Saturday, August 30, 2008

A day at the zoo....

Continuing to enjoy our last week of summer, my parents and I headed out to the Minnesota Zoo today to see the new grizzly bear exhibit called Russia's Grizzly Coast. We had heard it was pretty cool and that you could get close to the bears, but I had no idea what was in store for us today! I've always been facinated with grizzly bears. Ever since hiking in the mountains as a youngster wearing my "bear bell" and on our trip to Alaska a few years ago. We knew we would rather not run into one in the wild, but they certainly have a mystique to them.
Well, this was our chance to get up close and personal. Look at these guys horsing around in the water....
right in front of our very eyes. WOW!
Talk about up close and personal.
This guy was all tired out after his play time.
The rest of the zoo was just as fabulous. I'm not normally a big fan of zoos, but this is more like a wild animal park. Everything is very spread out and the animals are roaming in very large areas.
Lowell and Bobo spy a tiger.
A prairie dog livin' large.
This poor moose was molting. Looks very tender. Ouch!
They had a "family farm" with lots of farm animals and a petting zoo.
Chloe is one good egg:)

Then there is a large aquarium with the ominous shark floating by.
The kids had a great day!

Happy Labor Day weekend! Hope you're doing something fun.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A day at the fair...

Today my parents and I ventured over to St. Paul for the "great Minnesota get together"...the state fair! Had to get my once-a-year fix of pronto pups, malted milk shakes and people watching!

It was an overcast day, so the neon colors of the Midway were oh so vibrant!

The kids went on a carousel ride with Bobo for the first time. As you can see here, Chloe didn't know what to think when it started moving.
What a fun day at the fair!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Late summer weekend...

Thank you so very, very much for your kind words about Lowell. We are absolutely thrilled. While he is certainly not "cured" of Autism, he has been taking one step after another in the right direction. Some of you asked what he'll be up to next. To prepare him for kindergarten, this next school year he will be in a typical pre-school classroom in the morning with additional support from a "respite" teacher. He will then attend an integrated pre-school each afternoon with half typically developing kids, half special needs. We feel this will be a wonderful opportunity to be around kids his age and the influences they will have on him.My mom and I took the kids out on a little romp on Saturday while Joe and my dad worked on the new shed. We walked in an area that we like to go to in the spring to see the woodland wildflowers. It was fun to see the gorgeous blooms and all the seed pods of late summer.

Whenever I get new Halloween items I now put them up right away, rather than stash them away for just a few weeks. The large fan below was an estate sale find. The two masked paintings are by Emily Martin (Inside a Black Apple) and the amazing wreath custom made for me by Katie Runnels (The Constant Gatherer).
Ramping up my Halloween crafting, simply because it makes me happy:) I did another House of Inspiration KIT, this one with a Halloween theme. It's also in my etsy shop.

Hope you're having a great weekend!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Jubilation...and store update!

Today is a day of celebration in our household! My son, Lowell, graduates from his Autism Day Treatment program. He began the program as just a baby at the age of two, shortly aftering receiving his Autism diagnosis. It was a time in our lives of overwhelming emotions. We heard about a pilot program for very young kids on the autism spectrum beginning at a private school nearby and jumped at the opportunity to provide our son with any help that is available. The last two and a half years a have certainly had it's ups and downs but due to the amazing work of his therapists and teachers at St. David's, Lowell has developed into an amazing, verbal almost 5 year old little boy! We couldn't be more proud. It is again a time of great emotion, this time it's pure joy at seeing Lowell's development and great gratitude for the amazing people that have helped him blossom.

In celebration I just did a major update to my etsy shop with a variety of holiday's included. It includes a limited supply of an Autumn version of the House of Inspiration kits that I had intended to teach at a class in Pleasanton this weekend.
The KIT includes the wood, backing and lots of vintage color coordinated accessories for this project. You can paint the frame any color you'd like to change the palette a bit. Each kit includes one of the corsages and millinery flowers below from my stash along with a bunch of other goodies.
Lots more fun stuff in the shop! Check it all out HERE

Friday, August 15, 2008

What I've been up to....and some news

I've mainly been watching the Olympics at night which has gobbled up most of my evening art time. Definitely worth it, but I'm not used to watching so much tv and realizing how little sleep I'm getting and little art produced. I've also been settling back in after my outing to Oregon last week. Indeed it was an amazing time!The news is that I will not be making the trip to Pleasanton, California for ConvenZioNE next weekend. My class did not get enough registrants. I'll really miss meeting up with so many of you that were going. Have fun! I'm moving on and will be selling my house of inspiration kits in my etsy shop. I hope to have a big update by the end of the month. I'll keep you posted.I hit a tremendous estate sale today with lots of fun, quirky goodies.Love finding a pile of old stuff to sort through!Was thrilled to find some new witches boots for my Halloween decor this year.Bought this neat table, took off the glass top and made it into a "discovery table" for the kids. It tucks right under our front windows and I will change it seasonally. I love this kind of thing. They seem to as well:)

Have a great weekend!