Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Learning about ART

 *** lots of links, lots of information ----->>>>> proceed with caution!!! ******

 I am a very curious person and always eager to learn new stuff. I love to browse on Youtube and watch Orchestras playing or artists sharing painting or drawing techniques. So I recently began sharing those with my children.

I also subscribe to The Crafty Classroom.  I found Valerie in one of my many surfs through the web. She was using Van Gogh (Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists) to teach her children about the artist and she did some cool projects with it. I had to jump in and play too.

 Here is my DD8 artwork. Instead of the pastels used in Valerie's tutorial, we used crayons. You can still see the details of Van Gogh's artwork because of the glue behind the crayons. click on the image to see the details and make sure to check Valerie's link.

I am always for using what I have in hands instead of running to the store and buying new supplies. I got my house overflowing with stuff. How about you?

So anyway, I requested the book at my library. They didn't have it so they borrowed it from another library. yes, they can do that! Check out in your library and see if they have this service available. It's free to you.
After working with Van Gogh we borrowed the DaVinci book. I had been researching a craft about Resurrection Sunday that did not involve eggs or bunnies but Biblical icons instead.  I was glad when I received Barbara Curtis' monthly newsletter and she had some very helpful links in there. 

 One of the links lead to a website that taught how to make the scene painted by DaVinci of the Last Supper. How appropriate and I had the book!! As soon as my DD8 saw the craft supplies she exclaimed "oh, we are going to do the Last supper! I saw that painting from that book that I just read!"

Here is our Last Supper craft using egg cartons and print out coloring pages. All of my children participated in making the scene: some coloring, others cutting the figurines, another checking the original painting to see where each disciple went. We also heard the account on audio CD. Click on the image to enlarge it and see the details.

Here is a close up of the craft. You can see the details of the actual supper on the table and the egg cartons behind the paper figurines.

 I have also purchased the book on the left. I am planning to begin using it with my children. As you might remember my children love to draw! Don't all children love to draw? LOL

I am learning to relax with my children. Messes still make me squirmish but I am learning to go with the flow. :) I hope you will take the time to play and do some art today. :)


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Just so you know...

 yes, I am still around here...

I haven't posted much of my art lately and some people have been complaining... so here are a few of my latest creations...

More coming soon... I promise!


Monday, May 16, 2011

What's for dinner? Homemade Pizza

Do you ever get stuck when preparing  dinner? I do.

I used to have a menu planned out but then I got bored with it. I love to create on a whim and the menu didn't allow for much impulsiveness. :)

anyway, the other day, I was stuck and I was talking to a friend on the phone and she said she had used my idea of making pizzas on the grill. Instead of the grill, she used the oven and flour tortillas.

 So, I thought, "hey! I bet I can make my pizzas in the oven too!"

So I got a couple of Jiffy pizza crust mix boxes and added 1 cup of hot water. While the over preheated the dough rested. Once the oven was heated to 450 F, I cut the dough into pieces and rolled each into a 6" diameter "circle". (As you can see on my photo they are not really round!) I laid them on top of the oven rack for 2-3 minutes each side or until slightly golden.

 Once they were cooked, I laid my ingredients on each piece and returned them to the oven to melt the cheese. Probably another 5-7 minutes, depending how well melted you like your cheese.

When I roll my dough I use whole wheat flour to add a bit of texture to the crust. I spread tomato sauce on each one, mozzarella cheese, beautiful big red slices of tomato, slices of  Vidalia onions and fresh basil from my garden. Once they are ready, drizzle extra virgin olive oil on them and sprinkle sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Yum!! As you can see I couldn't resist and took a bite before I took the picture!!

These are fun and easy to make. You can engage your children and let them roll their own pizzas, or to avoid bigger messes, just let them pick their own toppings and arrange them on top of the cooked pizza crusts. My children love them.

You can also cook the crust ahead of time, and freeze them. When you need them, take them out lay out your toppings and put them in the oven to melt the cheese and lunch or dinner is ready. Enjoy!!!


Thursday, May 12, 2011

Thrifty Thursday: The Day time stood Still

I decided in the beginning of this year not to buy any more papers and embellishments until I downsize my studio. I had way too many papers from old collections that I love and just couldn't part with them. So I am using them. It has been a breath of fresh air to find new ways to use them. I have been incorporating them to more artistic and free style scrapbooking and it has been so much fun.

Here is a layout I just finished last week.

All the papers used are old... maybe 5 to 6 years old. Some are from Walmart and some from a QVC kit I purchased. could you tell??

I drew some flowers on a brick colored paper and then cut it out. I then stamped some white prima flowers I had on hand and added some orange brads for color. There!! My own customized flowers. I talked about how to customize your letters HERE or how to distress brads and eyelets HERE. 

Some plain old white acrylic paint brushed on the background and then sprinkled on it made for a sure artistic and shabby look. 

So here is my Thrifty Thursday tip: use your old papers to their advantage. For example, if the paper is vintagy and has vintage image on them, cut them out and use them as embellishments. If the papers are colorful use strips or small pieces of it to bring color to your layout. Are the papers too busy?? cut them into strips and make flowers out of them or punch out circles and create your own background.

There is so much out there and I just can't afford it all. So I am revamping my old papers. How about you? What do you do with old collections?

For more Thirfty Thursdays come HERE.

Be blessed,


Monday, May 9, 2011

Reading list of April 2011

Here are the books we read this past month. For a look at some Audio Books and other subjects we have been studying through mp3 files look HERE. The list below was read by DD8 and by me and DH to the children. DS5 is also reading at level 2. So sometimes he will grab one of the advanced books and look at the pictures and say he is reading. I believe he is! Soon it will manifest as he will read aloud for our enjoyment too. :)

Still reading Eloise. :) To see other Eloise books available check my book list for March 2011.
Eloise At Christmastime
Eloise Takes A Bawth
Eloise in Paris (Eloise Series)

Eloise's Ready to Read Level 1 books:
Eloise's Summer Vacation (Ready-to-Read. Level 1)
Eloise and the Snowman (Ready-to-Read. Level 1)
Eloise's Pirate Adventure (Ready-to-Read. Level 1)
Eloise and the Very Secret Room (Ready-to-Read. Level 1)
Eloise Visits the Zoo (Eloise Ready-to-Read)
Eloise at the Wedding (Ready-to-Read. Level 1)
Eloise Throws a Party! (Eloise Ready-to-Read)
Eloise Skates! (Eloise Ready-to-Read)

Silverlicious (Pinkalicious)
Vera's Talent (Doggie Tails)  
A New Kind of Life for Eddie Eagle

Nate the Great and the Phony Clue (Dell Young Yearling)
Nate the Great and the Pillowcase

I.Q. Goes to the Library
Brownie & Pearl Get Dolled Up (Brownie and Pearl)

The Kids' Cookbook: Recipes from Around the World

Our Farm: By the Animals of Farm Sanctuary

Explore the World of Man-Made Wonders
Age of Exploration (Beginning History)

The Three Trees: A Traditional Folktale
Young Cam Jansen and the Library Mystery


Please check on March's reading list to see some of the books that we continued to read on into April.

I will soon share some of the crafts we have done that were prompted by the books on this list.

What books have you and your children read this month?

Blessings, Tereza

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Thank you, Mom!!

I don't remember how old I was when my Mom told me the story about how she did NOT breastfeed me. She was 17 years old when she got married, 13 months later I was born.

As a young Mom, she trusted her own Mom and the doctors completely. When her breasts became swollen with the first milk and hardened, her doctor told her that THAT milk was NO good for the baby. He also told her NOT to breastfeed me during the night otherwise she would spoil me.

My Mom tells the story of how she would cuddle me and rock me through the night, trying to soothe my desperate hungry cries. She would hold me close to her chest. I still remember the regret in her eyes, as she told me this, realizing the torture she had put me through as I smelled the milk letting down from her swollen breasts, and being denied what was mine by God and nature. I knew her own Mom had breastfed her so I inquired about Grandma's reaction. Unfortunately Grandma thought that the male doctor knew better than her.

I would say, with no doubt, that this story was one of the reasons I decided to nurse all my children. This story put the resolve in my heart to co-sleep and nurse my babies in the middle of the night, and all night if they wanted to. I cannot imagine parenting my children without breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding taught me to trust my instincts, to believe God and His Word, to value the wisdom of older women and to question modern research and data that does not support breastfeeding.

Now, after breastfeeding 3 children successfully until their second birthday at least, I am peacefully and trustingly breastfeeding my 4th who is still in our bed nursing every night.

Breastfeeding has made me a better Mom and has been an evolving journey.

When my first daughter was born, I breastfed her whenever she wanted, but I felt tied down. I felt a lot of pressure to perform. I had to be the Mom, the wife, the creative scrapbooker, the Christian. I felt I had to juggle all those positions and always look the best and keep everything running smooth. So, of course, when I had to sit down and nurse for an extensive time sometimes, I felt very frustrated. I got angry and resented my daughter. So although I knew it was the best thing for her and for me, I resented it. (I have come to the realization of that and have long forgiven myself and my daughter.)

When my son was born, 2.5 years later, breastfeeding became a moment to relax and take a nap. It became my opportunity to rest. My son, more laid back than my first daughter did not want to breastfeed all the time, and usually ate and slept without much fuss. So while I didn't have to be tied down for long, I actually wanted to. While breastfeeding him, I could let the house go and get my feet up. I finally realized that I didn't have to wear make up to go to church and I finally gave myself permission to not have to proof anything to anybody.

When daughter #2 made her entrance 2 years later, I realized that I wanted to be a more gentle parent. I wanted to be caring, loving, peaceful, a mindful parent - one not only mindful of my children's physical needs but their emotional and spiritual needs to. I wanted to be more present.

Now with daughter #3, who is a year old, I find myself realizing that breastfeeding goes beyond supplying your child's best food. It's nourishment for their soul, their mind, their spirit, but it is also nourishment for a woman's life. Yes, there are so many physical benefits for a woman who breastfeeds, however I think the most benefits are the ones that happen in the soul and spirit realms. As a woman who breastfeeds and puts her children first, I have grown spiritually. I am constantly seeking how to do things better but without pressures, external or my own. I have finally understood what it is to rest in God, to wait upon the Lord. I am a mindful parent, seeking to be in touch with my children and their needs in all aspects of their lives. I am learning to be in the moment. I am less anxious about everything. I don't worry about money, my physical appearance. I don't worry about what people think. When I do worry, I pray and commit the matter to Jesus. I am finding that I am constantly making the decision to rest instead of fret and worry.

I have not arrived. I have much to learn and to mature, but I know breastfeeding has changed me. I don't think I would be the parent I am today if I had not decided to breastfeed, no matter what. As for my Mom, not only did she learn to breastfeed her children but she is one of my greatest supporters. Thank you, Mom for sharing your mistakes so I could learn and do better. Thank you, Mom, for sharing your life and for being there for me. I love you!

How has your Mom influenced you to become a better Mom? What is one thing you did as a Mom that contributed to change you as a person?

Reasons to Breastfeed past 12 months of age 


Friday, May 6, 2011

Expecting Matron of Honor

A few weeks back I had a request to create a "Will you be my Matron of Honor?" card for a bride's friend that would be 7 months pregnant at the time of the wedding.

How fun!! I had a couple of images and the bride got to pick her favorite!

She picked the image on the right and I got to color the baby shoes in baby blue since her friend is expecting a baby boy!

The other fun and personal touch is that inside there is a poem that says something like "I hope we are both able to fit into our dresses on the wedding day."

Would you like a custom card made? Can't find what you are looking for anywhere? Please email me... I work hard toward customizing and personalizing handmade creations for weddings, showers or keepsake treasures. Browse my Custom Work, Bridal Cards, Altered Albums categories to see some of my work.

Be blessed,


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Do you hear that?

I grew up listening to stories. My Grandmother would tell me stories at bedtime. She lived far way and we only saw each other every few years during summer vacation. But during that time, I would wear her out at bedtime asking her to tell over and over again the same stories.

Looking back those stories were pretty creepy. Some had death in it and awful things, but they were a connection between me and my Grandmother's unconditional love. She would be so tired after a whole day of service to us. We would stay at her house for at least a month and she would fix us 3 meals a day. She would let us get wet in the rain and then run inside and leave tracks through the whole house. I never heard her complaining. My Grandmother was synonym of love and fun.

Anyway, you can imagine by bedtime she would be exhausted from entertaining and taking care of us all (mind you not only us children but the adults and the friends and relatives that stopped by to visit with us). So, after telling me the first story she would be snoozing off and mixing the story up and leaving details out. I would always shake her and say "Grandma that is wrong. That is not how it goes. you are sleeping. " In my child's mind it never dawned on me that she was exhausted and I should let her sleep.

Because of her, I love a good story telling. I have a good listening ear and I can remember things years later.

In an effort to instill that in my children, I not only tell them stories and read books out loud to them but I seek out good story telling tools.

I first heard of  Adventures in Odyssey radio dramas somewhere in the internet. So I quickly purchased a few Cd collections and although we enjoy them, a lot of their stories are school based. Also some of their themes are geared to children 10 and older. There are themes like bullying and abortion, that although important, are not very appropriate for my children because they are still under 8 years old. Some of the themes come with a self explanatory title or a warning. Some themes are really fun and a great tool for teaching History and the difference between a Christian world view and a secular one.

I try to listen to the episodes first so I know what they are about, or I listen to the episode with my children so I can explain and answer questions as they arise. So after a couple of CD collections we dropped this production for now. I think I will probably pick it up again in a few years.

Then I purchased a couple of Laura Ingall's books on audio CDs. When I was 13 years old I loved her books so I thought my children would enjoy them too.

We heard the CDs on road trips and a few times at home. My DD8 loved them but my son wasn't as interested. I noticed that at first it was really hard for him to concentrate. However through listening to audio books DS5 is learning to focus and not get easily distracted.

Then I purchased Jonathan Park... oh, that was a hit with all my children!!! They love dinosaurs and anything that has to do with science and animals. These radio dramas meet their needs exactly. Just like Adventures in Odyssey each episode is about 20 minutes long, the big difference is that the episodes are centered around a family - a Christian family that homeschool and believe in Creationism. So the episodes are filled with Bible verses, real life situations, adventures, mysteries but also lots of scientific information.

We heard the first CD collection on a road trip to the beach. Now my DD8 can't go to sleep without listening to one or 2 episodes every night. We are on the 5th volume and she has heard each one many times over. This is a really fun way to cover History, Science, Math and Bible teaching all at the same time.

Now for my latest discovery!!! A few weeks ago, I found Story of the World by Susan Wise Bauer. I went to the Peace Hill Press website and for $25.00 I was able to download Volume I that covers the Ancient Times. This morning we heard the first chapter read by Jim Weiss.

We learned about Nomads, Farmers, villages and Cities. We learned about primitive irrigation systems and how and what nomads ate. We had a glimpse of what life by the Nile was like. It was so much fun. My 3 children under 8 years old gathered around the kitchen table armed with crayons and coloring pencils and blank white paper. While we heard the narrative they colored and drew pictures. We paused the narrative quite a few times so they could explain what they heard and showcase the pictures of their primitive irrigation systems, rivers and canals.

I perused the internet to show them images of the primitive irrigation systems and the current ones. They were able to compare and contrast and analyze how life is easier or harder because of them. Home educating has been such an adventure for us, in the literal sense. :)

What are some of the things that you do with your children that bring back your childhood connections or memories? Do you think that a good listening ear is important?

I hope that this post was helpful. Be blessed today,


Sunday, May 1, 2011

Tornado in my backyard!!!

Well almost... we had one go by north of us and another south of us... The closest one was just 20 miles away. Yes, I feel so blessed that we were not hit! There are people coming from miles around us to buy supplies in our town because they are without power and some, unfortunately, lost everything. Others lost their precious ones.

It's been a crazy week. We are helping out the best we can those around us. Pray for the people of Alabama and if you can help any other way do so!

HERE you can see some of the videos I have bookmarked. Some show live videos of the tornado as it hit Tuscaloosa and other shows the aftermath.

If you have ever had labor pains I know you can recognize these signs all around the world! Look up our Redemption is near!

Hiding under the shadow of the Almighty,