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animal ears!

As part of the Make Art Family Day programming, the Museum of Craft and Design invited me to lead the animal ear headband craft inspired by the current exhibit: Judy Kensley McKie’sΒ Cast of Characters.

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Charlotte at the Museum gathered all these great supplies to use, including this fascinating glitter fabric paper that (get this!) doesn’t flake off or make a mess! We had headbands in all the colors, plus sparkly gems and furry poms.

It was fun to see people get creative with the supplies set out. Some made headbands inspired by real animals; some created their own creatures.

We got your polar bear, your ram, mythical leaf creatures…

Headbands inspired by starfish, bunnies, deer, lion cubs…

Yay, crafternoon! Also, headbands and headdresses need to be a thing people wear on the regular. They are so fun!

red, white, and indigo.

I love me a good party theme pun, so when Fourth of July rolled around I was like, um “red, white and indigo?” Yes! I invited some friends to join me for an afternoon of casual indigo dyeing.

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My friend Laura laser beamed a bunch of shapes for me out of acrylic. I had been dyeing to use them. They are brilliant! And since they are clear you can see some of the color change on the fabric.

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The big reveal…

 

 

Not a lot of pictures here because I was busy having too much fun. Mostly I just wanted to share my pun with you. 😜

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I leave you with these fun patriotic donuts.

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And this video…

 

 

Until my next pun party! Hope you all had a fun, happy, and spectacular 4th!

Check out my previous posts about indigo dyeing, too: Ready, Set, Indigo / Indigo Magic

cactus pricklies.

Back in the desert! A quick work trip to the Palm Springs area means I get to do a little exploring. I stumbled uponΒ Moller’s Garden CenterΒ  where cactus dreams come true.

Moller’s has lots of plant varieties, but I was in the market for a cactus to bring home to my parents. I am obsessed with cacti right now (I blame Moorten). They don’t fair too well in the Bay Area (where I live); my parents, though live in a warm and dry climate – perfect for cacti!

I got these lil nuggets. One turns purple in the winter! You can see it here turning back to green…

I also found out the furry fuzzy soft looking dots on these cacti are not cute and fluffy at all. I rammed my hand into the purple one while trying to stop the cart and all those little pricklies, though they looked like fur on my knuckles, were painful to remove. I still have spikes in my hand that were too small to remove; it’s been over a month now!

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Cactus pro tips / life tips: Remove tiny pricklies with a microfiber cloth (my coworker taught be this one!). Duct tape seems to work, too, but not as well (that’s what the nursery folks had on hand). And, when in the desert, always travel with tweezers (the pricklies get everywhere…not fun). Also, maybe just stay away from cacti (but they’re so cute!).

Do you have a fascination with desert plants, too? Share your faves below.

chocolate party.

My sister and I threw a chocolate themed party for Father’s Day this year. We had a chocolate tasting, a chocolate inspired menu, and a chocolate activity. This could be a fun party idea for any occasion!

Chocolate Tasting
I searched for locally made chocolate bars and found Nohmad Snack co based in Torrance. We tried four of their single origin bars.

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Chocolate Menu
It was a fun challenge to come up with a chocolate menu that wasn’t all sweet. I made chicken mole, cauliflower and peppers with picada sauce, and chocolate bread pudding. For the mole, I used Oaktown Spice Shop‘s Mole Poblano blend – a nice shortcut! For the veggie dish, oh my gosh, make double the picada sauce – it is so good. For the bread pudding, I was super impressed that I made a custard and not egg drop soup!

Chocolate Activity
What’s a family hang out day without an activity! My sister put together a design-your-own chocolate dessert topping. My niece got really into it. She made a double-sided piece!

Where the chocolate fans at? Do you like to cook and play with chocolate, too? Share your tasty tales below.Β 

lavender festival.

If you’re a fan of lavender, I highly recommend the Lavender Festival in Cherry Valley. It’s not a U-Pick type of experience (which is something else on my list of funs to do!), but it’s an immersive lavender experience.img_6429-1There’s shopping, music, hay rides, crafts, food…plus, it doesn’t get ridiculously crowded so you can enjoy in a relaxed setting. This year I went with my sister, niece, and nephews.img_6419-1Food
First things first, there was so many lavender-inspired foods and beverages. It was warm out so we tried the lavender lemonade, iced tea, and ice cream. I wished we were hungrier because then we could have also tried the lavender cheesecake and beef brisket (yes, beef brisket!). Also, they have an afternoon tea and a sit-down farm to table dinner that I would have loved to be a part of. Next time!

Shopping
The farm has an extensive line of lavender projects for sale. They also invited a few local makers to vend. You name it and they probably infused lavender into it – tea, lotions, honey, face masks, moist towelettes, salt, soap… and of course, you could also pick up some lavender plants.Hay Ride
I went on my first hay ride! It was crazy dusty, but I loved every minute. We traveled through the lavender fields via horse-drawn carriage and learned about the farm’s history and current practices. We even saw an ~1100-year-old oak tree.Crafts
Surprise, surprise, I didn’t take any of the craft workshops, but they all sounded fun – lavender crowns, bath salts, aromatherapy blends, and lip balm…. I did, however, make lavender-inspired felt flower crowns for us to wear and people kept asking where we bought them. πŸ˜‰More!
It was fun to spend the afternoon with family. We played giant chess and enjoyed the sunshine. Towards the end of our visit my sister and I frolicked in the lavender fields. Plus, I went home with goat milk soap, yarn made with farm sheep wool and dyed with eucalyptus that grows on the farm, and a lavender clay mask. Also, we saw a llama.Gallivant on farms much? Share some of your adventures!

ice cream pawty.

Happy First Day of Summer! Here’s a fun idea for a summer day, or any day really – an ice cream pawty!

My friend Laura threw an ice cream pawty for her pup Pebbles!Β Laura set up human snacks plus puppy ice cream and toppings. How cute are these emoji labels for the puppy toppings? Per crafty friend protocol, I helped with some of the decor set up. We strung up garlands, and scattered ice cream and Pebbles head photo props around the pawty. I also helped with making signs.

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OoOoo, and check out this suspended centerpiece she put together, too – honeycombs for the win!

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Ice cream time! The human ice cream was catered by Tucker’s in Alameda. We all got two scoops plus all the toppings we wanted!

The humans had fun, and I think the pups did, too!

Happy birthday, Pebbles! Let’s recap the last pawty, too.

a day at the races.

I have lived in the Bay Area for almost fourteen years now and whenever I drive by Golden Gate fields I think to myself “hm, I should go there.” Well, I finally went!

My friend and I went for Dollar Sunday which also happened to be closing day. Entrance, programs, hot dogs, beer, and mimosas were all $1 each. A steal!

But, (what had happened was…) we ended up entering the fields at the top floor and paying $5 for entrance which granted us access to all three levels of the arena (instead of just two levels). And then a lady offered us a reserved box seat for $5 per person. The alternative was free in the sun or free in shade with a not-as-good view. So we went for it. So much for Dollar Sunday! But I’d say it was worth it. We felt real adult/fancy. And every time we left our seat we knew we could come back to it, no problem.

We did, however, partake in the dollar food. Hot dogs, beer, and mimosas for the win! Beer was Budweiser and mimosas were definitely orange juiced down, but hey – it was a dollar. Note: There are other food and drink options throughout the arena, too, but be prepared to spend stadium prices. If you want dollar items, you must exchange money for tokens and get a wristband if you’re getting alcohol.

We also, after watching a few races, decided to bet on a horse based on it’s name. We placed our bets on a horse named Cash Money…and then we lost all of our cash money because he came in seventh place. πŸ˜›

The programs have a betting guide so you know how to place your bet at the teller/window. You can even bet on races happening in other parts of the country. For our visit we kept it simple: “At Golden Gate Fields, Race 4, $5 to win on #1.” In other words, we placed our bet for Race #4 at Golden Gate Fields, and we put $5 on horse #1 (Cash Money!) to place first. For this race, we watched up close.

And then for the next race, we didn’t bet, but I guessed the winning horse correctly! #4! (Aww…)

Races happen every half hour or so. In between races you can walk around and explore the grounds, visit the horses up close, and wave hello to the jockeys and trainers.

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Tips: For Dollar Sundays, you must enter the stadium at the lower level to get $1 admission. Definitely go up to the fence to get a close-up of the horses, relax, enjoy the time with your company, and bet on a horse at least once.

Yay! That was fun! Oh, PS, I wore a big hat!

Are you a derby fan? Share your horse race tales (tails? ;)) below!