Jan 29, 2008

Preparing for Lautaro's Birthday

I am finally making Lautaro’s birthday invitations. I hope to finish the cards tonight and mail tomorrow. Once again, burning the midnight oil. I think I enjoy procrastinating and working at the last minute. Maybe it is because 1 AM is the only time my house is quiet!

Here are the details on the cards. I didn’t have to buy any supplies to make these cards. I was determined to use only materials that I already had on hand.

Lautaro LOVES dogs – so we are going with a puppy theme for his second birthday! Thanks to Mama Plum, I found a cute puppy template from designer Anna Maria. What a find! In addition to some fun freebies, she also has an interesting website and online store. Best of all is her beautiful textile design work. Her fabric is such eye candy that it makes you want to start sewing. Very inspiring! I cut the puppies from a very thin denim fabric. At first, I started stitching the pups onto a piece of Paper Source red cardstock. The stitching was a little too cumbersome. So, now I am hand stitching near the edge of the puppy and then gluing the puppy onto the card. The red card is then pasted onto a kraft paper card. Today, I worked on making cards while the kids made art projects with packaging peanuts.

Mrs. Fix-It

Since buying our first house a few years ago, I have become quite the Mrs. Fix-It. I have changed showerheads, replaced hardware for curtain rods, painted doorframes and trim, and assembled furniture on my own. I even installed an extra toilet-plumbing feature so I could spray the cloth diapers rather than dunking. And this summer, I repainted the bathroom with the help of my two kids while Diego was at work. There is something very rewarding about being able to do a home improvement project on your own and using a power drill. One of my favorite childhood memories is knocking down a wall in our house with my Dad and Brother.

Right now we are spending a lot of time putting the finishing touches on our house to prepare to sell it. This past weekend, I painted some doorframes and baseboards. Today about 12 pallets of landscaping rock, dirt and mulch were delivered. I think I better stop typing and start assembling the new wheelbarrow I bought at Lowe’s yesterday.

Jan 25, 2008

Friday Find: Valentine’s Crafts

I LOVE Valentine’s Day! I think it is my favorite holiday, along with Halloween. I just adore all the red, pink and purple decorations. Could there be a more girly and cute holiday? I really don’t care whether or not I receive a Valentine’s Day gift (although chocolate always delights). I really love Valentine’s Day for the crafts.

I used to make handmade Valentine’s cards. Now, since Lautaro’s birthday is two days after Valentine’s Day I am not making cards anymore. Well, actually, no Valentine’s crafts at all. I hope in the future, I can be more organized about his birthday planning and set aside some time for gluing paper dollies and glittering hearts.

So, for those of you who do have time to get out the scissors, glue and sewing machine…

Sew Mama Sew Valentine’s Ideas

And for those of us, who don’t have time to sew, check out Etsy Valentine’s Showcase.

Jan 23, 2008

Quiet Book

I was so excited to find 26 Lively Letters by Barbara Williams and Carol Grundmann at the Friends of the Library shop at the Tuolumne County Library. One of my favorite keepsakes from my childhood is the quiet activity book that my Mom made me. Each mom from the co-op preschool I went to as a child made a page for the quiet book. Each mom had to make enough versions of the page for each child in the class. When they were finished, each child had a unique quiet book created by all the moms working together. I love the idea of the moms crafting together to create a book. I love my cloth book that reflects the craft style of the late seventies and the individual work of the different moms. There are cloth pages with felt appliqu├ęs to practice sorting, tying shoes, learning the alphabet and using buttons and zippers.

As I got older and thought about having kids, I couldn’t wait to make them a quiet book. My only problem is that I don’t have twenty other moms to work on the project with me! So, I talked my Mom into working on it with me. I am going to try to make a few pages for Lautaro’s birthday. Why do I always wait until the last minute to do my projects?

Jan 18, 2008

Friday Find: DIY Wine Charm Kit

Starting today, every Friday, I will post my “Friday Find.” These may be unique little goodies and trinkets that I have purchased recently or would like to buy. Thanks to the Internet, artists are now able to market their work to a much broader audience. I love finding interesting jewelry, stationary and other accessories from these independent designers.

For Christmas, I gave my Aunt Doreen this funky DIY Wine Charm Kit from RobinsEggBlue on Etsy. My aunt and her husband love to try new wines with their friends and families. My aunt also loves to do crafts and DIY projects when she can find the time. I thought this all-inclusive kit would be a great gift for her. The kit came with everything to make unique wine charms. It is a simple project with lots of flair that she will love showing off the next time the gals come over for a glass vino.

Kit Contents:

Cool Packaging for Gift-Giving:

RobinsEggBlue’s Etsy shop features a funky assortment of beads, decorative treasures and fun little bead kits. She is based in Cleveland, Ohio. Her shipping was super fast and packaged well. Click here for the Wine Charm Kit. If this kit is not available, be sure to visit RobinsEggBlue on Etsy. I bet that she could come up with a neat little kit to suit your style!

Photos are from RobinsEggBlue.

Jan 8, 2008

Homemade Pasta

On Sunday night, we made pasta from scratch. Making your own pasta is really simple and the taste is amazing. Soon, I will include a recipe. I don’t have anything written down because Diego usually makes it from his family’s recipe. We changed the recipe a little and replace some of the flour semolina. This makes the pasta a better al dente firmness. Although on Sunday we were out of semolina, so we made an all flour version. Out of laziness, I throw all the ingredients in my bread machine to knead and mix the dough. We roll the pasta sheets and cut the pasta by hand. Someday, I would like a pasta machine. I just love kitchen gadgets!

Jan 7, 2008

Lautaro’s Waldorf Doll Finished

Here is Lautaro’s adorable new friend. I can’t wait to find out the name Lautaro gives him. Although, it may be awhile, right now he is referred to as “bebe.”

So, my idea of tracing Baby Doreengi’s clothes to develop my own patterns, almost worked, but I was short on time. One of the arms was two narrow and I couldn’t figure out the elastic. So, I put the shirt on backwards and wrapped some thread around the waist to make it look like a little kimono, which I think is cute. Malena graciously lent a pair of Baby Doreengi’s pants for Lautaro’s baby. I will have to wait for my parents to visit and bring me the patterns to make some more clothes.

Jan 5, 2008

Happy New Years Card Making!

I hope everyone had a wonderful New Years! We are experiencing a huge storm in Northern California. Spending time inside, drinking hot chocolate, watching movies, making bracelets with Malena is such a nice treat from all the yard work we have been doing lately!

On Wednesday, UPS delivered my card making supplies from Paper Source – nothing like doing things at the last minute! That night, I traced 81 envelopes onto star-printed vellum paper. On Thursday night, I was a one-woman sweatshop cutting out, folding and gluing the envelopes and hand writing the address labels and messages.

And what would I have done without my dandy little adhesive roller! Every time I rolled the tape across the envelope or picture, I thought, “what a great invention and please don’t break on me now!” I have had bad luck with these contraptions in the past. This year, I tried a different brand, Therm O Web (I love their craft adhesive products.) that worked flawlessly. Whew, what a timesaver.