One More Easy Valentine-I Promise :)

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watercolor newspaper lovewatercolor newspaper heart

Ok so I know I promised that the last post was going to end my Valentine obsession but I couldn’t help myself…I had some newspaper spread out on my tables so I dripped the liquid water-color in warm then cool colors on separate sheets.  The last two weeks we have been learning about warm and cool colors so I thought I would use them.  My students were in my room during lunch so I had one of them cut the word love out then a medium-sized heart and we made these on black cardstock.  Easy peasy and really pretty.  Last one I promise…Happy Valentines!

Easy Valentine Cards For your Kids to Make

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easy valentine card1

As promised some more easy Valentine projects you can do at home with the kids 🙂  OK so don’t laugh too hard at my fingers in the bottom left corner I was in a hurry yesterday to get out of my classroom on time!  I have really been into using this black cardstock you can get anywhere but I ordered mine on Amazon see link below if you want to buy some.  Then I took some of my watercolor paper or white card stock and made some heart templates.  Next I used my chalk pastels to color and blend the chalk onto the cut out.  Glue down and then use fun Prang metallic markers to write whatever you want 🙂  If I have time in my classes I will let the students create their very own.  Happy Valentines Day!

Told you easy and really fun!  Happy renee

easy valentine card2

Here are the links to order supplies:

black cardstock-

white watercolor paper or cardstock-

Prang metallic markers-

God Has A Plan-Favorite Quotes of the New Year

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This week was back to teaching art…I had First, Fourth and Sixth Grades and they we had some fun.  I also wanted to share with you the two best quotes of Christmas and New Years Vacation.  Got to give quote credits to Mrs. Colosi who said this on New Years Eve.  The second one I saw on a dish towel in Truckee.  They both are so true and are words to live by 🙂









In First Grade we did George Rodrigue’s “Blue Dog.”

first grade blue dog




Then I did paper portraits with the Fourth Grade class which was also fun 🙂

fourth grade paper portraits

And to finish my week I worked with the sixth grade on these Asian Bamboo watercolor pieces.  They really got into using the different brushes and simulating the bamboo. Continue Reading »

Celebrating 50 Years Was So Much Fun on the Island of Namotu in Fiji

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hamock in namotu fiji  Namotu Island Fiji  namotu fiji sunset private pool by our villa

It was a bit crazy getting out for a family trip before Christmas but I have to say we had so much fun.  We have never celebrated Christmas away from home since the kids were little.  Now that they are 18, 16 and 13 it was nice to go away and have time together as a family away from all the holiday hype.  The Island of Namotu only house about 23 visitors and you can only have one internet connection at one time for $100 so our technology was limited.  The above picture is the hammock and the island, our first sunset and the pool that was by our Villa.

santa came to fiji girls catch mahi mahi

We stayed in the back of the property in what was called the Villa.  I think originally this was built for the owner of the property but now is used for guests.  The girls shared a room and my son had his own with a joint bathroom.  Kent and I had the master bedroom with a lovely bathroom and amazing views to Cloudbreak and Namotu lefts.  There are breaks all along the island and a boat ride away from some of the best surfing in the world.  Above is a funny plastic Santa I found on the beach and the girls torturing their brother with the Mahi Mahi they caught.  The trip gave us plenty of family time and also lots of fun water activities to do besides surfing.  One day we went out for a “skull drag” which consisted of hanging on to a few 2 x 4 pieces of wood and being drug around the reef for an hour.  It was amazing and the reef is still very much alive and beautiful since the last trip Kent and I took to Fiji 25 years ago when we lived in Japan.

shell I found on namotu island fiji heart coral in fiji

The staff was amazing.  Very friendly and welcoming.  Even with all of our food allergies they rolled with it and made us feel at home.  The picture of the shell above is one I found on the island.  Also lots of coral and beauty on the beach.  Thanks to Scottie and Mandy who own and operate the island.  We had a memorable family trip we will not forget.

Carmel Valley Ranch-Girls Weekend for 50th Birthday Celebration


We got to get away the weekend before Thanksgiving to celebrate a couple 50th birthdays.  It was mine and my friend Carrie’s 50th birthdays a week apart so we decided to get away and do a spa weekend.  We are so lucky to live in such a beautiful place its sometimes hard to find a place to get away too that doesn’t cost a fortune.  But I found out that Carmel Valley Ranch has a few two bedroom suites along with a spa so we decided to go for it.

carrie and renee's 50thWe got there early on Saturday around noon so we could have lunch on the property then I could get to my massage appointment at 2PM.  Lunch was incredible I had ahi tuna salad nicoise which was amazing.  Then I headed off to my massage.  Then later in the afternoon when the rest of the girls and Carrie came we had appetizers and wine and sat by this outdoor fire pit by the pool.  It was so much fun to catch up and relax with these amazing women 🙂  I feel truly blessed to have such beautiful women in my life to share 50 with.

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Simple Holiday Wrapping Ideas

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beachy gift wrapping holiday gift wrapping

Yes I know you think I am crazy but I almost enjoy gift wrapping more than buying the presents 🙂  This year I of course took inspiration from pinterest from and  I just ordered my holiday cards on etsy from and she is going to print them with the same chalkboard theme I have going on my wrapping paper.  Cannot believe I got this all done before Thanksgiving!  Below are the links to buy the items you need to do any of the 4 wraps.  Email or message me if you have questions.  Happy wrapping!

simple holiday wrap with rosemary sprig holiday childrens wrapping

1.  Marvy gift tag punch- Overstock has it for a little over $20 and free shipping.  You will use this forever so it is worth the money.  Continue Reading »

Art Conference and Shopping In Orange County

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byredo flowerhead perfume

christmas tree newport beach  Fun time this weekend going to Orange County for an Art Education Conference and doing some shopping with my oldest daughter Hailey.  She came down from San Diego and stayed with me in Irvine for conference and we did a little damage at Fashion Island.  Also got to see our good friends the Pearson’s who live in Corona del Mar.  I had my presentation early Saturday morning then headed down to shop with Hailey.

First stop was Neiman’s.  They were having their sale and had lots of designer items discounted.  Plus I love their shoe department.  So fun to look and ogle at the really expensive shoes like Jimmy Choo, Prada etc.

My friend Lisa had me try this perfume by Byredo and it is awesome.  I am not one to wear perfume but this smells so yummy.  I guess they are known for their Gypsy Water one but I really like the flowerhead. Continue Reading »

Sending my oldest Daughter to College

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hailey collegeWe just got back from orientation for college for my oldest daughter Hailey.  I thought I would feel all kinds of things mostly anxious because she will be away from us but oddly I feel relieved 🙂  After living through a year of emotional turmoil on where to go to college, will she get into college etc I am happy she is at a good institution that doesn’t cost us a fortune.  The orientation was kind of funny listening to parents and students alike with all the crazy questions that go along with sending your first child to college 🙂  Now looking back I can worry a little less about my second daughter and youngest son.  I understand the process and can look at it differently now.  The book that really helped us with college information was this one  It helped Hailey figure out which colleges in California were best for her major and which ones had a doctorate program in PT.  We also hired a college adviser which was pricey and I don’t know if we would do it again.  They did however assist Hailey in writing essays for the UC’s and all her prompt essay questions for the common application.  The other really valuable thing you should do when your student is starting junior year is have them take the ACT and SAT tests to see which one they score higher on.  Then put some money into a tutor that will help them score higher on the test.  Hailey did tutoring for about a year and raised her score over 100 points which sounds small but is really quite good.  She also took the ACT twice and got to super score it which made it even better.  She also took a few AP course each year and passed all of her tests so she started college with 21 units and tested completely out of math, English and some science courses which also was beneficial.  I am just hoping all of this helps some of you with younger students.  Definitely email me if you have specific questions.  I would be happy to help 🙂  Now we just need to make sure she stays in the program and doesn’t have too much fun in college.  Happy Wednesday!


Trip to Southern California-La Jolla

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So we have been making our way down the coast south as we often do in the summer. We have family in North LA and some more further South. But this year is different because we are here for Hailey (my oldest daughter) orientation at SDSU. We are halfway through our trip and have met so many nice people. I have been walking on the beach every morning with my friend Denise to Black’s a local surf spot on the La Jolla cliffs. The other morning we stopped to try to find our teenagers and husbands in the surf lineup and there was a young photographer there filming some pro surfers. I asked if he happened to see my daughter since often there are not many girls in the water and he knew where she was. We thanked him and said if he had time to take some shots of her to text us. We didn’t really think he would have time to get any shots of her and left to go back to the hotel. Yesterday he texted me and said he had some shots 🙂 I think the most remarkable thing about this photo is the background of the shot. My daughter doesn’t think it’s a great shot because she is not doing any tricks or catching air. But I love this shot for the cliffs in the background and the color of the water. So I thought I would share a little of the beauty of Black’s beach with you today and thank Will for the photo. Today we are off to orientation so I will let you know how that goes. Happy Summer 🙂


Painting on Wood Doors

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You could say I have been having some fun this week 🙂  My two younger teens are at their Auntie and Uncles house in LA so I have had some time to paint.  Remember last week I tried this crackle glaze on the below peace painting well it did not work and I ended up power washing it and sanding it and starting over.  But the result I think is still good.  I am going to put the metal door hanger on it (at the bottom) OK so I am going to ask my fabulous husband to put the door handle back on it and see how it looks.

The second picture is a vintage door I painted with Annie Sloan chalkboard paint I talked about last week.  I did get a shipment of the Annie Sloan paint with crackle and love it!  The below door is a vintage pocket one and I painted it with florence color.  I am debating on selling this as a headboard or an art piece with some shelving.  Still need to seal it but wanted to show you all the fabulous color. There are loads of places that sell the Annie Sloan line online but I got mine from a gal in New York and her site is  My box came complete with a cute note from the packer and a free sanding bar…bonus!  Also some fun fourth of July artwork on the outside of the box.   Really nice and it had directions on how to use the crackle which was helpful.

I am coming up on my 100th post and wanted to ask all of you what I should do?  Is there some project you wish to learn about?  Or something you want me to expand on?  Let me know I want to have some fun with it.  Will be in San Diego this week doing college orientation with my oldest daughter.  Cannot believe she is going to college.  Hopefully will have some fun San Diego stuff to share with you guys.  Happy Thursday!