Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Infinite Orange

I decided to join up with Iron Crafters again this year!  I had such fun with it the year before last.  I missed the first challenge of the year:  cotton.  I joined up in time for challenge number two: orange.  I actually really love the color orange; but, I don't usually wear it well.  However, I had this fun Amy Butler fabric in my stash so I decided to try making an infinity scarf.  There are about a million tutorials online so I won't bother you with another one.  But, let me tell you, these are big-fun to make and super easy!!!  I have a feeling I will be digging through my stash and making plenty more!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Having a Ball

We started with these.

They turned into these.

And THEY turned into these!

Lots of fun on a freezing-cold today 
and a great chance to play with my new camera!

With a baby on cleanup... what could be better?!?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Tea Bags for the Tub

Last winter, I ordered a copy of Rosemary Gladstar's Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health.  We made an awesome diaper salve that we now use for all sorts of cuts, scrapes and dry patches.  We LOVE it.  In fact, after giving some tins to friends and using them ourselves all year, we are almost ready to make a new batch.

This week, however,  I tried a much simpler recipe for Bath Herbs.  It's a nice one to try because it's just the simple combining of dry herbs.  You end up with something really beautiful to use yourself or give as a gift in minutes.

I combined a half cup each of calendula, chamomile and comfrey leaf with a quarter cup each of lavender and pink roses.  Most of my herbs are from Mountain Rose Herbs and I have been very happy with everything I've ordered.  I gave the bag a shake and the work was done!

I used some leftover fabric and the velcro remnants from my snack bags to sew a few little reusable bags to hold the herbs, sort of an "herbal tea bag" for the tub.  The author recommends using the pouch as a washcloth as well.  The herbs are suitable for the whole family and make your bath smell wonderful!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Frank Reflections

Being the mother of two young girls often causes me to stop and reflect on my own childhood.  Sometimes, I just can't help wondering.  How, on earth, does Lisa Frank STILL find the time to keep drawing so many big-eyed puppies with hearts on their overalls AND how is it possible that not a single one of them has ever actually been cute?  Seriously. It gives me pause.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Yarning Along for the First Time

One of my favorite bloggers hosts a weekly link party called Yarn Along.  Everyone shares a photo of what they're knitting and reading.  Most of the knitting projects are beyond my skill level; but, I have found some great books through the links.

This week, I thought I'd give it a try!

I'm reading The Harvester by Gene Stratton Porter.  I've read two other Porter books: A Girl of the Limberlost and Freckles.  They were both wonderful.  I've had a tougher time getting into this one; but, I think I'm going to still plow through.

I am working on a sweater for myself that, I believe, is now THREE YEARS in the making.  I usually just knit small projects for the kids to keep things interesting.  I seem to lose interest in this sweater quickly as its pretty repetitive.  However, I'm down to a sleeve and a half and she'll be done.  I'll let you know how it turns out in 2015!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

An Unearthing

When you are looking for a simple, neat way to occupy your kids for a small amount of time, I have no idea what you could do.  You should really ask someone else.  When you are looking for a ridiculously messy and difficult activity that takes much more time than you have, then I highly recommend the "Dino Excavation Kit!"

We received one of these lovelies for Christmas and the kids have bugged me EVERY SINGLE DAY to "dig" into it (archaeologists are howling with laughter over than one, you can be sure).  We decided to give it a try today because nothing else was going on and I thought it would give me a good opportunity to try out the new "Fancy Cam" I got for Christmas.

Adelaide and I opened it up and removed the cute little plastic hammer and chisel.  I assumed they were mostly for show because these "fossils" would surely pop out easily.  After all, according to the photo on the box, one good whack with a hammer and that baby will neatly crack into a dozen pieces.  Still, I put our little square of plaster into one of our handy art trays to keep the mess to a minimum, congratulating myself on this stroke of housekeeping genius.

And then we hammered.  We hammered and hammered and dug and chiseled and scraped and smacked for a VERY, VERY LONG TIME.  Finally, the tiniest part of the first piece emerged.  Addie was SUPER excited and also totally tired of actually doing the work.  So, it was my turn.  I pounded and pounded on that thing (with a plaster dust-covered toddler on my lap who continually tried to "feed" me chunks of plaster) until I'd had all the fun I could stand.  Then, I made Aidan come upstairs and take over.  He actually made some real progress because he has much more determination than the rest of us; and... because I totally loosened it.

Here's where the real fun started.  As soon as the parts actually started to emerge, so did the screaming and fighting about who's turn it was.  We decided on two-minute intervals so that one person could excavate while the other crumbled up plaster and rubbed it all over their clothes and my kitchen.  Just two time-outs and one threat of physical violence later, the fossils had emerged in all their glory (except for the one I broke).

The kids assembled their Pteranodon while  I wiped down the table, chairs, floor, faces, new camera and toddler.  Then, I swept up all of the plaster crumbs, dust and mini muffin debris (that's another story).  

A few minutes later, they had lost all interest and this gorgeous "museum quality replica" lay broken and scattered around the house.  I can't really blame them, after all, Wonder Pets was on.  Thankfully, each time I step on a piece embedded in the carpet, I'll be reminded of all the "paleontologist approved" fun we had.  And, thankfully,  I'll always have these professional looking photographs.