Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Be His

We made valentines for Dash's class last night. I downloaded the adorable cards from I Heart Naptime here. We just printed them, cut them out & Dash addressed them.




Here he demonstrates.

One of Dash's class friends is a non-sighted girl. I normally wouldn't single her out, but I thought that since the Valentines this year were so visual, we would try to do something she could appreciate as well. I found a Braille translator online and printed out "I'm a sucker for you." (Get it? The candy is a sucker! Yay!)

Then I dabbed over each dot with a toothpick dipped in white glue to give it dimension. I honestly have no idea if it'll work. I'm not sure how much dimension is required, but I'm hoping she gets a kick out of the card either way. Dash also added some dimensional foam sticker hearts, so failing everything else, she can feel those.

Female Ladies

(I don't know. My husband calls women female ladies. And now I do, too. Because he is funny and I just want to be like him.)

I'm not sure if I've mentioned here that I've been working with our local Girl Scout troop (and yes, I could check, but isn't it more fun if I just go on endlessly about it?). Laura Verlaque, of Our Beloved Verlaques, is one of the troop leaders, and when I found that out I just kinda started hanging around her house, insinuating that I knew all sorts of useful skills a young woman may want to learn. Eventually she just felt sorry for me and let me help out. She even gave me a pin and made me an official Girl Scout, which made it approximately 60% less creepy that I don't even have a daughter, much less a troop member, of my own.

OK, all of this is to say: I've been working with them on what may be my most favorite project ever.

The troop has been studying the varying and evolving roles of women, and for their Bronze Award project they decided to make a story quilt depicting eleven inspirational women from Southern California.

The final list (once we eliminated Taylor Swift) was:
  • Julia Child
  • Sally Ride
  • Billie Jean King
  • Eva Fenyes
  • Clara Shortridge Foltz
  • Bridget "BiddyMason
  • Shirley Temple Black
  • Judy Baca
  • Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston
  • Ellen Ochoa
  • and Flossie Wong-Staal

Each girl selected a woman to study and to represent on the quilt. I drew out simple line portraits of each woman on plain white fabric, taught the girls a basic embroidery backstitch, and they were off and running--embroidering each woman's portrait and name onto their panels. After the embroidery was finished, they embellished each panel with something to symbolize their woman (Julia Child got pearls, Sally Ride got reproduction NASA patches, you get the picture), and even used a little blusher (that's my doll-making trick) to give their faces some dimension.

Once all of the portrait panels were completed, I made a final panel describing the quilt. I also asked each girl to sign her name, and I traced and embroidered over their signatures. Then all that was left was the stitching the panels together, batting, backing and binding, and voila! A story quilt for the ages (and especially for March, when it will hang in the lobby of the kids's school for Women's History Month.)

Here are some close ups of a few of the panels. I can't tell you how proud and grateful I am to have had the opportunity to help the girls create such a gorgeous and meaningful project. Yay girls!





Monday, February 10, 2014

Love Letters

Are you familiar with DoSomething.org? They're an organization that facilitates and inspires young people to do good work in their communities. I learned about their Love Letters program through the Art Bar blog. The Love Letters campaign encourages young people to hand make and send a card to an older person who may be lonely and isolated on Valentines day. The letters will be delivered via Meals on Wheels.

This weekend we invited Our Beloved Verlaques over for some Valentines Day crafting for the Love Letters program and it was, as you can imagine, pretty adorable.




The deadline for sending in the cards is February 15, so there's still time to participate if you're so moved.

Opening Day

Dash & Josh have both been counting the seconds until baseball opening day (which, I know I moan about this all the time, but seriously? an athlete? how the fuck did an athlete come out of my actual body?). Well, the wait finally ended yesterday at 4pm, when the Hart Tigers took the field. 

Josh reported that Dash did this: 2-3, 1 R. I honestly and truly have no idea what those letters & numbers mean, but Josh seemed really happy and people on Facebook are saying nice things so I assume that means he did well?

This is the first & last time those pants will be completely white.

Warming up on deck.


Monday, February 03, 2014


A few weeks ago (yes, along with everything else in my life, I am weeks behind in documenting our days. Wanna fight about it?) Dash's Auntie Rain organized a crazy day for the kids and their friends. We took the subway into Hollywood, and spent the day at all the nutty tourist museums you haven't ever visited because they're incredibly creepy you never got around to it.

We hit up the wax museum, Ripley's and the Guinness museum. By the end of the day we had shaken hands with the president, watched a woman smash soda cans with her boobs (this is an actual Guinness World Record, which delights me beyond words), and molested poor Barbara Eden. I'd say it was a pretty full day.

I'm flying, Jack! (He's never seen the movie. I made him do this. I am a terrible mother.)

My classy, classy boy.

...and now he's shooting Ben point blank.


The sword stayed put. Camelot is safe for now.

Dash & Barry.


One-eyed sheep, matchstick ship and young Dash on display at Ripley's.

After lunch, one of the moms led us over to Sweet, a candy shop at Hollywood & Highland. This is less a candy store than a candy mall. It was truly obscene. One of the "boutiques" in the store allowed the kids to design their own chocolate bars & watch them be made. That is some first world shit.

If I could get him to focus as hard on his homework as he did on creating that candy bar, I'd have the next Doogie Howser on my hands.

Final bar: milk chocolate, caramel filling, with Pop Rocks, Mini M & Ms and gummy worms. Like you do.

This poor, sweet woman had to make that monstrosity.

So, you know, pretty good day overall.