Wednesday, January 08, 2014

the small details of winter

Yuuko puts the relax in relaxation.

It has been extremely cold here. On Monday, our high was -14 degrees Fahrenheit with a low of -22 degrees Fahrenheit with dangerous wind chills.  Monday was also our first day of school in 2014.

 The silly dog loves being treated like a baby.
For the past several years, I've picked one artist to study in depth and I buy a calendar of their artwork and hang it near the dining table so that we have it in front of us year-round. Last year, our artist was Gustav Klimt. I don't usually do lots of art projects with the girls, they produce so much on their own that I avoid special projects for two reasons. One, I  want the girls to feel free to explore their own style (they have loads of drawing books and videos to teach them the basics). Second, I don't want to create stuff that we feel compelled to keep when it really wasn't something they wanted to do to begin with. However, I do think doing one project in the style of the year is a good plan.

C's Tree

We used a tutorial from Art Projects for Kids as the basis for our Tree of Life project.We painted a stretched canvas with gold paint. Then the girls sketched their tree using the tutorial. I outlined their drawing with puff paint and then they painted their trees using metallic colors. We topped it off with glitter glue so that we could mimic the metallic/jewel like texture and tones of Klimt's work.

K's Tree
K really rebelled she said she hated Klimt because it was too simple. She likes detail and embellishment. What is interesting is she really loved looking at the calendar throughout 2013 and had thoughtful comments about most of the paintings.

This year we are doing it a bit different. I bought six calendars Valentina (because I couldn't resist the artwork - she is the girls' favorite too and so she actually hangs in the kitchen), Japanese Art Collection, Edith Holden, Johannes Vermeer (one of my all-time favorites), William Morris, and Leonardo Da Vinci. We are going to look at each months offerings and then pick our favorite to hang by the table. My favorite for January was the Edith Holden calendar but the girls out-voted me and so we have a painting from the Japanese Art Collection (a watercolor of a waterlily from the Meiji Period) hanging this month. :)

We used a tutorial from That Artist Woman to make these owls during our Poetry and Play Group.

Above you have a peek at one of my WIPs that I am trying to finish before I embark on my big goals for the year. It is a paper mache celtic knot - one arm (point to point) is about 34.5 inches. I hope that two more rounds of paper mache will finish it and then I can paint it.

I don't usually share images of the food I make even though I love to cook and bake and am pretty darn good in the kitchen. However, this brainstorm makes such great grilled cheese sandwhiches, I had to share.

My next door neighbor lost her Dad. Her husband and children are fending for themselves. I know that her husband is a very fussy eater so I racked my brain to think of something I could make for them. Right before dropping off to sleep that night, I thought I could try converting my stromboli to a ham and cheese sandwich. It is wonderful fresh but is even better brushed with olive oil and grilled under the broiler in my oven.

These are super simple to make. Take bread dough (I make my own but you can buy frozen and thaw it) and roll it out. Sprinkle with shredded cheese, cover with ham slices, and sprinkle with cheese again. Roll it up. Brush it with olive oil and bake in a 375 degree Fahrenheit for 20-25 minutes. Cut it into slices and serve or put in refrigerator until you are ready to make grilled cheese. It is perfect a perfect combination of crispy toast and chewy bread. YUM!!


  1. I bet he felt really blessed by that grilled cheese sandwich.

    I'm with K, I'm not a big Gustav Klimt fan either. I don't hate it, I appreciate his work, but wouldn't have any hung on the wall. I love their pictures though, they did a great job.

    Stay warm!

  2. The trees look terrific. I cannot photograph food for nothing.

  3. Awe...loving the little dog! He is a cute baby! LOL! Hugs and blessings, Cindy

  4. I am pretending that the new year doesn't start until tomorrow. That seems more reasonable to me.
    I still don't have a calendar. Yet.