Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Friday, June 25, 2010
I took the photos from which to paint these hollyhocks almost a year ago on a neighborhood walk. I have never chosen flowers as the subject of a painting, but when I started painting again a few years ago I was excited about tackling new subjects. And, this particular one made it to my nesting list. Not exactly baby apparel I know, but this painting was something I had in mind for Scarlett's room and I am desperate to get some things finished for her so she does not become the forgotten middle child when her little sister arrives!
So, hooray! I finished the painting! Every painting is instructive (my sister and I talk about "laps in the pool") and this one was a bit surprising too. I actually roughed in the layout last December and thought I could finish it in a couple hours. I thought it shouldn't be that difficult because it was just flowers--not a portrait or anything.
Well, turns out that flowers are much more complex than I realized. I invested many more hours. But I also am more fond of this painting than I thought. I was thinking of it as "decorator" painting to fill a spot in a room as opposed to a serious composition but I like how it turned out! And I also really like it in Scarlett's room. A bunch of vibrant pink hollyhocks is about as girly as it gets--fun for my little girl's room.
Friday, June 18, 2010
I am a "finisher." I try and enjoy the process, and honestly do, but whatever I am engaged in is mostly about getting something finished. Because then it can be used and enjoyed, and more importantly, I have the satisfaction of having accomplished something! Add that to nesting and it gets a little crazy! I realized I have about ten weeks until this new little babe arrives and a long list of things I want to do, which I haven't started. How much can I get done? Can I finish one thing a week? Maybe. Depends what it is I guess, but ten things sounds like a really great amount. I'm off to a good start this week. I just finished this dress for Audrey (I know I said "nesting" but it's not all about the new baby--too many fun ideas for the two girls who are already here) and I have a painting nearly finished! Can't believe that one because it's been six months since I lifted the brush...
Sometimes the simplest of shapes look the best on young girls. I love the bohemian and boutique looks but when I put Audrey in something like this I think it is so feminine and doesn't compete with the effortless beauty of her little girlhood. I was thinking of the beautiful, classic dresses from Papo d'Anjo. They are beautifully made as well--I was lucky to receive one for Audrey when she was born and I loved the attention to details---the dress was fully lined, with tiny rickrack trim and not a thread out of place.
I was thinking of this dress I made last year for Scarlett and these dresses here when I made this one for Audrey:
Audrey's is fully lined too. Love it! It's worth the extra work because it hangs so nicely, isn't at all transparent, and it's as pretty inside as it is out (which is what my mother used to say about nice little girls and young women, and same could be said of Audrey).
This dress also has a substantial hem--about four inches. Which means Audrey could wear it another year or maybe two if I let out the length. Of course, it may be that she doesn't get the chance because I will have finished something else for her to wear, but she'll have two younger sisters to catch the hand-me-downs.
Here she is, in our own rambling roses. I'll have her wear this dress Sunday for Father's Day. Maybe we can snap a few photos of the Dad with his two daughters as we did last year.
Monday, June 14, 2010
Well, we did it! We used my fortieth birthday as the excuse to host a party we'd been thinking about for a few years, with street taco vending, live Mexican music, good friends and family and lots of bright decorations (well, it's probably not accurate to use "we" for that one...). Here is the report on my FIESTA FORTY! starting with a photo of my little Scarlett in her fiesta skirt and blouse (Audrey wore a similar set) and me in my maternity Mexican peasant blouse--hooray for variety in pregnancy wear! It was fun to dress the part for this party.
I wish I'd taken better photos of the banners because they turned out really fun and were a big part of the original concept for this party, including the invitations.
I used a different variety of paper flower bouquets on the serving tables. It was so much fun iterating on this theme! On one table I had over-sized arrangements with a mix of rounded and pointy "blooms" in 36" tall vases. (I used dinner napkins to make these blooms and long dowels purchased at a craft store.)
On another serving table I made tight, low arrangements of pointy blooms in bright pink with one yellow accent flower. Had I not had a deadline it would have been fun to keep experimenting!
Prep Time: 15 minutes (plus an hour to set)
Cooking time: 45 minutes
- 4 medium eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- ¼ cup milk
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ tsp. baking powder
- 4 tsp. vanilla
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 can evaporated milk
- 4 tsp. vanilla
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 Tbs. sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla
1. Separate the eggs. In a large bowl, beat egg whites until fluffy. Add sugar gradually. Mix in egg yolks one at a time. Alternate adding milk, flour, and baking powder. Add vanilla and mix well.
This is great served cold or room temperature.