Sunday, May 30, 2010

Saturday, May 29, 2010


The other week Allen came home and told me he had Friday off work which I took as—time to get out of town! I always wanted to stay in a yurt (and while mongolian yurts are scarce here I was pretty sure I could scour up a camping yurt to fulfill my craving). My Google search led my to frost mountain yurts  All I can say is it was perfect—in a word yurt-a-licious!  and I swear it’s 100x cooler than regular camping.

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Friday we trekked up to Brownfield, Maine to the yurt (brief detour via Bo-mar hall and Sundaes at the Beach). I chose the most secluded yurt with mountain views- which meant trekking in all the gear half a mile by cart down hilly paths, but so worth it. The yurt was fabulous, pristine, and so nicely equipped! I came armed with a list of things we could do all weekend but nothing was as fun as relaxing at the yurt. We just spent the our time playing in the woods, relaxing in the hammock, sitting around the fire, and enjoying the views. The boys busied themselves catching toads, searching for ladyslippers, climbing the bunks, and practicing for olympic javelin with sticks.

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Allen & I stayed up and enjoyed the peaceful starry night. Well all slept beautifully and comfortably and cooked a delicious big breakfast. The weather could not have been more divine. The yurts owners have all these boats for their guests to use so. we loaded up a big canoe and drove 2 miles down to Lovell Pond and put in there. We paddled across  enjoying the most peaceful water and glorious views of the White Mountains. The boys got out on a beach and roamed  around. #3 son was so relaxed he fell asleep in the canoe.  #1 had his dream come true by finding/catching a maritime garter snake (while in Maine). Sorry so many pictures- but words couldn’t do it justice! Definitely one of my top 10 favorite family outings of all time! I can’t wait to go back and try it in the winter as they supposedly have the most fabulous cross country skiing, snowmobile, and snowshoeing (with pre-warmed yurts!)  

All I can say is – do not stop- head directly for a yurt in Maine and you won’t be disappointed!   

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

want a slice

Well I finished the next painting in the domestic series last week, here it is in time for summer.watermelon

Sunday, May 23, 2010

birthday celebration

IMG_4121  IMG_4144For my second son’s fifth birthday we decide to do a family outing as his party. He invited his best preschool friend and his family to go play miniature golf and go out for ice cream with our family. So 11 of us made our way through 18 holes and way to many strokes to count. There were water traps (nothing like a bunch of boys scooping balls out of waterfalls with nets), marvels of astroturf engineering, and no end of crazy vanilla ice cream.

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

How to make a 3-D yoda cake

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My son requested a 3-D yoda star wars cake for his 5th birthday. I was tempted to do a full size (like my 3-d R2D2 cake) on but then decided it would be cooler and simpler to do a mini 3-D yoda. So I made these yoda cupcakes. You could do just the heads if you wanted to make enough for a whole party. So here is a yoda cake tutorial . It was not that hard.

What you will need:

cupcakes 2 regular size and 2 mini size (I even used box mix cupcakes, usually for cake sculpting i use homemade pound cake so this was fast and easy)

frosting (any color)

fondant: green, tan, brown, tiny bit of white (homemade or store bought this was done with homemade marshmallow fondant)

Airhead candy or piece of rope licorice (optional)

1. Unwrap two cupcakes and frost them top to top. do the same with the minis and set it aside.


2. For the body. I rolled out a rectangle of fondant in dark brown for front of tunic. i took one air head candy cut in half and draped it across to provide a good support for the arms then sculpted 3 fingered hands and attached them to it and feet, tucked under edge of cloak. then I rolled out a long maybe 9” rectangle of tan and draped it around pinching underneath at the arms.


3. For the head I rolled out a circle of fondant and covered it (see green image below) then added the raised sculptural relief. brow bones, nose, cheeks, head.


4. Rolled another piece of fondant and laid it over top. so you have a smooth clean surface but the feature structure from the layer below. then using fondant tools creased and diveted the face.


5. for the eyes I took very tiny white balls and placed lids on top and bottom then stuck into the eye sockets.


6.I used a popsicle stick and stuck it through the body and attached the head to it for added security.

7. finished product was delicious! Here it is on 6” stacked cake with chocolate buttercream and class set of cupcakes!


Sunday, May 09, 2010

all the coolness North Dakota can muster

Springtime in 4th grade in our town brings one thing—the state fair. The community turns out to see the posters and displays and all the fourth graders dressed up as something or someone form their state. Well my son’s good fortune brought him…a  lucky draw…the great state of North Dakota.

There is nothing to north Dakota, really. NU-thing. In fact the more I have read up on every bit of minutiae about North Dakota I am convinced that we should give North Dakota away. Like you know those small island countries, who’s nations are in jeopardy with the threat of rising sea level with global warming?? They can have North Dakota. Really any Americans out there willing to put up a fight for North Dakota?? anyone? anyone? Didn’t think so…

My son came home telling me about all the cool things his classmates were dressing up as. A Pepsi can, the empire state building, Marie Osmond. Our neighbor even made a life size crab trap to fit his son, who was lucky enough to draw Maryland.

Alas, North Dakota gave us nothing to work! I mean the highest peak- white butte—is actually not even a mountain just a large limestone rock out in someone's private field and it takes less than 30 to climb to the top. Natural resources- seriously lacking. Famous residents… well you know when Lawrence Welk is your states favorite son – you’re digging deep. We thought and thought about what he could go as. There were some dinosaur bones discovered there? Maybe a paleontologist? they do produced the most durum wheat for pasta? A giant piece of penne? it is home to Minot Air Force base and 150  nuclear tipped inter-continental ballistic missiles. While I thought this would be cool I was afraid the whole weapon thing was a violation of the school handbook—no weapons policy and we might make the 6 pm news for showing up at school as weapons of mass destruction. (Although let me take the time to share this little known fact- which is that if North Dakota were to secede it would be the 3rd strongest nuclear power). So we settled on Lawrence Welk. 

IMG_3446While we were short on 9 year old sized leisure suits but I did my best to slick his hair back (unsuccessfully- seeing as he lacks the fine, easily combed over, thinning hair of a 70 yr year old) craft a quadruple Windsor in his tie, arm him with a baton (okay so it was a Chinese food chopstick), an accordion, a bubble machine, and teach him to say “Wunerful, Wunerful”. I told him while the kids might not fully appreciate his costume. The adults would laugh- pop culture icon. I showed him some youtube clips of  Myron Floren kickin’ it on accordion and quartets singing in matching dresses and he roared with laughter. I told him truly no one under the age of 65 can stomach the show—it went of the air as it bordered on cruel on unusual punishment.

Sure enough his teacher was, as a child, was subjected to weekly Lawrence Welk viewings at her grandparents—and appreciated the true cheesiness of his choice. i told my son this great motto-- if you can’t be cool- be funny!!

Friday, he came home beaming. Saying our choice was perfect. The bubble machine was a big hit and everyone crowded around his desk constantly. In fact, in a mere 2 hours he burned through a whole bottom of premium bubble solution. in fact it was such a hit that on the bus the kids were even drawing lots to see who could win the “Accordion Music Rocks” sign complete with iconic images of Lawrence he had taped to his desktop! (He did however save the plastic sheet protector the sign was in agreeing to to give the winner only the computer print out! )

Unfortunately he is seated in this picture and you can’t see the accordion or the sign—and yes we did wrap his foam board in sparkly paper we though it might help lure in the crowds like in Las Vegas or at least it’s flashing iridescence would distract from North Dakota’s utter lameness!

Monday, May 03, 2010

aspens- variations on a theme

So I realized I forgot to post there- I did them all about 2 weeks ago. I used to get very bogged down in the painting process trying to decide which colors to put where—there are always so many options.  About two years ago I finally realized the best way through it was to let myself explore all the options- so that is what I did with the aspens. Different foregrounds, backgrounds, roughly the same composition. It was fun. the navy night aspens are one of my new favorites (the navy is the most delicious paint color ever- by maimeri)

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