl drew this sweet little portrait of me with a raccoon while we were at school on Wednesday. I was impressed and think it is just so cute! She drew it while hanging out in one of the fourth grade classrooms, so even the 4th graders were impressed with her drawing ability. I wasn't sure why she picked a raccoon to draw next to me, but funny enough when we got home on Wednesday night we could hear raccoons outside in the trees around our yard. They were really chattering out there.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Happy summer! Today is my last day of school. Nature Girl finished first grade yesterday, so she's coming to my school for the day. It should be fun!
To celebrate the end of school and the first day of summer we went out for dinner at a little roadside stand nearby. We had hot dogs and onion rings. Nature Girl had this double onion ring. I think they make great summer glasses.
We're both excited to have the summer at home and can't wait to get started on our summer fun list!! Yay summer!!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Show and Tell

Recently Nature Girl started in a program at the library where kids can practice their reading skills by reading to a dog. A few weeks ago she saw this dog coming into the library and begged the librarian to allow her to read to him. Isn't he cute?!! His name is Fritz. He's a five year old great dane that has been trained to be a therapy dog. Look how he lays on her. He even does this while she's reading to him.

Fritz is a sweetheart and I think it was love at first sight. He's as big as she is but Nature Girl thinks he's the best. She asked his trainer if she could take him to school for show and tell. We had to get permission from the principal for Fritz to visit school, but Nature Girl went to the principal and asked him herself. The principal agreed to allow the visit. So Fritz went to school this week as Nature Girl's show and tell. The kids were amazed and had lots of questions about Fritz and his job. Fritz visits nursing homes, libraries and now schools too. He's a companion and a good listener even though he is deaf. Because he is deaf his trainer uses hand signals with him. He responds to the signals and is well behaved.

Fritz is a wonderful therapy dog. He loves to be around kids and people. As you can see, this little girl likes to be around him too!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

A Girl and Her Art

Nature Girl brought home this picture yesterday. It's her with her new stuffed Webkin pig. She purchased the pig with her own money. Look how happy she looks in the picture. I think it's a sweet little drawing and could picture it as a greeting card or in a little book with cute sayings about friendship.
She drew this on the back of a math sheet at school. She told me that the kids at school watch her draw and tell her that she's an artist. She seems surprised by the comments but it makes her feel good. She loves to draw and it makes her happy. Watching her draw makes me happy! I'm glad she has an outlet for her creativity and a talent that makes her proud of herself.

I have to share another drawing too. This is Nature Girl's tortoise drawing. Things that are important to her come out in her art. We've been talking a lot lately about getting a pet. We had adopted Ruby back in the fall but after she tried to bite Nature Girl several times she is now happily living in an adult only home in NY. I'm happy to say that Ruby is very happy there but I miss having her around. We're definitely ready for a pet and have discussed several possibilities including kittens, a dog or a Russian tortoise. I'm not sure what we will get but I know we're both ready to love some special little animal.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Mushroom Fairy Tutorial

Nature Girl and I have been creating together. We sat down and made these mushroom fairies together. I sewed and then Nature Girl stuffed them. We each painted our own little mushroom fairy. Nature Girl asked me to do the details on her fairy but she did all of the base coat painting herself. I just did the arms, details on the face and the polka dots. She wanted red polka dots on her wings so our fairies would look different. I think they turned out pretty cute, so I thought I'd share a quick little tutorial on how to make your own mushroom fairy. Eventually I'll add a pdf of the tutorial to the sidebar. In the meantime here are the steps.

Mushroom Fairy

Acrylic paints
Paint brushes
Sharpie(ultra fine)

1. Cut out the pattern for the mushroom fairy.

2.Fold the muslin in half, so that you have a double thickness, then pin your pattern pieces to the muslin. Cut out your pieces. You will have two of each piece when you are done.

3. Sew the two mushroom body pieces, leaving the bottom open. Clip your curves then turn and stuff your mushroom. Sew the opening closed.

4. Sew the mushroom fairy wings, leaving an opening for turning. Clip your corners then turn the wings right side out. Press your wings flat with an iron, then sew the opening closed.

5. Now attach the wings to your mushroom fairy's back. Place the wings on the back then hand-stitch a vertical line down the center of the wings to attach them to the body.

6. After your doll is sewn and stuffed, it's time to paint it with a base coat. I chose the tan of the face so I'd be able to see if I missed any spots. Good thing, you have to go back to paint a few times as the fabric will suck up the paint and you end up with light spots even though you know you painted it.

7. After the base coat dries use a pencil to mark where you want the face, top and bottom of the mushroom. Now paint the colors you want your mushroom to be, like the red and the white.

8. To add spots to your mushroom you can use an unsharpened pencil end dipped in paint to put the spots on. When your spots dry, finish off your mushroom by outlining using sharpie. Add your face, arms and hands with the sharpie.

Created by Jill Tacy – May 2011

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Happy Mail!

Yesterday I arrived home to find three packages waiting for me. One was an Amazon order, one was YOE flower fairy swap mail and the third package contained this beautiful bag. Sew Mama Sew hosted a giveaway day at the end of May. I happened to see it listed as I was reading one of my favorite blogs and went to check it out. It's amazing to see the talent and generosity that is out there in the blogosphere. I stayed up way to late perusing blogs and entering some of the giveaways. I was super tired the next day, but guess what. . . it paid of. I won this amazing bag! There were many amazing things in the give away but this bag was one of my favorites and now it's mine, all mine, I tell you! Yipee!

As if the bag wasn't enough, which is totally is, Stephanie sent along rainbow fat quarters too. I can't wait to get them washed and start planning what I'm going to create with them. If you get a chance pop by Stephanie's blog and take a look at the new bag she's giving away. Thank you Stephanie! I love my new bag! By the way Stephanie has an ETSY shop with more bags like mine for sale. Go check it out.

May's YOE theme was flower fairies. I was partnered with Val from Yarnigras! Val and I have been blogger friends for years so it was lots of fun to be paired up. Val always sends amazing packages! She certainly spoiled us once again. Val sent two flower fairy ornaments, flower hair clips, post it's(every teacher loves these,) items for my fairy house that I still need to build, a bookmark, book, and goodies for Nature Girl including paper dolls, candy and a pencil with erasers that Nature Girl uses as a wand.

My favorite ornament is this flower fairy house. Val crocheted the flowers and leaves then attached them to a little painted bird house. It's so unique! Thanks Val, I love my package! You can check out the package I sent to Val and other flower fairy packages here. June's YOE theme is ladybugs.