Monday, May 28, 2012

travel paints

In preparation for our trip, I've been pulling together travel
watercolor pallets for myself and the kids. This seems like the
most portable art option, although (popular to contrary belief)
watercolor is not a very kid-friendly medium. Here's why: 
kids are very straightforward about painting. They start big 
and add details later. This works fine if none of the details
are lighter than the main mass. But watercolor doesn't have
a lot of easy options for adding whites or light colors at the 
end. In fact, many watercolorists work backwords, saving the white
highlights at the beginning. This takes a good deal of planning...
or at least awareness. Also, if all the colors go on while the
initial round of painting is wet, watercolors tend to blend together
into a puddle of brown. So kids get frustrated with the colors 
coming out not nearly as clear and bright as they were in the box.
All that to say that I am baffled with our tendency to start 
children with watercolors. Let's go back to finger paints!! 

Okay, I'll hop down off my soap box now.
 Because, after all, I am toting a variety of adorable travel palettes
loaded full of juicy watercolor paints to dive into with my kids
on vacation. Hopefully I can teach them some techniques that will 
lead to satisfying outcomes in their travel journals. 
To get palettes set up, I had to figure out what pigments they already
contained. So I've had a delicious time painting color
swatches and comparing them to tube paints and friends' supplies.
Now the Art Basket is loaded up, as is the Summer-Enrichment-Program
Briefcase and the Making-Fabric-Flowers Bag. I'll share more about 
these soon! In the meantime, I'd better go pack some clothes.... 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Monday, May 21, 2012

teacher gifts

I started crocheting three months ago just to barely get four sets of these
teacher gifts made, and voila! Here they are (Whew!). To get the lovely little
watermelon dish scrubbies, I modified this pattern at

I used her dishcloth pattern straight up. The watermelon is actually easier
than the dishcloth, as it is just a circle folded in half and sewn around the edges.
I figure everyone has dishes to scrub, right? 
And watermelon is just so summery.
Ashton is delighted to give these to as many teachers as possible, 
but Elliott is in no way eager to claim them as his own -- 
"You can just give it to her yourself, Mommy." 

 Maybe I should have used camouflage-colored yarn for one of them!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

sabbatical musings

As some of you know, my husband Eric and I have been gearing up

for a two-month sabbatical this year. We're nearing the birthday of

the church we planted with other dear friends almost eleven years ago.

As a pastor, Eric has always planned to take a sabbatical on the tenth

year, and things have fallen into place beautifully for that to happen.

In two weeks, we'll be heading off on a road trip to Oregon with our kids.

Friends of the family have graciously offered us a place to stay while we're there.

After that, we'll be back in town but not living at home for the rest of the summer.

In the midst of that time, we hope to make good headway on Eric's book,

spend a lot of time as a family, and see where the adventure takes us!

I'll be packing my paints, my Bible, and my guitar (along with the aforementioned

husband and children), and hope to return freshly inspired in many arenas.

So don't go away, folks -- I'll be posting updates as we travel along!


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

hello again

Hello, friends both near and far!
I am not sure how I have managed to be
absent since mid-April. The garden, as you
can see, has kept growing. We have eaten 
two salads out of it and have harvested 
a good amount of cilantro and some peppers.
The summer is coming fast, and I hope
to dive back into painting. I usually spend 
the summer in a sleepy stupor, but I have been
wide awake since I started taking fish oil three
weeks ago. I feel hopeful about the possibilities.
I hope May finds you well and delighted.