Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Well, today has been a disappointing day. One of my kids is home with lice (bleh) and I just learned that the house we were hoping to downsize to is being visited for a second time by another family this weekend. The house is not evenly publicly for sale yet, so things are not looking good. Sigh.

So while I'm rattling off disappointments, this picture below is another one. I found it at a thrift store and you would not believe how awesome those front lower pockets are for holding things. A perfect find, unusual, not a recognizable brand, a little quirky (artsy even?) for a woman who wants to teach collage workshops and perfect for holding art supplies and the like while doing said teaching. I got home and modeled it for my husband and he you know what this vest is for?
There's a hint in this email - I'll tell you tomorrow. So I promised crafty goodness and have delivered none. There is a crafting essence over here, just no product. Magazines are being cut up (always) after a windfall of magazines from my family in Florida. That's a good thing!
I wanted to include a clever pun somewhere here about not being nit-picky, but I'm not in the mood. Happy Wednesday! xo

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Home again, home again...

We actually headed to Anna Maria Island, Florida for our Spring Break and it was divine. A little chilly, but divine.
We collected oodles of shells...
watched (and chased) birds at every opportunity,
didn't eat nearly enough seafood,
ate wayyyyyy too much icecream,
...and spent as much time with the [cold cold] ocean as we could.

Crafty posts coming this week! xo

Friday, March 12, 2010


My kids have two weeks off for Spring Break, so I am unplugging too! Going to take some time to watch the grass grow (or crocuses as the case may be).

A million thanks to Whip Up for publishing my Camp Half-Blood stencil! My site went from hovering around three viewers a day to more than 300 these past two days alone! Yippee! Thank you for visiting from Israel, New Zealand, Canada, Australia, Japan, Holland, Brazil, and all around the United States...wonderful. I hope you will visit me again in two weeks - there will be plenty of creative goodness to report.

And if anyone actually makes a Camp Half-Blood tshirt (it takes less than an hour to do), please shoot me a picture or an email. I'd love to see it!

Be well! xo

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Copycatting at its best!

I love love love this circular paper building idea!!!!! So I set to work making a set for my kids.

First I found three circle shapes to be my templates (including a round tin I thrifted to hold them all).
Next I pulled out all kinds of paper (love to do that) of the magazine, art and scrapbook variety. I also printed some face shots of my kids.
Then I started tracing and cutting out circles.

After I put them together, I took them to Kinkos and color copied them onto thick cardstock at 78 percent of the original size. Then I glued kraft cardstock to the back and pressed them in a big book. Finally, I used a Creative Memories cutter to make sure my circles were all exactly the same size.
One thing I should have done better is marked the slits before I cut them so that they lined up perfectly with each other. We artist types always think we can eyeball it, but alas...

I love them. My kids are going to flip!

If you like the idea but are short on time, Joel posted a template over on his site that you can download! xo

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

How to make a Camp Half Blood tshirt - part 1 of 2

There are plenty of wonderful freezer-paper stencil tutorials out there. But, in case you're just hearing about them, here's my version:

You will need:
freezer paper * iron & ironing board * stencil template * piece of cardboard * tracing pencil or pen * fabric paint * xacto knife & cutting board * sponge brush - small to medium * orange t-shirt

First, download and print the stencil from the sidebar. Trace the stencil onto freezer paper and choose a symbol (for the gods in the Percy Jackson series). My friend helping me today decided to design his own symbol for Hades - a helmet of darkness - rather than use our drawing of Charon. Fantastic!
Use your xacto knife and cutting board to cut the letters and crest shape out of the stencil. It's important to do this step as precisely as you can. In general though, remember...this shirt is most likely for a child who will just love having it...don't stress about perfection.
For smaller details like the insides of the letters (A, D, O etc.) and the symbols for the gods, feel free to use scissors instead.
Set iron on cotton setting with no steam. Iron the stencil to the shirt.
Next iron the small pieces that go in the letters. Touch the small pieces with the point of your iron to adhere them to your shirt - then you can iron them completely. Finally, center your symbol and iron that into the crest.

How to make a Camp Half-Blood t-shirt - part 2 of 2

Put a barrier of some kind between your shirt and your paint surface. I like to stretch the shirt over the ironing board and put a piece of cardboard/stock underneath. Some people iron a scrap piece of freezer paper on the back side of the shirt.

Paint your stencil by dabbing the paint from above - no brushing.
Wait 30 minutes and paint a second coat if desired.
When paint is completely dry, remove stencil slowly. Peel it off as you would a sticker, only this time, you can rip the paper around the stencil. Many recommend waiting overnight before removing the stencil, but this is often too long for small kids - just make sure the paint is dry.
Sometimes the smaller bits can be tricky - use an xacto knife to help peel them off. See that leftover white to the left of the "M" in the photo below? Use your xacto knife here too!
Viola! You're a demigod!
We try to wait many days before washing these freezer paper creations. When you do wash, turn your garment inside out. I love these paints - we use the soft, matte line. For stenciling projects, these adhere, wash and wear like a dream. (And they may be the cheapest fabric paints out there!)

Thanks to my kids for being my hand and tshirt models! Enjoy! xo

It goes without saying that this stencil was made very humbly by one mom for some lovely kids, to encourage their love of reading. It is not "official" Percy Jackson merchandise, nor is it intended to be used for any kind of profit making. Please use this stencil freely in the spirit it was created. Thank you!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Done, soft, beautiful...wrong

Yes, I finished my laurel love cocoon in time for my sister-in-law's baby shower today! Hooray! Yes, it is beautiful, earthy, the way she'd love and soft. So soft, luscious soft...maybe the-softest-I've-ever-felt soft. Love it.

Then last night at approximately (read: exactly) 10:38 p.m. my husband casually asked, "Isn't alpaca yarn even warmer than wool?" I googled said question and read this.

Did I mention this love cocoon is for a baby who will be born this May in [awkward pause] Hawaii?

Oops. xo

Friday, March 5, 2010

Thank you Friend!

My half-finished kusha kusha scarf arrived this week from the lovely Leslie!
I cannot wait to get started on the finishing! Thank you Leslie...thank you thank you thank you!
This is what's on my needles now - a love cocoon for my sister-in-law's baby shower tomorrow! Do you think I'll get it done? Happy Weekend! xo

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Henna Party - Winter '10

To those of you who live in parts of the country that have been nothing but grey lately, might I suggest a henna party to shake things up a bit?
I think henna is so beautiful. It's so feminine and sensual, in the most earthy of ways, if that makes sense at all.
So we paired a "Girls' Night Out" and hired a lovely henna artist to come to my home.
A perfect break from a long long winter.
But of course, we'll be having a summer party too - this time with our kids!

Henna lasts for seven to 10 days. If you would like to learn more about it, click here.

Thank you Sumaiya for a wonderful evening! xo

Monday, March 1, 2010

Weekend bday? You get nothin' -

I've read several blogs today that were just so happy to proclaim that February was over. I didn't get it, and then thought, "Maybe February is so easy for us because we have two birthdays..." [Pause] Two. To the four readers of my blog, you can do the math, only one birthday was recognized last month (here in blogland that is)!
Our dear Ky turned six. Glorious six. Two hands to have enough fingers to show you, six. Awesome.
We love you Kyle. You know it, we know you do. We will love you everyday forever, but good luck navigating the whole third child thing. Trust me, I hear it comes out well for you in the older years...when you're asking for the car, and thinking your curfew should be later. We'll see. xo

First photo taken by Peggy Gagner, Fairfield, Connecticut!