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Showing posts from August, 2012

Unless...

Looking back over the summer months the one activity that stands out has been art journaling.  We have reached a point where art and life are one.  Our back room transformation from family room to art studio was simply brilliant.  I can never thank Greg enough for always saying yes to my spontaneous ideas.  His “yes!” coupled with a small investment in furniture from IKEA, transformed my home. When friends come over, they take out their journals.  We have worked with many different mediums this summer: gesso, Modge Podge, oil pastel, watercolor, acrylic, tempera, colored pencil and ink.  There is always a project out drying, or waiting for a new layer to be added or for words to appear.   One of my favorite pages was from my most recent session.  Huckleberry Hill Project is on my mind.  The childrens' projects are unified by the common theme of making the world a better place.  Of course this reminds me of one of my favorite books, Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax.
I took a quote “Unless someone…

Sugar Bakery

Just a few weeks ago Lilah was stressed that she could not come up with her very own recipe from her imagination.  Part of the reason why I believe in project based learning is that in my heart I believe that if you give a child the time to practice a skill, access to materials and a bit of guidance, the possibilities are infinite.  I have not “taught” Lilah anything new.  I have made sure that she has a stocked pantry, access to the kitchen, the baking utensils, and my opinion on what tastes, flavors and textures go well together.  


Then it happened.  A cupcake was born from her imagination and her knowledge of how to make a cupcake.  A sweet cupcake flavored with one of her favorite candies.    While I don’t love the sweetness of it, I complimented her on its texture.  It is light and springy, yet dense enough to be cake.  She was inspired.  She created another.  A peanut butter and jelly cupcake!  It is quite good.  She needs to come up with a great frosting to make it seem less of …

Cake Boss

Carlo's Bakery is a very special place.  If you have ever watched Cake Boss on TLC you know the bakery I am talking about.  It is located in Hoboken, NJ, a little over an hour away from where we live.  

While we were there, Greg and I were amazed at the power of media.  I am sure media has always been influential in pop culture but the extent to which it drives the mass market is truly astonishing.  I first became aware of this when Oprah had her book club.  To get Oprah’s stamp of approval was the holy grail.  It guaranteed you instant best seller status.  I admit, I read most of her picks.  Some I loved,  others not so much. Regardless, I allocated a portion of my disposable income based on the recommendation of a celebrity. Hmmm.  How many of our life choices are driven by blatant commercialism?   When we arrived in Hoboken we were not prepared to spend an hour waiting in a two block line outside the bakery!  Thank goodness it was a mild day.  I would not have been able to do it …

Birth Days

August 25th we celebrated the day my life was forever changed by the birth of a daughter.  We celebrate the birthday of the person by presenting them with gifts, cards and well wishes.  The birthday of my child is interwoven with my experience of their "birth day" and while I honor the father’s experience through participation in a birth, it is the mother whose lifeblood runs through the child connecting the two bodies and souls in a way that never will be truly separate.   When my Nana was alive, my father would send her flowers every year on his birthday.  I never understood this as a child, but now, as a mother, oh my, this is so touching. August 25th is Lilah’s birthday.  We spent the day honoring her arrival in this world. I spend each of my daughter’s birth days not only in celebration, but in reflection.  Each time I check my watch I know exactly what I was doing at that same time all those years ago.  6:00am, calling my Mom to come over and watch Grace.  7:00am checkin…

Friends

Do you ever wonder how you got to this point in your life?  Why certain relationships endure and others dissolve?  Why family ties are so strong yet so challenging?  Sometimes when I am feeling introspective I wonder about these things.  
I miss by dear friend in Chicago.  We talk at least once a week, often more.  We have been friends for something like 17 years.  There are times when I wish she was still 2 miles away and I could pop over for a cup of coffee and an understanding ear to talk to.  She always gets me.  She gets me when I was 24 and just figuring things out.  It was she after all who put me on my drinking plan so I could enjoy more than one glass of wine at my wedding.  Oh the fun that was had while I was on my alcohol plan!  She gets me now that I want backyard chickens and am mostly vegetarian.  I always start out by staying “let me tell you something....don’t laugh”.  And she never does. Women need friends like this in their lives.  Whether that friend is a sister or si…

The Time for Greatness is Now

The Huckleberry Hill Project is officially underway!  This project is a gathering of 8 families who are pursuing project-based learning together.Each child is to select a project that ties into their passions and talents and will make the world a better place.By providing time, a location that inspires creativity, and access to experts in the field, we hope to not only mentor the children, but devote time to our own project development as well. The excitement for this Project is growing.  Over the summer some children came up with their big idea and simply could not wait until the fall to begin.   Some of their projects include: The creation of CT’s first Children’s Film FestivalA music event performed by talented children in which money will be raised to benefit the victims of US Natural Disasters (guess whose project this is.....)The creation of a Cupcake Club in which fresh baked goods will be delivered to local organizations/persons.  The creation of a cookbook based on this Cupcake C…

Adding to the bucket list....

Now that I have crossed an item off my bucket list (bookstore hopping in NYC), I am have already replaced it with another NYC dream.  I want to spend a day wandering New York armed with my iPhone and a Metro Card.   I want to spend a day taking iPhone pictures.  

New York is a photographer’s dream.  There is so much inspiration.  From the iron fire escapes to the graffiti, from the fountains and parks to the reflections of glass pane windows, with every step there is something itching to make your finger press the shutter button.   I want to take this day trip with Kim who has taught me much about photography.  Her Instagram pictures are stunning.  She has even been approached on Instragram to enter into photo contests.  By studying her composition, her use of enlarging and her use of the filters, iPhone photography is becoming a passion of mine.   Here are some of my favorite pictures of the weekend:







The Merry Wives Of Windsor

Our reason for coming to New York was to see our friend Tristan perform in The Merry Wives of Windsor.Our study of Shakespeare now includes: a performance of As You Like Ittwo performances of Romeo and JulietBBC movie adaptation of As You Like ItJim Weiss audio books of Taming of the Shrew, Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dreama performance of The Merry Wives of WindsorTour of the Shakespeare Theater currently closed for renovationsLilah is reading a biography of William Shakespeare
We are going to be attending a performance in the park of Macbeth next week so there is much learning that needs to be done before that!  We will be visiting the library for picture books and watching the BBC cartoon series this week. I really enjoyed Tristan’s performance.  This was the culmination of a 6 week theater workshop.  The actors ranged from novice thespians to those with film credits.  Each was there to hone their craft and fuel their passion.   The set had no scenery, very little staging and…