Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Faerie Garden!!!

Hands down the most fun the kids and I have had on an art project! We found a small space in the backyard that is dappled sunlight for most of the day. We decided it was perfect for a faerie garden. We spent weeks painting houses (faeries have wings, makes sense they would like living in bird houses) and discussing what to plant. Zooey was the forman and creative director of the whole area - she chose what went where, and what our general color palette would be, but we all had freedom to paint as we chose. Ike was the fastest painter of all of us, Zooey was careful and diliberate, I spent the bulk of my time on just one thing, and Meagan handcrafted the "stained glass" window for the chapel (although its really fused glass). Finally, this past weekend, Jon got to contribute by doing some of the planting... Zooey has also sprinkled the area with native wildflower seeds and thyme... we already have some sprouts. Fingers crossed that it will grow in, and the kids will no doubt keep finding things to contribute - they have noted that the fairy tree-house for the crepe myrtle is not finished... Let's walk through the Faerie Garden now:

We start with the fairy door at the far right - it is the gateway between the magical world and our backyard - from right to left, you see the crepe myrtle (with our brass snail guarding the unfinished tree house), chapel, and dance hall. In the back, you see the bunnies marking the space where the watchtower will go (it is in production).

This is a close up of the chapel. Isn't it lovely? Meagan was responsible for this project, and hand made the window at her fused glass studio. Zooey chose this fancier pot for the chapel to sit on, knowing it would add to the grandure of it. On the crepe, you can see the base of the treehouse, and below - next to the daffodil, you can see a wishing well - painted by the cutest 4-year-old in the neighborhood, a friend who helped us out.

Here we see a few residences - Zooey's yellow house really shines here. You can see Ike's Fairy Prince castle - and really get a feel for what the garden will be when the thyme and flowers grow in. Behind the red house, we've got a "hens and chicks" succulent, and you can see some ruby grass and lavender here. You can also see that the Fairys are quite green - choosing solar power to help them with their wee electricity needs.

Meagan's gazebo is worth showing because it was our first completed structure for the garden. It will be the home for fairy tea parties, and summer concerts.

This was my main project - the hippy caravan. I really had fun, although at one point it was in danger of looking like the Mystery Machine from Scooby Doo. You can see Zooey's park benches and fairy fences (to keep the mosquitos out), and her little blue house. The windmill was an ensemble piece involving Ike, myself, and Savannah, another neighborhood friend who helped out. You can see Zooey's favorite plant, the purple Pincushion flower, and Ike's Lambs Ear he chose for the garden. I forgot what that scrubby little plant behind the caravan is called, but I liked it because it looked kinda like a little mesquite bush (they will be Texan Fairys after all, right).

You can see the work we put in and the fun we had. Zooey still plans to add a few small chipped upside down pots, for frog houses. We get quite a few toads in the Spring and Fall, so she's hoping they will move into the garden. Stay tuned - I plan on updating this post when the plants grow in - perhaps mid-Summer? Anyway... thanks for reading!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Journal Assignment - Sept. 7, 1983

It's fruitless to argue with my parents about my room. They think it should be cleaned every weekend. It's my room and I should be able to clean it when I want. I don't know what their problem is, FYI says that a child should be able to create their own environment. They say that the kid will do better in school and at home. They are sick of that excuse though. My new one is: When the time comes for me to clean it, its so dirty, I'll mess it up trying to clean it.

I've been searching for this journal entry!!! We've gone back in time about 6 months or so to address 13-year-old Nisa. I know you don't understand a parent's need for your room to be clean, but I do - I'm the parent to two slobby children, whose rooms are... well lets just say that FEMA is on stand-by. Its important for me for the rooms to be clean, mainly because... well its just that... look - cleanliness is important because... Drat! I can't think of a solid reason you should clean your room. I know that my kids don't have food trash in their rooms, so its not really a sanitary issue. And I know that you tried to keep the food trash out of your room too. I'd like to say that its easier to find stuff if your room is organized, but my kids, like yourself, seem to know where things are in those messy piles. I'd like to say that cleaning your room will make your folks happy - and it will, but its not the kind of approval you are looking for. Look - just try to be tidy, your messy room drives them crazy, even if they can't explain why. In the longrun, you will grow up and be driven crazy by messiness too! You will even develop a weird compulsion to organize the dishes in the dishwasher, and hang your clean clothes by style and color. But you'll keep your creativity - refusing to put books in alpha by author order! Why should you, when its more awesome to group them by size and color? And some piles will remain, but squarely in the closet, and out of sight. Good luck with the mess - don't strain yourself.

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Kids have Wheels!

I'm taking a break from the journal with this headline - both the kids learned to ride their bikes this past weekend (no training wheels in sight)!!!

Everyone has been so excited about it, that I thought I'd post some photos. I hope you enjoy them!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Journal Assignment - April 18, 1984

If I could have any animal in the world, I would choose a zebra. They are big and pretty and their stripes trip me out. They are totally unique and I just think it would be neat to have one that I could ride to places on. Its almos as good as showing up in a limo.

I'm about to fall asleep. I know you care but anyway. I stayed up (couldn't get to sleep) until 2:00 am this morning. Woke up at 7:00 am (dead to the world) I'm still trying to wake up.

Oh 14-Nisa... I still think that sounds fun. I NEVER dreamed I'd be driving a Mom-mobile back in those days. I had a poster of an electric blue Porsche 911 ragtop. It was beautiful! Now I drive a powder blue Nissan Quest minivan! Woo hoo! Not quite a zebra or a Porsche. But I don't think I've compromised too much as a Mom. There was that year I spent with a 5-yr-old and a 2-yr-old and had blue hair (electric blue wasn't available, so I went with midnight blue). I DO have electric blue toenails, though! There are the rockin' flames on the minivan - and the bumper sticker that implies we are all going to hell in a handbasket. There are my numerous t-shirts covered in skulls... I think I still show my zebra stripes from time to time, but I guess nowadays I do it in a more muted fashion. 39 is a long way from 14, but I still understand my 14-Nisa's idea about standing out in a crowd and stickin' it to "da Man." I just do it in a quieter way in my old age I guess!