Saturday, October 29, 2011

NaBloPoMo 2011

It's that time of year again - blogging every day in November. I love a challenge.
It's On! (You can join in here. Blogroll is open til Nov 5 - sign up now! Join the madness!)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Crafty Carrster

I finally did it! I launched my Etsy shop! CraftyCarrster I hope to fill it with more necklaces, card wallets, bags, napkins, magnets, greeting cards, etc in the coming weeks/months/years. I *hope* to sell a few things & make a *little* money. For fun things like - getting new tires & getting my fillings replaced.Wheeee! So- if you see something you like, buy it! Or tell your friends! Or just "favorite" me...that would make me feel good.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Rice Bin

Well, due to my recent obsession with Play At Home Mom, I've been trying to be more creative about the activities I do with the kids. We really don't spend any money on new toys. I'm mostly okay with this, but sometimes I feel bad...sometimes I get bored. And I know if I get bored, it's quite likely that they get bored too. We get toys as gifts - from Grandparents, Aunts & Uncles, and my awesome friend Sam who works for Mattel (her 'shipments' get metered out through the years). But one thing I feel totally okay with is 'making' our own toys. So that's what we have been doing!
One rubbermaid bin that was empty in the garage. 2 large(ish) bags of white rice from Cub (plus one refill bag purchased today) about $3.75 a piece - I buy the cheapest rice for this!! Whatever scoops, empty plastic containers, spoons, various utensils, etc. I have awesome retro metal bowls which work great because they make a very interesting sound.
Oh and I keep the vacuum cleaner handy, but try not to stress out about it. If I am getting the rice bin out, I have to expect to vacuum. So be it.
The kids LOVE it. These photos are only of August...I set up the "invitation" for him while Dahlia was at pre-school a couple weeks ago. I thought he would love it since he loves the rice table at ECFE so much. And he did! He loved exploring it. Still does. The kids can sit in this thing for 30-45 minutes & play - together...usually nicely! It is awesome. The best $8.00 I've ever spent!!
I can't wait to try other things in the "sensory" bin - I have lots of ideas.... Oh! And I think the gross motor skills of August climbing in & out of the pool are great for him too.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Pinterest Challenge - October 2011

So Michelle & I are going at it again with the 2nd monthly Pinterest Challenge! Last month I made this and Michelle made some Mason jar tea light lanterns. Cool! This month I've been challenged to make as many cloth napkins in a variety as I can. And I've picked a pumpkin'd wreath for her to DIY (I didn't realize her pin was from Williams-Sonoma - it looks totally craftable!). If anyone else wants to play along - let me know & we'll get started! Happy Pinning & Happy Crafting!

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Play At Home Mom (PAHM)

This is my new favorite MOM website. I love it. I am full of fun, creative, cheap, educational ideas - can't wait to try some of them out! Thanks, Michelle for directing me to it!

Monday, October 03, 2011

Family Fall Fun Day

Steve & I decided it was a day for family fun. We knew that Saturday would be cooler & Sunday more lovely - so we picked Sunday (also, I still had that stupid garage sale going on on Saturday)...initially we wanted to drive up the North Shore to drink in the beautiful colors. But we ended up opting for a shorter drive. Out 'west' to the Munger Trail & the Ely's Peak area of Duluth. It was so lovely.
However, it wasn't that *fun* of a day. We are cursed with trying to get out of the house these days. It seems to take for EVER. There's the cleaning up after breakfast, the dressing of the monkey-children. There's packing lunches, snacks, milk, water. There's the OH MY GOD YOU GAVE ME THE WRONG SOCKS tantrums to deal with. There's hooking up the bike rack and loading on the bikes & trailer. It takes all dang morning. But finally we left. Late. I wanted to leave at 10, we left at 1. So be it.
So while driving out to the Munger Trail, both kids fell asleep. Awesome. Nothing like trying to wrangle sleepy monkeys from their car seats & into the bike trailer. So we drove for a bit. Toured through Morgan Park, out to Gary, up and around here & there wherever we could go just to give them a little bit of a nap. Finally we headed up the end of Skyline. By that time August was awake & Dahlia was almost awake. We stopped along the ski trail there & decided to get out. Of course Dahlia immediately had to go potty (yay! We threw in the potty chair for just such this instance - go us!). And then she was hungry. And quite frankly so was I. We hiked a bit & set out our picnic. It was so beautiful. Brilliant blue skies, lovely leaves of yellow, oranges & reds. The picnic was fun. And since we were on a ski trail, August could run around and explore & we didn't have to worry about him running off a cliff or onto a street. Bliss! We even saw horses! A group on a trail ride rode past & that was a big hit.
After that we went on to the trailhead of the Munger (off Beck's Road). Loaded the kids into the trailer (August loves that...sarcasm implied) and took off. We went down the trail first and it was so nice. The trail was busy but not too bad and we were going down hill - just how I like it! But then the skirmishes started. August has been pretty darn ornery lately. All the time. So in that enclosed space where Dahlia is constantly "helping" him, he gets REALLY crabby. Sheesh. It made the bike ride a little stressful. Because then he started screaming. Screaming like he was that 4 month old with terrible reflux. He was so worked up. And giving crackers, milk, treats - whatever - didn't help. So, after only a short bike ride we headed back to the car.
Initially I wanted to end our Family Fun Day with a trip to Portland Malt Shoppe. But by the end of all this running around, that was out of the question. Luckily the kids survived a bit longer so I could run in the grocery store and buy some milk & ice cream. Whew! To top off our Fun Day activities I had absolutely TERRIBLE allergies. All day long. I think I sneezed about 1000 times. My eyes were so puffy & itchy. My nose so runny & read. My skin around my nose in pain from all the blowing & kleenex use. It wasn't that fun after all. Oh well, at least we spent our day outside and that part was very fabulous indeed.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Pinterest Challenge - September 2011

A couple of weeks ago I was really stuck creatively. I knew what was causing it but I just couldn't seem to get past it. I felt like I had a dam of debris building up in my inner psyche that wouldn't let anything else get by it. Oh boy was it annoying. And not just annoying but also sort of debilitating. I couldn't finish my film. I mean, the film is done, but I was re-working the beginning and just felt like my brain was empty. I could hardly even TRY anything with the edit so it was really frustrating. Add to that that my only working *moments* were when HOPEFULLY both kids were napping (or at least somewhat occupied, Dahlia...) so I could get my thoughts together to even start. And a lot of days that just didn't happen. Plus I was up against a deadline.
During this time, I did quite a lot of browsing on Pinterest. Drooling over all sorts of really cool, crafty, artistic creations. Dreaming of what I should decorate my house with. Wishing, quite frankly, that I had more money to make some of the things a reality. Longing for a sun-filled workshop that was ALL MINE (the sign should read: Mommy's Special Workshop - No Kids or Husbands Allowed!) and the time and energy to actually finish something. I finally started to feel this pull. The pull to create, to make. This Post came out of this time. But although I was starting to have my creativity stirred by other things, I simply couldn't DO them because the film was hanging over my head. But then one night - I was probably complaining about being 'stuck' on Facebook and my, let's call her my cousin-in-law, Michelle, said - okay - here's a challenge (lord knows, I can't turn down a challenge!). We each will pick one thing from each other's Pinterest that we have to make in the month of September. I will pick for you, you pick for me. And Voila! We did it. And suddenly I had a different deadline. A fun deadline. I crafty deadline. It seemed to work. She picked for me the magazine bowl which I've been wanting to make for a long time, well, since Memorial Day weekend, anyway, because I think they look really cool. And boy do I have a lot of magazines. I picked for her some mason jar candle lanterns. Lucky for me I had started tearing apart a magazine (therapeutic in it's own way) earlier so I was able to jump right in. I think I had also made the base of a bowl. But now I had the "permission" to finish it! And I did. I ended up taking it to Stitch & Bitch one week so that I could get it done. And it's done!
Granted, the bowl has been finished for 2 weeks now, but I JUST got around to applying the varnish today, um, like 10 minutes ago. But hey - I'm all about setting & reaching goals this autumn so yay me! I have fantasies of a (super-successful!) Etsy shop in which I sell things like the likes of my magazine bowl. Because as cool as I think it is, I'm not sure what I'll do with it. I did learn a few things along the way... I should always put newspaper down when I'm working on something on the kitchen table; I should be a little more careful with hot glue - one because my bowl is a little messier than I would like it to be, and two because my fingers got lots of burns on them during this project. Something beautiful can be made out of something really simple that most people toss aside (I knew this one already...). I really like being challenged & having deadlines.
So there you have it - the Pinterest Challenge! I think it should live on - any takers? Oh and I DID finish the movie. Finally all the crap in my head pushed aside & it was like a magical flood gate of thoughts, ideas, creativity - storming through. I fixed a few things, I tried a few things, I figured a few things out. I stood my ground. I let my producing partner add/tweak a few more things & we made the Sundance deadline (well, late deadline anyway...). So, Thanks Michelle for helping clear the way! I'd love to take you out for a glass of wine sometime! If only Denver wasn't so far from Duluth!