We have tickets!

 We had some really sweet visits with our family this summer.
Here is just a real quick peek...

We love California, but, we sure do miss Alabama.  And that is the #1 reason. 
While our parents were out here,
they played ball with the kids and watched them perform all their talents. 
We had cooked and ate meals together. 
And laughed.  
Nothing too spectacular, just sharing life together.
It was wonderful.

So, I guess I shouldn't have been surprised when after the last visit Trek starts talking non-stop about going on an airplane to Alabama.  I told him we have to have plane tickets to go.  The first thing he did when he got home from school that day was to make us all tickets. 
Completely by himself, he cut and colored each one of us a ticket.

"Now, can we go to Alabama?" he asked me.
What do you say to that?!

You say "yes" and get some real tickets to go back (thanks moms and dads for helping out :)
But now the problem is explaining to a 2 and 3 year old the concept of time.
Trek told his teacher that he wouldn't be at school next week because he was going to Alabama.
And Dylan is fussing because he can't go on the airplane right NOW.
We had to tell Dylan that the plane just isn't ready yet and Trek has to wait until after Halloween.
And we have this conversation daily.

Suffice it to say, we are all looking forward to our trip back to the heart of Dixie!


Grand Opening of ByBeccaG.etsy.com!

I am so excited about this!

Today I am announcing...

G R A N D   O P E N I N G !

Please go over and take a look.  There are more fun designs and items to see--all made from recycled tees!

Enjoy a 15% discount when you use the code GRAND at checkout and feel free to pass it along to your friends!

Thanks for celebrating with me!


Paper Mache Project for Me

So, while the kids were working on their paper mache project,
I started my own little thing...
paper mache beads!

The night before I had grabbed the bag of shredded paper from my husbands office and
let it soak in water until the morning.
Squeeze out the water and add paper mache paste
until you get a sticky dough consistency

Next, I took handfuls and squished it into balls.
I had trouble poking a hole through it after forming the ball so I formed the ball
around a toothpick and then removed the toothpick when I had the desired shape.
Let it completely dry.
You will have a very, light, hard, paper mache bead.
Now, you get to paint them!
I should have made more because I had a hard time deciding what colors to do.
I used water colors because I wanted the texture of the paper to really show.
Acryllic paints would give a more opaque covering.
Then give it a coat of clear acryllic spray for a bit of shine.

Here are some of the necklaces I made out of my beads.

I made one bracelet out of some beads I left white... 

Now the question is--
is this cute or
does it look like I have a string of spitwads on my arm?!
Tell me the truth, people.  My reputation as a fashionista is at stake.
(if you know me, you should be laughing at the thought of me as a fashionista.  but still, i need to know.)


Summer Art Project #1

This summer I had a little art class with my two older kids (they are 9 and 7), a few of their friends and whoever else happened to be around.

I picked up this Childcraft book at a thrift store months before summer and had decided right away that this paper-mache project would be one of our projects.

Is that clown not the cutest?!!

Step 1.  Find some empty bottles. 
The book says plastic, we used glass, they both work.
Put a little sand or gravel in the bottom to keep the bottle from tipping.
I actually forgot this part but it turned out fine because the glass bottle had enough weight on its own.

Step 2. 
Crush a piece of paper into a ball about the size of the head you want. 
Place the ball in the center of another piece of paper. 
Pick up the four corners and tightly twist them together.

Step 3.
Put the twisted end into the opening of the bottle.
Paste four layers of paper-mache over the ball and top part of the bottle.
You can also use a little tape to start with and then paper-mache over it.

Step 4.  Cover everything with about 4 layers of paper-mache.
(This is super fun!)
This is when you take strips of newspaper or magazine pages (non-glossy works better),
dip them into the paste and
smudge them onto the bottle.

Paper-mache paste can be made different ways:
--3 parts water to 1 part flour
--1 part wallpaper paste to 3 parts water
--2 parts glue to 1 part water
(we used the glue method)

Step 5.  Let it dry.

I kind of liked them at this stage. 
I can see trying this again with some different shapes and just leaving them in the unpainted stage.
But a some of the kids came up with really cute painted people.
And that brings us to..
Step 6.  Paint your bottle figure.
Use acrylic paint.  Add hair or other accessories if you want.
A couple kids added paper hats. (no pics of the hats, sorry)
Here are a couple of our finished products.
Blue-haired Fairy and Raiders Guy!


Tomorrow, I'm going to tell you about the project I was doing while they were busy with Bottle Figures!


The Official Food of San Francisco

Possibly one of the best discoveries we have made in California.  
The It's-It.

"a scoop of vanilla ice cream between two old fashioned oatmeal cookies 
and then lavishly dipped into dark chocolate coating"
mmm, m-mmm, MMMmmmm!

Here is how to eat an It's It...

 Here is how you feel after eating an It's-It.

 And, let's be honest...
He learned it by watching you, ok?!

For most of the 20th century, these were only available in the San Francisco bay area.  However, my non-Californian friends, you can now order them online and have them delivered to your front door!  Just click here.


In Progress

This is where I am...



lots of new fun items for my etsy shop!

A few items were posted this week and lots more to come! 

You can see a sneak peek of the "Littlest Birds" headband in different stages of completion.  We took some photos last night of the finished products and hope to have them in the shop this coming week.  Abs was one of the models and she was rockin' it!  I'm most excited about a eucalyptus design I have been working on that I will share with y'all soon.

You can see my shop at
or click on the etsy button at the right.

Happy Weekend!


Joe Friday + The Bear

Joe saw a picture of The Bear...

and said,
"hey, he's wearing a Michael Jackson hat."

Now, granted, I can see the resemblance. 
However, Bear Bryant is an ICON in Alabama. 
Jonathan and I are both from Alabama, raised on Alabama football. 
Joe, himself, was born there and lived there all of his toddler days. 
somewhere along the way,
we have failed as parents. 


DIY Birthday Tee

Here are my
two favorite two-year-olds
and the t-shirts I made for their birthdays...

I was inspired by these shirts I saw over on Dana's blog, MADE.  She used the first letter of the child's name and added some super cute embroidery.  You can find her tutorial here.

I'm not much of a hand sewer but I liked the color that the embroidery added.  So, instead,
I layered different colors of t-shirts. 
I used old shirts that I had on hand
(don't we all have some old or unloved t-shirts hanging around that could be put to better use?),
cut out the shapes,
and sewed it all together

A few tiny tips:
-sew around the numbers before sewing the shape onto the shirt
-it is easier to sew on multiple layers of t-shirt material
-use a smaller stitch

the sprinkle shirt tutorial was part of a series of crafts and projects all for BOYS!
Check out the rest of the projects under the heading Celebrate the Boy on Dana's blog.



Dylan Turned 2!

I love this age.  Some people love rocking the babies and maybe shed a tear when that baby starts to crawl and then walk and then run.  But I say "bring it on!"  I like it when they have a little bit of independence and LOVE to hear what comes out of their mouths!  Their limited vocabulary, L's that sound like W's and C's that sound like T's...presh.us. 

So, to celebrate the great grand age of two, we had a party.
Now, there are a lot of great birthday ideas out there.  Themes galore.  Cake, decorations, games, snacks, and favors to go with those themes.  And we have had some of those parties before.  Joe's third birthday was a pirate party.  They found buried treasure.  Dad tried to steal it but was captured and forced to walk the plank.  We had a fabulous time.  D's party was a fabulous time, too.  Just a bit simpler.
We went to, ahem,
Mickey D's
Don't judge. 
I brought balloons.

And made him that awesome shirt.  (Tell you how later this week.)
And I invited some of his sweet friends to come run around and scream with him in an enclosed space. 

And I gave him ice cream.

Bonus, the happy meal toy was a 2 year old sized light saber.
So, if you are stressing out about your child's next birthday party, don't sweat it.  Keep it simple. 
Balloons + sugar = instant party.
I mean did you see his face? 
He was lovin' it!


Best Dives of the Summer

We had such a blast this summer! 
I hope to be able to share some of the best parts here in the near future: 
our travels, camp adventures, art and craft projects, fun with visitors. 
I felt like the pool was a good place to start. 
We spent a lot of time swimming and jumping and splashing. 
So, without further ado, here are the nominees for

Best Dive Summer 2011

Abs:  "shot through the heart", "noodle jumping", and "the classic"

Joe:  "karate kid", "my dad can still throw me", "walking off a cliff"

Trek:  "I just started swimming by myself 3 days ago and now I want to give my mother a real heart attack", "cannonball", and "ninja kick"

Dylan:  (there were fewer pictures to choose from for this one.  probably because i was in serious lifeguard mode whenever Kamikazi here decided to get in the water.  however, i feel this one jump is worthy of a nomination)
"white dolphin"

Please leave your vote for Best Dive Summer 2011 in the comment section below.