Sunday, May 31, 2009

Let the Wild Rumpus Start!

This is one of our favorite bedtime reads.  I can’t wait!


Nessa Dee

Friday, May 29, 2009

Crafty Friday: Crayon Stained Glass

That old saying, “there’s nothing new under the sun” can apply to this Crafty Friday Project. The easy to make “stained glass” window hangings have graced Kindergarten classrooms for decades. But even with its prevalence, some people (like me) have never attempted to make these simple, yet beautiful creations.

Here’s what you need:


-old crayons

-wax paper

-an iron

-cheese grater, pencil sharpener, or butter knife



-hole punch

-glitter (optional)

Step 1. Cut two squares of wax paper (approximately 6x6”) for each stained glass window. For two kids each making two window hangings, I cut eight squares of wax paper.

Step 2. Start shaving those crayons. We started off using a pencil sharpener, but found this step to go much quicker if we used a butter knife to make the shavings.


Step 3. Start sprinkling the shavings onto one square of wax paper. You can add a little glitter for sparkle. At first, being newbies to this project, we piled up the shavings, mixed all the colors, and tried to make specific shapes before the heating process. We quickly found out that this doesn’t work so well once you get to step 4. A small amount of shavings and a limited color palette produced the best stained glass results.


Step 4. Place the other square of wax paper on top of the first, sandwiching the shavings in between. (Check out that pinky finger action.)shavings3

Then use your hot iron to melt the shavings and fuse the two pieces of wax paper together. You might want to place a large piece of paper or an old towel under the wax paper because the melted crayon goo has a tendency to seep out the edges. Once the crayon shavings are all melted, set the piece aside to cool and harden. This takes less than a minute.


Step 5. Once your stained glass pieces are cooled, take your scissors and cut into desired shapes.

Step 6. Punch a hole through the top of each shape, tie a piece of ribbon through the hole, and hang in the window. We tied our pieces to the blinds, but you can tie them to a hanger or a dowel rod before placing them in the window.


Enjoy watching the light illuminate the colors of your stained glass pieces. It really is quite stunning!

Oh, and if you’re wondering what to do with your post shaving crayons, make crayon cupcakes. Step by step instructions can be found here.

Happy crafting!

Nessa Dee

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Just a little note…

to let you know that I've added a new feature to my blog. If you look to the right, there in the sidebar....go ahead, look. See it? It’s a Crafty Friday supply list! What’s that you say? A list that tells us what we need each week for the Crafty Friday projects? How revolutionary! But before you go telling all of your friends about this awesome stroke of genius, I have to say that there’s no guarantee that the list will be updated in a timely fashion. My goal is to refresh it at the beginning of each week, but the fact that I’m just now posting this the day before Crafty Friday will clue you in a bit as to what might actually occur. I’m trying to get organized, though, which involves doing something else that’s revolutionary: planning ahead. Somebody stop me now.

And, just so you won’t be left with a pictureless post, here’s a shot from a recent nature walk. I love the way the light was sprinkled along the sidewalk. It reminded me of a beautiful fabric. And of course, there’s that little boy. He’s beautiful, too. naturewalk xo

Nessa Dee

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

IF: Cracked


When I was little, I used to wonder if I’d ever find a baby chick in our store bought eggs. I never did.


Nessa Dee

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Does a Reese’s peanut butter cup, a handful of Julio’s chips, and the melted cheese that oozed from the kid’s quesadillas constitute a well balanced meal? Well, let’s see….

peanut butter = protein

corn chips seasoned with lima and garlic = fruits and vegetables

cheese = dairy

chocolate which comes from the cacao bean = grains and legumes

Ok, I might be stretching things a bit. I have to admit that when I’ve got several projects in the works, my diet seems to take a hit in the healthy department. Instead of delicious and nutritious, I tend to favor quick and easy, sweet and cheesy? Mainly anything at hand which doesn’t require any prep work makes its way onto the menu. Sure I could’ve fixed myself a healthy meal in the time that it’s taking me to write this post, but then my blog wouldn’t be freshly updated. And frankly, who wants to read about how my super healthy lunch consisting of the 4 basic food groups gave me the energy to complete my projects at record speed, leaving enough time in the day to go for a run? That’s where caffeine comes into play.


Well, I’m off to down a soda and get a few things finished before I crash. Maybe tomorrow I’ll post what my idea of a clean house is during busy times.

I don’t think I’m that brave yet.


Nessa Dee

Sunday, May 24, 2009


The Culinary Institute of Austin, that is. We went on a field trip with our homeschool group to learn what it takes to become a chef in this day and age. We visited the school while the students were in action and got to watch the hands on techniques of stretching a strudel, toured a commercial kitchen, and bombarded the head chef with a ton of questions.

After finishing the tour, I decided several things:

1. At least one of my kids needs to become a pastry chef, not just because their hiring rate right out of school is 93 percent, but because I want a personal baker to whip up delectable desserts for his/her momma. :)

2. I need this mixer.

3. I also need this butcher block island for my kitchen.

4. I want to tour the school every week and eat whatever they are making.

Thank you Chef Rafferty and the rest of the team for letting us invade your kitchen! But most of all, thank you for the homemade brownies! ;)


Nessa Dee

Friday, May 22, 2009

Crafty Friday: Rorschach Paintings

The problem with Rorschach paintings is that they're so simple and fun to make, it's hard to know when to stop. They also provide a great opportunity to teach a little lesson on color theory.
Here's what you need:

-Paint -- we used tube acrylics (pictured), as well as craft acrylics.
-Paper -- just plain old construction paper will do, but if you prefer a heavier weight, watercolor paper or card stock works quite nicely.

Step 1. Fold the paper in half horizontally,

or vertically.

Step 2. Unfold the paper and begin dotting it with blobs, squiggles, and lines of paint.

Be careful not to get too much paint on the paper, though, or you will end up with a crafty mess. We had a couple of incidents this morning involving a tube of blue acrylic that resulted in a lot of wasted paint, trashed paintings, and burnt toast. (I was trying to didn't work.)

Step 3. After you finish dotting your paper with paint, fold the paper back over and pat it down with your hands.

Step 4. Unfold the paper to reveal your beautiful creation.

Step 5. Once you've finished creating a variety of Rorschach paintings, line them up on the table and determine what each picture looks like.

Happy crafting!
Nessa Dee

Thursday, May 21, 2009

10 Things I Learned at the Zoo

Last week, before we left the kids with their grandparents, we visited the Houston Zoo. Here are a few things I learned from the trip:

1. Even a creature I'm familiar with can look strange in real life, especially if I stare at it too long, watching it eat. I mean, look at that mouth!?

2. Adults get just as excited as kids when face to face with exotic animals.

3. Lions can share names and personality traits with people you know.

4. I really need to set up a hair appointment.
And buy nicer clothes. Even the birds are showing me up in the style department.

5. Pelicans look like big clumsy dorks when they're being fed.

6. I like the 5:2 adult to kid ratio much better than the 10:1 kid to adult ratio.

7. I discovered that instead of two monkeys, I actually have one monkey and one flamingo living in my house.

8. I could have touched this cheetah if I really wanted to.
And this giraffe.
I didn't, and I still have all of my fingers to show for it.
9. In the middle of the afternoon in May, in Texas, I will start weighing the risks of joining a tiger for a nice refreshing swim against being hot.

10. After a long day at the zoo, I look and feel not unlike this sea lion:
Nessa Dee
**Update--All you will need for Crafty Friday is some paint and paper. I'm keeping it simple since I kind of forgot to plan something. :)**

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

IF: Contagious

Nessa Dee

Monday, May 18, 2009

Audrie and Finn

I recently took the kids to my favorite portrait spot to take their picture. I did this for several reasons:
1. I missed taking their Easter portraits.

2. I missed taking Finn's 3 year old portraits.

3. I missed taking good Christmas portraits.

4. I needed Mother's Day gifts and, well, the moms hadn't received pictures of the grandkids in a while.
Needless to say, I was long overdue for picture taking. The following are some of my favorites.

Nessa Dee