Friday, November 26, 2010

Good Gifting: For Girls

I have two little nieces who I love to buy gifts for. But as they get older, it gets harder. They are in the age range between "little girl" and "tween" and I fear dollies will soon give way to other things, like makeup, hair accessories and things like that. Do you shop for girls like my nieces? Tell me, what are they getting this year?

I put together some ideas
Memory Board
Doll Bed
Doll Bedding
Shrinky Plastic
Felt Slippers
Mod Podge Hangers
Hair Clip Organizer
Handmade Barrettes

'Gifts for Kids 5 - 12 (and under $50!)' by pumpkingirl

Elementary school age kids are hard to buy for. So here's a little gift guide to help you get your shopping done!

BEDDING for American Girl or...

Hand painted mirror - Blonde...

12 Personalized Modern Geome...

Create your own Plush Kit t...

Funky Sketch Pad - personali...

Kisse Girl Lip Gloss and Lip...

Shooter, Slingshot Combo

Potholder Weaving Loom Craft...

Triple D Marshmallow Shooter...


501 Custom Poodle Skirt Out...

Toadstool Skittles - Mushroo...

LEMON BALL Vintage style lem...


ONE yo yo - do it yourself p...

SOAP Realistic Xbox, Green A...

Generated using Treasury HTML code generator by Whale Shark Websites.

Don't have time to craft? Check out my Etsy Treasury!

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Here's what I'm thankful for this year, from strange to serious in no particular order:
1. My new "eco phone" that doesn't die constantly and has shown me that texting isn't "just for kids"
2. My good health and the health of those around me
3. Seattle's Best Cinnabon coffee
4. The fact that it hasn't snowed yet in Wisconsin, but it has in MN (re-affirming my decision to move)
5. Our beautiful house that isn't drafty, has two (TWO!) nice bathrooms and has an amazing yard for playing
6. Did I mention the coffee? Any coffee, really, but especially that kind
7. The Etsy vintage shop I share with my mom, and particularly the fact that hubby is participating in the fun
8. My family, some closer, some farther, but always close to my heart
9. Getting better sleep (thanks, baby Pumpkin!)
10. A new (for us) car that has heat AND air conditioning AND sun visors AND the windows roll down...
11. My craft room
12. My knitting friends (hi Yarnivores!)
13. My MN friends (hi MH, WM, EM, OP and all my sweeties!)
14. Having time to bake on occasion
15. Having nice neighbors

The list could go on, but I'll spare you. I would love to hear what you're thankful for. Post a comment and share what's on your list!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Happy Movember

What's Movember, you ask? Well, let the Movember Foundation About Movember page answer that in detail for you. In short, men and women around the globe are growing moustaches. For a good cause! Yes, you heard me -- growing moustaches for a higher purpose than just looking cool. I ask, "Are you growing that moustache to be an ironic hipster, or are you raising awareness of men's health issues?" If you're into Movember, it's the latter.

I have to say I LOVE this idea. I found that a blog I like to visit, Natural Papa, has been participating by creating a 'stache video every day this month. Then I found out that one of my coworkers is doning the 'stache, too. What better way to start a conversation than casually waltzing into the office sporting a moustache?

If you'd like to support these worthy causes, such as LIVESTRONG and the Prostate Cancer Foundation, click the link above and donate today.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thrift Store Thursday

This Thursday was just as successful as last Thursday when we visited a great church thrift store nearby. I scored some stuff to sell in my Etsy shop, like the "Egg Man" perpetual calendar and some gorgeous rhinestone earrings, but more importantly scored some stuff for moi (and the little pumpkins).

I got two amazing framed items for my bare walls! One is a great oval-shaped vintage still life with fruit. The other is a pretty botanical print, albeit in a kind of ugly frame. My walls are thanking me!

For my little ones I got a ton of awesome Thanksgiving and Christmas books and a really great Disney Christmas album with Mickey and the gang on the front. My favorite item is definitely my still life, though.

This week I squeezed in an estate sale and Thrift Store Thursday. Next week I'll give an update on all my loot! Yay!!!

Whatcha finding at the thrift stores lately? Anything great? I really want to find a red and white enamelware pitcher out there, so if you find one grab it for me.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Only 5 More Weeks...? OMG!

I heard today that there's only five weeks until Christmas. I think someone is using new math. It can't really be that close, can it? Well, whatever. I'm already in the spirit, anyway, so other than the fact that I have a lot of craft projects to fit in that window, I'm okay with it.

I hit Michael's this weekend for some supplies for Tiny Pumpkin's Christmas gift (more to come on that later) and ran into these awesome sparkly doo-dads on 40% off sale. Don't they spruce up this deer planter nicely? Can't wait to find a home for this...after Thanksgiving at least.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Say hello to our new friend FIRE!

Our house came with an ugly, non-working Franklin Stove and a woodburning fireplace that filled our basement with smoke. That simply was not working for me. I LOVE a good fire in the cold months, and we unfortunately lost several trees this year, so we have plenty of firewood.

Well today, thanks to a little help from my parents (love you mom, dad) we welcomed a new family member to our house - a remote-controlled gas fireplace for our basement. And we have a nice working wood fireplace upstairs now. Just in time, too, because I just heard it said that we can expect some of the white fluffy stuff around these parts next week. Ahh...

Now, for the weirdest part. When we crawled back behind the old stove, we discovered a treasure trove! Prophylactics and beer bottles! Oh the stories this house could apparently tell!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thrift Store Thursdays

I found a couple of thrifty coworkers and have talked them into a weekly lunch hour trip to the thrift store. We're calling it Thrift Store Thursdays. So I present to you the weekly take. FUN! Most of this has actually already sold in my Etsy shop. This week's scores are mostly my own, though. More to come on that next week!

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Got Sock Yarn? Make Doll Mittens!

I posted a while back that I'd be making some doll clothes for my nieces who are totally into their American Girl dolls. Well, let the fun begin. I'm using up sock yarn like a madwoman using this pattern for mittens. I've got tons of sock yarn to use up, so maybe next I'll move to the tiny socks. Wheee! Already crafting for Christmas. Maybe this means I'll actually finish what I hope to...?

Monday, November 08, 2010

Fun with Paint and Canvas

The thought of my three-year-old and splattering paint originally gave me a bad case of hives. But when I replayed the story in my head again, only with a slighly rosy tone, it all worked out great. And oddly enough, in reality, it all worked out great! How often does that happen?

I realized I've lived in my "new" house almost a year now, and still have lots of bare walls. That's what prompted me to run out to Michaels and pick up some cheap artist canvas for a fun little project with the Pumpkin Boy. Not that I wouldn't LOVE to buy this or this or this from some of my favorite Etsy sellers but, well, money doesn't grow on trees and so I opted for the homemade art option.

Canvases were 40% off so this one was about $13. Then we hit Menards (like a local Home Depot or Lowes) and picked up paint samples (little jars, perfect size for this project) in three colors. Those ran about $3 each. So for under $25 we have this awesome artwork for our office. One thing I should not have done -- but I'm a control freak and can't help myself -- is I did kind of steered him toward these colors. I really should just take a deep breath sometimes. But now that I know how fun this is, I think we'll make a few more and next time he can pick the colors without steering from me.

We took our supplies home and then Pumpkin Boy and I went about dripping our paint on our canvas. We took turns, and it was really a lot of fun. I had to help him not mix the paints together (a natural instinct, I think), but otherwise he was a pro at picking up one brush at a time and watching the paint drip all over. At a few points he dripped such a huge gob on that we had to pick up the canvas and let the drip slide a little, but that made it all the cooler looking, I think.

Have you ever tried a project like this with your kids? Do share, because I'd like to do more. How about decoupage? Is it a huge mess? I was thinking it'd be fun to have him cut up paper and decoupage it on the canvas, then drip paint over the top...we'll see if we ever get there.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Knit Tee Goodness

A sweater with short sleeves seems like an oxymoron, doesn't it? I mean, your body and shoulders are nice and snuggly, but what about your poor elbows? Your wrists? Well, I've discovered the joy of the knit t-shirt. And amazingly, discovered that I can complete a knitting project that takes more than one or two sittings. Eureka! I have an attention span, after all. My first sweater project was unfortunately completed before my friends from Yarnivores (my knitting gang) helped me figure out checking my gauge.

I knit this little wonder in anticipation of being without a massive 8-months-pregnant belly *someday* in the future. And whadda ya know, someday came! Of course the belly is not as flat as it was, say, 12 months ago, but it's darn fine to me. It's just one of those things moms deal with. Not that I've ever met a mom who isn't kind of bugged by it, but whatever. Babies are worth it.

After I spent agonizing months knitting this thing, wondering "Will I ever finish this?" I found another great short sleeve sweater that I want, the Leaf Tee Shirt (below). Go figure. Now I'll have not one but two short sleeve sweaters. Who knows, maybe I'll next knit myself a bikini, or some sunglasses. I'll have a whole summer wardrobe of knits. But really, I love the short sleeve sweater and I think it's perfect for Fall. I think you should knit one right away. Because they'd also be great for Spring, and someday maybe 9 months from now or so, Spring will come, too. Here are some other great options for the knit tee:

St. James Sweater (what I knit)
Leaf Tee Shirt
Embroidered Cap Sleeve Top
Drops Top
Wright Drape Top

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Where Have All the Leaves Gone?

My toddler is in complete denial about the end of summer. He asks whether it's a "long sleeve day" or a "short sleeve day" even though the answer has been "long sleeve day" for at least three weeks consistently now. So, in rebellion, he asks me to roll his sleeves up. When he puts his pajamas on at night he pulls the pantlegs up to his knees, presumably turning them into shorts. The footie pajamas are never chosen. The winter jacket is refused mighily.

Who can blame him, really? Even though I go on and on (and on) at length about how great Fall and Winter are, do I really mean, "Oh, I know, I'd rather be in shorts and tee shirts, too. Sucks, doesn't it? It'll be a long, cold time before we see shorts again!"

Well, I at least partly believe in the joy of the season. I do admit that Thanksgiving and Christmas are my favorite holidays, and it's a known fact that I could spend the entire season locked indoors fattening up anyone who comes near with all the baked goods I'd happily crank out. And the holiday decorating and crafting? Absolutely my favorite. Going outside in the cold? Not so much.

Last weekend I braved the cold (okay, more like slightly cool) weather to take my Wee Pumpkin out for a "nature walk." Unlike his boy counterparts the world over who LOVE to play outside regardless of the weather, this boy has wanted to be inside playing for MONTHS. I had to talk him into going, mostly, I think, because of the wardrobe requirements (hat, mittens, jacket, pants pulled down from their position around his knees).

Once we got there, and I helped him see the fun in being outside, he got it. I ventured off the nature trail, overturning logs, peeling bark off decaying trees, examined mushrooms -- basically acted like some other person -- until he started to follow suit. And you know what? I think he liked it! He and I started to notice things, like the fact that not a single leaf had managed to cling to a single tree after our crazy wind storms of a few weeks back. Or how old stumps get soft and squishy and you can leave your footprint in them if you step down hard enough.

I'm glad we broke the ice and got outside. I'm glad we braved the winter gear. Because if I'm stuck inside with this child until next April, I may just go insane.

Have you gotten outside lately?