Catching up with the Portrait Project

Busy, busy, busy… I can’t remember a time I wasn’t this busy in my day to day life. Making things, selling things, parenting, preparing for homeschooling, planning, and more making and parenting and of course throw some cleaning and laundry in the day to day too. I don’t know how mothers do it all, because I’m certainly playing “catch-up” constantly.

One more thing I’m behind with… this year’s Portrait Project. Let’s try catching up shall we?

eloise: You are taking an American Ninja Warrior class on Friday mornings. (i.e. gymnastics or jumping around on big pieces of foam). You are very serious about these classes and listen intently to the instructors. It’s fun to watch you learn new ways to move your body. And of course, the outfit is ridiculously cute.

Eloise: A bright and warm day in San Francisco. We stumbled upon this Frida garage door and Ellie immediately did a Frida dance in front of it.

Eloise: Another shot from our trip to San Francisco. This little one loved the wedding selfies she could take. She kept going back for more. I love the scraped knees and sneakers. Classic Ellie.

eloise: The following week in Boston, at Nana and Papa’s house. This kid was all about the pool. Swimming like a little fish and loving it!

eloise: One more crazy girl swimming photo from Boston. Food in the mouth, excited beyond belief to be able to swim and adorable in her new swimsuit. This photo says Summertime if I ever saw one. (p.s. Doesn’t her face in this one mimic the swimmy she was wearing in the last photo?)😉

Potter and Monet

Catching up with our artists-in-residence, after Frida Kahlo came and went, we had a little special guest from Beatrix Potter. She came right after Easter and of course around that time we were also heavily into Potter’s stories. Our favorites being (Peter rabbit, Jeremy Fisher and Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle).
We read some lovely books about Potter and learned all sorts of fascinating things about her. Mama had her own Potter books too!

We sketched things we found in nature, like Potter did. And painted our own bunnies and favorite animals.

And with this Potter set I put together for Ellie, I kept getting inquiries about a full set for sale. So, after working with the ever wonderful Raeshaun from Monkey and Bean Designs, who came up with the beautiful wooden figures, we created a set for sale.

After Beatrix Potter, we moved on to Claude Monet. We talked  a lot about lily pads and blues and greens and what we felt when we looked at his art. We worked on a large Monet inspired painting for quite awhile. Adding a bridge with tape and then removing it when we finished painting.



You can find a Monet set for sale in my shop as well. We’re really enjoying our artist series and it’s been great fun to create these kits for sale as well.

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!!


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.
I found some downloadable Frida Art cards online and these paintings were the ones we concentrated on.
Ellie’s 2016 Self Portrait

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.
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

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.

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.

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!