Paper Dolls for Boys

Raising 2 crafty boys and thrifting every chance I get.

Sick Day Paintfest March 31, 2008

Filed under: Craft,Family & Friends — twlowenstein @ 6:36 pm
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This book is one of my favorites:

Don’t Move the Muffin Tins by Bev Bos



The Internet is a Jumbled Ball of Yarn, but in a Good Way March 29, 2008

Filed under: Craft — twlowenstein @ 5:47 am
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I seem to be on an envy kick and I’m going to pretend it’s a new thing.

I’ve got letterpress envy. I’ve been exploring all things letterpress on etsy and ebay. (I feel like Dave Letterman, “Oprah, Uma…”)

There is a shop called Sweetbeets on etsy that sells these eco-friendly cards I’m swooning over.


I bought the #2 card for my little guy’s upcoming second birthday (I told you I was birthday crazy) but when it came in the mail I immediately tucked it into the pile of treasures waiting to be framed. I’ve enjoyed talking with the artist, Lisa, through etsy conversations and she’s been generous enough to share her letterpress story with me. She has blogged a bit about the printing process here. She also has another site, mod eco kids, which I devoured in a late night computer binge.

Maybe you are all better at finding YOU time than me, but lately I’m all about the ‘3am just got up to pee let me check the computer’ times. I’m not saying it’s great for my general attitude the day after, but I still savor those dark, quiet moments alone.

While trawling modecokids, I came across bookhou design -so inspiring!

Check out this kid goodness:

crib_002.jpg flockmobile_001.jpg

I hope my summer includes making 2 quilts, inspired by her design, with fabrics picked out by the boys. Oh, and saving up to buy that mobile!

Arounna Khounnoraj, who is half of the bookhau team, also has an amazing kid craft oriented site. This plaster relief project has cut to the front of the line of the projects-to-be waiting impatiently in my craft room.


You’ll be surprised to discover that I was thinking this would be a perfect craft for my oldest’s summer birthday party! Ancient Egyptian artifacts anyone?

Here is a short letterpress documentary that’s interesting and informative (but if speaking so crisply is a prerequisite for being a good presser, I’m in trouble):

If you have any expertise in the art of letterpressing I’d love to hear more about the process. Unfortunately, I know my loyal reader (mom) and frequent commenter (aka, total stranger) knows diddley squat about it. But if you happen to NOT be my mom and you DO know a thing or two about, as I imagine all the cool kids call it, shoot me a line.

Hi Mom, how’s my punctuation?


Recipe Box/Treasure Box March 27, 2008

Filed under: Family & Friends — twlowenstein @ 9:20 pm
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My husband’s Gram died a few months ago and we’re missing her like crazy. I’m working on a post that will do her right, and this isn’t it.

It is, however, meant to be a little nod to one of the ways in which she held our family together.


I found this little metal box, discovered it in the back of her kitchen cabinet, last weekend while doing some cleaning in her kitchen. It was one of those things that I didn’t know I was looking for until I found it. I wanted to share a recipe I’ll be making this weekend. I look forward to cranking her hand mixer and stealing some quiet moments to remember.



Her death has made me take stock, as deaths tend to do. I’m hoping to add new recipes to this little tin that will stand with Gram’s and together act to create more memories of family and togetherness. Shabbat Shalom.


I Have Seen the Future… March 23, 2008

and it’s on wheels! There was much wheel envy happening at the park today. My little guy wanted all the wheels except his own.

Cool Kids


This nice skater kid said, “Don’t worry, I won’t hit her.” They were really patient seeing as we were probably putting a damper on their fun.

My big guy has been waiting to do this trick all winter. He’s working up to doing it one handed. Your untrained eye might not have picked up on the fact that he is decked out in biking gear. He invents an outfit for every task. Dusting, yup – he’s got special gloves. Soccer team that he’s not on, check! He’s turning out to be quite the gearhead. Wonder where he gets that from?

On the way to school the other morning he told me, “I might want to train for the Olympics. Maybe skiing (he’s never been) or bobsledding (this verse, same as the first).” Then he asked, “Do they have special uniforms for the bikers in the Olympics?” and that swayed it. 2020 Olympics, mark your programs people!



He wasn’t the only one experiencing envy. One of the skaters had a sweet little camera!

My Envy

Thrift brag alert! I got the Community Playthings scooter at a yard sale for $3.00!

Oh, it feels so gooooooood.

Love the One You

This post is my first in REAL TIME. I finally got my camera and the computer working. Apparently they’ve started to fancy each other and have actually started working together. Life is good in the skating hood!

And on an unrelated note. Does anyone familiar with wordpress know how I can change the color of my highlight? When I link to something, it’s a very pretty light brown but it doesn’t have enough contrast. Any help would be much appreciated!


Happy Spring March 21, 2008

Filed under: Family & Friends — twlowenstein @ 6:22 pm
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It’s a big windy day and I’ve got kites on the brain.

E flying a kite

e and e at the park

Being a parent gives you the chance to do things you’d forgotten were fun. Like standing at the window watching the garbage being collected, skipping rocks and some good old-fashioned kite flying! I’m heading out to pick up my big guy from school and I’ve got the kite packed in the back of the car and I’m ready to FLY!

Here are some cool kite finds from Ebay to get you started on your own kite adventures:


Hi-Flier Ebay

Kite String

Ebay Kite String

Jello in the sky, why didn’t I think of this?


Kite Days

Mark Sawyer

A kite, a sky and a good firm breeze.

And acres of ground away from the trees.

And one hundred yards of clean, strong string-

O boy, O boy! I call that spring!


Chocolate Bunny Test March 17, 2008

Filed under: Random Bits — twlowenstein @ 3:24 pm

funny bunnies

Here is a personality test I’m down with.

You pick which part of the bunny you would eat first and the chocolate bunny gives you a little hard truth. I personally think it’s a very perceptive bunny as she told me, “You truly do enjoy the finer things in life, but you don’t let on that you do. Any kind of getaway for you is more mental than physical.” I think the bunny is calling me lazy. I won’t tell you which part I picked first but a word of advice, don’t click on the bow!

Click here –> the test to eat your own virtual bunny.

What did you pick and what did the bunny make of it?


Someone Else’s Art Sunday March 16, 2008

Filed under: Craft — twlowenstein @ 10:25 am
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I’m lucky enough to be waiting for this to come in the mail:

slowshirt print

It’s from a shop called Slowshirt’s Shop on Etsy.

It was between Solar Shack (above) or Little House on Stilts (below):

slowshirt stilt house print

Which would you have chosen? Vote in the comments section, located at the bottom of this post.

And be sure and check out Slowshirt’s shop. They make a guitar scarf that is instant cool.


Birthday Crazy March 15, 2008

About a week after the birth of my second child my foggy brain came up with an awesome realization. “I get to plan 2 birthday parties a year now!” I excitedly said to my husband (who humors me beyond belief). I love love love planning my kids’ birthday parties. Usually I stick to it being all about them but I fumbled on my eldest son’s 3rd birthday. I’m embarrassed to admit that I started planning for it about 8 months before his birthday! At the time he was way into robots, I like the vintage kitschy quality of robots myself so I got busy. I hand sewed felt robot invitations with silver metallic thread:

robot birthday invitation

I gocco’ed Thank You cards:

robot birthday thank you

I print gocco’ed some paint sample cards to string together for a banner:

robot birthday banner

I sketched the cake, I saved recycling and shiny things for the kids to make their own robot costumes, I’d even started on the robot piƱata. Can you see where this is going? The whole thing became more about me, my vision and the pleasure I get from being crafty than about my son, HIS party and his CURRENT interests. So after some soul searching I asked my son what kind of birthday party he’d like to have, “Baseball!” he excitedly shouted. So I acquiesced. But I decided I wasn’t going to spend any more money on a second party. So I tucked away my runaway robot creations (although I’m really hoping my youngest develops an affinity for robots) and happily planned the baseball party. This time I looked at it as more of a joint project. My husband came up with a great idea, to cut paper plates to look like home plate and have the kids decorate them. My son asked that he get to throw “sprinkles” and dance. It was a kickass baseball party.

fenway bean bag toss

I used popcorn containers I already had for the goody bags, filled them with stickers and a Red Sox bracelet (the Lance Armstrong kind). The only bits I bought specifically for the party.



Swing battah battah! We filled the inside with baseball cards and “sprinkes”.

baseball pinata swing

I have to see if I can find one of the invitations to photograph, I delivered each kid a baseball with the party info written on a sharpie. I’m all about invitations that are also part of the favor.


Rainy Day Fabric Finds March 13, 2008

These are perfect rainy day thrift store finds. Beautiful vintage pillow cases, 99 cents each and cozy silk slippers for $1.99.

Thrifted Slippers

I love the embroidery and the colors on the slippers. I’m guessing that the previous owner dropped these beauties off at the thrift store after one too many feathers poked her or, a fabulously adorned, his feet. I have a thing about socks, I am firmly anti-sock. So I can take a few pokes from a former chicken if it keeps me away from socks and warms my feet in the process. Plus, $1.99! I mean, really, I would have bought a jock strap in those colors.

Notice I’ve traded in the wrinkly comforter for a piece of foam board. I thought I’d try taking a photo booth photo during the day instead of 3am, which is when I took that dank Channukiah shot. I’m going to give myself points for creative documentation. Creative documentation = making it happen while saving up for new camera.

As part of my quest to post photos without an actual camera, I scanned my favorite pillow case (there were 2 of these)!

butterfly pillowcase

This reminds me of an earlier textile SCORE. I happened into a shop (I don’t make a habit of happening upon shops but I really did just stumble in) on the day before the woman was closing and bought this patiently hand stitched quilt/bed spread. Anyone know anything about the style or have a guess about the age? I love the grey with the blue and brown. $25 dollars! I kind of felt like I was robbing her.


Love the imperfect stitches.

Think I’ll go put on the slippers, wrap up in the blanket and wait for Lost to come on. Talk to me Sawyer!


Craft Room Before and After March 12, 2008

Filed under: Craft — twlowenstein @ 11:10 pm

This little room has a multiple personality disorder. First it was a craft/junk room (really every room in the house could aptly be described as such)
then I organized it and actually had my own craft renaissance. It was brief.


I got that yellow hanging lamp for 4 dollars at a yard sale. I bought it without the cord, because hey – it’s cool, but I left my number in case she came across it. She did, she called and it works! I got the desk off craigslist for 15, it’s solid and huge and my best 4 legged love. The yellow shelves we found in the basement of our old apartment and painted this bright yellow, which is really much more cheery than I ever am.

sewing table

When our second boy was born we turned it into his nursery. We foolishly imagined him sleeping in his crib in this little room, through the night, by himself, without us. We lapsed right back into family bed by default and I think he may have had 1 nap there. And I might be boasting because it’s probably more like 0. He’s a cute little nugget though, a perfect match with his cute big brother.

Here are some photos I found on my Flickr account of the craft room as a nursery:

wall art in nursery

curtain in nursery

nursery dresser top

I still haven’t figured out the photo thing, that’s why these photos are less than current. It’s a good excuse because the crazy little room has come full circle and is now a “throw it in there and SHUT THE DOOR” room. Maybe more before and after photos to come.