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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Photo Canvas Project- Part 1

     A few weekends ago, I embarked on my largest Pinterest project to date and on this past Sunday, we completed it! I couldn't be more thrilled with the final result and I'm so excited to share the process with you. The project was a photo wall with several do it yourself photo canvases.

 A shot of all of the supplies for the project- canvases of all sizes, photos I had ordered from Shutterfly, black acrylic paint, Mod Podge- matte finish, Sticker Letters, ruler, and foam brushes.

 Shot of the supplies that are in the back of the first photo- the smaller canvases. In all we had 1- 20x30, 
 4- 11x14, and 18-5x7's.

Part of the project was on the large canvas was to have our name painted on the bottom center. This was the practice run on some paper so I could make sure the result on the canvas was perfect.

 I had a supportive and captive audience of the entire family as I worked on the project. John was the photographer.

 After measuring and centering, the letters were ready to be placed. Wanted to have some fun and use the "Apedaile 6"  that we have lovingly adopted as our family nickname.

 JT watched as I painted over the letters. You will see the result in just a few moments.

 Due to some minor issues with cropping of our large photo, I got creative and painted out a black frame around the edge of the canvas.

 After all of the black paint dried, it was time to get the photo on! All you have to do is put a thin later of Mod Podge on the canvas and then also on the back of the photo. Then carefully place the photo on your canvas.

 As the photo dried on the canvas, it was time to take the letter stickers off. I used an exacto knife to be safe of the removal.

 As I peeled them off, it was exactly as I was envisioning. The white canvas color really pops through with the Apedaile 6. Yes, I purposely cropped out the photo for a reveal in another blog post ;)

 To continue the process of the canvas project I will use one of the 5x7's to share the process. After everything is dried ( black edging and first Mod Podge application), you paint a thin layer of Mod Podge over the entire photo. It will look very milky at first, no worries it will dry perfect.

After it dries, this is the result- clear, matte finish, photo canvas that is ready to be hung! Love this winking cutie!

More to come! Hope you are as excited as I was about the final result!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Surprises big and small

     This summer John has been doing quite a bit of travelling for work. In fact, this week is John's first full week without any travel since mid May. Thankfully, we has always been able to come home on the weekends.

     Last week, John surprised us though by returning home a full day early! The girls and I were taking JT on his evening bike ride and one the final stretch heading back home. While we were chatting with some of the neighborhood kids, I noticed a SUV starting to slow down and approach where we were standing (John had a rental car which I had not seen). I thought it was a neighbor who was pulling into their driveway so I started to have JT move out of the way for the car. Then I thought the driver looked a bit like John and low and behold it WAS John! It was such a wonderful surprise for all of us! JT showed off his super bike skills to John as we headed back home.

     Then as John was starting to unpack his luggage, he brought out a 2nd surprise for me- white roses! So I scored flowers and an early return of my husband. Such a treat! I think John is a keeper.

 My pretty roses

 Closed buds

Opening up a bit and still a beautiful site this morning 4 days later.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Balance and Lift

     JT is really loving his balance bike and quickly mastering how to move and balance. It's been amazing to see just how fast his body is learning how to balance and how he challenges himself to balance for longer periods of time and in different places- like down a hill or just on a flat surface. He hasn't even had his bike a month and JT is already lifting his feet when going down hills and last night he lifted his feet after he "pedaled" for a few feet. Proud Mommy moment!

 Most evenings, JT will ask, "Go for a bike ride?" How can you turn down this cuteness?

 During our walk/ride, we found an abandoned birds nest. JT was fascinated with the nest and wanted to know where the bird who lived there was. He must have been looking for the bird instead of looking at the camera ;)

 Lifting his feet when crossing the street!

 Starting to head down a little hill- JT's favorite time to lift up. He rarely crashes- more so just turns into the grass. We still have to work on steering, keeping our eyes on the road (as opposed to cars passing or older children playing), but 1 victory at a time.

It is HOT and HUMID! This makes for one happy, yet sweaty boy at the end of his ride.

JT in action- his speed is really picking up as well.

Going down a hill and lifting his feet.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Hats & Cars

     The boys had a little surprise thanks to Lindsay yesterday. During a visit to Steak and Shake Lindsay was able to get a few extra kid packs and saved them for JT and Finn. They had a great time playing with the hats and paper cars.

 The boys started out with their hats while Lindsay and I built their cars. I think they look like little car hops.

 The sporty yellow cars. JT and Finn had lots of fun yesterday driving their cars all over the house.

Even Finn's little brother, Sam, got in on the action and had some fun wearing Finn's hat for a while. Too cute!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Little Hideout

     I love that JT has such a good friend in Finn and that they get to spend several days together each week when I babysit Finn and his little brother Sam. JT and Finn are usually on the move most of the day, but sometimes they will take a break and chill out for a few minutes.

 This is how I found the twosome a few days ago. Couch cushion pulled to the floor and hiding out under JT's blanket.

 The boys discovering that I was secretly taking photos.

I asked for a smile and while they managed that request, JT couldn't peel his eyes off the show that was on the TV.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Taped off art

     In looking at Pinterest, I have seen several cool looking craft projects involving taping off designs on a canvas, painting it, and resulting in a very creative art piece. I decided to take that concept and modify it for art time with the boys.    

 Since I don't have canvases laying around, I decided to use some printing paper and painters tape. I thought it would be really neat to make each of the boys names.

 Since this art time was going to use paints, I took the boys shirts off and let them have at it.

 I found it interesting that without any prompting, each boy wanted to first paint right over their names/tape. Maybe all of the little "lessons" on letter tracing are really paying off!

 Posing for a quick shot for Mom.

 Finn chose purple and a teal blue paint for his creation.

 JT selected red and blue for his piece of art.

 Very focused on their work.

 Duel brush strokes for Finn while JT appears to be moving at warp speed.

 All finished with their names!

 They were having so much fun, I made 2 more taped papers of lines for them to paint.

 JT must be focused with his tongue sticking out.

 Finn was loving using black and yellow for this piece of art.

 Ready to dry!

After a few hours, I removed the tape and this is the final result. I think they turned out great and each of the boys loved their creations.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

First Goatee

     JT is growing faster than I can keep up with sometimes, but this one takes the cake! JT developed his very first mini goatee last night. Granted, it wasn't a goatee of hair, but it was a nice dark brown color. JT's facial hair look was courtesy of a yummy chocolate popsicle he had for dessert last night.

 This is how JT looked when he came up to me after eating his popsicle.  I quickly snapped a photo before he licked away his goatee.

Here is where, to me, it looks like JT is sporting some facial hair. Glad to report all we needed for JT's "shave" was some soap and water.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Out like a light

     The past week or so, I've been battling something I fear is about to become a reality- the loss of JT's nap.  More and more frequently, JT is not napping when I put him down in the afternoon. Sometimes he will lay on his bed and read books quietly and other times he makes a huge mess in his room with clothes, books, and the few toys we keep in his room.

     I'm still not quite convinced that nap time is over because JT has been on the summer schedule with later bedtimes and sleeping in a bit. I'm thinking come August, when school is back in gear and the early rising of everyone, JT might think an afternoon snooze is a good idea.

     In the meantime, JT has been going to bed very easily at night and usually falls asleep quickly since he is so tired. Last night I found JT in the most adorable position when I checked on him.

It looks like reading Goodnight Moon did the trick! JT was out cold with his book opened midway on his chest. It's almost 7:30 am here as I type this and JT is still soundly sleeping. I'll be sure to update the nap status next month after the girls return to school.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Merry Go Round

     This past weekend, we started to get a head start on back to school shopping for the girls and headed to Opry Mills. When there, JT saw the big Merry Go Round and declared to the family that he needed to ride. After we had our lunch, and as incentive to eat well, JT got to ride the Merry Go Round.

 JT  so excited to ride with Sarah as his riding companion.

Lindsay and Courtney also hopped on a horse for some fun.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Greenish Thumb

     Alert the presses! I have managed to keep a flowering plant alive for more than 2 months without killing it! For my birthday both John and Lindsay gave me flowering plants as presents. You can check out John's plant here

     John's plant has remained indoors on our kitchen windowsill. I have been diligently watering it and hoping it wouldn't fall prey to my perpetual black thumb. So far, I have succeeded in tending to my plant. This week, the plant boasted 3 new blooms! I am thrilled!

Look at how beautiful my plant is looking these days!

     Lindsay's plant is hanging in there as well. We planted it outside as we had several that were already in our flowerbeds and doing well. The plant has suffered a bit with the drought and record high temps this summer. I didn't take any photos of it this morning because it is raining- Yay! Happy to report I'm 2 for 2 on my latest plant life. I wouldn't go so far to say I have a green thumb, but perhaps a bit less black.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Crazy Sprinkler

     It's the dogs days of summer- Hot and Humid! The past few weeks it felt like we were back in Fresno with record breaking heat around 110 and low humidity. Finally, that heat snapped, but in it's place good 'ol southern humidity stepped in. Not a fan of either, but all we can do is deal with it and thank God for air conditioning.

     We also found another way to cool off- a crazy, fun sprinkler for the kids. It's an inflatable tower with several soft noddles that feed off it. The little noodles wiggle about and spray water everywhere! I'm sure our crispy, dry lawn appreciated the new sprinkler as well.

 Of course JT had to try out the sprinkler with his outdoor dump truck.

 The water sprays were pretty intense at first and the kids would just quickly run through them. 

 JT ran on the perimeter at first.

 Then he picked up speed and moved in closer.

 Leaping in the air! Dump truck never far away.

 My clever boy figured out how to protect his eyes from the spray.

He also told Lindsay about his trick. Not many more photos besides these because John and I decided to join the kids and cool off. It was fun and felt so good to be cool outside for a while.

Some video of the fun.