Family Organization Class for Moms!

Hi Friends!

I am teaching a Family Organization Class for Moms in January!  Here is the info:

THURSDAY JANUARY 7th 2016:  7:00-10:00 pm
Location: Dani’s Home
Cost: $12
*Class Notes will be available for purchase sometime in the next few months.  If you would like to be informed when they are available please email me at daniute@msn.com.

Class Topics:
·       Yearly Calendaring

·       Creating systems that you trust so the pressure is out of mind and you can live in the present
·       Aligning your personal goals and values with your schedule
Cleaning Systems: how to efficiently keep the house clean and organized so you have more time to enjoy life.
·       Meal Planning and recipe organization
Minimizing house clutter and schedule clutter

·       Knocking out perfectionism, comparisons and taking care of YOU
·       Traditions/Family Culture/Vacation Planning

·       Organizing children's keepsakes, family photos and family photo books
·       Teaching children responsibility at home
·       Creating an atmosphere where learning, playing and creativity are encouraged and mistakes can be made

I have a love of organization and a desire to create an atmosphere of peace, happiness, balance and consistency in my home.  However, that has also proved my biggest challenge as a wife, mother and homemaker.  As each of our 5 children have been born the level of difficulty has increased and with that I have had to focus harder, read more books, and learn a lot through literal sweat and tears, mistakes and trial and error.  Our children often face a world of pressure, distraction, inconsistency and stress.  The goal of this class is to help make our homes a place of refuge through sensible, flexible structures and systems that help us avoid being in a state of crisis and exhaustion.   On top of my own experiences and tips I will be basing this class on some pretty amazing books that have helped me tremendously.  I will share that book list with you.  I am also really looking forward to learning from YOU as you have a lot of valuable information in that brain of yours through your own life experiences!

There are a ton of topics as you can tell above!  Chances are we will not get through everything.  However, I am writing class notes that will cover all of the topics above and will be available in a few months.  I really like this quote and I think it pretty much sums up the purpose of the class:

“In a well-functioning home, much that is conducive to quality living just seems to happen automatically, due to sometimes subtle yet definitely operative systems.  This supportive structure eliminates many of the hassles of everyday living and allows family members to perform routine activities by simply relying on good habits.  Their physical and mental energy are thus reserved for more creative pursuits, and their best efforts are freed up for building positive relationships with other family members.”  - The Ultimate Career, by Daryl Hoole.

I hope to see you in January and kick off the New Year with some great personal goal setting!

Dani Henriksen


Hello there!

Hello Pineapple Paintbrush readers!  If this is your first time looking at my site, welcome!  I have been silent around here for awhile.  Life is busy with 4 boys, and now a baby girl that is just 2 months old!!  It is really fun having a baby girl for the first time, she is just the sweetest little baby in the world!  I just wanted to update my website with some current information...

My Intro to Art Class PDF is available for sale again after a few months of being unavailable.  I am excited to announce that I am lowering the price for the first time!  It will now cost $10 instead of $15.  The class PDF used to be available for purchase online but is currently only available by emailing me at daniute@msn.com.  When you email me I will send you the payment through email (usually the same day).  As soon as the payment is received I will email you the PDF!  To help me see your email it would be great if you put "PDF" as the subject.  I am also still selling the Art Class Materials PDF, but I am lowering that price to $3 instead of $5.  The reason why I am selling it through email is to avoid fees from the company that was automatically emailing the PDF after purchases.

If you want to learn more about the PDF's before purchasing them click on the link above which says "Shop Class PDFs."

I hope you have a great time creating art!




Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Everyone seems to have a chocolate chip cookie recipe but I am telling you that this one is the best ever!  I have tried dozens of recipes and this one tops my list by far.  It has been a favorite at my house for years.  I have high expectations for my cookies.  If I am going to take the time to make home made cookies I want them to be perfect and this recipe is a perfect balance of sweetness with just the right amount of salt to balance all that sweetness.  I always make sure my butter is room temperature, not melted, which creates a wonderful texture and helps the cookies keep their volume instead of becoming flat and crispy.  I also write the date on my baking soda and baking powder when I buy them and make sure to buy new ones every couple of months.  It makes a big difference.  I use a small cookie scoop to form the cookies and I take them out of the oven slightly early because they continue to cook after they are removed from the oven.  If timed right, they are so soft and completely delicious.  I just recently bought some 6" lodge cast iron skillets and I am excited to try making large cookies in them and putting ice cream on top of them right after they come out of the oven.  I imagine it will be heaven.  Here is our favorite oatmeal chocolate chip cookie recipe for the family cookbook I am making with my boys:

1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
2 1/2 cups oatmeal
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

Cream together the butter and sugars.  Add the eggs and vanilla.  Combine dry ingredients then add them to the wet ingredients.  Next add chocolate chips and mix until combined.  Make small cookie scoop size cookies and place on an un-greased cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for 8-9 minutes.  Enjoy!


Pumpkin Cookies with Caramel Frosting

I am working on a family cookbook with my boys, and I am so excited about it!  Something you may not know about me is that I am passionate about food and dinnertime with my family.  Perhaps even more so than I am about art.  There is nothing I love more than reading a new cookbook, experimenting with recipes and then sharing them with my husband and kids.   The idea for this family cookbook popped into my head when my husband and I celebrated our 10 year anniversary this year.  Since cooking and eating together as a family has been such a big part of our marriage, I thought it would be fun to put together our favorite family recipes in a book.  I plan to make copies for all of my kids and I hope that they cherish them for years to come.  I will be posting the recipes here throughout the process.  If you are interested to know what our family loves to eat then keep checking back!  YUM.

The first recipe I would like to share is our favorite Fall cookie!  These are so good, I can't even tell you.  I have had many people ask me for this recipe, I promise you will not be able to stop eating them! Here is our recipe for Pumpkin Cookies with Caramel Frosting:

2 c. white sugar
2 c. shortening
1 (29 oz.) can pureed pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
4 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. salt
3 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

First of all this makes a lot of cookies, I think I made about 50!  I used my Bosch mixer and it filled the bowl.  If you don't want that many cookies you can half the recipe.  Ok... cream together shortening and sugar; don't whip.  Mix in pumpkin, eggs and vanilla.  In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.  Add to pumpkin mixture.  Bake at 350 degrees for 12-16 minutes if large ice cream scoop sized cookies, or 11-12 minutes for cookie scoop size.

Caramel Frosting:
12 Tablespoons butter
1 cup milk
2 cups brown sugar
6-7 cups powdered sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla

Combine butter, milk and brown sugar in a large saucepan.  Boil for 2 minutes.  Take off heat and allow to cool.  Be sure not to add the powdered sugar until it is really cool.  When cool, add powdered sugar and vanilla.  Add more powdered sugar if too thin.  Frost cookies and serve.



I Am an Artist Poster

Hello friends,

I had a reader ask me for a copy of the "I Am an Artist Poster" so I thought I would post it here for everyone.  It was not available online, it was just on my PDF that you can purchase.  However, I would love for more people to use it for their kids or art classes.  I have used this poster for my Art Classes in the past.  I would always have an Artist of the Day, it was fun and the kids loved it when it was their turn.  Feel free to use this and blow up as large as you want at a copy store!



It is about time that I write a post here for my devoted pineapple paintbrush readers!  I am grateful for those of you that keep stopping by and also for those who have recently purchased my PDF, it sure means a lot to me!  It has been silent around here for a while and I just wanted to let you know that I am still around!  It has been probably the craziest year of my life.  9 months ago I gave birth to my 4th boy!  Also, we outgrew our little house and decided to build our new house which became my "art project" for the year.  It was quite the ordeal and did not leave me much time for any other projects.  We have been in the house now for a few months and life is finally calm again.  We are beginning to finish a room over our garage which will be my art studio, and my kids play room too.  I can't wait to get it done and to have more space to paint!  I was blown away tonight as I logged into this blog for the first time in months and saw how many hits I am receiving everyday.  It is encouraging!  For those of you out there that are interested in having me teach another online art class please let me know by leaving a comment.  Perhaps if there is enough interest I might be persuaded!  Here are some recent pictures for fun.

                                                                       A family of 6, AHHH!

My boys:)

                                                                             Building our house

Finally feeling settled in our new house.  Yes that is snow in October, gotta love Utah!

                                                  We are still making time to paint.

Which is always crazy messy and fun!

 Thanks for checking in, I hope 2012 has been a great year for you!  Please feel free to comment and let me know if you are interested in having me post another online art class:).  Happy New Year!


Project Ideas

School has started and summer is officially over, crazy.  My oldest son Liam is now a 1st grader and it is so different having him gone all day.  We spent the last week of summer up at Bear Lake with our family (pictured above).  My mother-in-law asked me to design a simple lake-themed logo for our family shirts. I made a lino cut print by carving my drawing out of linoleum.  It was a fun little project.

There are a few project ideas I want to share with you....

Have you seen this crayon melting project yet?   I can't wait to try it with my kids!

I think you would enjoy these art DIY's from Oh Happy Day.  I want to make these abstracts, and I think this potato print project is so easy I would do it with my kids.

This colored pencil jewelry is way cute for an artsy child or an art party.

Do you wonder what to do with all of your kid's art?  Here is a solution you might like: shrink art collages.

Need an excuse to make some art?  I bet you can find an art contest in your community.  I am making a painting for my Church's International Art Competition.  My son Liam is entering the Reflection's Contest again this year.  If you are unfamiliar with the Reflection's Contest, it is a national art contest sponsored by the PTA.  I encourage you to find out if your local elementary school participates in the contest.

I hope you are having a great week!


Create with Me Magazine

My son Liam has anxiously awaited for the first edition of the "Create with Me" magazine to be published.  The editor contacted me after seeing my article on Design Mom which showed how to make 3 abstract paintings with children.  She asked me to submit the "pressed shapes" art project she saw on Design Mom for publication in her magazine.  Liam and I were thrilled at the thought of having a project published so we happily wrote the article.  Now 5 months have gone by and we headed to Barnes and Noble this evening to pick up our own copy of the freshly published magazine.  It was so fun to be in Barnes and Noble and read an article all about my son's artwork.  Liam could hardly contain himself!  After I put my kids to bed I spent a couple hours reading the magazine, which is more like a book.... It has 144 pages of purely inspiring art ideas and stories about creating art with children, and it has very few advertisments.  Each page is so well written and beautifully displayed, I think the magazine is a work of art in itself.  It was like therapy reading the words of mothers like me out there that feel it is important to allow opportunities for creative expression at home.  Sometimes I feel alone in my efforts and I found it very encouraging.  I really recommend purchasing your own copy.  Create with Me will only be published semi-annually so there will not be another addition until the Winter, maybe that is why it is full of so many ideas.  I loved every single page.  It has been fun to be apart of it.

Here is a picture of Liam in the magazine aisle at Barnes and Noble.  


Planets part 2

Liam and Lance are pretty proud of their planets in their room.  It is fun.  We need to get some glow in the dark stars and they will be set!  Let me tell you how we finished the project....

 We used children's tempera paint.

First of all I made the mistake of popping the balloons before they started painting them.  Oops.  I did not realize that once the paint was applied the paper mache would soften up and so it was difficult for the planets to keep their shape.  The balloons would have helped support the softened newspaper.  So some of the planets look slightly "deflated."  Of course the paper mache hardened right up again as the paint dried.  Kinda funny.

 From what I could find on the internet these are the colors of the planets:

Mercury: grey
Venus: yellowish - white
Earth: blue and green
Mars: red - orange
Jupiter: orange and white bands
Saturn: pale yellow, blue, and white haze
Uranus: light blue, and lots of clouds
Neptune: a little darker blue that Uranus

Once all the planets were dry I threaded clear thread through the top of the planets where the balloon ties used to be.  There was a little hole left by the balloon tie and I wanted that to be hidden so I hung them from that spot.

After thinking over the many possibilities we decided to simply wrap Saturn with red pipe cleaners to create the rings.  We attached about 15 pipe cleaners to each other by twisting their ends together and making one long pipe cleaner.

Then I used my hot glue gun to attach the rings to the planet every so often as we twisted it around the planet.  If you were even more creative than us you could figure out a way to make the rings float further away from the planet.  I think it turned out pretty good though.

I hung the planets with the "Command 3M mini sticky clips."  Since the planets are so light, the clips hold them up just great and there are no holes on the walls.

Oh and check out this adorable astronaut dress-up.  My son begged me to get it when we were at the planetarium.  It took some convincing but he promised he wanted to be an astronaut for Halloween so here is hoping he does not change his mind.  Either way I am sure it will get a lot of use with three boys!

I hope you have a great July 4th weekend!



My husband and I just returned from an incredible Hawaiian vacation.  As I am typing this my boys are running wild all over the house and I wish I could jump right into the picture below and find myself on this quiet beach.  Sigh.

So I guess the vacation was relaxing enough that I came home ready to tackle a crazy messy art project with my kids.... one that I have been working up the guts to try for a  long time.....  Paper Mache Planets.  Things are pretty low key around our house this summer, lots of lazy days and park trips.... but we are trying to make time to learn about some fun topics and do some art projects.  Last week we learned about space and visited our local Planetarium.  We also made rootbeer float rocket popsicles and began making our paper mache planets.

Mix root beer and ice cream and freeze... yummy

The boys are "walking on the moon" at the Planetarium.

First we blew up 8 balloons.  We blew them up according to their size (small, medium, large):
Mercury: small
Venus: small
Earth: small
Mars: small
Jupiter: large
Saturn: large
Uranus: medium
Neptune: medium

Then we cut up the newspaper in strips, but they seemed to be harder to dip into the paste so we cut up rectangles about 4 in. x 3 in. instead.

I found all sorts of different recipes for paper mache online and most of them either called for a mixture of glue and water or flour and water.  So I decided to mix in glue and flour and water.  I did equal parts glue and flour and then added enough water to make it about the consistency of syrup.

We dipped the newspaper in the paste and then wiped off the excess back into the bowl and then applied the newspaper to the balloons.  It got VERY MESSY, this project takes lots of patience!  I tried not to worry about perfection and just let my kids figure it out.  The planets definitely ended up a little lumpy but I think that just adds to their character.  Planets are not perfectly round anyway right??  My kids tried to overlap the pieces a little bit so that they did not leave any open spots, but they did miss a few spots that I made sure to cover.

The newspaper seemed so soft on the balloons that I worried they would never harden enough to keep their shape.  However they did harden right up.  They took about 24 hours to dry and be ready for painting.  

 We just painted them today and we are now waiting for them to dry so we can hang them in the boy's  bedroom.  The boys are quite proud of themselves.  I will post pictures on the last half of the project later this week.


Chevron Print Crazy

Hello wonderful readers!  I think it is about time that I post!  During the last few weeks I felt like I should step away from my blog and focus on other's things..... our busy soccer/t-ball season, my anniversary (8 years), and just playing with my kids and celebrating their birthdays.  Also, I have been working on my own paintings.  Utah's Studio 5 asked me to come back on their show and demonstrate how to make a simple chevron print painting.  So I have been a little chevron print crazy and I made 3 different paintings before going on the show.  You can see my segment on Studio 5 here, they put my step-by-step tutorial there as well.  Check it out if you are interested in learning how to make one.

Summer is almost upon us and I have been surprised and thrilled that many people have purchased my Intro to Art Class PDF in the last few weeks.  I love that many of you want to give your kids opportunities to create art this summer.  Thank you so much for your purchases.  I have also been so amazed as I have received emails from parents who recently finished the Intro to Art Class with their children and held exhibition nights!  Seeing the pictures of the exhibitions has meant so much to me, you have no idea!

During the last few weeks I have also been organizing my own ideas of things to do with my children this summer.  I want the summer to be filled with lots of lazy days..... swimming, bike rides, picnics, parks.....  I do not want to over-pack the summer but I do want to spend one day a week doing an art project with my kids that relates to a fun theme such as: space, dinosaurs, nature.....  I hope to be able to share some of our fun summer projects with you.

Thanks for checking in.... now go make a chevron print painting!  Here are two more of mine.  You can do it too!


Lakeshore Learning Shopping Trip Part 3

I want to apologize that I am a little behind answering some of the great questions I have been asked this week.  I will get around to answering them as soon as I can.  I love your questions.

I am really looking forward to going to Lakeshore Learning's Little Artist Workshop this Saturday with my boys.  They have free crafts every Saturday but this is going to be HUGE.  They will have 4 great crafts for the kids.  It will be nice to just show up and start creating  - no prep work for me is a big plus I could get used to!  

There are a few more pictures I wanted to share with you from my Lakeshore Learning shopping trip.  I could seriously spend a whole month posting about this store.  It is a good thing I am only posting about the art section.  Don't forget to use the great 20% coupon that Lakeshore Learning made for my readers.  It is awesome and it does not expire until July 3rd.

So this is my third and final post about my Lakeshore Learning shopping trip.....

Check out Lakeshore's paper aisle.  It makes me happy.  There are so many colors to choose from.

Of course they have tissue paper too!

If you have not discovered all of their stamps you are going to love them.  My son Lance got a collection of their stamps for Christmas and he LOVES them.

We have a set of these large stamp pads.

Am I a total nerd that I am posing with an Easel?  I think so!  I know of many of you that have gone and bought this table-top easel since I went on and on about it this Spring.  I saw it in many of the pictures you sent me during the class!

Here are a variety of other easels.

Lakeshore covers all the essential art supplies.... glue, scissors, tape...

 And all the fun little accessories you could dream of: feathers, flowers, buttons, sequins, googlie eyes, pipe cleaners, craft sticks, beads, rhinestones.... you get the idea.

  Do you love do-a-dots?  My kids do.

 Here are a few other things I love....

 This spin and draw toy is so much fun.  It has kept my kids entertained for hours!

 I want every single one of these art books!  They have a great selection.

 I have used this rotating spinner machine in my last 2 art classes to teach about colors, color mixing and shapes. It is always a hit!

I use these rubbing plates to teach about texture in art.

I have used these animal stencils to teach about positive and negative shapes and as an object lesson to go with the book It Looked Like Spilt Milk.

 Lakeshore Learning carries every kind of pencil, colored pencil, marker and crayon you could think of.  These smelly markers bring me right back to my childhood - love them!

I love that Lakeshore Learning has people colored crayons, colored pencils and paper.  They are awesome!

 Here is my awesome local store manager Lindsey.  I have shopped there so many times and she has always been so helpful.  I never actually knew she was the manager - I never thought to ask.  She is the best!

This has been so fun for me to post about my favorite store.  I hope you can see why I think they are so exceptional!