Saturday, December 29

The Crafty Raven Game

I love Haba. They produce some of the cutest toys using such wonderful materials. And they also make some great games. Like Orchard. Which was soon renamed The Crafty* Raven in our house. (*Note: that's crafty as in artful and sly, not artsy and creative.)

And every time we played it, I thought how fun it would be to make all the little parts. So for Christmas, my niece got a home-made version of Orchard The Crafty Raven. Oh, what a crafty** bonanza it was for me: (**Now it's crafty as in artsy and creative...)
  • weaving little baskets out of felt
  • fashioning little fruits out of Sculpey clay, wooden beads (hidden inside the clay), black leather, and clove pieces
  • sewing a mini-quilt-type-thing to be the game board. (I pretty much copied the size and layout of the original game, but I have to say it, I love my colors so much better than theirs!)
  • formatting a cute little instructions sheet
  • cutting a 9-piece raven puzzle out of cardboard, then decorating it with black fabric and yellow puffy paint (Heidi drew the raven for me!)
  • decoupaging a dice so it has the appropriate symbols as well as a box to contain everything
Could one single project have included more areas of craftiness?!?

And (other than needing more clay), with the leftover supplies, I have enough to make one for us too. Woo hoo! Maybe I can offload the original on ebay then...

Thursday, December 27

A Fort

Today, I'm taking a little detour from the usual crafty-type creations featured on this blog and showing what I made today with the help of my little sidekicks. Because just as I hope my girls will learn sewing and crocheting and woodworking and such, I also hope they will become very adept in the fine art of fort-building.

Wednesday, October 31

Little Goose Costume

Hmm, this is probably my last "First Halloween Costume" to crochet, at least for any child born to me. Since both her sisters have little animal nicknames, it was only a matter of time before Lucy got one too. She has become our "Little Goose." Partly because of who she has as an Opa--I still remember him calling my friend in 6th grade "Lucy Goosey"--and partly because she smiles ALL THE TIME, even when there's nothing much to smile about, which makes me smile too and say "Ya silly goose, you!"

For the hood, I followed the contours of the Little Bee hood so I knew it would fit. Every perfectionistic, must-follow-instructions bone in my body fought against the "just wing it" approach, but if I'm ever going to come close to creating the beauties Mom cranks out seemingly effortlessly, I've got to get over my "need" for patterns and instructions. The bill took me a few tries but I'm really pleased with the results. Three cute little crocheted "hairs" for the top, two big black button "eyes", some ties for under her chin, and the hood was done.

Big thank you to Mom for crocheting the webbed-feet booties!!! I think they would've taken me too many days and way too many pull-out-and-start-overs. And I'd thought about trying to crochet some kind of bodice and/or tail and/or wings, but in the end decided it would be just as cute--and WAY less time-consuming--to just put her in her fluffy white sweater (an example of the aforementioned beauties that Mom cranks out).

Happy Halloween! Honk, honk!

Friday, August 24

Laundry Bins

A while ago, I decided the reason I don't do laundry on a regular basis is that I don't have laundry sorters near the washer and dryer. If I had a container for each type of load (so I could run that load as soon as the container was full rather as soon as we were completely out of clean {fill in the blank}) as well as a place to fold the laundry, why then I'd be a laundry-doing machine! Honest!

So I started looking online and finally found the answer to all my laundry-avoidance problems:


And then I saw the price:

And I needed two of them (or 4 sorters: hot/whites, warm/lights, cold/darks, no fabric softener/towels&such). With S&H, it came to $203.93. For laundry sorters. Um? No!

So after some measuring and planning, a trip to Home Depot, some sawing and drilling and screwing and nailing, another trip to Home Depot, some re-drilling and re-screwing and re-nailing, some more measuring and planning, a trip to JoAnns, some sewing, and about 8 months total(!!), I had my laundry sorters.

At some point, I plan to paint them white and add some oilcloth to the tops so they're easier to keep clean. In the meantime, I got some laundry to go do!

P.S. I had been keeping track of how much my materials were costing me but I lost that little cheatsheet long ago. But I can tell you this much: it was a lot less that $203.93. Plus I got the added satisfaction of making something myself.

Monday, July 16

Table Cover

I love the carved, rosewood table and buffet my parents gave us when we moved up here. But I often shudder to see what it has to endure during this season of life: sticky fingers poking forks into the carved design, loose lips dribbling yogurt into the various cracks and crevices, booster seats strapped tight onto the chairs, little tykes climbing into and out of those booster seats multiple times a day, tabletop used for eating and coloring and crafting and playing games, table legs bumped into daily by the much-needed vaccuum, etc.

So in an attempt to protect at least a portion of the poor table, I finally cover a vinyl cover sewed up. Look closely and you'll see some messy seams and lumpy threads, but I'm too busy looking at other things these days (3 beautiful girls growing up quickly) to notice the bumps and lumps. And oh, it's so easy to clean! : )

Now I'd like to do something about the chair cushions. The yucky-beige, daily-newly-stained, ripped-from-constant-tugging chair cushions. And maybe figure out a different chair protector under the booster seat than a bright blue bath towel!

Thursday, June 14


The girls love these shoes. Love them! Love them so much they ripped through the cheap green straps with all their traipsing around as princesses.

Heidi: "Mom, can you please fix this?" (How long before she no longer believes I can fix everything? )

Mom: "Sure, let's go find something fabric..."

Heidi: "Ooh, ooh, this one!" as she pulls out a bright orange with polka dots.

Heidi: "But it also needs something fluffy." (Everything these days needs "something fluffy.")

Mom: "Would this work?" as I find some eyelet remnant, seeing as how I'm currently all out of boas, plumes, or other such fluffiness

Heidi: "Oh yes. That's beauuuuutifullllllll!"

Now off to make the other one match (and reinforce it while I'm at it).


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