Monday, February 28, 2011

Marker Monday - Plushie Wolverine (Ode to Hugh Jackman)

God bless that boy.
He drives me crazy some days with his requests.

"Mom, can you make me a lion mask?"
"Mom, can we build a catapult?"
Mom, can we make_____(fill in the blank)?"

Kid, I only have so much patience, time and resources!

But, he did ask the other day if I could make a Wolverine doll. Wolverine is his hero.

"Nope, I can't!", I answered triumphantly, "But YOU CAN!"

First we duct taped down a piece of white cotton fabric from my stash to a board. Then Yip drew out his Wolverine.  He painted it with slightly watered down acrylic craft paint. 

Then he added details with a Sharpie marker after the paint was dry.
I placed another piece of cotton fabric on top of the painting and ironed it to set the paint. This won't be exactly wash proof but it the paint will last for a long time if it isn't constantly being washed.

Then I pinned it and sewed along the outline of Wolverine.

 I cut out Wolverine and turned him right side out.
It took some extra trimming here and there.
Flat Wolverine waiting to gain some muscle!

I did all the hard work and the slave driver that I am, I made Yip stuff Wolverine.
Okay, I did help with the tight spots.


The finished product!
Okay, maybe that's just a little wishful thinking on my part.
Betcha didn't know I've watched Wolverine Origins more often than Yip has!
Hugh Jackman is dreamy.

Well if I can't have Hugh Jackman to make googly eyes at, then I'm pretty happy to have these two around instead!
I think Yip did a pretty awesome job.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sunday Devotions -

It's been a fairly warm here in Kansas for the last couple of weeks with the highs getting up into the 50's occasionally. I keep having to remind myself it is still winter and it still gets below freezing here during the night.

I'm getting Spring Fever or better described as the Garden Rash...I'm itching to get some seeds into the ground!

We've staked out our garden.

We've organized our seeds.

We've drawn out the plan.

But I still have to wait. It's hard to be patient when I'm ready to plant but the soil isn't yet prepared. Are you feeling this way too? 

I've included many farmer themed Bible verses today to help me remember that I can't rush or control the gardening season. 

"God is the One who gives seed to the farmer...And God will give you all the seed you need and make it grow." 2 Corinthians 9:10

"A farmer does not plow his field all the time...He prepares the ground. Then he plants the...seed." Isaiah 28:24-25

"A farmer is patient. He waits for his valuable crop to grow from the Earth." James 5:7

"The skies will send rain on your land at the right time." Deuteronomy 28:12

"The plants make seeds for the farmer. And from these seeds people have (food) to eat. The words I say do the same thing. They will not return to me empty. They make the things happen that I want to happen. They succeed in doing what I send them to do." Isaiah 55:10

"We are workers together for God. And you are like a farm that belongs to God." 1 Corinthians 3:9

Dear God, Thank You for providing the Earth and soil, sun and rain in preparation for sowing Your seeds. Bless the farmers and gardeners everywhere Lord as they prepare they soil, hearts and minds to sow seeds. Let us not forget the most important thing we need to sow, Your Word. Amen.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

My Mural is Done!!! Pheasants, Windmillls...take a peek!

I'm all done with my mural! Yay! It turned out pretty good if I do say so myself. I did get carried away and painted A LOT more than I had originally planned but I think it's just right.

Come in for the grand tour.

As you walk in to the bathroom....

...behind the door. This is the view from the throne.

Next to the throne.

To the right of the sink.

And the main part of the mural! My windmill and pheasant!

There are overhead lights that shine on this wall, almost like the sun next to the pheasant. I'm deliriously happy with how nicely the pheasant turned out!

My windmill. P.S. - Using painters tape to make straight lines without bleeding is impossible. It. Doesn't. Work. I even bought some that was supposed to work better than the blue stuff..nope, it didn't.

My pheasant. I think I'll name him Phil.
Phil the Pheasant. Something this nice needs a name don't you think?

(Okay, hunters out there...did I do well? Does he look the way pheasants are supposed to look? Constructive criticism is always appreciated.) 

Phil isn't small either! Here I am leaning against the wall and taking a picture in the mirror over the sink for size comparison.

What's next? Who needs me to paint a mural for them? I'll paint almost anything! I think we could come to a compromise too; you babysit for me and I'll paint for you. Any takers?

Friday, February 25, 2011

Foody Friday - Mashed Potato Stuffed Mushrooms

Let me start off by apologizing for today's photo. These stuffed mushrooms were so good I scarfed them up before I remembered I had wanted to take a picture of them when they came out of the oven.

So I only have a photo of them before they went in the oven. They still look pretty good though I think.

Mashed Potato Stuffed Mushrooms

Clean mushrooms and remove stems. In a skillet saute a couple tablespoons of olive oil and a couple teaspoons of garlic. After a few minutes add shredded spinach until it is slightly wilted. Add spinach mixture to a cup or so of leftover mashed potatoes. Add some shredded cheese (mozzarella is fabulous) and mix well. Scoop mashed potatoes into mushrooms and sprinkle with a little salt and paprika. Place on lightly greased pie plate, or whatever ovenware works for you and bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes until golden.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Photo Thursday - The Old Farmer

I have a lot of family members who are really in to studying and learning our family history. It isn't uncommon for piles of photographs and genealogy records to appear soon after desert at our family reunions. It's great; I love to just sit back and listen to all the stories the older generations have to share.

Recently my great uncle sent me this photo of our Uncle Emanual, my great great uncle.
He was born in 1906 and died in 1989. He was one of 10 children, never married and farmed his whole life. He lived with his sister in the house where they had been born and raised. I'm guessing this photo was probably taken during the 1970's, maybe late 60's.

Now I've seen tons of old photos of my family members over the years that probably span a hundred years. But there is something about this photo of Emanual that really grabs me.

Maybe it's his casual pose standing in his cornfield as though it's exactly where he belongs. Maybe it's his weathered face and hands and sweat stained hat that reflect the years of farm work he's accumulated during his lifetime. Maybe it interests me because it's taken in the fall, my favorite season.

I think this photo intrigues me because I can imagine that Emanual had a lot to say....a lot of stories, a lot of opinions, a lot of knowledge to add to life.

I don't think I ever met Emanual but this photo makes me wish I had. I imagine he probably had many fascinating stories to tell. He lived and worked through the Great Depression and two World Wars. I've been in the two story brick farm house where he was raised and I can't imagine 10 children EVER fitting into it.

Of course I'm intrigued by all old farmers....and their stories. I've met my fair share and I don't think I went away from any of them without a chuckle. Old farmers have personalities that I don't think can be matched by any other profession; funny, stubborn, hardworking, insightful.

Yeah, I wish I had known old Emanual. Do you have an old farmer in your life?
(If you are married to one, my God be with you!)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Martinez Hacienda; the trading center of historical Taos.

The last stop we made in Taos was probably my favorite; 
the Martinez Hacienda which was built in 1804 by Severino Martinez.

Warning; this is a really long post!

The Sante Fe Trail splits into two paths in Cimmaron, KS; the desert trail which was shorter but dangerous and the mountain trail which was safer but longer. The SFT merges together again right north of Taos, NM. For travelers in the 1800's, Taos was probably the largest town they had seen for months. And because of the influx of travelers the Martinez Hacienda grew into a trading and mercantile center where practically everyone went to do business. Martinez often sent expeditions to Mexico to buy and trade for goods.

I had read about the hacienda before we arrived but was still surprised at how small and simple the facade seemed. Were we at the right place?

Everyone but the kids had to stoop to enter. This door isn't the original entrance to the hacienda; the original entrance was on the perpendicular side to the right of us. It was large enough for a wagon to have driven in but has since been barred from people entering or exiting.  

After going through the gift shop (of course) and paying our admission, we entered a square courtyard with a well. The hacienda was built as a fortress with only one entrance, no exterior windows and a well inside to ward off attacks by Comanche and Apache raiders. Although there was snow on the ground it was a very pleasant  bright, warm day. I could have sat out in the sunshine in the courtyard all day long!

There were are a total of twenty one rooms in the hacienda but I won't bore you with shots of all of them. These was the main living quarters for the family. All the children would have slept, ate, studied and played in this room. The parents had their own bedroom. Good for them!

This was the weaving room!!! I've always wanted to have a loom of my own so I really enjoyed this room. There were at least five floor rooms and various tools displayed. Look at the far wall behind Yap. Do you see the two black rectangles? Those are carding combs (with metal teeth) used to clean and straighten wool fibers before they are spun. Now, look the the left and you'll see two cross shapes on the wall.

Those are wool carding paddles using teasel thistles. I've never seen anything like that before!

Of course there were rooms displaying common farming and blacksmith's tools. Here's Officer explaining how to harvest wheat.

I wouldn't mind having a kitchen like this; the fireplace was awesome!
(I spared you the picture)

Okay, I's the kitchen fireplace. Again with the fireplaces! I'm thinking of building a southwest style fireplace in my house. Do you think DR would notice mud in the living room carpet? Nah, probably not!

The granary.

There was a second courtyard in the hacienda. The layout was two squares butted against one another.
The double doors was the blacksmith shop but visitors are only allowed to look through a pane of glass into that room.

One room displayed the many religious icons and artifacts that would have been common for southwest families, especially wealthy families, to have owned at the time. There was also a chapel in the hacienda used by the family.

We had to practically drag my sister and brother in law out of this room. There was a display of 8 - 10 guns that were very old and in rough shape. The bottom gun's wooden stock had at one time started to fall apart so wet rawhide was wrapped around it and allowed to dry and shrink to hold the pieces together.

The next gun pictures are for my dad. Get online Dad this is for you!
This was Jim Bridger's gun and it was repaired by wire in three places.

Even without a flash it's hard to get a good photo in a display case but I hope you get the idea Dad.
It was a long weekend.
My monkeys got drug through three states, countless museums and restaurants.

They stayed up too late, ate too much junk food and got bored with all the walking we did.

But I think that even they had a good time and will remember this vacation for a very long time. Not only do I like to take lots of pictures, when we visit places like this, for the memories but I'm hoping my kids will get excited when they look through these photos years from now and want to learn about Taos all over again.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Russian Artist in Taos

We also went to the Taos Art Museum which is housed in the home portrait artist Nicholai Fechin. Fechin (1881-1955) was born in Russia and trained at the Imperial Art Academy in St. Petersburg. He was well known in his own country before arriving in the United States in 1923 and he built this house in Taos between 1927 and 1933.

Though the Taos Art Museum wasn't large, it was housed in someones home after all, it had a very nice collection from area artists many whom were in the Taos Art Society. The Eiteljorg Museum in Indianapolis has a wonderful collection from Taos Art Society of artists and they've been some of my favorite artists since I first saw their work when I was in high school. It was exciting to not only see more of their artwork but to be in the environment they painted in.

Fechin himself designed the house and carved the extraordinary woodwork in the home. Once I was in the museum I was easily enamored with the actual house and often forgot the artwork on the walls. The house is a mix of Russian, Spanish and Pueblo styles.

Much of the woodwork was done by Fechin with intricate carved details. He carved stools, benches, decorative posts, closet was amazing!

I just loved this stairway!
Between the stairway and the fireplace I was ready to move into and live in this house.

Isn't the wood on this fireplace gorgeous? I could imagine pueblo pottery or bones and rocks sitting on top.

Behind the house, Fechin had built his studio which is now the museum gift shop. Actually his studio was built before the house and that's where the family resided during construction of the home. I didn't get many pictures of the studio but these huge windows allowed a wonderful quality of light into the room. I can easily see how an artist could paint all day in a room like this.

By this time my monkeys were getting a bit tired of being drug to museums between sledding and McDonald's meals. They weren't always excited about posing for pictures...can you tell?

I bet you are kind of tired about reading all these posts about Taos too aren't you?
No worries, I promise, tomorrow's is the last one and probably my favorite; The Martinez Hacienda!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Marker Monday - Chocolate Play Dough

The leader in Yahoo's playgroup shared this Chocolate Play Dough recipe with us last week. It has a wonderful smell and since it's homemade I don't freak out when Yahoo decides to eat it.

Chocolate Play Dough

2 cups water
1/2 cup salt
2T + 1t vegetable oil
2T cream of tartar
1/3 cup cocoa
3 cups flour

Bring water and salt to a boil. Stir in remaining ingredients. Allow to cool slightly. Knead until smooth.

This is similar to another cooked play dough recipe I've used before and really like. What's your favorite play dough recipe?

Related Posts with Thumbnails