Tuesday, April 24, 2012

painted house numbers & mantle art

I have so many projects on my to-do list, but sometimes little projects just pop up out of the clear blue and make it to the top of the list.  Here are two mini-painting projects that did so.

After seeing this post on a blog I subscribe to, I knew this would be a perfect way to attempt to update our extremely outdated front door.

I didn't realize how off-center my numbers were until I finished and stood back to admire my freshly painted numbers.  I guess that's what happens when you have a 17 month old distraction trying to climb on you as you work...

But I still think it looks pretty good.

This is the other project I just finished, directly inspired from this print I came across on etsy.com.

My project budget is practically $0.00, so if I ever find something I like, I need to recreate it myself (like I did with this project) with supplies I already have.  Luckily, I had a 22x28 canvas lying around, as well as some interior house paint, and some left over artistic ability from my Interior Design days.  

I used a trick that I had seen on the same blog post where I had gotten the house number idea.  Just print out what you want transferred, rub the back of it with with some white chalk, place the piece of paper with the text you want transferred onto the surface you want it applied to, trace over the text with a pencil, and voila!  The outline of your text is clearly transferred!  And if you messed up?  Just wipe it clean and start the process over - so easy, and incredibly smart!

See how well this works?  From here, I just went over the chalk outline with pencil, so it wouldn't smudge and fade away as I painted.

I filled in my outline with some white craft paint, using very fine paint brush and a steady hand.

I love it up on our mantel.
And it pairs well with my ampersand.  

Have you finished any projects lately?  Have any projects suddenly jumped to the top of your to-do list?  Do share!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

a trip to the zoo

We enjoyed a trip down to the OKC zoo yesterday.  Callan is at an age where he points and watches and shows genuine interest in what he sees, so we had a lot of fun together and watching Callan enjoy the animals.

Our first stop was to see the sea lions.  Callan was entirely intrigued by them.  He pointed at them the entire time we stood there watching.

Watching the sea lions from down below.

Ya know, washing apples.

Callan enjoyed checking out the snakes and lizards at the reptile house.

Such a happy boy.
He loved riding around on Travis' shoulders.

Lesley and Callan, checking out the birds.

We waited in line for about half an hour to get a chance to feed the giraffes.

Callan, very eagerly, took lettuce leaves from Travis' hands and held them out to Ellie, the giraffe.

He loved it.  No fear.

We packed a picnic lunch and enjoyed it under a canopy of trees in the picnic area.

Where there is a table, Callan will climb and stand on it.
Boys will be boys.

Checking out the Galapagos tortoises.

This chimp's name should have been Linus.
He dragged that blanket from the top of a hill, down and around until he was out of sight.

Travis' favorite exhibit is the nocturnal animals - particularly the bats.
Hundreds of little, flying rodents is absolutely disgusting, yet fascinating at the same time.

Josh, Lesley, and Callan checking out the grizzly bears.

Callan - such a little boy, pressed up against the glass, with the other kids, watching the black bears eat.

This moment almost made me choke up, realizing just how fast he's growing up.

I just love this look that Callan and Josh are sharing.

Sliding with Dad.

Family photo.

Monkeying around.

This white peacock was absolutely stunning.
Especially perched up in the tree with the sunlight filtering through his tail feathers.

His buddy was sitting a little ways away on the fence.

We had a beautiful day, good company, and lots of fun.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

peonies and my little helper

I love our backyard in the Spring.  It's when our two peony plants bloom amongst all of the weeds that sneakily sprout up in the flower beds.  They are so beautiful you hardly notice the miserable, little weeds.  Note I said hardly.  The process of pulling weeds is never-ending.

The blooms are huge, and stunning.
Multiple blooms and buds dominate the spectacular plant.

Here are a few random peony fun facts, ya know, for fun:  

The peony is named after Paeon (also spelled Paean), a student of Asclepius, the Greek god of medicine and healing.  Asclepius became jealous of his pupil; Zeus saved Paeon from the wrath of Asclepius by turning him into the peony flower.

Mischievous nymphs were said to hid in the petals of the peony, giving it the meaning of shame or bashfulness in the language of flowers.

While the peony takes several years to re-establish itself when moved, it blooms annually for decades once it has done so. 

Peonies tend to attract ants to the flower buds.  This is due to the nectar that forms on the outside of the flower buds, and is not required for the plants' own pollination or other growth.

Peonies range in color from white to yellow to coral to pink to red to maroon.
(I'd love a yellow one!)

Even Ellie enjoys lounging peony-side.

Callan loves to be outside.
Those lovely little scratches on his face are from the other day when he decided to leap into a flower bed, head first, full of lava rock.

He always has something in hand.
He's a very busy little boy.

He watches us work in the yard, and imitates us.
Now if he could just really pull some of those weeds, that'd be super-fantastic.

Such a boy.
Head to toe.