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Monday, March 18, 2013

Happy Swiss St. Patrick's Day!

Finally, the GREEN holiday was here! And the funny thing is, around here, besides the odd Anglophile person, St. Patrick's Day is not known at all. Here's a Facebook conversation with a Canadian friend I had the other day:

So that about sums it up why there are NO supplies to be bought around here, and crazy people like me browse DIY stores and the web in order to get everything the way I picture it in my little head. Thank God for Easter, so at least a green tablecloth roll or some grass were easy to find. No light blue tablecloth rolls, though. Hence the painting job that needed to be done for our sky. Because a rainbow with a white wall as a background is a no go, don't you agree?

Speaking of rainbows - as I mentioned in one of my previous posts, we wanted to make a rainbow cake using a "not Martha recipe".  One would think this should that be easier than a Martha Stewart one, right? Well, I was happy about the really vibrant food coloring I ordered  from Amazon. And they really came out colorful and vibrant. Just not in the right rainbow order ;-)

So Colin couldn't wait for his buddy Eric to arrive - and when he did, the two of them immediately started fighting about some toy. Not long though, and they had a blast decorating their leprechaun traps:

This gave Doris and me some girls time in the kitchen while preparing our shamrock shaped pizza:

Oh, and we also had some shamrock cookies and fruit rainbows:

From time to time the boys were peeking out the window, and at some point Eric was sure to have spotted a light blue leprechaun in the garden. He couldn't be convinced that it might be a smurf (or a little bucket from the sandbox for that matter), so a leprechaun it was! When it was time to go, he gripped his trap under his arm in order to take it home and catch that little guy!

So he was right. There definitely were some creatures sneaking around, not sure what color, but here's what they did in our house:

They took the gold from the pot - and were polite enough to leave a giant thank you note!
After a hockey match they put the sticks and pucks in a tower rack they built (Exactly how tall are they?)
The players on the autograph cards must have looked really scary, so they thought it must be best to  confine them in playmobil police custody 
Having fun playing with green cars
Rewarding us for the painting we did, they left some chocolate gold coins in the palette
Good Morning, Mr Leprechaun Sr and Jr!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Preparations for the GREEN holiday - Part II

St. Patrick's Day wooden Rainbow

Sometimes people are asking me where I get my creative ideas. It is hard to explain. Let's have e look at the chain of thoughts that led to our latest arts & crafts project:

A couple of weeks ago my dearest Facebook friend Beth recommended an iPad app called "Stack the States". It contains several games around the shapes of the 50 states of America.

"So what do the profiles of Texas and Minnesota have to do with an Irish holiday?" You might ask. Bear with me, I've got a point.

In one of the games the background picture changes from the Capitol in Washington D.C. to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, the four President's faces in Mount Rushmore, SD, - and the Gateway Arch in Saint Louis, MO.

Unlike the other places, I have never been to St. Louis, and this game made me put this city on my mental "places to visit list". Until an opportunity to fly to Missouri comes up, I thought it'd be neat to have our very own little arch at home. It is March, we are talking about St. Patrick's Day a lot, so the arch in the back of my head and the rainbow, symbol of the Irish holiday, came together. 

Unfortunately I am not very skilled when it comes to handicrafts. Also math was never my strong suit, so the equation that the architects in St. Louis used wasn't really helpful:

y = A \left( \cosh \frac {Cx}{L} - 1 \right) \quad\Leftrightarrow\quad x = \frac {L}{C} \cosh^{-1} \left( 1 + \frac {y}{A} \right),

Can you blame me..? But I am a person who knows people! They live behind bars and therefore have a lot of time to implement my ingenious blueprint:

Ok, let me explain. I live in an area where next to us regular folks in our town houses there are also about 180 inmates residing in a penitentiary. Bad guys who committed murder, sold large amount of drugs or molested children. 

Now I am not saying those are my buddies, although I have met some cheerful Caribbean guys. How come? As a board member of a local women's charity, I have had a rare chance to visit the jailhouse. Upon that guided tour we were told that the inmates do some work for outside buyers. So if you have a thousand Christmas cards that need to be put in envelopes, you bring them to the reception area (that's how far you usually get - unless you are a lawyer or a family member with a visitor's pass), and the guys do it for a small fee. 

Also they run a groceries store for the public. Well, the inmates don't actually work at the store, but they produce yogurt, jam, wine, vinegar and the like. Every Wednesday you can choose from a large selection of savory and sweet pies. We like to call them "killer pies". But I am zoning out.

So they made my rainbow! And it fitted into my trunk. I bought acrylic paint and waited for a day off. Today was the day of the days, and Colin and I grabbed our paintbrushes and colored away. 

We were having a great time. I kept thinking how lucky I am, having the opportunity to work part time and spend the other days with the little guy and do stuff that otherwise I wouldn't have a chance. I told my husband and he said "you are right, you are lucky". 

Let's look at it this way: by making an effort to have really cool St. Patrick's Day stuff (next on the list: a pot of gold. Oh, and the shamrock cookie cutters have arrived, so I can smell baking in the near future) the LUCK of the Irish will come to our house. RIGHT?

Speaking of baking. I discovered the cutest Rainbow Cupcakes recipe.

In order to arrive to a conclusion let me encourage you to play lots of iPad games. They really foster creativity! My latest thing is "what's the word". Heard of it?

I am still stuck with this one. If you have the answer, please let me know!

Read about our St. P's party here!