A Paper Theater

What did I do yesterday?  I spent the day creating a paper theater at a class taught by the the marvelous Ulla Milbrath at Castle in the Air.

My paper theater was created from a plain, square box swathed in blue metallic crepe paper, and the children riding the dove were cut from a book called Featherlight by Gabriele Eichenauer... (Cutting up a book? Oh, horror, but Ulla insisted...)  You cannot see it in this photo, but there is a little knob at the bottom which can make the dove fly up & down, side to side.

The scene is topped by a glowing golden moon gazing down fondly over the children...

Nearer and nearer the dove came until at last it alighted beside him.  "Croo, croo," cooed the dove.
-- Gabriele Eichenauer (Featherlight)


A Golden Gate Park Adventure

Despite the fact that today was little Mr. B's first day of school (and he was exhausted), we ventured out to Golden Gate Park to spend time with cousins who were visiting all the way from Boston (Oh, the joy of meeting my cousin's nearly 3-year-old daughter for the first time!)

 First stop, the carousel...

Where our wee Bloom had his first ever ride...  Round and round we went, ensconced in the luxury of a winged swan chariot.

 Then we did some high-in-the-sky climbing...

 And explored the sand box where lurks a creepy, mosaic sea-monster.

 Watch out tasty little baby!  Crawl away fast... that creepy sea-monster has his eye on you!

After a stint on the swings we had dinner at our all time favorite restaurant: Park Chow.  Next time you're in San Francisco it's worth a visit if only to try their warm ginger cake with pumpkin ice cream and caramel sauce (are you hungry yet?)

But my favorite part of the day?  The winged swan chariot (of course!)


Summer's Last Hurrah

This morning, from our windows, we could see the fog peeking over the coastal hills. Despite the fog, we decided to head out to the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve for a bit of tide-pool exploration.  After all, tomorrow is the first day of school...

My friend Caroline suggested it would be nice for the children (and the mamas) to have a "last hurrah" of summer vacation.  I agreed heartily and so, off we went...

After an hour (or two), a bit of sunshine broke through the fog...

 And a lovely time was had by all...

P.S.  Thank you, Caroline, for taking this photo of me, little Mr. & my wee Bloom -- it was time for an update!

P.P.S.  Hey everyone, guess who officially started walking yesterday?!


What's for Dinner? Noodles with Peanut Sauce

I've made this for dinner four times over the last three weeks.  If you give it a try, let me know whether you like it as much as we do.

1/4 cup Teriyaki Sauce
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup water
1 tsp. sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 spoonfuls of honey  (according to your taste)
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. red chili flakes
leaves from 10 sprigs cilantro, chopped
(optional -- a dash of Vietnamese fish sauce/nuac mam)
(optional -- 1 tsp. fresh grated ginger)

Whisk all ingredients and set aside.

Approx. 10 oz. linguine or other type of noodle
1 carrot, peeled and shredded
1 cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
1/4 cup roasted peanuts
1 cup sliced tofu, some cooked chicken or grilled shrimp (I added marinated, baked tofu...)
2 green onions, chopped

Cook noodles according to package directions and drain.  Add shredded carrots, peanuts and tofu, chicken or shrimp.  Pour peanut sauce and mix gently.  Serve in bowls topped with generous amounts of cucumber and a sprinkling of green onions.


Nose-Bead Removal Tutorial

Hello dearest one & all! I've missed visiting with you this past week...  My hectic summer has finally caught up with me and so, between daily swim lessons for Little Mr. B. and various summer-time adventures (all of which has wreaked havoc on Wee Blooms nap schedule) I cannot think straight, let alone sit down at the computer to tend this happy little blog space.

Wee Bloom is sleeping at the moment, but I'm not sure for how much longer, and so I'll leave you with this -- one of the best tutorials I've seen in a long time.  It was written by Danielle of the blog Most Days I Win.  I fear it puts all of my fancy craft tutorials to shame.  This post (and really, all of Danielle's posts) are funny, sweet and wise.  I hope you enjoy reading this tutorial as much as I did, and I also hope you never have cause to refer to it again for the purpose it was intended!


Hope is the Thing With Feathers

The other day I was browsing through a craft store and spotted a little dove-shaped craft punch (in case you go looking for one, it's produced as part of the Martha Stewart Craft line.)  I decided to splurge because I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it...

 I broke out the Mod-Podge and went rummaging around under the kitchen sink for some empty jam jars...

 Then I painted the sides of the jars with Mod-Podge and covered them with paper (I used German Kite Paper for the white lantern and gift-wrap tissue paper for the light blue one...)

 The doves are punched from thin card-stock and the hearts are cut from kite paper.

To apply the doves & hearts, I painted a small area with Mod-Podge and, while it was still wet, I placed the doves & hearts on top. Then, just to make sure everything was stuck in place, I went over the doves & hearts again with more Mod-Podge.  It looked like a disaster when it was wet, but after the Mod-Podge had dried... perfect...

 Doesn't it look lovely with a candle inside?

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;

And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm. 

I've heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.
-- Emily Dickinson