Full Weekend

Busy busy weekend! The weather here in Tricities was AMAZING this weekend.  Felt like summer!  I had to get outside and enjoy it.

Friday evening Emma and I met up with my friend Tasha and her hubs, her brother and his wife, and their two adorable boys for some Pizza and then the Shrine Circus. I haven’t been to a circus since…..I can’t even remember when it was.  All I know is I was little, it was the Ringling Bros. and Barnam & Bailey Circus, and there were motorcycles that rode in this giant metal sphere thingy SUPER fast without hitting each other.  I’m not sure why that’s my only memory of it though. Seems odd. Anyway, the circus was fun; those people do some amazing stuff.  They were giving Elephant rides to the kids before the circus started, so my little girl climbed up on the GIANT pachyderm and rode like a pro! I was skeptical if she would really do it, after her hesitation at going on the ferris wheel at the Carnival a couple weeks ago (although once she went on it, she didn’t want to stop).

I just remembered I never posted about our time at the Carnival.  I know you are absolutely just DYING to hear about it (haha).

Ok, back to the circus….Here is Emma on the elephant, right up front….

 

Here is Emma and Tasha’s oldest nephew Drake….with his blue cotton candy mouth…

I am NOT a fan of clowns. They creep me out. (Thanks Steven King). Emma is not quite sure what to think of them yet.  They did have some funny skits during the show. The very last one absolutely made Emma laugh…not just a chuckle or giggle, but actually belly laugh.  There is no sweeter sound to me than that. That was the highlight of my evening. 🙂

Saturday was another beautiful day. I absolutely HAD to get outside and enjoy, so Emma and I went to Lowe’s to get flowers to plant on the deck. Emma found a little inch worm on one of the plants as we were walking around, so that became her “pet” for the duration of our shopping. She carried it around, tried to feed it leaves from different flowers, talked to it, etc.  I wanted to get a few herb plants also, so we went to the herb section where Emma tasted almost all of them.  She did not want to taste the chives, because it looks like grass, but after I made her, she kept asking if she could have more. I knew she would love it.  We ended up with Basil, Chives, and Cilantro.  3 herbs that I use the most.  I wanted to get some Mint as well, however, here must be a huge Mint (or perhaps a Mojito) “following” here because they are always sold out!

Here are two of the barrels planted. (That’s one nice thing about living in the heart of wine country, there is never a shortage of wine barrels to use for planters.) Notice the pretty ornamental grass in the middle….that the cat promptly nibbled on that evening, so now half of it is shorter than the other half. Yeah, NOT happy about that.

Saturday evening, I got to spend the evening with some great ladies!  Appetizers, a couple of drinks (Creamsicles – YUM), and great conversation.  Thanks Jenn and Tiffany!! 🙂

Sunday was my get everything else done day.  My goal was to get some things re-arranged in the garage, and do a little re-organizing. It felt soooo good to get so much done. The bonus….I found my Grandpa’s purple heart medal, and dog tag from when he was in the service during WWII. I also came across some another medal of his (I need to research to find out its significance), some old ration booklets, and some other WWII memorabilia that my Grandma had passed down to me before she passed away.

 

 Also got the dog washed and a couple of paintings done.  One of them was with oils…cuz you know, I’m a pro at toxic…er, I mean oil painting now.  Haha! But I didn’t kill myself or anyone else in the proccess, and I’m pretty sure I didn’t violate any hazmat laws either. 😉

 I hope you all had a great weekend!

Advertisements

Demolition Derby

Emma and I went to a good ole fashioned demolition derby.  I have only been to one other demo derby and it was a looooooooooooong time ago (yes, I am old). This was Emma’s first one.  I have to admit she didn’t really believe me when I told her it was cars that drive around really fast and smash into each other….on PURPOSE.  Apparently, I “pull her leg” frequently enough that she didn’t believe me until we got there Haha. She was pretty fascinated by it.

 I was actually surprised at the amount of spectators and support there was for this local event.  And a beer garden…woohoo! I have to admit that as we watched the cars plow into each other, I got to thinking…how many times have I wanted to do that EXACT thing to someone while driving in traffic? I can see the draw to participate as it looks pretty darn satisfying to me. 😉

Here are the cars all lined up before the start….

The winner of the first event was the only woman in the competition (YEAH!), and she’d just had a baby 6 months ago.  I think she was probably unleashing out 9 months-worth of pissed off and pregnant on those poor guys. No wonder she won.

Here she is…the last car standing……also notice where the #112 car is “parked” haha…

They also had a fun little event called “Jump You’re Junk”. Yes. Really. It was trucks, cars, and SUV’s so I guess anything goes. How fun would THAT be? Take your beater truck out there and do a Dukes of Hazzard off a giant dirt pile?  Yeeeehaawwww!

I didn’t get any good photo’s of the jumping cuz I was using my iPhone, but here is a blurry one…

Then we had an intermission. If there is one thing emma loves, its face painting. If there is face painting at an event, she is ON IT. So of course we haaaaaaaaaaaaad to do that…

After intermission came the main event. They were the older model cars (80’s and older..so pretty much the era’s of the muscle car). Jeez did they have some engine modifications.  They were LOUD! Luckily I always have earplugs in my purse (started when we were involved in boat racing the last couple of years), for Emma to wear. This round had rollovers, fires, you name it. There was also a driver that came all the way from Port Townsend (Washington) to smash up his car, I mean compete. Guess they don’t smash cars on purpuse up there. Here is a picture of the fire…..

Soooooo if after hearing about this event left any doubt in your mind that this was a lil bit (A LOT) redneck the picture below outta seal the deal for you. 😉

Project: Subway Art

I have seen “Subway Art” (as in the mode of transportation, not the sandwich place) all over the internet these days.  I am really starting to like it.  I decided to do a couple of my own.
I used Microsoft Publisher to create mine. In Publisher, you can specify the size you want your page to print out at. This was helpful in keeping it from becoming “pixely” (is that a word?) when you want to enlarge it. Publisher allows you to convert your file from a .pub file to a .jpg so you can upload it to your favorite photo printing place and have it printed that way. I chose large sizes that I knew I could have printed as a photo, and could find a frame for. I did one that was 11×14, and one 16×20. 
The first one I did was a coffee themed one.  Because I LOVE COFFEE.

I had it printed by Walmart.com as an 11×14. I also purchased a picutre frame for there, for $5 (cheeeap!).  I loved the color and finish of it, and it went well with the coffee theme, so I left it as is.


Here’s what it looks like framed….

I also did a beach themed one.

This one I had printed as a “poster”, 16×20. I went to Hobby Lobby for the frame for this one. They had 50% off all picture frames, and I knew I wanted a wood one so that I could paint it white. It cost me $13 which is $2 cheaper than Walmart sells their metal ones for, that cannot be re-finished.

I dismanlted the frame, and spraypainted (2 coats) it white. (Using the same paint I used on my wall picture collage).

Here it is all framed up….(I know it looks yellow in the photo, but it’s not, honest!)

This is the other one I did for my daughters bedroom, but I have not framed it yet…..

Project: Cake Balls

This weekend I made my first attempt at cake pops. No, I don’t have a special event that I’m making them for, I just think they are so cute and fun! I started out with the intention of making them cake pops (on a stick), however, due to some “technical difficulties”, they became cake balls. I say “technical” difficulties, because it would be pretty hard to screw up cake balls, flavor-wise. You just can’t go wrong with a bunch of cake crumbs, a lump of frosting and some melted chocolate, no matter WHAT form it’s in, right?  My issues were merely with presentation.

Here is what I used:

Vanilla cake mix

Cream cheese frosting at room temperature (I used whipped, but you can use non-whipped as well)

Vanilla flavored chocolate wafers

Ghirardelli chocolate (optional)

Cake sprinkles

(There are also cake pop sticks, and food coloring in the picture below, however, you will not need them for this recipe….I’ll explain why later)

Let me preface this by saying that a candy maker I am not! That’s important to remember.  🙂

Bake the cake mix according to the directions on the box.  (I did mine in a 9×13, but it really doesn’t matter, because your going to crumble the whole thing into a bowl afterwards.)

Don’t forget to clip your box top for education if your cake mix has one!

Let the cake cool COMPLETELY. Once it’s cool, crumble the whole cake finely, into a bowl. This is a great job for kids if you have them baking with you. Emma did this and LOVED it!

Once you have the whole cake crumbled, empty the entire can of frosting into the crumbles. Mix together well, until it forms kind of a dough consistency. It’s easiest and fastest to do this with your hands (kind of like mixing meat-loaf).

Once your “dough” is ready, you can roll it into quarter sized balls. Then, refrigerate your balls (HAHAHA…oh, sorry..) for a couple of hours.  They need to be cool to work with them in the chocolate.

Here is where my first modification comes in…going from cake pop, to cake ball.  I could not get the balls to stay on the sticks. They slid off.  There must be some secret to making them stay on, but I don’t know that secret yet. Also, I cannot figure out how you get the melted chocolate (next step) from just running down the stick, and off of the cake ball. I was not going to dedicate 10 minutes of turning into EACH ball…noooo way.  I do not have that kind of patience!

Once they are cool, melt your chocolate wafers in the microwave, according to instructions on the package. It’s best if you melt small quantities at once, as it will harden back up as it cools. 

Here is where my second modification comes in. I wanted bright vivid colored cake pops, so after my first bowl of wafers was melted, I squirted in a shot of gel food coloring. This was a BAD idea.  The chocolate seized IMMEDIATELY. And I really do mean, IMMEDIATELY. If you don’t know what seized chocolate is like, think CEMENT. So apparently gel food coloring = bad news with melted chocolate. Crap. Ok, moving on. I poured more wafers into another bowl and melted them. This time I try good ole fashioned liquid food coloring. SEIZE. Again. AAAHHHHH. Now I am REALLY frustrated. How the he** do I get this chocolate COLORED?  Is it really THIS hard?  Clearly there is a secret to this as well that has eluded my vast (NOT) knowledge of using melted chocolate. Yeah, I know they make those wafers in colors, but I wanted BRIGHT colors, not pastels, which is all I seem to be able to find. Here is a little example of the chocolate cement….in the picture below, I am holding ONLY the spoon up, the chocolate (cement), is what’s holding everything else together. I could have picked the whole bowl up off the counter with the spoon. Nooooo bueno!

Ok, FINE…..Plan B. I’ll go with WHITE chocolate, and just sprinkle the dang colors on. So I melted my THIRD bowl of chocolate wafers. And proceeded to roll my cake balls around in the chocolate using a spoon, making sure to get a nice thick coating on.  

I laid them on parchment paper on a cookie sheet to set. Emma sprinkled them for me.

I ended up doing a few with white Ghirardelli chocolate, let them cool, and then drizzled Ghirardelli milk chocolate over them. They taste wonderful, but I found that the Ghirardelli does not harden as much as the wafers.  Even directly out of the fridge, once the heat of your skin touches it, it starts to melt immediately.  But…..it tastes wonderful. 🙂

So hopefully you can learn from some of my mistakes if you decided to tackle cake pops/balls. Good luck!

Project: Teachers Flower Pot

This is a really cute spring idea I saw on another blog, to show appreciattion for a teacher.  So many gorgeous flowers are starting to bloom, and appear in local nurseries.

 

Here is what you’ll need:

 Terra Cotta flower pot

Chalkboard paint (I used brush on, because I didn’t feel like taping things off, but you could also use the spray-paint)

Yellow acrylic paint

Paint brushes

Black paint pen (you could also use a black sharpie)

Chalk

Potting soil

Flowers

I started by painting a coat of the chalkboard paint on the flower pot, leaving the rim bare, using vertical brush strokes. Let that dry about an hour, and then applied another coat horizontally.  This makes sure you get everything well covered. (If you’re using spray chalkboard paint, just follow the directions on the can.) The instructions on the paint said to then let it cure for 24 hours. 

 

While I was waiting, I went ahead and painted the rim, and part of the inside yellow.  I painted partially down the inside, below where the dirt line will be when I plant the flower so you don’t see the paint line.

 

Once the yellow paint dried, I added the “ruler” lines all around the rim of the pot with my paint pen.

 

NOTE: I had a little trouble getting the ruler lines to be even on the rim of the pot.  It would be easier if the rim was totally flat, instead of grooved like this one.

Now it’s ready for planting. My daughter chose Marigolds….

Write your message to the teacher on the chalkboard with your chalk. (Again, I used Crayola).

Word Clouds

Here is a cool thing I thought I’d share.  Word clouds (or word mosaics as some refer to them) can make great wall art! I found two sites that seem to work the best (in my opinion), and have some versatility with what you can actually DO with your word cloud when your done, such as saving it as an image, posting it to your favorite social network, or even make a t-shirt out of it.  
Here are a couple that I made using Imagechef
This one I did with Emma in mind….maybe a cute framed wall hanging in her room.
This one is my favorite, and was created using Tagul The options on this site are limited but it does allow for the use of tagged words that can act as pointers to URL’s if embedded in a web page.

You want me to use WHAT?

Right after I decided to try painting with acrylics, I was perusing the craft store (dangerous), and I passed a rack with massively marked down painting supplies. I ended up purchasing some bulk paint brushes for Emma to use, and a couple of plastic paint palettes, both for dirt cheap. Beside that stuff, was this cute lil bucket of oil paints marked down to almost nothing…..seriously, as in, it was less than $3. I thought to myself, I know nothing about oil painting, and don’t really intend to paint with oils any time soon, so…….just move along, Kel.  But then…….that little craft supply hoarder in my head said….but what if you DO decide you want to try it?  You will NEVER find them this cheap, and what a great starter kit…small tubes of lots of colors. Really, I mean, it’s LESS than a cup of coffee. So I talked myself into it. I’m not positive, but I THINK, that I’m supposed to be talking myself OUT of buying things….not INTO buying them. Might need to take a second look at that theory..…some other time. 🙂   

That lil bucket of paints has been sitting on my craft table staring at me ever since. This weekend I caved and decided to play with them. I filled up my palette with colors, grabbed a couple of my favorite paint brushes, and a couple not so good ones (you know, incase this turned out to be a disaster, I didn’t want to ruin ALL my brushes). I had already purchased some artist tablets of thinner canvas paper to “practice” on, or just goof around with, cuz they are a lot cheaper than actual canvas. (Note: remember that, it’s an example of me actually USING my brain). I did give a quick thought to clean-up, but quickly remembered I had purchased a bottle of Pink Soap, which is a brush cleaner, so I’m good. Ok to proceed with making a masterpiece (HAHA).

I started out just doing some squiggles to get a feel for the paint.  It’s a lot thicker than acrylic.  Me and my love for colors…..I wanted to see how all the colors looked, and tried a couple different things on this picture.  Like I said, just playin around. I thought it was pretty just to see all the colors together….I’m a sucker for a rainbow.

 Then I decided to try a flower.  I love drawing and doodling flowers, so doing one with oils was fun too! Here’s what it ended up looking like. Kind of strange, but kind of whimsical (in my mind anyway haha)…..

 There. I had satisfied my oil painting itch for one evening with those two.  Time to wrap it up and maybe go blog about something. I gathered all the brushes and the palette and the Pink Soap, and went into the bathroom to wash everything.  (The pic below is only a FEW of the brushes I used……)

I start with brushes first.  Turned the hot water on, dab a dollop of Pink Soap on the brushes, and……..voila! Wait…..nothing is happening. The water is just beading up and running off. I rub a little more…..MISTAKE. Did you know, that oil paint SMEARS really well when you add water? Now…..write this down…..PINK SOAP (which by the way, specifically says it cleans OILS, acrylics, and watercolors right on the bottle) DOES NOTHING TO OIL PAINT. Did you write it down? Good. I went from having messy oil paint brushes, to having messy oily paint brushes and BLUE oil covered hands. Really oily hands. Well CRAP. So I laid the brushes down, and reach for my trusty Bath and Body Works antibacterial hand soap (WITH scrubbies in it), pumped a couple of pumps into my hands and  start rubbing them together. All this was doing was smearing the blue oil paint MORE. I tried a few more pumps of soap…….then, I think I heard the soap actually laugh at me as it squirted out of the bottle. It was just making MORE of a mess. So, with my elbow, I turn off the water, because, remember, I now have blue oil paint ALL over my hands. I’m standing in the bathroom staring at the paint brushes in the sink. Clearly, there is actual OIL in these oil paints! Who knew?? Then, my brain turns to chemicals. What can I use that I have in the house? Windex…..no, that doesn’t cut grease. I go to the closet, there is fabreez…..no that won’t work……furniture polish….no….Clorox….no. I see NOTHING on hand that cut’s grease (in my mild state of alarm, I overlook the obvious….dishwashing soap, which now seems like it would have been a great idea)! Ugh. Really? Then, AH-HA! There’s WD-40!  Perfect! I grab the can with two of the tippy top of my finger tips to avoid creating an oil slick on the can, and carry it to the bathroom. It’s a new type of can, with a weird nozzle, not like the old one where you just stick the red straw in and push the button on top or pull the trigger. This one has the straw already in it, and has like some weird double ended swivel trigger thing, with another hole in the other end, and you somehow are supposed to pull that into the “up” position. WTF? Which hole is the straw supposed to go in? And if I put the trigger in the “up” position, it is no longer a “trigger”, so how am I supposed to get the liquid out?? Ugh. Why do they change something when it ALREADY WORKS well the way it was? So I am fiddling with this stupid can, and have now grasped the entire thing with BOTH of my slippery greasy blue hands, so I can barely hold on to the can any longer. I give up, I have NO idea how to get the WD-40 out of the can. I set it down and go back to the closet.

Now I am starting to worry a little bit about safety…….I now have automotive things on the brain with all this oil. I get to thinking; maybe I should just throw these brushes away….and uh-oh….I rinsed some of the oil down the drain in the bathroom while I was attempting to wash….and I know that oil has to be disposed of as hazardous waste in auto body shops, right? And oily rags, they can catch on fire right? So am I going to blow up the entire West Pasco sewer system because I just put “oil” down the bathroom drain? I had visions in my head of the oil contacting the sewer vapors (methane?) that are down the drain, and BOOM. Good grief. And no, I can’t throw the brushes away, they will start a fire in the garbage can (oily rag scenario flashes….)! What do artists do?? How do they paint with all these toxic hazardous chemicals all over the place? How do they dispose of anything?

I thought I better pull the reigns a bit on my worrying, and decided to just focus on the current issue. I needed to get my hands clean enough to drive to the stinkin craft store before it closes to find something to clean up oil paints! And I needed to do it before the West Pasco sewer system ignites from my oil mess. Then, like a ray of sunshine breaking through the clouds, I spot a bottle of GOO GONE. HALLELUJAH! I ran back to the bathroom and sprayed away.  I have never been so happy to see a bottle of Goo Gone in my life. I got most of the paint off my hands.  I didn’t want to use any towels, because, number one, I didn’t want to ruin them, and number two, I still had that oily rag scenario dancing around in my head (is that even real?).  Luckily, since my daughter was born, I have kept baby wipes around.  She is six now, and clearly I don’t need them for diaper duty anymore, but during the time that I did, omigosh did I discover a thousand and one uses for them!  Cleaning the car, wiping counters, wiping sticky hands and mouths, I NEVER go camping without them either! So, I have a package of baby wipes on the counter, and I grab a couple to somewhat wash the Goo Gone “ick” off my hands….and to my surprise, MORE of the blue stuff comes off my hands……with the baby wipe! Woohoo! I start wiping down my hands, fingernails, and paint brushes handles (didn’t do much with the bristles as there was a TON of oil on them) with the baby wipes……and it’s working almost better than the Goo Gone did!  Wow! I was amazed, and felt like an idiot for not trying those first.  DUH. 

I got my hands clean enough to actually touch things, and more importantly, to drive my car. The craft store closes in 40 minutes. I should make it.  I hop in the car and drive over there.  When I pull in to the parking lot (sorry, this is totally off subject…) there happens to be a carnival in the parking lot!  I was so excited!  I LOVE CARNIVALS! But then I remembered, Emma (the 6yr old that I use as my excuse to do fun things like go to the carnival, etc) is with her dad this weekend. DOH! Actually, it’s a good thing, cuz I probably would’ve never made it inside the store, and West Pasco would be smoldering in the aftermath I’m sure. I settled for just taking pictures. Here are a few of them…..

 

Anyway, so I made it before they closed and went directly to the painting section. I asked that girl working back there, how to clean up oil paints. She pointed me in the directions of the bottles……of TURPENTINE. WHAT? Really?  Like, that’s my only option? Clean up one hazardous chemical with another hazardous chemical?

(As I’m typing this, it’s crossing my mind that perhaps my place of employment has instilled some deep-rooted chemical “hazard” awareness in me that I never knew existed, until now, oh, and during safety audits of course ;)).

So I’m looking at the bottles, reading the back labels…..don’t smell it, don’t ingest it, don’t let it touch your skin (good thing I didn’t already have some on hand, I would have most likely used it to clean my hands too!), don’t inhale it, blah blah blah….OMG. All I want to do is clean some freaking paint brushes, and my sink! I closely look at all the bottles on the shelf….hoping there is something else…..and oh! Hey look! There’s Pink Soap! Right next to the turpentine bottles. I resisted the urge to grab every little bottle of that worthless pink crap and chuck them down the aisle because they do NOTHING on oil paints and should be nowhere NEAR them in the store. Some poor bastard is going to buy it thinking he can clean something with it.

Anyway, it’s looking like I’m going to have to buy this toxic chemical to clean up with. Now, do I want odorless, or not? Well, considering the vapors from it can damage your lungs, central nervous system and respiratory system when inhaled, and can cause renal failure when ingested, among other things, I’m thinking it’s a pretty good idea to be able to SMELL if I am inhaling it or not, you know, BEFORE it kills me. I got the regular stuff. Oh, and did I mention it’s also combustible? I’m beginning to think a hazmat certification might be needed prior to taking up oil painting.

I get home with my toxic chemical, and head to the bathroom. Should I do this in the bathroom?  There’s a fan in there. Nope, better do it OUTSIDE. I’m not taking any chances! Then, I wonder….hmmmm….what am I going to put this stuff in to clean the brushes? And how am I going to dispose of it after I do?  It’s a toxic combustible chemical, so I can’t pour it down the drain (sewer explosion scenario flashes through my mind again). Won’t it eat through plastic? Soooo many questions…… Then, I spot a mason jar. Perfect, I’ll use that! I open the garage door and go outside to do the cleaning.  Wow does that work well. Cleaned those brushes right up – with just a small amount. When I was done, I didn’t know what else to do with it, so I poured it out in a patch of gravel beside the driveway. I am sure I have just violated some hazardous waste law, and have killed any living organism or microorganism in the soil, but hey, I’ve also ensured that absolutely NO weeds will pop up through that spot in the gravel this summer, so that’s a bonus.

I left my cleaned brushes, mason jar, and hazardous bottle of combustible chemical outside for the night.  Don’t want that stuff wafting around the house killing my central nervous and respiratory systems when I’m not looking. 😉  

I think I will do a little reading on painting with oils (which, I probably should have done a little earlier), before I continue to dabble in it further. I know it won’t be the last time I use them. But I MIGHT want to be a bit more prepared…..Lol…..

Project: Play Food – Doughnuts

I saw this idea on lil blue boo and couldn’t resist making some for Emma’s play food inventory.

 

Here’s what you’ll need:

Acrylic paints

Paint Brushes

Pipe cleaners (optional)

Wooden wheels

I purchased these unfinished wooden circles at Hobby Lobby. They are actually wheels. We don’t have a need for wooden wheels, but we DO have a need for doughnuts with NO CALORIES! Right?

Then I chose 3 colors of acrylic paint for the “cake” part of the doughnut.

Before I painted, I bent a pipecleaner in half, and pushed it through the middle of the doughnut.  This way, I could handle it to paint all the sides. This also allowed for them to dry, with the least amount of paint touching the table. There must be better ways of doing this, I just did the best with what I had on hand at the time.

Once you have a pipe cleaner through the center of each one, you’re ready to paint. 

You will need to do 2 coats of paint. This is what they look like after the first coat. Don’t panic (like I did). They will look MUCH better after the second coat. Promise.

Here they are after the second coat has dried.  See? Much better. 😉

Once they have dried completely, you can remove the pipe cleaners. 

Now they’re ready for frosting. You will need to 2 coats of the frosting as well. 

Once both layers of frosting dry, you can add sprinkles, glaze stripes, or whatever decorations you want.

Here is emma “frosting” hers.

She went with a little wilder color scheme than I did…..

Project: Crayon Rainbow

I decided to do the crayon rainbow on canvas that I’ve seen several times on Pinterest.  I thought it would look kinda cool to do it on a dark background instead of the plain white canvas that the others are done on. 

Here’s what you’ll need:

Canvas (I used an 11×14)

Wide paint brush

Ruler (optional)

Hairdryer (or embossing heat tool)

Black acrylic paint (or whatever color you want)

Craft glue (make sure you get one that dries clear)

Crayons (I needed 39 to do my 11×14)

First step was to cover the entire canvas in back acrylic paint. Let that dry at least 2 hours.

Then I laid out an equal number of each color of crayon, that I wanted to include in my rainbow. (The best way to do that I thought was to lay them beside the canvas first, to make sure I have the right amount, and I don’t accidentally mark up the canvas with the crayons.)

Then, it’s time to start gluing. Put a line of your craft glue on each crayon, and lay it down on the canvas. (I prefer the look of not having all of the “Crayola” words facing out).

 

This is also where the ruler comes in if you choose to use it. I used it across the bottom of the crayons to make sure I’m gluing them on evenly. If you can just eyeball it, great!

Once you have them all the way across, let the glue dry overnight.  You don’t want it to melt when you apply the heat of the hairdryer on the next step!

 

Hold your canvas at an angle, turn on the heat on your hairdryer, and point it at the crayons.

 

Once they start to melt, it will go pretty fast, so be ready.  You can also stop the melting (obviously) by removing the heat.  The crayons set up almost instantly, so it’s easy to start and stop the process.  You can tilt the canvas different directions as it’s melting to change the direction of the melt.

Here’s what mine looked like all finished.

Then I decided to add a tiny bit of sparkle. 😉  

Catching

Growing up around the water, naturally, I learned to love fishing.  Something I think I inherited from my Dad.  Being the good ole Norwegian that he is, my Dad was an avid fisherman. Here he is….

When I was little, living in Astoria Oregon, which is on the mouth of the Columbia River, my dad would wake my brother and I up before the sun came up, and drag us out on the boat with him to fish for Tuna, and Sturgeon. I slept (on the boat) through most of the actual “fishing” part, but remember pretty vividly the commotion afterwards when we would take the day’s catch back to the house, and lay them all out on the front lawn in size order and take pictures, most of the time with myself or my brother in the picture for size reference, haha.   If you aren’t familiar with sturgeon, they are HUGE.  They are the largest freshwater fish in North America. They can grow up to 20 feet long. Yeah. Like I said…HUGE.  Not sure what the longest one my dad ever caught was, but when you’re 5 years old, they all look about 20 feet long! They’re kind of prehistoric looking with the spiny barb things (ultra-technical term) along their backs. Here is a photo I took of one in the tank at Cabelas.

Strange looking as they are, they make for really good eats! Because my dad was such an avid fisherman, my step-mom, Lulu, had to get really creative with the catch. If you’ve ever seen Forest Gump (who hasn’t?), think of Bubba Gump and his Bubba Gump Shrimp Co…..shramp (that’s “shrimp” with a “southern accent”) gumbo, shramp soup, deep-fried shramp, pan-fried shramp, shramp kabobs, shramp creole, shramp cakes….and so on. It was the same thing for us, with sturgeon.  So, Lulu prepared for us, with copious amounts of love, sturgeon balls (and no, these are not little tiny fish testicles, they were similar to a crab cakes, only in more of a ball shape), pan-fried sturgeon, baked sturgeon, smoked sturgeon, sturgeon steaks, and I can’t remember what else. I do remember that sturgeon balls froze well, so we had them A LOT. Oh yeah, and did I mention that my dad, the avid Norwegian fisherman…..um…..doesn’t like to eat fish?  I don’t know what he ate while the rest of us were eating sturgeon this or sturgeon that, but if I was Lulu, I would have been cramming sturgeon down his throat whether he liked it or not.

Let’s think about this for a minute…..My dad has been fishing all of my life. Tuna, Sturgeon, Salmon, Halibut, Crab, and I’m sure many others, but those were the biggies. Yet he doesn’t like to EAT….ANY of them.  He is a stickler for only having the freshest brightest salmon to smoke, and then he gives it away.  He is the one who opened my eyes (as an adult, cuz I really didn’t give a rip when I was a kid), to the difference between fresh home canned tuna, and the crap you buy in the grocery store. It’s A-MA-ZING. It’s like you’re eating two different things completely….yet HE….doesn’t eat either.  Makes no sense.  We would make smoked salmon dip from some of his fresh smoked yumminess, and then he’d send the whole tub home with me. Not that I’m complaining, cuz…DUH!! I got a whole tub of fresh smoked salmon dip! But wow, giving up gold like that…is just, well, wow. But who am I to question. I can just consider my Dad the “Angel Fisherman” put on this earth to make sure (other) people eat GOOD FISH.  It’s his gift to the world. 🙂

So I grew up loving fish, and learned to fish with a regular rod and reel when I was young. I didn’t really get the “itch” to seriously fish till I was in highschool. I asked my dad to teach me how to fly fish after he moved to Bend, Oregon. I would love to say I learned to fly fish on the Deschutes River, but nope. I learned to fly fish in the yard.  Casting took practice.  So dad had me practice practice practice on land….wide open land, so that I didn’t hook all the trees or bushes. Fly fishing adds a little more “activity” to fishing for me.  I like the movement, of it. I do like to fish with a regular rod and real also, but I sometimes get bored just sitting….waiting.  I can say, that the first river I fished on with my fly pole was the Deschutes.  Dad and I fished together.  It was pretty cool. No, I didn’t catch anything.

Unfortunately, I do more “fishing” than “catching” with my fly pole.  It’s another great lesson in patience for me. 😉  I have made a couple of catches with my fly pole over the years. I didn’t catch my first one till I was in my 20’s. It was caught in the Deschutes River, and as luck would have it, it was caught on camera, so I can’t even tell a tall tale about how HUGE it was.  But really, even though it was the size of a sardine, I was SO excited.  I’m almost too embarrassed to show you my very first catch………almost……………look closely and you’ll see it….. (please don’t fall out of your chair laughing)

 A couple of years later, a friend of the family who had a place on the Canal across the road from ours, John Normand, told me about some beaver ponds up in the hills near Hood Canal that he frequently fished.  Told me I had a much better chance of actually “catching” something there.  I was IN! And he was right!  I know it’s not huge, but remember, this is fly fishing, which is twelve times harder than regular fishing (at least that’s what I’m telling myself!) Here is a Brown Trout I caught there

Here are a couple Pink Salmon that I caught with a regular rod and reel, on the Skykomish River in Snohomish County

My daughter has also learned to love fish. She is more interested in observing and interacting with them, than she is holding a pole with line that disappears into nothingness, and then having to wait. I’m sure her patience will increase with age. Last summer, she was fishing off of the dock at the Canal and I had to laugh at this conversation we had…..

Emma: “Mom, why aren’t they (fish) biting?”

Me: “maybe they’re just not hungry right now”

Emma: “well I’m not trying to FEED them, I’m trying to CATCH them.”

My response was just laughter. Oooh, right, right. Sorry, my bad. 

Here she is the first time she fished off the dock at the Canal. I don’t think she believed me that there were fish down there, because she couldn’t SEE them (like in her fish tank)……

Here is a photo after a successful day of crabbing also…..