Photo Friday

I hope everyone is enjoying a wonderful Friday! Our week has continued to be busy with preparing for our trip to Michigan. Most of the cleaning and organizing is done now, but most of the packing still is not. We leave tomorrow morning and will be gone for two weeks. It will be wonderful for Lewis to get to see his grandparents and everyone else on Chris’ side of the family, and he is quite excited about the trip! (Although I think he will be a little less excited once he realizes we are spending two days in the car before actually getting there!) We’ll have limited internet access and I’m not bringing my laptop along, so I won’t be updating here at  all in the next two weeks. But I promise lots of photos and stories when we return!

Wandering through the greenhouse at Altamont Orchards. He was unimpressed and just wanted to know where all the strawberries were.

Wandering through the greenhouse at Altamont Orchards. He was unimpressed and just wanted to know where all the strawberries were.

Brrr. Fun in the chilly pool last weekend.

Brrr. Fun in the chilly pool last weekend.

I asked Lewis if he would like a snack and he told me that it was summer and we should eat popsicles outside.

I asked Lewis if he would like a snack and he told me that it was summer and we should eat popsicles outside.

Fun new skill: climbing onto a chair. He doesn't trust himself to climb back off though, so he just shouts at us until we come help.

Fun new skill: climbing onto a chair. He doesn’t trust himself to climb back off though, so he just shouts at us until we come help.

"There's a spider on the ceiling! Bugs are amazing!"

“There’s a spider on the ceiling! Bugs are amazing!”

A little jelly for lunch.

A little jelly for lunch.

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Jam-Packed Weekend Fun

Summer is such a wonderful time with so many options of fun things to do, and we have been very busy here trying to do a little bit of everything! We also are leaving this Saturday for a trip out to Michigan to visit Chris’ family, and planning and packing for our trip is adding an extra level of busyness to our days this week.

Lewis is at such a wonderful age right now. Old enough to have fun going out and doing things, and to really participate, but the world is still new enough to him that every little thing is still a fun adventure!

Saturday morning we were busy running errands. First a quick trip to the AT&T store, then we split up and Lewis and Daddy went to Pet Smart and Barnes & Noble while I went to get my hair cut. Lewis loves the pet store and all the different animals that can be seen there. Barnes & Noble has a fun train set and other cool things in their kid’s section, but unfortunately the one near us is closing soon. Once we met back up after my hair cut, we had to head over to Target for a few things (and yes, we came out with three times as much as what we went in for).

We went home, had lunch and a nap, and then on to the next busy thing: Lewis’ first trip to Hoffman’s Playland!  Hoffman’s is a small local amusement park with a lot of rides geared specifically towards young children. This trip was organized as a family day by Chris’ work. We ran into a few other family’s there but mostly wandered around doing our own thing.

First ever carousel ride!

First ever carousel ride!

We started out with Lewis and Daddy riding the carousel, then moved on to the boat ride which someone had recommended to us.

He loved ringing the bell in the boat!

He loved ringing the bell in the boat!

This was Lewis’ first time riding on a ride all by himself, and we were very proud of him for having fun and not freaking out that Mommy and Daddy were standing outside the fence.

After the boats Lewis and I rode a hot-air-balloon ride together, and then we discovered one of his favorite things at the park: A Humpty Dumpty statue!

He's so funny! Look at that big eye!

He’s so funny! Look at that big eye!

We went in the arcade area and Lewis sat on a couple of games there but we didn’t actually play anything. He also rode on a caterpillar train thingy with Daddy.

Lewis' favorite construction vehicle!

Lewis’ favorite construction vehicle!

We wandered around a bit more, then discovered that we had lost Lewis’ wrist band (which he had refused to use so it had been going in and out of Daddy’s and my pockets.) It was getting towards dinner time anyway so we posed with Lewis’ most favorite thing at the park: The Clown trash cans!!! We had just enough tickets for the three of us to ride the carousel one more time together, then we left to go get dinner.

Lewis kept wanting to go back and look at the trashcans over and over while we were at the park.

Lewis kept wanting to go back and look at the trashcans over and over while we were at the park.

Sunday was another busy day for us. We decided to go strawberry picking in the morning because it was pretty much our only chance to go: by the time we get back from Michigan and then go to Vermont for a reunion with my extended family strawberries aren’t going to be in season any more.

We normally go to Bowman’s Orchard for apple and strawberry picking, but they don’t open until noon on Sundays, so we decided to give Altamont Orchards a try instead. It was a bit farther of a drive, but we liked the atmosphere there and will probably go there again for our strawberry needs next summer.

Picking his own strawberry.

Picking his own strawberry.

I wasn’t really sure what to expect from Lewis, but he did great. He stayed on the paths between bushes, and asked me or Daddy for help when he wanted to hop over to another row. He also (mostly) only picked berries that Daddy or I showed him were good and ripe, and didn’t try to eat anything disgusting. Win!

Goofy strawberry-eating face.

Goofy strawberry-eating face.

After lunch and nap at home again, Sunday afternoon was time for a swim in the pool before heading out for our weekly grocery shop.

It was a very busy weekend, but definitely fun and worth all the busyness!

ICAD With A Toddler

As you have probably noticed recently if you’ve been reading my blog, I am having a lot of fun creating daily index cards with the ICAD challenge from Daisy Yellow.  Tammy, who writes the Daisy Yellow blog and runs the ICAD challenge each year is very supportive of the idea of children participating in the challenge too, and even has a special FAQ page dedicated to a kid-version of ICAD.  When I decided to do the challenge I knew I wanted to get Lewis involved too. He loves art projects, especially getting to explore Mama’s supplies.

First 5 cards. Pencil (with some dot-to-dot by Daddy), pen, watercolors, colored pencils, glue stick and paper scraps.

First 5 cards. Pencil (with some dot-to-dot by Daddy), pen, watercolors, colored pencils, glue stick and paper scraps.

I’m keeping it relaxed with him, not pushing him to create when he doesn’t want to, and trying not to interfere with his creative process when he is creating. We’ve only missed two or three days so far, but he has also created multiple cards on some days so it actually evens out to him being approximately on-track with the challenge. When we first started I thought he would create maybe one or two cards here and there, but he’s really gotten into the creativity more than I ever expected.

Cards #6-12. Scissor practice, glue stick, pen, markers with and without water painted over, red fuzz glued on card, and stamping.

Cards #6-12. Scissor practice, glue stick, pen, markers with and without water painted over, red fuzz glued on card, and stamping.

I love art and creative expression, and I try to keep art a part of Lewis’ daily life as well. He has his own “art drawer” alongside all of my art materials, and free access to paper, markers, stickers, colored pencils and washi tape. Pens, pencils, crayons, and chalk are all readily available for him to use as well. However, I’ve found that starting this challenge with him has made me even more open and ready to let him explore a variety of art materials at any time of the day. It’s so easy to grab an index card (or three) and sit down with a few materials to start creating. I’ve been trying hard not to say “no” if he ever asks for art materials or shows an interest in creating. He spots the glue stick up on the table and asks for it? Great! Lets sit down together, find some paper we can cut or tear up, and glue it on a card! He spotted me writing on the grocery list and wants to use my pen? Sure! Here’s an index card to ‘write’ on!

He told me he wanted green and blue paint, and that he was going to paint with a tooth pick. Awesome!

He told me he wanted green and blue paint, and that he was going to paint with a tooth pick. Awesome!

Some days I suggest art materials or lay them out for him to find, other days I wait for him to find his own inspiration. Some of his cards have come from letting him explore the same materials I used on my card that day, other times it is just a case of him wanting to use his markers. For his stamped card I laid out a few stamps on the table one day and waited for him to notice them. When he did, I asked if he’d like to give them a try and we sat down together to explore stamping.

Cards #13-18. Paint, crayons, markers, stickers, pencil.

Cards #13-18. Paint, crayons, markers, stickers, pencil.

The index cards seem to be a fun size for him to work on. I’ve seen some suggestions to give toddlers huge paper, big enough so they can paint or color in the full area of where there arm can reach, and of course this is fun and a good art activity sometimes. But, I think tiny paper is just as appropriate. He seems to have no trouble creating his art in the small space, and if I am worried about mess I just place the card on top of some bigger paper or a newspaper. Often these cards seem just-right for his toddler sized attention span. Sometimes he wants to continue creating after he’s done one, but there have also been many times when one card seems to be just the right dose of art.

Cards #19-22. Attempt at image transfer (we did this together as a practice before I made my own image transfer card), fabric scraps with glue stick, glitter glue & extra glitter sprinkled on top.

Cards #19-22. Attempt at image transfer (we did this together as a practice before I made my own image transfer card), fabric scraps with glue stick, glitter glue & extra glitter sprinkled on top.

We are having such a great time creating art together and exploring all these materials. I can’t wait to see what Lewis creates throughout the rest of this challenge (and beyond)!

Photo Friday

Happy Beautiful Sunny Summery Friday everyone! It’s been quite nice weather here all week, so of course we have been enjoying as much outdoors time as possible. Last weekend we went to the Strawberry Festival. Lewis enjoyed some strawberry shortcake for his lunch (we had real food first, but he wasn’t in the mood for most of what Mommy and Daddy picked, and pretty much just ate part of a pickle and a few bites of hamburger, but once we got dessert he decided he was hungry after all!) Lewis and I also went swimming this week for the first time this summer. The water was still rather chilly which Lewis wasn’t sure he liked, but he did have fun sitting on the edge with his feet in and making wet hand prints along the side.

Feeding the goat at the Strawberry Fest petting zoo.

Feeding the goat at the Strawberry Fest petting zoo.

Lewis enjoyed the animals until the sheep started Baaing very loudly, then he decided he was done.

Lewis enjoyed the animals until the sheep started Baaing very loudly, then he decided he was done.

Checking out some animal statues outside a shop.

Checking out some animal statues outside a shop.

Lewis in his too-big swim suit. Bought it a while ago and thought he would grow into it a bit more by now, but he doesn't seem to want to do much growing.

Lewis in his too-big swim suit. Bought it a while ago and thought he would grow into it a bit more by now, but he doesn’t seem to want to do much growing.

He didn't want to get dressed one day and I had dishes to wash, so I gave him his own pan of water to "wash" some things too. Thank goodness for the towel on the floor!

He didn’t want to get dressed one day and I had dishes to wash, so I gave him his own pan of water to “wash” some things too. Thank goodness for the towel on the floor!

Cones & cars.

Cones & cars.

I built an obstacle course with rows of cones for him to step over. His solution? Kick them down!

I built an obstacle course with rows of cones for him to step over. His solution? Kick them down!

He helped me make granola this morning. As usual his main form of 'help' consisted of sampling all the ingredients. Here he is attempting to drink chia seeds.

He helped me make granola this morning. As usual his main form of ‘help’ consisted of sampling all the ingredients. Here he is attempting to drink chia seeds.

ICAD Week 2

Here are my cards from week 2 of ICAD! I’m a bit late getting these posted, which doesn’t surprise me since Photo Friday seems to be the only thing I reliably post anymore.

Cards #1-16, a couple from this week snuck into the shot too.

Cards #1-16, a couple from this week snuck into the shot too.

I’m still having a lot of fun with this and enjoying exploring different materials and techniques with my cards. Lewis has continued to join in too, and I’m finding that the challenge is helping me be a bit more adventurous with which craft supplies I allow him to try out.

The theme for Week Two was “Collage and glued creations,” which I sometimes followed and sometimes did not, which is pretty normal for my art anyway. I did the same with the daily prompts, sometimes using them and sometimes not. So here are the cards!

#8. Mandala. This one I did use cut and glued paper, with some doodling over top. The background is watercolor.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA#9. Prompt was alphabet, which I disregarded in favor of doodling another mandala on another watercolor background.

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#10. The Beatles. Thought about which song would be the most fun to create a card from, decided to learn to draw a walrus. Just used pencil, and followed a “how to draw a walrus” guide I found online.

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#11. Disregarded “toy camera” prompt. Created some found poetry by altering a book page, and attached on a card which was already decorated with a marker background.

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#12. Paisley. Doodles on watercolor. Had fun drawing these, but prefer the regularity of mandalas.

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#13. Skipped “book review” prompt. Got crazy idea to glue yarn onto card. Sketched a simple pencil outline of a flower, started adding yarn. Did not have fun. Very fiddly and my hands were covered in glue. Had to take a break after a while and come back to finish it in the evening because I was getting too annoyed with it. I like the finished product though!

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#14. Magenta. Dug through my art supplies and junk mail for anything magenta I could find. Used a bit of everything. Crayon, various colored pencils, marker, watercolors, two kinds of tape, collage bits.

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When I took my photo of all the cards together I was thinking that they seem very unrelated in terms of materials/subject/style/whatever, but now that I’ve listed these seven together I am seeing somewhat of a common thread with flowers/mandalas/doodles and also the watercolor backgrounds. It will be interesting to see how ALL the cards look together at the end of July!

 

Photo Friday

It’s been a bit of a rainy week here. Lewis and I have been keeping very busy with art, dinosaurs, a bin full of rice, hide & seek, puddle splashing, play-doh, and much more! We’re a bit tired of being cooped up inside, but lucky for us this weekend is supposed to be more nice weather and tomorrow is the strawberry festival!

Story time with Auntie Anna.

Story time with Auntie Anna.

Slides are only fun when you can sit on someone's lap to go down!

Slides are only fun when you can sit on someone’s lap to go down!

Yum! Lewis has been talking about iced tea a lot recently so we went to Starbucks earlier this week and I treated him to an unsweetened iced passion tea. We also got to watch the construction vehicles working in the parking lot outside!

Yum! Lewis has been talking about iced tea a lot recently so we went to Starbucks earlier this week and I treated him to an unsweetened iced passion tea. We also got to watch the construction vehicles working in the parking lot outside!

Some fun play time with the ice leftover from our iced tea.

Some fun play time with the ice leftover from our iced tea.

Carefully working on his golf club sculpture/art installation. This apparently was a "present" for Dada.

Carefully working on his golf club sculpture/art installation. This apparently was a “present” for Dada.

Very focused poking toothpicks into a styrofoam egg carton. He had fun stomping on it and crushing it too!

Very focused poking toothpicks into a styrofoam egg carton. He had fun stomping on it and crushing it too!

Lots of fun with "Playdoh-aydoh" recently. Cookie cutter shapes and animal prints.

Lots of fun with “Playdoh-aydoh” recently. Cookie cutter shapes and animal prints.

ICAD Week 1 In Review

The first week of ICAD is complete! If you haven’t joined in on the fun yet, there is still time – there is no right or wrong way of doing this.

I have been having fun creating this week, setting aside some time for myself once Lewis goes down for his daily nap, or sometimes working together with him while he does his own coloring/painting/whatever. The weekly theme was “Text” and I think I managed to include some form of writing on each of my cards. I followed the daily prompts every day except one, but I think I may choose to move away from the prompts a bit more as the challenge goes on. So, here are my cards for the week!

#1. The prompt was “Prism.” I sketched the prism and rainbow, colored the rainbow with Crayola washable markers, then painted on water to bleed the colors. Wrote the haiku with Super Fine point Sharpies, then dabbed black ink all around for the background.

Prism.

Prism.

#2. The prompt was “Circus Tent” which I chose to skip. When I finished the Prism card, I showed it to Chris and declared “1 down, 6o more to go!” His response was “Good luck with that!” When I saw this same phrase on a newspaper headline the next day I knew I needed to work it into a card. Watercolor background, pen, and cut-out phrases glued on.

Good luck with that!

Good luck with that!

#3. “My Name Is.” Simple colored pencil drawing.

My name is Tree.

My name is Tree.

#4. Puzzle. Crossword puzzle with a quote written onto it, doodles, some squares colored in black, and a bit of paint.

Puzzle.

Puzzle.

#5. Galaxy. Wasn’t sure where to go with this prompt, so I started looking through my box of random papers/junk mail/etc. I have collected, and found this Justice League comic book, which came out of a cereal box. Collage made all from pieces cut from the comic.

Galaxy/Space.

Galaxy/Space.

#6. Nail Polish. Previously made background with watercolors and watercolor pencils. Dripped and dribbled on teal nail polish. Glued on words.

Nail Polish.

Nail Polish.

#7. Yellow. Collage bits with yellow, orange, and black doodles. This is basically a mini version of a journal page I did a while ago, but it’s what came to mind when I read the prompt.

Yellow.

Yellow.

That’s it for this week! I’m having a lot of fun and enjoying the added creativity in my days. The challenge is already getting me to try new things and use materials that have been sitting around unused for ages. Stay tuned for more weekly installments of ICAD cards, and at some point a post about creating cards with Lewis (yes, I know, the toddler cuteness is the real reason you all read my blog.)