Category Archives: Princess

Budding photographer

Over the weekend we learned that Princess has quite an artistic eye when it comes to photography.  She got hold of the camera and was snapping some photos after my Woodbadge beading ceremony.  While you might look at a photo like this and think it’s a person hiding behind a water bottle, consider that the human subject is nicely centered, in focus and pretty good proportions. (Even if she is hiding.)  Most of the person photos Little Miss Sunshine snapped were at awkward side angles or done in such a way to leave the subjects headless or with floating heads.

Here’s another example of an odd photo — a purple water bottle in the middle of a grassy patch.  But, where do you  focus as you look at the picture?  The bright water bottle right in the middle.  I say, for a 6-year-old, it’s not a bad color contrast and good centering.

I bet you’ve never thought to take a picture of pink, have you?  This was an extreme close up of the storage bag from a camp chair.

At first glance this is just a dandelion.  However, as I looked at it more, I realized the artistic quality of the dandelion head being right in the center and focused as opposed to the blurred grass in the background.  It may not be the best angle for the flower head, but again, this was taken completely independently by a six-year-old.

This photo I love.  It was probably a random snap as the sun was going down, but I really like the brilliant sun causing the rest of the image to be in shadow.  I was surprised by the composition of the trees on the sides and the open space in the middle.  I definitely don’t think I could have created something like this even if I’d tried.

I’ll be the first to admit that I am not a great photographer.  I do my best to capture my subjects, but I will not be going pro any time soon.  Maybe I should start hiring Princess.  What do you think?

Pinterest party

Since Mother Nature has decided it isn’t time for warm, spring weather, regardless of what the calendar or Punxsutawney Phil might have to say about the matter, our spring break was less than springy and spent indoors.  One day The Artist and a friend decided it was high time to finally have a Pinterest-inspired get-together.  We threw together a few activities and had an enjoyable afternoon.

The first item on the table for the teens was melted crayon art.

 We didn’t really follow a specific tutorial for this, they just hot-glued the crayons on a canvas.

Then hit the whole thing with a hot blow dryer to melt the wax. (One note of caution, the wax can splatter off the canvas and the force of the air has a tendency to move the melted wax around, so some experimentation is probably a good idea.)

The girls tried using masking tape to leave a blank area to add an inspirational word.  That didn’t work out so well.  I don’t know if something stickier would work, or vinyl or just what.

Little Miss Sunshine and Princess wanted a project, so I pulled out some rick rack and attempted making roses.  The original plan was to try this tutorial from the Crafting Chicks.  However, I was too lazy to pull out my sewing machine, so I used Kadie’s no-sew tutorial here.  We used medium rick rack in 12-inch lengths and it made the perfect size roses to put on barrettes.

Some opened up better than others.  For the multi-colored one, we put the white, wrong-sides of the two strips together as we twisted them so there would still be some color when it was opened.  However, Little Miss Sunshine decided she wanted it to stay closed.  It works, either way.

Our last project was a batch of the BYU Mint Brownies that can be found all over Pinterest. To be honest, these were ho-hum.  Granted, I didn’t realize there was a difference between mint extract and peppermint extract, so maybe that makes a difference in the final outcome.  I’ve never had the original from BYU, so I can’t say how ours compared.  However, we did have some “cool” brownies.

Have you ever had a Pinterest-party?  What did you make?

Family photos

We recently had family photos done to update various walls at our house and grandparents’ houses.  Our yearly photo shoot is the bane of my existence when it comes to choosing clothes for everyone.  It used to be that I could find similar outfits for the girls and coordinate the rest of us.  Nowadays, I have to run between the Juniors, Girls, Boys, and Toddler sections.  And don’t forget a quick trip through mens and womens.  Finding similar color tones between sections is almost impossible.  I browse through several stores, then finally decide on what I want, only to find out that the colors won’t coordinate after all.  So I start over and find a couple ideas, then go to another section and change my mind, going back to previous sections.  Repeat several times until finally giving up and/or finding a workable combination.  This year I decided on navy blue and gray for our overall palette.  Thankfully it worked.

 As I was looking through everyone’s photos, I laughed at the many facial expressions from Princess.  She’s very animated in her face, so many of these are ones we see on a regular basis.

Choosing a favorite from our family photos was tricky.  Bugaboo didn’t want to hold still for too many, and just trying to get 8 people all smiling and looking at the camera at the same time is a feat in and of itself.  Here’s some of my favorites:

 Bugaboo decided he was done sitting at this point.  At least he was looking at the camera.

 Most of our photos looked like this:

A last few attempts at getting everyone all together.

We finished with everyone walking down the hill. This might be my absolute favorite shot.

I’m thinking about enlarging this one to go on our wall.  I don’t think grandparents would appreciate it like I do, so they’ll probably get one of the other family shots where you can see all our faces.  Which one is your favorite?

Perspectives – Big & Small

Perspective

Today’s theme for the Perspectives Challenge is Big & Small.

With my crazy week supervising the elementary school bookfair, I didn’t get a chance to take photos other than my thimble collection from Tuesday’s post.  However, I figure it still works since it is a BIG collection made up of SMALL individual thimbles.

For my other two photos, I’m resurrecting some older ones.  Here’s Princess and Little Miss Sunshine on their first day of school.

 Lastly, tomorrow marks 6 years since Princess decided to surprise us with an early entry to this world.  She was so SMALL even preemie-sized clothes were too big.  She almost could have worn doll clothes!

Two months later, she finally grew enough to fit into preemie stuff!

Next week’s challenge theme is TRICK OR TREAT.  I’d better not forget the camera on Halloween. 
Have you linked up with the Perspectives Challenge?

Sewing lesson: Kindergarten rest-time mat

Princess is starting kindergarten.  They are supposed to bring a beach towel to lay on for rest time.  I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t think just a towel on the hard floor would be all that comfy.  But, the commercially available mats are too big to fit in their cubbies.  So, I decided to make her a padded rest-time mat.  My first idea was to get two beach towels and sandwich a thin batting between them before sewing the edges.  Great idea, but she didn’t want a beach towel.  She fell in love with a princess fleece because it had “Tangled” on it.  I figured fleece would stay nice and soft and could be padded just as easily.  This is really my first attempt at machine quilting, but I don’t think it turned out too badly.

Here’s what I did:
You will need 1 to 1 1/2 yards of 60″ wide fleece and a crib-size package of low-loft batting. (Also, matching thread.)

(Note:  You may or may not need to include all steps, especially if you are more organized that I seem to be.)
* Pre-shrink fleece.
* Trim the edges of the fleece to remove any printing or funky edging.
* Fold the fleece in half, matching selvage edges.
* Cut a piece of batting to the same size as the fleece.
* Sandwich batting between fleece layers.
* Pin in place, taking care to match edges.
* Search for the bag containing matching thread that you know was right there yesterday.
* Look again since the thread must be hiding.  It was right there yesterday, you KNOW it was.
* Give up searching for the elusive thread and check thread stash for a close color.
* Find old spool of thread that will work.
* Wind new bobbin, stopping when bobbin is half-way full because you can start to see the spool beneath the layer of thread.
* Sew around, stitching one inch from all edges.
* Check amount of thread and mentally calculate how far it will last. (Wonder if you should have put less on the bobbin.)
* Decide three quilting lines across should probably work.
* Eyeball 1/4 of way down length and position for first quilting line.
* Sew all the way across the width.
* Repeat quilting at midpoint and other 1/4 point.
* Take a deep breath and pat yourself on the back for finishing before you run out of thread (barely).

Voila, here is the finished product.

How does it work, you ask?  Princess gave her approval, although it took some convincing that her semi-wet hair wouldn’t ruin anything. (Maybe I really didn’t need that extra 1/2 yard.  One yard probably would have done it.)

So, there you go, if you ever need to make a rest-time mat, you have an idea to start with.  The nice part was that this was a quick project (if you don’t include the time spent trying to find that thread).

Crafting lesson: Countdown to School

I can’t believe that we have less than a month before school starts up again. Princess is super-excited to be going to kindergarten and asks on a regular basis if she gets to go to school today.  I decided to do a little project to help her see how many days until she becomes a mighty kindergartener.  We made a paper countdown chain.

Yes, we’re crafting in our jammies.  It’s summer-time. 🙂

 Basically, I had Princess and Little Miss Sunshine choose different colors of construction paper.  Then they decorated one sheet to be a header.  I cut strips from the remaining papers (about 1 inch wide).  The strips were then stapled individually to form a chain.

We finished by stapling the chain to the bottom of the paper.  Now they can pull one link off before going to bed and watch as the remaining 3 1/2 weeks of summer fly by.  Princess will be starting kindergarten before I can blink. 🙂

Playing with Food

We completed another healthy challenge (for my family competition) with the kids yesterday.  (Read about our first challenge here.) This time they used fruits and vegetables to create some kind of food art and then had to eat their creation.  I prepped different fruits and veggies and the kids went to work.

 

We ended up with  variety of creations.  Bugaboo was lucky to get anything on his plate.  He was eating as fast as we could offer him different foods. This kid LOVES his fruits and veggies! He did carefully place the half-eaten banana inside the pepper ring.

Princess decided to make a person.  She copied from some of the other kids, but asked about having little carrot pieces for hair and decided on a strawberry “belly button.”

Little Miss Sunshine created a chef.  She was thrilled when I bought mushrooms since she has been begging for them for ages.   That made a perfect hat and she got creative with other fruits and veggies and some toothpicks.

Mr. Adventure started with a plan to make a trash can containing each fruit or vegetable.  I’m not sure what message that was supposed to make. He decided to change to this person design.  Not too bad, right?

The Author made this cute little chick.  It’s almost too cute to eat.

The Artist attempted to create a geek-inspired scene.  This is Loki (in the top middle) and frienemies.  There’s the Hulk, Ironman, Mjolnir, bow and arrow, and the Black Widow symbol.

The next time you hear, “I’m bored!”  why not break out the food and let the kids get creative.  The only catch — they have to eat whatever they make.  Mine all did great at the devouring part, too.  The only food left was on Bugaboo’s plate, and he probably ate the equivalent of two plates snacking while sculpting.

If you happen to be looking for a great resource for produce, check out Bountiful Baskets Food Co-op to see if they’re available in your area.  We have enjoyed being able to try new foods and always having a variety of produce.

Kids’ll keep you on your toes

A couple weeks ago when I was gone to my Woodbadge scout training, Princess decided to try her hand at cutting hair.  She “thought it would look cuter” if she cut the sides.  I wasn’t going for the resulting mullet look.

I whipped out the scissors and did my best to cut everything even(ish).  There are still issues around her face, but at least it isn’t a throwback to the 80’s.

I was shopping and found the cutest pair of pajamas for Bugaboo.  I told him I wanted to take a picture, so this was his response:

His top says, “Mom’s 24 hr. Wrecking Service” and does that ever describe him!  He also explored a new career path while I was gone — mural drawing.  He found a couple markers and decorated the wall near the top of our stairs.  

I don’t plan on hiring either one of them in their chosen career path without some more training and experience, but they sure do make life fun.

I guess I’ll keep them around for a while. 🙂

A girl and her “mecklace”

A couple weeks ago I was the lucky winner of a Facebook giveaway from Bip and Bop

I got to choose which one of these cute seersucker necklaces for my prize.  I couldn’t make up my mind, so I asked Princess for help.  She immediately announced that I should get a pink(red) one for her and a green one for me.  I told her that I could only get one, so she thought for a bit and decided that I should get the pink one because it would be a great “mecklace” for her to wear to church.  How could I argue with that reasoning?

I sent a quick email to Nicole and explained that my 5-year-old daughter had decided on the red one for her “mecklace.”  When the package arrived, I opened it up and found this note handwritten on the back of her business card:

How sweet is she to add that little personal touch?  I figured the final judgement should be up to Princess.

I think she approves!  And yes, she did wear her “mecklace” to church on Sunday. 🙂

Imaginary friends

I was thinking one morning about all the imaginary friends we’ve been introduced to through the years. Some have stuck around for a day or two and others have almost become part of our family.

 Our first real foray into the world of imaginary friends came when The Author was in preschool. She introduced us to Maybedee.  Maybedee did everything a year or so ahead of The Author. She was in kindergarten and got to do lots of fun things at the Urban Sea School. These adventures were usually shared with us in a great amount of detail. For a while, we were treated to daily renditions of how Maybedee spent her time and the vacations and adventures she had. But, like all imaginary friends, she eventually disappeared. Who knows, maybe she’ll pop up in a children’s book series some day.

About this same time, The Artist got a little bobble-head dalmation as a prize for a reading contest in first grade.  While this wasn’t technically an imaginary friend, she left specific instructions for the dog’s care and feeding while she was at school.  I’ve preserved her original spelling and punctuation.
dish is in geroge door.
Brafest at 1: AM
     Dogie walvles
     Water
Lunch at 10: pm
     Dogie sandwich’s
     Water
Dinner at 12 11: pm
     Dogie lisanya
     Water
Desert at 13: at night
     Dogie Ice cream
The next imaginary friend to stay a while was Porky. Porky was a porcupine and a friend to Mr. Adventure. Porky popped up every now and then, but the most memorable adventure with Porky was his funeral. One day we were driving and saw a heap of porcupine roadkill along the side of the road. Mr. Adventure informed us that this was Porky and we needed to hold a funeral. He wrote out exactly what food should be served:
Breakfast: Banana deluxe miracle pancakes with whipped cream and hot cocoa
Lunch: Bambinos, fruit salad, and Sprite Up (7-Up plus Sprite)
Dinner: Diner Dash tacos, root beer, nuclear dino eggs, and beef jerky
Desserts: Trash cake (gummy worms MUST be included, must be baked in a 4×4 or 6×6 pan) dessert pizza, and candy land surprize!
Little Miss Sunshine also added to the imaginary porcupine family with Porcalina, and while she popped up from time to time, she didn’t stick around much after Porky’s funeral.

It had been a while since we’ve had any imaginary friends stop by.  However, for the past few months Princess has been talking about her friends from Leaf Town.  She will throw these friends into her conversations and toss in snippets like, “Oh, I did that with my other sister at Leaf Town.”  One day she told me that Leaf gave her a silver guitar for her birthday and she will get to bring it to our house and then she can rock out.  It will be interesting to see how long her Leaf Town friends stick around.
 
Have you had imaginary friends visit your house?  What kind of adventures have they had?