Thursday, October 30, 2008

Ms. Peacock and the Reluctant Pirate

I have successfully made it through another year of last minute costume making. I have a commitment, an obsession really, to make my kids costumes each year. This year was quite an ordeal for Audrie of deciding what to be for Halloween. Finn had his mind set, though. For weeks now he has been adamant about being a "big scary man," whatever that entails. It wasn't until Monday, when I demanded that Audrie decide her costume so we could get the supplies that Finn changed his mind. He is now going as a pirate (who doesn't do anything), and I am sooo relieved that I don't have to come up with some scary man costume that might or might not be sufficient for a very opinionated 2 year old. Plus, we already have a plethora of pirate gear! As for pictures of the decked out pirate, this is as close as I got:

Finn in a suit with a pirate hat thrown on the floor. He refused to dress up for portraits, not even to indulge his momma! Hopefully I can get some pictures when he's trick-or-treating, if he wears his costume.
Audrie finally decided on becoming a peacock, and after a trip to the craft store, a lot of hand stitching and hot glue covered fingertips...... ta-da!

Once she put on the costume, she spent the rest of the morning, and better part of the afternoon as Ms. Peacock, a very sophisticated bird with a British accent. I became Mrs. Blackbird, Finn was Mr. Dove, Gangy (my grandmother) became Mrs. Green Jay, and PaPa (my grandfather) was Mr. Blue Jay. We all lived in birdhouses, ate birdseed macaroni for lunch, and had a lovely time chatting, as birds tend to do. We'll see if the sophistication lasts once we accumulate and tear into the candy!

Happy Halloween!

Nessa Dee

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Christmas List

Since a lot of family reads this blog, I wanted to go ahead and give you a few ideas for the kids for Christmas. I'm notorious for giving out last minute Christmas lists, leaving those organized family members scrambling to find something for the kids amidst the holiday frenzy. So, here's the short list to get you off to an early start.
Finn's List:
1. Small spiral notepads- they're perfect for taking food orders and ripping pages out to adorn the floor
2. Sticks, any size or shape- these are very versatile toys and are commonly used as laser guns, fishing poles, swords, and phones.

3. Tape- the most recent discovery, used for displaying art, found notes, blank pieces of paper.

Audrie's list:

1. Spy gear- after picking up the Spy's Guidebook from a free box at a curriculum sale, she is all about becoming the next 007. Any old gadgets like a broken remote control can become an ultra super awesome spy phone that attaches to the wrist.

2. Pigeon- this just made the list this morning. With her professional spy career in full swing, she thought it would be great to catch a pigeon and train it to carry messages to secret headquarters. I suggested using the postal service. That's not discreet, though.
3.Pink laptop- yes, that's right, my seven year old wants a pink laptop, plus a cell phone. I have informed the child of the costs of such things, but she has all it figured out. "Mom, Santa can bring me a laptop that way you don't have to pay for it!" Yep, she has it all figured out. In the meantime, she has made her own laptop with a mouse and iPod player to last her until Christmas.

Maybe this is the year we should finally get her that puppy that's she's been wanting since she could say the word! Can you say diversion?
And, lastly, something for both lists.
Box- a good large box. It's just about the perfect toy any kid could have. It's diversity in the toy realm is remarkable. There always seems to be a use for it no matter what's being imagined. In our house, boxes are most often used as boats. They have, however, been lengthy trains, dream homes, robot costumes, and caves, among other things. My kids never grow tired of just a plain old box.

Hope this list helps! ;)
Nessa Dee

Sunday, October 26, 2008

And The Winners Are....

Again, I apologize for the delay in announcing the winners. Encountering blog problems can be a very frustrating experience. Thankfully, it's working again!

It was wonderful to read all of your favorite desserts and the stories behind them.

But now, for the winners! Congratulations to.....

#19 Princess Tomato!


#17 Vickie!

Thank you all for participating!

Nessa Dee

Friday, October 24, 2008

Blog Woes

I apologize that I haven't posted the winners yet, but I was experiencing blog trouble on Thursday and Friday. I was not able to post anything before I had to leave town for a wedding. I will announce the winners on Monday after I get back (hopefully). ;)

Until then,

Nessa Dee

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

IF: Late

Late night exploration.

Also, it's not too late to enter my giveaway! I'll be picking winners Thursday night...
you still have time!
Nessa Dee

Thursday, October 16, 2008

1 Year...And A Giveaway!

Well, it has been one whole year since I started this blogging adventure. One year! I wanted to start blogging long before, but I was apprehensive about the whole thing. I wasn't sure about putting myself "out there" for the whole world to view. Granted, I don't have a thousand hits a day (I'm lucky if it reaches the into the twenty range), and I usually post the better parts of my life, which tends to glamorize my existence and not the nitty-gritty of everyday living. But, still the thought of putting my life and my work on the web for the world to see was a bit intimidating. I overcame my fears, though, and jumped into the enormous world of blogging, and here I year later...loving this whole process. And, like I said, if no one ever read my blog, I would still post. This is an outlet for me, a journal, it's my memories, it's something I want to be able to look back on as my life presses forward. So, I'm celebrating a year's worth of memories posted.

And how do I celebrate? I usually treat myself to something edible...a chocolate chip cookie perhaps. (Any excuse to have dessert!) celebrating, I wanted to share my excitement with you. So, my friends, I'm having my very first giveaway! The winners will receive a signed print of one of the following paintings:

What do you need to do? Just tell me your favorite dessert, drop it off in my comment box, and the winners will be randomly selected next Thursday!

So, I'll favorite dessert is fresh baked chocolate chip cookies. Yum!


Nessa Dee

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

IF: Strings

This painting is not a new concept, just a new angle. I posted the same idea a while back for "stitch" and I wanted to try it again from a different perspective. I still don't know why this little guy is in a hot air balloon high up in the sky, but I'm sure the story will come to me. :)

On another note, my one year blog anniversary is Thursday! Illustration Friday is the reason I started blogging, but my blog has evolved into much more. I'm excited and am in a giving mood, so check back tomorrow for a surprise!



Monday, October 13, 2008

Random, Random

I've used this blog title before. It comes in handy if one gets behind on ones' blogging and needs to play catch up. So here goes, a random list of things:

1. Finn is going through an ultra super hero phase (i.e. a sword wielding, horse riding, cape wearing, stick shooting, 4 days of sporting the same Spiderman p.j.'s type of phase), and I absolutely love it. It's so much fun to see what adventure he seeks out each day.

2. Audrie's a rock hound. On just about every outing, she comes home with a pocket full of rocks. While I don't always enjoy picking rocks out of the washing machine, and while some rocks happen to fall in the trash can (shh, don't tell), I can understand the fascination because I shared the same love for rocks as a child. And, if you're lucky, you can find a pair of vampire fang rocks just in time for Halloween!

3. I'm a dork. Anyone who knows me knows that about me. But, I love that I can be a dork around my children, and actually generate a laugh. I know this won't last forever. My dorkiness will soon become a source of embarrassment to them, so I'll cherish the laughs while I can.

(This is me in a random act of dorkitude playing a game of baseball in the backyard. Please ignore the weeds and dying grass. :))

4. Check out my new rug...if you can see it under all those papers. It's from Target and it's warm and cushy and a bit funky...just like me! ;) I'll explain what Finn is up to in a later post.

5. My photography might soon be replaced by my daughter's. She's been experimenting with the camera lately, and she's quite good! She just added photographer to her "What I want to be when I grow up" list. It will join other aspirations like artist, author/illustrator, spy, scientist, pastry chef, inventor, and astronaut. Here are a few of her shots:

6. Finn has become quite the photographer, too. He really knows the ropes when it comes to using a wooden camera: Here he is taking a picture of Audrie taking a picture of him:

7. I got an "I love your blog" award! It's taken me a while to get this up here. Thank you Yoon See for recognizing my blog! If nobody ever read my blog, I would still post because when I'm old and senile, I want to be able to look back and remember the things we did, but it is nice to know that people enjoy my blog! Thank you again Yoon See!!

8. And finally, my one year blogiversary is approaching! One year of blogging!! When I first started this little venture, I thought I had to write a novel and have it fully edited before posting. But I soon learned that taking a month to finish a single post doesn't really make for a good blog. Anyways, I'm excited about the fact that I've been blogging for a whole year now and am in a very giving mood, so to celebrate this monumental moment, I'm going to have a little surprise! Readers, you have to check back on Thursday the 16th (the actual blogiversary) to find out what it is!! Having said that, I'll leave you with the link to my very first post: Fall Portrait Session

Until then,

Nessa Dee

Thursday, October 9, 2008

IF: Sugary

Lollipops are sugary sweet!

This is an old sketch from my notebook. I wanted to repaint this and give it a little more time and effort, but it seems like I'm all out.... (of time, that is).

Looking forward to the weekend!

Nessa Dee

Monday, October 6, 2008

The Finn Factor

Science is an anticipated subject in our home school program mainly for the experiments. I try to incorporate simple, fun experiments that demonstrate what we've been covering in the realm of science. It's this hands on stuff that really drives concepts home, not only for my daughter, but for me as well.
The process usually starts with the gathering of supplies, explaining what we will be observing, and then making a hypothesis of the outcome. Now, scientists usually have to take into account certain factors that can effect the outcome of their experiments. In our case, that factor is Finn. I'm learning that a very curious two year old can have an impact on our scientific processes.
Example #1: When making a solar oven, after wrapping a box with aluminum foil and placing s'mores inside, one must cover the top of the box with plastic wrap and tape the edges in order to keep heat in and keep bugs out.
This creates a perfect opportunity for little fingers to start poking holes through the tightly stretched, heavily secured plastic wrap, thus causing a botched repair job.

The result: S'mores get finished off in the kitchen oven and enjoyed after The Factor's nap.

Example # 2: When testing good and bad insulators, one must have a control, and in this case it's a piece of ice left alone to melt to which every other piece is compared.
We measure how fast the other pieces of ice are melting as compared to the melting rate of the control piece.
What one does not want to encounter is the following situation:

Me: "Oh look, the control piece of ice has melted already. Wow, that was fast!"

The Factor: "I ate the ice!"

Me: "You what?"

The Factor: "I ate the ice all gone!"

The result: The insulated pieces of ice are compared to each other to determine melt rates, and The Factor enjoys a nice, cool treat.

I've come to realize that I'm thankful that our experiments we conduct are just demonstrations of science that's already proven. I think if history's scientists had to factor in Finn for every experiment, we might not be as advanced as we are today!
Nessa Dee

Thursday, October 2, 2008

IF: Packed

Last minute illustration. I woke up and realized it was Thursday. Weeks go by so fast.