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Glanvillia, Saint John, Dominica
i am a mom/wife/textile designer gone haywire. I love to sing(music/arts AA degree), craft, exercise, and be goofy. Just living life outside the norm. And the norm thanks me for it. Oh yeah, and I like me some haikus. . . . . . . . . . What are we up to currently? Aaron recently started medical school at Ross University on the island of Dominica in the Caribbean, and the kids and I are along for the crazy ride :)

Orchard pictures

Saturday, March 12, 2016


Ahhh life in a farming community....
I saw someone say on Facebook that now was the time to get family portraits done if they wanted to catch the orchards in full bloom.  She posted some pictures she had taken in past years and I thought they were just adorable.  I decided to pack up my little family to go out to the orchards and take our own (Med school budget means non-professional pictures).  I had Aaron pack a chair in the back of the car so I could set the camera on it.  We left the house and headed to the orchards when I thought- Hey!  My friend takes professional pictures, maybe we can borrow her tripod so I don't have to mess with angling the camera with just a chair!
I called Trisha and she said that they were about to leave to do the same thing!  She had us wait at the orchard so she could snap some pictures.  I love having friends who take pictures!!

These are us just messing around with my iPhone camera while we waited for the Wrights






Trisha did such a great job!!! Here are some of the pics she took:





Ha ha cute messy baby hair 



Ha ha we just all plopped down wherever on this one ;)  I love Matthew's arms.  That's just where and how he thought they should be



I decided if I ever want to lose weight, I just have to take family pictures first.  Any time I take family pics I lose weight right afterward.  It nice, but I look back and wish I had waited a few weeks before taking them. ha ha

 We're so cute ;)


Caleb and the stick. Love it.  I think he was sick or hungry or tired when we took these cause he isn't his usual smiley self.  Oh well, he's still adorable ;)



Thanks Trisha!!!!  You are awesome!!

Freezer Paper Stenciling by Hand Tutorial

Hey-o people in cyber space!  I have been freezer-paper-stenciling t-shirts for a few years now, and after our trip to Disneyland this week (for which I stenciled 6 shirts), people have been asking for a tutorial.  There are actually a lot of tutorials on the web, many of which use cricuts or silhouette machines,  but I figured I'd show you that someone you know can do it by hand and so can you :)


Here are a few examples of shirts I've made with FP stenciling:

PREGNANT SKELETON
This is how I announced my pregnancy on Halloween, 2014

The old PEPSI LOGO
I was hired to run the Pepsi Challenge for MomDoc (largest OBGYN in the SW US).  They were throwing an 80's party for their staff.  They even had the Back to the Future DeLorean there. 
 Please excuse the pregnancy belly ;)
Of course it looks better on Megan (This was for 80's day at their school in 2015)




LUCKY St Patty's day shirts



I LOVE YOU.  I KNOW.
We have always been huge Star Wars fans, so this was my Valentine's Day gift to my Valentine :)

Our March 2016 Disneyland trip with our friends:

Aaron's 
SNUGGLY DUCKLING shirt
An homage to Tangled

My 
MICKEY AND MINNIE KISS shirt

John's 
SPACE MOUNTAIN SHIRT
 (Did you know Disney permanently changed Space Mountain to Hyperspace Mountain??? LAME)

Chrissy's
MARY POPPINS SHIRT

Megan's
bleached-out MEGARA SILHOUETTE SHIRT  

Jenna's
bleached-out ANNA SILHOUETTE SHIRT
They wanted to match ;)


Matthew's
bleached-out YODA SILHOUETTE SHIRT
(I sprayed with glow in the dark paint before bleaching and I added green paint for the light saber)
A girl in line at Disneyland offered to buy Matt's shirt.  LOL

I also wanted to show our elk head Christmas shirts, but I couldn't find any pictures :/ Oh well!

--------------OK!  Now for the tutorial!!------------

Freezer Paper Stenciling (by hand) TUTORIAL

You need:
Shirt- prewashed
Paint- any paint that's meant for fabric. Puff paint, slick paint, fabric spray paint (that's a new thing and it makes this even easier)
Freezer Paper- found at the grocery store in the tinfoil/ziplock bag isle
X-acto knife or Box cutter-with new/sharp blade
Self healing mat or cardboard
Printer with paper or cardstock
Tape- scotch
Foam brush-or other paint applying tool
Iron
Sharpie for correcting mistakes on black shirts
Flattened cereal box or cardboard to stick in between the shirt layers- you don't want paint or bleach coming through to the back!


Meg and Matt's friend, Sadie's birthday party was this weekend.  I decided to make a shirt to match the stuff I bought her, so I'm using this opportunity to make your tutorial :)  The notebook and tote bag say
"Sunshine is instant happiness"

I looked online for pictures of sunshine happy faces. 


I didn't find one that looked exactly the way I wanted so I just chose the closest thing and edited it, I also added Sadie's name and changed the color to grayscale so I wouldn't use up expensive ink





Then I cut out freezer paper the size of printer paper and taped it together to run through the printer.



Make sure to only tape the top and bottom so that the picture prints as smoothly as possible.  Make sure the plastic/shiny side of the freezer paper is taped down to the printer paper so it will print on the paper/dull side. ALSO I like to use cardstock.  It seems sturdier to me, but you can use regular paper if you want.






Print, remove freezer paper from printer paper and cut out with an X-acto knife or box cutter on a self healing mat or cardboard.  If your design is big and easy then you could cut it with scissors.  Use your discretion.








 Be mindful of which part of the paper you will be using.  If I want the outline, rays, happy face, and name to be painted surrounded by pink t-shirt, then I use the paper on the left.  If I want those things to be t-shirt color with paint in the negative areas, I would use the design on the right (like the bleached-out t-shirt design).


 Iron at high temp right on to the shirt.  Make sure to go over each part specifically to make sure it irons down.  Let it cool and seal the plastic bond before painting.

 Yes, I ironed on those TEEENY insides of the letters.  Don't throw them away!

Now don't forget to put some cardboard or flattened cereal box between the layers of your shirt.

 Time to paint!!
Use a foam brush to dab paint on.  If you pull the paintbrush across the shirt instead of dabbing, you can push paint between the stencil and the fabric, which you don't want.  Once the first coat is done, you can then pull the brush across because the first coat seals the edges down.  I usually do 3 coats, drying completely between each.
 I'm impatient.  You don't need to use a blow dryer like I did. I don't always but I needed to send this gift with the kids in a matter of minutes.  I'm a procrastinator.

Once COMPLETELY dry, pull it up!

The paper will rip in small places.  It's ok, just pinch it and pull it off.

HOW CUTE IS THAT?!?!?:!

 I love this happy sunshine shirt!  I want one!



Other noteworthy tips:

-A hint for anyone doing this for the first time- if you use a black t-shirt you can fix mistakes with a black sharpie ;) 

-You can change it up with different textured sponges, paints, and even striped or otherwise patterned shirts :) 



-Beware: NOT ALL PAINTS ARE CREATED EQUAL! One I got for really cheap ended up being too watery and made the stencil soggy.  If you get a paint like that, don't throw it away, just let it sit out to thicken up (but the best bet is to not get the absolute cheapest paint you can find like I did ;)



-For the bleached-out version: just iron on the negative of the stencil like I mentioned before, put your cardboard between the layers of the shirt, and lightly spray with straight bleach. As soon as it turns the color you want, rinse out immediately, remove any remaining stencil, and then wash with detergent in the washing machine and dry in dryer.  *note: please use gloves and mask when using bleach

If you use this tutorial, please post pictures of your creations!  I'd love to see the great designs you come up with!

HAVE FUN!!! 






Home-Made Rubber Stamps

Thursday, January 28, 2016

I thought the price of rubber stamps was ridiculous so I bought a 49¢ 2 pack of erasers and used my rusty broken box cutter to make my own! That was fun! I need more erasers!
I am in charge of
An aquarium field trip
Stamp 200 hands!
(Written in haiku form in honor of Haiku Wednesday)



Haiku Wednesday

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

I've been gone so long
I'm sure no one remembers
My Haiku Wednesdays



Bakersfield, baby...errr Bakersfield AND Baby

Thursday, March 19, 2015

I realize it's been a while since I posted. SORRY!! 
Just wanted to let y'all know about the two big huge things that are happening:

1.
Aaron got into the rotation track in Bakersfield, California. Woot, woot!
He has actually been there since the beginning of December, so the kids and I (who are living at Aaron's parents' house) haven't seen him since LAST YEAR. Oy vey. We miss the daddyman. We will be joining him June 1st after the kids finish this semester of school and we will all stay in CA for a year or so.  Why didn't we just move when Aaron did? Well, it's in the blogpost title folks.........

2.
We are having a BABY!  This little guy (yes, it's a boy) is coming the beginning of May (or before)! Yippee skippee! Yes, he was quite a surprise and we are so happy he will be joining our family soon! Since I'm type 1 diabetic, of advanced maternal age, and have had 2 prior csections we wanted to stick with obstetricians we know and trust for the delivery. So here we are and there Aaron is. Blerrrg. We sure do wish we were there with him.

School Links

Monday, February 2, 2015

MY kids need to practice their math facts so they can get faster.  They answer the questions correctly at school, it just takes them longer to do it.  I'm not going to lie. I'm thinking it's because my kids were born with molasses legs and do everything extra slowly.  especially the Megster.  SO, I'm compiling this list of sites for them to use after their homework is done everyday. I'm also throwing in other education sites for them to try out.  I thought I'd post this on here in case any of you people need something like this for your own kiddos. Here goes:

STEM
http://www.discoveryeducation.com/

MATH
QUICK FLASH II
http://www.multiplication.com/games/play/quick-flash-ii

MULTIPLICATION TIMED TEST- this one come with a sticker chart you can print, too
http://www.thecurriculumcorner.com/thecurriculumcorner123/2013/01/01/multiplication-timed-tests/

TIMED MULTIPLICATION TEST- This one has a lot of other math tools like budgeting tools and business calculators
http://www.free-online-calculator-use.com/multiplication-quiz.html

MY KIDS' FAVORITE MATH SITE
https://prodigygame.com

THEIR TYPING SITE
https://www.typing.com/

OTHER TYPING/KEYBOARDING GAMES at learning games for kids- there are a lot of other types of learning game on this site.  Check it out.
http://www.learninggamesforkids.com/keyboarding_games.html

BBC BITSIZE DANCE MAT TYPING- this one is a guided tour by a British sheep.  if your kids like animation I'd start them here.  Also, if you click where it says BITESIZE on the site, it will take you to a lot of other learning games sorted by level.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/guides/z3c6tfr

FREE LANGUAGE LESSONS. THE KIDS ARE LEARNING PORTUGUESE
https://www.duolingo.com/

YOUNGER KIDS:

STARFALL- learn to read.  My kids are too old for this one, but I put it here for anyone with young children
http://www.starfall.com/

ROSETT STONE KIDS READING- this is another for preschool age kiddos.
http://tinyurl.com/kdnvapw





Pumpkin Cookies- Hey, it's fall!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Hey friends!  I thought, since it's fall, that I would post a fallish recipe every so often.  So here is a great recipe for Pumpkin cookies from our Matheson cousins:

Glazed Pumpkin Cookies



Ingredients
  • 2 cups sugar (make sure this is all white sugar)
  • 1 small can pumpkin (15 oz)
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups oat flour (blend oatmeal in a blender)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 cups crushed pecans (the original recipe called for 3c chocolate chips, but I thought it was too sweet with the glaze and I love pecans, so there you go.)

Mix wet ingredients, then add the dry ingredients; mix well.
Bake at 375 for 8-9 minutes.  While baking, make glaze:
Glaze
  • 2 c powdered sugar
  • 4 oz cream cheese (room temperature)
  • 1 Tbsp. milk
Mix well and immediately frost warm cookies.  (If this seems thicker than a glaze, just add a little more milk- I can't attest to the consistency if you're somewhere drier than Dominica)

Enjoy!!

I'm back. Again.

Thursday, October 16, 2014



Ha!  You thought I was back before but I was just teasing.  I'm not going to make any promises of regular blog posting, but I'll simply say that I'll try to post a little more often.
What's going on???  Well, a lot.  Not all of which I'm going to post today, but I will give you a mini run down.  We are in Arizona living with Aaron's parents until he takes his 1st board exam and gets assigned a rotation track somewhere.  Possible destinations: Bakersfield CA, Chicago IL, Cheverly MD, Brentwood MD, Queens NY,  Far Rockway NY, Pontiac MI, and Saginaw, MI.
Aaron's first choice is CA but we shall see where we end up.  The rotation tracks begin in December and January but unlike Aaron the kids and I are waiting until school ends in May to move. It kind of needs to happen that way since we don't get any loan money until he's been in rotations for a month and a half. yipes!
Right now Aaron is studying for his first board exam which is suuuuper stressful, so keep him in your thoughts and prayers.
The kids are both back at the charter school they attended before we left which is nice since they already knew people when they re-enrolled.  It's a great school anyway so we are very happy it was so easy to get them in (not so easy when Meg was a kindergartner).  They are both now in orchestra with Meg on the violin and Matthew on the cello.  The teacher is taking things sooooo slooooowly.  They haven't touched their bows at all and they only know how to pluck like 6 notes.  They get super frustrated about it.  I would, too.  The kids are both very excited about Halloween- I got the stuff to make their costumes at SAS.  Megan is going to be a white wizard and Matthew is going to be Starlord from Guardians of the Galaxy.  I ordered his mask and gun on amazon and he's already worn them a few times.  Now I just need to get started making his maroon leather jacket and Megan's dress made of 10 yards of fabric. oy! Of course I will post pictures when I have them.
Other than all that stuff we have been cultivating our garden in the back yard, Meg and Matt enjoy their cub scouts and activity day activities respectively, and I will be singing with Geek Empire again soon.  Fun times!