Wednesday, November 30, 2011

One More Cup of Coffee: Spray Painted Coffee Filters

Momma generally dislikes doing a lot of overly "cutesy" arts and craft projects, so she's stayed away from lots of the coffee filter ones floating around out there.  But we've done a few of them at school this year and she thought she'd give one a try.  And we used it as an opportunity to break out a new tool -- the spray bottle.  I should have known I was in for something good when momma starting draping the entire table in butcher paper, but I was still incredibly excited and surprised when she started filling up spray bottles with washable liquid watercolors.  I LOVED IT.  I was a painting machine.  I couldn't get enough filters, fast enough.  Cami wasn't able to use the spray bottle by herself, but she liked having mom help her use the bottle, shaking paint out of the bottle herself, and painting with a paintbrush.

I think our current plan is to periodically do this project (likely outside next time!), save up our painted filters, and use them for a party garland (like this or this).  But this was such a success (despite the household casualties, see below) that I think we're going to try also try some of these:

- coffee filter spray art with markers (which would avoid the spraying of paint everywhere)
- outdoor spray painting
- some printmaking

Oh -- even though I did a really good job of (mostly) keeping the paint aimed at the table and in the direction of the coffee filters, momma would like me to point out that the "washable" watercolors indeed come out of clothes and off of skin quite easily.  The same does not go for our bamboo wood floors and white walls, which were unfortunate and innocent victims of this project.  We think an arts studio should be at the top of everyone's holiday lists for us.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Beach, Baby: Brigantine, NJ in the Fall/Winter

Oh how we love our beach any time of year, but fall/winter is really one of our favorites.  Even though we can't stay down there all day long (too cold - even with this year's unseasonably high temps) and can't go in the water, we pretty much have the run of the place and Veg gets to make his triumphant return as king of the sand.  We spent our Thanksgiving holiday down the shore at Nona's house and as much of that time as possible on the beach.  With a few of our old summertime shovels (and some new army men), we played 'till our fingers were bone cold.  Veg outdid himself the first day and spent a night up trying to recoup (thanks Uncle Steve, Nona, and Grandpa D-Rock for letting mom and dad sleep!).  I think he was tired from all those holes he dug for us!  We don't really want word to get out, but this is the best beach ever -- any time of the year.

yes, Kane did need his golf club at the beach.

thanks, Veg.  

Monday, November 28, 2011

I May As Well Play: Moon Dough

Momma and I saw this in the dollar store over our Thanksgiving holiday in New Jersey and decided to pick it up (we were scouring the store for another craft-related item that we couldn't find, but still managed to spend an unnecessary $18).  Each of the refill packs we bought came with two little molds in their lids and our playdough toys worked well on it also.  It was very strange and it definitely felt very unnatural (that combined with the fact that it was from the dollar store made mom very jumpy about letting Cam play with it -- since of course she tried to eat it), but it turned out to be pretty cool.  And even though I got it all over the rug at Nona's house, it vacuumed up easily (we assume playdough wouldn't have, so maybe it's a better choice for carpeted play locations).  We haven't seen any other homemade recipes that differ that much from the cloud dough we made a while ago, but it was really a different texture from that.  I think we'll keep our eyes peeled for additional recipes -- even though it was from the dollar store, it wasn't very cheap considering most of it got vacuumed up at the end.  Maybe we could save more off of our wood floors, but it's always more fun to make the dough before playing with it!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

And I Want to Thank You: Giving Thanks

Inspired by No Monsters in My Bed's periodic "Grateful Lists" (oh those kiddos are going to love looking back on those later in life), momma and I decided to make Thanksgiving cards using the marbled leaves we made, some of my drawings, and things for which I was thankful.  Of course, we never quite got it all together (explaining the concept of thankfulness took a bit).  But we have the base there and we'll save the cards we made to send out next year.  Here are a few of the things I am grateful for this year:

1. "Being happy."
2.  "Because you let me help you make the cake."
3.  (about Grammie B) "Taking me to her house."
4.  (about Nona) "Chairs.  Sitting down with us."
5.  (about daddy) "For spending a lot of money."
6.  "For putting baby sister down." (for her nap)
7.  (followed by) "My sister."
8.  "For sharing at the museum."
9.  "For giving back." (as related to sharing at the museum)
10. "For dad."
11.  "Just Kaney."
12.  "The car."

Cam has yet to get much of a word in edgewise.  She seems to have taken to brute force lately to get her point across, which doesn't really match up that well with our "thankfulness" exercise.  We're sure that when she can talk better, up there on her list will be that she's thankful I piped down for a bit.

Happy Turkey Day!!! We'll catch you on the flip side!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Pumpkin You're Hollow Within: Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes

We celebrated Thanksgiving a little early at school and my super nice teacher brought in a turkey with all the trimmings, which I totally chowed.  Also a big hit (although brought LATE by momma.  ahem.  ahem), were the pumpkin pie cupcakes I helped make.  These were super easy, used up some of that canned pumpkin we accidentally purchased a while back, and very tasty.  A word to the wise -- don't eat or serve these right out of the oven.  They are much, much better chilled with whip cream.  Like a mini crustless pumpkin pie.  Yum.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Pebbles and Marbles: Marble Painting

We've seen many many versions of marble painting and we decided to try out one of our own.  Because we go through paper towels in our house like no one's business (we know, we know, it's not very green.  But believe me, it's very very Green), we have lots of paper towel rolls saved up and decided to use those.  Mom rubberbanded a piece of foil on the bottom, rolled up a piece of paper and put it in the tube, dipped the marbles in paint, dropped them in, tinfoiled the top, and let us shake away.  Kane wasn't very interested, but I thought it was pretty fun to shake away.  But this project didn't hold my interest for long either -- I couldn't really see what was going on and mom wasn't in enough of a "free for all" mood to let me dip and drop the marbles myself (and, no, i don't think my past history of ingesting small gemstones should have been relevant to that decision).  Oh well.  Clearly the only way to go with marble painting next time is large scale.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Crab If You Want Her: Cantler's Riverside Inn

If you are not from the Maryland shore, as most D.C.'ers are not (in fact, most of them are transplants from all over the place), the local obsession with Maryland crabs is hard to understand.  That is, until you go to Cantler's Riverside Inn.  And even though we aren't technically "from the shore," we are "born and raised" locally (all 1.5 - 3 years of our existence).  So, we get it.  And we get ourselves to Cantler's every few months all year long to gorge.  Lots of people think "all that work for this little bit of meat?"  But all that "work" is fun -- what toddler wouldn't want to wail away with a wooden mallet and check out live crabs in Cantler's holding tanks?  Summer is by far our favorite time of the year to go -- get there EARLY to get a seat outside and watch the boats along the river.  But fall and winter are just as fun and perhaps a little less crowded.

Kane's First Visit -- August 2009 -- 10 months old
(this was also Cami's first visit, in utero)

Most Recent Visit -- October 2011