Saturday, August 27, 2011

Modern Dresser

Found this at our local thrift store a week ago, passed it up with regrets. When it was still there a week later, I knew it was meant to be mine. The mirror attaches to the back off-set which makes it look even more Scandinavian - but it had all the hardware to hang up and we decided to center it, here in our upstairs hallway. For off-season clothes. I'm so happy.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Before and After Bike

So this is J's present to Sweet P - his old bike. Not that Sweet P doesn't love Thomas, but ...

A pink princess bike is a bit better, don't you think?

I loved getting a $3 can of "Ballet Pink" and having a fun taping, spraying, and untaping project MUCH better than buying a new bike! And J is very proud of himself for thinking it up. He is already a real DIY-er.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sweet P Turns Three

Below: strawberry AND vanilla ice cream, angel food cake with strawberry/raspberry glaze, strawberry filled marscapone pie (from Epicurious, and delicious), and strawberry topped cupcakes with pink frosting. Birthday girl was very particular about her menu.

Happy Birthday sweetheart.

Now, lets turn off the lights, turn up the disco, and get our glow sticks out!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Summer Abundance and Tomato Soup Recipe

My favorite creamy tomato soup - very easy, freezes well, and PERFECT with grilled cheese.

Melt 5T butter in a soup pot. Add 1/2 cup diced onion and cook over medium heat, stirring, until the onion is softened but not browned. Sprinkle 4 T flour over the butter mixture and continue to stir and cook for 30 sec or so. Slowly add 4 cups room temperature milk, 1 small bay leaf, 1 1/2 tsp sugar, and 1 1/2 tsp salt and continue to cook and stir until slightly thickened. Stir the 1/2 tsp baking soda into 3 cups diced tomatoes. Add the tomatoes to the milk, and bring just to a simmer. Remove from the heat and put through a strainer or blender. Taste and correct seasonings. Reheat before serving.

Monday, August 15, 2011

And Pretty Flower Girls All In A Row

This was a sewing project for a family of flower girls in a wedding this weekend. There will be matching sashes.

The flower girl in green is not very clear on the concept and is very disappointed NOT to be a flower girl in the wedding of someone she's never met. Notice out to our friends - if you get hitched or renew your vows Sweet P is available.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Giant Robot from Cardboard

A GIANT Robot. This robot can fly (if you hold him carefully) but he walks gingerly and must be propped up to stand by himself. Not much for fighting (Mommy is SO glad about that) but very good for conversations.

Thank you Mr. Sycamore for the awesome design and execution.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Summer Projects - Only a Month Left

Our porch was painted when we moved in two years ago but had already started to peel. Last summer we thought about painting it and laughed at the idea of keeping our toddlers off the wet paint. So this summer we really had to get to it - and I will say that even only half done it looks about a million times better. Thanks Mr. Sycamore for most of the work!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Its Hot. Crayon-Meltingly Hot.

So I've seen a bunch of these on Pinterest and Modern Parents Messy Kids. The concept is simple - and with weather like we've been having on the East Coast, melting crayons is no problem - just look in the cup-holders in my car.

Some things I learned:

How to get the crayons lined up? Some tutorials call for hot-gluing the crayons in a line across the top of your canvas. This will only work if your crayons still have paper labels on them. We decided to use up our old broken crayons, and it was very hard to get the hot glue to stick the raw crayon to the canvas - it tended just to melt the crayon. I did it with the canvas flat then gingerly tipped it up to a very gentle angle, that seemed to keep most of the crayons mostly in place. I think it might work to line them up then tape them carefully across, then remove the tape once they are melted, but I haven't tried that yet.

What angle? Some tutorials also show a very steep angle of the canvas - I found that made the crayons roll down before they could melt. A gentle angle in full sun worked best to let the colors gently run down the canvas but not spread out on our patio (we already call it the frying pan, it was PERFECT for this project). So instead of putting the canvas on our easel as I'd planned, I just used an empty yogurt container to prop up one side, with the whole thing on newspapers to catch the run off.

Other ideas: While I tried to face the canvas directly toward the sun, you can see that one side melted more than the other. Our budding scientists were very interested in this effect. I think it would be fun to do in the future with three smaller boards and angle them in different directions or hang them on the wall so the drips are perpendicular to each other.

Not that our house gets as hot as the sun, but it is hard to know when this art is really "done." It does seem that there is no way to really stop the potential for further art. I plan to add some details to that empty lower right corner, then spray a clear coat on top to preserve it. Other ideas? Guess we'll find out!

I can recommend this project with kids, especially if you have a bunch of old crayons hanging around that aren't very appealing to color with. My kids love making things out of other things and never want me to throw broken things out - so this was a win-win. If you are going to obsess over the crayon color placement then probably get the materials all out before you call the kids over because gluing the crayons on is kind of fussy.

Good luck!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Summer Vacation!

The only crafting going on has been car and campsite knitting - more on that when I get a few photos taken. Otherwise, it was swimming, hiking, and appreciating the toddler pace and perspective. Like the huge toadstool above. An slew of fairies could have camped here.

Beautiful wildflowers (some call them weeds) at the side of the road on our twentieth potty stop.

Bucket hats in action, waiting for the ferry on a 100 degree day.

Pitcher plants and sundews in a bog.

Hope your summers are happy and your vacations filled with fun!
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