Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Baking...or Making Some Diaper Cakes

Last night me and a few friends made some diaper cakes for the Pregnancy Counseling Center (Riverside Life Services).

So, Jamie and Natalie came over and we spent two hours making 10 of these little cake guys.

RLS gives free pregnancy tests. When a women gets a positive on her test, they give her a diaper cake. This is a fun way to help her get excited about her pregnancy. We put lots of little things in the cakes like baby lotions and shampoo, bottles, pacifiers, bibs, and little toys. We are creative with the composition and ribbons. We wrap it all up in some tulle so it stays together and looks pretty.

Us girls decided that it is actually pretty relaxing and fun to sit and put these little gifts together. We felt calm and chill when we we're done.

Here are a few close ups. These are Jamie and Natalie's creations.

We will probably try to make more every few weeks or once a month. I guess we will make them whenever the supply is low.

 Let me know if anyone sees a good sale on small size baby shampoo, lotion, or powder, diapers, bottles or pacifiers. Tell me were the good deals are or cut some good coupons. You can also purchase a couple things here and there and send them my way for the cakes, if you want :)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Oh Yes, We Went To The Pumpkin Patch Too!!

Justin and I decided to have our own trip to the Pumpkin Patch. We have no babies at the moment, but we want to start our family traditions early.

So, we walked into the Pumpkin Patch and this is basically the first thing we see. This crazy Pumpkin in the middle of the road. This Pumpkin can hardly blend in to the rest of the orange circles and then it just sat directly in the path. Needless to say Justin and I noticed it and complemented it and petted it. We also walked past it.

We went to see what else the Patch has to offer.

We considered  many options and chose three. I am holding our initial selection.

After much more consideration, we still chose three pumpkins, but we switched one out for our favorite and most loved pumpkin. We got the incredible pumpkin that we loved at first sight. 
I must say that this is the coolest pumpkin I have ever seen and I don't think any other pumpkin comes close to being this charming and mesmerizing. 

What a fun family trip. Now we have officially celebrated Fall!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Walk for Life

The Walk for Life was this past sunday. This is the main fundraiser of Riverside Life Services for the whole year. I haven't been in years. I used to go when I was in elementary and Jr. high. It is awesome that it has continued as an annual event all these years. This Walk for Life was different this year than I remember in the past, for some pretty obvious reasons. My role was different and the people there were different.

In years past I would grab a fast food lunch and make it to the park in time to walk. This year I came early to set up and to be involved.

Years ago there were multiple hundreds of people, maybe closer to a thousand. There were many faces that I recognized, especially from my church. This year there was around two hundred people who came to walk and I recognized few.

Coming to the Walk for Life this year was really fun, but just as discouraging at the same time. I couldn't believe the numbers of supporters this year. I couldn't believe the opportunity that was missed to support. Of course it is not the only way to support the cause, but it was definitely missed. Seeing the response to this fundraiser and walk  gave me an updated an accurate view of how much community support Riverside Life Services has. This is actually a good thing. I was reawakened to the needs of RLS just over a month ago. Knowing that their support is not where it should be makes me want to be involved even more.

Even if the Walk was small, doesn't mean that the support of individuals throughout the year has to be small. My goal is to make the need known and let everyone know how easy it is to be involved, even if they have no time.
I will post again on what Riverside Life Services is and stands for and give easy ways for anyone to help.

For now enjoy these few pics of the walk. I meant to get better ones from my sister, but these are from my camera.

This is a good picture of the walkers.

We walked with Griffin and Erika from Sandals college group.

Monday, October 20, 2008

I Made a Scarf!!!!

I have dreamed of Making and, more importantly, Finishing a crochet or knitted project for many years. I never really knew how to do it right and I would always get discouraged and put it away. With the help of a store called Knit n' Stitch and a book called "Happy Hooker", I learned how to crochet myself a lovely autumn red scarf.

This is my attempt at an Antropologie style photo shoot :)

This is a photo right before I finished. I cut off tassels or fringe for the bottom of my scarf and It was so fun and easy to attach them. I wrapped the yarn around a DVD to get the right length and cut one side. All the pieces were about the same size.

This scarf took two balls of 3.5 oz chunky yarn at 121 yards and a size "I" hook. I chose to do a stitch called Triple Crochet. I am so excited to make more, just ask my husband! With any free time I have a crochet project in my hand... during movies, in the car, at friend's houses, etc...

I Have a Crush on a Brush

On Thursday, I was teaching my cousin Grace art again.
We were learning how to do lettering. She did a great job! She wrote her name with a paint brush and it looked good... like computer good. I don't have a pic of that (maybe next time :), but I did want to brag about a brush I used for my lettering.

This is a brush I have had in my arsenal for years and was ignoring because I was intimidated by it. It's HUGE. What the heck do you paint with a brush this big? I got it from "The Brush Man" at RCC. The brush is $70 bucks, but I got it for about $17. Maybe I should have not bought it if I felt that way about it, but the brush tip looked so tight and well made that I thought it could have a really awesome stroke.

Well, It did once I had the guts to try it. When I do lettering on walls, I typically use a 1/4 flat sable brush. This looks great, but limits you to calligraphy style letters. During art lessons I wanted to do a style of lettering that could not be accomplished with a flat brush. I really don't have a good collection of round brushes so I was bummed for a minute until I remembered the BIG one on display in my garage (On display because it's looks impressive, yet I never used it).

Once I dipped it in paint and did a practice stroke, I knew it was a Golden brush!

So I chose the word "Peace" and had my reference letters at hand. I was in love with the brush as it was going along. It made the letter strokes easy and there was never a struggle to get it to do what I wanted. That is priceless when it comes to having fun and working quickly with letters. So anyways, I have a crush on a brush right now and I am so glad it's already mine! :)

For those who are curious, the brush is from Princeton Art & Brush Co. It's a size 30 Round and style 4050R

Someone Digging in My Purse

This is what I find on my camera when Caleb digs around in my purse.

Notice my gum in his mouth as well.

He's three. Sometimes I have to hide my purse when I hang out with him because he sees it as a bag of toys that I always carry around :)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Fun at Disneyland

Here are some quick pics from my trip to disneyland on monday afternoon and evening. 

By the way Disneyland is not crowded on Columbus Day!

Joelle's face says it all!

Caleb seems to be enjoying rubbing Purell on his hands a little too much.

Here is Jamie Van Houghten and I waiting for the "We are Family" Parade to start.
I was a great parade and a great day!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Grandma's Birthday

On Saturday Justin and I went to my Grandma Shoe's house for her birthday. 

It started off with conversation about crocheting and then it became a mini crochet extravaganza. We had a bunch of us on the couch crocheting or knitting. There are a lot of artists and creative people in my family so it's not surprising.

 We even decided that as a family our gift exchange this year would be handmade gifts only!! This is a first for our family and there is about 20 adults involved in this (not including kids)! There are a few people in the family who are a little apprehensive about this, but I think it will work out well and be fun :)

My cousin Andie and her little girl Charlotte visited from Northern California. We miss their family, but it's always fun to hang out when we can. This is Charlotte's camera smile!

Charlotte is such a cutey and it so charming and sweet! She is having fun with Grace.

Justin loves to hold and hang out with Joelle. She even fell asleep on him later in the evening.

Happy Birthday Grandma! She is blowing out candles on a pie that my cousin Skye made. It was Chocolate Espresso Pecan.

One of my favorite pictures of the night is of Sequoia and Caleb! They are so cute together!  

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Justin. Justin. Stripes. Stripes.

Here is a picture I took the other day of Justin and Justin. The
Justin on the right's last name is Kolwalski. These guys are buddies.
They share a love for God, Rap and Tattoos. Even their Political views
parallel eachother. However, maybe the most obvious love they share is
a love for Stripes!

I am glad they understand eachother.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Crochet Class

My sister and I took a crochet class last night. We went to a place called Knit and Stitch in the Brockton Arcade. It cost us $15 each for two lessons. We will go back this next monday night to finish our instruction. 

Here is Casey having a great time learning to crochet. She picked out and awesome pink and orange yarn to make a scarf with.

Here is my practice piece. I learned to single crochet, double crochet, triple crochet, and how to weave in a new role of yarn. Pretty good for the first night. Now all I need to do is practice.

If anyone wants to come with us or practice with me, that would be awesome! I might even be able to teach it once I've practiced a bit :)

Monday, October 6, 2008

S&P Shaker

These are salt and pepper shakers that reminded me of Justin and I. If
we had to be S&P shakers we would be these ones. Everytime we go to
Millie's for dinner I pick a shaker set out for us... I don't buy it I
just choose it :)

This post is also for the purpose of checking to see if I can post a
blog from my phone. If you see this, then it worked!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Justin's Rear View

Justin, my husband, is pretty creative. So last night he thought of this. My sister and bro in law have a supreme minivan that features a rear view camera. This helps you see objects and people behind your vehicle as you reverse. Justin decided to test it out.

His eyes look so big and innocent.

I was laughing so hard at his face in the camera it was hard to get a non-blurry picture, but I managed to get a few clear ones.

He looks like a child with a big forehead and a goatee.

Iron and Wine

Last night Justin and I went to an Iron and wine concert at the Greek Theater. It's pretty cool because going to an Iron and wine concert is basically the first thing Justin and I ever did together. In 2005 we went with Case and Josh to the House of Blues in San Diego to see this band. So it's cool to see them again with my husband. 

Here we are at the concert. I am pretty much the Queen of taking pictures of me and Justin with my own hand (Not because they are good. Because it's convenient and fast) (Not sure why this paragraph is being underlined, but oh well.)

So four more people came with us, but one one of them got in. Jeremy was the the lucky one. (Justin and Jeremy look like two little buddies in this pic. Cute.)
Well, there is a bit of a story. Case and Josh drove us all up in their awesome minivan. Baby Joelle also came because the concert was going to be mellow and it was outside. However, ticket holding Case and Josh were not allowed in with the baby. So long story short, they got their money back and hung around the parking lot for 3 to 4 hours. The cars were stacked in the parking lot, meaning you can't move till everyone else leaves. 

Poor Case and Josh. It was an awesome concert! Iron and Wine opened for Swell Season. You might know that band from an Irish movie called Once (See it if you haven't). The music was incredible!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Art with Grace

This is Grace. She is my sweet 13 year old cousin.
We do art lessons together every other thursday.
Grace is a natural when it comes to art. She makes sure to keep in practice and challenge herself. I have seen her grow so much artistically over the years and I am so proud!

Yesterday, I decided to honor the Fall even though it has been 98 degrees around here. And I also decided to throw a twist on the usual paintings that we do. Instead of starting with a white canvas, we started with a peach, burnt orange canvas. Then we drew out our object and just filled in the dark and light colors. Our main color was already there so we were focusing mainly on shadow and light. Our reference photo was a autumn maple leaf. This picture shows me in the process of painting.

Here is my finished product in the below photo. Amazingly this took two hours. One of the coolest things that teaching art lessons has taught me is how you can make art as quick as you want. I used to feel like I couldn't get a painting out without spending a week on it. Now I know you just have to simplify and prioritize. For example, if you want a painting done in 2 hours you would choose a simple subject matter, smallish canvas and looser painting style.

 This is one of the ways that my art students and I can finish a wall worthy painting in one lesson. Grace's Leaf turned out great as well! I was so proud that it looked awesome and she did great on her shadow and light values.

I hope to slowly convince people that art is not just for professed artists, but anyone can make something they love and have fun doing it. All that is needed is inspiration.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Imai baby

Justin and I went to the Imai home last night to meet and hold their new baby. His name is Evan Nobuyuki Imai. He is really pretty! 

Believe it or not. Justin is holding the 2nd baby he has ever held. He usually passes on holding the little bitty ones, but tonight he embraced it.

Justin is checking this little one out. 

Sorry I didn't get a close up pic of Evan's sweet face. Justin was letting me know in this photo that my excessive picture taking was an embarrassment to our family. I told Justin that I am a blogger now so I have to take more pictures. Kim and Derek are laughing at our ridiculous conversation.