Here are the puppets my brother made for Marit. I'd like to say I helped more but my hospital stay last week slowed me down and my sewing machine died so he did the sewing himself - yes he did - on our sister-in-law's machine. Now that's the photo I'd love to have!
He chose the fuzziest chennile fabric and we tried to find the right color of yarn for the trim but ended up stripping the fabric instead, which I think looks better anyway. Loopy and Grandma helped with the trim sewing and Loopy was thrilled to help suprise Marit with the unveiling puppet show. So cute. The original Sesame Street Yip Yip video is posted below if you don't recognize these handsome creatures.
Here is my Club Little House swap gift for Sherry in New York. I don't think she's a visitor to my blog so I can put this picture here for my readers... if you promise not to tell!
I made the ironing board from a little kit. Then I gussied it up with the fabric and notions. The pincushion I made from a tiny red pom pom. I cut the pins and sharpened them. The little pattern? The layout instructions from a regular pattern. The tiny buttons are modeling clay and the little tape measure, iron, and thimble came from my local miniature shop. My dad lathed the spools for me. The scissors I had from years ago and used them because I couldn't find anything quite tiny and cute enough for this project.
I hope she likes it, I hope she really loves it!
Oh yummy, we had our friends over last night for the birthday boy's cake and beverages. It was our friend Marc's birthday too but I had not too much Dallas Cowboy stuff to decorate the table with so he made due with Packers paraphanalia. The dual birthday boys had a tower of sugary, lemony goodness for their cake:
... and a chocolate cupcake tower with Hershey squares, the desserts' dessert. I love this little cupcake holder given to me for my birthday by the fan. It comes in handy when you love decorating and serving cupcakes as much as I do. Now I have even more of an excuse to whip up a batch of cupcakes.
I finished my Club Little House exchange gift item tonight. I could just die of cuteness, it is so cute! I didn't get too many photos done yet but will post them this weekend.
time passes quickly
must eat something
drive through taco
too much information
tubes and tape on saucy's tiny crafting hands
wait, wait, wait
you can go home now
and sleep for 17 hours
and maybe don't craft today.
Bailey, the German Shepherd, stands guard in the dog run. The fire hydrant turns clockwise and the lights of the house magically appear.
Come on in for a visit. The porch light is on and the fire is crackling! The bears are cozy and warm and dreaming of hibernation.
As in so many homes of this age, the bathroom is in sad need of a makeover. One of these days, the new wallpaper will be hung and the towel bars with crosstitched handtowels will make an appearance. The floor tile is new.
Mrs. Bear spends so much time in the nursery caring for the cubs. The twins, Fuzzy and Wuzzy are in the crib.
In the kitchen, Mrs. Bear is in the middle of cooking and baking all the time. She hates living in the middle of renovation and can't find a thing when she needs it. Mr. Bear is dragging his heels about hanging her shiny new pot rack from the ceiling. This drives her crazy. She can't wait to have her new cabinets installed on the outside wall so she can have more room. She keeps the dining table set all the time and takes good care of the fish in the aquarium.
Mrs. Bear hates it when Mr. Bear lets the dogs inside. The black lab always hops on her nicely made bed. She isn't fond of dogs, but Mr. Bear always has loved dogs and insists on having several. The ceiling fan in this room turns and cools things off nicely.
In the master bedroom, Mrs. Bear displays her hatpins and fancy plate collection. Inside her dresser she hides fancy lingerie and hosiery.
Mrs. Bear is working on a fancy new frock for one of her human friends. Her sewing room is in the attic.
Like so many families, the bears use their attic for storage. The pink insulation needs to be installed before winter.
Thanks for visiting the bears' home. They love having company and are so happy that Saucy made it into Club Little House Round 3 and the swap and sincerely hope it will give her the incentive needed to help Mr. Bear with his renovations. The wallpaper needs to get hung and the rest of the light fixtures need to be installed. Come again soon! We decorate for Halloween any day now.
I have been crafting for Club Little House and as I mentioned before this means enlisting the help of my father, otherwise known in these circles as "The Secret Weapon". Have I ever described his studio? There are simply no words for it. For those who are familiar, I could simply say that an absence from the blog was a result of aimless wandering and creating in "The Dungeon" (as we have referred to it jokingly over the years, training the family wiemeraner to retire downstairs) and it would be believed. It is true, the basement of my parents' house is entirely devoted to creating, craftsmanship and concoctions! The secret Weapon spends hours in The Dungeon, where there is a printing press, a dark room, a painting studio, a wood shop, an area for goldsmithing and electronics... it is an endless maze of wonderment. And the amazing thing is, The Secret Weapon knows exactly where every little item is and can locate the funniest things at a moment's notice!
I will digress for one moment to tell a funny story about the basement and The Secret Weapon a.k.a. "Daddy". For a number of years I was a tree designer for the Festival of Trees. Christmas trees are decorated by professional artists/craftspeople in different themes and auctioned off to raise money for one of our local hospitals. Over the years, I produced trees with Sesame Street, Looney Tunes and Walt Disney characters, Cowboy trees, glittery fruit trees, feathery bird trees (with nests, birdhouses and eggs), old fashioned school house themes (with little desks, slates and apples) and well you get the idea... the list goes on and on.
It became a bit of an obsession for me to decorate those trees and I would trouble the whole family and whoever else was willing to glitter and glue along with us. Most of the ornaments were made from scratch, except for the licensed characters, and even those were tricky because even with the permission of good old Walt Disney, he can be awfully sticky about where you stick that mouse. The tree planning began some years before the Christmas season was over, so I could run around on Boxing Day and load up on the basics I might need for next year's theme. By March we were right into the building and puttering stage, and all summer we would measure and weld and paint and glue right into the fall and usually up until the very late stages of November we would be pulling feathers and ribbon right out of our very hats to finish in time! And sometimes, The Fan, The Secret Weapon and Saucy would have little standoffs about what size to make a little angel or what colour to paint a little ornament. But we always had fun and most of the time we kept the mess in the basement.
One year I decided to go with a circus theme... no small endeavor for a Saucy with severe CLOWN PHOBIA. The use of capital letters here to suggest the gravity of the situation but a circus tree without clowns? Of course. So The Secret Weapon and I set about creating a giant big top as a base for the tree to "pop" out of. I found foam hotdogs and crafted popcorn out of packing material (nothing edible to be on the trees). Things were progressing nicely until I decided we absolutely needed sno-cones. No problem? Problem. With true paper cones from a restaurant supplier, we fashioned a round top with clear plastic balls cut in half. But regular glitter just looked like glitter on a round ball. I was worried the tree, sans clown, would be without enough junk food to be realistic.
Just then, The Secret Weapon went downstairs and shuffled around for a bit and came back upstairs with a shoebox - filled with every teeny tiny package of silica gel from every pair of sensible work shoes he'd ever purchased, or every pair of not-at-all sensible shoes The Fan or myself brought into the house. Hundreds of those little packets. We dumped them onto a cookie sheet and baked them in the oven for a few hours where they dried up a little more and got a little crystally and crunchy. Perfect icey chunks. The Secret Weapon and I mixed a fairly translucent rosy paint colour, swirled it onto the surface of the bare plastic balls and dipped them into the silica gel -- perfect icy snowcones -- good enough to eat and sure enough they looked like they would melt next to the mini lights!
And so, today we were in that same basement, The Dungeon, so ugly but where so many beautiful things have emerged, crafting the littles for Club Little House. Of course, The Secret Weapon had the perfect tiny tools and tiny drill bits and superstrong glue. I do believe I will be ready for the mini-swap deadline as I have to allow a few extra days for shipping to the USA. Photos soon!
Loopy and her Uncle Bug have had an ongoing gag with their froggies for a long time now. They pose the frogs doing funny things and send photos to each other via email. She gets such a kick out of it and at the same time she fiddles away on Photoshop and learns a whole lot. Today she posed Grins playing the retro Atari game. Here are some of Froggy, Groggy and Grins adventures:
As you can see, unattended frogs get into lots of trouble.
Well here it is... my first digital scrapbooked layout. My friends and family out there have known about my addiction to scrapbooks since I was just a little Saucy "SashaBaby" back then who saved everything - even the frosting roses off my birthday cakes. I dried them oh so carefully on pieces of paper towel and placed them in a box in my dresser. In high school, every passed note, every dance ticket pressed out and committed to those horrible plastic sticky albums. Scrapbooks from part-time jobs, cheerleading teams, weddings of friends... scrap obsessed.
Every time I move all of the ephemera and binders get packed up and come along, with the boxes and tupperwares filled with ribbon, glue and buttons. Much, much more of it still resides with the fan, desperate for my Ya-hub to finally settle his real estate yearnings into the final dwelling that she is sure will have a room devoted to my Encylopedia of Saucy library.
But wait, there may yet be hope. I have discovered the world of digital scrapbooking, an art form I will attempt to master. It may be hard to explain to non-scrappers but the gist is this: the scrapbooks you create are "virtual" and stored on your computer. Instead of buying bits and snips at the craft store, you can download digital elements to embellish your layout, or design. My friend Amy explained it beautifully here and if you read it you will understand my latest obsession with Mo's Delightful Doodads. I will never live in a world free from bits and pieces - Goddess forbid I am ever without my bedazzler - but this new medium has me completely smitten.
In the late dark evening my dearest sweet friend Pepper was leaving last night. We'd had a good long visit catching up as she's been away at her new cabin all summer.
She has amazing night vision because she noticed the tiniest baby bird with a funny smiling beak - nestled between the stones on my front post step! He was tiny, adorable and vulnerable.
I knew I couldn't sleep a wink if I thought he'd be the snack of some cat the golf course keeps around to catch mice.
I decided to give my friend Marit a call. She's not only the author of a child's story book about birds, she's a bird lover and somewhat of an ornithologist. She and her father care for injured birds on their property. Marit gamely drove over at midnight to help me with my birdie troubles.
We turned out the porch lights and she picked up that little guy and had a good look. He was a baby barn swallow, probably couldn't really fly too well yet, but had made his way out of the nest and likely hopped onto the stone. She explained that they nest on cliffsides and buildings.
Marit decided that he'd likely just need to make it through the night and then his bird family would come looking for him in the morning if he was making his hungry sounds.
Now we just had to find a safe spot for him.
This is the spot my little friend was perched. Of course I named him. He looked like a Pepe to me.
We placed Pepe carefully inside my front door wreath. (Yes, it looks like that wreath from Crate and Barrel but it's not. They won't ship to Canada so I made one just like the catalogue).
He was so adorable sitting in the wreath. So tiny, so cute. I wanted to take his photo to show you but I was afraid he would have a stroke or something, using my flash in the dark like that.
This is my re-creation of events. Pepe was gone in the morning when I wanted to photograph him but his family was swirling around the porch and one of his parents came down to the wreath to say hello when I got the mail.
What is the mystery inside a Crabby-tini?
It cures what ails the crabby, grumpy, sugar-highed, hopped up, sleep deprived preteen girl. Orange juice and grenadine in a martini shaker over ice. Shake, don't stir. Pour with great flourish a' la Tom Cruise into two chilled martini glasses. Next, make a huge production out of opening a can of the bubbly (ginger ale) using a towel to hold the pop-top from flying. Again, using wild arm movements pour this into the martini glasses from the highest possible point (you may have to stand on the kitchen counter). They will ooooh and aaaah. They never saw Cocktail. Do not, whatever you do, call it a Shirley Temple or all will be lost. Refer to it at all times as a Crabby-tini. Serve with a wedge of lime, a cocktail cherry, sugared rim or (my preference) all three.
Then with much fanfare I announced that we were having a breakfast buffet of eggs and bacon, toast, french toast, waffles with powdered sugar and syrup, croissants and donuts. This is what they got:
The eggs are white candy melts softened slightly and then I pressed a mini M&M into it.
The bacon is cinnamon gum, flattened with a rolling pin, sliced and waved.
The toast is French Toast Crunch cereal.
The waffles are vanilla wafer cookies cut apart and separated. The butter pats are individual confetti sprinkles. I dusted them with powdered sugar and maple syrup.
I love the little donuts. They are Cheerios of course, some dusted with powdered sugar, the others gently dipped in the aforementioned candy melts and sprinkled.
The croissant is an actual tiny croissant made from Pillsbury dough - just cut it into teeny tiny triangles, roll and bake in the toaster oven for about five minutes!
Of course we had a real breakfast of real size croissants and real Cheerios and of course, more Crabby-tinis. What a spread!
For supper we barbequed hot dogs and hamburgers and served potato chips. No veggies or salad necessary in this situation. The girls helped by making homemade lemonade (kept them busy for a full half hour while we were cooking).
The key to a successful sleepover is in the planning. We leave nothing to chance. I go grocery shopping and stock up on the essentials: sugar, carbs, soda, marshmallows and junky cereal. All of the non-food groups are represented nicely. Then off to Blockbuster for a selection of cheezy chick flicks and microwave popcorn. They have set up camp in Dad's den and taken over the remote control. I skewered some jolly, gooey candies for the munchies.
I have a special breakfast planned for them. We will start with my customary post-sleepover morning "Crabby-tinis". I serve shaken juices with sparking water into martini glasses with a maraschino cherry. I have a special "little something" planned for breakfast and will post it here as soon as they are up and finished eating (around noon at the earliest if history repeats itself)! I can't wait to show it to you...
We have dragonflies all over our home. I think they bring good luck! My father made a gorgeous stained glass window with a dragonfly on it, but it just won't photograph, no matter how I try. Here are some of the lovelies that are flying around the rest of the house.
Today I jazzed up a little purple hoodie for Loopy to wear back to school, now that she is a rocker chick. I found this cute hoodie here and found a retro Blondie tee here.
The best part of this entire project was an excuse to use my new Crystal Fire BeJeweler and it was quick and easy... next thing I knew I'd used up two bags of Swarovski crystals. I love the grungy quality of this little project... it's very punk rock. I just cut the silkscreened tee apart and sewed it directly on the hoodie, with vertical seams along the zipper, and then cut along the zip line to open it up. I'll be keeping my eyes open for more tees and hoodies to embellish from now on.
I am right in the thick of so many things... working on my submission for Club Little House and getting ready to sell our home, the Dragonfly. We named our house "the Dragonfly" and I decorated it with a dragonfly motif. We live on a golf course and there are dragonflies everywhere. I think they bring good luck!
We have a long history in our family of naming our houses (the rainbow house, 102 happiness, the sunshine house) usually a child's doing for some mystical or obvious reason. I don't really think I want to sell this house right now, but as I explained previously, there is just something about men and real estate, and my honey has a bee in his ballcap right now about selling this house and building another one just like it.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not ungrateful or anything. And of course the new home would include the dream art and craft room to contain sewing machines and scrapbook supplies, so bonus for me! The contractor. What a load of work. Loopy wants to help, and she's getting old enough now to choose paint colours and carpets, so that would be fun. Well maybe one more move wouldn't hurt us and she can work on her new shabby chic bedroom idea and we could plan the art room together.
It's all up in the air right now, we'll put the house up for sale and decide if the right buyer comes along. In the meantime, big house plans and little house crafts are keeping me busy. Have a nice long weekend everyone!
Loopy's bass guitar has arrived! A purchase from eBay. I've purchased from eBay before, but never something of much value... I was pretty anxious. But it arrived in a huge box, packed so carefully by its previous owner and in perfect condition. Let the lessons begin. She may rock and roll all night, but she will not party every day!
This bass guitar is by Daisy Rocks Girl Guitar Company and is one-eighth the size of a regular bass guitar. Designed for girls! Isn't that the cleverest idea? I love anything that encourages girls to try new things.
I have also started working on my Club Little House submission. Here is the tiniest hint: it is orange, and it is JUICY!! But it is not tiny orange fruit nor does it have anything to do with autumn! Oh, that should have your heads scratching for days, my friends!