Monday, January 31, 2011

favorite game

Just a short post today to share one of our current favorite games. It's called Walk the Dogs.  We found it at the thrift store for $3. When I looked inside and saw all the little dogs and thought it would be worth it even if the game was silly.  Surly I could use 60 something plastic dogs for something.  I'm good at rationalizing stuff like that. 

It's available here at  Glad we got it for the $3.  Turns out the game is really fun. Lou can play under his rules, which is random and often changes for his benefit.  Bee and I play with a slightly modified directions and Hubby and I play total strategic no-hold-barred-to- the death.  More or less.  The box says it's for ages 6 and up.... I think 4 and up is more appropriate since there is no reading or counting really.    

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Baby quilt #1 is done -open window quilt

Seems like boys are the thing to have right now! I have four friends expecting right now and so far 3 of the 4 are boys. The other hasn't found out yet. I started a baby boy quilt and a little pink crocheted blanket (I'm using a slanted shell stitch and can't wait to show finished pictures!) Hopefully that fourth is a girl... or that will have to sit in my closet until a girl comes around.

I pin the squares to my wall as I go... that's what everyone does, right?  I have a solution to this on hubby's to do list.

I showed the fabric here at the beginning of January.   The green fabric was the one I started with.  I had scraps about the size of a fat quarter left from an apron . I really loved it though.  It is little boy, but not to baby.  The blue checkered was a garage sale find pottery barn baby crib sheet.  The red dots was scrap from apron projects, the brown was scrap (can't remember what from) and the stripes was a garage sale find crib skirt.  The white is the flat part of the crib skirt.  I used this spotted squares quilt as my inspiration. 

I love a project this size.  It's a floor or stroller quilt.  Not too big that it takes all winter to make and is hard to get the fabric through my machine.   I'm calling it the Open Window Quilt.   Can I name a pattern....?  I don't know what the rules are.  This quilt is pretty free form as far as the measurement inside the squares go.  Not a lot of rules, I like that.

The back is pretty much pieced as I was using up any left over scraps.  I had the most of the stripes and blue checkered, so it made up the bulk of the back.

The binding is brown, it's the only thing I had enough long pieces of to make the binding. The colors of this quilt directed themselves by what I had available.

I had planned to use the meandering stitch to quilt it, but had lots of trouble getting it to look right.  I think my machine needs a tune up but every time I think of it, another project comes up.

I really like how this turned out. I am going to make up a few other small items to go with it (pacifier clips, diaper and wipe holder, etc) and then call it done.  I am co-hosting the baby shower, so this will let me put a little more time and funds into that.

If I had more fabric to work with, I would have made more squares that had three or more windows too it, but I was scared of running out.

If there is another baby  girl at some point, then I'm hoping to make one that looks something like this.

Friday, January 28, 2011

bird watching

We have a nice spot for our feeders at the new house. 

Daddy keeps our viewing window clean.  (can I say how nice it is to have new windows... the old house has 50 year old leaky windows)

If we go to the window and we don't see any birds, we know this guy is out.  

He seems to suffer form a seasonal disorder.  Poor guy has been spending so much time inside this winter, I think he's depressed.  The two of us might sneak off to someplace sunny!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

thrifty finds

I'm pretty much in garage sale winter withdrawal.  It's a syndrome.  The kids too.  We did make it out to the thrift store this week. We made several good purchases.

Found a looks-so-stinking-new-I-can't-believe-it Christmas dress for Bee for next year. She spied it and snagged it with her little thrifty ninja paws.  Christmas things were on clearance so this was $2.   We have room to grown in it, so we should be good.

This jacket was on clearance for $1.  I thought maybe that I might use it for the buttons and fabric, but when we got home and I tried it on in front of a mirror, I really liked it.  I may wear it this spring and then cut it up later.

Here's my favorite find.  It's a  rug crochet from plastic bags.  It matches my bag from Kenya.

Lou just wanted to be in the picture.  For $1.50, this will be the perfect thing to cover up the drain hole in the floor of my sewing room.  {Take a peak at these photos, its the black thing on the floor}   Plus, It's comfy to stand on when I iron.   

This sweater was Bee's size and only $1. I figure even if she only wears it 2-3 times or so, it's fun and a good deal.  It was brand new and I couldn't pass it up.

This bag of dinos came just in time for dinosaur day at preschool.  It doubled our home collection. It was just $4.  They all needed a bath, but we took care of that.  The best part was, when I got looking at them I found there was a double set, so it made for a perfect matching game.

This took care of my garage sale withdrawal... for this week.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

mittens- preschool style

We did mittens this week at preschool.  I love this theme.  I blogged about it last year, but I added some activities this year.   We of course read The Mitten by Jan Brett (we met her over a year ago) and gathered up the animals in the mitten as I read.  I made a new mitten this year out of an old white sweater.  It's not the one in this photo (which is from last year).  Then we sang the mitten in the snow song (you can find the words here on last years post).

 The art project was painting paper mittens with dot stampers.

Here are the ones Lou brought home today.

I had each of my kiddos bring in a pair of mittens or gloves from home.  We picked our mittens out of a big pile, talked about what they looked like, compared them, etc.  I had the kids finish this sentence...  _____'s mittens are ____.  Then I took their picture with their mittens.  I am working on another class book.  This one is called "Our Silly Mittens."

Here's my picture which will go on my page.  My page reads, "Ms Beth's mittens are falling apart.   They are.  There is a big hole.  They are several years old and I have mended the heck out of them.

 Then we sang Snowy Pokey:
Put your right mitten in, take your right mitten out, put your right mitten in and shake it all about. You do the snowy pokey and you shake it all about. That's what it's all about. (left mitten, hat, right boot, left boot, etc)

We played with the parachuet and put our mittens in and popped them around.  It got a little wild and I had to cut our popping time short and sweet.

I didn't have this cool activity ready for today, but I'll be taking it in later in the week.  It's pictures of real snowflakes big and little.  Kiddos can use a magnifying glass to help them match them.  I made this set, but stole the idea from My Montessori Journey.   All the photos are from this snowflake and snow crystal photo gallery website.   The wax paper thing in the photo was a little envelope for the small pieces but Bee promptly took it away. 

We had some extra time at the end of the day and I read The Jacket I Wear in the Snow by Shirley Nietzel and sang this song about snowflakes.  

During bathroom breaks, I sang Laurie Berkners snowflake song:
(tune of I'm a little teapot)
I'm a little snowflake, icy and round.
I fall from the ground and I don't make a sound.
When it's cold , I stay all day.
When it's warm, I melt away.

You sing snowflake songs in the potty to your friends, right?

I'm linking up to some of these fine link parties.

adaptaions and the eyes

Hopefully this is the last post I have to do mentioning Lou's injured eyes.  He is doing great and the Dr. says there is no reason for us to even come back in .  He says that mom and dad will have a better idea about his vision than he would probably get from a non cooperative little guy.  I think we're good.

We had to make a few adaptations during his four days of blindness.  Besides sleeping with us because he was scared to be alone, we had do to something about not being about to find the orange tag on his blankey.   I stitched on a button so he could find it.  Problem solved.  Button was removed as soon as his sight returned. 

Bee had to wear her makeup a little darker.  No, seriously, she thinks this is lovely. 

I whispered in Lou's ear how Bee's makeup looked.  Even blind, he knew it was funny.

This was another interesting thing.  He figured out this way of scooting around on his bottom so he could still get around but wouldn't get hurt if he bumped into something.

Goodness, looking back now, just one week later makes me just so completly thankful for his full recovery.

Monday, January 24, 2011

the red thread gift

Someone I know is adopting.  That's all I can say about that.  They have found and shared a quote with us that they are living out.  I wanted to make a special gift for them using that quote. 

It's an ancient Chinese proverb:  

"An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet, regardless of time, place, or circumstance.  The thread may stretch or tangle, but it will never break."

I loved it when I first read it.  Don't you have some friends like that?  The more you get to know them, you realize that it was fate that you met and that if you hadn't met the way you did, there would have been a dozen other opportunities to meet eventually.    This would make a great gift for anyone adopting or for those friends you just feel your paths were destined to cross.

So this project is simple.  I printed the quote on some pretty paper and arranged it on another sheet of pretty paper with a black mat sized to fit a 4x6 photo. 

This sample picture shows how a piece of red embroidery floss runs across the back.   The red floss is gently glued on in a few spots.

 It's framed in a black shadow box. Here's my favorite part.  I wrapped some additional red floss around an old wooden spool and it's glued in there too.  I love the 3D part of it.

Now all we need to add is a family picture of the new happy family  They'll have to do that at their house.  They can't share photos yet.  Pretty excited to give this to them.  They'll see it here before they get it for sure.  I'm nervous to ship it, so it may be awhile before I can give it in person.   Pretty excited about that. Giddy excited.

Linking up to some of these wonderful link parties.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

do you know this guy

Last year some of my readers helped me identify some birds we were getting at our feeders.  This winter, we have a new guy to identify.  I'm sure they're common, we've have 5 or 6 on our finch feeder.  I'm guessing they are some kind of finch.  He's this little yellow guy.  
I must be google illiterate this week, because I can't seem to find this bird online anywhere.
What do you think?

EDITED TO ADD:  Hate to spoil the fun... my grandma answered in first with a link to a web site that I've used before to identify birds, but could find when I needed it.  It is an American goldfinch, the winter non breeding version.  Makes sense. We didn't get the finch feeder until last spring.  We immediately saw lots of pretty bright yellow guys.  The winter coat is so much is different and not as pretty.  They are probably ready for spring too!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

plan B

It was sort of an ah-ha moment when I saw this idea from Four Crazy Kings to turn a Melissa and Doug toy tray into a hanging wall display.  Good thinking.

We had the exact same piece.  I ran to the basement and grabbed it up.  We quickly found a new home for the pieces inside.  They were always falling out anyway.    I took it upstairs and told Bee about the project plans.  She said, "oh, I thought it was one of those drawer thingys."  A drawer thingy... what a good idea.

Bee's desk drawer is now organized.  Good thinking Crazy Kings, good thinking Bee. 

Friday, January 21, 2011

feels like a win

I didn't win these, but I felt like I won when I found them.  Four more tulip bowls!

I bought two stacks some time back for $1.00 for 6 at a garage sale.  I never thought I'd see any more again.  I paid much more than $1.00 for the others, but it averaged out alright. I bought four more in colors I didn't have.  They are from this fun etsy shop.

Here's my happy collection. Some are in the wash.  I use these all the time.  I love that they are mismatched.  I'm kinda like that too.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

another win

Lucky me, I'm on a winning streak. Hoping this carries over to winning a fancy camera or stand mixer!

 I won this great lot from Living My Sweet Life.  I love all the pieces.   This blogger and I share a love of making little bags and pouches.  Zippers, clips, snaps,  ribbon ties.... we're soul sisters.

Lou has taken over the crayon roll. Bee's taken the owl zipper pouch.  

The purse is all mine though.  I love it.  It's fun and comfy, totally roomy.  Lots of pockets and I've already gotten lots of compliments.  It's the 'lickety split' bag from Made by Rae.  She used to call is the stroller bag.  You can untie the straps and attach it to any stroller handles or shopping cart, etc.  It's a great mom bag, but still cool enough to carry around with out the kiddos present.

After seeing and carrying this bag, I've bought the pattern myself.  I also picked up some gorgeous fabric today to make up a bag for a friend.  I may keep it though and make her another.  I might keep that one too though.  It's a slippery slope.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

mens shirt edit

Here the men's shirt I started with. Apparently it's sheet washing day at our house.  This shirt came from hubby's brothers stuff.  We've slowly been going through his things.  I think we bought it for him years ago.  He hoarded clothes so it's hard to tell.  Not that that's a bad thing.

I took it in at the sides and straightened out the bottom edge.  It was an easy remake. 

the big tree- work in progress

(Lou eye update at end- Praise the Lord!)

I've had this idea for a tree painting for a long time.  I haven't been able to do it thought because we've rented for the past several houses. The house we did own had textured walls.  Anyway, the new house had a great spot. 

This is the end of the hallway where the bedrroms are.  The bucket is for dirty clothes.  

The tree wall art piece was a gift from my best friend from junior high (and high school and even college roommate).   It's sort of been my inspiration for this painting.  There used to be little picture frames that pinned on the tree.  They got lost in a move years ago.  So my idea is a large tree and then pictures of our family members get attached some how.  

I grabbed some paints that I had on hand and got working.  I penciled a rough draft and sort of went with that.

Here's after the first painting session. 

Then I added the leaves and some depth with adding a second color to the wood.

Next, I need to work on gathering the pictures of each person I want to use. I am not sure how to attach the photos to the wall.  But, this post on Being Grown Up about a tree in a baby's room has given me the idea to use spray mount.  I'll be trying that.

Lou eye update: We have two eyeballs!  He was opening both eyes about halfway yesterday. He seems to see just fine.  We will go back to the doctor in a few days to check the healing and see if we can determine if his vision has been effected.  This is such good news!   Answered prayers for sure.  EDITED TO ADD:   Later in the day, both eyes were fully open and his pain seems to be greatly reduced.  From what mama tests I can do, I would guess his vision is fine.  Happy day!