Thursday, December 16, 2010

fairy babe

when i asked eric what secret santa gift he wanted to give a little girl in his class, he said "a fairy blanket". well, you can't have a fairy blanket with no fairy, now can you? so i started looking around for good ideas and fell in love with these little fairy babes the instant i saw them here.
i followed her directions (more or less), but had to adjust a bit because the wooden beads i had on hand didn't have holes that went all the way through. to get the fabric to attach securely into the head with my beads? well, the first little babe was adorned with an obscene amount of glue. i felt the waldorf police hot on my trail, so i deemed her an experiment and got busy making more, trying new techniques each time. well, here's what i did.

i started with a 6 inch square piece of fabric (chosen by eric). i folded it in half, and stitched the two short sides, rounding toward the fold line.

this shows how it looks as you fold in the other two sides to sew them up as well. i had to play with this a bit...i'm a bit spatially impaired with even the simplest things like this, but picturing it as a little fabric wonton helped.

see? all stitched up and ready to stuff with crab and chee...oh, oh...i mean fluffy stuffing. these steps are pretty much the same as gingercake's (i think), but i left less unstitched fabric at the top because i wasn't going to be doing it quite the same way from here on in.

the boys filled her up with a bit of rice for weight, and then i topped her little body off with fluff and used the end of a paint brush to help poke it in.

here's her body, stuffed, with the little opening at the top. at the bottom of the photo is a piece of pipe cleaner, curled around a couple of times to coil down into that hole. i shot some hot glue down into the hole and then pressed the pipe cleaner coil down onto the glue inside the body.

next, i filled that little hole in the bead with hot glue and then stuck it on the end of the pipe cleaner sticking out of the body. i added a little more glue down around the bottom of the bead and

pressed the head down to make sure it was all good and stuck together.

eric chose a cotton fabric scrap for the hat, so i sewed it up like this and then turned it right side out and glued it on. this was tricky to do neatly while the glue was hot, so i don't have a good picture. gingercake used felt, and maybe a stiffer fabric like that would be a little easier to handle. i helped him draw a little face on. he said it was a girl, so she had to have eyelashes. he also said she was a fairy, so we sewed on some simple felt wings at the end.

sam, especially, was enamored with these little cuties and spent the entire morning covering up the first one with various blankets and scraps while i sewed. he was not a happy camper when i whisked away the one destined to be a gift, so i quickly sewed him another,

in this blue fabric he picked from the pile. he gave her lots of hugs and snuggles. good times all around. thanks, gingercake!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

celebrating eric

this kid is officially four today. although, apparently that's not in full effect until this evening, after his "family party". when he woke up, and i said, "today's your birthday! i can't believe you're four!" he said, "i'm still three. i'm not four until my party." but he said it with a little tinge of something maybe he wasn't quite ready to be older. i'm in no hurry either, so i said, "good! i don't want you to grow up too fast." and he replied, "well, i can't do that anyway." there. we're all consoled.

then he headed straight into his room and started to work on a puzzle. surely, keeping busy with something upstairs will keep you from aging too fast.

our day was spent playing and getting ready to take treats to school (more on that later). "this is such an exciting day!" he declared. birthday treats and your turn to share at school on the same

by evening, he was pretty pooped, but not too pooped to turn four with his family. daddy home early, a few gifts, a favorite dinner, a turkey cake, and play time. he almost dozed off during dinner, but four is an energetic age, and he revived well.

clearly, the celebration was enjoyed by all.

happy birthday, sweet eric.
you are a peace-making, considerate, creative soul, and we love you to bits.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


this is how it began. i had some old cereal that needed a purpose, and so we got out the yarn and started making little garlands of (fake) cheerios and dried apples for the critters outside to enjoy.

leif was interested in the yarn but not the food. i've declared this winter to be a knitting one...where we all learn together. the moment was just right to open up the computer, visit our beloved youtube and learn to finger knit. so that's what we did.

inspiration took another turn when eric decided he wanted to knit a mitten and a sock, but he wanted to do it fast. so these were his creations. i helped with the mitten shape, but the sock was all his. don't they look warm and cozy?

eventually, eric was ready to try his hand at finger knitting, too. sitting with him as he was learning was the sweetest thing. his soft little hands and his sweet voice as he said things like, "i'm really knitting!" and "this is real knitting" were so precious. tonight, as joe made dinner, i worked with him more, and he marveled at how his chains were getting longer and longer, remarking that he wanted to make a cozy scarf.

even joe was inspired by our yarn adventures, and he taught the boys how to do this while he cooked.

the concentration, joy, and ability these guys display while working on things like this is just amazing. it really seems to relax leif, and his pride and wonder at his own accomplishments are a joy. eric, at only 3, is so capable, and it opens my eyes to a world of possibilities.

Friday, November 26, 2010

thankful and infested

who loves thanksgiving? we do!! yesterday was one of those minor miracles of timing and teamwork. somehow, despite raging eye infections, subfreezing temperatures outside, and a little don't-feel-so-well crankiness here and there, we managed to pull off a yummy dinner at a reasonable time with all parties present and awake. amazing. oh, and i even got a shower, so it was a special day indeed.

hear ye, hear ye! tell us what you're thankful for! eric: my toys, my food, and my family. leif: my family, lindsay and joe: our healthy family, sam: well, he kept that information private this year, but we can tell by his content nature he's pretty thankful for everything.

after dinner, i got to sit back in the rocker by the fire and just take it all in. watching the action in slow motion, full and happy. family all around in a warm house. we are so very fortunate...eye infections and all.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

the good stuff

play-dough is one of my least favorite kid activities, and one of their most requested activities...coincidence? i think not. what i hate about play-dough (the store stuff) is that it smells yucky, it lasts about a second before it gets all crumbly, and it makes a horrendous mess. i love the creative, artistic potential of clay and dough, of course, but play-dough? icky. i've been curious about making some of the homemade stuff, but had never tried...until today. hip, hip, hooray. i'm officially converted. this recipe from is awesome. it was easy & fun to make, did not have the stink factor, and stayed soft the whole time the kids played with it. plus, it was a nice hand warmer on this cold, cold day as we kneaded it.

we added food coloring to make our colors. here the boys are kneading it in.

we used old play-dough containers to stash our new, homemade supply. here, eric is officially hoarding a batch, which he is preparing to put in the truck to take it to the store to sell. you can also see a plate of his play-dough (old icky kind) noodles which he kept bringing me to eat. "it's kinda like a loop!" he said. "you give me the dough, i make the noodles and bring them back to you to eat!" yes, and now i can pretend to eat them all up without that remarkable stink!

when leif came home, he was delighted to find full containers of soft, fresh play-dough. he got busy right away with cookie cutters. if his poor little eyes hadn't been bugging him, i think he would have stuck with it a lot longer.

Friday, November 19, 2010

doodlebugs 11.19.10, 1st anniversary extravaganza!

today we celebrated doodlebugs' one year anniversary! 34ish meetings, loads of paint, a good dousing of glue, many busy hands, plenty of smiling faces, and enough awesome works of art to fill a gallery... here we are! it also happened to be the 2nd birthday of one of our regular artists, so there was plenty to celebrate!

we made crowns with the paint daubers and fancy scissors,

we frosted & decorated nilla wafers with frosting & peanut butter (what kid doesn't love edible art?!?!),

and we continued our work on the "thank you" banner for the upcoming ribbon-cutting ceremony for our new playground.

we're still playing with the open format of multiple activities, and it seems to be working well for keeping everyone engaged a bit longer and stretching our creativity. here's to another year full of more art, different ideas, new friends, and lots of fun!

Friday, November 12, 2010

scenes from a birthday (mine!)

for some, moving the paint from place to place is just as exciting as using it.

painting penguins, polar bears, and peach orchards.

soothing a cold. we're all under the weather.

eric's works, from left to right: a squirrel in a peach orchard. see the varying ripeness? ;-), a penguin diving into the water headfirst (because that's how they always do it, you know), and a penguin portrait with eric's signature across the top.

downtime. don't we all look energetic?

the map fascination continues.

waiting for the....


a happy, mellow day at home with family. just what this birthday girl wanted.