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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Blob Monsters- fun craft for kids!

I thought that if I posted some craft tutorials, people would like my blog better. They'd feel like they could get something out of it maybe. And I would feel better about myself if I thought people were copying me.
So this is about how to make blob monsters with kids.
Step one is to buy a can of spray insulation from the hardware store. It's about 4 or 5 dollars. It might be called "great stuff".

Squirt out a blob of it (keeping in mind that it will double in size, kind of like rising bread dough). You can't really control what your blob monster will turn out like. Whatever you do, don't touch the stuff before it dries, because it is almost impossible to get off your skin. Also, do it on something like an old magazine. I show it here on my kitchen table, but that's only because it's already dry in the picture. Whatever you spray it on, it won't come off of.

Then you let it sit for 24 hours. It will slowly continue to grow within those 24 hours.

Then you paint/color it. I painted mine (below). Then I added googly eyes. If you paint it all brown it will look like a real pile of poo.

This is Roxanne's. She just colored hers with sharpies. Her blob happened to have a shape that looked like a mouth and then she found indentations that looked like eyes- it's a little like finding images in the clouds.

This is Rockets. He did his with sharpies too.

Ok, there's my craft blog post. I made it up.


I'm testing out a new blogging app. I am dissatisfied with how small the pictures post using blogpress.
This is rocket after coming in from the snow today:

Gingerbread Parties

I mentioned our annual gingerbread house party in a previous blog, so I thought I'd update about it. My favorite part about throwing a gingerbread house party for the kids, is arranging all the candy and icing on the table. Usually I do the party on their last day of school and prepare for it before they come home. When the children walk in the door, knowing school is over for the year, and then they come upon the table full of colorful candy, their eyes light up and they smile and squeal and that makes me feel happy and christmassy. This year, though, because of a scheduling conflict, I had to do the party the day after the last day of school, so the kids were around while I was setting up. Rocket designed a genius smorgasbord lazy Suzanne by putting the patio table top on top of our spinning scrabble board. Then we put the candy on top of it.

Rocket's friend Dillon put a cute heart on top of his house.

Roxanne didn't want to show her face in this picture.

Later that night.....

Then that night, I had the first ever "adult" gingerbread party with all the leftovers. I had made extra icing, in 10 different beautiful colors, as well as fondant in 5 different colors and lots of amazing candy. Shoutout to Jodi who donated the gumballs. Thank you Jodi.

But after all the time I spent making beautiful colored icing, my friends mostly only used the white. I guess cause it looks like snow. But I was still a little offended. And they were all late. Except Nikki. Shoutout to Nikki. Thanks for not being late, Nikki.

Mustache house... I admit the mustache was clever.

And there were "adult" elements (look closely above). That wasn't MY gingerbread house though. I would never do that. Mine is below:

Another things that went wrong at the adult party was that most everyone (except Nikki), left their house behind. I don't know why they didn't want to bring it home. So the next night, the kids and I had a THIRD gingerbread house party where we redecorated the left behind houses with all the leftover beautiful colored icing. This party was the most fun of all the parties. I told the kids to make sure not one drop of icing was left.
Now we have a pretty colorful gingerbread village. I don't think I'll do the adult party next year. Probably just the kids' one.
The reason I shouldn't have a blog is because I'm a jerk and complain about my friends. I did the "shoutouts" to try to make up for the complaining. Hopefully no one's feelings were hurt. I deleted the really offensive complaining.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Brewery touring today

We're taking the Coors brewery tour right now. Matt took the week before Christmas off from work so that we could have a fun time as a family, since after christmas we have to be with our extended family which obviously means we can't have fun. Yesterday we got counseling, fed the homeless and went bowling.

After this we're going to Casa Bonitas. Luke's family and our family decided that instead of giving gifts to each other on Christmas, we would just all go out together- that would be more appreciated by the kids. But they didn't want to do the Coors tour first because they think they are too high class for Coors... (but not for Casa Bonita's).
Tomorrow rocket and Matt are touring the Broncos stadium while Roxanne and I go to the Denver puppet theatre, and then we're all going to tour Hammonds candy factory. We better have lots of fun to make up for next week!!
We're in the post-tour lounge now. I'm going for beer number 2 of 3. The kids are on rootbeer number 2.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Christmas Time

There's lots of fun Christmas stuff going on around here. We set up the tree a couple weeks ago. After our wedding, my mom made ornaments out of two of our bride-and-groom-gumball favors (I thought they were really ugly- it was a bride and a groom made out of gumballs). We've been hanging the gumballs on our tree for ten years now, but this year we decided to change it up and let the kids eat the gumballs. They did.

We did cookie decorating (one of my favorite Christmas traditions) on Friday with Milo and Lucy. Cookie decorating is just a prelude to the annual gingerbread decorating party that I let the kids both invite one friend to- that will be on Friday. I'm mostly prepared except that I cannot find gumballs anywhere. Ideas? Also, this will be the first year that I am having an adult gingerbread house party (think, naked gingerbread men), which I've wanted to have for many years.

I did a Christmas gift craft with Roxanne's class with shrinky dinks. These are their necklace charms pre-shrinkage. I love how the kids draw themselves:

Friday is feelin pretty Christmassy too. He's been wearing extra layers.
This morning was exceptionally celebratory, because it was the first Sunday that our church was allowed to meet in their own building (in over a year). Rocket and Roxanne adorned the new front pillars with an appropriate pose: Our pastor Mike, took this picture while I was inside and texted it to me later. Speaking of Tebow, the boys are going absolutely ridiculously nuts downstairs. Completely out of control. I'm guessing God is giving Tebow his usual blessing right as we speak... or type, I mean.
This is what I want for Christmas:

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Long days...

This process is much more grueling than I ever imagined it would be. I really thought gluing individual pennies to the wall wouldn't take as long as it is taking. I'm committed, though, and I'm not quitting.

Finished the decoupaging last week. I can't get a good view of it with my camera though because I can't back up enough to get it all in the frame. This is the handicap stall.

I'm constantly underestimating projects. But I've decided that this is a good thing. If I accurately estimated the time/work involved with projects, I'd never do any of them!! Somebody pointed out today that God designed it that way- especially with marriage. If we knew what we were getting into, we'd back out before it started, and then we wouldn't have the opportunity to do great things.
Matt consistently underestimates how long it will take to drive somewhere. He still thinks it takes 30 minutes to drive to Colorado springs from Denver. I wonder if God designed him that way... And why?

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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Penny Party

The penny placing has begun! I tried to find a synonym for "begun" that began with a "P" for better alliteration, but nothing sounded right. The only possibility was "pioneered"... The penny placing has pioneered? That doesn't make sense.

This is a picture of me with some of the pennies I placed today on the wall behind me. Remember the grout will be a dark color so that will make a big difference.

This is my basket of pennies:

It's more than it looked like. I can't even lift it anymore.
My mom is jealous. She wants to make something out of pennies too. She told me she would pay certain amounts for certain penny dates. So a made a chart to help me keep track of the coins I've found. This is it:

There is a box for every date between 1920 and now and the boxes are color coded according to how much she'd pay for each coin. The red boxes are $10, the green $5, the purple $2 and the yellow $1. The ones with a slash aren't worth anything unless I am able to fill in every single box. Some dates are worth more than others based on those dates being special to my mom because of a birthday or anniversary or something.

Gluing the pennies to the wall takes quite a long time. I am hoping to finish before the kids get out of school for Christmas break, so of you're in the downtownish Denver area during the day and want to help, I would love you!!!

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Monday, November 28, 2011


 This is a little project I've been thinking about for a while.
 Blogger wont let me type where I want to.... I'm thinking about not even doing this post at all anymore.

What the... come on.

Anyways.  I got the idea from pinterest. I thought it would be really magical to have lit up plastic bottles in our yard for Christmas.  The final product wasn't as magical as I had imagined, but it was fun.  I can remember each moment that I finished the last drop of whatever was in each bottle and was so excited to add it to my collection of empty bottles.  Roxanne enthusiastically helped me assemble them all onto a string of lights last night.

They are a little interesting during the day too:

I am still decoupaging the Bible onto the bathroom stalls at church.  I finished the regular sized stall and have moved on to the handicapped stall now.  It's taking longer than I expected.  Next I will start on the pennies.  But for now, I've been trying to figure out an easy way to cut many pennies in half.  I tried using the circular saw on a roll of pennies today, and it didn't work.  And I'm lucky I didn't get injured.
The reason I was called to decorate the church bathroom in the first place was because a lack of bathrooms is one of the code violations that has gotten the church kicked out of their building for the last year.  The city has a lot of rules about what a building has to be like, and our building broke the rules in many ways.  So the church was required to make many costly adjustments to its building- one being the installation of a new women's bathroom.
A friend of mine set up an Etsy site that all the artistic people at the church are supposed to post to in order to help raise money to pay for the building alterations.  Most of the stuff on it is mine at this point.  But if you're shopping online for Christmas presents, you should check it out.  Cause our church needs money- there are a lot of people that sleep in closets or tents and eat out of dumpsters and whatnot.  You know-just not stinkin rich like Matt and me. 
Here is the site: http://www.etsy.com/shop/ScumoftheEarthShop

I just posted this vintage velvet clutch that I painted an owl on today: http://img1.etsystatic.com/il_fullxfull.291160945.jpg

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

(picture by Roxanne)

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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

At the eye doctor

I'm at the eye doctor. This isn't an important blog post. I should blog about better things. Can blog be a verb? Ofcourse it can, I think.... I am blogging. I feel blogged.

I took these pictures so I could send them to Matt to get his opinion about what frames I should select. I want him to think I'm pretty when I wear my glasses.

Matt texted back: "are you trying to look hipster?" and I said "I'm trying to look like I'm not trying to look like anything". That's a hard look to get. Try it.  It backfires, doesn't it? IF I were trying to look like I was trying to look hipster, I would have chosen frames similar to the ones in picture one, except they would have been darker. You see?
I chose the first ones cause Matt said they made me look younger.
Speaking of looking younger, I never posted a blog about turning 30. I turned 30. I was going to post the "I turned 30" blog after I figured out how to post this slide show my mom made me. It was a slideshow of my entire life and she posted it on my Facebook page the morning of my birthday. Then I went to Village Inn with my friend Cathy, and got a free slice of pie. Then I went to work in Roxanne's class at school and when I walked in the door, all the second graders sang happy birthday to me. I guess roxanne told them it was my birthday. Then that night we went to cicis pizza buffet. That's my favorite restaurant. But they took a long time to get the flip pizza out, which is my favorite flavor. They felt bad that it took so long to get my favorite flavor out so they gave me an extra free buffet coupon and a full flip pizza to take home with me!!

Then on Friday (the day after my birthday) I had friends over to celebrate. Luke and Sarah gave me 20 dollars worth of pennies. Remember, that's what I wanted? Because I'm covering the bathroom walls at church with them- well, I WILL be. But today I worked on covering the inside of the stalls with Bible pages. It took quite a long time. See:

This is the view if you're sitting on the toilet:

I totally underestimated the surface area of the New Testament. By the time I was half way done with one stall, I had used up the entire new testament and had to start using the old. I still have one more stall to go and it's a handicap one so it's bigger. I might have to go steal a Bible from a homeless person again.

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Monday, November 14, 2011

Another Show

In light of the overwhelming success of her puppet show last weekend, Roxanne decided to go bigger and better this weekend by producing a comedy show that is sure to blow your socks off. Although I do admit that the script is lacking. She required my involvement too.

It's a good thing I'm a mom, or else doing stuff like this would make me a freak right? I left my face painted while I made dinner, but then I started to feel self conscious.  

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thumbs Up

Been busy painting lately. My favorite days are when I have a lot of time alone at home to paint and listen to "This American Life". My favorite T.A.Ls are the ones that make me cry. I don't like to cry, so I dont know why that's true. Here's one that will make you cry no matter what- episode "209: didnt ask to be born". I promise you it will make you cry!!

Here is a preview of what is to come:

This is my painting from my visit to salvation mountain. The thumbs up is Leonard's signature move to symbolize "God is love". Anyone who has been planning on coming to the mountain knows that when you have your picture taken with Leonard, you have to have thumbs up.
You can't see his face because I don't want you to be able to see it yet. I've been obsessively adjusting it for days. His real smile is just so intense and I want to be able to capture it perfectly! I'm not there yet.
I thank God for letting me paint!

ARC Galla

The big Arc Galla was last night. It was a fancy dinner and auction with really really rich people. We ate dinner and talked with rich people. I'm actually not very good at "mingling" at all. I seem to have developed a lot of social anxiety over the past 2 or 3 years- I don't know why! It's awful. And I discovered about an hour before we were supposed to leave, that at some point over the past couple years, I must have thrown away all of my fancy clothes. Oh well.

This is a video of the moments before they began the mural auction and they talked about how wonderful the mural was. I know it's super cheesy, but it did touch my heart. The story about, Robbie, the man on the far left in the mural, was very true.

OK, so here's the kicker. The mural sold for $25,000. That's right. Twenty five thousand dollars. THEN, the shocking twist. They brought out a life size canvas print of the mural to auction as well. I honestly don't know how they managed to get that huge thing printed within this last week. They had four prints that sold for $2,500 each. That's a grand total of $35,000. I was pretty freakin shocked about that. In terms of money, this is probably the most valuable volunteering I've ever done. And as I was leaving, I walked over to Robbie's table to say goodbye and he was crying because he was so happy about the mural- now that's probably even more valuable than the money.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Puppet Show

Roxanne spent the majority of today producing a puppet show. It entailed making the puppet stage (which was what inspired all this- it is a piece of cardboard that came off the back of a shelf and I was going to throw it away until she got her hands on it), making the puppets, drawing the background for the puppet stage, writing the script, and directing the play (which was mostly ordering Rocket around).

Watch the blooper first because it's better than he real play.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Coming soon: 30

As you might know, my 30th birthday is coming up. I think Matt might be planning some sort of surprise, because he changed his Facebook password- which means he is hiding something from me.
I don't like surprises. At all.
Since I'm sure you want to know what to get me, I'm going to post a birthday list here. I already posted it on Facebook, but I guess I should cover my bases.

My birthday list:
1. Caps

Colorful ones. Like the ones pictures above. We do lots of fun things with them. I'm not so interested in beer caps, but my friend Jodi is, so you can give them to her. Did I mention Jodi moved back to town? And had a baby.

2. Box tops for education

Like the one pictured above (except not ones that say "void"). I'm sure you have some in your pantry (unless you collect them yourself). On Mondays I sometimes go through neighbors recycling bins to find these. Oh, and contrary to what they're called, they're not always on boxes, and not always on top. Sometimes there on cans, or the side of boxes. I'm going to make a collage out of them. Just kidding.

3. Pennies

They aren't worth very much, so why don't you just give them to me? I am going to use these in our church's new women's bathroom. (Not a bathroom for new women- a new bathroom, for women). I would like to completely cover the walls with pennies. Shiny ones. Not shiny ones. I think it will be beautiful.

4. Opaque colored plastic bottles

So that I can make something like this picture. I prefer pretty colors- cause white ones are easy to find. They need to be opaque too- like a mustard bottle. But I've found that I usually find good ones in cleaning supplies, laundry and dish detergent and toiletry bottles. And give me the caps too. Please.

5. Used magazines

Or unused ones. Just ones you don't want anymore. This is a picture of a stack of magazines Nikki Kelly gave me. And there is her cat "tubs" next to the magazines- she didn't give me the cat. I like to cut things out of magazines and keep a file of things I've cut out of magazines. My file comes in handy all the time. Kids love to make collages with it. I also brought it to the arc employees and they enjoyed creating pictures out of them. It's good because almost no one is as good at cutting things out as I am. It's my gift. But this way anyone can enjoy creating funny collages with the stuff I've cut out- and it won't look crappy like it would have if they'd cut the stuff out.
Something else I got from Nikki Kelly: the idea to ask questions at the end of each of my blogs. I don't necessarily care if you answer though. So here's the questions:
  • -What the best or worst thing about turning 30?
  • -Is there any kind of trash you'd like me to save for you? I like giving people trash, because it's cheap.
  • What's the coolest thing you've ever made out of trash?
  • What's in your trash can right now?
  • Do you know any secret information about what Matt might be hiding from me?
  • If so, what is it?

I think I've forgotten some things on my wishlist. Come back later to see if I've added something ok?

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Thursday, November 03, 2011

Art with the ARC

For the past 4 weeks, I have been creating art with developmentally disabled employees of ARC thrift stores on Wednesdays. Yesterday was our last meeting, and we finished the mural you see above (I think you can click on it to see it bigger)- it is about 10 feet across, and we traced each person's silhouette onto the board we painted. In addition to this big collaborative piece, each of them created a few individual pieces and they will all be part of an annual auction and dinner gala that the company has each year.

I have to say that even though I was "volunteering" my time, I might have ended up with the better end of the deal. Each week, they provided me with a delicious lunch- probably the best meal I would have all week. Plus I get to go to the fancy gala next week with one guest (which will probably be Matt). And tickets to the gala normally cost $150!! And as if that wasn't enough, this group of people was so much fun to hang out with. They were all super hilarious and entertaining. At first, I expected it to be like working with kids, but it really wasn't like that at all. Their skill level, as far as making art, was similar to maybe elementary age kids, but their attitude was unbelievable. No one ever complained, or was unsatisfied about anything ever. This was the happiest and most positive group of people ever. They were so encouraging to me, and to each other, and even to themselves, and I really felt on top of the world after being with them each week.

This was Marlene. She probably did more work on the big mural than anyone else. But she also made this angel piece. The eyeball on the face of the angel is from a bag of ARC store trinkets and nicknacks. I would like to paint a picture of Marlene soon.
This is Robbie and this painting was a dream of his from the beginning. It is a picture of (left to right) Marlene, himself, and Barb (his store manager) and his teddybear in the middle. He even brought his teddy bear in to model for this picture, and he said it was embarrassing bringing his teddy bear onto the public bus.
This is Juan and he loved Denver Bronco cheerleaders. That's just about the only thing he talked about. When I suggested that he paint one for his individual project, he really lit up. He was like "are you serious?! I could really do that?!" I brought in my projector so he could project his favorite picture onto the canvas. He worked super hard on this picture.
This is Ryan and I just loved this picture he did. For some reason, it reminds me of Magritte's "This is not a Pipe" painting.
And this is Lorraine. She had very limited use of her arms, but she gave orders very well, and took pride in her design. For her silhouette on the big mural, she dictate a poem for me to fill it in with.

I loved these guys so much. They've certainly won me over so much that I will probably never again donate my junk to goodwill or savers- I'll be driving the extra distance to dump my stuff at the ARC.