Monday, October 23, 2006

In which I admit I do not have superpowers.

I've been completely and utterly wiped out for the past week - a combination of stress, worry, panic attacks, and oh yes, believing that I could take care of three toddlers all by myself almost every night for two months straight. (Originally we couldn't find anyone to help, then I decided I could handle everything myself!) We just found two new sitters; I started walking and doing yoga again and telling myself to take things as they come. Right now, all I'm doing is laying down as much as possible. My body has hijacked me.

The kids do not like Subdued Mama, or, as I've been the past week, Zombie Mama. They want All Singing, All Dancing, Let's Put On A Show Mama, which is what I usually am. They have to learn that mama is human too and that when she's lying on the floor exhausted, jumping up and down on top of her might not be the best idea. They're learning. But they don't like it. Neither do I.

On the good side, Angela loaned me her special Purple Pony telling me "He is very good for hugging." and Sophie told me this morning that she wants to be an artist when she grows up, "just like Mama." Maybe they know more than I think they do.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Illustration Friday: Smitten

"She is the last. She is the last unicorn in the world."

"She would be." Molly sniffed. "It would be the last unicorn in the world that came to Molly Grue." Molly said, "It's all right. I forgive you."

"Unicorns are not to be forgiven." The magician felt himself grow giddy with jealousy, not only of the touch but of something like a secret that was moving between Molly and the unicorn. "Unicorns are for beginnings," he said, "for innocence and purity, for newness. Unicorns are for young girls."

Molly was stroking the unicorn's throat as timidly as though she were blind. She dried her grimy tears on the white mane. "You don't know much about unicorns," she said.

~ The Last Unicorn, by Peter S. Beagle.
One of my favorite books, ever.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Fun Stuff to Make: Eggrolls!

These are SO easy to make (with kids helping, even!), and kids love to eat them. All you need are:

* Eggroll wrappers (Nasoya is a good brand and has 20 wrappers)
* Soy sauce/seasoning of your choice
* Ginger (powdered is fine)
* Olive oil
* Your favorite veggies - make sure you have a cabbage in there for filler, we use a whole one
* You can also add in tofu, soy sausage, whatever you like.

Finely chop the cabbage, onions, eggplant, and mushrooms. Grate 2 carrots. Cover the bottom of a pasta pot with olive oil and add all the vegetables. (Cook ONLY veggies at this point.) Top with soy sauce and ginger, and stir everything all together. Place lid on top of pot and cook down, stirring regularly until veggies are cooked to your liking. (We liked the vegetables softer, so the veggies cooked to about half the original volume.) Let cool. If adding tofu/soy sausage, mix in now.

You will need 2 non-stick cookie sheets. Following the directions on the package of eggrolls, fill the wrappers like an envelope and place on the cookie sheet. Drizzle olive oil on top and bake in 350-degree oven until eggrolls are golden and slightly bubbly on top. Let cool.

Serve to hungry kids with dipping sauce (soy sauce or your favorite) and rice. Reheats best in a toaster oven, as they get a bit juicy in the microwave, not that my kids minded much. :) Makes enough for a family lunch and a few snacks for mama later.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Don't Hog the Blog

As my brother mentioned once, "Don't hog the blog! Let Sophie have a post." So here it is.

Sophie painting her hand (and arm, and face) during our watercolor-salt-and-windex session.

This is a drawing Sophie drew and art directed, and I colored in (while she told me, for the most part, what to do). She's really into birds right now, and I just love their expressions - big grins, little tweets, and flying in from the side. As I began to color in the biggest bird to the left, she leaned over and said, "That's the inside of his beak, you know?" And the funny part was, I did know, I could tell exactly what it was supposed to look like.

I happen to think this is pretty darn great for a 3.5 year old, but what do I know? I have a slight bias. :)

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


As promised from this and this post, a swatch page to try out watercolour techniques. Winsor-Newton (my paint), Crayola (my kids' paint), windex, salt, crayons, and plastic bags all make an appearance. These were on watercolour paper, and I actually like the way they come out on plain old copier paper just as well.

Enjoy, go experiment, and let me know how it all works out!

(Click image to enlarge)

Monday, October 02, 2006

Illustration Friday: Quiet

Done in a quiet afternoon painting with Sophie, while the twins were napping. Just like with this painting, I used leaves from my yard, crayons, copier paper, cheapo Crayola pan watercolors, table salt, rock salt, and Windex. I tried last night to do this with good supplies and wasn't too happy with the results - next step is making a grid and testing swatches and effects to see which ones work and which don't.