Monthly Archives: August 2011

The Creativity of Others

Today I thought I would showcase some of the amazing creativity of some friends who helped make last Saturday’s baby shower just wonderful.

First up is this incredible cake. Since the nursery is garden-themed, he made a vegetable garden cake.  Yes, that’s a fondant picket fence, yes those are three-dimensional tomato trellises, yes you do see a little box of corn cobs and a baby wrapped as a sweet-pea sitting outside the fence on the cake board. (everything hand sculpted out of fondant) And what kind of cake was it? Carrot cake, of course.

To the right, you see an amazing flower arrangement made by Sister. But those flowers aren’t all flowers, they’re wrapped up bibs, onsies, blankets… I can’t actually say exactly whats in there since I haven’t wanted to take it apart and ruin it! (I will before the baby comes, I promise). But this was such an impressive gift here, so cute and clever. (Sister – will it ruin the surprise if I put the link to instructions?)

Finally, here’s the pitcher of lovely fancy water made by the hostess. Whats so fancy about it? its made with water, strawberries, lemon, and basil leaves. This makes the most refreshing water that’s slightly sweet, slightly savory, and has the prettiest light pink tinge.

So thank you so much to all of my creative friends – what great ideas you have!


What’s on the BBQ This Week

(For some reason, the chickens don’t see the irony in hanging out on the BBQ.)

This, in case you don’t recognize him, is Turbo. He or she —we’re still not sure which— is huge. And no wonder! When we put food in the dish he’s the first one to dart into the coop, and use his beak like a giant tractor to gulp it up like he’s been starved the rest of the day (he hasn’t). He towers over the Old Maids as the other chicks crowd under him for protection. And yes, he still follows Hubbs around.

In fact, when Hubbs was showering the other day, and opened the high bathroom window, Turbo heard his voice, ran right over, and tried to fly up to say hello. This relationship is very entertaining for both Hubbs and I.

And this fancy lady on the left is Glamorous Glennys, (named for the airplane that broke the sound barrier). Her headdress is growing in beautifully, as you can see. She does have eyes, but they’re well-hidden under her plumage —the poor thing really can’t see much at all. Her sister, Zoe’s feathers grow much more… vertically, giving her more of a mohawk and less of an eye-cover.

Borrowing Tip

Friends have kindly been loaning me bags of clothes lately, to help me keep my growing belly nicely covered. The tricky part of borrowing, of course, is being sure to return things properly. I’ve been trying a new system lately, though, which has made a big difference: as soon as I get a bag of clothes, I lay them all out, with tags showing, and take a picture. I also sometimes make a little notecard with the person’s name and any other relevant details (like “that tear was already there!), and set it in the corner before I snap the pic. I’ve started a “borrowed” file on my computer to keep all the pics in, to easily see what I’ve got.

Now, when I need to return, I know exactly what belongs to who, what condition it was in, and I can make sure I’m not forgetting any parts or pieces. Its such a useful record, I wish I’d started a long time ago!




Rug Painting

I won’t be painting the Nursery walls, mainly due to a large, immovable-without-a-6-man-moving-crew piece of furniture that sits in the corner. Instead, my painting contribution will be on a rug. And I’m painting what I wish I had growing outside right now: rows of green, sprouting vegetables. Appropriate subject matter for floor art, right?

In looking for reference photos to see what a garden looked like from overhead, naturally, the only view I could find was provided by Martha Stewart because who else would have not only a vegetable garden worth shooting from the sky, but also access to a helicopter to get the shot. See the picture below left – that dark brown stripe down the middle is the road for the pick-up truck to drive through…

Inspired by the colorful, textural stripes that Martha’s garden pic shows, I drew out a little diagram to decide what plants and colors to put on the rug. The rug itself isn’t anything special – it’s an inexpensive white cotton rug from Ikea, which I knew would accept water and paint easily. Acrylic paint will help to keep dirt from showing, and will make it easier to clean since it will “plasticize” the surface a bit.

Using a large brush and clean water, I got the rug nice and wet so that the paint would soak into the fibers and be soft (similar to water color painting) rather than sit on top of the fibers and feel scratchy. The paints I use are my standard Utrecht acrylics left over from college- they’re cheap, great quality, and have lasted through all the painting projects I’ve done in the last 7 years. You don’t need anything special for painting on fabric with acrylics – once the paint is on there, its never coming off.

You can see what I’ve done so far. There’s still more to do, more detail, dirt, and shadow to add, but I’m pleased with the progress. And in case you’re wondering, from the top that’s (going to be!) red leaf lettuce, bean sprouts, cucumber, cabbage, peppers, green onions, carrots, and lettuce.