Friday, December 17, 2010

I know you won't believe this...

This is actually progress on organizing my craft room. Slowly but surely, I will be one of those people with one of "those" craft rooms that make crafters drool. At least that is what I want to be. I figure progress is progress (even if it is unrecognizable by the naked and untrained eye).

Also (insert gasp of excitement here) I am on Thrifty Threads again! This is really exciting for me because I very much admire Angela's blog. Stop over. Take a gander. Look at more than just my listing because she has some great things to say. I dare you to leave unmotivated.

I am crawling (with a chest cold that rivals Camille- old movie reference, forgive me if you don't get it) towards the weekend. Christmas cantata coming up at church and I am supposed to be a dignified Queen Elizabeth. That is very hard to do while you are hacking up a lung. Bah.

Merry Christmas if we don't meet again until after.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Felt is my medium

I love to work in felt. Somehow it is so satisfying. In particular, felt has nearly no match (in my humble opinion) when it comes to making Christmas stockings.

I have made all of the stockings for my family (somehow my dog ended up with the biggest one) except my own.

My stocking was made for me by a friend of my mom's when I was just a baby.

I just finished Miss Tiny's stocking...finally...I have had part of it done for over a year.

See our stockings hung by the foosball table with care (a tradition in the Tabanou home).

Miss Z and I also worked on our annual gingerbread house this weekend. I use a kit because it would make me want to die a lot to try to make the pieces myself. This year we used the Trader Joe's kit and it was really cute!

Miss Tiny helped us by eating cheese puffs (notice the telltale cheese dust on the shirt and the bit of cheese puff drool on her chin).

The results...

I will not let Christmas make me crazy (my new mantra)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

There were never more devoted sisters...

This past weekend I had the supreme privilege of getting to visit my sister and her family. This was my first time to see my youngest nephew in person. IT WAS AWESOME! Here are just a few pics of the adventures we had during my trip (BTW- somehow I didn't get a picture alone with my oldest nephew or my brother in law but I am just stating right here that is not for a lack of love... gotta be fair and all).

My dad, Glen, sent deer meat home with sister at Thanksgiving so that I could eat my favorite chicken fried backstrap. I haven't chicken fried anything in a while, but you know, it is kind of like riding a bicycle.

MMMMMMMM...does not begin to cover it.

I also brought my niece a late birthday present. She loves fashion, crafting and recycling, so I thought we would make some recycled t-shirt necklaces (link to Threadbanger tutorial). This is such a fun craft and so fast and easy. It is very satisfying to walk away with a finished project in so little time. We ended up having so much fun that we pilfered shirts from my brother-in-law so we could make more stuff. We made a headband, scarf, two necklaces and a bracelet. Now I want some for me!

(does this dress make me look like Loretta Lynn?)

I love my sister to pieces. We always have so much fun together. At one point this weekend when we were Ebaying together on side-by-side laptops and giggling uncontrollably, my nephew peeked his head in and said, "You guys were meant to be sisters." I couldn't be more blessed.

horses...horses...horses...horses... (if you don't get this, see Sleepless in Seattle)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Gobble gobble

I am off gobble gobbling this week. You get a book review instead of interesting tidbits about my life. But don't you fret, I am sure life is being interesting. I am just gobbling so much that I don't have time to notate.

So I read this. I will never be this thrifty. I try to re-use. I try to buy thrifted or Ebay. Unfortunately, I have never been that great in the deprivation department (aka I buy a lot of thrifted and Ebay). Now I know that deprivation is not the point of thriftiness or simplicity and I have fun doing the creative things I do to "make a difference", but some stuff doesn't work for me. I have no judge for anybody, I just know my limits. Some reusing doesn't work for me because I have cootie issues (particularly where food is concerned). I will never go to more than one grocery store for the week's groceries (because that makes me want to die a little). I won't learn to do my own car repairs (it would be nice to know, but I think I fear tinkering with such items), etc, etc. I will say that one point in the book made my heart sing. I must admit that I feel a great deal of guilt and shame surrounding the infrequency with which I bathe my children. Of all the things in the day (and there are a lot of things) this falls low on the priority list for me. As long as they don't actually smell bad (and a wash cloth and some lavender calming spray can do wonders for even that) I don't always get them in the tub. Now that Zelda takes showers by herself and I can just chuck her in, she does get more bath time, but Lu hates bathing and it is a project. In this book, Miss Dacyczyn said that one of her time saving tips was not bathing your kids all the time. BLESS YOU AMY! I feel validated! I feel less guilty! Somebody else is as lazy as me and this person is a well respected advice giver to millions. Just that makes the book a recommendation from me. Get validated in your "craziness". I am sure you do something that makes people roll their eyes. Maybe another person in this world that others think is really smart does it too.

Happy Turkey Day!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Just passing the time...


Roller skating in the driveway is done. It was fun for about 5 minutes, but skating on pavement is a lot harder than skating on a smooth surface. I had much more fun after I went inside to skate in the kitchen. Also, in case you have been wondering, it is very hard to push a stroller while you are on roller skates. You wouldn't think so, but it is true.

Here is possibly the most white trash thing I have ever cooked. Now I come from white trash, so I can use the term with pride. This casserole consists of cream sauce made from powdered milk, cut up Mickey Mouse chicken nuggets, frozen green beans, leftover baby carrots, leftover boiled potatoes, and is topped with crushed potato chips (for the crunch). All adults dutifully ate the project, but no one but me braved seconds. You can take the girl out of the white trash, but you can't take the white trash out of the girl.

This is my eldest playing a rousing game of "throw the plastic banana through the window on the playhouse". Basically, this is included because it cracks me up.

And here is my homage to recycling. Man how I love to re-use a paper grocery sack. If you have scrap fabric around and a pair of pinking shears, you also have a bow. :)

Brace yourself for the rush of the Holiday roller coaster!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Blerg, I feel blerg...

Ok, this week I am just not feeling motivated to blogify. I don’t know why. I do know that I have been very neglectful of “the list”. I need to pick something and do it. In the meantime, you can enjoy pictures from my lovely Halloween adventures.

But hey, I can also give you a book review (read- filler)

Radical Homemakers

LOVED this book. Once again, I am not nearly as radical as many of the people in this book. But I am trying to be my best. People like this inspire me. I am also very interested in the idea of community. That is something I feel has really been lost. What ever happened to the idea that it takes a village? Why are we so obsessed as Americans with independence? Wouldn’t the safety of a community based life be so much nicer? Read this book. It will make you want to can something.

Over the river and through the woods....

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Your never too old for a slumber party

Well, I don’t even remember last week, but this weekend’s activities revolved primarily around a fantabulous slumber party had by my family and another that we are close with. Our kids are exactly the same ages and I must say that at times like this, you can see the reasons that communal living can be great. Extra parents to parent and extra kids to entertain one another is a happiness not to be taken for granted. Note the picture above of Ms. Z anxiously awaiting the arrival of her friends. She started waiting VERY early (there was much excitement about the coming party of slumber).

I would post oodles of pictures but A…I didn’t take that many and B…most of the ones I did take include the children of other parents (and I don’t post pics of other people’s kids unless I ask first).

I can, however, show you the results of one very exciting pumpkin carving extravaganza!

The kids helped with the ooey gooey stuff and designed their pumpkin faces on paper, then the parents did the carving. And we roasted pumpkin seeds, which I have never done before. They are yum!

And here is a random recipe. This is a brown rice salad from Martha Stewart. IT IS GOOD! And really easy. And even better the next day. Just a tip, I added the spinach to the hot rice and it kind of wilted it up, which I found delightful.

Peace and love and lots of candy!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

It all happened so fast...

This weekend we had a big church retreat, so there wasn't so much in the way of time for the craftiness/leisure. My children, however, never cease to amaze me with their creativity.

Take for example Miss Z's newest art piece which I have named "Sun- a multimedia extravaganza of items reclaimed from Mommy's craft room"

Then of course, there is the original stylings of Miss Tiny. Underpants on the outside is so now.

As to things happening quickly...A family can come into a house and in the time it takes the parents to take off their shoes, little girls can do this:

They managed to run into the kitchen, get out the bag of corn flour and create a dust storm that we are still dealing with. I REALLY wanted to be ticked off and parenty, but instead I laughed. And then Miss Tiny got Corn flour in her eyes and it all became a tragedy as quickly as it had started in the first place. Even our new pup was "christened".

Life is NEVER boring.

By the way, I just read about this place on MayaMade.


They have recycled art kits for kids and they are only $5.00! How cool is that? Even the packaging they come in is recycled. I am thinking Christmas gifts. It has all the cache of purchasing something new (but without the guilt). Oh yeah.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Rockin Out the Thriftiness

Few more book reviews:

Simple Living Guide and Less is More

I find that with a lot of these guides, the specific information isn’t so useful to me as much as the general motivation these books give me. I have to admit that in so many ways I am far from Simple, but I do want to live more consciously and more lightly on the earth. And I want to capture what the people in these books feel- a sense of contentment and purpose. The peace that comes from a life well-lived. And I really like the emphasis on home and family that is central to the Simple Living community.

So I liked these two books. I can’t tell you specifically what I liked about them, but they are a part of the fact that I have been keeping on my current path.

(sorry for the blurry pic)

Raising Unselfish Children in a Self-Absorbed World

Hmmmm….This book was a sort of yes, sort of no for me. I liked the bible-based ideas this author has to offer advice to parents, but I don’t like her “Dr. Laura” style of delivery. And I found that a lot of the stories about her own parenting adventures sounded more like email forwards meant to make you go "awwww" than pictures of real life. The stories probably are, but just didn’t seem true. The author also seemed a bit self-righteous for my taste, but I think that goes back to the whole “Dr. Laura” thing. It was worth reading but kind of annoyed me while I was doing it. Does that make sense?

And here is THE MAJOR HAUL...

The Hubz needed almost everything in the way of clothes. All his pants have holes. Many of his shirts have seen better days. I was surprised and delighted that he was willing to accompany me to my favorite thrift store to restock his wardrobe. LOOK AT ALL THE STUFF WE GOT!!! We spent $157.00 for all of this. Besides the fact that I am now committed to buying used, where else could you get so much for so little?

List of items in THE MAJOR HAUL:

1 pair of awesome navy flat boots for me

9 men’s button shirts (short and long sleeved)

4 t-shirts (to send to my niece for a birthday present along with instructions on how to make recycled t-shirt necklaces)

3 pairs of men’s shorts

1 pair of men’s swim trunks

7 girl’s shirts

5 girl’s dresses

1 girl’s skirt

1 pair girl’s pants

1 pair girl’s jeans

3 pairs men’s jeans

3 girl’s jackets

3 pairs men’s pants

1 woman’s wool suit

2 woman’s dresses

1 toddler jacket

That is 46 items and it averages out to around $3.40 per item. We would usually spend $157.00 just on the three pairs of jeans when I took William to the mall. Shopping with him is not a fun affair. He doesn’t really like it and he can be picky. We managed to knock all of this out in one store with kids in tow. We did want to die a little when we were done, but it was so worth it.

This Sunday at church, it dawned on me that my whole family was wearing thrifted clothing. William had on a pair of jeans and one of the shirts he got this weekend. I was wearing a thrifted skirt and blouse. Zelda was wearing her z dress that was upcycled from a thrifted woman’s dress. And Lu’s outfit is kind of an interesting story. I was in a thrift store and pushing her in the stroller. One of the volunteers at the store walked up to me and said, “We don’t carry children’s clothing but this stuff was just donated. Would you like to have it?” It was some precious stuff, including what Lu had on at church. I was so proud. Go used! You can be stylish and be a bit of a clothes horse and still make good choices for the earth. Woo Hoo!!!!

Monday, October 4, 2010

What is this moisture that is falling from the sky?

Here are some more books I have been reading and other type stuff I wish to share.

Plain and Simple is a short book and an easy read. If you are looking for something nice to read, but don’t feel like you have a lot of time or attention to devote, this book is a great way to get you started thinking about simplicity and what it means. The book is really about a woman who becomes intrigued by the Amish way of life. She spends some time living with a couple of Amish families and it has a profound effect on her. This book makes me want to learn more about the Amish. I don’t want to BECOME Amish (I do like my electricity), but the emphasis they have on community and resourcefulness, not to mention the fact that their daily lives are so deeply intertwined with their faith is beautiful to me.

I really liked this book. It is funny and thoughtful. The author is Jewish and admittedly more of an agnostic than anything else, but he seeks to be sincere in a pursuit of faith for one year by living VERY literally by the words of the Bible (New Testament and Old Testament). This makes for some pretty hilarious stories. If you don’t know it, there are a lot of crazy rules in the Bible- particularly in the Old Testament. I especially love the way this guy’s wife handles things… like the times when her husband can’t touch her or anything she touches because she is unclean. Read it. Lots of fun and informative to boot.

A friend of mine read this book and it really helped her home life when she implemented some of the core ideas that the book offers. So I was inspired. It took me forever to get this book at the library because it was perpetually on hold by other people, so it must be popular. Let’s just say that after I read this book, I took 9 (that is right, 9) bags of toys to Goodwill and it doesn’t even look like we made a dent. I wish I could get the grandparents to read this book. It really makes you think.

It's raining in Southern California...whaaaat? Miss Z enjoyed playing in the rain. That rain coat is way to small for her, but it was her dad's when he was a tyke and she loves to wear it.

Our art project for this weekend was decorating an empty diaper box with magazines and art from school. It took forever! The three-dimensional object on the front of the box is the empty glue bottle wrapped in paper. Miss Z insisted that this be included. I accept any and all craft ideas. Particularly if you have uses for school art. We have A LOT of that.

I can almost smell the candy corn......