28 March 2010

Shots of our Day

I can imagine the oooohs and aaaahs you are all expelling right now.  Yes, they are cute.
But, like most photo shoots, we ended up like this.
Eli helped make quesadillas for dinner.

He was sad because he "burned" himself on his barely warm pan.

And then there's this gem:

26 March 2010

The Golden Eggs

I just loved making these.  They were easy, and oh so beautiful.  And, in an attempt to live a natural life, who can argue with pure wool, naturally dyed, eggs? 
I could have made them entirely out of roving, but in an attempt to use up supplies I already have, and save a little money, I just made different sized balls of leftover wool yarn, and then wrapped them in various coloured roving.  Then, with a little soap and hot water, I felted them and shaped the balls like eggs.  Because they are felted, they are very dense and will keep their shape. They will look beautiful in our Easter baskets this year.  I LOVE THEM!


Many blogs offer giveaways as a way of promoting various products.  When I see one that I like, I often enter.  Why not, right???  Well, I have actually won two different giveaways.  I won a $50 coupon at Old Navy (Eli's summer wardrobe!) and today I won this cute switch plate.  Not sure what I'm going to do with it, as I don't have any girls, but it's really about the thrill of winning anyway, right?  (If you have a room that matches, let me know?)

Seeing as I aspire to being more than the blog I am, I think I am going to host my own giveaway.  You see, I  haven't found out if I'm having boys or girls with either of my pregnancies, so I happen to have a lot of little girl hats and such that I have made that I am willing to offer up.  We are moving in two weeks, so as I am packing I will find them all and post pictures, and one lucky "follower" will win!  And, for those of you with boys, I might even whip up a few hats for you!  So, stay tuned for the first ever {hands full of happiness} giveaway!!!  You are excited, I know.

24 March 2010


 Pretty much, my crafty inspiration, the woman I look up to most, the mom I want to be, is Cheryl Snell.  I couldn't post what I am about to post without giving her credit of having this idea first (as I know she is a little touchy about it).  She made this darling dolly for her Ruby before Christmas, and I had to copy her.  It is Cheryl's brilliance that has brought this post to you, and joy to the seven little girls that will receive these sweet dolls... well, Cheryl's and Martha Stewart's... well, actually, Cheryl's, Martha's and the woman who created made the pattern.  But hey, just know that I love Cheryl, and without her these little gems would not exist!

They were so easy to make.  Cheryl (brilliantly I might add) suggested that I make the legs and arms a little wider than the pattern called for, so I did just that.  Also, I embroidered on the eyes and mouths rather than paint them on.  I think they turned out pretty adorable!  And, tomorrow, they will be en route to Michigan via the wonderful workers of the United States Postal Service.

23 March 2010

Strings and Sealing Wax and Other Fancy Stuff

The hard part about trying to do a crafty thing each day is materials. I can't afford to go to the craft store for each day's project, but I do want to make things with Eli that are worth the effort, so I have to be creative with what I want to make.  For instance, I wanted to make this hand tree, but I certainly didn't have the right fabric.  So, I rummaged through my craft boxes and amongst the "strings and sealing wax and other fancy stuff" I decided I could do the same thing with a canvas I bought on sale at Joann's months ago and scraps of scrapbook paper.  (Coincidentally, I recently met the wife of Leonard Lipton's biological son - RANDOM.)

Our first go at the hand tree was for a postcard exchange that we are participating in.  It was pretty rudimentary, but we had fun making it.  

The second time we used Mod Podge, and cut up the background paper to be a little more scrappy. Eli passed me the leaves and I put them on.  I love hand print art!  Here it is:

22 March 2010

Socks, Socks, Beautiful Socks!


I love you, socks.  I love that you are so much easier to knit than I thought.  I love that you are useful all year round, not just in the winter like toques and scarves.  I love that you are so pretty.  I love that there are so many patterns I can choose from.  I love you so much, I almost don't want to give you to Megan, whom I made you for, but I will, since you were her Christmas present.  But be assured, I will make some more to enjoy myself.  Socks, I truly love you!

19 March 2010

Easter Basket

Today my friend Sarah came over with her two boys to make Easter Baskets.  We thought it would be a great craft for our older boys to do, but it turned out way too messy, so it became a Mommy craft day while the boys played with the costumes.  We had fun, regardless, and the Easter Baskets turned out great. 
 First we heated 2 1/2 cups of sugar with 1 cup of water over the stove.

We even got a little help from Buzz Lightyear and a Dragon.
 Then we soaked crochet cotton in the sugar water and wrapped it around balloons.
 This is about halfway done.  We used about 300 yards of thread between the two balls, and probably could have used more.  We will wait for them to dry, pop the balloons, cut out a hole, and put them out for the Easter Bunny to fill on Easter morning.  Tons of fun!

17 March 2010

Pinch Proof

These two boys are going to be blessed with the luck of the Irish today!

 We've had a great morning.  Eli made sure Daddy didn't go out the door without his lucky green shirt on, then he picked out clothes for himself and Silas.  His favourite thing to wear these days are baby leg warmers on his arms. Luckily I had a pair of green ones for today.  After breakfast we broke open a bag of balloons, blew up all the green ones, and spent half an hour trying to keep them from touching the floor.  Then, with Eli holding the camera, we went on a Green Scavenger Hunt.  His job was to take pictures of everything he could find that was green.  He had so much fun, and by the end of it I think actually knew what green was! Here are his shots.  I just love the perspective of a two-year-old!  I can't get enough of the shots with his cute toes sticking out at the bottom. Notice the sweet purple flowers in the grass in the last shot.  He took all the pictures himself, with no help from me.

15 March 2010

Let the crafting begin!!!

I got a wonderful package in the mail today, and I'm so excited to get started with the contents:
What is that, you might ask.  It is 78 different colours of gorgeous wool felt.  Perhaps I am a little too excited about this, but I have some projects in mind, and I can't wait to get started with this.  I am going to make a quiet book, for Sunday use, like this, but with more scriptural reference (Joseph's multi-colored coat, Jonah and the Whale, Ammon and the sheep kidnappers, etc).  And, I'm also going to do something like this, but more natural looking - I don't know how to describe the pictures in my brain, so you are just going to have to wait to see what I mean.  I'm obviously going to have to buy some more felt for the play house, but all these colours will make some beautiful veggies for the garden, and leaves for the trees.  I can't wait!

Family Photo Shoot

So, we are our own photographers.  Today, after church, we went to the park and took some family photos. The boys just looked so sweet in the outfits from Chloe's wedding, so we thought we'd take advantage of the sun and go for it.  Here's the best we got.  Enjoy!

Pine Cone Theif!


Someone, or something, has stolen our pine cones!  Eli is horrified, and can't figure out who would do such a heinous thing.  All his hard work, gone, taken from us, right under our noses!  We went outside, just two days after we put out our treats for the birds, and this is all we found.  All three peanut butter-birdseed glories were ripped from the strings and vanished.  Eli wants to call the police, knowing that they help find stolen things.  I have a sneaky suspicion though: there are some mischievous squirrels around, and I think they have pillaged our backyard!  Perhaps they heard me say how scrawny they were, compared to the monstrous squirrels of Michigan.  Maybe they have a thing against Winston, and wanted to punish us for the acts of our dog.  Possibly they are stricken by the recession, like everyone else, and just can't feed their families, so have resorted to lives of crime. In any case, I guess Eli and I have a project for tomorrow: we are making pine cone squirrel feeders!

10 March 2010

Feeding the Birds

My first indication that we had a problem was when Eli started climbing up the stairs chanting, "Who's the cat? Who's the cat? Who's the cat?"*  I knew our troubles had escalated when I went around the corner in front of him at the grocery store and he cried out "Ca-Caw!"*  I decided I needed to take action when he was playing with Silas, who started to cry, and Eli said, "He's broken, I don't want to play with him any more."*

Then, my friend posted a link to a documentary on marketing to children, Consuming Kids.  It was all over.  I knew it was time to turn the television off and find something else to do with our days. 

So, out came the artillery.  I needed ideas, and I needed inspiration. I pulled out this book, called my mom for ideas, and made a list of things I want to do with Eli.  So it began: we put the DVDs in the closet, pulled out the double stroller, and went out to gather materials for our first morning of our new regime: we are going to fill our days with creative learning experiences, not movies!  And this is what we came up with:

There is a house down our street with an enormous pine tree in front of it.  From that pine tree hundreds of big, beautiful pine cones have fallen.  So, off we set down the road to collect some of the pine tree's offerings.  Eli went through several for every pine cone he picked.  Some were too small, some were too poky, some were smashed on one side, some were too big.  Finally he had picked five ravishing cones, and we were off to the grocery store for more supplies.  We needed peanut butter and bird seed.

We got home with everything we needed to make our little bird friends in our yard a snack. 

I wanted Eli to feel like he could do it himself, so I changed his shirt, gave him the spoon, and told him to dig in!

Silas watched from his Bumbo.

Eli enjoyed the peanut butter as much as the birds will, I'm sure. 

After we covered the pine cones in peanut butter, we rolled it in the bird seed, tied some wool yarn around it, and took it outside to hang for the birds.
We dropped the rest of the seed on the ground for the birds to eat, and went in to clean up. 

All in all, it was an incredibly successful day!  Eli didn't even ask once if we could watch a movie, and after it was all done he napped, without question, for two hours. Now, if I can just keep it up, our house will be littered with beautiful artwork and crafts made by Eli, and the ceaseless movie quoting will end!  Please feel free to comment with any brilliant ideas you may have for me! 

*Toy Story
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