Archive for February 2012

Wishing I Could Fix the Broken World with a Band-Aid

I love Lucian’s Oh-Oh face.

…Because it makes me feel, for however brief a moment, that the only problem that matters in this whole wide world is the flipped over toy train, or the ball that fell behind the shelf or any other such little things that can easily be fixed. And it’s very comforting.

I believe in making the world a better place humbly. By being a good person, doing good things and creating to bring amusement and joy be it through music or crafting or taking pictures of things that make me happy. All the choices we have been making — moving to Portland, starting our own business which we can be proud of taking part in (as opposed to pretending that something amiss isn’t going on somewhere in it), supporting other small businesses, consuming mostly whole-foods, choosing to re-use, recycle or re-purpose whenever possible, always learning better ways of doing things — hasn’t been the easiest of paths. Regardless, we have chosen this path because we believe that it contributes to making the world a better place, if only marginally.

But there are so much crappy things going on around us, not just in far away places I’ve never been to, but right here. All these protests going on everyday, everywhere,  for every kinds of reasons, remind me continuously that the situation of our world as we know it is…dire.  And it gets to me. I can’t help feeling upset that I don’t have a better world to offer our kids.

Vintage Buttons

Best of thrifted crafty finds lately…big lot of buttons! All of this, for $2 — I have no idea how many there are!

When they are all bunched up like this, none of them look very special, but there’s actually lots of cute ones. Not that mediocre ones aren’t useful.

…Here’s some red, yellow and black ones.

My favorite ones are glass buttons, but in the end, I use plastic ones the most in crafting. I think I shall be able to find perfect buttons for most projects!

Handmade Birthday — Making Play Tent

It was Immi’s 5th birthday a few days ago. And while gifts aren’t central to any holidays we celebrate, I wanted to make her birthday special because now she understands that it is ‘her’ special day and she has been looking forward to it since Ashland’s birthday in July and then Lucian’s in November. I would have been tempted to just go to a toy store and buy something, but Immi doesn’t even like toys much anymore — she loves pretend play, dressing up, and uses various items (toys or otherwise) as props but she doesn’t use toys as activities — so I thought to make her a play tent! She has had several of them over the years (3 to be exact) and thoroughly enjoyed them but they don’t stand up to daily [ab]use.

After some poking around the web, I compared some instructions and then came up with a design that I thought were best for our purpose. I found this to be great for the basic idea, and this instruction that uses PVC pipes helpful for the poles, and then got some design ideas from this one. Essentially, it’s a teepee, but I don’t want to be responsible for cultural incorrectness so I’m calling it a “teepee inspired boho princess play tent”.

I had Todd go to home improvement store for PVC pipes which they kindly cut it down to specs for me. The 6 poles and 12 end caps cost us total of $15.64. Basically, this was the only items I didn’t already have in the stash so this is the total project cost 🙂 Todd drilled holes in them (like it’s done in this instruction) because I figured this would probably keep the poles together nicely. From there, I happen to have a huge sheet of knit jersey fabric that a retired seamstress gave me years ago and I was glad I finally found use for it!

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Here’s Lucian, he woke up from a nap and NOT helping me. (This is why I don’t generally even bother trying to make large items!)

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And here it is all done! It’s exactly roomy enough to fit 3 kids in.

Here’s the details of the top portion. I reinforced the top edge  that comes around the poles with corduroy in the same color (I happen to have some, also from the same retired seamstress!) because the main fabric is stretchy (which was a factor I was willing to work around because using this fabric — which doesn’t fray — means I won’t have to hem the seams!). I made loops to lace the cord which is attached to the center of gigantic semi-circle to hold the fabric in place over the poles. I added strips of sari fabric and glittered bell and key for decoration.

While at it, I also made the birthday cake.

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Felted Beads

Kids helped me make some wet-felted beads. They are colorful — I’m not sure what I’ll use them for yet.

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Pancakes for Breakfast

We took an entire weekend off last weekend (which is something of a luxury around here these days, though we try very hard to make Saturdays an entire day off!) to recover from hectic previous two weeks. Monday started out great, but it’s only Tuesday and I woke up…tired. Sigh. I motivated myself out of bed with inspiration to make cute pancakes for kids. Because hey, if I’m too tired for a happy Tuesday, it doesn’t mean they don’t deserve one — and I know that smiles are contagious!

Lots of Baking = No Knitting

So I’ve been baking a lot. Which is great, lots of fresh breads and treats for much less than they would be from bakeries, and I can also quality control ingredients. …But this means I haven’t had much chance to knit/crochet at all this winter. Looks like it’s going to be spring here soon without having had much to do with yarn!

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Weekend Sunshine ( + Little Lucian Gets Big)

The weather has been glorious here these days, despite winter. Kids are finally recovered enough from the cold they caught two weeks ago so we finally had a chance to make use of the sunshine and warmer weather.

Lucian got to run around and play with his big brother and sister on the grass for the first time.

Little Lucian. I still call him this, but at this point it’s almost an ironic nickname since he is as heavy as Immi! Look at him go, he totally isn’t a baby anymore 🙁