Weekending! (a bit late)

We went to the Ventura BioBlitz at our local sea center this past weekend. It was a fun little event. We got to see a live dive via video and did some arts and crafts regarding fish and other sea life. And we got to take a little walk though the sea center’s botanic garden (which was in desperate need of rain, it was pretty dry) and played a bingo game while we walked through. A fun outing for our nature girl!
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eloise: you were so fun to watch the other day at the butterfly exhibit at the museum. You were told the rules before heading into the butterfly space and you listened carefully and were very serious about following them. “Stand very still and maybe one will land on you. But don’t touch the butterflies.” We stayed in the butterfly pavilion for over a half hour. You were desperate to have a butterfly land on you! You stood very still and walked slowly and reminded everyone else of the rules. And then, one finally did land on you. It was a fun day. You are quite the butterfly girl!!

Weekending!

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It was Turtle Day at our local museum this Sunday. We’ve been talking about turtles and frogs and pond inhabitants lately and so this was right up our ally. Ellie got to see lots of different turtles, make a turtle craft, watch a turtle movie and play dress up in the Native American garden. I whipped up a little tank top for Ellie with one of my turtle paintings (printed the image out on fabric and sewed it onto a stained T). What a fun outing!!

Frida came to visit

So, I know I have been a terrible blogger. I’ve turned to the dark side (otherwise known as Instragram). You will find me there posting a heckuva lot more than here. But, I think about this space so often and so long to come back regularly. I just can’t seem to fit it in as often as I did before. But, I’m trying. I miss all of my bloggy friends. If you are still out there, know I’m thinking of you!

Anyway, this post is a long time coming. The incredibly talented Aly Parrot sent Ellie and I an amazing gift earlier in the year. An artist doll she had made. A Frida Kahlo doll. The most beautiful Frida Kahlo doll I have ever seen. We were both thrilled when she arrived. I had a stack of Frida books for Ellie and I to delve into and we started our activities to get to know her and her art soon after. Frida Kahlo was quite the artist to introduce to a 3.5 year old. She had quite the life and many of her pieces are quite dark. Some of her art, I just couldn’t share with Ellie because of the content. I stuck with the basics. We worked on self portraits.
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I found some downloadable Frida Art cards online and these paintings were the ones we concentrated on.
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Ellie’s 2016 Self Portrait
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We talked about how Frida was in an accident and had to stay in bed for a long time. She would paint while in bed. Ellie really wanted to try painting lying down, so that’s just what we did. She worked on another portrait as she half-laid down on the couch.
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After she was done, she wanted to try it before bed. We never got to actually do that, but this was a fun and interesting way to paint and Ellie seemed to really enjoy it.
We did some more smaller projects with Frida. Looking through the microscope and then drawing, like she was said to have done. One of Ellie’s favorite things though was to listen to Frida’s story on this great little app about her. I wish they made them for every artist.
We will definitely be exploring Frida more throughout the years. We barely touched on her extensive work. We will be back to explore in the coming years. But our introduction to Frida was a great start.

And please, check out Aly Parrot’s amazing art and creations here.

Portrait Project Catch-up- 18,19,20/ 52

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eloise: You are enamored by the tiny creatures of the Earth. Together we are navigating gentle touches with wildlife (including the dogs, who you never bugged before, but now are the most interesting thing in the world), how much handling wildlife can take and the wanting to bring animals home. It’s an exciting and often challenging new fascination.

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Eloise: A glorious afternoon at the beach with you. Here you found yourself a “broom” and pretended to be Glinda the Good Witch sweeping her house out.

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Eloise: Taking a hike up in the Santa Barbara hills. You are enjoying yourself so much more in nature. Climbing, paying attention and asking questions about the plants and flowers around you, discovering all the amazing things nature has to offer. It’s so much fun to watch you!

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eloise: Always moving. This kid is busy. Busy exploring the teeny creatures close to her feet, busy trying out new things with her body, (like summersaults and climbing on all sorts of things), busy asserting her three-year-old independence and making her mother and father crazy most of the time. My busy busy bee.

Catch and Release

We let the last of our four butterflies into the world today. It was a very fun project this year, planting milkweed in our window box, watching the monarchs lay their eggs, finding teeny tiny caterpillars on the leaves and picking them off when they became big, fat caterpillars. We brought four inside and put them in our butterfly house. We got to watch them make their chrysalis’ and then finally emerge. Throughout the days leading up to their arrivals, we read butterfly books, played butterfly games, I made her a felted set of the “parts of a butterfly” and we played with Aly Parrot‘s beautiful Monarch life cycle set (of which I made cards to match). We let the first Monarch go in our garden. Ellie named her Marigold. She hung around the longest, sitting on Ellie’s finger and on the lettuce. Roy was the next to emerge. Ellie was with her Grandparents at the time, so Jeff and I released him onto the milkweed. The next day, Lavender emerged. She seemed to not want anything to do with us and flew off pretty quickly (which upset my little butterfly girl, who desperately wanted to hold her on her finger). But then two days later, Morning Glory came out of her chrysalis. She didn’t stick around too long either, but long enough to flutter on Ellie’s finger and it was neat seeing her fly off into the sky. Ellie was proud of herself for raising these butterflies. When we got back inside after releasing our last Monarch, I asked Ellie if she wanted to draw pictures of her butterflies, so we could remember them. She drew a fantastic drawing with oil pastels, naming the different parts of their bodies, “here’s the head and the thorax and abdomen, this one has orange antenna.”

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What a great spring this is turning out to be.

FUZZY WUZZY CATERPILLAR
INTO THE CORNER WILL CREEP.
HE’LL SPIN HIMSELF A BLANKET,
HE’LL SPIN HIMSELF A BLANKET,
AND THEN FALL FAST ASLEEP.
FUZZY WUZZY CATERPILLAR WILL WAKE UP BY AND BY,
TO FIND THAT HE HAS GROWN TWO WINGS,
NOW HE’S A BUTTERFLY!
FLY BUTTERFLY, FLY THROUGH THE SKY!
-Spring Tales collected and written by Suzanne Down