Sunday, January 31, 2010


I was the last one to take down the Christmas decorations this year, I am sure. Usually it is such a depressing task, but this year I decided to do a little redecorating. My goal for the year is to start really making our house a home. We moved into our fixer upper cottage with a very long to do list in Spring, 2008. Isabel was born that fall. And she is now beginning the process of weaning, and playing a *teensy* little bit more independently. So, it seems like an opportune time to add a few more homemade, thrifty, DIY aspects like the entryway table pictured above. Can you believe that it is not a table at all? It is a HUGE, horrible 1970's gas heater that doesn't work. After months of despising it, I came up with a delightful plan of disguising it. Then when the tree went down this year I realized that the awesomeness of a Christmas tree, is having nature in your home and making it very pretty. So I did the same with the above dead branch. I just tied thin strips of fabric scraps to the branches and placed it in a sauce jar with some glass marbles.
Nick has had the above wooden bird since before we were married. I think it is completely beautiful! We have CD shelf that we can't use for CDs because the kids like to play with them so we put the bird and a cheap Ikea plant and vase on top and put a few nice looking toys in the shelves below:

I used scrapbook paper and some chipboard cut-outs that I found on clearance last year at Michael's. It always amazes me how much can be done with a little bit of paper in the way of adding life to a boring room.
Completely off the topic, Anastasia's family-party was snowed-out and we were snowed-in yesterday. The 2-3 inches of snow they were predicting was actually half a foot! I love snow and honestly, we really needed a relaxing day after a big week and weekend. And, I didn't even have to cook as we were invited to Ben and Anna's for dinner!!! Thank goodness we have good friends in close proximity and a Jeep.
Today has been a productive lazy day as we put together Isabel's crib and had to re-organize the girl's room! She loves her crib at the moment (she is sleeping in it now even!!) so I hope it will motivate her to move out of our bed and sleep better. We will see what actually happens. Kids never do what you expect so you can't expect anything except the unexpected. lol. Happy cozy weekend.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Another year. 1... 2... 3. And she really gets more fun everyday.She decided on a fairy theme (of course). Anastasia had a perfect day and her party was magical! I can't take all the credit, I was completely inspired by these parties. I put out a few surprises in her spot at the kitchen table:
A flower fairy plaque (mod podge + printed image + $1.59 plaque from Michael's!!!) for her wall, a pouch of fairies like she requested, and a card. We had her friend party this afternoon and she chose a few friends to attend.

We made poster board wings that the girls decorated, played Elefun and went looking for Fairy Treasure:
On the menu were scones , jam and whipped cream, pretzels, fruit, cheese and Cake.
This is the prettiest cake I have ever made. I made This yummy orange cake.

And Anastasia had plenty of help making wishes.

And we had presents:

She received a finger knitter and watering can: both she (I) can't wait to try out. And all our animals are well thanks to this new Dr. kit and a lovely quilted, bedding set made by Joanna. I saw this fabric at Joann's and LOVED it, and it matches Anastasia's room! And the favors:
Coloring/sketch book (with fairy pictures), wands, necklaces, and homemade fairy dough. I might have gone a little over the top with the party, but it was oh so fun, and every year is truly a gift to celebrate! Someday they grow up. Happy Birthday my sweet Anabear! Hope your year is full of love and magic! And stay little, a little longer please!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Weekend WIP

Its been a busy weekend with Nick's dad in town but I managed to whip up a couple little things in stolen moments here and there. I made 5 fairies (4 are currently waiting on wings) for Anastasia's birthday gift and cake toppers and a little mushroom card holder for my Little Red Whimsy cards:
I was inspired by the Wee Folk Art card holders, but their pattern wasn't big enough for my cards. Weird. So I made my own with their's as inspiration. I am not sure if I mentioned it or not, but I purchased my logo, banner and clipart from Alluring Effects: $10 for everything. I am just not computer savvy, nor do I have a decent program for designing (although I am learning to make do with Paint... lol) so I am happy others do such a nice job.
Well, I have more to finish for the party and can't wait to share all of the ideas that are unfolding and coming together for my Anabear's special day. I will keep you posted! ;)

Friday, January 22, 2010

"Some poor little person is shaking with fear,
that he'll blow in the pool! He has no way to steer!
I'll just have to save him because after all,
a person's a person no matter how small."

-from Horton Hears A Who by Dr. Seuss.

You can tip toe around reality all you want... but to deny the pre-born are "persons" is to reject the beautiful complexities that constitute our humanity. My children had quite personalities in-womb that were very pronounced at birth and have only blossomed since. Shortly after Isabel was born, a friend I knew grewing up lost her baby at 9 months pregnant. It occured to me how unfair it is that a mother's love alone gives a person, in womb any sort of rights. I try not to think about it too much, because there is only so much my heart can bear... but I kiss my children a few extra times today and thank God I wanted and needed my girls. And they have made me a better, more creative, sensative and loving person than I ever knew possible.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Hearts For Haiti

It is heartbreaking what has happened in Haiti. I have been to a part of Haiti owned by a cruise line that I was on and it was completely beautiful and devastatingly poor. The people were happy and bright despite their circumstances. Tourism was their only source of income. People everywhere are trying to help. I found this lovely Etsy shop called Hearts for Haiti where you can donate items to sell, or buy and all the proceeds go to Doctors Without Borders. I don't know everything about the Doctors Without Borders organization, but it seems to be doing a very good job helping the Haitians in need. I am hopefully going to have some "Sweetheart Gnomes" up in the Hearts for Haiti shop this week sometime. I like that I don't have to have money to donate something that will make a small difference. I encourage anyone with an Etsy shop to look into donating to this great cause. :)

Also, I was at the grocery store yesterday and they asked me to donate $1 to the American Red Cross for relief in Haiti. This angers me a bit, because they are a great corporation, and I would be happy to donate it they offered to match my donation DOLLAR FOR DOLLAR. That always bothers me when they ask me to make a donation without owning up to making one themselves.

I finally got the Christmas tree and decorations down today and will probably still be finding pine needles to sweep next Christmas. They are everywhere! I know I am a little slow on getting the decorations down... I have just been so busy, and I love Christmas! But someone is turning 3 in a week and I have garland to hang and paper mushrooms to make! And the tree was getting a little dried out anyway so it is time to move on, and start getting ready for next Christmas! lol. If I start now maybe I will have all my ducks in a row by Christmas eve!!! Haha, actually probably not. Life with toddlers is unpredictable and busy, exciting and crazy, and trying my patience at every corner. And I love being a mom... most days.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Fairy Cute

I finally put the concept of peg fairies into action!! This has been a week in progress between making, selling, and shipping sets of gnomes. I think they are ADORABLE and I love them and I am making a set for Anastasia for her birthday too! The fairies will look so sweet on her cake with some mushrooms... don't you think?
A trip to Michaels gave me what I needed to make some mushroom table and chairs.

And leaf beds!!! This is my FAVORITE part. I had them in my mind and finally made them the other day! They are way cuter in real-life!

I made a cute bag, but I really need to come up with a better way to store them. It is really cute and makes a little home, but the pouch took more time and work than I am willing to put into something that I can't really market for too much money.... back to the drawing board I guess. But everything folds up so nice:

So I am SOOOOO EXCITED about this. Hopefully it will inspire you to make one for all your kids.... or buy one... from my shop :) Happy Friday! Pizza for us tonight! yum.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Are you sick of looking at gnomes yet? I still love making these little cuties, and I started adding eyes, which is a big deal for me... I am not a painter and making 2 even-looking dots has been ridiculously daunting my friends... let me tell you. But I feel new little personalities coming out, and the first set sold in less than 12 hours!! Hooray! And I have other ideas in my head... closer to becoming something tangible.
The kids have had small colds. Nothing horrible... just lots of boogers. But that doesn't stop Isabel from trying to be a rock star. She really is groovy. And moves to the beat. And she doesn't miss a beat. Anastasia is harder to photograph. I finally was permitted to put away her playmobil calender... but she loves her Mapletown-esque pals and dollhouse. And she just learned to cut today. I cut some strips of paper, and she went to town making confetti. She was occupied for SooooOO long. We should definitely do more cutting. Nick and I went out the other night... we don't get out much:

We were supposed to eat at this quaint Irish restaurant, but it was closed... as seems to be the case when I try to visit. But I think I wanted Mexican more anyway and Los Portillos just amazes me with goodness. It is so. seriously. amazing. The shrimp fajitas will knock your socks off. Nick ordered a Large Margarita. They weren't kidding labeling it "Large". We had to take pictures since it was so big, and eating out is so rare for Nick and I... alone. We hardly knew what to do with ourselves, and spent a long time at the restaurant, and even, *gasp* ordered dessert!!! And hung out a little after that. I forgot what it was like to be normal. lol.

Well, there isn't much to do around here so we thought we would rent a movie. Again, not something we EVER do because we have Netflix and LOVE IT!!! Turns out Blockbuster in town is going out of business... and I am perfectly fine with that because I don't like Blockbuster. Victory for Netflix!!!! YAY! We went to Movie Gallery and realized, we don't even like movies anymore... at least it seems like most movies they put out these days are REALLY REALLY LAME. Do people really watch these horrible intelligence-undermining movies? So we went home, and watched Miracle on 34th street... the old 1947 one and we loved it.
I still have most of our Christmas Decorations up... including the tree. I am not ready for the holidays to be over really. But I need to start getting geared up for some one's 3rd birthday!!! I got her a wooden barn and plan to get a few more mommy and baby animals for it. I think she will LOVE it. Horses and ponies are the "in" thing around here. Well... Isabel is fussing so I better *try* and get her to sleep or something. :)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Food For Thought

Last month we watched Food, Inc. and I can't recommend it highly enough! If you have Netflix, you can watch it on instant play. I can't decide what part of our industrialized food system is the most frightening, the fact that most beef is saturated in ammonia to kill the e-coli that is probably there, or the fact that a few companies own (and control) 90% of our food (if not MORE!!!!). Hmmm. It was overall a well-done documentary, one of the best I have watched with a rather inspiring message at the end in comparison to the grim feeling you are left with at the end of most documentaries. I think the part about Monsanto (the seed company that owns 90% of our seeds under several different names) and how they are trying to gain complete control over ALL seeds by forcing farmers who save seeds out of business!!! You can bet they are coming after the heirloom seed companies at some point in the future! So buy heirloom and learn to save seeds NOW!!! And I am not stepping off of my soap box yet...

There were a couple parts I didn't like, and I have to point out so if you watch it, you won't be mad at me. First of all there was a quote, "Cows are designed by evolution to eat grass." Um, hello, Evolution doesn't design anything, and if you believe only in evolution, than guess what, cows can evolve and adapt to the corn, soy, and feces diet they are on now. So there. God designs, evolution conforms. Not science, fact.

Number 2: there is a underprivileged Hispanic family that are portrayed as not being able to afford to eat healthy and instead eat fast food because it is "cheap". The family's total at Burger King was about $14 or so. Hello, I feed my family a healthy meal of organic (usually) veggies, meat, and grains for around $10 (give or take) and have leftovers for Nick's lunch the next day. They made a point of how expensive the $2 head of broccoli was. Buy a $2 box of whole grain pasta, cook it and add the broccoli, make a cream sauce and you have dinner for $8 that is healthy and good. It just made me feel like the family was ignorant, and lazy and blaming the expensiveness of healthy foods, for their misfortune. And the worst part for me, is that most Hispanic cultures make deliciously rich food from a variety of inexpensive grains, vegetable, legumes and meat with flavorful spices. Most Hispanic markets are also a good place to go for very inexpensive and exotic produce and foods. Just my 2 cents... or more like 10 cents.

And my brother got me this book for Christmas:

I have been wanting this book for a while due to its devout following, and thinking it would be a good addition to compliment and reinforce the way we already eat. Well, I have very mixed feelings about the book to be honest. I thought it would inspire me to cook richer, healthier foods for my family, but I feel like the author is very authoritarian in her health views. Its as if we are all going to die from drinking coffee and ingesting white flour so instead of feeling inspired, I feel like I want to rebel entirely! It is completely impractical! I don't have time, energy or time!!! to grow my own grains, dry them and grind them. Sorry.

Overall, it is an interesting way to look at things, and I like the idea of eating more pickled things, raw things (not meat though, bleh!!), salads and I agree that animal fats are actually really good for you. And I currently have wheat berries and beans sprouting on my counter, and hope to try some of the milk culturing recipes here in the future. But I tried the sour dough bread... and fed my starter diligently for a week... and it turned out hard as a rock! The recipe said it "made a dense bread" and would last unrefrigerated for a week... but failed to mention it would last longer because it so resembles rocks you would never know if it were stale or not. To be fair, the flavor was good, and the kids liked it with jam and it might even redeem itself as a pretty-good french toast. So there are a few good recipes to be had for sure, but I like the flavor of More With Less and Simply In Season for all around perfect cookbooks. Thank you Mennonites. You rock.

So this is a very soap-boxy post, but it is only my opinion... so don't take it too much to heart. Just eat good food, and vote with your dollars... because the government gets paid by the corporations (MONSANTO!!!) too... Democrats and Republicans(and Republicrats) alike... it is up to us to save the farms and the seeds and to make it all taste better. :) Happy eating.
EDIT: OK, so I wanted to give Nourishing Traditions a little more credit. The carrot salad is AMAZING!!! My kids love it. I DESIRE IT ALL DAY. yum. And if you are looking to eat healthier, her plan seems to have some pretty sound guidelines. I am definately gleaming plenty of pearls of wisdom from this book, and I find I can in fact take a few shortcuts, to make the recipes more acceptable to my busy life. It is a bit overwhelming in some points, and doesn't have the same warm, cozy feeling of other cookbooks but I do recommend it overall after reading more of the recipes and talking to others who may have had the same initial response. :) I think the carrot salad alone has made it worthwhile. I need to get some now! haha.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Dollhouse Tour

I wanted to invite you to tour the house of the Kitty family. Most of the furniture I bought on Amazon as I couldn't find it locally. I love that it came with a woodstove! If you walk in the big red door (currently sporting a wreath hung with an ornament hook) you will most likely find Mrs. Kitty in her cozy little wood-stove warmed kitchen. Mrs. Kitty makes the most delicious lattes on her gas range-- the only way to cook. Mmmm.

Baby, Tabby and Kiki only have one cup, so like good little children they take turns. Hopefully Mrs. Kitty can make it to AC Moore for a nice set of tableware and Thankfully Nick will *hopefully* be making the family some real dining furniture so the whole family can eat together. ;)

Mr. Kitty, aka Daddy Cat knows where its at... by the fireplace. All he needs is a good book or perhaps he could take a climb up the ladder to the family bedroom for a catnap...

This is the kid-side, complete with a crib... because Baby kitty actually sleeps in a crib. Although the way she is climbing these days it looks like a hazard. Good thing she has 9 lives.

Mr. and Mrs. Kitty were wise to invest in an extra large bed, because if their kids are anything like mine, they will all be in it before morning! They were also wise to put a fireplace in the bedroom next to the bed. How cozy their little house is. Wouldn't you like to move in next door?

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!!!!! And a very crafty Christmas.

I can't believe it is 2010! We had an awesome Christmas, and a good New Years Eve. In fact December was one of the best Decembers I have expirienced in my life! "The gifts were handmade, not storebought, and often they were the same year after year.... It was easy in those days to give children something they didn't have. Almost any toy was magical then-- clothespin dolls and balls made by winding string around a core of rubber. And a thread spool rigged up so that you could knit with it, or a homemade Indian suit of fringed khaki with an Indian bonnet, likewise homemade, of mixed Rhode Island Red and Plymouth Rock feathers."

--From the Readers Digest "Family Christmas" and a shot from Christmas eve:

One of my favorite gifts that I recievedwas actually part white-elephant: Some old readers digest (1984, 1979) Christmas books and a book of Christmas fairytales! I have been enjoying all the stories, and craft ideas, and there is even directions to make your own manger! So our holy family will have nicer home next year! And part of my handmade Christmas, I made Isabel an "Olive" doll:
I of course made her with red hair, and I used material I used in their Easter dresses! Of course, like my previous handmade dolls, she is more of a decoration than a treasured plaything. :) I made Anastasia a new pizza as I ended up selling the previous one (and 4 others) that I made for her a long time ago. I was so on the ball then, and ended up finishing the doll and pizza on Dec. 23rd. And for my mom, the first of many I hope:

Russian nesting pouches!! I have had this idea floating around in my head for quite a while now, and finally made it. The smallest one is a lavender-filled sachet. I am hoping to perfect them a bit and sell them someday... but they take so-darn much time! but everyone will want them! For my dad, I embroidered handkercheifs:He uses kercheifs, and drives for Fed Ex and remembers fondly the days when my mom would embroider his kercheifs when they were newlyweds. Well, now he is set, and he will always know they are his should they get lost. No one wants the wrong handkercheif, thats for sure. And to say the least, Anastasia was quite excited Christmas morning: We spent a while opening our gifts around the tree. And I made some beds for each family of Calico Critters (which each girl recieved):
And after opening our gifts, Nick made breakfast and we went to my parents house for "dinner" and saw my brother, who lives in Montana. He gifted the girls with the game Elefun, which quickly became one of the biggest hits this Christmas! l0l. And I am certain my parents outdid us, and Santa (put together) with gifts this year. The excitement of the girls seeing family, opening presents and experiencing a magical Christmas was entirely priceless. I really hope I can preserve the true beauty of the season for them in our overly-commercial world year after year. And I really hope 2010 brings many blessing to you, and to all! Happy new year!!