Friday, February 26, 2010

Life Lessons from Snow White

Anastasia has been really into watching Snow White. She absolutely loves Snow White. We have it on loan from the library and being February, the worst month of the year, I have let her watch it more than usual. Did you know Snow White was the first animated feature film EVER? That must be why, it is so so so good. I was really worried it might be a bit scary for her, I mean the evil Queen wants to cut out Snow White's heart, but somehow it is less scary than the rat in Lady and the Tramp.
I think of all the Disney movies, Snow White has the most teachable storyline. Snow White is a beautiful princess with a pure heart and sweet disposition. The evil Queen is overcome by jealousy over Snow White's inward and outward beauty, which might be why she wants Snow White's heart (since true beauty comes from the heart). And can you believe that there is a scene of Snow White praying in the movie? You won't find that in most modern children's movies. She prays for the dwarfs, and for her dreams to come true, and for Grumpy to like her. Then, after many trials (like eating poison apples and dying) all her prayers are answered. How sweet is that? You might even be able to come up with a more philosophical parallel to Snow White eating a poisoned apple (like eating the fruit in the garden of Eden) and then dying and having her prince come to raise her up... Perhaps that is not something my 3-year old is ready for though.
And I finally realized what my kitchen reminds me of, I always thought it was Hansel and Gretel's woodcutter kitchen, now I know it is more similar to the Dwarf Cottage! Usually more similar to the Dwarf Cottage before Snow White comes and cleans it. lol. Anyhow, I think Snow White is my all-time favorite Disney movie now that I am an adult with kids. I secretly hope Anastasia wants to be Snow White for Halloween... I even have a pattern. I think she would look adorable with the dress... and a little red bow.

So now that all my lofty ideals of not letting my kids watch too many movies has gone out the window (it is the cabin fever, I promise!!!) I have gone even lower... and resorted to bribery. I told Anastasia that the movie is going back to the library next week and if she wants her own Snow White movie, she has to start going poop and pee in the potty all the time. I also have an ancient Snow White Polly Pocket from my childhood (along with 2o something other Polly pockets from back in the day when the little playsets fit in your pocket) that I might raise the stakes with on my bribe. Bad, bad mommy. I know. But all these diapers need to go!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

'Round Here

It feels like its been a while. What have we been up to you ask? Well, first of all O'Mally (or MoAlly) is busy watching the birds. I *finally* (after a very long hiatus) filled the bird feeders. I put them in some of the trees by the kitchen window so we can sit at the table and watch the birds. Isabel loves it. Tweet-tweets are her favorite. And four months later the dog and cat are finally friends of sorts: The cat swats at Leia as she walks by, and Leia gently grabs O'Mally back. Its cute. And its about time! As for me, a friend taught me a new, very valuable skill:

Needle felting! I have been wanting to learn this for a very long time and I am so excited about the possibilities! A whole new medium for crafting. Its almost like sculpting, except more dangerous with a very sharp needle. It is a good thing my etsy shop did well this week, because I now must. buy. more. wool. Now. lol. Unfortunately my printer broke. It was one month old. Well, it was a black Friday deal that didn't get set up until January. NEVER BUY AN EPSON. EVER. It was nothing but trouble. Maybe it didn't help that it fell off of the counter and almost hit Anastasia. Even so it went through so much ink for as little printing as I did. I went and bought an HP Deskjet. I am So very happy with it.

When I paint for my shop, I like to have something for Anastasia to paint as well (this is an Isabel nap activity!). So far we made a bug box, and a nice china cabinet for her dolly house. Anastasia has been a wonderfully ornery 3 year old lately. She really has a knack for not being able to listen. And she is skilled at taking things from Isabel and teasing her until little Isabel screams at the top of her lungs... about 5 dozen times a day. Nick is supposed to bring me some ear plugs... and I hope that will help the ringing go away. I really wish I was exaggerating. But, she is cute, and we have so many sweet conversations and we really have a lot of fun now that she is older. She tells me she loves me all the time. What a beautiful mess I am in. Like Isabel and her soup:

We eat buckets of soup these days. Everyone loves soup in this house. And I made this amazing (x 100) oatmeal bread the other day. A bit of trouble but worth every bit of it. We ate both loaves in a 24 hour period. It was so good. I substituted 1/2 the flour with whole wheat pastry flour. Oh. My. Gosh. Delicious!

Isabel likes to eat, she is quite the connoisseur. She also likes to fix things (which usually means taking things apart or breaking them) but it is the thought that counts, right? She is really interested in how things work. Nick has been back at work lately. No blizzard for the past couple weeks. B-o-r-i-n-g. haha, just kidding. I really am longing for Spring. I was just fantasizing today about fresh asparagus and sugar snap peas. Carrots and onions are getting a little old. Well, I better get to bed... I am beat. I think I will dream about Spring.

Saturday, February 20, 2010


So not only am I tired of winter, and dreaming of getting my hands dirty in the garden, but I am getting excited for a few new pets. The kind that start out small and cute, and turn into these guys: We buy a couple dozen eggs a week, and since I buy the pricey organic, non-hormone, happy Chicken eggs, it gets expensive! So, I am hoping to save a little money, have extra to sell or give away, and also have cute chickens running around making nice fertilizer for our garden. And if we can ever toughen up, maybe we could have one for dinner. We are probably going to do the traditional Rhode Island Reds (pictured above) and some of these pretty light Brahmas:

Isn't he just adorably fluffy? A good winter layer, supposedly. I grew up with chickens when I was a teenager, and we had two of these gals: She is called a silkie. They are very soft, sweet chickens. I kind of want a couple more for the amusement factor. They are quite goofily cute. We are ordering from Murray McMurray's Hatchery with some friends to be delivered at the end of March. Just in time for Easter!!! So that might be even more motivation to get Easter Dresses made... because can you just imagine the pictures? Now we just have to figure out how our chicken coop works...

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Gnome Sweet Home

I have been trying to come up with a simple house for my gnomes, that wouldn't take 5 years to make like my previous gnome home (which gets played with quite a bit!!!). And so, now I have the Mushroom Cottage.
Perfectly accommodating to all your gnomey furniture.

And the roof becomes a teeter-totter!! It really is killing me with cuteness. Ack.

More to come, I am sure! In fact, I promised my Anabear her own Mushroom Cottage.
So if you are in the market for a home... and you happen to be a gnome, stop by my Little Etsy Shop. You probably won't need to take out a mortgage on this house.
Perhaps this is not the most reverent Ash Wednsday Post... but I do want to remind myself, and you all that we are dust, and to dust we will return. Praise God, Live a full life, and love unconditionally. Peace to you, this, beginning of lent.
P.S.- There are some good kid activities for lent at Catholic Icing's Blog. My kids are still a little young for the concept of lent for the most part, but I look forward to doing some in the future!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy St. Valentines Day!

Five years ago, Nick proposed to me. My, oh my, how far we have come! ;)
I finished these cookies at 1 am last night. Nothing says I love you like some last minute felt cookies with embroidered sprinkles. Or, chocolate chips made from french knots. I have been wanting to make these berets for a while. Of course, I had to make them the night before:

Now I want to make myself a flower brooch to wear... maybe a project for the way to church? We will see.

I surprised Nick with some heart-shaped scones for breakfast, and handmade whipped cream. The whipped cream also accompanied some hot cocoa after we made this:

Our snow igloo... or what you will. ;) Hope you have a happy, pink and red, Valentines Day with all your sweethearts! :)

Friday, February 12, 2010


I made some veggies for the playmat garden out of polymar clay! I LOVE the cabbages. They are a bit imperfect, but I listed the playmat in my shop today. It took FOREVER to finish, I hope I can get faster and sell more... but we will see! :) I am also ready for my real garden. All my Cilantro is currently covered in 3 feet of snow and will probably be dead by the time it melts :( But I did order some heirloom seeds from Etsy. Yes, you heard me, Etsy. They have plants and seeds! I had no clue! I got a great deal... $30 for 7000 seeds or something ridiculous... now lets hope they do well! I *plan* on saving more seeds this year... I successfully saved and produced second generation Cilantro, arugula and lettuce from last year. I want to try tomato and cucumber this year. I will probably see what my variety looks like, and buy some plants at the arboretum plant sale in May. If you live local, you must go. They have everything and it is very inexpensive! I can't wait for Spring. When Isabel wakes from her nap... we plan to build an igloo.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Barn Makeover

Anastasia likes her little wooden barn she received for her birthday, but as you can see, it was a little bland. Snowed in day 3, Sunday, produced a little "sprucing up" of the barnyard.
I actually made 2 little play mats, the second one might go in my shop when I finish up! My favorite part is the vegetable garden with removable felt veggies: Onions, carrots and lettuce!! Oh my. I think making them out of sculpey clay would be a little nicer so that is next on the agenda. If I ever get out of the house to the craft store that is. 3 feet of snow now, and 10-20 inches on the way! Oy.

The haybales were quite simple and cute and the animals won't go hungry! And the ducks now have somewhere to swim:Anastasia was so excited about her new "farm" and all of her animals and fairies love swimming in the pond. It took me all day, but I know it will provide many hours and days of pretend play for the little ones.As you can see, I made little hay beds for the interior by cutting up some yellow-orangish felt that has been sitting in my stash for a couple years. REALLY. I am really into this play scene thing and want to learn wet, and needle felting now. Really. Badly. This pumpkin house set just kills me with its cuteness! Ack! I am also smitten for THIS hand-knit farm on Etsy. I just love Etsy. If I can't make it, I will buy it on Etsy. That is my new theme.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Snowed In

Call it what you will, snowpocolips, snowmageddon... it is just amazing. A real, bonafide blizzard. In case dear snow, you hadn't heard... this is Virginia. 3 feet of snow is really more that we can take!

We were in the snow for a total of 15 minutes before the kids realized 3 feet of snow is really hard to walk it. So for the past 2 days, we have really been "snowed in". Kipper the Dog on Netflix has been very kind to me as has our wood stove. So I have had to be inventive to keep things indoors exciting. My mom bought Anastasia this foam house at Michael's. Perfectly sized for fairies:

I am not usually a craft-foam fan, but this house is super cute in a tacky, Valentiney way. I took the back off so the dolls could go inside. I put it together, and did the shingles, but Anastasia decorated the rest. Just because we were indoors, does not mean we can't celebrate the snow!!! So during Anastasia's nap we made a little snow-themed sensory box:

I want to say that I saw a similar idea, somewhere around Christmas! If this was your idea, let me know... I truly believe in giving crafty credit, where credit is due! And then my friend Wendy on facebook gave me this idea:

If there is too much snow for little ones outside, just bring some inside! I filled my dishpan with snow and the kids played in it for at least an hour... together. Just beware of snowball fights! They played mostly with the kitchen items and made ice cream cones. Tomorrow I intend to do this again, and teach Anastasia how to build a mini-snowman! I also plan to shovel a little play area outside for the girls so perhaps we can make an igloo, and tunnels and forts and things!! I love snow! And even so, I have never been so glad for it to stop snowing as I was today when the sun came out! I hope you are all having a safe, warm, cozy blizzard with running water, heat and electricity (otherwise you wouldn't be reading my blog right now!) lol. :)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Out On A Limb

I can't believe all this snow we have been getting!!!!! I feel like I live in Vermont or something! I really love it, but I hate the cold... so being in our house by the warm fire and a cup of coffee while looking at the winter wonderland is supreme! Anyway, its amazing how one small re-organization leads to multiple inspirations and craft projects! Above Isabel's crib, where she actually sleeps (this is still a new phenomenon to me! lol), the wall was bare, so I added a couple of Isabel's favorite things:

"Twismas twees" (Christmas trees which is her word for all trees and lights) and "tweet-tweets" (birds). I saw THIS mobile at Spool's blog before Isabel was born, and wanted to make one but never got around to it, nor did I have a good spot for it as she was in our bed or her Moses basket. Then Meg at Sew Liberated (the first blog I ever read... and still love!) put a bird branch on her wall!! And I forgot about it until the other day when I saw a bird branch mobile in a Target coupon book (ispiration has many sources!) and this is what I did the day the girls had stomach bugs during movie time.
It really looks better in person, I just don't get enough natural light in that corner! I really want an SLR camera... that would make my pictures nicer. But my point and shoot is great and it is what I have to work with! Some day. Maybe when Little Red Whimsy makes me a millionaire... or atleast a hundred-thousandaire. Thank goodness dreaming is free. :)

Monday, February 1, 2010

The New Old Table

I posted the mushroom table that is now for sale in my shop, so I wouldn't have this ugly picture at the top of my post:

The "BEFORE" shot. We moved Isabel's crib in from the shed, and there just wasn't room in the girl's room for their Ikea table and chairs. I was sad at first, because I loved their room the way it was, but the table is much more useful in the corner of our kitchen. The only thing, is that it was kind of ugly without the lamp and toys on it. So I fixed it:
I have been holding onto this forest fabric for years. I bought it to decorate Anastasia's "nursery" for the whole 3 months she had one! lol. And I still LOVE it. I have curtains made of it, a crib comforter and even a couple pillows. It is a discontinued Michael Miller print, and I am SO GLAD I spent money when we had two incomes to buy several yards of it. I decoupaged it to the table (that is a fancy way of saying I glued it) with Mod Podge. I then put 2 coats of ModPodge on the top, sanded the edges (the modpodge made the edges of the fabric really pokey) and painted the rim. It took about an hour total. And it looks so sweet! I also made a boring old corkboard into an art display:

Another easy project, only I made it complicated. You don't even need glue (I found out after a couple tries resulting in the wanky edges). Just cut the fabric about 1/4" wider than the board, shove it under the frame with a butter knife, and staple it down in the corners. 15 minutes tops! And Isabel spent most of the night in her crib! Our bed felt so big last night.