The sling shots


Two Christmases ago, the kids received a sling shot each, made especially for them by our friend.  She remembered how she made them when she was growing up, and told us the stories of how her and her brothers made them, and how her mom used to get mad at them for cutting the tongue of their leather shoes, so they could make these.  She has 6 siblings, so I bet their mom did get upset!  (I wonder if they each cut the tongue of their own shoe, ruining 7 pairs, or if they cut both tongues of a pair, and so ruining just 3 pairs?  I wonder…)

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Anyway.  She made Lucas and Siena a sling shot each, and apologize in advance for any damage they might cause.  We loved all of it, and will take the consequences, I guess (I hope my kids are not reading this one.)  This time she cut leather from a glove she had.  For the elastic part, she couldn’t find a good rubber even after going to the bike shop to get a popped tired.  She says the tires are not elastic enough these days, different from heydays growing up.  So she had to get surgical tubing.  And it works perfectly!


We liked when she told us about her stories from growing up, as much as her stories on how she was trying to make them this time, and her thinking of all the possibilities they could use these now…. here in the city, as oppose to the farm she grew up at.

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The kids took their sling shot when we went for a hike here and there, but it was way more fun in Idaho.  DSC_0038 DSC_0039

They of course, were not throwing at anything to injure.  They were rocks, rabbit and deer poop sent to the air, or to touch the water, or reach the other side of the pond.  Real testing of what it could do.

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I remember I used to have one too growing up.  I wonder how many of us used to play with one, and how many kids today have one.  It was fun to see the kids play with it and not having to worry to damage anything or anyone was a big bonus!  Our friend knows us well, I guess.   Thank you Linda!

sewing for my paints

I made a roll for my brushes that I take when we go places.  Usually they go in a big box with everything in it, that keeps them well taken cared for.  But this time, I needed something a lot lighter. So I sewed this roll, from a linen tablecloth I had.

DSC_0066-small DSC_0068-small DSC_0069-smallI am hoping I’ll have some time to paint somewhere.  I know I need to make the time.  Now, I need to put my sketchbook and the paints and to have fun!


And yes I did that too.  I had these linen pants that I wore a lot in India, actually, and have been waiting to make something with them, since they were worn too thin.  So I picked the back pockets, to be part of the bag.

DSC_0074-small DSC_0075-smallI put all the supplies I want to take with me this time.


I put a lining (another linen piece left over from a dress I had) and of course, a zipper.


I stamped the lining, because I wanted something secret in the bag.


And sewed it all around.  A perfect carrier-of-paints-and-everything-I-need bag.  Now I want to know what else I’m going to zipper up!  Let me think…

making : another (upcycled) bag + doilies

After I made the other bag last month, I found one I wanted to cover up the words and add a little “something” to it.


As you can see from my pile, I have this thing for doilies.  Crocheted one, or tattling, those little hand stitched pieces that no one really uses anymore.  I know.  They gather dust, they get stained, they get wrinkled and buried under books…

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But if I see them at a garage sale or at the thrift store I want to bring them home.  I don’t know how to make them, but I have lots of them.  A lot of them from my mom and my Omi.  But these… these that I’m using to sew into bags are going to be taken to a thriftstore and if no one saves sees them they’ll head to the landfill.  A terrible thing for many reasons.

Some are handmade, and so beautiful.  Others are store bought, but they are still good for working with.

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They do a great job at covering the words of those bags with stores, businesses or conferences I’ve never gone to but I like the bag.


And because there’s plenty of them in my stash, both sides can get covered easily!

And because doilies are… well…. doilies after all!  They made me think of this episode of Portlandia.  Funny!

making : upcycled bag

Remember the placemats I made last year with an old quilt I found at the thrift store?


I still have some blocks left, after I cut up that quilt.  I also had a bag I thought I could fancy up a little, because I wasn’t too crazy about the logo in the front.


So I put these two together…



cover up the ripped parts…


and a few ruffles and doilies…


And done.  I love how it came out.

Making : Jewelry

Over Mother’s day, we were at the beach.  We wanted to show the Pacific Coast, here in Oregon, to our friends Mac and Ros.  We spend few days there, and we had great weather.  From warm sunshine, to a colder breeze and even a little rain.  A perfect sample of what the coast is like over in this part of the world.


We had so much fun.  One of the things we did, and showed them, was how to find agates. We went to our two sure spots, and found quite a few!  It is always so much fun.

Now, with our treasure back at home, we set ourselves to make earrings. Neither one of us had done any before, but we thought it would be fun.


We first picked those two that were most similar.

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And then did the best we could in tying the agates with thin wire we found at Joann’s.  Then hooked the left over wire to the earring piece, and they were done!

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And Siena made some with shells too.

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This pair of shell earrings for a friend.

Earth Day Birthday : the making and decorating

I love organizing things.  And I do love getting ready and planning my kids’ birthday parties. I love birthdays, and I love making their celebrating with their friends special.

Remember our friends?

We moved the bunting and the pictures of Siena growing up outside for the party for everyone to enjoy and see our little peanut grow.

I thought the yard looked so pretty and festive!

Mark and Siena made the fruit monster as we do every year for her birthday (and try to make it for Lucas’s winter birthday, when we are in Portland).

I made sun tea (black tea and chamomile mint tea from our garden.)

Rhubarb lemonade.

Siena made a little table with (some) of her pandas.

Got our games and activity table done.  This one is for the Dirt Baby.  Everyone got to make one as they arrived and got to decorate it and take it home to see grow.  We made these at the Ag Fest last spring and Siena has been wanting to make them for her party since then.  they are lots of fun.

Spring cleaning

We decided to clean up our boxes.  You know, those boxes from the basement and the attic or the back in the closet.  Those boxes we’ve had around for a long time.  They’ve been moved from the basement to the attic. Back to the basement, to the back of the closet, and up again.

Those boxes filled with stuff.  Stuff we don’t know what to do with. Stuff we don’t want to get rid of, but nobody really uses anything from them. Those things that bring us memories.  Those we kept.  But those things that we didn’t really need, those we put out for a new home, for someone to finally use again.  And it was fun.

And so did 6 other family friends.

We had so much.  We found each other’s treasures.

And Siena and Lucas brought all their goods too to sell and save the money for their donation to the pandas and penguins.

Oh… and look at these buttons…

They’ve been making them in preparation for the garage sale for weeks. They found the branches, cut them, used a drill, sanded them, one by one. They’ve done so much work. With blisters in their hands, their faces red from hard work many days, but with two happy kids, working together, for their cause.

They were so excited to have this basket filled with these beautiful recycled buttons.  I love them all.  We have an idea.  We’ll share it soon.

Tutorial : Our garden wishes

Looking on how to do our Earth Day Prayer Flags, I found Maya’s Garden Wish Flags.  I thought it was such a neat idea, that I shared it with my family, and we sat down one day to make ours.

So I set everything outside one pretty sunny day.  Some boards to draw on (our table has big slots), the flags, fabric markers, and some books with inspirations, in case someone needed them.

First, like our Earth Day Prayer Flags I used an old sheet and cut them in rectangles the seize I wanted them to hang.  Then I folded about 2 inches on top to make a little pocket, to pass the binding through, that we used for hanging the flags.

Then we drew.  We actually first talked about what we wanted for our garden and then we drew.

We used fabric markers this time, instead of paints. We have a few different kinds, we’ve used in other projects in the past years.  Some of these markers and some of these.

After we were all done drawing, I set them with the iron, and we passed through a piece of binding I found in some of our thrifting trips.  Green this time, hoping for lots of greens in our garden.

I think they looks so cute.

Thank you Maya for another great inspiration!  I love looking in our backyard and seeing these flags wave with the wind, and decorate and inspire my days.  I wonder if there’s another place we need these flags…

Am I ready for a change?

These past few weeks we’ve been remodeling Siena and Lucas’s playhouse.  No longer called such, now it’s a ClubHouse.

With sadness I saw their play kitchen go (which was OK to hand over to someone else to enjoy), but seeing them grow up from that very special piece of furniture that stayed in our kitchen for many years, and then moved to the playhouse for more cooking, was hard to let go.

We saw many soups and pancakes, teas, and coffee, and more foods being prepared in this tiny kitchen.  Siena especially, would cook right next to us for so many hours.  It seems that she was always playing with it.  Then moved to the playhouse for more cooking, mud soups and bark chips snacks and flower coffee or tea.  Lots more playing.

As they were cleaning up the playhouse, they said they don’t use it anymore.  Siena much too tall for it.  Lucas a little bit too.

I realized it was me who didn’t want to let it go.  Siena and Lucas were ready for a new place.  They want this new space to be something they can use, right now.   Most of the larger cooking utensils and equipment have moved out, and now the floor is filled with pillows, cards, quilts, and some crafting supplies.

Not bad at all, just different.  And I wonder if I am ready for this change.  It’s a very visual sign that two of my most precious people are growing.  Growing up right in front of me.  I don’t really see this in our day-to-day things (except in the shortening of their pants.)

I do try to really pay attention, and notice how they are changing, learning new things, and just how big they’ve gotten.  But this change, from playhouse to clubhouse is a visual, clear sign that they are growing up into what they are right now.  Sigh.  A very beautiful sigh!

It reminds me to hug them just one more time, a little tighter, a little longer.  Give them one more kiss.  Say I love you one more time.

So from a kitchen centered playhouse, it’s changed to a playing and hanging out clubhouse.

It makes me happy to see them hanging out there.  Magazines on hand.  Craft supplies or playing cards.  It makes me happy that the decorations are mostly hand made by them and their friends.  That they’ve asked to put a mason bee hive on the outside of their clubhouse.  And that their Clubhouse House Warming Party was focused on being ecological and Earth-caring.

Here are some pictures of Siena’s first planned and organized, all by herself, party.  With Lucas’s help when needed, of course.

There was the getting ready for the party.

Siena invented a new game called Pick the Trash.

Very similar to Pin the Tail, but with a different theme.

There were decorations hung.

There was waiting.

Until friends were coming around the corner.

They were welcomed with a shower of flower petals confetti.

Visited the new Clubhouse (sorry, but I can’t disclose the location.)

Had snacks.

Played games.

Picked Up Trash’.

Blind folded.

By placing a piece of grass as close as you could to any of the trash drawn on the paper.  (I know she’s my daughter (and well, it’s also my blog, so I’ll go ahead and say it) I love the creativity and the fun game she came up with!

And then the club members drew on pieces of (recycled) cotton fabrics (old sheet cut and sewn with a loop) to hang for prayer flags for the new Clubhouse.

It was a super fun party and we all had fun.

To a life full of changes. I think I am ready for this one!  Have a fun day.