Friday, July 22, 2011

Magic Wands for Wizards

We made some magic wands for our little wizards!

Some old apple sticks that we gleaned from an orchard last fall had all the right magical qualities, and my violin bow was willing to spare a couple of unicorn hairs.

Our resident wizardry expert had certain ideas about how his wand was to be assembled.  (It needed to have a phoenix feather inside the wood.)  We drilled a tiny, deep hole into the handle end of the stick like this:

And then he stuffed the feather inside:

We trimmed off the last little bit of feather that was left sticking out, and I wrapped the handle with a fine gold wire.

It looks very magical, and has been used almost non-stop for the past week.  Diego has finally managed to produce a jet of green light.  (We had some fun this morning doing slow exposures with a flashlight, and coloring the image in Photoshop.  Is it too heavy on the green?  My art director had some very specific demands.)

Now, if I could only get that "SILENCIO" charm to work!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Julio's Birthday Tea

Yesterday, my baby turned TWO!

We had a very simple celebration with just the immediate family, and it was so relaxed and fun.  While Papa and Diego entertained Julio in the other room, Ruben and I made a birthday tea with all of his favorites.

Along with cucumber sandwiches, he enjoyed the little cups of raisins and dried cranberries and an extra lemon wedge.  He picked up each little treat and asked, "Is this for ME?"  He blew out his candles six times.  His cake was one of my July favorites, a pound cake with a layer of fresh strawberries that have been mashed with a little confectioners sugar.

In spite of the fine china, some of the guests were wearing pajamas.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History

It was magical to take my kids to this place that I remember so vividly from my own childhood.  It is now better than ever, with many living and interactive exhibits.

You may click on any of the pictures to see them larger.

A Red-tailed Hawk:

An enclosed garden full of butterflies (some of them sharing a picnic):

A creek to play in:

My childhood favorite, a tiny hummingbird nest:

A Peregrine Falcon:

These birds were rescued and are being cared for by the Audubon Society.