Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Using Our Super Hero Imagination

In my never ending pursuit to encourage my grand kids to discover and use their imagination, I try to show them that they can have fun with ordinary things around the house. A few months ago we built a house from a large cardboard box and painted it with all sorts of fun colors!

This week, after washing several of my outdoor house flags, we turned them into super hero capes!!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Floral Crowns

 The weekend was so beautiful here that I found myself trimming some of the foliage in my yard and creating floral crowns with them. They are simple to make and can be made with just about any vine or flower you can get your hands on. If you take a walk around your yard I bet you will find plenty of things to add to your floral crown!

If the length of vine is long enough you can simply wrap it around itself. When adding a new piece just tuck the end in a twisted section to lock it in place and start wrapping again.  With this as the base of your crown, now you can tuck flowers here and there.

If your plant sections are too short to make a wrap around wreath then you can use some floral tape to secure your pieces together. Once it is long enough you can bring the ends together to create your crown.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Collaborating with Young Artists

It's spring break for my grandson so my time with the kids this past Tuesday was extended, without a break to pick him up from preschool. What better day to clear the family room of furniture and roll up the rug so we could spread out some art supplies and paint all day long!!

I know the kids had a great time learning about mixing color and trying out texture making tools. For was right up there as one of my happiest art making experiences. The whole day was full of yeses!

Can I get paint on my clothes? YES!
Can I use a bigger paint brush? YES!
Can I paint the sides of the canvas? YES!
Can I have more paint? YES!
Can I use my fingers? YES!

 We talked about primary colors and limited our palette to white, yellow, blue and red.  I asked them to mix the paint on the canvas and not on the paint tray so they could watch how the colors mixed and changed. I introduced them to texture making tools like scrapers and bubble wrap and watched them play!!

They added the color and I smeared it around with them. We all had paint on our faces and up to our elbows. It was so much fun!!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

New Feature Offered at Mama Bleu Designs

Even though I have lots of pretty fabrics to choose from at Mama Bleu Designs, sometimes my customers find their own fabulous fabrics and ask me to create bridesmaid clutches using their fabric finds. So this got me thinking and I decided to put up some listings in my shop to offer this as a regular feature.

Each shop listing has the details about the yardage requirements and other info I'll need before you place your order.

I just completed a beautiful set of 6 clutches for a May bride and love the way they turned out!! If you have a collection of or vintage.....and you'd like me to use them on your collection of bridesmaid clutches, please contact me and I'll be glad to discuss the details with you.

Monday, April 14, 2014

My Dad the Orchid Gardener

He used to be a self-employed business owner. During my childhood he was also a volunteer fire fighter for our city. Now, since he has been retired for years, my dad turns his attention to his garden and his large collection of orchid plants.

My sister Julie was in town this weekend and we spent part of our Saturday afternoon visiting our dad. He still lives in the house that we grew up in at the end of a dead end street and down a long driveway, secluded from traffic and passers-by. It was on the slope of that driveway that I learned how to drive my little Renault stick shift when I was 17. My mom would say, "if you can stop on the hill and then get it going again without killing the engine, you will do okay driving on the street. Until then, you can't leave the driveway."

My dad, being a man who never throws anything away, has built long shelves from old wood planks that were probably leftover from a home addition he did years ago. These shelves line the edge of the driveway where I used to park my little car. Scraps of shade cloth are draped over a make-shift trellis to provide protection from the harsh afternoon sun. Parked on the shelves are dozens and dozens of orchid plants - in full bloom with cheery faces of blush, ivory, creamy mango and yellow.

 As a teenager I would drive by a house just a few blocks away where the Wilwerdink family lived. Mr. Wilwerdink grew orchids and posted a sign at the foot of the driveway. "Orchids for Sale" was hand painted on it. I had visions of their back yard being filled with blooming plants and that Mrs. Wilwerdink pinning orchid corsages on all who came to visit!

I'm sure my dad's collection is quite small compared to what the Wilwerdink family had, but nonetheless, it is stunning to see all those flower covered branches extending their arms out to say hello!