Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
"Hmmm, what are we going to get for Dave? He's really into bicycling. Let me do a search on Etsy and see what I find." I do a general search throughout all of Etsy and it yields 2332 items. I add the word "mens" and it narrows it down to 305 items. I can handle that. I also try it with "bicycle unique" and "bicycle man" to see what that gives me. Then I sort by price. Here are some of the cool things I find that I could get for Dave that are handmade:
These pins are $1.50 by lolabot. They also have a lot of other bicycle related items.
Shirt by Vital, $24
Recycled Bicycle Gear Bottle Opener by Foundry Wear $25
Matted and Framed 8x10 print, "The Bike Mechanic" $75 by Mary Williams Photography
Custom Bicycle Headbadge for $120.
Two Bicycle Pint Glasses by Bread and Badger, $28. They have loads of other cool etched glass pieces, and they are located here in Portland.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Palumba has a great assortment of handmade toys including this simple play kitchen hearth for $349.99 (that includes shipping). The craftsmanship is gorgous, it even has a cutting board that slides out!
Here are a few of my favorite items by Etsy sellers for inspiration:
These cupcakes by CrazyDaisy60are adorable! 3 for $24.95, or you can buy the pattern for $5.50
Clementines by Eternal Sunshine, $9
Pancakes by Harvest Moon... yum! $30
Bug Bites Play Food has so many cute items, it's hard to choose one! This Farmers Market produce Basket is $35.
For the discerning appetite- Felted Sushi by Mango Avocado. This is a custom order and not for sale, but she does take custom orders!
Camping set pattern by BuggaBugs $6
Go forth and play!
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
I've started making this bird mobile (click link for pattern). I have no idea who it's for or what I'll do with it, but how could I pass it up?!? It's really easy to make with scraps of fabric. I also went to a local quilting shop where they had small pieces of fabric for $0.50 a piece. I mixed and matched. I've used a sewing machine, but it's simple and easy enough that you can totally hand sew it. And if you just absolutely love it but don't have a crafty bone in your body you can just buy one in Oh My Eye's Etsy shop.
I picked up the knitting needles again after about 9 months of not knitting a thing. I am currently working on a really cute pumpkin hat, some fingerless gloves, and a pair of baby booties. I'm lucky that I have the opportunity to knit at work during my down time!
I also joined Ravelry- an online community for knitters and crocheters. It's a really amazing way to organize your projects. not only that, but you can search for patterns and see other Ravelry members finished versions of them. Nice!
I'm also participating in a craft swap with some local Portland mamas. Just in time for the holidays! Last year we took the Handmade Pledge and had a great shopping for items that were handmade for our friends and family. Of course it was also nice to support other Etsy sellers. Stay tuned for a post of all my favorite handmade holiday ideas!
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
One blog that I really like, Crunchy Domestic Goddess, has issued a challenge for September and October- Ditch the Disposables!!! From her blog:
" We live in a society of convenience, where throw-away products are the norm rather than the exception. But all of the disposable products take resources and energy to produce and then, of course, get thrown away, filling up our landfills. All of this is bad news for the environment."
There are many easy ways you can make a change. Below is a list of suggestions, many of which we already do in our home. I've made little notes next to some of them sharing my thoughts.
So what am I swearing to give up? Disposable coffee cups from Starbucks. Seriously, I work right upstairs from one, and often grab a drink on my lunch break. I have a reuseable mug in the office, but I never think to bring it down with me. Same goes with weekends when we stop by Dutch Brothers for an afternoon treat. We all have travel mugs (even Max) but I never bring them with me when I go to a coffee shop. Until now! I mean really- Ron has one of these and they stay hot for something like 5 hours!
Here are some ideas from Domestic Goddess to get you started. You can make the switch from:
Paper napkins to cloth napkins (There are lots available on Etsy, or at thrift stores. I'm sewing some right now...)
Paper towels to cloth towels (we could be better at this)
Tissues to handkerchiefs (sometimes I grab one of the cloth wipes for Max if he's got a cold, but never think of it for myself. I should make some)
Paper, plastic or Styrofoam plates to your kitchen plates
Inexpensive plastic “Take & Toss” sippy cups to Sigg or Camelbak bottles or the Kleen Kanteen ***We LOVE our Sigg and Kleen Kanteen cups! Max has one of each. I prefer the Kleen Lanteen for him because the spout is easier to use and doesn't leak if it's on it's side. Great way to avoid the BPB's in plastic, anyhow! Especially if I've left water in it for a day or two- no plastic taste with the KK or Sigg bottles. ***
Disposable water bottles to (again) reusable bottles like Sigg or Camelbak **Again, we love these. For adults I like the Sigg better- perect size opening to drink from.
Swiffers (or similar products) to a broom and dustpan or mop (or use reusable cloths like cloth diapers/terry inserts in your Swiffer
Disposable dust rags to cloth rags
Disposable diapers to cloth diapers **I could go on about this forever- we love our cloth diapers! I do admit to having disposables around for travel and for when I get behind on laundry, but the cloth ones are much nicer. We love Fuzzi Bunz, but there are many options out there to choose from.
Disposable wipes to cloth wipes (inexpensive plain washcloths work really well). This is the best part of using cloth diapers, using cloth wipes! It's nice to have an extra thick barrier when you're cleaning poop. I make mine with one layer of soft flannel and one layer of terrycloth, then surge them together.
Disposable feminine products (tampons, pads) to reusables like DivaCup, MoonCup, Glad Rags, Luna Pads, Pretty Pads, or New Moon Pads, among others **I made this change about 6 months ago and wish I'd done it sooner. I love love love the DivaCup. So easy and convenient. And for those of you who have tried those messy "Instead" things- it's nothing like those. And think of the money you'll save- $25 for a Diva Cup that lasts years.
Grocery store bags to reusable bags I'm terrible at this. Oh, I have plenty of reuseable bags, I just forget to bring them with me. Working on it! I think I might get one that scrunches up really small like this and carry it in my bag.
Paper lunch bags for Cloth Lunch Bags, Insulated lunch bags, Bento Boxes, or metal stacking tins. We have the metal stacking tins and LOVE them. And Max loves to take them apart and put them back together again. If you really want to go all out, I've heard these Mr. Bento Box's are awesome. Supposedly they keep your food piping hot (or cold) for hours.
Plastic sandwich bags to Wrap-n-Mat. Again- we seriously love our Wrap-n-mats. I have a few, and the cool thing is that when you open them you have a built in placemat.
Plastic disposable utensils for bamboo or metal ones. These bamboo sets are great. If you eat out a lot, or get takeout on the run,. why not carry a set of these in your bag? Has a napkin and everything.
Crunchy Domestic Goddess and tell her what you are ditching- she'll add you to the list of people and blogs who are taking on the challenge.
Monday, August 11, 2008
Today we had a play group at our house. We made homemade pretzels (yum!) and had Muffin Tin Monday as well. We had one tin filled with fruit and veggies and other "dip-able" items, and the other tin filled with dips for the pretzels or fruit. There was marinara sauce, cheese sauce, salt, and cinnamon/sugar. I forgot that I also had ranch dip. Oh well! It was a hit! Pretzel recipe is below with photos of our creations.
Pretzels (slightly modified from the Mall Pretzel recipe on AllRecipes.com)
- 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 1/8 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 5 cups warm water
- 5 tablespoons baking soda
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons coarse kosher salt
After dough has risen, cut into 12 pieces. Roll each piece into a 3 foot rope about pencil thin. Twist into a pretzel shape and place on parchment covered cookie sheets to rise 15 to 20 minutes.
Combine 5 cups warm water and the baking soda in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Place the pretzels in the boiling water for about 30 seconds, then remove and place back on the parchment (I used a handled strainer like you use to deep fry. A slotted spoon or tongs would work well, too).
Bake at 450 degrees F (230 degrees C) for 8 to 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Brush with melted butter, and sprinkle with coarse salt, garlic salt or cinnamon sugar.
Sunday, August 10, 2008
Friday, August 8, 2008
Very cool! Crafty Crow is a craft collective for kids. They collect really great crafty ideas from various blogs and compile them in one place. Like a one stop shop for all you kid-crafting needs.
And, their ideas are fun and unique, and often things your kids can do with you. Like make Gak:
Adorable Felt Clips:
And a cool cardboard kitchen:
So much inspiration, so little time!
Monday, July 28, 2008
I'm going to try to do this every week. Posting it on my blog(s) will hopefully keep me thinking of more creative things to put in the tins each week.
Friday, June 20, 2008
Not bad for our first time! It's super easy, try it with your superkid, you'll both be hooked! Here's how:
Buy freezer paper. You should be able to find it at your grocery store near the tin foil and cling wrap. You cannot substitute wax paper!
Draw your own design on the paper side of the freezer paper, or cut the freezer paper into 8 1/2 x 11 pieces and print some simple designs off your computer right on to the freezer paper. I just searched through a bunch of clip art and found some cute designs. **Edited to add: This works well on a home inkjet printer. Someone I know MAY have tried it on big printer at work only to have it get to hot and cause the freezer paper to stick to the rollers inside the printer causing a jam- not to mention the panic of trying to get it out before you have to tell the boss that you were trying to print a freezer paper stencil from the work printer. So, run freezer paper through the printer at your own risk. ** If you don't want to run it through your printer, simply print the stencil on a regular piece of paper and tape it on top of the freezer paper then cut it out.
Next use an exacto knife and carefully cut out all the pieces. You can use both the inner and outer pieces to make a regular and a reverse image, so cut carefully! I got this small cutting mat to bring to work. During my down time I cut out several stencils so they were ready to go the next morning.
Make sure you have a bowl nearby to put all the teeny tiny "island" bits in. You don't want to loose them! When I cut all my stencils out I put all the bits in one glass and they got all mixed up. Next time when I'm done cutting one stencil i will put all those pieces together in an envelope. One that isn't white, so I will be able to see the pieces easily. It's also a good idea to label the small pieces if you think you might get them mixed up.
Then simply place the stencil waxy side down on your shirt, and iron on medium heat for a few seconds until it sticks. I ironed on the big piece first, then placed all the inside "island" pieces and ironed them down next.
Using fabric paint (although i've heard Acrylic paint works great, too...) paint on your stencil! I couldn't find a paint brush and just couldn't wait so I used an old cosmetic brush. :-) I learned to be a little more careful around the edges, this saw came out a little rough around the edges. I think either I ironed it on too much and it didn't stick well, or I didn't iron enough, or I just gooped the paint on too much. I got a much more crisp line with the later ones where I brushed inward from the paper onto the fabric, instead of on the fabric towards the paper... if that makes sense.
Then peel off your paper and voila!
I read that you don't have to wait until it dries, although I think that for getting off some of the small pieces it would be easier to wait until it dries. I couldn't wait long enough on the guitar and the tree with the bird, and they turned out great!
I love the crisp edges. I have several more stencils to try, plus the reverse images... now to hit garage sales this weekend and pick up more shirts! Or aprons... or hats... the possibilities are endless!
And, if you are wondering what to do with the big 'ol roll of freezer paper (other than more stenciling, of course!) you can also use it to run fabric through your printer. Check out one of my favorite blogs, Sycamore Stirrings- she prints her kids art onto fabric, then makes pot holders!