6/4/24

Top Chef - The Good Land, Featuring Indigenous Restaurants

The deRosiers are big fans of Top Chef. We've watched all the seasons and love seeing the chefs whip up delicious looking food under time and budget pressures. We get fully into the roles of armchair quarterback, calling it out when someone is playing it too safe, debating the severity of the sins of a dish (Is under-seasoned food worse than food that eats dry?), and declaring the doom of whoever dares to make risotto. We've followed the careers of some of the contestants and have even visited some of their restaurants specifically because we've seen them on Top Chef

Top Chef 21 is in Wisconsin, a state we visited two years ago. As we've been watching this season, it's been great fun seeing places we visited pop up on the show. One of the coolest things about visiting all 50 states is that we are constantly recognizing locations we've been in movies and on TV. Top Chef has featured local dishes we tried in Wisconsin and have made me want to visit some places we missed during our visit. 

Today I want to talk about Season 21 Episode 9, The Good Land. This episode features Indigenous chefs and guest judges Sean Sherman and Elean Terry. The two prepared a feast for the contestants featuring the dishes of their people, made exclusively with native plants and animals. At one point, the contestants are asked how many of them have eaten in an Indigenous restaurant. The answer: none.

This both shocked and saddened me. Pretty much every town in the US has Chinese, Mexican, and Italian restaurants at the very least (and increasingly, restaurants from many other cuisines around the world), but few feature Indigenous cuisine. The US is a land of immigrants (I'm on Team Salad Bowl vs Team Melting Pot) and we embrace food from around the world, which is awesome, but I wish Indigenous cooking were more beloved. The cuisine features local ingredients, prepared simply... people should be clamoring to eat that food. 

We've eaten at four outstanding Indigenous restaurants across the country, including Sean Sherman's. They are well worth the visit - each of these places was a highlight from its trip!

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4 of the Best Indigenous Restaurants in the US


Thirty Nine


I would eat here again and again. The modern indigenous cuisine at Thirty Nine was absolutely delicious. There were a lot more things we wanted to try than the three of us could eat!



Owamni


Owamni is pricy and, at least when we visited, it was very difficult to get reservations. But it's so worth it. This is a meal I will remember for the rest of my life. 



Indian Pueblo Kitchen


Do not miss Indian Pueblo Kitchen. This was the first Native restaurant we visited as part of our 50 state adventure and it is what prompted me to look for them during our future travels. 



Aaimpa' Café


If you're looking for Indigenous food that is affordable in a super casual atmosphere, Aaimpa' Cafe is perfect. Good food, made with love and pride. Come hungry - the portions are generous! 



I have a short list of recommendations for other Indigenous restaurants to try out, including one that's an easy drive away. If you've eaten at a great Indigenous restaurant, let me know in the comments. I'd love to add it to my list. 

6/3/24

Salt Dough States

When I made the state flag heart magnets, I saved some of the salt dough to make another state-themed project. I just finished painting them and I'm really happy with how they turned out. 

Here's Missouri and Nevada. I was planning to paint them with their respective state colors, but Missouri doesn't have state colors. So instead, I used the red, white, and blue of the Missouri state flag, then added a silver Gateway Arch. For Nevada (the Silver State), I did use the state colors of blue and silver. 

  

Neither Connecticut nor Iowa has state colors, so I used their flags as inspiration for the background colors. I replaced Connecticut's grape-themed Coat of Arms and Iowa's bird-and-banner with hearts.

  

For Pennsylvania and Georgia (no state colors for either) I took inspiration from their nicknames. For the Keystone State, I used the blue background of their flag, then replaced Pennsylvania's overly complicated seal with a keystone. For the Peach State, I ignored the flag altogether and painted an ombre peach background, then drew a peach.  

  

Now that I've shown you what I did, it's time to tell you how I did it! Affiliate links below. 



Salt Dough States


Materials:


Steps:

Roll out the salt dough a Silpat so that it is 1/4-1/2" thick. Place the cut-out state shapes onto the dough. 


Use a sharp knife to carefully cut around the edges of the states. 



Remove the paper templates. Do not try to move the cut-out shapes. You can dry them in a low oven by simply putting the Silpat on a baking sheet, but I just air-dried mine for four days. If you choose to air-dry, let them sit on the Silpat for a day without moving them until they are crusted over and pale. The following day, carefully flip them over. After another day, when the second side is crusted and pale, remove the Silpat and let the states dry completely on a cooling rack for two days. Obviously, drying time will vary significantly depending on your temperature and humidity. Make sure they are completely dry before you paint them. 

I started by painting the backgrounds for each state. When those were dry, I used the silver Sharpie and the paint pens to add the details. 

So what do you do with these? I see a lot of possibilities. If you poke a hole in them before the salt dough is dry, you can turn them into keychains. If you press an ornament hanger into them immediately after flipping them on Day 2, you can hang these on the tree. You could add a magnet to the back to put it on the fridge, or you could even use a Sharpie to write the name and capital city on the back and use them like flash cards. Lots of possibilities!

5/31/24

Thanks to A Cherry on Top

Today I'm sharing the final project I made for the National Scrapbook Day event at A Cherry on Top. The Anything But challenge asked us to make anything but a traditional scrapbook layout. 
 

I made a card to thank A Cherry on Top for a wonderful event. I'd never checked out their store or forums before and I'm so glad I did! I love it there. 

5/30/24

Stamped Floral Card

For the Patterned Paper with a Twist challenge on National Scrapbook Day, we had to make a project using homemade patterned paper. This is my card:

Stamped Floral Card (affiliate link)

I used a Gina K. stamp set (three flowers and two leaves) and five colors of ink to create my own patterned paper. I stamped an extra flower (plus stem) onto vellum, then added Stickles to give my stamped images some sparkle. I really enjoyed making my own stamped patterned paper. This is definitely something I'd like to do again. 

While I like the color combination of yellow, pink, and purple, I wish I'd used my wedding colors. I hadn't realized I'd be running this post on my 20th anniversary! Happy anniversary, Steve. I can't wait to see what the next 20 years have in store for us. Whatever it is, we'll do it together. I love you!

5/29/24

Future Cancer Survivor

This post is hard to write, and I'm sorry to the people who are finding out by reading this, but it was the easiest way for me to tell everyone about a challenge I am facing: I have breast cancer. 


I had no symptoms; the tumor was discovered by a routine mammogram. I had a follow-up mammogram, then ultrasound, and a biopsy before being diagnosed with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (IDC). I am very lucky, as we found it early. The tumor is small and, from what we know so far, it looks like it has not spread to the lymph nodes. I have a battle ahead of me, but I am fighting it with everything I have. 

I will need a lot of support as I fight. I have set up a CaringBridge site where Steve and I will post updates. We’ll also use it to organize any help I may need with meals, rides, or other things. It’s hard to know now what that might be. Right now what I need are: supportive texts, emails, and/or blog comments; prayers; and for anyone reading this who is not up to date with their mammogram to schedule it immediately. What I do not want or need: unexpected phone calls or visits. Please, always text first. 

So what’s going to happen with my blog? I’m not sure. I have a handful of posts already scheduled, which will run as usual for the next week or so. Beyond that, I’m not sure. I want to keep blogging, but I may find that it’s too difficult to keep up with my current 5 posts per week schedule. I may post less frequently, or I may take an extended break. Either way, I'll keep you informed. You can continue to support me financially by using my affiliate links for any online purchases you make, since I obviously won't be taking on any freelance assignments in the near future. 

Thank you in advance for your support as I start my journey as a cancer patient. It means the world to me. 

5/28/24

Scrapping Brayden's Adoption Announcement

I had so much fun scrapping Brayden's adoption announcement. I'm so excited that he's officially a deRosier now. This page was inspired by the National Scrapbook Day Shape Layout Challenge

Brayden's Adoption (affiliate link)

For this challenge, we had to pick a number (1, 2, or 3) and a letter (A, B, or C). After making a choice (mine was 2C), we found out what those meant. Anyone who picked the number one would be making a layout with hexagons. Number 2 was hearts and number 3 was triangles. I thought that was that, but no! The letter determined which of three layouts for each shape you needed to scraplift. That's different! I scrolled down and discovered that my inspiration needed to come from this gorgeous page (unfortunately, I don't know who made it): 


My page is quite a bit different than this one, but I'm hoping you can see the inspiration. I have a single photo on a large heart. The heart is cut apart (mine is cut in half instead of in strips) and sprinkled with hearts (instead of flowers and butterflies). I took inspiration from the scallop-edge trim to the right of the photo and moved it to the left on my page. That layout has a 'love' script die-cut in grey; mine has a  'family' script die-cut in grey. I used vellum for all the hearts and put vellum flowers on the ends of the script; this was inspired by the overall vibe of the layout.

This was such a fun challenge to do. It really made me think. I'm pleased with how I adapted a romantic, pastel wedding layout to an orange rabbit adoption layout. (Orange layout, not orange rabbit. Should I hyphenate rabbit-adoption to make it more clear? English is weird.)

Welcome to the family, Brayden! We love you and are so glad to be your forever family. 

5/27/24

Itineraries for Travel Name Art

Do you remember my blog post about where I've been in the United States? When I shared it on Facebook and commented that I had a lot more of the US to visit, this happened:


I thought it would be really fun to design the most efficient itinerary based on Betsy's ridiculous, excellent idea. I played around with spelling my name using as much of the US that I've already visited and came up with this: 


Then I headed over to Google Maps to make my routes, starting with the C. I'm only missing a 73 mile chunk northeast and southwest of Carson City. 


The entire I is missing, so I could be relatively flexible in where I put it. I tried to find the straightest north-south route I could that would center nicely between the C and the N in my name. I settled on a 370 mile stretch between Sego Canyon Petroglyphs in Utah and Saint Johns, Arizona. 


I need two pieces to complete the N. First I needed to link Denver, Colorado and Santa Fe, New Mexico. That's 365 miles. 


To make the diagonal and right arm of the N, I mapped a route that goes southeast from Cheyenne, Wyoming and crosses into Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, before heading east into Elk City, Oklahoma. Then it's due north through Kansas to Broken Bow, Nebraska for a total of 1093 miles. 


For the letter D, I need to complete a stretch from Fort Worth to Austin, Texas, then from Austin to Baton Rouge, Louisiana. That's another 622 miles. 


I can complete the rest of the D by driving from Jackson, Mississippi to Little Rock, Arkansas. That's another 300 miles. 


All I need to finish the Y is the stretch between Atlanta, Georgia and Jacksonville, Florida. That's 313 miles. 


That's a total of 3136 miles (ignoring the fact that I can't magically materialize in each place and would somehow need to get to each starting location). Seems doable. Steve, pack your bags!

5/24/24

Watercolor Challenge

The Watercolor Challenge on National Scrapbook Day required us to make a project with a watercolor background. I made a colorful card. 


I used my favorite watercolor set (affiliate link here and below) to paint colorful flowers on a green background. When the paint was dry, I outlined the flowers with a black Sharpie and drew leaves with a Flair pen. I layered a die cut sentiment onto green cardstock, then used deco edge scissors to make the scalloped border. Three matching sequins for sparkle and the card is ready to send. Another fun challenge complete!

5/23/24

Washi Tape Card

I own a lot of washi tape, so I was really happy to see the It's a Wash Out challenge on National Scrapbook Day. Washi tape is great for so many things, including making backgrounds for cards.   

Another Year Older Card (affiliate link)

The blue paper, the sticker, and the sequins are the only things on the card that aren't washi tape. I'm really happy with how it turned out. 

Who is another year older and wiser today? My dad is celebrating 76 today! I would love to be there in person to join the celebration, but I'm there in spirit. Happy birthday, Dad! I hope you have a wonderful day and I can't wait to see you in July. 

5/22/24

Graduation Announcement

Since I made an adoption announcement for our rabbit, it seemed like I should make an announcement for the human member of the family who is graduating from high school soon. 


Please excuse my bragging, but I'm a really proud mom. Trevor is graduating with Highest Honors and is Salutatorian for his class. He completed 42 units of college courses in addition to his high school classes, maintained a perfect GPA, and logged over 100 hours of community service. Trevor was accepted to his top choice of colleges, the University of California at Davis, where he will be studying Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology in the fall. I'm so excited for him. 

Congratulations, Trevor! We could not be more proud of you. 

5/21/24

Thoughts on State Colors

Until very recently, I assumed all 50 states had official state colors. Nope. Not even close. California has had official state colors since 1951 (and unofficially since 1875). Blue represents our beautiful sky and Gold represents the mineral that caused everyone to rush here in 1849, leading to statehood in 1850. Blue and Gold could just as easily represent the blue of our oceans and our golden hills. Together, these colors have always meant California to me.


Shockingly (to me anyway), only 13 states have official state colors. They include: California, Nevada, Oregon, Arizona, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Indiana, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Delaware. They are colored green on the map below. 


The states marked in yellow (Wyoming, Minnesota, Vermont, and New Hampshire) proposed the state colors shown, but the measures failed. Three other states (Ohio, New York, and Maryland), marked with pink, have unofficial colors that are used in state branding. 

Blue and Gold are so integral to California that I have a hard time understanding how so many states have not adopted state colors. On the other hand, I imagine that choosing colors could lead to two problems: similarity or unnecessary controversy. 

Similarity:
Look at the states that do have official colors. There's a lot of blue and gold. And many other states could make a good case for adopting blue and gold as well. Just like California, Alaska has blue skies and a major Gold Rush. Nebraska has its blue skies and golden wheat fields. Kansas, the Sunflower State, has huge blue skies and fields of golden flowers. If a majority of states choose the same official colors, what's the point of having them at all?

Controversy:
Minnesota's failed attempt to declare purple their state color demonstrates the potential controversy that comes from trying to get a bunch of legislators, each representing thousands of constituents, to agree on something that ultimately doesn't matter. Some were adamant that purple (representing both the artist Prince and the Minnesota Vikings) was the perfect choice, while others pointed out that Minnesota already has two named colors and that these represent the timeless beauty of Minnesota rather than modern culture. Perhaps most states are avoiding the inevitable fighting that would come with prioritizing one facet of their state over another. 

Like most things, it's more complicated than it appears at first glance. 

5/20/24

Grasshopper on the Glove

About a month ago, I shared a picture of Trevor holding a Swainson's hawk, which was one of the highlights of his year-long Senior Project. I scrapped that photo for the National Scrapbook Day Sketch Layout Challenge


This is the sketch we had to use: 


As you can see, I used a single 4x4 photo for my page, as well as horizontal strips of patterned paper above and below it. I rotated the tag and put my title on it, then scooted everything to the center of the page. Another fun challenge completed!

5/17/24

Very Cherry Color Palette Challenge

The Very Cherry Color Palette Challenge asked us to make something inspired by one of six gorgeous cherry-themed palettes: Cherry Blossom, Cherry Pie, Cherry Cabinets, Cherry Tomatoes, Cherry Limeade, and A Cherry on Top. Guess which I chose! 

Cherry Color Palette (affiliate link)

The answer, of course, is Cherry Limeade! As you can see, I used the darker red plus two of the greens to make my card. The punched circle was inspired by the cherry itself. 


We were allowed to use a single neutral (in my case, white) but very sparingly. I had to fight the temptation to add more. I could have put a strip of white behind the red washi tape so that the dots ended up white instead of green, but putting it directly on the pale green was more in line with the spirit of the assignment. This was a really fun challenge that pushed me creatively. I love that.

5/16/24

Choose a Number Challenge

Many of the challenges during the National Scrapbook Day event at A Cherry on Top specifically required scrapbooking, but others included cards or other papercrafting projects. The Choose a Number Challenge was all about cards. We had to choose a number that would determine what the card sketch and theme we'd be using. 

This is the card I entered in the challenge. Can you guess the required design elements and theme?

Cupcake Card (affiliate link)

Before you guess, take a look at this card. Each participant could only enter once, but since I had my cardmaking supplies out, I wanted to challenge myself to follow the same requirements in a way that would look completely different. 

Happy Birthday (affiliate link)

I'm sure by now you've guessed that the required theme was birthday. Did you also guess that the sketch had a horizontal band anchoring two different sized circles?  



The sketch came from Freshly Made Sketches, which is a new site to me. I poked around a bit and really like it. I especially like that there's so much inspiration for what to do with each sketch. There are some really beautiful cards based on this sketch!

5/15/24

Neighborhood Lawnmowers

I love where we live. Our neighborhood backs up to beautiful hills, green and covered with wildflowers in the late winter and spring, golden in the summer and fall. I love everything about our hills when they're green, but with the gold comes significant fire risk. When I first moved to this area 20+ years ago, city workers would come through and mow the hills regularly. A few years later, they started grazing cattle on the hills. The cows do a good job of keeping the grasses in check. 

This year, we had an especially wet winter and the grasses grew like crazy. We were delighted to see the ranchers dropping off a large flock of sheep, who got right to work. The sheep grazed on one hill for a few days, then the ranchers moved the fences so the sheep could chow down on the next hillside. It took about two weeks for the sheep to mow our hills. I loved walking by to see their progress. 

Neighborhood Lawnmower (affiliate link)

This page was inspired by the "All right, Mr. Demille I'm Ready for my close-up" Layout Challenge for National Scrapbook Day. There was only a single requirement: there must be a close-up photo. When I looked through my unscrapped printed photos, the only close-up I found was of this sheep. I fussy-cut around the sheep, then layered that photo over the photo of the hillside covered in sheep. I love the way the black space between the two pictures puts all the focus on that one particular neighborhood lawnmower. Another fun National Scrapbook Day challenge completed!

5/14/24

California is the Best State

Since I have been to all fifty states, I say with confidence that California is the best state. Now it's documented in the scrapbook. 


I used the P-R-O-M Layout Challenge on National Scrapbook Day to help choose the page elements: something starting with the letters P, R, O, and M. The letter P was easy: I used polka dot patterned paper as the background. Then I cut rectangles (R) of cardstock and used them as mats (M) for my photo collage and journaling box. I added the die-cut pieces to make a super simple visual triangle and loved how the layout looked. The beautiful photos of California totally popped. 

That left letter O. I didn't want to add anything more to the page except for journaling - no random oval or octagon, no octopus or ostrich. There are O items in the photo collage (orange poppies and the ocean) but that's not in the spirit of the challenge. I could use orange ink for the journaling, but I wanted to use red to balance the hearts. That's when I realized that I have a red journaling pen by Ooly. Yes! Challenge complete.

5/13/24

Decoupaged State Flag Heart Magnets

I still have a lot more National Scrapbook Day projects to share, but I wanted to show you a Mod Podge project first. Mod Podge is celebrating its 57th birthday this Friday, May 17. The Plaid Ambassadors are celebrating by using our favorite varieties of Mod Podge on a craft. I used Mod Podge Ultra (affiliate link here and throughout the post) to make state flag heart magnets for Washington, Virginia, Massachusetts, and Nebraska. Each of these states' flags features a design that would be way too difficult to paint like I did with the previous batch of flag magnets. Mod Podge to the rescue!
 



Decoupaged State Flag Heart Magnets


Materials: 


Steps: 


Follow the instructions to make salt dough hearts. When they are completely dry, paint them to match the background color of the flag. If the flag you want to make has a white background (like Massachusetts does), be sure to paint it too, even though the salt dough is white. 

To make the images that you'll be decoupaging onto the hearts, find an image of the flag you're making and copy it. Shrink it to the desired size, then print and cut. 


When the paint is completely dry, protect your work surface (I used newspapers and a box I use for spraying). Place each heart onto a plastic lid or small container so that it is raised off the bottom surface. Follow the directions on the bottle to shake the Mod Podge and spray it onto the hearts. 

Place each cut-out onto the heart while the Mod Podge is still wet. Let it dry, then add another coat over the top. Add an extra coat when that one is dry. 


When the Mod Podge is completely dry, turn over each heart and add a strip of magnet tape. Now your magnets are ready to hang on the fridge. 

5/10/24

#Thwarted (A Story of Bunnyproofing)

This layout about bunnyproofing is a great example of something I never would have made without the challenge prompt. The Blowing Bubbles Challenge required us to make a layout with only round elements. I don't use circles often in scrapbooking, and I'm certain that I've never made a page with nothing but circles. This was such a fun challenge and really pushed me to make something different. 
 
#Thwarted (affiliate link)

We've had a baby gate at the top of our stairs since just after Trevor was born almost 18 years ago. We kept the gate closed briefly when he was crawling and then toddling, but he was such a cautious, rule-following child that we didn't need to close it for long. When Trevor was five, we adopted Trouble and the baby gate went into use full-time. Eventually, Trouble earned upstairs privileges. The gate remained open except when we traveled and reduced Trouble's territory to make it easier on the bunnysitter. 

When we welcomed Brayden into our home, he didn't even know how to use stairs. He was much, much more cautious than Trouble (who had immediately claimed the entire house as his own) and barely left a small area of the living room. So the gate stayed open. 

But Brayden was a quick learner, mastered the stairs, and became extremely interested in exploring the upstairs, which is entirely carpeted. Brayden doesn't like the slippery hardwood we have downstairs, so he's particularly fond of playing upstairs. Unfortunately, he is also fond of chewing the door frames upstairs when he's unsupervised, so the gate had to stay closed. 

But rabbits are nothing if not determined. Brayden, a 3-pound rabbit, figured out that he could just barely squeeze through the 2-inch gaps in the baby gate that kept 6-pound Trouble out. So Steve used a piece of plexiglass to cover the gaps. And with that, Brayden was thwarted. 

For now, anyway. 

5/9/24

Idaho Family Fun

I love a grid. Grids appeal to my love of structure and order. They're also the best way to scrap a lot of photos. I was really happy to see a Grid Layout Challenge on National Scrapbook Day. It gave me the chance to scrap pictures from the winter trip Trevor and I took to visit family in Idaho

Idaho Family Fun (affiliate link)

We were in Idaho from December 30 to January 4 and it snowed two of the days we were there. You probably can't see it in the scan, but the grey paper has a snowflake pattern. I like how subtle it is. The other two papers are from a Christmas collection. I cut the center out of the cream paper, then used the B-side to mat the grey paper and the A-side to make title and journaling blocks. I love the little hint of Christmas theming. I'm happy with how this page turned out. 

5/8/24

Celebrating 52 in Chinatown

This layout, about celebrating my 52nd birthday with a food tour in San Francisco's Chinatown, is a great example of why I love challenges so much. I chose practically every element because of the Mixed Manufacturer Layout Challenge from the National Scrapbook Day event at A Cherry on Top. In this challenge, we had to make a page with items from at least ten different manufacturers. And there's a twist - you also have to use one item you can't buy at a craft store. Can you spot that item?  
If you guessed the dark orange flower, you're right! I made it to coordinate with the two flower stickers. The rest of the items are: 
  1. Bazzill - gold cardstock
  2. Scenic Route - red patterned papers
  3. Echo Park - birthday lion sticker
  4. Jillibean Soup - present and 'One Year Older' die cuts
  5. BasicGrey - large orange flower sticker
  6. PhotoPlay - small yellow flower sticker
  7. We R Memory Keepers - gold washi tape
  8. Bella Blvd - 'adventure' sticker
  9. Me and My Big Ideas - tiny 'love' sticker, 'birthday' sticker, cake sticker, 'Now' sticker
  10. American Crafts - numbers
Technically, I also used four more manufacturers. I cut the papers and homemade flower with my Fiskars trimmer and scissors. I colored the homemade flower with Ohuhu markers and I adhered everything with a Tombow tape runner. For the journaling, I used a Zig pen. 

I'm really happy with how this page came out. It has a lot of elements on it, but ultimately it is still my clean and simple style. What a fun challenge!

5/7/24

Perfectly Imperfect Lionhead

My favorite day of the year, National Scrapbook Day, was on Saturday. As always, I spent the whole day scrapbooking, completing challenges, playing games, and chatting with friends. It was so much fun!

I'd heard that A Cherry on Top puts on a great NSD crop, so that's what I did this year. Oh my gosh, it was incredible! There were so many different and creative challenges and games. If I counted correctly, they had SIXTY challenges. And dozens of games. It was almost overwhelming how much was going on. But what a fantastic problem to have! The challenges were the perfect difficulty level for me and I love what I created. And the prizes! ACOT will be awarding 100 prizes once the challenges close. (Most of them are open until May 19 if you want to join in.)

I'll be sharing the projects I made over the next few weeks. Today's is about Brayden and I made it for the Cinco de Mayo Pick Five Challenge. We had to pick five items from a list of 12 to include on our page. I chose: only one picture; white title; punch (the heart); decorative edge scissors (on the right); and grid design paper.


Brayden is a lionhead rabbit, meaning he has a mane like a lion. When we first started fostering him, he was 10.5 months old and just had the mohawk (and whispy "skirt" fluffs on each flank). Right around his first birthday, the rest of Brayden's mane came in. It's super cute, especially when he tosses it like a woman in a shampoo commercial. 

This picture doesn't show the sides of his mane all that well, but it does show that Brayden is brachycephalic. Dog breeds like pugs or French bulldogs are prone to health issues because of the shortened skull; similarly, brachycephalic rabbits can face health issues, usually respiratory or dental. So far, thankfully, Brayden has been perfectly healthy. 

I am strongly opposed to selective breeding to create designer animals with these health risks. Worse, breeders' attempts to meet a breed standard means that any imperfect specimens are rejected. That can mean different things, ranging from bad (selling them as pets when there are already countless domestic rabbits without loving homes) to much, much worse. I don't know the circumstances behind Brayden's birth, but it's possible he's one of the thousands and thousands of lionheads who are intentionally bred and then rejected based on a single physical flaw. It's very upsetting. 

I titled this layout Perfectly Imperfect Lionhead. Brayden is perfectly imperfect. And we love him just the way he is. 

5/6/24

Fingerprint Heart Magnet for Mother's Day

On Friday, I shared an idea for a homemade Mother's Day heart magnet for one child to give to Mom. Today's idea, featuring fingerprint hearts, can be made by a group of siblings (for Mom) or cousins (for Grandma). Or, you can do like I did and include Mom and Dad to make a family heart. Affiliate links below. 




Fingerprint Heart Magnet for Mother's Day



Materials:


Steps: 


Paint the background - a blue sky and green grass. 


When that is dry, add fingerprint roses floating above the grass. To make the rose, add one fingerprint at a 45° angle to the left, then add a second fingerprint at a 45° angle to the right. It is easiest to do with a pointer finger. Use a pinky finger if you need smaller hearts to fit in more people. 


When the fingerprints are dry, paint stems and leaves under each flower. Then use a Sharpie to write each person's name above their flower. I added a dashed border around the edges to finish my heart. 


The final step is adding magnet tape to the back. Display your art on the refrigerator for everyone to enjoy.