Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday Freebie

Visit Matsutake HERE and learn the art of transferring your own printed inkjet images onto wood blocks (or just onto wood in general)!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Crayons Round 2

Just made a 2nd batch of crayons using water bottle ice-cube trays for molds (see the first batch HERE). The long ones are made of construction paper crayon bits and feel like oil pastels. You can smudge the color around on the paper when using them. The stubbier, rainbow set was made from misc. crayons. It might be hard to see but there're glitter crayons in the green, blue and purple ones...

Here's a close-up so you can see their size in relation to my hand, which looks a mile long:

Here's before they went in the oven:

Here's after they came out. The plastic trays leave very little residue compared to the aftermath of siliconish ones:

BIG TIP: Before melting the crayons in the oven, put the mold/trays on a cookie sheet. Burning crayon puddles at the bottom of the oven are not nice smelling and I'm hoping they won't be too troublesome to clean off.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I Won!

A few days ago Michelle, author of Kids Haus, posted a new print (the one above) she's illustrated. She also announced that she would randomly draw a name from the pool of comments left by visitors and send a print to that lucky, random winner.

I can't even tell you how excited I was today when I went to write up a post and found a comment on my last one. Yes, I get excited about comments but I was floored with wonderment when I found that the last comment was from Michelle informing me I'd won her giveaway! Holy Smokes, I won! As I left the lucky comment the other day, I had hopes of winning tinged with expectation of disappointment. Shame on me for harboring such feelings. Visit Michelle at Kids Haus or at her Etsy shop HERE.

Also, this may sound egocentric but it was exciting to see my blog linked on her page. It's so easy to post all the time and feel like I'm just adding a journal entry, talking to myself and feelin fine. To see my blog posted on another page is like a pinch of reality that all this posting isn't just me and a computer screen. I love connecting with others. How exciting! Snaps for me.

Friday, February 19, 2010

My Man Scott

Have you been watching the Olympics? Let me restate that. You better be watching the Olympics. My memories of ice skating competition are gilded with Scott Hamilton's commentating. I often get annoyed by commentators but never have I been bugged by Scott. In fact, it just wouldn't be the Olympics without him. I watch the Olympics, in part, just so I can hear what he has to say. If commentators could receive gold medals then Scott would get one every year. I'm sure of it.

Last night I realized that after all these years of listening to my man Scott's expertise, I've never actually seen him skate. I remedied that this afternoon. I was only too pleased with his performances. I thought he had a perfect combination of grace, power, and technical execution. Some skaters are go overboard when it comes to fluid movement and expression, and some fall short as they skate with stiff rigidity. Some skaters do o.k. when it comes to presentation because though they are making the marks, the transitions into the jumps and spins look too anticipated, structured, and planned. Not Scott. He flies across the ice and makes skating look as though it's as natural as walking down the street. He isn't too flowery in expression yet he moves with poise and elegance. He isn't stiff and rigid but carries himself confidently maintaining strong form. As he cruises along the ice he doesn't skip a beat or appear to move with anticipation, waiting and watching for the next upcoming jump. He simply skates along and when jump time comes up, he jumps, then moves right along keeping in time and pace.

Here are a couple of clips so you can see what I mean...

This one below is his long performance he won his gold medal for:

This one is just for kicks, or rather I should say, skates:

Friday Freebie!

Do you remember silver scratch cards from the perspective of childhood? I loved those things. Even if I knew I wouldn't be interested in the free car wash or 10% discount possibility that existed underneath. I was excited recently to find a recipe for such silver opportunities on ARTMIND. Visit HERE for surprisingly easy directions. Have fun!

Thursday, February 18, 2010


So I finished reading this not long ago...

and now I'm almost done reading this with James...

Black Like Me is one of my all time favorites now. I couldn't ever recommend it any more highly than I do now. It is an essential for every home library. Griffin is a master story teller and writer. His experiences were eye-opening for myself and I don't understand why his writing isn't more prominent today in school settings where discussion and study of universal and social issues/ideals are so fitting and essential. There's so much worthwhile in this book that I just can't whip up a quick review. You are in luck though. It's on sale dirt cheap right now. Click HERE to get your very own copy for $5.60! What a bargain.

As far as The Lightning Thief goes, well, I like it. I wouldn't have read it on my own but James wanted to read it together. It's catchy and we only have a few chapters left. It's good enough that I think I might go read the last couple of chapters while James is at school. He doesn't read this blog so I guess he'll never know... unless you tell him. I'll reread the chapters later with him. No, I better not read ahead. I couldn't do that, or could I? You see the internal battle I have to face when I'm done posting this? I guess the book is pretty worthwhile if I have within this drive and thirst to finish. I can't wait to see the movie now...

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

We are the World

On the night of the Olympics opening ceremonies, We Are The World 25 For Haiti (it's a remake of the original that was written 25 years ago to raise funds for the crisis that took place in Ethiopia) premiered to raise money for the reconstruction of Haiti. The video and song were downloaded at our household that very night and one or the other now plays almost around the clock. I get chills every single time I listen to it. Every time. Las woke up during the middle of the night and couldn't go back to sleep for another hour and a half because it was stuck in her head. She couldn't stand it the next day but I'm sure she'll be over it by the end of today. I'm not tiring of it yet. Because we sing it so much around the house, we now can imitate the different mannerisms and voice variances of the individual singers. You may say we are big fans around here but I must correct you by saying that no, we are not big fans, we are the world. Watch the official video below to feel the love. How fitting for this Valentine season!

Note: It's better to watch it in a larger frame. Click the four arrows on the bottom of the clip or watch it on youtube HERE.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Jackson Pollock

Ever heard of Jackson Pollock? Hopefully the answer to the question is "yes". There is a cool website that you can visit and waste, I mean, spend time making cool imitations of his works. I couldn't figure out how to save my creation as a picture to post so you'll just have to check it out yourself HERE.

Note: If you want to change colors during creation time, right click the mouse.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Love Poem

This is a favorite poem of mine. During high school a friend barked to me about doing a homework assignment on it so I took a look to see what the problem was. I liked it, a lot. It struck something in the back of my mind/heart. Maybe it was because it caught me off guard or maybe because it was nontraditional in the love poem sense. This poem could easily be sung to a child from a mother or from any human being carrying that deep, binding connection to another. It's such a pure expression and not flowered with lovey-doveyness (not that a little lovey-dovey isn't welcome every once in a while). In the Greek language there are four different words for our one word "love". They represent the aspects of physical, friendship, affection, and charity. This below poem goes for the charity, I'd say. Whad'ya think?

Sonnets from the Portuguese


How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

I love thee to the depth and breadth and height

My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight

For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.

I love thee to the level of everyday's

Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.

I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;

I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.

I love thee with the passion put to use

In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.

I love thee with a love I seemed to lose

With my lost saints,--I love thee with the breath,

Smiles, tears, of all my life!--and, if God choose,

I shall but love thee better after death.

-Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Friday, February 12, 2010

Tauntaun Ta-Da!

Oh man. This has got to be the grossest, funniest thing I've seen all week. For all you Star Wars lovers out there, rest assured that on your coldest, wintry nights you too can have your very own Tauntaun to keep you safe and warm. To purchase one from Think Geek, click HERE. Below are a couple other product pictures. Notice the innards of the sleeping bag look just like the squiggly Tauntaun guts from the movie? Gross, but glorious, sort of (it would be glorious if you were about to die)....

Must find warmth for Luke...


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Friday Freebie!

This swell guy is brought to you by Etsy. All squirrels are hibernating now, except for the stuffed Kaibab one at our school library (see a Kaibab Squirrel HERE). With a glove, stuffing, and a few simple stitches you can have your very own.

Note: The Etsy how-to Title describes him as a chipmunk but he is clearly a squirrel, right? No? Ah nuts. Who cares? It's a freebie. The step-by-step directions can be found right HERE.

Are You Sinking?

This was stored in the trusty computer at home. It cracks me up. I watch it over and over again. And over one more time. Enjoy.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


This morning, from a distance, I could see four kids (3 fifth graders, 1 first grader) bobbing up and down. The bobbing, upon closer examination, was actually skipping (skipping is one of my favorites, see HERE). I think they skipped just as high up as they did in comparison with the distance of one stride. They reminded me of the carousel horses that Mary Poppins and company rode on the race track. Every once and a while they would switch to running, then back to skipping. The total distance they covered was about 1/4 of a mile.

As they approached the crosswalk I was, of course, laughing. The only comment one of the boys made was "fastest transportation". They skipped across the crosswalk on their merry way to school. They were so cheery and I couldn't help but feel the bright sunshinyness for the rest of the morning.

I guess the lesson learned today was: If in a hurry to get somewhere, skip. Arrival time is inevitably quicker and cheerier. After all, it's the "fastest transportation".

Side note: I know I probably shouldn't admit this but a couple of weeks ago Boo (19 year-old sis) and I tried skipping around the house for the day. The next day we did galloping. It was pretty hilarious and added some welcomed pep to the regularity of routines. Try it. You just might get a kick out of it. I bet you'd giggle at least once when you do it yourself, then even more so when you see someone else galavanting around the house.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Friday Freebie on a Tuesday

So, Valentine's Day is coming up. So, HERE's a free printable ruffledblog has to share.

Monday, February 8, 2010

1 Rather Than 2

They cut desire into short lengths

And fed it to the hungry fires of courage.

Long after—when the flames had died—

Molten Gold gleamed in the ashes.

They gathered it into bruised palms

And handed it to their children

And their children's children. Forever.

-Vilate Raile*

This poem has been a favorite of mine for a while now. I love the imagery and that it is so poignant with limited wordiness. In fact, this quote comes to mind...

“The most valuable of talents is never using two words when one will do.”

-Thomas Jefferson

A couple of weeks ago, sitting in church, Las pointed out to me that the text of the hymn Upon the Cross of Calvary is written by Vilate Raile. I’m quite fond of that hymn. Knowing a part of her from the above poem now sheds a little light on the hymn from a different angle. Whereas previously the hymn was more personal, between my thoughts/feelings and the Lord, I must say that I now feel a bit of the warmth from her first poem added into those pondering thoughts/feelings. To hear her hymn and see the text, click HERE (notice how this message too is expressed with such brief wording and yet invites the reader to such depth).

*Vilate Raile, in Asahel D. Woodruff, Parent and Youth (Salt Lake City: Deseret Sunday School Union Board, 1952), 124; also in Selected Writings of Gerald N. Lund, Gospel Scholars Series (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1999), 402-3.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Some Days...

I found this clip saved in our iTunes video files. I don't know where it came from but I'd sure love to share it with you. Watch it, then read the comments that follow after...

Some days I definitely feel like passenger number 2, but I was drawn to passenger number 1. Oh man. What a doof. I think he's my long lost twin brother. Which passenger do you feel like today?