I heart DEMO

We live in a giant project, respectively called a “fixer upper”.

It’s been years of labor – starting first with installing hardwood flooring, renovating two bathrooms and a kitchen, rebuilding a deck and front porch and painting the entire exterior and interior. All this we did in the first 2 years. Are you tired yet, I am!

Next came building a barn. Giant project – still working on that one!

Here and there came a few new doors, windows, oh and all the siding.

Luckily I/we kinda love big projects but navigating them with two small children has been at times – um… sucky.

But it gets easier every year, this year they can help paint a little or play happily in the yard and watch us work. Or even better provide me an excuse to avoid working on extension ladders.

Some day it sure would be lovely to hire someone to fix our house but until then I won’t lie – I actually love demo.

This very morning as I was dangling off the side of the house prying off a big rotted board I was singing a little “I love construction” song when a giant shower of mouse shit came down on my head. Oh joy!

I wont lie I still love demo, I just hate mouse poop.

 

May 25th, 2012 by zoe 2 Comments

Woods Stories

We went for a walk in the woods – most days from here to October could be defined by this sentence!

We brought along with us little notebooks.

Oliver decided to write stories about the things he saw.

This was story about a little tree who wanted to have more than 4 leaves!

Emmett decided to record numbers in his book. He counted 29 newts and 26 lady slippers!

We all jumped up and down to see so many Spring friends in the woods, and yes we said hello to each and every one of those 29 newts. Taking in as much as we can of that early Spring green. Simply marvelous!

May 16th, 2012 by zoe 1 Comment

Homemade Angry Birds Shirts

Sometimes I feel compelled to shut out the world of commercialized characters – I want to hide under a rock and shield my kids from having logo branded toothbrushes, lunch boxes, underwear, sneakers, hats, shirts, coloring books,Band-Aids, action figures, jackets and everything else.

It’s not that I am a complete partypooper (okay maybe I am) it’s just there is so much STUFF with, let’s say, a certain man turned spider on it. For lots of reasons all this STUFF starts to overwhelm me. I know that these comic book characters, video game characters, movie characters are really important to kids – they inspire, bond and excite them.  But this herd of merchandising is also a multi billion dollar machine that seeks to take over the hearts, minds and wallets of our wee lads and lasses. They compound stereo types, promote violence, gender conforming and commercialism – joy!

Unless you want to your kid be a walking advertisement where do you draw the line? I guess my tactic is to insert creativity into the mix a much as possible – I often talk to the kids about inventing our own superhero characters, we have fun drawing, bestowing powers and acting out the roles of our very own captain super people. I draw our own coloring pages with super kids for us to color. I have even wagged fingers at Grandma’s in my efforts to minimize super hero’s daily impact – sorry Mom!  I also try to turn their desires into craft projects – such as these Angry Bird inspired applique shirts.

Did I stay up late stitching these, yes – am I crazy YES. I could have said no, I could have bought them for $20 – but somehow somewhere in my mind it just seemed the right thing to do. The kids wanted Angry Birds shirts so being the dorky crafty Mom I am I said “Let’s make some”. They chose their favorite birds and we made a sketch together of what it should look like. They diligently colored their sketches. We then made a bigger pattern together that would completely cover the printing that was already on the shirt just like I did on this project. We gathered colored T-shirt scraps and cut out our pattern pieces. Next came the late night stitching! I must say I am quite smitten with stitching t-shirt scraps, the results are fantastic and the materials (unlike snazzy wool felts) are FREE. Again, many thanks to Natalie Chanin!

The kids are way psyched which is pretty cool too.

So much so that the very next day I was commissioned to make a ninja mask

Wherever you are in your battle of good and evil – may the crafty force be with you!

 

 

 

April 29th, 2012 by zoe 2 Comments

Spring Woods

We are out in the woods a lot these days. We have a new trail out back that passes by a porcupine villiage. Tiny caves on the hillside where porcupines are living happily. Did you know porcupines poop (a lot!) right outside their homes and that’s where you can find lots of quills. They are also great climbers and spend lots of time up high in trees!

Sometimes at night we hear the screams of a fisher cat echo through the ravine and wonder if all the cute little fellas made it home safely.

Spring signs are everywhere with green moss, peeper frog eggs, and caddisfly larva in the streams. If you aren’t familiar with the caddisfly it’s a pretty fantastic bug to hunt for with kids in streams and rivers — they make a pretty impressive home from twigs and sticks. Or even gold, pearls and gem stones!

We happened on a baby vole nested under Dahlia Doodles grain bowl. It’s Spring and baby animals are everywhere!

On the way home from a woods walk we always have to teeter across the tippy stonewall rocks especially close to barbed wire – it wouldn’t be a good hike without it!

April 15th, 2012 by zoe No Comments

Make Recycled Necklaces

I made these cool necklaces with old washers from the tool bench, nail polish and brightly colored yarn. I spray painted the washers on both sides with an off white color as a base then added stripes and polka dots with colored nail polish. The brightly colored yarn scraps were a gift from my dear knitter friend and they come in handy all the time. Thanks Sara!

I think it’s a pretty fun project and any kid that is old enough to paint their own toenails could easily manage it quite easily provided they have some supervision and a super thick layer of newspaper on the work surface.

I love projects  made with stuff everyone has hanging around the house.

Small washers might even make for funky earrings!

 

April 7th, 2012 by zoe 10 Comments

Hand Stitching Progress

Progress!

Here is how things are coming along on my dress.

The fit is fabulous and I am loving getting back into a hand stitching kind of rythm.

I started tracing the pattern last Sunday – I kinda hope to be wearing it this Sunday ——-

We shall see!

April 6th, 2012 by zoe 10 Comments