Thursday, March 22, 2018

Bunny Week 2018: Silly Rabbit!

Rabbits have a ton of personality. Just like humans, some are shy and some are outgoing. Some are really curious and riveted by something new, while others prefer more predictable surroundings. The best way to get to know a rabbit's personality is to spend time with him and provide him with a safe, roomy, non-cage environment where he can show you who he really is.

As I've mentioned many times, our rabbit Trouble has free run of the downstairs and part of the upstairs. We've carefully bunny-proofed this space. We keep doors and gates closed to the other spaces, only allowing him in when we are closely supervising.

Sometimes Trouble follows me up and down the stairs as I go about my day. Sometimes he doesn't. Every once in a while, I'll be crinkling something downstairs while he is upstairs that makes him think that maybe, just maybe, I might be getting out treats. He zips down to the landing and sticks his face through the stair rails to stare at me. He looks so inquisitive... and hopeful that treats are in his future. And of course, they usually are, even if that wasn't the original plan. How could anyone refuse this face?! 

Did You Say Treats? (affiliate link)

I have tons of posts about life with a house rabbit - this and this and this are some of my favorites. If you have any questions about rabbits, anything at all, please ask! 

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Bunny Week 2018: Bunny Envelope

It's Day 3 of Bunny Week and I have another bunny craft for you! 

This little pouch is super easy to make. Once it's done, you can fill it with a note and some treats to give to someone special. 


Bunny Envelope


  • Business-sized envelope
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Pink pen
  • Black pen
  • Glue


1. Seal the envelope. Leaving the sealed side up, turn the envelope 90° and draw a bunny head with the pencil. 

2. Cut along the pencil lines. Save the scraps. Turn the envelope over so the sealed side is down. 

3. Trim 1/8" off ONLY the front layer of the ears. Leave the back layer untouched. Save the pieces you cut off, as they become the whiskers. 

4. Cut a nose from the scraps. Place a piece of scrap paper between the two layers of ears. Color the nose and just the front layer of the ears with the pink pen. 

5. Remove the scrap paper. 

6. Glue the nose and whiskers in place. Add eyes and a mouth and the bunny is done!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Bunny Week 2018: Bunny Egg Cup

This post contains affiliate links. 

It's Day 2 of Bunny Week 2018!

I've been having great fun with Easter Wonders Color Art! The book is full of adorable bunny images, so I used one page to make some egg cups for Easter. It's a really easy project that requires only a few supplies. It's such a fun way to display colored eggs on the table at Easter. (Or for Bunny Week, if you're the sort of family that sets a holiday table for that occasion.)


Bunny Egg Cup



  • Cut the cardboard tube into 1" rings, then paint each piece white. 
  • While the rings are drying, complete the coloring page. 
  • Use the microtip scissors to cut out each bunny image. 
  • Attach a Glue Dot to the dried ring, then press the bunny into place. 
  • Set a dyed egg into each egg cup. 

Coloring Books 725

Monday, March 19, 2018

Bunny Week 2018: #Crepuscular

Welcome to Bunny Week 2018! Bunny Week is an annual tradition at My Creative Life. Each year in March, I dedicate a week of the blog to All Things Rabbit. It's like Shark Week, but fuzzier. I'm starting off Bunny Week 2018 with a layout featuring Trouble, the best rabbit ever. 

#Crepuscular (affiliate link)

Rabbits are not nocturnal, nor are they diurnal. They're crepuscular, which means they are active at dawn and dusk. This is part of what makes them such great pets. They're awake in the mornings when people are up. They sleep during the work hours, then are active again in the early evening when people are home from work or school. Then they sleep the same hours at night that people do.

Trouble is up at the crack of dawn and active until around 9:00 am. Then he settles in for a series of naps. Often, he sleeps at my feet, on my feet, or nearby as I work. He'll change nap locations a few times, but generally dozes until late afternoon. Then he's active until 9:00 pm, when he settles in for the night. 

Bunnies are awesome.

Friday, March 16, 2018

How to Draw a Jukebox

I've been drawing jukeboxes lately. 

Colored Sharpies

They're all quick sketches with a black Sharpie - no planning, no erasing, no changing. 

Black Sharpie, colored pencils, and Stickles

My jukeboxes are far from perfect. They're lopsided and irregular, but I love them.


I've colored in each one with different media. 

Mr. Sketch Markers

You can draw your own jukebox in just a few easy steps! First, draw an arc. Draw a rectangle connecting the two ends of the arc. Your arc can be tall and narrow or short and wide. 

Add a semi-circle just inside the top of the arc. Add a rectangle (or an inverted semi-circle) at the bottom. This will be the speaker. Again, there are no rules about any of this. You're the designer!

Add a rectangle in the middle of the jukebox where the songs are listed. Fill the bottom rectangle with crosshatches. Now add details - a record, musical notes, or whatever else you can dream up.

Finally, add some color! Jukeboxes come in every color you can imagine and often feature neon, sparkle, or other attention-getting shades. Turn on your favorite retro music to inspire your designs! If you draw a jukebox, let me know. I'd love to see your drawings.

Just for fun, I checked my theory that you can buy literally anything on Amazon and, sure enough, there are plenty of jukeboxes to choose from. Awesome! As much as I'd love to have a house big enough with a designated jukebox room, I do not. (I would also like to have a spare $9000, but I don't have that either.) How fun would the desktop CD player jukebox be though? Or the docking station?! So cute!  

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Pumpkin Party Page

This layout, about my sister's family's annual Pumpkin Party in 2016, is probably the least 'me' layout I've made in awhile. Between the photos of different sizes, the tilt to the photos (and one photo not grounded at all), the very Bella Blvd. font with the filled-in letters that bug me, the lack of white/cream, the random yet prominent star, the use of both black and brown ... it just isn't a typical Cindy page. 

Pumpkin Party (affiliate link)

But I like it. It was fun to push my style a little bit and play. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Everything's Coming Up Oranges

This post contains affiliate links.

It's orange season, the delightful time of year when the tree in our backyard goes nuts and produces oranges faster than we could possibly consume them. We are enjoying fresh-squeezed orange juice and oranges with most meals. It's a good problem to have.

We've also been making Whole Orange Bread. We've made it a bunch of times and it's still the weirdest recipe ever. Well, maybe this one is. They're both weird. But delicious! Anyway... I remembered that my new favorite coloring book, Edible Wonders Color Art book by Leisure Arts had a page with oranges on it. How cute would it be to turn the coloring page into labels for the orange bread that we give away?! (Answer: very cute.)

Coloring Page Gift Label



Color the page with the oranges on it. Use the scissors to cut out the oranges and some leaves (which are actually connected to the pears, but work just fine with the oranges). Glue an orange and a leaf to the strip of cardstock. 

Wrap the cardstock strip around the bread and glue the ends together. Your gift is ready for someone special!

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Skiing with the Scouts

Trevor's Boy Scout troop went on a ski trip in January and had a blast. It was the first trip he'd done without Steve or me along, so we really treasured the photos that the leaders sent to us. In every picture, it was clear Trevor was having the time of his life. The day after he got home, he blogged about the ski trip and all the fun he had. 

Ski Trip (affiliate link)

I only had a few photos to choose from to scrap the trip, but I am so grateful for those. I'm especially happy for the group shots. My favorite photo is the one with the four boys lifting their poles after conquering the black diamond run. I'm so proud of Trevor for keeping up with the older scouts and challenging himself!

Monday, March 12, 2018

UC Davis Design Museum: "It's Bugged"

When I was growing up, my parents took my sister and me to museums all the time. I even had my birthday party at a science museum one year. We visited museums in the Bay Area, but also when we traveled. History museums, science museums... but never art museums. I honestly can't remember a single time my parents took us to an art museum. It's not their thing. 

I believe I was in high school the first time I visited an actual art museum. I loved it and have visited countless art museums since then. If you look through my US Travel page, you'll see lots of links to art museums that Steve, Trevor and I have visited together. Recently, we went to the Design Museum of our alma mater for the exhibit called "It's Bugged: Insects' Role in Design."

The museum is very small and free to visit. Allow about 30 minutes to see it. According to the press release, "The show explores the two sides of the relationship between people and insects. The first side shows how makers, designers, architects, and artists draw upon nature’s patterns to create beautiful and useful materials and structures, as well as examining the collaboration of humans and insects as producers of raw materials, such as harvested silk and red dye made from cochineals. The outcomes are useful for insects and for people alike, making the relationship complex and compelling."

I'm not sure I agree that harvested silk or red dye made from cochineals is "useful for insects" but I do agree that it is compelling.

Here, Steve and Trevor are examining artwork made with paper from wasp nests. The texture was gorgeous and the patterns so interesting. 

This ceremonial 'singing shawl' from Thailand is worn at funerals. Those are beetle wings knotted to the fringe. They make a gorgeous sound, much like wind chimes, as the wearer moves and dances. They are thought to ward off evil spirits. 

These sashes and belts are from South and Central America, colored with natural dyes, including cochineals. Some of the woven patterns feature insects.

There were a lot of textiles on display, both hanging as fabric and sewn into clothing. 

The exhibit was very interesting and all three of us enjoyed it very much. If you're local, I'd recommend heading to UC Davis to see the exhibit before it closes (April 22, the day after Picnic Day). 

After visiting the museum, we strolled through the hallways looking at the displays of student work. In most cases, there was a sign next to the bulletin board explaining the assignment. It was very interesting to think about how I would complete the same task. These were some of my favorites:

The elevator had a fun design element, too. 

Both UC Davis and the city of Davis are fantastic places to see and experience art. It's very inspirational and uplifting to see art appreciated and even celebrated.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Stuffed Cactus

This post contains affiliate links. 

I made a stuffed cactus and I love it!

It was one of the projects from Felt for the Home, which I received from Leisure Arts to review. 

I chose to make the prickly pear. The first step was cutting out two cactus-shaped pieces of green felt and some flower-shaped pieces of pink felt. 

I used white embroidery floss (3 strands) to cross stitch little x's randomly on one of the cactus pieces. 

Then I used green embroidery floss (also three strands) to backstitch the two cactus pieces together, sewing the flowers in place as I went. 

I left the bottom unstitched. 

I added stuffing, using a chopstick to push it up into the arms of the cactus. 

Finally, I sewed the bottom together. All done!

I love that the cacti from the book are displayed in clay pots with pebbles. I'm strongly considering the same, although my 'pebbles' would actually be these. Wouldn't that be a fun gift?!

Felt for the Home would be another great gift. There are ten project ideas, with detailed supply lists and steps, as well as patterns and a guide to embroidery stitches. I love the donut garland, the succulent garden, and the heart pillow in particular. Best of all, they're easy enough for a sewing novice like me. I see a lot of felt crafting in my future!

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Science Fun: Using Red Cabbage to Dye Eggs

After using red cabbage juice as a natural pH indicator, I was curious to see if the resulting shades could be used to dye eggs three different colors. I made a fresh batch of cabbage juice, then divided it into three glasses. I added a teaspoon of vinegar to one (it immediately turned red), a teaspoon of baking soda to another (it turned blue), and left the third just cabbage juice.

I carefully added a raw egg to each cup. Immediately, there was an unexpected difference. The egg in the acidic solution sank to the bottom, the egg in plain cabbage juice hovered, and the egg in the basic solution floated. Fascinating! The eggs all came from the same carton and were stored in the same way, but I have no way of knowing if they were not all the same age. It's possible that I coincidentally put the oldest egg in the basic solution and the youngest in the acidic solution and that's what caused differences, but it's also possible that the acidity of water affected the specific gravity. 

However, as intriguing as that question was, it wasn't the question I was trying to answer. I left the eggs in the cups overnight and then checked the results. Unfortunately, they were a bit underwhelming. The acidic solution resulted in a gorgeous light blue egg (not the pink I'd hoped for), while the neutral and basic solutions barely tinted the eggs at all. They were both very, very pale. Yet there was another surprising result! The egg that sat in plain cabbage juice was perfectly smooth, with no imperfections or calcium bumps whatsoever. Another coincidence, or a result? I'm not sure. The three eggs seemed identical at the beginning of the experiment, but I suppose it's possible that I didn't notice that one was silky smooth and the others were normal eggs with minor bumps. 

So, one question asked and answered, and two more unexpected questions raised! Science is fun!

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Exploring Montana Through Little Passports

This post contains affiliate links.

Montana is the closest state to our home state of California that we have not yet visited as a family. As always, Trevor and I loved taking a virtual trip through Little Passports! We learned so much about The Treasure State.

We started by solving a logic puzzle about the winter sports in Montana (which gets its name from the Spanish word for mountain). We could have predicted that skiing, snowboarding, ice climbing, and luging are popular in Montana, but we'd never even heard of the sport of skijoring. It originated in Norway, but the world championships are held each year in Whitefish, Montana. We like skiing, but will not be trying skijoring!

We did a quick science experiment inspired by the Ringing Rocks in Pipestone, Montana. These rocks ring when you tap them with a hammer, just like a water glass rings when you tap it with a pencil. Increase or decrease the amount of water in the glass to change the tone. 

Next, Trevor and I worked on a decoding activity that taught us about Montana's mammals, including the grizzly bear (Montana's state animal), the bighorn sheep, the gray wolf, the lynx, the moose, and the bison. Speaking of state symbols, we solved a sapphire-themed puzzle (inspired by the Yogo sapphire found only in the Treasure State) to translate Montana's state motto, "Oro y Plata." 

Time for a snack break! The recipe in this State Journal is based on Montana's most popular wild berry, the huckleberry. We didn't have huckleberries, so we made ours with blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries. Delicious! 

I checked, and you can buy huckleberries from Amazon. The price though - yikes!!! Fortunately, we've had huckleberries multiple times before, otherwise I would have been tempted to buy some just to say I'd tried them!

After our milkshakes, we did a map activity about Montana's Dinosaur Trail and learned about the fossils at each of the museums highlighted. Then we read about the famous events that happened in Montana. I was fascinated to learn Loma, Montana is the site of the most extreme weather change ever recorded. On January 15, 1972, the temperature rose from -54° F to 49° F! I can't even wrap my head around that!

The next activity was a calculator math trick. Why? Because the American Computer Museum in Bozeman, Montana shows the forms of communication throughout history that led to the creation of computers. Then we did a word search about Glacier National Park. The photos look beautiful and I look forward to visiting someday. 

We concluded our study of Montana with a science experiment inspired by the Berkeley Pit, a former copper mine in Butte. It's a classic experiment, boiling red cabbage to use as a pH indicator. Although I've done this experiment many times before, we got some surprising results! The first part wasn't surprising. When Trevor added vinegar to the glass on the right, it turned from purple to red since vinegar is acidic. 

The instructions said to add liquid laundry detergent to the second glass of cabbage juice. Our laundry detergent is colored, so I suggested we use a white detergent instead so that it wouldn't affect the results. I meant to grab Dreft, but I actually got the OxyClean. When you mix it with cabbage juice, it turns a bright green!

However, as Trevor conducted the rest of the experiment, the bright green changed to a dark yellow! From left to right, you can see cabbage juice mixed with: hand soap, milk, lemon juice, OxyClean, and vinegar.

Trevor recorded the results, then announced that he wanted to leave the glasses in place to show Steve. 

By the time Steve saw them, the dark yellow had changed to a very pale yellow! All the other glasses were unchanged. We left the glasses overnight to see if there would be any further change, but there was not. It was all very interesting.

We had a great time exploring Montana through Little Passports! I highly recommend trying their kits, whether it's US state like we have, or countries, or science explorations. Check out everything they have to offer!