June 24-28: A whole week

June 29, 2013 § Leave a comment

Summer school is over. I survived. What did we do this week? Not much. On Monday J. and I spent a whole hour attempting to make friendship bracelets. Unsuccessfully. I guess preteen girls are more talented at some things than I am. On Tuesday, I spent a whole hour trying to upload some pictures to get them printed. Unsuccessfully. That got me mad.

On Wednesday, however, I picked some herbs from my garden to take to my friend Laura (who has been mentioned on this blog quite a few times before), and making this bouquet was pure joy. So much so that I made another one the next day, and now I want to make bouquets every day. Because they smell so good! Yarrow, sage, rosemary, lavender, chamomile, oregano, marjoram, and mint.


We also made banana boats at Laura and Tom’s house. Don’t know what a banana boat is? Neither did I until recently. It involves stuffing bananas with decadent toppings like marshmallows and chocolate chips, wrapping them in foil, and grilling them.  I don’t really have pictures of what they look like. But this is what a kid who is about to make them looks like.


Then last night we were blessed with an amazing sunset. We just happened to be near the Puget Sound, and I just happened to have a camera.


Today… today I am trying to make those buttons again. Slowly. I spent a few hours grading finals. But as I like to feature things made by others, here is a picture of a vase a student made for me. A great idea!


It’s two days before my trip home. Maybe I will make some fantastic art in the next two days. I doubt it though.


March 23: Spring things

March 24, 2013 § Leave a comment

It was a beautiful sunny day and the first day of spring break for me. We spent it putting up the kitschy spring decor and gardening.

A certain kid wanted to see what would happen if he kept an egg warm long enough.



No chicks have hatched yet.

And here are a few of our impossibly kitschy decorations, most of them pink, in some funny and unlikely situations.



Then in the afternoon, after a trip to the nursery, we all went outside to plant. J. got the incredible insect-eating plant as an early birthday present.


And I finally bought myself a new azalea plant because azaleas make me inexplicably happy.


One certainly feels much better when sitting in the grass on a sunny day, or digging holes in the soil, getting her hands dirty.

February 24: Stuff

February 25, 2013 § Leave a comment

J. and I made cards for my mom’s birthday. As usual, I tried hard, but he did a much better job. While we were at it, we started a bean-sprouting science experiment (he is finally the right age for it, and I never got to do any science experiments when I was growing up). I also made origami shurikens per J’s request and inspired by a ninja-themed birthday party we were at, but they have been lost in the living room battle, so no pictures of them will be posted. I will note that they were fun to make.


Yes, that is a Bad Piggies birthday card.


February 23: Signs of spring

February 24, 2013 § Leave a comment

It was nice enough today to actually spend time in the yard. Fun was had by all. I tried to capture the sure signs of spring with my camera. The details and little things. Life emerging.








February 20: creating new plants

February 21, 2013 § Leave a comment

Today’s five minute activity was really a science experiment. We are trying to see if we can start a new geranium plant from a cutting. Supposedly, we can. I love rose geraniums because my grandma had them when I was a kid, and my favorite thing to do was rub my hands with a rose geranium leaf before leaving her house to go home. My little helper (a yellow belt in karate as of today, thank you very much) cut off some leaves, and I got a planter and potting soil. He put the leaves into the soil (ah, the smell and feel of soft soil — spring is coming and this brings me joy), we covered the whole thing with a plastic bag (don’t ask me why, the instructions said so, and I am a mathematician and not a scientist), and put it in the window between the “adult” plants. Will these leaves really grow roots? Oh, the miracles of nature!


November 27: Tins for herbs

November 28, 2012 § Leave a comment

All of a sudden I am realizing it’s almost December and I don’t have any gifts made, I don’t intend to buy (m)any, and I have few ideas for what I can make. And even those ideas seem inadequate. Like this one: I stored the herbs I harvested this summer into little tins, which I planned to decorate and send to folks to sniff the goodness of herbal smells in the deep winter. But now, in December, the tins all smell a little like my grandma’s hand cream, and not much like herbs. But I will keep working on it, and this:


is just the beginning of the decorating part.


September 23: herbs

September 24, 2012 § Leave a comment

After letting them sit on the counter for two months, I finally stored the dried herbs from my garden:

lemon balm, lavender, oregano


geraniums, chamomile, lemon balm & mint mix

My favorite thing about working with herbs is how good my hands smell when I am done.

The summer is coming to an end. This is most obvious in our garden. The herb garden today

looks very different from the herb garden in July

but that’s life and the cycle of the seasons. It will be nice to have the dried and stored herbs to smell when the winter blandness sets in.


September 9: D’s garden

September 10, 2012 § Leave a comment

A dear friend of mine looked at the blog yesterday and commented that, for people to learn more about my life, I would need to share pictures of our garden. She is right: our garden is quite unique. However, the garden is mostly not my doing, except for a small flower garden and herb garden, both of which look underwhelming at the end of the dry Northwest summer. D. is the passionate gardener and shrine-maker in our family. He is the one who does magic with the yard. And I? I take pictures of it, and claim them as my creative work for today.

The chili lady by the squashes:


St. Francis by the fruit trees:


A fisherman on the fence (each fence post has a statue, actually — talk about dedication!):


The Virgin Mary we brought here from Arizona, accompanied by Green Man and a Yoga goddess:


Yoda & the angel:


Yoda sharing his force with the gas meter:

Stay tuned for more!

September 3: Love garden

September 3, 2012 § Leave a comment

Our two cactuses (cacti)  have finally found a home. J. and I put them in a metal box with some magnets, potting soil, sand, pebbles, and ninjas of course.  The name “love garden” comes from J. who put in the little ceramic decorations and stated that they all remind him of love. So there it is.

July 26: nothing special

July 27, 2012 § 4 Comments

Another day flew by. Precious little time to and for myself. It’s probably my fault that both my children just want(ed) to be carried by mom all the time. I did manage to create a little lavender project from a kids’ craft book:  I got a set of four craft books, one for each season, from the library book sale ($1 each — I love the cheap art accessories the library provides me with), and this project attracted my attention:

It looked pretty and easy, and used lavender, which I have an abundance of in the garden.

As is usually the case when I follow instructions from books, it turned out to be harder than I thought, and the end result looked very different from the picture:

One could call it mummified lavender.

But I didn’t give up, and tried again. The second attempt still looked nothing like the picture from the book, but it was fun to make, has a fabulous smell, and will keep moths away from the clothes in the closet.

Oh, and by the way, I had homemade granola and homemade yogurt for breakfast this morning, and it tasted fantastic. I guess the payoff from kitchen creativity is immediate and tangible.

It would be nice if these creative excursions managed to create some kind of a sacred space for me, kairos instead of chronos perception of time, but alas, they probably just add stress to my days. Not to say that it isn’t worth it. It is part of learning to slow down and listen to myself.

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