Telephone Wire Ring Giveaway

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Baby Girl fell asleep on the way home from church last week.  And she was OUT.  Which meant I got to hold her for a while why she was still.  I get to hold her all the time, but most of the time she is a big wiggle worm.

Our church has a Hope Store where I buy our fair-trade coffee now.  They also sell some handmade items from developing countries.  While I was in line with my coffee, I saw these rings.  I bought myself one, then after the service I went back to buy you one, too.  Well, one of you anyway.  I wish I could send you all one-they are so cool.

Note: they are kind of big.  I wear mine on my pointer finger or thumb.

Just leave a comment by Wednesday, April 6th.  I'll chose a random winner then.   Thanks for being

Giveaway closed.  Congrats #13, Catie!

Cardboard Dollhouse Furniture Instructions

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

We just got the April issue of Family Fun.  Do you guys get Family Fun?  It's loaded with fun stuff to make with your kids.  Like the doll house with furniture in this month's issue.

My kids poured over the pages of furniture instructions, which are also available as pdf's online.

Do you and your kids subscribe to any magazines?  Which ones?

4 Sewing Gifts I Had to Buy Myself This Year

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Actually, it happened quite innocently.  This past Christmas my family decided to make it easier on everyone, and we each agreed to each buy ourselves a $60 gift.  We were to buy it, wrap it and put it away to open with each other at Christmas.  Really, it was cool to see what each other picked out for themselves when given the freedom.

Like my brother-- who bought himself an axe.  An axe.  I really didn't see that coming.

Well, on my 40 Before 40 list (formerly 30 Before 30) is: Make a Quilt.

I thought I should get on that, and I bought myself The Practical Guide to Modern Patchwork and a Moda Jelly Roll (Sugar Pop).  If you're not familiar with fabric, a jelly roll is a roll of fabric strips precut for you.  That was $64 since I went to a swanky boutique downtown.  That was Gift 1 & Gift 2, if you are keeping count.

I picked out one of the quilt patterns in the book and started working.  Thankfully, I already had a rotary and small self healing mat.  But half way into my quilt, I thought how much easier and fun this project would be with the right tools.

So this month, I bought myself 2 more presents.  I'm welcome.

A larger self healing cutting mat and a 10 inch acrylic template.   Gift 3 & Gift 4.  I heart them.  And now I am excited about finishing my quilt.

Here you can see the Sugar Pop collection and 18 squares of the quilt.

By the way, if you're wondering how I find time to quilt-- because that's what I always wonder when I visit prolific quilters' blogs -- I'll let you in on my secret: I set a mini goal. The quilt I am working on is full-size and made up of 48 squares.   I told myself, "Self, just make 1 square a day."  Even on really busy days, I can sneak upstairs after bedtime and get one done.  And most days, 2 is doable.  The progress is contagious.

Have you bought any tools that make your goals easier this year?

Duck Tape Wallets

Monday, March 14, 2011

We were invited to a birthday play-date for a homeschool buddy who turned 8 last weekend.  
His mother said no gifts, just come.  

I totally get that, and when we do friend birthday parties, I say the same thing.  But it still feels kind of lame to show up empty handed.  Since this was one of Belle's friends, I thought she could bring him something she had made.  

So we made him a duct tape wallet and then made a couple more.

We used Duck Tape Brand tape that we picked up from Target. 

There are loads of tutorials out there.  But we used Crafts by Amanda's, which was made by kids and had plenty of pictures.  

What do you do when the invitation says, "No gifts, please"?

I'm linking up to TCB's Get Your Craft On-thanks for hosting, Kim!

How I Keep My Kids Still

Friday, March 11, 2011

Baby has had one ear infection after another, on top of another.  Tubes are in her near future.  All that means is we've had a few doctor's appointments lately.  

And what I don't like about doctor's appointments is taking the other, healthy, kids along, where 
they touch germ-y things and pick up new illnesses that bring us back to the doctors.   

So I tell them, "Don't touch ANYTHING." 

except our drawing bag.  

It's the second bag I made a few weeks ago.  It's filled with sketch pads, step-by-step drawing books, colored pencils and crayons.   I keep it in the car, for whenever we need to go somewhere and be still and not touch anything.  You know those errands.  

Remember the other bag we keep in the car?  What do you keep in your car? 
And what do you do to keep your kids still?

While you're here, can I  tell you about my friend Rachel?  She has been a writer all her life and is now writing at Every Day's Best where she talks about God's big shoulders, His trustworthiness, hope and forgiveness.  Because of a real personal loss, she knows what she is talking about. She's hosting a give away today and also guest posting at (in) today, so please stop by.  That is all.  Thanks!

Make A Homeschool Yearbook

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

  The idea for me came from our paper mache pyramids that we made a few weeks ago.  They're pretty cool, but they take up a lot of space in our school room.  And we're kind of done with them.  
So now what?  
I don't want to just throw away Belle's project, but maybe I do.  But I need to document it first.  And taking a photo of it probably isn't enough.  It will only be lost in the sea of photos on my hard drive.  

But if we had a yearbook, I could document all of our projects in a small space.  

I'll also include a few other things for posterity's sake:

field trips
samples of best journal entry, work
science experiments
 a list of curriculum we used
our schedule or what a typical day looks like
co-op friends, neighborhood friends
piano pieces learned
soccer team photos

At this point, it's still an idea.  And the school year isn't over, so that's okay.  But I plan to use something like Shutterfly to make a photo book that also allows text.

Do you keep a homeschool or family yearbook?  What else should I include?  

New Craigslist Feature

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Okay, this may be old news, but I've never noticed it on Craigslist before...and I'm on the list a lot.

Now instead of having to click on each link to view any images, you can see a thumbnail of each listing when you click on "show images":

and viola:

Has that feature been out for 10 years?  probably.  Don't tell me if it has--it made my day, so I thought I'd share it.  

Comment Challenge:  What was the last thing you sold or bought on Craigslist?  Did you get a deal? 

Simple Draw-string Bag for Toys

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

On my to-do list last week was to make two tote bags.  One I will post later, but one I will share now.  

The kids got these really cool magnet toys -Magformers- for Christmas.  And they really are cool.  But there are about eleventy hundred of them.  So, they needed a draw string bag to contain themselves.  Since the kids build things with the magnets, I chose this tool print from Robert Kauffman fabrics, via Hawthorne Threads-my favorite online fabric store.

It's a very simple drawstring bag, with doubled up hemp twine as the thread, because I have tons of it.

Like the Magformers, the bag gets a lot of use.   

On this weeks to-do list: 
host a game night with 4 of our neighbors  
and maybe clean the house. maybe. 

How's your week going?  What's on your list?