Thinkery

After our amazing Valentines lunch, we were off to the Thinkery for a fun-filled day.
The Thinkery is the new Austin Children’s Museum. We visited the museum once before when it was still at its 2nd Street location a couple of years ago. Last October, I mentioned to Dana that I wanted to take the kiddos back there since it had been such a long time since we visited. I found out later that the 2nd Street location was closed and the Thinkery would open up in December. We made plans and finally got to visit the museum at its’ new location.

Thinkery | Austin Children's Museum | Austin, Texas
We all had an amazing time exploring the new location. Both my one and four-year old had a blast. I was so glad I purchased tickets online ahead of time. When we arrived at 1PM, there was about seven families in line waiting to buy tickets. With our printed tickets in hand we were able to walk right in.

Welcome | Thinkery | Austin Children's Museum
There were lots of fun exhibits for the kids to explore and a play structure for the kiddos to run around and get out some energy.

Thinkery Playground | Austin Children's Museum | Austin, Texas
Thinkery Playground | Austin Children's Museum | Austin, Texas
Innovators' Workshop | Thinkery | Austin Children's Museum
Innovators' Workshop | Thinkery | Austin Children's Museum
One of my favorite exhibit was the Light Lab.

Light Lab | Thinkery | Austin Children's Museum
Light Lab | Thinkery | Austin Children's Museum
Light Lab | Thinkery | Austin Children's Museum
Light Lab | Thinkery | Austin Children's Museum
Since it was Valentines Day, I had to make a red heart with the giant-sized “Lite-Brite”.

Light Lab | Thinkery | Austin Children's Museum | Red Heart
For both my kiddos, their favorite exhibit was the Currents Exhibit. I made sure to bring an extra set of clothes for them because these two cannot resist playing with water.

Currents Exhibit | Thinkery | Austin Children's Museum
Currents Exhibit | Thinkery | Austin Children's Museum
Currents Exhibit | Thinkery | Austin Children's Museum
Currents Exhibit | Thinkery | Austin Children's Museum
Monk made two Valentines cards in the Kitchen Lab. She really enjoyed the splatter art project. You had to take strawberry puree and squirt it onto a piece of paper that was inside of a salad spinner. Spin the salad spinner and you end up with splatter art.

Kitchen Lab | Splatter Art | Thinkery | Austin Children's Museum
Kitchen Lab | Splatter Art | Thinkery | Austin Children's Museum
Kitchen Lab | Splatter Art | Thinkery | Austin Children's Museum
Monkey and Squish also loved the farmer’s market in the Let’s Grow Exhibit. They enjoyed collecting eggs from the chicken coop, picking out veggies, weighing what they collected and pretending to cook.

Let's Grow Exhibit | Thinkery | Austin Children's Museum
Let's Grow Exhibit | Thinkery | Austin Children's Museum
Let's Grow Exhibit | Thinkery | Austin Children's Museum

Let's Grow Exhibit | Thinkery | Austin Children's Museum
We spent four hours there and only left because it was closing time. We all had a wonderful time and I look forward to visiting again soon.

The Thinkery
1830 Simond Ave
Austin, Texas 78723
CLOSED MONDAY (except for Baby Bloomers)
Tuesday – Friday: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Community Night Wednesday 5 p.m.-8 p.m.

Admission
Visitors: $9
Ages 0-23 months: FREE

Thanks so much for stopping by!
-XOXO Lysa

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Brooch Necklace

It has been a many months since I’ve picked up my pliers and crafted any jewelry.
This Friday of course is Valentines Day, and I wanted a statement piece to wear with my planned outfit. We’re heading out to the Thinkery in Austin for a fun family day. Here in Harker Heights, it’s really laid back. You don’t see many people wearing statement pieces. I wore my crystal bow necklace yesterday when we took the kids to the park and felt a bit out-of-place with that much sparkle. In Austin, however you can get away with lots of things I wouldn’t normally wear, for example this necklace that I made earlier.

Brooch Necklace | Vintage Glass Beads | Vintage Rhinestone Brooch
That brooch was given to me by a dear friend a few years ago. I have loved it since the day it arrived in the mail. I’ve been wanting to do something with it, I hated seeing it sit on my shelf collecting dust. I used vintage jet black glass beads and of course that beautiful vintage rhinestone brooch. I believe the brooch is made out of acrylic rhinestone, even then it’s still a pretty heavy piece. I love using vintage beads! When I was still making stuff for my etsy shop, majority of the components I used were vintage glass beads & vintage glass rhinestone. Anyhow, here is what the necklace used to look like.

Pink Chrysanthemum Necklace | Vintage Glass Beads, Pink Resin Chrysanthemum
I liked it but after trying it on several times, I felt it needed more beads, but all I had were the ten used in the necklace. I decided to re-work it to incorporate the brooch. I took off the chrysanthemum, added a jumpring to the center of the beads and then added the brooch.

Brooch Necklace (Back) | Vintage Glass Beads | Vintage Brooch
I don’t remember if the pin that secured the brooch to your garment was already broken, or if I took it off. Anyhow, I secured the jumpring to the back of the pin via the clasp that held the pin closed using a “S” type hook that I made from an eyepin. I’m pretty pleased with how it came out. I feel the beads add just a bit of sparkle without taking the attention away from the beautiful brooch.

Brooch Necklace (Worn) | Vintage Glass Beads | Vintage Rhinestone Brooch
This is a link to my favorite vintage jewelry supplier:
Bumbershoot Supplies
Now go and create something fabulous!

What are your thoughts? Too much sparkle?
Have a wonderful day, and thank you for stopping by!
-XOXO Lysa

Harry Potter on Etsy

Those that know me knows I LOVE Harry Potter!

I read the books religiously when I was younger. I even had the bedding set! I actually forgot that I used to own the bedding until I came across a dress that was made with the sheet set and then the memories came flooding back. I’ve tried many times to read the series to Monk but she just wasn’t into it, so I let it go. A few weeks ago we watched an episode of American Dad that parodied Harry Potter. Now usually I’m not a big fan of American Dad, or should I say Seth MacFarlane, BUT this episode had me giggling like a kid. Ever since we watched that episode, when it’s time for Monk to wash her hands before we eat we always point our fingers like it was a wand and go “Lavate los manos!” Anyways, a few days after that I decided it was time to introduce Harry Potter to Monk again, this time through the movies. So for the next week we watched one movie a day until we finished the whole series. My kid is officially a Harry Potter fan!

I’ve been wanting to re-read the whole series again, but it seems I just can’t find the time.
Instead, I decided to put together a list of my favorite Harry Potter finds from Etsy.
In no particular order, my 12 favorite items:
(photos are linked to source)

The Grim Tea Cup with Saucer

Harry Potter Stars Earring

The Boy Who Lived Tank Top

The Tale of Three Brothers

Harry Potter Garden Sign

Harry Potter Italian Marble Coaster
Mr. H. Potter | The Cupboard Under the Stairs
Harry Potter Snitch Ring

I Solemnly Swear That I Am Up to No Good

Ministry of Magic Vinyl Decal

Deathly Hallows Always Tank Top
Ron Weasley Sweater
I hope you enjoyed my finds.
Thanks so much for stopping by!
-XOXO Lysa

Food Coloring, Baking Soda and Vinegar

Food Coloring, Baking Soda and Vinegar
This is one of Monk’s favorite activity. You can just feel her excitement when I mention baking soda and vinegar. We’ve done this project a handful of times. Sometimes I make colored vinegar, other times it’s colored baking soda, but this time I just gave her the food coloring and let her do what she wanted.

We used a large glass baking pan to contain the baking soda. A measuring cup filled with vinegar and a few little bottles of Wilton’s Food Coloring. For tools, we used a big spoon and a child’s syringe used to administer medicine.

Food Coloring, Baking Soda and Vinegar
Food Coloring, Baking Soda and VinegarFood Coloring, Baking Soda and Vinegar

I love her smiles when she sees the vinegar reacting with the baking soda.
This is also a great way for kids to learn how to make secondary colors.

Food Coloring, Baking Soda and Vinegar
Food Coloring, Baking Soda and Vinegar
In the end she ditched all the tools and just played with the mixture with her hands.
I made sure she changed into some old clothes before she started playing, just in case she got some on her clothes. Her hands will be stained for a few days, but it’s so worth it, every time.
What are some activities that keeps your kids occupied?

Thanks so much for stopping by!
-XOXO Lysa

Three Simple Rules

Three Simple Rulesheyfrancis.tumblr.com

I don’t really know which direction I want to take MonkeyAndSquish, my etsy shop. Right now I’m working on streamlining it and making it more cohesive. I’m phasing out my pallet signs and art and focusing on just my jewelry. I’m still in the mint & coral phase, so a lot of the things I have been making are in that color scheme. I will be working towards exclusively working with sterling silver. Some things I’ve been working on:

007 (14)

Mint & Coral Statement Necklace

012 (7)

Aqua Chalcedony White Macramé Bracelet

I’ve also been making some macramé bracelets. I’ve been testing out various closures for the macramé bracelets and am still unsatisfied with the end result so they will not be listed in the shop just yet.

035 (3)

Aqua Chalcedony Coral Macramé Bracelet paired with Mint & Coral Simplicity Bracelet

021

Coral Braided Bracelet with Chalcedony Connectors

The problem with making jewelry in the style that I love is that I just want to keep every piece! I am absolutely in love with the colors of the oval chalcedony. That sea-foam green color makes me think of tropical waters and reminds me of how much I miss the beach.

054

Sterling Silver-filled Wire Letters

I had some left over wire so I decided to play around with it.

Dana and I

A photo of Dana and I, taken a few years ago. (October 2011)

I’m 30 years old and I still have no clue what I want to be when I “grow up.” All I know is that I’m blessed to have the most wonderful, supportive boyfriend anyone could ever ask for, and our two wonderful kids light up my life each and every day. Can you believe Dana has put up with my crap for the last seven years?!?! Good thing he loves me! Our baby girl will be four in a little over a month and our little baby boy will be a year old in a little over two months! Where has the time gone?

My little Squish & Monkey

My little Squish & Monkey

I may not know which direction MonkeyAndSquish is taking me, but I know that I am enjoying the journey. Thanks for stopping by my little blog.
XOXO Lysa

Art and other Randomness

If you have been following along, then you know I have been doing the 30 Day “Photog Wanna Be” Challenge hosted by Two Everyday Divas. It has been such a blast! I look forward each day to see how each lady interprets the challenge. I can’t believe we are already 26 days into the challenge! Soon it will be over and it will be just a fun memory. Insert sad face here. I will forever cherish the fun times!

Since the challenge is winding down, I decided to join in on the Daily Prompts from the Daily Post. Today’s prompt is Wall to Wall.

What do you display on the walls of your home — photos, posters, artwork, nothing? How do you choose what to display? What mood are you trying to create?

001

Some people think the sun shines out of their ass.

This is one of my favorite things we have displayed in our home. Dana and I created this a few months back and it has been sitting on a bookshelf leaning against the wall since it’s been completed. We still giggle at it from time to time.

002

Monk & Squish Art Wall

 Besides the sunburst there is an assorted variety of art pieces I’ve made over the years. There are only three photos displayed in our home. One is framed and sits on a shelf, taken six and half years ago on our first date at the beach in Carmel, California. Another is a picture taken by a friend at a Halloween party we attended a couple years ago. We dressed up as the Flintstones. You can see it hanging on Monk & Squish’s art wall in their play room. The last is a photo of Danas’ brother and his family, also hanging on the art wall.

Along with the art, we have a small collection of prisms that hang on both the kitchen windows. One window is on the east side of the house and the other is on the west. Throughout the day, various prisms will scatter rainbows across the ceilings, walls and floor depending on the position of the sun. If our house had a theme, I would call it happiness. Light, love and bright colors.

What are your favorite things you have hanging around your home? Does it bring you comfort or inspiration? Does it remind you of happy times or does it fill you with sadness?

Thank you for stopping by.

Sneak Peek

A couple of weeks ago I sent out the earrings I made for the shop out to a fabulous photographer. I’m hoping that by having professional shots of them, it would generate more interest.

Patricia sent one photo back as a sneak peek and I’m just thrilled!

Patricia Steglinski of P.S. Photography did a stellar job capturing my little beauties.

Cascading vintage Alexandrite statement earrings.

Cascading vintage alexandrite statement earrings.

(Click on the photo for a closer look.)

This pair of handcrafted earrings is made from vintage alexandrite crystal rhinestones. They are set in closed back antiqued brass prong settings and finished off with French wire hooks.

If you are interested in these earrings, I will have them in listed in my Etsy shop very soon.

Visit P.S. Photography to view more of Patricia’s work.

P.S. Photography is based out of Hanford, California.

If you are in the area and are in need of a professional photographer, contact Patricia at:

(559) 537-9185

Thanks for stopping by.

Day 22-Inspirational

Today is Day 22 of the 30 Day “Photog Wanna Be” Challenge.

Todays’ challenge is “Inspirational.”

Day 22-Love

Love.

Love inspires every aspect of my world.

Visit Two Everyday Divas and Flower Faerie Lives Life to see their takes on “Inspirational.”

“Patterns” is the challenge for tomorrow.

Thanks for visiting.

Grow Food on an Organic Farm-Giveaway

sp_grow-food_11

Photo Courtesy of The Victory Garden of Tomorrow

The Victory Garden of Tomorrow is giving away this beautiful print.

It is 18″ X 24″ printed on French paper.

Winner will be randomly selected and announced on April 20, 2013.

Follow this link and give them a “like” to enter the contest.

Day 14-Eyes

We had a fun family day trip yesterday which is why I didn’t get a chance to post yesterdays’ challenge.

 “Cannot Live Without” was the challenge for yesterday.

Day 13-Cannot Live Without

I was trying to capture water and oxygen. A glass of water and a tree which generates oxygen.

Todays’ challenge is “Eyes.”

Day 14-Eyes

We took the kids to a local playground one day. Dana just happened to look down and saw this amazing piece of bark that had all these beautiful detailed swirls. We looked at it and decided it would be the perfect “eyes” for the driftwood octopus. I think it adds the perfect finishing touch.

Check out Two Everyday Divas and Flower Faerie Lives Life for their takes on “Eyes.”

Thanks for stopping by!