Friday, February 26, 2010

welcome to grandmaland.....



...the boys are absolutely obsessed with board games as of late, to the point that snow days are no longer about the ability to play outside in the snow, but more so the chance to play board games for as long as they can go without stopping... (I have to say, this one surprised me a bit...for two Olympic athletes in training (and yes, we are still the Swiss guy, with the occasional appearance from Finland, Germany, and the U.S.A), you would think they would jump at the chance to trade in their indoor cardboard bobsleds for some outside training runs. oh well.)


...with a full day ahead of us, we made a little twist to our plans and decided to make Grandma a game for her birthday. They wanted to give her a version of one of their "classic" favourites, and set about making the game board (paper glued onto two pieces of cardboard), cards, and figures.

(I love how someone's little wrong way round d's get quickly fixed to avoid utter devastation. As a result, I decided not
to bring up the "u"....plus, I think it's cute that way...)

...they worked really, really hard and felt so proud of themselves when the package was sent off later that day.



...but not without an afternoon of "test" runs first :)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

it was so so good....(so i've heard...)



...oh how I envy those who were able to make it for my opening at Renegade Handmade this past Friday! From the pictures they sent, everything looked so well displayed and perfect....


.....Being asked to do the fourth show in their "Spotlight Series" was such an honour, and admittedly made me quite nervous. (who wouldn't be after following the likes of Mike Perry, Jill Bliss, and some extraordinary embroidery artists?)

(toy soldier piece: encaustic on linen...one of my faves....)

....the night of the opening found me in New York with my family doing business as usual, and every moment in my head was spend wondering (nervously so....) how the event was going. This is the first time since my painter days that I have done a show like this, and furthermore the first time ever that I was not present at the opening. It felt a bit strange, as I was not able to be a part of the reactions that so often make all your hard work and preparation well worth the effort. As people were sipping champagne and munching on delicious goodies, I was reading stories to two over-tired children in bed.




....thank goodness my mum was there to fill me in, and take part in what was a big night for me.(doesn't she look just so stylish?) She, along with the amazing ladies at Renegade, were able to give me the feedback that made it oh so worth while. They did such a brilliant job, and I couldn't have asked for anything more.

The show runs for three more weeks, and if you haven't already done so, please stop by their shop to take a closer peek! (you can also view more shots of opening night on their flickr account)

Monday, February 22, 2010

oh my apologies, "swiss guy"....



...I have been upsetting him so, as I continue to mistake him for my son. He is clearly a medal winning "luge guy" known as "swiss guy". (how could I mistake the obvious?)

...so far "nervous" mummy has witnessed many crashes on the track as he practiced at the Olympic arena (aka the playground slide down the street). No worries though, as he still managed to capture a bronze and silver.
...Swiss guy is now training for his upcoming short track race and two-man bobsled race with his brother, and poor mummy will have to switch gears again. Just as I am getting used to addressing him with the appropriate name, I have been informed that his bobsled team will need to be addressed as "The Canadas".

....They are expected to win 20 gold medals.


***note: all the pieces from my solo show at Renegade Handmade in Chicago are now all posted for sale in their shop! They did such a fantastic job putting the gallery together...I just wish I could have been there! Look for a post about opening night tomorrow! *******

Friday, February 19, 2010

when the lull hits......



When you find yourselves in that lull of the afternoon when not even a cup of coffee seems to do the trick (and two boys refuse to take a little nap...), grab yourself a lemon.....



Cut it in half, sit back.......


...wait a couple of seconds...


....and let the lemons to do their job

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

if you happen to be in Chicago....


upcoming show at Renegade!, originally uploaded by mummysam.

.....then please pop over to Renegade Friday for the opening night of my solo show! With this announcement looking ever so good, I can only imagine how lovely they are going to make everything look in their gallery.
They are hard at work setting the stage, and I only wish I could be there!
(but at least my mum will be able to attend....she can be my eyes and "ears"...)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

it's about time....



....it's about time....
....we have not had our usual amount of snowfall for the season, and oh how glad we were to see the snow come down. The boys are both home for winter break, and apparently our day has mirrored dear Abby's almost exactly. Playing in the snow, watching the Olympics by a fire, and (yes Abby) even freshly baked bread (how eerie is that?). The Olympics have become quite a hit this year, as the boys undertook a project of getting an Olympic banner ready for their room (to showcase all of the "awesome" snowboarders and ski jumpers out there...although not sure about their choice with Malaysia and England for that one....) Oh, and the boys have figured out that if you put lego figures in a headstand position on their hot wheels "luge" track, you can go much farther....a discovery that apparently big A thinks will win him the gold when he gets older.

It was a busy day, but a good one at that. Thank you snow for finally paying us a visit....you have saved the sanity of two very desperate boys and one very weary mummy desperate to put them in snowsuits.

Friday, February 12, 2010

it's good to have these....



...it's moments like these that every mother needs....


....moments of calm that catch you off-guard and usually at a time when you need it most.

....we sat around the kitchen table reading, drawing, and talking for what seemed like ages. I drank my hot cup of tea as the boys immersed themselves in flying gerbils, dung-eating tortoises (a fact that apparently made their afternoon), and snake-eating snakes.

...a moment this mother definitely needed (dung-eating tortoises and all.....)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

just hang in for a little bit longer....



....doesn't it always happen at just the right moment?
With my solo show at Renegade a mere week away, a little virus of some sort decided it perfect timing to pay me a visit. This past week has been one of frustration more than anything, as I tried to ignore my shivers and coughs and finish what needed to be done. With a body screaming to go to bed and a mind telling you (in a panic stricken voice) that you won't finish if you listen to said body, I tried my best to complete what I had set out to do. I probably wasn't the prettiest little sight around, but I managed to get it done. Hanging these flags felt good. They were made in a moment of feeling my worst, when true fear had struck in that I had not made enough for the show. They have since been packed up with the rest of the work, and are now on their way to Chicago....whew!

I got them done and now I can just take a moment to breathe....or cough.

Monday, February 8, 2010

heart eating monsters....



...apparently Valentine's Day doesn't get big A's approval without some added heart eating monsters. After getting over the fear of being surrounded by too much "girly pinks and reds", (although red is his favourite colour, mind you...just not near Valentine's Day...), we came up with a solution to help bring some excitement back into getting his valentine box ready for school. He created his monster eating stamp, drew on some added sharp teeth, and began "de-girlifying" his box. I must say, I was quite proud of these little monsters...even when the dramatic razor sharp teeth were added....(just to really make sure we were "definitely" not too girly....oh the stage he is in right now!)


....after that is was off to make the Valentine's cards. I will be the first to tell you that my strengths do not, nor will they ever, lie in the crafty side of things. Sure, I would love to come up with the neatest little ideas for projects at home with the kids, and am often quite envious of people that do. I have come to admit defeat in that department, and now happily rely on all those creative minds out there that obviously have something I do not. After a long browse through the Crafty Crow's site, I came across a post about making fortune cookie valentine's cards out of felt. I must say, this was so simple and straight forward, that making them took no time at all. Big A typed up his little message, and we set about putting these together. (again, making sure that only the boys received red...one can only imagine if a pink one managed to get into the wrong hands...oh dear!)

...now it's time for the little brother to get his cards ready. Let's just hope pink gets a little more enthusiasm this time.)

Friday, February 5, 2010

cookies should do it...



...my little guy has been quite down lately, as his feelings of lack of friendships at school are something to do with who he is. The poor guy has been coming home in tears, and two days ago had some heart tugging things to say:
A: "mum, what is wrong with me? Whenever I ask someone to be my friend, they say 'no way' and tell me to move to another seat. Mum, could you tell me what I am doing wrong? I used to have more friends, but now only have one. Why don't kids like me? I don't yell or anything..."

Oh how hard that was to hear, especially when the person speaking those words has a beautiful bottom lip sticking out and a lonely little tear trickling down his cheek. I wanted to fix it right away, and make it better....but telling your six year old that," one good friend who really cares about you is much better than a bunch who might easily turn their cheeks the other way" doesn't really make them feel much better. Instead we just sat together, and I allowed him to let it all out.....and then it was off to bake some cookies.

warm cookies....

cookies that fill your soul and dry your little cheeks.....

cookies that allow you to savour every bite with a glass of perfectly cold milk, while your sad thoughts start to drift away....

cookies that bring a family together as you sit together covering your lips in melted chocolate...(which by the way, also instigates many giggling trips to the bathroom mirror to see just how "chocolaty" you can get your lips....the little guy manages to win that one with ease...)

cookies that will be there tomorrow just in case.....

...just in case there is a little tear and bottom lip sticking out.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

who does she think she is?



the ladies were not amused.....




"who does she think she is, showing up like that?" They were not impressed, but rather quite turned off by her bold taste in clothing......

Monday, February 1, 2010

hibernation time....



...it's been cold here, and I mean REALLY cold
...With a quick scan of the eye, you can tell this household has been in hibernation mode.
Empty mugs from many a hot honey milk are scattered about the house, clusters of toys are laid about throughout every room, books are piled high on the couch, and blankets can be found within hand's reach to re-warm some cold little bodies.
...but when the novelty of hibernation starts wearing off, the books have to be set aside to make way for activities better suited for two caged up little monkeys. And that's when my pile of lonely yarn comes into play (I think I need to take classes again...) Apparently pushing a ball of yarn across the room with only your nose can be a huge hit, especially when a timer is added, and can keep two boys occupied with laughter for hours. Just one ball of yarn, and the boys are back to sipping hot honey milk, too tired to do anything else. They just want to wrap up in some blankets and read.