May 5: The other Easter

May 6, 2013 § 2 Comments

You may not know that today was the Orthodox Easter. We didn’t do much, but we did color one egg using my favorite technique: in onion skins. J. did a great job explaining this “Serbian” way of coloring eggs to his dad, and I will explain it to you: you may find flowers or leaves to put on the egg; then wrap it in onion skins, making sure the whole egg is colored. Wrap in cheese cloth, tie with a string, and put into cold water (I have learned that you put eggs in cold water and then boil them with the water to avoid cracking), then cook for 10-15 minutes. Voila!


Depending on the type of onion you use, colors vary. I remember dark ocher eggs from my childhood.



April 20: Birthday poster

April 21, 2013 § Leave a comment

The birthday poster is done! I have made one every year for the past 5 years. They take up a lot of room, but it’s so great to have a visual reminder of what your child looked like and what s/he did at a certain age. J. helped a bit this year, but he is never as excited about them as I am.

Here is to his sixth year:


April 16: As the world turns

April 17, 2013 § 2 Comments

Here it is, the epic pinata!


We took some liberties with shapes and sizes of continents, but it’s okay. It is full of origami birds of smelly erasers. Now  on to the next project! I have a lot of paste left and am considering another papier mache creation.


April 8: Pinata, day 1

April 9, 2013 § Leave a comment

It is April, which is J’s birthday, which is celebration season, which is pinata season. This will be the third (or fourth, I can’t remember) traditional one. Fortunately, he has gotten older and wiser and doesn’t request Spiderman or other corporate pinatas anymore, so I can just make a good old-fashioned one that I learned how to make from Latino/a kids in Tucson. All one needs is a balloon, newspaper torn in strips, and paste, which I make of 1 part flour, 4-5 parts water, and a little bit of cinnamon (I learned that from a website). You cook the flour and water on the stove until the paste is thick, and then you begin to add layers upon layers of newspaper, covered with paste on both sides (not too thick!) onto the balloon until it is covered. Today I finished the first layer. I imagine the next few days won’t be interesting on the blog, as I will be making the pinata bigger and stronger. J. is in charge of decorating it.

March 30: Easter eggs

March 31, 2013 § Leave a comment

Our Easter eggs are not exactly glamorous, but they certainly are natural. I used beets and red cabbage for one color, and turmeric for the other. I would suggest keeping red cabbage and beets separate. If I wasn’t feeling so frazzled all the time, I would probably have realized that red cabbage is really purple and not red at all, and would thus have had red and purple eggs now. Still, the eggs look interesting and multicolored, and we even decorated them with a wax crayon beforehand. They are now waiting to be oiled and then, according to the Serbian tradition, there will be egg battles in the morning, where each person will try to crack the other person’s egg. May the best egg win! And in case you didn’t know, dyeing eggs is a pagan tradition, symbolizing fertility.


eggs in dyes


red/purple eggs just out


Finished eggs


March 29: Beaded eggs

March 30, 2013 § Leave a comment

As it turns out, decorating with seed beads is not nearly as easy as it seems, and, as usual, our finished product looks nothing like that of the professional crafters. But that’s only fair I guess. I am sure I write better mathematical proofs than people who haven’t studied math their entire lives. So I will embrace our project, imperfect though it is.

We bought papier mache eggs yesterday, with the intent of getting glue on them (mod podge) and rolling them in seed beads. At least that’s what the lady at the bead store told us. Because J. was a bit impatient, we used a whole lot of beads which were bigger than seed beads, which was a bad idea, as rolling got difficult so instead we spooned the beads onto the eggs. J. was a good sport until it got too much for him and he just declared he was done. I finished both, with okay results. I would suggest using seed beads only, and spooning or sprinkling a few at a time. Unfortunately I can’t test my theory, as we only had two eggs, but as I mentioned yesterday, the possibilities are endless. One can decorate pretty much anything with beads. Phone? TV? Front door? Car?


The set-up


too-big beads


Finished product

December 30: Snake mask

December 31, 2012 § Leave a comment

Though I am not a huge fan of this modern age, I often wonder how people got by before the Internet. For example, tomorrow night we are going to be at the Tacoma first night celebration. Every year, the effigy of the old animal from the Chinese zodiac is burned, and the new one is welcomed. As we are bringing in the snake tomorrow at midnight, we needed a snake mask, just like we had a dragon mask last year. And here is where I get to my point: because I didn’t feel like looking for our maskmaking book (yes, we have one), I went online, did a Google Images search, and came up with this design. It is made of felt and lovely, but I wanted to be done in five minutes, so I used construction paper instead. I think that the results are pretty good.


Happy New Year, everyone. Thanks for reading. I won’t be back until 2013.

December 24: Snowflakes for Christmas Eve

December 25, 2012 § 1 Comment

This morning, O. and I were home alone. I was cutting out snowflakes from a template (an angel snowflake, and a tree of life one) and she was discovering finger puppets from a basket. Every so often she would look up and smile at me. A perfect moment, a nice respite from my recent obsessive worrying about the world.

Here are the snowflakes:


And here is the book I got them from. It’s old, something from D’s mom. If you find it, I recommend getting it. Though you may prefer making your own designs. I did one this morning, but O. ripped it up.


Happy Christmas everyone. I wish us all peace.

December 18: A tedious task

December 19, 2012 § Leave a comment

So maybe we shouldn’t call this creative at all. I had to translate the Xmas letter into Serbian, and am now addressing the next batch and getting it ready to be shipped out tomorrow to Serbian friends all over the world. I know this is not too entertaining, and I was going to share with you the kids’ picture that made it into the letter. I know — I have become a parent who sends pictures of her kids to people. Who would have guessed?  But then I decided against the picture. Not sure why. Sometimes the Internet scares me (though you may ask — why is she blogging then?). In any case, it will be back to photos from our creative life tomorrow.

December 16: Xmas letter & such

December 17, 2012 § Leave a comment

I spent the day at home, in pajamas. It’s probably not the healthiest thing to do. Housework just couldn’t get done, not necessarily and just because of the kids. But I did write a Christmas letter — I decided that cards would take way too long to write, and I already am too late as is. I wasn’t sure if I could come up with anything upbeat, due to my present mood, and the dread of sending J. to school tomorrow. But I did. It turned out that we were quite blessed this year, especially with all the joy O. brought to our lives. Of course I won’t post the letter here, but instead I will leave you with the photo that I included in it:

pix samukai caroling-1

It is a Lego skeleton from Ninjago, caroling with the kids. Here is to more caroling, then.


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