Monday, August 30, 2010

1st Day

Every year I take pictures of the kiddos on their first day of school, and since our homeschool cooperative started last Friday, we counted that as our first day.

The pictures always start off with pleasant smiles…


The kids hold up their grade or age in fingers…


Then the frenzy of silly faces begin…

DSC_0050 DSC_0053 DSC_0054

Sometimes we have a reluctant participant…


who just needs a hug instead of the paparazzi…


But once he gets the right gear on for school, things begin to look sunny [or maybe goofy’s a better word]


and the first day of school starts with smiles…



nessa dee

Friday, August 27, 2010

Works in Progress

A few finishing touches and these little guys will be making their way to the shop very soon:


Have a good weekend!

nessa dee

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Crafty Friday: Color Wheels

Yes, you read that right. Crafty Friday is back! Thanks to our involvement in our homeschool cooperation and my having to teach a class, I am using my kids as test subjects for my art lessons.

There are three parts to this project, and here’s what you will need:

-3 clear glasses half full of water

-red, blue and yellow food coloring

-six containers or paper plates to represent the colors red, blue, yellow, orange, green and purple. We used white paper plates and I stuck a piece of colored paper on each one to indicate each color.


-pieces of construction paper, material, string, stickers, pom poms, etc. in the six colors aforementioned.

This being the first lesson, I wanted to teach the kids a little bit of color theory. This also being the first day I meet most of these kids, I thought it wise to hold off on painting until I can gage the how easy it will be to handle a room full of 5 and 6 year olds armed with paintbrushes. So, I figured a little demonstration with food coloring will do the trick.

First, fill three clear glasses about half way full of water. Then add drops of food coloring to make one glass with red water, one with blue water, and one with yellow water. Your child is welcome to smell the water like mine did.


Explain to your children that red, yellow and blue are the primary colors. These colors cannot be made by mixing other colors, but by mixing two of the primary colors together, we can make the secondary colors, orange, green, and purple.

Now the fun begins. Add a few drops of food coloring to each glass to mix the secondary colors in these combinations:

yellow + blue = green

red + yellow = orange

blue + red = purple


We mixed yellow into the blue glass to make the green, red into the yellow glass to make orange, and blue into the red glass for our purple; but the purple didn’t turn out so well. I don’t think we added enough blue because the color looked more maroon. Anyhow, here are our results:


The second part of the lesson introduces the kids to the color wheel. A color wheel shows the relationship between colors. Since I’ll be working with a young age group, I’m only demonstrating the primary and secondary colors, but if you’d like to add tertiary colors to the mix, feel free. You can find out more about tertiary colors and color theory here.

First, set up six plates in a circle, each plate representing a different color. Arrange the plates like so: Start with red at the top. Then, going clockwise set up orange, yellow, green at the bottom, then blue and finally purple, between the red and blue. Then have your kids find different objects around the house of each color and place them in the color wheel until it’s filled.


Finally, the kids will make their own color wheel by gluing scraps of paper, material, bits of string and stickers to represent the spectrum of colors. I created a color coded wheel for the project:


And here’s what Finn created:


Happy Crafting!

nessa dee

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Good Morning

I think an introduction might be necessary. My name is Nessa Dee, and I write this blog, although it’s been a while since I’ve written anything hence the intro.

I hope you haven’t given up on me. I’m trying to get back on the blogging/art making track, but we’re gearing up for school [which starts Friday] and I didn’t want to bore you with pictures of the mess that is my house.

We’ve also been painting…


This is Finn’s room all spiffed up in a soothing shade of blue. It’s a far cry from the black he originally wanted. His room will eventually be adorned with pirate decor to satisfy my little buccaneer, as well as his dad who thinks the blue isn’t manly enough.

Additionally, I’m trying to get a homeschool room put together in a nifty little nook located off our gameroom. It hasn’t been easy for I am one indecisive lady. I just want to do it once and do it right, so figuring out what kind of storage will suit us best is taking some time.


We’ve also been camping…


in our gameroom. The kids slept in the tent last night, but it didn’t hold up. At some point in the wee hours of the morning the tent collapsed. At least the campfire we built on the train table lasted long enough to roast some marshmallows.

Well now I’ve gone and bored you with pictures of my messy house. I apologize. And just in case you’re wondering, we didn’t really build a fire in the gameroom. We did have marshmallows for breakfast though.


Now on to using my kids as test subjects for my first art lesson on color theory.


nessa dee

Friday, August 20, 2010

Art Evolution

After working to create an Anthropologie type backdrop for my prints, I gave the kids artistic freedom to fill the chalkboard frames with original art. Here is our latest in chalkboard art:



Chalkboards are so much fun!

Have a great weekend!

nessa dee

Thursday, August 19, 2010

10 Years

Wow! Has it been ten years already?


I’m so glad you called me Valerie and asked me out. I love you, my lobster!


your wife

IF: Stargazing

An oldie that fit the bill…magnify

Another oldie…


He made his way into the shop along with a bunch of new prints.


nessa dee

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

New Prints!

Here are the new prints:







They’ll be making their way into the shop along with this original painting. I think I’ll call him Patches.patches1

Keep your eyes peeled for this stuff making their way into the shop over the next couple of days.


nessa dee

Monday, August 16, 2010

These boots are made for walking…


and climbing…


and sliding…


and swinging…


and lounging…


They may not be the most ideal footwear for outdoor play, but how can a boy choose tennis shoes over the coolest pair pair of boots ever?


nessa dee

P.S. You may or may not have noticed a few new items showing up in the shop. I’ve been gradually adding items, and will continue adding more throughout the week. I’m super duper excited about some new prints, and will reveal them all on this blog pretty soon. Keep checking!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Getting Ready…

Guess what I’ve been up to this week. Here’s a hint…


Yep! I’m prepping for school. I can’t believe summer’s almost over. I can’t believe school’s about to start. I can’t believe we’re over half way through 2010. My how time speeds up each year.

This year should prove to be interesting. Not only am I starting Finn on a more formal school schedule, but I’ve joined our homeschool cooperative. We’re going to meet every Friday, and each of the kids will be taking three classes. Finn will have some regular preschool classes, while Audrie will be taking a sewing, Ancient Rome, and literary class. I’ll even be teaching an Exploration in Art class which will probably be frequently documented on this blog as I’ll be using my kids as test subjects for the art projects I’m planning for the class [aka Crafty Friday will return!]

Well, I’ve gotta run and do the soccer mom thing. Be checking back for new shop updates. I’m awaiting an order of a bunch of new prints, and I’ll have some originals ready as well.


nessa dee

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I Love…

… hearing my daughter read to my son.



Such sweet moments.


nessa dee

Monday, August 9, 2010

Harvey the Robot

Little Harvey here just made his way to The Wondercraft airstream trailer, and is waiting for someone to take him home.

harvey Harvey joined some more small birdie paintings of mine, as well as a plethora of handmade gifts and goodies by local Austin artisans, which are all housed inside Stella, the airstream trailer. If you’re ever in the Austin area, you should definitely stop by and see all that The Wondercraft team has to offer.

To learn more about The Wondercraft and what they do, check out their site.

Also, check back later this week. I’m finally going to update my Etsy shop with more goodies. And now that I’ve told you here on this blog, I have to do it, which means I’ve got to go make the stuff now.


nessa dee

Friday, August 6, 2010

Trash Chair

I don’t know about you, but I love a good deal. If I can buy something for next to nothing, I’m super pumped. If I can get it for nothing, well then I’m just giddy. Based on that information, you’ve probably deduced that I like garage sales, I shop at thrift stores, I welcome hand-me-downs, and yes, I’ve been known to rescue things out of trash piles. I’m not afraid of the bad and ugly. I actually like taking an old piece of junk from shabby to chic. Here are a few of my finds…

*An antique chair I found on Craigslist. It’ll probably get painted black and recovered of course.


*Some doors from an old house in Dallas. Someone was selling them at a garage sale in my neighborhood.

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They’re going to have a future life as red track doors in the bathroom between my kids’ rooms. Hopefully they’ll look something like this…


Above: A San Francisco entry by Feldman Architecture.


[photo courtesy Southern Living]

The best part is my heavy, solid wood doors cost me about $22 a piece!

*A vanity that my grandparents retrieved from one of their rental properties. It’s in the process of getting a new shade of watermelon pink and will find a new home in my daughter’s bedroom to join it’s matching chest of drawers.


[Here’s the mirror being painted by moi. Just look how happy I am probably because I got this set for free. Or maybe I’m just high on paint fumes.]


Eventually we’ll get the matching double bed in with the set, but right now it’s serving as our guest bed.

* This light fixture I found at a garage sale for $3. I don’t know where I’m going to put it yet, but how could I pass it up for $3? Plus I saw the same fixture, just slightly larger on Craigslist for $250. Maybe I should just sell it and make a profit. Shh, don’t tell anyone what I paid for it.


*And finally, this post’s namesake…the trash chair. I found this little number out on the curb with the trash. I was actually on my way to go to some antique stores with my moms when the chair caught my eye. It was the only thing I brought home that day. Cost = free.


It will soon look something like this and join all of the other brightly painted pieces in Audrie’s room:


photo by

So now you know more about me and my obsession with junk, I mean, bargains. I’ll update you soon with finished pieces.

Until then, I’ll leave you with one of my re-dos. This was a hand-me-down from my Aunt and Uncle. It used to be a shade of cranberry and my husband was not too happy about my bringing it home.

cabinet I ignored his complaints, and like most of my furniture finds I painted it black and distressed the edges. It’s now one of my favorite pieces, and I’d say it looks fairly similar to this piece from Pottery Barn that retails for $1,499:


Did I tell you how much I love good deals?


nessa dee