Oh it was such a nice weekend. We were very busy and battling yet another sick bug, but this time, it was just a little cold and it didn’t slow down my child. No way. So we kept on truckin’. Saturday, I had a book club date with some Mama friends. And then we spent the rest of the day hanging out with my parents and siblings. Ellie enjoyed playing with my brother and his girlfriend (one of her favorite people of all time). Sunday, was a big trip though. We have been talking about trees and then moved into apple trees and Johnny Appleseed and on and on. All of this leading up to this day trip to San Luis Obispo to go apple picking with my childhood best friend and her family (who live up there). It’s about a two-hour drive and something we usually do not do with our child who has never liked the car. But there is no where close by the apple pick and I thought we could do it, now that she’s 3 and easier in the car then before. It turned out to be a wonderful day. Both car rides went very well (despite Ellie not taking any nap) and we enjoyed our time immensely at the orchard and then down in Shell Beach where my friends live. The evening ended with the most divine sunset I had ever seen. Certainly a day we will remember.
(I surprised her with the amazing Johnny Appleseed doll. I had been coveting it from Aly Parrot’s etsy store and instagram feed and after a sleepless night, I knew we had to have it. I sewed him up a little apple bag for Ellie to carry him around in (because I knew she’d want to bring him) and surprised her the night before we went to the apple orchard. She’s had him for two days now and has not put him down.




Portrait Project Catch up

eloise: the drama that is 3 so far is both at times, hilarious and exhausting. There is never a dull moment with you… ever.

eloise: Happiness for you is eating corn on the cob in an apple farm, standing in front of “Van Gogh’s sunflowers” with Johnny Appleseed around your neck. Life is good.

Painting with Pollock

(playing a bit of catch up here…. I had computer issues and this post never got published….)

Ellie has loved this whole “Artist for tea” thing. Van Gogh is part of the family now. He goes to Whole Foods, rides along in the car and talks to Ellie daily. We were in Michael’s the other day and she saw a Van Gogh coloring book and immediately knew who it was. But these past few days, Ellie has asked if “someone new is coming? A new artist”. So, we’re moving on. Van Gogh went back to France and Jackson Pollock has come to stay with us for a while. (and yes, those are pumpkin O’s Ellie has shared with Jackson).
We read a fantastic book about Pollock called Action Jackson. Great illustrations and Ellie was captivated by the rhythm of this story. I also let her watch a you tube video of Jackson Pollock actually painting. I  found these little cartoons about artists. They are a bit jarring for my taste but, I liked that they introduced artists in a way that Ellie seemed to understand and enjoy, even if I didn’t quite appreciate the noisy cartoonish-ness. The next couple of days, I set up a few painting like-Pollock activities. We did a full-scale large canvas:
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And a spinning top with paint activity as well as dropping paint from a ladder ( we used her high chair).
IMG_8011 IMG_8012 IMG_8015It was certainly a fun art experience. We talked about movement while painting and explored texture (paint, upon paint) and using different materials to paint with, like Pollock did. I’m not sure looking at his paintings were exactly her cup of tea (mine either), but I sure learned a lot about this fascinating man and very much respect the talent he had. I’m wanting to rent the movie Pollock for Jeff and I to watch after Ellie goes to bed. Anyone seen it?

We are moving on to Paul Cezanne next week. I normally wouldn’t switch artists this quickly. I like staying with one artist for as long as we can, but I really liked the idea of incorporating Cezanne’s apple paintings into our Autumn and Johnny Appleseed festivities.


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Another very warm weekend. A baby shower and fun morning with Mama friends (every one of my friends seems to be pregnant these days, so baby showers are a weekly occurrence) ;). Some crafting. A chance encounter with the same chalk festival down by the beach. And a lovely walk on the beach with my favorite two people in the world. Good weekend.

Tea and Lunch with Vincent Van Gogh

So I’ve started implementing a fun little addition to our lunch and or tea time ritual with Ellie. I read about Charlotte Mason’s “introduction to artists through tea time” on a blog somewhere and fell in love with the idea. I decided to start with Vincent Van Gogh, mainly because Ellie saw A Starry Night in one of her books and started talking about how she liked it. She thought it looked like Peter Pan’s Neverland. I wanted the artist study to be as age-appropriate as possible, so I tried to keep it simple and created a little mini Vincent Van Gogh (machine embroidered and painted with water colors on fabric and then stuffed). I then recreated A Starry Night and a few other Van Gogh paintings by needle-felting reproductions. Ellie has gotten the biggest kick out of them. We’ve looked through books of his art and read Camille and The Sunflowers a lot. It’s a perfect story for Ellie’s age.
This week we’ve moved on to actually painting like Van Gogh. We talked about how Van Gogh painted what he felt. We painted our own Sunflowers and Ellie painted “a happy sunflower”.
We also made our own Starry Night paintings with foil and finger paints. Then we made prints of the sensory experience (which sadly, I did not get a chance to photograph yet, but they turned out lovely!).
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After all the talk about Van Gogh, the reading about him, and his art and the painting experiences (we did a self-portrait project too, that I will talk about later), we took Ellie to the Getty to see a real Van Gogh to wrap things up a bit. The day after, I set up a little small world play with art flash cards and peg dolls to represent the museum experience. She enjoyed reenacting visiting the museum.
It’s been a really neat experience so far to introduce Ellie to the great artists. She’s even asked if we can do “a new artist”. And we certainly will…

Portrait Project

eloise: my magical, mystical girl! You remind me of Mowgli these days… running around naked, usually with some sort of crown or pirate hat on. Hair crazy, unwashed and un-brushed (because it is very hard to get anything done with that wild hair of yours). You are beautiful and bright! You are fierce and sassy! Every day I learn something from you. My shining star!


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We took a special trip to the Getty Museum this past Labor Day weekend. Believe it or not, I have never been. I’ve been wanting to go ever since I can remember. We decided to take Ellie because we’ve been talking about art recently. I’ve introduced Van Gogh and his art to Ellie during our lunch and tea times (if you follow me on instagram, you’ve seen the Van Gogh doll and wool felt paintings). Ellie was very excited to see a “real” painting by Van Gogh. She did incredibly well for a 3-year-old in a very large museum. It was a really special day. Except for the time when I got in trouble for standing too close to the Van Gogh we came to see. I had to add the only photo Jeff captured of Ellie and I next to the Irises, as I’m apologizing  to the Getty staff member who’s telling me I’m “too close”. Oops!! I guess we were too excited.

Besides Mama getting in trouble, we had a beautiful time. Ellie enjoyed it immensely and wants to learn more about art and artists, which makes my heart soar.

I desperately want to catch you all up on the day-to-day around here. The summer is almost over and I have so much to tell. I’m really hoping I can find more time to document our days here again.

Hoping you all had a wonderful weekend!!