Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Tales of the Vintage Toy Chronicles Part I

speak and spell

Collecting vintage toys has been a passion of mine for many years. I’ve held onto a few of my own toys and thought it would be fun to mix them in the blog every now and then and share them with you all.

Sunday night, I decided to give Jonmichael my personal Speak and Spell from the 80’s. Being 7, he’s learning how to read and spell this year, so I thought it would be appropriate to hand this over. {I’m also relieved that I didn’t forget to give it to him – or miss my opportunity and give it to him too late.}

speak and spell

He loved it, played it way too long into the night and all afternoon the next day. He loves beating the mystery word game. It’s such a great take-along toy too.

Love those old vintage toys!!!!

Monday, January 26, 2009

simplest of art supplies ~


A box full of simple art supplies keeps my 3 year old busy busy!! We love open-ended everything around here. You sometimes hear me talk about open-ended toys, toys that aren't so specific to their function; that can be manipulated in several different ways - and great for playing make-believe. Well, I feel the same way about art supplies!!

simple of art supplies

Elise has been using these simple art supplies everytime she gets inspired, or when her sister decides to make a computer out of markers and construction paper and tape. These few supplies challenge her enough to keep her busy and focused on making what she envisions. {not what another artist envisions in mass produced coloring books!}

tearing tape

These few skills she is learning will help strengthen her small motor skills in her hands, as well as give her confidence, more independence (which three year olds crave) and a longer attention span.

cutting tape


I also love packing up a few of these art supplies for birthday party gifts when I don't have time to sew or knit something. I also love giving the white blank books that I find at school supply stores and a pack of markers for an older child so they can create and write their own stories.

Friday, January 16, 2009

a little pillow fit for a 4 year old ~

Since the holidays, getting motivated {to do anything} has been a struggle for me. With a friend’s birthday coming up {turning 4}, I decided to look in my stash for inspiration for a handmade gift.

Growing up, store bought toys came and went. I have a few of my favorites around, {I should show them someday}, but I held on to all of my handmade gifts given by family and friends while growing up. Amazingly, even as a child, we understand on a certain level, the love and thought put into a handmade gift. We don’t always think of the giver of most of our store bought gifts, sometimes we do, but for me, with a handmade gift, I can always tell you who made it and a close proximity of my age when I received it.

With my recent project using linen, I thought that might be a good start to see what I have left of it, and with the birthday honoree turning 4, what better way to capture that than in a small 4 square pillow made especially for her.

birthday pillow - front

Everything in the pillow was added with intention; intention of her interests, her age, and color.

birthday pillow - details

birthday pillow

birthday pillow - back

May she have a fabulous time celebrating 4 . . . and may this gift today and days to come continue to show her how much she is loved.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

On my crafting table today ~

sewing project

crafting table

On my crafting table today I am finding:

** knitting I've been picking up every now and then,

** a birthday present "project" due for the weekend.

I'd love to hear what's on your "crafting table!"

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

what we've been up to

It feels like we've had two weeks filled with nothing. It's been harder for me to focus on a new project these past two weeks so I thought it might be a fun time to share little bits and pieces of our days/evenings until inspiration strikes again. I will note that after pooling all these photos, we have in fact had two weeks that were very full, but with the gloomy weather, I have had a harder time feeling inspired myself, looks like I may be the only one.




Elise is coloring with crayon rocks that you can get here. The lady who started Stubby Pencil Studio is just fantastic. I had a great phone conversation with Kate early in December and would highly recommend her art supplies to kids of all ages! I know we have really enjoyed them!!

finishing up a pair of booties

During the past two weeks I finished up another pair of booties to be given to a friend who just had a baby girl. Everytime I make a pair of these, they are so well received. The moms just rave at how well these booties stay on their babies. I think they are so rightfully named - "Stay-On Booties."

listening to books on record

Lena has had a fun time discovering some of my old books on record. She could sit and listen to these for hours, {and change the records for hours too!}


Another favorite area of the house these days is a music corner Daniel created for the kids soon after Christmas. The girls love singing and hearing their voices through the amp.

new handmade dress

We've been wearing some of our new handmade dresses we received at Christmas, they have been so much fun!

reading favorite books before bedtime

Sunday afternoon we sat down and watched the movie "Miss Potter" - Lena has always loved her books. That night before bed she got out her Peter Rabbit collection book and spent some time retelling the stories. I always love to see her do this. She has quite an imagination and all who know her say she'll make a great writer.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

teaching gratitude ~

Over the course of several days, I have been working with my two oldest ones in some thank-you letter writing.

teaching gratitude

Back in the beginning of December, I had Jonmichael draw some art-work that I sat aside to make Thank-you notes from, simply enough, to use after the holidays were over.

I took his drawing, and shrunk it using a photo editing program to be made into a header at the top of a 8 ½ x 11 sheet of paper that also would easily be mailed in a regular sized business envelope.

teaching gratitude

teaching gratitude

Jonmichael and Lena both have been excited about writing these letters and showing their gratitude to friends and family who showed their love for all of us this Christmas season.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

comfy covers ~

flannel duvet

adding ribbon detail on duvet

flannel duvet

We love our duvet covers in this house and yesterday I finished sewing Elise's new cover sized for her toddler bed. I didn’t have a lot of the snowflake flannel fabric to work with, so I seamed it together and added a panel of white flannel at the top and dressed it up with some of the ribbon leftover from this quilt project. It came together beautifully and she loves it.

sister's duvet

Across the room (they share their room) her sister's bed looks just as comfy, we really do love our duvets!!