up next: the letterpress

Our newest favorite crafty past time comes to us courtesy of Aunt D.  On a piece of lightweight foam, the kids etch/scratch/indent a drawing–aliens, silly faces, flowers, rainstorms were favorite subjects over here. 

Then, we ink the foam piece (note to self:  put down newspaper on the floor for this part.  What was I thinking?) and slap it down on a piece of paper.  Woo hoo!  We’re a printmaking machine, and we’ve got some pretty cool pieces of art to boot.


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ice day #2

Or really “Day of No Ice.”  Regardless, there was surprising calm at our house as the kids created their giant watercolor masterpiece together.  Happily.  In perfect harmony.

Apparently this painting depicts robots (turn yourself sideways), and there might be some intergalactic ray gun fighting.  I’m not sure; it was hard to tell with all of the giggling going on.

Biggest problem right now though is what to do with this creation.  Our gallery’s wall space is becoming increasingly crowded.

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bye bye little buddies

This Christmas my goal was to start working through my backlog of wool felt before I started buying some new colors.  Mission partially accomplished, I suppose.  Here’s where some of my supplies went:

My owl friends:

As quick as I made an owl, my kids absconded with them to hang over their bunkbeds.  Sneaks.  Much thanks to this adorable tutorial for its help and inspiration.

Magnetic bookmarks:

My mom made some for her volunteer buddies, so I took her concept and ran with it.  Since I was making goodies for kids and for teachers, my bookmarks became a little more, uh, manic than my mom’s.  The robot/alien ones were definitely the most fun to make as well as the best of use of random tiny felt scraps.

Time now to go place another felt order…

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what do snowmen do at night?

Happy New Year!  I’m taking a break from my haiku journaling to bring you this saga of a snowman.

We in North Carolina have had a snowy (for us) December.  On our latest and greatest snowstorm, the snow was perfect for building snowmen.  W. built this snowman which he promptly named “Frenzy” in honor of Space Police Lego.  Duh.

A day later, little w. walks into the front yard and says, “Huh.  Now I know what snowmen do at night.  They dance wildly!”

And the party must have been crazy because Frenzy seemed to be suffering the ill effects for much of the next day as well.

What do snowmen do at night indeed.

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cookie fun

Sprinkles, icing, bling!

Red hots to crack mama’s teeth.

Eat off floor for days.

Tried out a new recipe for the cookies this year, and they were great.  Soft cookies, icing that hardened but didn’t taste dreadful.  The kids added the coloring to the icing hence the, uh, bold shades.  w. and a friend showed restraint and even a hint of style while decorating.  e. went for the “More is more” approach.  Can’t lose either way I suppose.

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coming up roses

My salvation, my

squeaky friends.  So pink, so kind.

Not my grandma’s gloves.

I really love the line on the card about the gloves being “specifically designed to compliment your home decor.”  First up, are we looking for the word “complement” here?  And more importantly, in how many kitchens do pink and brown dishwashing gloves blend in with the decor?  Perhaps if my kitchen was done in a princess theme these gloves would be an asset.  Aside from that, they are merely amusing.

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“how are girls and boys different?”

asks my son today.

Coffee shop, students.  Answer:

“What do you think, son?”


Sitting at Beantraders today while little e. dances away upstairs, w. asks me how boys and girls are different.  Fair enough question, I suppose, from a child who informs me daily who he is going to marry at school.  I look around and see 15 disaffected Duke students plugged into their laptops, some with earbuds in, many without.  We have already been interrupting their public study hall with our “Book in a Bag” reading and backpack cleaning out.  I don’t feel like being their dinner time conversational fodder.  “You’ll never believe what I heard this mom saying to her kid today.  She was, like, explaining the anatomical differences between males and females RIGHT THERE IN THE COFFEE SHOP!  EWWWW!”

So I opted for the fall back parenting question technique, the tactic that has served me so well in the past in many stickier situations than this one.

“Well, sweetie, what differences have you noticed?”  Bear in mind, dear reader, that my son regularly takes baths with his sister.  Anything could have popped out.  His reply?  “Well, girls usually have longer heads like yours. (Thanks, sweetie).  And their hair must grow faster; that’s why it’s usually longer.”

Public conversation over.  Dignity intact.  Question answered.  We returned to our respective drinks and discussed how much more mud would have to be on his pants before we would call them “brown” instead of “gray.”

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