Friday, January 28

more hearts

More hearts for you. I feel like I am celebrating Valentine's Day a little early--but I for some reason I am really into the hearts this year! I saw a tutorial on a blog the other day on how to make little heart garlands. I think Max and I shall make some soon.

I got a head start and started cutting some hearts out of an old book the other day. (Librarians, please advert your eyes.) Then of course I had to take their picture:

If you love it, I just put one in my etsy store too.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, January 27

"do what I do"

Max is really into showing Cora how to do things lately. The other day he tried to teach her to brush her teeth:

"Do what I do Cora."

It was the cutest. He got out her little toothbrush, and put the toothpaste on for her.

He got a little frustrated when Cora did not follow his instructions. I explained that she is a little too young to be able to follow his direction exactly. He seemed OK with this. It is so neat to see Max in a big brother role. He loves his little Cora so much. (Well, he loves her until she tears up his Lego castle or train track.)

Love having two.

Thursday, January 20


Thanks for all the input on the cabinets! It is fun to see what other people think about different decorating ideas. (Note how passionate Andrew is on the cabinets. He has never commented on my blog before. Please note how it was the subject of cabinet painting that led him to take the time to create a Google account. He is serious.)

I do think that in the long run we plan on doing a major kitchen renovation, and for that we have compromised on white upper cabinets and dark lower ones. (Like you suggested Lora!) This will not happen for a long time, however, so in the mean time I will continue to beg and plead for white buckets of paint.

So dramatic.

On another note, I looked down the other day and saw a heart in the slush. Lovely! It is funny how if you really look around you can find pretty things everywhere--even in the dirty slush on the street. I may list this little photo in my etsy would be perfect for a little Valentine gift!

Speaking of hearts, mine grew a couple sizes yesterday:

My little brother is now a dad...and I am so proud. Callie June far exceeded my expectations for cuteness by a mile. Love you little girl! Look at those little wrinkly hands! Precious and perfect!

Wednesday, January 19

by a show of hands...

OK...who thinks that the cabinets in my kitchen would look better if they were white? (Try to tune out the distractions in this picture: table covered with things, pots and pans and a partially deflated ball on the floor, that adorable child in her high chair...)

Oh my! Look at all the hands fly up! I think they would too!

Last spring, with the help of my mom and my step-dad Jerry, we did a little kitchen facelift. (Added pretty bead board, painted the built in cabinet, and painted the walls.) It looks so pretty!

Now, I thought I was finished, but those cabinets keep nagging at me! "Paint me!" "Paint me!" Plus, I adore white kitchens. Andrew has an extreme distaste for anything wood to be painted. I do see his point on most things. These cabinets are nice, newish cabinets so he is somewhat right. This to paint or not to paint disagreement has probably been the one thing that Andrew and I cannot meet in the middle on.

This is what happens when a "paint it!" girl marries a "don't paint it!" boy. I will keep you posted!

Sunday, January 16

repeat after me

I like winter.

I like winter.

I like winter.

I like winter.

Hoping that if I say it enough times I will actually start to believe it.

I do love winter clothes: boots and scarves especially. I love that when you are out and about and have a nice fountain pop it lasts all day in the car.

Let's focus on the positives shall we?

I like winter.

I like winter.

I like winter.

Wednesday, January 12

a (smallish) etsy update

Good morning! I did a little etsy updating yesterday. I added 4 little photographs to my shop. Click here to check them out!

Why photographs and not paintings? Well, it goes along with my little word for the year: focus. I love painting...I especially love watercolor. The problem is, that I find that at the end of the day I don't really want to paint. I think to get better at something (painting) you just have to do it all the time. Whenever I would ask other more experienced artists about how to know what to paint, how to find your focus, etc. the reply was usually: "Just paint." "Paint a lot."

So, painting has turned into a little frustration for me, instead of the fun it used to be. I'm not going to quit forever, or sell all my paintbrushes or anything crazy like that. I bet I will still paint some this year, but maybe allow it to be just for me, or just for fun.

The photos, however, seem to come really easy to me right now. Perhaps it is because my camera is like an extension of my arm at this point in my life. I do take lots of pictures. I take pictures every day. It fits into my life with small children a little bit better. Plus, I really am longing for a feeling of mastery with something. Being really good at something, rather than sort of good at several things.

Ah....doesn't it feel good to clean a couple things of your plate every once in a while?

Tuesday, January 11

my coat (a.k.a. "my mom is going to love this")

Miss Cora needed a coat. For fun my mom dug out the coat I wore when I was Cora's age. It fit perfect and looks so cute. The hood has the most adorable ruffles all the way around it.

We decided that Cora should just wear my coat:

This morning I found the picture of me in the coat. Fun!

Hopefully soon I can put Cora in the snow pants that go with the coat, and we can more accurately re-create the picture of me. I LOVE stuff like this!

Monday, January 10

so true Max, so true

Max: (upon finding a photo of himself as a baby the other day) Oh Mommy! Look!

Me: What is it?

Max: A picture of Cora!

Me: No, that's you!

Max: It is? Wow Mommy! How did you get it out of your camera?

Max was in amazement to see a photo of himself. On paper. As in "out of the camera" and "out of the computer". Isn't it funny how this is the main way he sees pictures? On the back of my camera and on the computer screen? I bet that is how a lot of children see photos now. It is probably more and more rare to sit down and flip through an actual album of photos. Crazy!

I am trying to change that, one year at a time here in the Wagner house. I finally got all my 2010 photos sorted out, and they are ready to be printed. I think I will send them to Shutterfly later this week. Lately I have been using a more local printer: Jack's Camera Shop in downtown Muncie. There prints are a little pricer, (not much, but when you print 365 photos at a time you feel the difference!) and some of my photos from last year are a little sub-par. (I'm not saying this to draw complements, promise!) So, the goal for this year is to make each photo worthy of a Jack's print.

For example, lots of days I have been lazy and just shot anything to call the day "done" as far as the photo goes. This year I really want to work on the photo for each day, to get something really good. Yesterday Max and Andrew were playing checkers, and instead of taking one picture, I took about 20 until I got the one that was just right.

Good goal, huh? We'll see how I"m doing with it about March!

I purchased an album for my 2011 photos. Find out about it by going here. I am excited to already have all the elements in my hand so I can work on it a little at a time, rather than all at the end. It will be easier to tell the story of the year rather than having just a visual grouping of days.

Thursday, January 6

one little word for 2011

Now that we are almost a full week into the new year, I thought I would share a little idea/aspiration/"whatever you would like to call it" with you.

I read several blogs. Several. They rotate in and out, but one of the ones I have read since finding it a few years ago is the blog of the talented Ali Edwards. She is a "memory keeper" extrordinare. Super creative, artistic and inspiring.

Every year she chooses a word for the year. Neat. So, I thought this year I would pick a word for my year. What is the purpose of the word? To be whatever you want, I guess. For me, it is almost like a catch all resolution. Something to keep in your mind and heart as you go about the days, weeks, months of 2011. So what's my word?

Focus. That's the word for me this year.

Why focus?

Lots of reasons, but the main one being that I get so frustrated with myself because I have such a hard time following through with things. I have so many ideas, but very few of them ever get accomplished because by the time I get around to do it, my mind is already on to something else. Art ideas, decorating ideas, fun things to do with the kids, etc. In my life right now I need to really simplify things to focus on the things that really matter, the things I really want to do. One project at a time, one thing at a time.

I am still working on how to really implement this idea in my life, but I can already tell a difference in how I have approached certain things lately:
The other night I cleaned out the closet in mine and Andrew's bedroom. Cleaned out as in finished. Done. I actually focused on something and finished it. I was so proud of myself. (I know to many this is a small thing, cleaning out a closet. For me it was huge because I usually start something and then get totally sidetracked by something else and it never gets done.)

I was also drawn to this idea of focus because as a stay-at-home mom this is such a novel and luxurious idea. A day with small children is one that is full of stops and starts, short bursts of this and that. Also, I know that this time with my young children is going fast, and how wonderful to remind myself to stop and focus on them. Play Tinkertoys. Read books. Slow down. Focus.

I am excited to see how this little word changes the way I approach things this year. I hope to share a little bit here and there to report my progress with things relating to this idea of focus. Wish me luck!