Sunday, March 20, 2011

Paint by Number Wall

About a year ago I was reading through the blogs that I follow and I saw this post about a Paint by Number wall:
This is from the blog:

this fantastic wall makeover comes from scott and cheryl white in michigan. inspired by paint by number artwork, they decided to turn an ebay painting into their own custom wall mural. after their paint-by-number painting arrived from ebay, scott made a color transparency of it and borrowed a friend’s projector to trace it on the wall with pencil. scott and cheryl created a chart of all the colors, recreating their own numbering system. then after a trip to michael’s to pick up paints, scott and cheryl painted in their large-scale paint-by-numbers mural by hand over a period of eight months. the final results are stunning and i’m so glad scott and cheryl had the inspiration to create something so fun on their walls. well done, guys!

Read more at Design*Sponge

Back to me...
So here is my paint by number wall:
I have to admit that I LOVE the retro feel of their artwork.  But I am way to lazy to actually draw out the design myself so I bought a kit for an 11x14 paint by number of the Adirondacks because we LOVE to spend a week there every summer.   I used an overhead projector to project the image onto the wall and trace the pattern.

I then enlisted a little help from my husband, anyone who came to use our pool, and my 6yr old son.  We had to trace all of the lines before moving the projector, so we traced the entire design in 2 days

(what a cute assistant)

and then started painting.  

we have just matched up the colors in the kit with acrylic paints like these:

(as of April 2012)
Andrew (5 years old)

As of October 2012
You can find paint by number kits here:
We are working on it slowly, anytime we have a party or gathering, or just feel like doing it we paint.  I will eventually post "DONE" pictures but to be honest I never want it to be done.  It is the perfect way to relax after a long day.  I might have to start a new one when this is finally finished.

another blogger that has done a paint by number wall:

Orange Julius

I was reading my favorite blogs and I came across one of my favorite recipes.  It is from the blog:

Today I would like to share with you my son’s recipe for Orange Julius.  He loves to bake and be in the kitchen.  He has even expressed a desire to start his own recipe blog, which I think would be a lot of fun for him.

     He is also taking a required Home and Family Class at school and is right in the middle of the cooking portion of the curriculum.  He came home from school really excited about the Orange Julius he had made earlier that day, and asked if he could make it for us as an after school snack.  Ummm…yes please!
It was delicious!  And since he is a reader of my blog, I thought it would be fun to post his yummy recipe here to share with all of you.  This recipe tastes just like the real Orange Julius they used to have in the mall when I was his age.
Orange Julius
6 oz. frozen orange juice concentrate
1 cup milk
1 cup water
1/4 cup granulated sugar AND 1/4  cup powdered sugar
sugar 1 tsp. vanilla extract
8 ice cubes

1. Combine all ingredients except ice cubes in blender.
2. Blend for about 1-2 minutes and then add ice cubes one at a time.

Didn’t he do a great job?  Yum!

Thanks to the Idea Room...time to make an orange Julius...

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Who am I? Good question.

Who am I?

So I was listening to a random shuffle of songs on my ipod when I thought about putting a personal profile on my online classroom for my students.  I've been told that I need to do it so my students get a sense of who I am and who I was as a student.  I've always avoided it because really how do you describe yourself?  We all like to believe that we are these adults with everything figured out and really how interesting is that?  Then one of my favorite songs (I'll mention it later) came on and I thought about a new spin to it…how would my friends from elementary school describe the type of student I was?  and how would my friends now describe me?  would they be similar?  would they be different?  We all like to believe that we are so advanced as adults and that we are much more dignified and sophisticated than we were at 6yrs old…after all I don't think a 6yr old eats goat cheese or loves a great glass of Merlot.
So, I guess I would describe 6yr old me as a hard working student who did what she needed to do, when she needed to do it…so she could get to the fun stuff.  I always paid attention to the teacher so I could get my work done as soon as possible so I could spend the rest of my day building something or making something. For example, we had very old desks at my school that still had a big hole at the top known as the ink well. (For those of you who don't know, that's where they would put a bottle of ink so you could dip your pen nib into it and then write on your paper until you needed to do it again to write the next sentence, etc) The chair was attached to the desktop so it was all one piece…I have to find a picture of this so you know what I'm talking about…
So once I had my classwork done I would spend the entire rest of the day turning my desk into a car known as KITT.  KITT was the name of the car on the TV show Knight Rider and it was one of my favorite TV shows.
I would spend hours in class creating paper headlights, tail lights, bumpers, control panels, and yes, even doors that opened and closed so I could get into my desk everyday and would shut them behind me.  I thought about permanently taping them shut and sliding into the top like they did on the Dukes of Hazzard but that would have been crazy ;) I wish I had pictures of these.
What made me think about 6yr old me was the song Land Down Under by Men at Work. This was my favorite song at the time (and secretly still now I guess it's not a secret anymore).  Back then I used to take a tape player and record songs off the radio and pretend I had my own radio station "WAMY" I would talk about the songs, the weather, and then send my listeners into the next song probably Abracadabra, or the "Put another Dime in the Jukebox" song.  I wonder if my parents have any of these cassette tapes…
Then I started realizing that 36 year old Amy isn't very different than 6yr old Amy. Sure I have some scars I didn't have then and I have learned some things here or there, and a couple college degrees I am responsible for 2 little boys and not just a dog, but aren't we all fundamentally the same person we were 30 years ago?  A couple years ago I came across my report card from pre-school and I was amused whe I read the teacher's comments that essentially said that I was more than content to color and build with the blocks instead of dancing and pretending to be an animal or act like a tree.  DUH I thought. But then I realized that some people do like to do those things but they just weren't for me. I realized that she was describing "AMY" not preschool Amy, but AMY.  So who am I?
I am:
"Momma" to two wonderful boys,
"Wifey" to a wonderful and more patient than he should be husband
Biology Teacher to 102 incredibly talented and creative students

so those are my adult descriptions…
I also am:
an artist
fort builder
maker of anything
sew-er (sp?)(sewwer? sewer?) I like to sew.
and DJ

Let me send you off to some of the best songs out there:

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Heart Cake

Thanks to one of my new favorite blogs (iambaker) I was able to bake this heart cake for my Great Aunt Josephine's 91st birthday. I got a bunch of cool tips from this site from how to get cake layers that are flat.
I use these cake pans:

The trick is to wrap soaking wet towel strips around the pans and put them on a cookie sheet when the go into the oven. Now that I think about it, it makes total sense...usually the cake around the edges heats too fast so it doesn't rise but the middle bakes more slowly..and it rises. This results in a big-ol ugly bump in the middle of the pan which makes your cake look a little crazy. Now you know how to make professional looking cakes.

I also used one of the best $2 purchases ever....That fancy little cake cutter. It ensures that you get even layers for frosting.

I am Baker also gave instructions for frosting cakes. I loved this one and with the correct tip, it was so easy! To how to frost the cake with these fancy little roses. Instructions here.
Here is the tutorial on how to make the heart cake. Mine doesn't look as good as hers. Let's just blame it on my camera, OK?

Follow up: some readers have asked me about my cake holder, and lazy susan (which makes frosting the cake easier) they can both be bought here: