Archive for the 'Not Cards' Category

If You Build It…..

Over the weekend we had a little party because….

Tristan 6th Birthday

And Mr. Soon-to-be-Six decided this year he wanted to have a lego birthday party. So that photo was the front of the invitation with the party details on the back. I’ve been keeping a Pinterest board to keep track of all the great ideas for lego parties on the web. When the kids arrived we had them work on some lego coloring sheets and dot-to-dots I printed from the lego site. I had a few different ones so they could do more than one while the other guests arrived.


After everyone arrived we had lunch. Tristan requested mini hamburgers (sliders) and those tiny hot dogs wrapped in bread (pigs in a blanket). We also had pirate’s booty and mini cheese crackers. I used a plastic green tablecloth from the party store and a runner of bubble wrap painted green to look like lego baseplate. The only other decoration on the table was the giant lego minifigure head. I had been wanting to get one and amazingly I found one at Target the day before the party, on sale even. In the sweets department we had an awesome lego cake that Papa made by making a really big sheet cake and topping it with six cupcakes to look like a giant yellow lego. Candy legos from the store were in a lego pick-a-brick container and we also had lego chocolates we made in a silicone mold.


After lunch we split the kids among three tables and had them start building. I had purchased bags of bulk legos from the lego store. First we asked them to build a house and awarded prizes — series 5 minifigures — to the best house at each table. Then we asked them to build boats and did the same thing with the prizes. After that we had them each build an animal and they got to keep the animal they built.

Lego Cake

Then it was time for Happy Birthday and cake! After everyone finished their cake we let them go back to building until their parents arrived to pick them up. As his friends left Tristan gave each of them a favor that consisted of a small lego building set — that I also got on sale — sugar cookies I made to look like legos packaged in a cute lego box, and two chocolate minifigures that Papa made using silicone molds. I found a lego font to use for the tags.


A Few Ideas for Daddy’s Day

Thought I’d pop in and remind you all about some cute Father’s Day crafts we’ve done in past years to give you some ideas for this weekend.

2007 – Let’s Review

So, 2007 was a pretty good year on the crafting front. There are 84 photos in my Finished – 2007 set on flickr. Even I’m a little impressed by that. I’m particularly happy with how many new things I learned in 2007. Let’s review, shall we?

2007 - A Year In Review (Part Four)

First, in knitting, thanks to Larissa I learned to knit socks. All in all I finished six pairs of socks plus two pairs of baby booties this year. Ten sweaters came off the needles and while all but one were child sized I’m still very happy about that. I made my first Elizabeth Zimmerman sweater and my first colorworked yoke sweater both for urchin number two. Katrina didn’t get quite as many sweaters but she was definitely the main beneficiary of my newfound sewing skills…

2007 - A Year in Review (Part Three)

I think 2007 might just be remembered as the year I learned to sew. Wow, I’m so happy I finally conquered my fear. There have been a lot of pajamas and quite a few dresses. I even made my sister a bag. I also made my first quilt in 2007 and my second, third, fourth, and fifth as well. They were all doll quilts but I have full-sized quilt love for them all.

2007 - A Year in Review (Part Two)

There was plenty of food in 2007 although not too much of it made it onto the blog. I’m glad that some jam made into some of your homes though. Lots of paper stuff happened as well including garlands, folders, and altered bottles. And let’s not forget the altered tin for Father’s Day — one of my favorite projects from the whole year.

2007 - A Year in Review (Part One)

We played games, we gave gifts, we swapped, we had two great birthday parties, and took about a million photos. So 2008 has some big shoes to fill. What do I have planned? Knitting wise I’d like to make more socks using a variety of techniques. I’d like to conquer a lace project and I am going to knit a sweater for Papa. At the sewing machine I want to continue to improve my garment-making skills and conquer my fear of knits. I also want to make a bed-sized quilt top — I’ll probably send it out to be quilted. I want to tell you more about some of the great food we’re eating and I really want to try to compost less of our CSA share each week. Thank you guys for being such a great inspiration to me, and not just when it comes to being crafty. Your talent in knitting, sewing, mommy-ing — making in all regards — inspires me everyday. And that you take the time to tell me you enjoy what I make is really wonderful to me. Ready or not 2008, here we come.

Traditions :: Fudge

Mmmm, Fudge

We have a hysterical home-video from about 20 years ago when my mom made a batch of fudge and put it in cute teddybear bags for each of us kids. My sister, about eight years at the time, opened her bag and in the squeaky voice she had at the time says Mmmm, fudge! It’s one of those collective family memories — thanks to the video — that we all still recall these many years later. Here’s the recipe:

Microwave Fudge
In a large microwave-safe bowl mix 1/4 lb butter, 2 c. sugar, and 1 small can of evaporated milk. Cover with waxed paper and heat for 15 minutes on high, stirring once half way through.

Remove from the microwave, stir and add 1 tsp. vanilla, 12 oz. nestle morsels (the flavor of these determines the flavor of the fudge), and 7 oz. marshmallow whip. Stir to combine fully.

Pour into buttered pan (we use a 9×9) and refrigerate.

Teachers Gifts - Fudge

The fudge sets up really fast so you should be able to enjoy it a few hours after putting it in the refrigerator. It makes great gifts, like these two bags headed off to Tristan’s teachers at Mother’s Day Out.


Amidst the turkey a certain someone in our house turned two. Really, it’s just hard to believe. My niece — who is five years old — said Soon Tristan will be a tid [kid] and I can’t believe she’s right. Boy the time just flies by. So, a train party happened to celebrate.

Here’s the cake:

Train Party - Roundhouse and Cake

Papa gets all credit for the cake and the roundhouse. Thanks Jennifer — no blog — for the great roundhouse idea.

Here’s a view of the table:

Train Party - The Table

I had trouble figuring out what would be “train food” so we just went with Tristan’s favorites. I made the tablecloth from some fabric with vintage train tickets on it and bordered with a black/gray calico.

This is the awesome engine that Papa and his dad, Opa, made:

Train Party - Engine and Coal Car Game

I told them to make an engine to pull the wagon and left the house. When I came back this is what they had done. It was so much better than I ever thought it could be. We converted the wagon into a coal car and I made some coal — beanbags — and we made a game of tossing the coal into the coal car. It was a big hit, even with the older siblings. The little ones liked to drive the engine too. The tracks are just black electrical tape on the carpet — thanks to Anina for that idea.

And lastly, here’s our little engineer blowing out the candles:

Happy Birthday to You

He was especially fond of the skittle wheels although he did seem to like the cake too. He’s been singing Happy Birthday for over a week now and trying to blow out any flame he sees — including those in the fireplace. He got some great gifts too but I’ll save those for another day.

Rushing Down the Hill

It always seems like at the beginning of November I feel like I’m on my bike at the top of a big hill and then all of sudden — whooosh I’m rushing down at some ungodly speed and I can’t find the brakes. Does anybody else feel like that? I woke up this morning and it’s started for me, I’m whooshing. This year should be less stressful than last year — no holiday weddings — but there sure is a lot to do before we close the chapter on 2007.

Making a List...

We’re really trying to give homemade and handmade this year and I’ve been getting heart palpitations thinking about the list of things to be made. I originally made a list in my moleskin from Abby but then a rubber-stamping friend helped me make this. Its just a normal white folder folded back on itself and in half again to make an accordion. We decorated it with paper and added an envelope and a few sheets of trimmed card stock. Since these photos my lists have been added and there sure is a lot to be done. Somehow, having a list makes it seem more manageable though. If it’s a pretty list like this, all the better.

Making a List...

Boo-tiful Decorations

Halloween Mantle

I know Halloween isn’t a traditionally garland-laden season but for some reason we’ve been feeling garland-y around here. The first one is on the mantle in the family room and is from mailorder #4 from Amy. I want to try to make a stiff spider web from black crochet thread to put behind that little Boo! hanging down there on the right. Any ideas?

Halloween in the Front Hall

Garland #2 was made with Katie. She helped me stamp all those little guys on white paper and punch out the scallop-y colored things to put them on. We added googley eyes to the ones that had eyes that seemed big enough. I cut around the stamped images — a circle punch would make this much easier — and then we glued them onto the colored scallop pieces. Both this garland and the first one are strung together on black crochet thread. The individual pieces are just taped to the thread.

Halloween Garland - Closeup

The last garland is the best, if you ask me. I love how cute this turned out. Really, really, love it. I just drew the pumpkin, star, and bat freehand. The spider is a circle. You are welcome to print and use my pattern pieces. The pumpkin, star, and bat were made by pinning the pattern to two pieces of felt and then sewing around the pattern with the machine, you could do this by hand too. Then you cut around your stitches trying to keep the allowance even. For the pumpkin I just stuck a little piece of brown felt between the two layers of orange where I wanted the stem to be before I started sewing. Make the stem longer than you think — you can always trim it later, just don’t trim it off when you’re trimming around the pumpkin shape. The ribs on the pumpkin were sewn on the machine too.

Felt and Yo-Yo Halloween Garland

The spider is made in a similar fashion. Put a black piece of felt and whatever you want his underside to be made of — ours has a purple check underside — right sides together with the circle pattern on top. Cut eight black pieces for legs — once again longer than you think — and put them in between the layers with the legs extending into the middle. The felt pieces stick to each other so this helps keep the legs where you want them. Then, starting near a leg, sew around the circle making sure you catch all eight legs and leaving a small space to turn the spider right side out. I stuffed him with a little polyfil and then machine-sewed around the whole thing to secure the hole shut.

Halloween Garland - Spider Detail

The yo-yos were made using a circle slightly bigger than the spider pattern. If you wanted your garland to be longer you could make bigger yo-yos — trace a cd or a bowl for a pattern –or just more yo-yos. My garland has 16, four each of four fabrics. To hang it I just attached a tab from a soda can to each end a-la Calamity Kim. The spider is hanging off the tab on the star. If you make one let me know so I can check it out! We already have a Thanksgiving garland in the works too. We’ll share that in the beginning of November.

Halloween Garland - Closeup

This is What You Get for Listening to My Kid Sing

Altered Clipboard

While giving away the farm last week I was still crafting and now I have a bit of a backlog of things to show you. First up is these thank you gifts for the two young adults who were Katrina’s choir teachers this year. Mr. Justin is a high school senior who Katie was alternately petrified of and totally in love with. The turn to love seemed to coincide with the appearance of a beard Justin grew for a part in a play. Who knew my four-year-old had a thing for facial hair? The clipboard was the gift for him. I’m a little afraid that it wasn’t masculine enough but he can take the ribbon off if he finds it to girly.

Altered Folder

For Miss Jamie I made an altered folder. This started as a cheap white folder from the office supply store which I re-folded into an accordion. I used patterned paper and card-stock to embellish it. The J on the front and the two hearts were pre-cut chipboard shapes I covered with patterned paper but I just used them since I had them. I’ve also done something similar to this with a piece of cardboard I cut into whatever shape I wanted. It’s tied together with twill tape.

Altered Folder - Inside

Happy Father’s Day

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day

Edite to add: some basic instructions here.

Five Things

As if telling you six weird things about me wasn’t enough now you are being subjected to five things about me I haven’t told you before. I’ve been tagged by Kelly for this one and I figure I’ll change it up a bit and tell you five craft-related things. So, here goes:

  1. Aside from macramé, latch hook, and potholder looms my first creative pursuits were drawing and cross-stitch. I was even in the honors art class when I was in eighth grade.
  2. I was super into cross-stitch when Stefan and I first married until he mentioned that he wasn’t super into having the house decorated entirely in stitched linen.
  3. I like scrapbooking and stamping — both from major direct selling companies. The scrapbooks are of the kids and vacations and the stamps I use to make cards.
  4. In our garden we have plants that are the descendants of plants on my grandfather’s childhood farm — and almost every house in between. This makes me very happy
  5. My go-to meal is chile con carne. We eat this all the time — even in the summer — and it’s requested often by Katrina. Such a super easy meal but oh so yummy.

flickr photos

Mama Urchin. Get yours at

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