Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Mushroom Trio

I've been trying to get back into painting. The last painting I had done was the pair of golden retrievers back in 2012. More than two years ago! This was all prior to M being born. After he turned one I think I started getting the hang of things and adapting to life with a child. Yes, it took a year. Actually, who am I kidding, I'm still adapting.

But around March I decided I really needed to get back to doing some of my hobbies. So I resolved to 1) start running again and 2) start painting again. I'm happy to report I've been pretty successful at both! Since March I've been pretty good at setting aside some time in the evenings for painting. Not every night. And not very much time. Usually I just work for about an hour. But hey, its something! I'm actually working on my third painting of the year. (More pictures to come.) Not bad considering I've always been a pretty slow painter to begin with.

Around April was when I finished my first one. This little group of mushrooms:

Completed 2015
Oil on Canvas

If I'm being honest, this painting came about because I, on a whim, decided to pull out my painting supplies and need a quick subject. So I raided the fridge, and found mushrooms :) I always have produce on hand.

And that's how it began. Hoping to keep this up.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

New Instagram Account

So... I've been pretty terrible at posting anything here lately. But I have been working on stuff! Just in short spurts. Usually between the hours of 9-10pm when the child is in bed. After everything from the day has been cleaned up and everything for the next day has been readied. Of course some days just involve plopping down in front of the tv and doing nothing.

I decided to start an official Colorful Engineer Instagram account to post progress pictures when I am actually working on something. It's much easier than posting to the blog :) You can follow me @colorfulengineer.


I am hoping to get better at posting here too. But we'll see. Baby steps.

Friday, March 20, 2015


Oh hey there. I'm a month shy of it being a year since my last post. Yikes! I don't care what anyone says... life gets super busy after having a kid. Projects are far and few between but I do manage to work on some things occasionally.

And I managed to do a painting! That will be the next post.

For now, my silhouettes of the kids...


I actually finished these a few months ago but hadn't gotten them printed. My initial plan was to do the whole family. But... well... 2 out of 4 isn't bad. I think I'll just keep them as the kids. Nobody cares about the parents anymore anyways!

The exciting part about these is that I actually had them printed on art paper which is something new for me. Obviously you can't tell this through the screen. I uploaded my images to and ordered prints through the website. They turned out pretty good actually. I'll have to keep them in mind in the future.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

A New Year, a New Garden

It's that time of year again... when we pretend to have a green thumb. Last year we skipped the gardening. We had signed up for a full CSA share. And with being pregnant and all, we decided we didn't need the additional responsibility of taking care of a garden. But this year we've decided to give it a try. I'm not expecting too much success our first year, but we'll see how it goes. All I really want are fresh tomatoes. This year we've gone much bigger than we have in the past. We are no longer in a townhouse. And we no longer have cute garden boxes. We've gone much bigger.


20x30 feet to be exact. This could either go really well. Or really bad.

The plan is to not go crazy this year. Again, all I really want are fresh tomatoes. With the abundance of stinkbugs in the areas, I'm not sure how successful we'll even be. Mike wants hot peppers, so we'll be planting a bunch of those. And herbs. Because I need fresh basil with the tomatoes. The rest of the stuff, I don't care as much about.

This was the original plan:


I used this handy garden planner to help plan things out. Well we've already abandoned the plan and just started planting. :) The raspberries are no longer located in the garden because apparently they can get unruly. We are skipping spinach. We are skipping peas, but possibly doing beans. And everything is moving locations. We will see how much actually gets planted.

So far we have some nice broccoli plants in the ground.


Zoom in? Sure.


We bought broccoli plants from the store. We had started some seedlings but they haven't been doing so hot. And since it was time to start the cold weather plants we just decided to buy plants. We're not ashamed.

We've also planted some kale and spring onions. We planted those seeds directly just this week. So... time will tell.

The rest of the plants are still incubating in the house.



The seedling got off to a bit of a rough start. We started seeds in egg cartons and they were doing great. Then we thought they'd need more space so we tried transplanting them and they did not like that at all. Only a few survived so we've basically started over. When it comes time to plant we may just end up buying more plants :)

Fingers crossed this goes well.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Baptism Cake

This post has been sitting as a draft for a couple of months now. We had a baptism for Baby G in February so yes, its been that long.

Much like this post, it took us a while to get things squared away for the baptism. At 6 months old, Baby G was looking sharp in his 12-18 month baptism outfit. Yes, that's right.... 12-18 month.

We invited mostly family to the baptism and I tried keeping the food pretty simple. Chicken salad sandwiches and pulled pork... from Costco, of course. However I really wanted to make the cake. I'm determined to get back into doing little crafty projects here and there. So I tasked myself with making a cake.


As usual Pinterest had some good pictures for inspiration. Apparently baptism cakes can get pretty extravagant. Obviously, that's not what I was looking for. But here are some ideas I did like: here, here, and here. Basically anything that looked like it involved just placing a cross on the cake I was all about.

Since hours in the day seem pretty tight these days, I spaced out the cake making during one week. I baked and froze the cakes early in the week. And then made the fondant a couple days before I needed it. And actually, like the monkey cake I made, I saved some time by also buying a container of fondant. I bought some Fondarific fondant from Amazon and I must say, I'm a fan! So basically all the parts were prepared ahead of time and assembly happened the night before the baptism.


My cake making skills are still far from perfect. But luckily more layers can be used to hide things.

Dang. There's still a thumb print.

The white fondant covering the cake is my homemade stuff. And the blue is the store-bought.  I must say the store bought stuff rolls out much smoother. The consistency is very close to that of Play-doh. So its very fun to work with :)

Decorating basically involved three steps:

1) Wrapping a ribbon around the cake. I found this handy little tool in my toolbox.


2) Adding a cross on top.


3) Adding candy pearls around the cross and ribbon.


Step 3 was definitely the most tedious. Every couple of minutes one or two of little pearls would fall on the floor and bounce around for a bit. But in the end it got done. And I even got to bed at a reasonable hour!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Memory Box for Baby

So I had a baby..... almost 6 months ago. I just want to confirm that not much gets done when you have a baby. Okay, let me clarify. Not much gets done except for feeding the baby, taking care of the baby, playing with the baby, and loving the baby. You know... taking care of another human being. In my spare time now I'm generally running around the house like a mad woman trying to pick stuff up, throw in a load of laundry, or cook some sort of meal. I'm not complaining though. Really! But it's true what they say, that your life really changes after the baby comes. And it's really hard to comprehend until it actually happens! Before Baby G arrived I really worried that I wouldn't have the patience to take care of someone else. I really enjoyed my free time. But honestly, giving up most of my free time has been easy. Totally worth it :)

I do occasionally find some time for a little project. That painting I planned for the nursery? It's still a blank canvas. I might finish before Baby G is 18. But smaller projects happen here and there.

One of the first projects I did after Baby G's birth was create a memory box with all of his birth items. I got the idea from Pinterest. I obviously wanted to hold on to all of these things, so why not display them? I started by ordering a shadow box off of Amazon. (So much easier than taking a 2-month old to the store.)


The shadow box arrived. It sat for awhile. And then one day during nap time I gathered everything I wanted to use. I am most proud that I managed to hold on to all 3 of our hospital bands. Go me.


Ugh. I just realized I misspelled "hospital" not once, but twice. Ignore, please! I'm not fixing it.

Then came assembly. Basically I used the hospital blanket as a backdrop for everything else. This was my first go at it.


It looks a little cramped, doesn't it? It hung on the wall like this for awhile until finally one day I cut the blanket up. Why I tried to stuff an entire blanket in that frame, I don't know. Here's how it ended up.


Not bad.

Okay, off I go to start the day!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Nursery

The nursery is done. All we need is the baby.


You may recall the argyle walls that were done a couple months ago. Aside from the argyle, I didn't really want any particular theme for the room. With no theme we'd be free to decorate with just about anything that was fun and/or cute.

Like this crazy thing...


This was actually a Christmastime white elephant gift that came from Colombia. It's pretty entertaining. You can't see it in this picture but there is a toilet on the back, which makes it even better.




Clearly I still have some work to do. One day there will be a painting on that blue wall.

Some of my favorite things:

The book wall, featuring books we've received as gifts. This kid better love to read.


The mobile I made here:


Meatball's twin:


Baby soccer cleats. They aren't meant to be decor but somehow they've become a prominent display on the dresser:


So sure, the baby might not be sleeping here immediately. But that's okay. In the meantime Meatball will continue hunting around looking for toys on the floor.