Category Archives: Creative outlets

Creative, Crafty and Cool

capability mom finds the creative maven

Just stumbled upon The Creative Maven – wow! What a great resource! She is creative and a maven, as advertised, and she writes well and she is funny, too. I am fascinated with How to Re-Upholster a Wingback Chair.  I may not (okay – full disclosure – will never) attempt this particular project but there are some smaller (hopefully easier) chairs that I would like to try.

Great DIY tips – The Maven patches jeans, makes a painted umbrella stand  and she gives tutorials on the stuff she does so you can actually attempt them with a hope of success.capability mom coveting these jeans

I found this site through Today’s Creative Blog which is moving to from Blogger to WordPress so may be down but back up soon.

Then, ‘cuz I am such a computer whiz, I also found ModPodgeRocks which it does. Rock, I mean.Great decoupage projects and I just bought a giant container of the stuff. Love it. I have only decoupaged a table and the inside of a cabinet –

capability mom decoupage table

but would willingly decoupage almost anything. Maybe I should go look at this site for ideas first before I completely cover our house in decoupaged items.

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Filed under arts and crafts, Creative outlets, family Activities, Feed your head, soul, self, Finds, home, the mompreneurs

smart phones and apps

My day begins with a cup of tea, a glance at the Boston Globe (the Sox won) then an email check (maybe some on-line dawdling, I mean social media) and then getting kids off to camp, lunches, carpool and all. It does not (yet) involve a smart phone but I think that is about to change. Hiawatha Bray, the great tech columnist for the Globe (he was introduced to our school group during a tour of the Globe last year and is very funny, too), has a column in today’s Globe about smart phones and Google’s Android operating system. Basically you can either get an iPhone (but with service only through A T & T) or any other smart phone (Samsung and Dell are featured) through any other carrier. Read more here.

capability mom looks at appsThen, in my inbox was an email from a friend (okay, I was messing around with her iPhone yesterday) about a site called MomswithApps.com. Great site for developers of apps and families who want good family friendly apps.

From the site :  In November of 2009, four moms (who connected over Twitter) got on the phone to talk about their apps, how they were marketing them, and how they could work together to help spread the word. They decided to form a Google Group, and invited other mom developers to join. It quickly became a discussion, brainstorming and marketing forum about family-friendly apps. How do you successfully launch an app? What should you price it? How are you making your app compatible with iPad? You get the drill.

Besides the moms, there were also dads, aunts, grandmas and reviewers who came on board. With critical mass they launched the Moms With Apps blog, which focuses on articles about kids, technology, developers, and weekly featured apps. Over the last 9 months (no pun intended) the group has attracted over 100 parent and family-friendly developers, in addition to app reviewers and industry specialists.

There are apps for reading, apps for learning, apps for travel ( I am playing with MomMaps this morning), apps for parents, apps for fun & creativity, and apps for special needs. On Friday, they feature an app that anyone – you don’t have to be a developer – can submit – so send them your favorite app. Here is the email address: momswithapps@gmail.com. capability mom looks at appsA great site – well organized and thoughtful with cool age appropriate apps.

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Filed under Creative outlets, family Activities, Feed your head, soul, self, Finds, math games, Parents and Kids, some social media, the mompreneurs

Tomatoes Everywhere

Q & A Devra First at boston.com

Sometimes you find things you didn’t even know you were looking for – thank you, W). This was in yesterday’s Boston Globe (in the Ideas section).  An article about the history of tomatoes under Q & A (an interview by Devra First with David Gentilcore, professor of early modern history at the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom). Gentilcore wrote Pomodoro! A History of the Tomato in Italy.  It is difficult to imagine Italian food without the tomato and this is especially timely as we are following an Italian cooking theme in our house this week. If I am a little late in writing it is not because I am making dinner – because my children did and it was wonderful.  Truly better than anything I have been turning out lately.  So – our menu included fresh green salad with creamy Parmesan dressing, fantastic bruschetta, braised chicken with peas and potatoes (delicious!) and a Parmesan parsley risotto (as good as it sounds)…oh, dessert, too (yes – although I didn’t need it). Triple chocolate biscotti and a lemon pudding-like confection that I forget the name of – like a semifreddo but not quite that.  I am slow in getting going today because we are just back from a weekend in the Berkshires and I had some things to catch up on. Now that I have tackled part of that list, I have a new list…great, right?  Some of the things were easy – get light bulbs, confirm camp registration – you know, the usual. Couldn’t get the dog washed – they are closed today but did everything else – well, almost everything else. I will post the recipes from dinner under Recipes – Tried and True and write about the Berkshire trip, too.

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Filed under Creative outlets, dinners, Feed your head, soul, self, Finds, healthy, mom blogs, recipes - tried and true

Adirondack Chairs and an essay from the NYT on liking YA books

A thoughtful friend sent me this link and I am in love with the colors – perfect for the porch, patio, yard – love these chairs! http://www.archiesisland.com/pages/archies-story

Grab a pitcher of lemonade, cloudy or otherwise and a good book. Here is a piece in the NYT about other adults who like YA… The Kids’ Books Are All Right Here is an excerpt:

By Ross MacDonald NYT

By PAMELA PAUL Published: August 6, 2010

While au fait literary types around town await the buzzed-about new novels from Jonathan Franzen and Nicole Krauss, other former English majors have spent the summer trying to get hold of “Mockingjay,” the third book in Suzanne Collins’s dystopian trilogy, so intensely under wraps that not even reviewers have been allowed a glimpse before its airtight Aug. 24 release. What fate will befall our heroine, Katniss Everdeen? My fellow book club members and I are desperate to know. When will the Capitol fall? And how can Collins possibly top the first two installments, “The Hunger Games” and “Catching Fire”?

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Filed under Authors, books, Creative outlets, Feed your head, soul, self, mom blogs, young adult fiction

Epic Fail

That is what we are looking at  here –  an epic fail (and thank you to my friend, A, who named it for me).

Why? What? Okay, car is dying (but still trade-in-able), two not so old (under 3 years – Dell, thanks for asking) computers have eased into a slow non-functioning spiral of death (I had the word obsolescence here but changed it to death – it is just that they are lemons…the technology should not be obsolete after 3 years nor should the functionality), my phone battery is not holding a charge, the dishwasher works but only if I throw a cup of water into it before running it, the vacuum is pretty much a goner, two burners on the stove make a weird clicking noise when used so I don’t use them) and last night at around three am I heard a really horrible mechanical groan right before the a/c shut off – I waited (like I could sleep after that anyway) and it went back on, thankfully because that would be a tipping point…in my mental health state.

Phew, or have I breathed a sigh of relief too soon?

Okay – I pledge to buy a vacuum today – Check! Vacuum purchased -at Mr Sweeper in Waltham – a very nice, local shop that sells and repairs vacuums…I had hoped that ours could be saved…it could but it was not worth it.

I pledge to look at computers today –Umm…today? On-line – okay, store? Augh. We went to Micro Center in Cambridge on Saturday (their tagline should be “Where the geeks go” – no hate mail, please – I like geeks…but seriously, 99 percent of customers were male and one that I talked to  – he was a computer consultant  – knew so much about the Apple line (as in “…the  G5 – does yours have that loud fan problem?”) that I should have had him tell me which one to get and just have been done with it). The salesmen were nice and very knowledgeable.  We worked with Serge who was very helpful and I suspect has a PhD in Physics or something. It looks like Best Buy has similar products (looking at a PC laptop – down to Sony or Toshiba for brands) but their prices do not include Microsoft Office which adds $100 or more to the price. My head is swimming in ghz, RAM, and GB and as soon as I choose a computer I will swiftly download this knowledge from my brain so it can hold on to more important stuff like where I left my keys.



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Filed under Creative outlets, Feed your head, soul, self, home

BlogCatalog

Now I'm a Mom Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog DirectoryI just was adding my blog to blog directories – and this popped up as a post. Since I really wasn’t planning on writing about this I will just refer you to this blog Thomas Shea http://8k53d.th8.us/ where I got the directories to list my blog in…bloggapedia, blog catalog, bloghub and blogarama. It is a good idea to do this and they are free – you can pay for an upgrade, too, and one or two (I forget, it was late) work as sites to connect with other bloggers. I will let you know more when I figure it out.

It is Camp Mom week and today we cleaned Mommy Car ( I am the best Mom ever!), bought a vacuum (more tremendous fun), had pizza at The Upper Crust (getting better), went to a (double) swim birthday party (decidedly better), had a terrific dinner from Whole Foods – the fresh pasta bar in Dedham at Legacy Place – watered all of the plants we said we would water for friends, walked the dog three or more times. I did do some work tonight – cleaned up twitter and messed with some social media.

What I did not do: choose a computer (mac or pc? desktop or laptop…suggestions welcome), buy a car or in any way darken the door of a car dealership, move my blog to wordpress.org…no change for you, dear reader,  but it is a big deal for me.

Anyway, that’s all.

Update: I wrote this assuming that I had posted Epic Fail – a post I started a few days ago.

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Filed under Creative outlets, Feed your head, soul, self, mom blogs, some social media, the mompreneurs

Illustrating Unemployment – An interactive unemployment map by LaToya Egwuekwe

Updated 07.15.10

The Decline: The Geography of a Recession

by LaToya Egwuekwe, graduate student

at American University (official).

This map was created by LaToya Egwuekwe a graduate student at American University. She was featured on CNN News in December of 2009 and the above map was updated this month.  A friend sent it to me this morning and I am really stunned by how unemployment has grown. Reading the paper, hearing the news, even knowing the numbers doesn’t really resonate the way this map does.

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Filed under Creative outlets, Feed your head, soul, self