Friday, March 30

Cherry Blossom Crafts for the Kids

Here in the Washington DC Metro Area, spring brings the Cherry Blossoms, and the famous National Cherry Blossom Festival!! It all swings into action with the Smithsonian Kite Festival and the Festival Family Day Opening Ceremony tomorrow. Naturally the de Gallo family will be staying as far away from the festivities as possible.

In honor of the spring, here is my easy Cherry Blossom Sumie Painting tutorial.
The supplies you will need are:
A piece of construction paper, white glue, square pieces of pink or white tissue papers cut to different sizes, a straw (I cut this one in half for Piko), a pencil, and watered down black paint (we used a 1 to 1 water to paint ratio, and the Apple Barrel brand of paint).

Step 1.
Place afew large drops of the watered down paint onto the paper, and blow on them with your straw. Direct the stream of air from your straw in different directions to create the brances of your cherry tree. Drop more paint onto the paper to extend your branches and make it thicker in sections.

Step 2.
Bunch a square of tissue paper around the eraser end of your pencil.

Step 3.
Holding the paper to the pencil with your fingertips, dip the paper and pencil into glue.

Step 4.
Place the tissue paper onto the branch of your cherry tree. Continue step 2-4 until you have filled the tree to your satisfaction.

Viola!! Beautiful spring art.

Wednesday, March 28


I love it!
Still have not seen it yet!

Do it for the kids!

Agh! I'm pathetic.

Spending time with other adults, not my husband, and not close friends, is EXHAUSTING!!!

Piko de Gallo was invited to a friend's house yesterday after school. They are not yet at that age where an invitation means drop the kid and have the afternoon off. The visit requires parental attendance as well. BLAH!

The other mothers that were there are all very nice ladies, and fun to talk to, but I was there for almost 4 hours!! That's alot of time to spend trying not to be rude and crude and inappropriate like I am at home with Sarge. Maybe as I get to know some of these ladies a bit better I'll feel better about it.

So I was tired when we got home.

Unfortunately it was Sarge's day off, and the warm weather jump started him. The entire contents of the shed was strewn across our back patio. But he left the best job for me. I forgot to take a picture of it, but there was a dead mouse in the pot of our turkey fryer. Ew. EW! EEEWWWW!!!!!!!!! So I had to dispose of that while he filled Piko's sandbox. Fun times.

Friday, March 23

The Week in de Gallo News

Piko's "Party Favors".
I am her supplier. And Piko de Gallo is addicted!!

I can't remember when we discovered this wonderful item. But throw a handful in the bath, and Piko de G is fully occupied, Sarge and I can have an uninterrupted adult conversation, lasting upwards of a half hour.
At $1.00 for 12 pills I think that it's totally worth it.

I imagine that the end result is somewhat educational, because she sorts them by color, counts them, and is learning the difference between a squid and an octopus.

We have also unfortunately acquired a new pet.
Meet "Nekko de Gallo"

Quite possibly the nicest cat I have ever met. She literally followed us home. We were somewhat worried that Nekko and Dog would not get along. Dog de Gallo has a very high chase drive. Color us surprised to discover that the dog is afraid of the cat! Naturally this is endlessly entertaining to Sarge and I, so we torture her whenever we can.

The weather has also made a turn for the better, which means that the sticks have come out, and Mommy gets some quite time.

And in crafting news:
Freezer paper stencils, are the AWESOME!!

Applying the paint.

Painted stencils.

Finished stencils.

And happily, albeit strangely, nothing has pissed me off this week. Possibly I'm mellowing with age, or I'm entering a period of personal Zen. I'm reserving judgement, because I sitll have to go grocery shopping this weekend.

Monday, March 19

They're Multiplying!!

If you remember I was recently stupidly surprised at the number and quality of craft blogs out there. I cannot believe that it took me this long to realize this great resource that was untapped in my computer.

Well, Easter is coming up and we're experimenting with ideas for gifts for Piko de Gallo's preschool classmates. Aaaannd, we got sidetracked.

Thanks to Betz White's Cashmere Bunny Tutorial

It may look like we're well on our way, but I am NOT making 22 of these bunnies for Piko de G's class.

I would also like to know where Betz lives, that she can find cashmere sweaters at Goodwill! We only found one at our local Value Village, and the rest of the bunnies are made up of felted sweaters, and old clothes. That pink one on the end has a rattle in it's belly, and I shoved pieces of a pretzel bag into the ears. It's going to one of my neighbor's baby. If I recall babies love the rattlin' and cracklin', and it's also not getting button eyes, and a pompom tail. I'll have to think of some other baby safe alternatives.

And just for She Said. Yes, we do have bunny fever!

You can't just have one bunny!

Friday, March 16

Piko de Gallo have and I have an ongoing sort of argument. She's only 4 1/2 but we talk about growing up, college and moving out all the time. In a non-serious joking manner of course!!

She states that she is not going to move out on her own, ever. I think that's just fine, but I tell her that she has to get a job, and pay rent. Unfortunately she thinks that she can just stay home with me, like we do right now, forever. We go back and forth over this all the time.

Well, finally I have the upper hand.

Two nights ago as I was waiting for her to finish her dinner, I ate a couple of mini Three Musketeer candies. Of course she was intrigued.

PdG: Is that your dessert?
Me: Nope, I'm still going to have a Popsicle with you.
PdG: So is that part of your dinner?
Me: Yep!
PdG: I wish I could have candy for dinner.
Me: WELL! If you live on your own when you're grown up, you can eat
whatever you want for dinner. But if you live with me, you have to
eat what I make.
PdG: *wheels turning*

Yesterday, we were both feeling sick, so we decided to take a nap after lunch. As we were getting settled in my bed, Piko de G is using Sarge's new pillow.

PdG: I like this bed. It's so big. Daddy's new pillow is good. I wish I had one.
Me: *wheels turning* Well, if you live on your own when you grow up,
you can have a big bed too. But if you live with me, you have
to stay in your bunk bed.
PdG: A big bed all to myself?
ME: Yep, and I'd even buy you a pillow like Daddy's for a housewarming present.
PdG: I would get presents?
Me: Uh-huh, and then you could eat candy for dinner and stay up all night
watching Animal Planet.
PdG: That sounds good.
Me: You have no idea.

Thursday, March 15

Fun With Dinner

As is often the case these days I find myself in the same pickle as my lone commenter Dennis.

What to make for dinner?

So lastnight I came up with a masterpiece, if I do say so myself.

I used some leftover spaghetti sauce, whatever random remainders were in my collection of pasta boxes. Mixed it all together, covered it in cheese, and baked it for 40 min at 350.

So what? you say. That's just "Spaghetti Pie"!

My secret ingredient.

Fried Polish Sausage, layered between the pasta layer and the sauce layer.


Sarge is afraid that Piko de Gallo is going to go to school and announce infront of everyone that we had "Hide The Sausage" for dinner.

Also, tonight is my first PTA meeting. Gods help me!

Tuesday, March 13


Oh my.

Edited to add:
And the wank goes on and on....
My favorite from lj user anonyrat:
"Complaining that 300 doesn't accurately represent the battle of Thermopylae is like complaining that Captain America punching Hitler in the face doesn't accurately represent World War 2."


Friday, March 9

How Rude!

So I was mailing some stuff at the Post Office the other day. And as usual at 10am on a weekday, there is only one postal clerk at the desk. Normally this is not to big of a deal, but lately it seems to be pretty busy at that time, there are at least 3 people waiting in line when I get there.

The postal clerk that works the desk is old as dirt, and pretty slow. But she makes up for it by being very helpful, and extremely nice. At least to me.

Anyway, I'm standing there patiently waiting my turn, and the two people in line behind me start talking. They are: Old Dude=OD, and Old Lady=OL, I think that they know each other, but they did not come in together.

OD & OL exchange hellos etc.

OD:Oh God!!She is the slowest worker they have!
OL:Says something about how she usually goes to another post office.
OD:She is so slow!! I used to go to (Some other) Post Office,
and she worked there, and they all agreed that she is the slowest worker ever! They should have another person at the desk. She is SO SLOW!!

Old Dude is not speaking in a quiet conversational voice. He is practically yelling. I'm sure the clerk can hear him.

OD: That's the thing with government work, it's hard to get rid of people.
She's SO SLOW!!

Holy crap! As if waiting in line at the post office is not torture enough!

I swear I was standing in line for about 10 minutes, and he was complaining LOUDLY the whole time. And I do believe that the clerk went slower with every complaint.

So I finally get to the desk, exchange prolonged pleasantries with the clerk, oh poo, my mailing tubes just will not stay on the scale!! I absolutely must check to see if the letter I am mailing has enough postage. And naturally I need stamps. Oh, hmmmmm....the quilts...ooooor the I did decide on the quilts, and as I was putting them in my wallet I said very quietly to myself "hmmm, these are quite nice."

"Yes they are aren't they?" The postal clerk responds.

Oh damn dude. I wish I could have thought of a reason to hang around till he got to the counter.

Saturday, March 3

Easy Girl's Day Kanzashi

Kanzashi is a folded cloth hair ornament worn by ladies and girls in Japan. They are usually quite complex and elaborate, not to mention expensive. Piko de Gallo and I came up with a pretty easy and cheap method of making them ourselves.

Here are the supplies you are going to need.
Flat Glue Dots
Pop-up (raised) Glue Dots
Hair Clips
Floral Pearl sprays, I got these at the local Michael's, they can be found in the wedding, or floral section.
Artificial cherry blossoms, these were from the dollar store. They look pretty realistic.

Place one of the flat glue dots onto the non-opening side of the clip. Be careful that the glue dot is completely on the hair clip, or it could stick to your hair.

Place the pearl spray onto that glue dot, and press firmly into place.

Put one of the raised glue dots onto the back of a cherry blossom.

Press that cherry blossom onto the hair clip over the other glue dot and pearl spray. Again, be careful that the glue is completely on the clip, and not overflowing anywhere.

Tah-dah! Easy, cute, cheap, Kanzashi!

And as you can see, easy to do with the kids. Piko de G is 4 1/2, and did this craft with minimal parental interference. We also took this idea to her pre-school and did it with the girls there as well.

Happy Girl's Day!

I'll upload some craft tutorials later!