Monday, November 29, 2010

Thrifty Monday

Doesn't it look like a princess and a knight live here? This is clearly handmade, there is no tag, but someone got rid of it after all that work. I'm fascinated by it - both because it is something I would never think to make, but also because.. well, just it is so intriguing. Who quilts a door? Was it a present someone didn't like? Was it just too much? I think I may have to quilt on our two kitties sleeping on the step to really make it ours.

At least it covers up our ugly stove pipe hole for fall.

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Saturday, November 27, 2010


Its all about the leftovers. My dad used to push back from the Thanksgiving table and ask jokingly "who's ready for turkey sandwiches?" but only half kidding. What other time during the year do you have all the fixin's for the best turkey sandwiches ever?

I love all leftovers - what else is thrifting? Someone used this Roman-looking silver plate gravy boat and mis-matched ladle, then it was left over, and now we're using it for our fancy dinners. Well, fancy, but not schmancy.

I hope you and yours had a lovely holiday with your families, and are now enjoying leftovers too. If you have extra time for a craft with kids, here is a cool and easy tutorial for a recycling inspired home-made advent calendar from Maya. Happy weekend!!

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Great-Grammy and Grammy Crafts - Braided Wool Rug

Maybe the best kind of crafts. The rags were cut up by my grandmother, a truly amazing lady who could do anything artistic she took a mind to, and who helped teach me to sew. My mother braided and coiled it, and I worked a bit on the last loop, decided it looked done, and have finally steamed the folds out and put it down at the foot of our bed. With the sun streaming in ... ahhh. I must have taken this photo on the only kitty-free day this week, the sunbeams are usually where they like to sprawl.

What are you thankful for this week? For hints on interviewing your loved ones on the National Day of Listening (Friday) check out the Story Corps site:

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Monday, November 22, 2010

Thrifting Monday

We have a new thriftstore in town - and on my first foray, a wonderfully simple plant stand for the corner behind that dresser. Now all I need is a decent pot for it, poor thing.

The plant stand is the two shelves, notched on the corners. Four lengths of 2 x 1s, nailed in. Somewhat rickety. I love finding old woodwork stuff and thinking someone totally made this.
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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Bags and Tartan Dress

You know how sometimes you get sidetracked? Like when you are supposed to be sewing up a squillion scavenger hunt bags for a school event

But you end up designing, cutting, and sewing a sweet tartan dress instead? Does that ever happen to you? Sweet P picked out the fabric several trips to the store ago, and when she saw it the other morning she exclaimed "my dress!" - it seemed churlish not to make it so.

And clearly, the bags became a reality too, later that night.
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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tool Belt for Toddlers

Out of an old maternity belt of mine (now luckily WAY too big, I'm happy to say) and some denim scraps. I used Clutterpunk's scribble sewing tutorial again, I love just quickly sewing images like that wonky hammer. Toddler sized!
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Monday, November 15, 2010

Homemade Playdough

Or "clay-dough" as J prefers to refer to it. Excuse me for a minute... I just adore those chubby hands. I mean, really really love them.

"B" is for my babies.

When a friend of mine mentioned they had declared a playdough-free house a few years ago, I was really amazed. I mean, I just hadn't considered the possibility - but I really liked the idea of no playdough ground into the floor, rugs, hair. What I remember about playdough was wanting the pump-type toys and that the playdough itself always seemed dried out when you got it back out of the can. And the mud color you get when you mix them all together.

Well, J wanted to do baking and we were out of butter, so I cast around for something else we could "bake." I have to say that I'm glad we waited, J and Sweet P are old enough to thoroughly enjoy molding and "baking," and I think they loved making it with me.

There are tons of recipes out there, this is the one we used:

1 cup flour
3/4 cup warm water
2 teaspoons cream of tartar (I added this the next day after I went to the store)
1 teaspoon oil
1/4 cup salt
few drops of food coloring. In the future I might divide the dough and add different colors last but for this batch, minty green.

Mix all ingredients and stir over medium heat until smooth and warm. Remove from pan and knead (you may have to add more flour to get the right consistency, ours was sticky but became a lovely soft dough as we kneaded. I got lots of help at this point) Store in a plastic bag or airtight container when cool and between play sessions. Assemble lots of "cooking" utensils and small objects to stamp into the dough. Express a desire for a homemade birthday cake with cookies on the side. Step back.
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Friday, November 12, 2010

Fix-It Friday - Bathroom Door

Look closely. See it? Right.... there. Fixed. Bugging me for so long. You remember how small this bathroom is, right? Well, try it. You should notice right away ... how ... spacious. Don't you feel thinner? Less confined? The bathroom isn't bigger. It isn't newly painted a fancy color (yet). Ahhh, you got it. The door opens out instead of in.
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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Little Blue Mammoth Hat

Because that is supposed to be a mammoth, not because of the size of the head, although we are a family of big-headed toddlers. Heads like lolipops on their teeny little bodies, oh yes.

Two - TWO - more skeins of this yummy yummy llama wool. Not quite enough for a warm shawl (unless it was lacy and on tremendously large needles). Not enough for a sweater - maybe a warm vest? With stripes? This wool is clearly too warm for my hot-blooded babies, it was meant for me! But what?!?
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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Monster Sleeves

I'm sensing a pattern here. Cookies, anyone? Nom. Must have cookies.

But really, what 9 year old doesn't need funny blue fuzzy wrist warmers?
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Sunday, November 7, 2010

Nom. Monster Scarf.

I'm twying to eat my own tail! Can't ... quite ... eat it all...

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Friday, November 5, 2010

Fix-It Friday - More Chairs

So much fun with the nail/staple gun. So much more fun than with a desk stapler. Ask me how I know.

Yucky pink spotty cover. Verging on pepto puce.

Ahhhh. Cranberry with a fussy little design - just right for hiding mac and cheese spots.
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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Pretty Iron + Pretty Ironing Board = More Ironing?

Thanks Mr. Sycamore, for the most awesome iron I've ever owned. Thanks, Sis, for the recommendation. Doesn't really make me iron shirts more often than "after the pile gets too big to use the iron for sewing". New ironing board cover to match the seat cushions.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Train Bags - Again

Do any kids ever have enough trains? Why trains? Don't get me started on Thomas - does he dream of off-roading more than usefulness sometimes? And Alec Baldwin! Ok, ok, obviously I can go on and on about the existential Thomas.

Here is our truly useful Ikea train bag.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Meet Mr. Ugly Tooth.
And his kids.

Grrrr. Argh.
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