Paper Dolls for Boys

Raising 2 crafty boys and thrifting every chance I get.

Spelling Lesson May 31, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — twlowenstein @ 9:19 am

This post on I’ve Come Undone, reminded me of a memorable classroom ditty.

Want to hear it? Here it goes. (please read that in the same sing song way it sounds in my head, thanks)

I had a kid in my First Grade class, a great kid, who was entertaining a group of classmates with some letters on a scrap of paper during Choice Time. One of the kids, sensing trouble, turned him in. So I called the boy over to see what was looming on the page. He nervously handed me the paper that looked something like this, Don’t be scared, it’s just a replica. I only wish I had held onto to that piece of ephemera but I handed it over to the boy’s dads at pick up.

And for the record I am misspelling fkuc in the text portion of this post not because I am worried about your sensitive eyes or because it’s a “bad word” but because I do not want to see the word turn up on my Search Engine Terms in my Stats. That would be an inappropriate context for this site because then we would be getting into meaning and I’m just talking about spelling.

Still want to hear it? Here it goes again:

So I said to the kid, “Can you read me what you wrote?” He looked at me with totally alarmed eyes and nervously started to read, “Fah, Fah, Fah” and then he shook his head like it was too much for him. So I said, “I see that you’ve written the word fkuc“. And defying the laws of nature, his eyes get EVEN BIGGER. I said, “I also noticed that you spelled it exactly like it’s spelled in the dictionary. Fkuc is not a school word but there are so many other words in the uck family that are great for school. What are some of the uck words that are okay for school?” We brainstormed, luck, stuck, muck etc. And then I told him that, “Since now I know that you are an expert on uck words I expect to see them spelled the dictionary way in your writing workshop stories!” We also added an uck family group to the Word Wall. Fkuc was not on it.

To be truthful I may have thrown the word fkuc in there a few more times. Mostly because I was working at not giving it power, it is just a word. A word that is not appropriate for school but a word that doesn’t scare me and shouldn’t hold mystical powers. And just a tiny bit because, inside, it was cracking me up.

I should point out that I did indeed still have a job the next day. The boy’s parents picked up what I put down in terms of minimizing the reaction.

We apply the same principle in our house. There are generally not bad words but just appropriate and inappropriate times and places to use them. If my kid says, “What the hell?” every now and again in the correct context at home I’m not going to freak.

We talk a lot about ways of being powerful. You are powerful when you are thoughtful, you are powerful when you figure out how to find information you didn’t know before, you are powerful when you share. Sometimes you are powerful with your mind, other times with your body, sometimes with your heart, sometimes with your actions and sometimes with your words. I just asked my oldest to give me an example of a way he is powerful and he said, “When I say Thank You.” I’d much rather the focus be on what he can say and the impact it has on others.

How do you handle this issue in your home and what in the hell should I make for dinner?

***And welcome to my new Delightful Blog friends. I hope you find me delightful, potty mouth and all!***


Faux Bois is Good for Trees May 30, 2008

Filed under: Random Bits — twlowenstein @ 1:06 pm
Tags: , ,

A few months ago I came across a great lunch bag on Etsy made by the Rick Rack Queen.

Notice the faux bois oilcloth lunch bag my big guy is dragging into school, along with his little brother.

You may have seen this photo posted on my blog before, I don’t remember. I can’t promise I won’t post it again, who can keep track?

I have since ordered another lunch bag, in lighter faux bois, and a splash mat to boot from her. Yesterday the splash mat arrived and the RRQueen was nice enough to tuck in a little something just for me.

It is perfect. It’s functional, beautiful, well crafted and makes me feel good! I am hesitant to say how touched I was to recieve this keychain because a) I have very lovely generous people in my offline life and this is not to say I don’t appreciate their gestures and b) it exposes my big sappy dork side but it’s true. It felt nice to open something just for me sent by a thoughtful stranger from the crafty community. I’m not saying I don’t love all the painted rocks, toilet paper sculptures and drawings that I am the lucky daily recipient of. But I will say it was a lovely change of pace.  And I’m not soliciting for say, a whole keychain collection from my adoring fans!

So do your school shopping now, beat the rush and check her etsy shop out. .

Notice my keys are hanging on a little faux branch. I am not usually a fan of faux anything or even the word faux even though it must be tattooed on my finger tips from typing it so many times in one post. But something about wood grain, real or otherwise is very soothing. Check out It’s Knot Wood, it’s a great blog devoted to all things the F word.

Happy weekend!


Paper Dolls for All My Friends! May 26, 2008

I’ve been feeling sorry for the people that land here by googling “boy paper dolls” and then they get a story about me calling 911 on my scary computer or my friend and her mean ukulele. So here are a few sites stumbled upon, searched out and/or suggested to me that may be of use to those, like me one day long ago, who google “Paper Dolls for Boys” and hoped to actually find some!

I’m sorry I still have nothing for those who found my site by typing in “The dum bum Elmo game” and I don’t even want to know. I’m also coming up empty for the folks who were looking for the “Jesus walking on water paper doll”. What is the strangest thing people typed to find your site?

—— ——-

My favorites are not the traditional flat paper dolls our grandmothers played with but rather some pretty fierce 3-D dudes with attitude. ReadyMech is a favorite in our house.

The scarier the better.

The same guys behind ReadyMech make some super cool paper pin-hole cameras available for download here.

And speaking of scary. Haunted Paper Toys has some amazing free downloads.

was a big hit and so were .

And here is a site for some 3-D paper animals.

My favorites are the bat and the bunny .

And for inspiration, Tiny Buildings creates some amazing structures using re-purposed business cards.

Something else that we’ve done in the past that has been fun is to cut up photos of people from magazines and then mix and match their features. We usually stick our creations on popsicle sticks and have paper doll puppets. Wish the photos were not stranded on old computer. Will update one day.


Check out the link from Angry Chicken that Lisa from A Spoonful of Sugar left in the comments of another post. Also found through Angry Chicken, The Toymaker but don’t click unless you have a lot of free time on your hands, so very fun.  Check out this Flickr Group for vintage paper doll scans!

If anyone has any more interesting links for paper dolls and/or paper crafts please leave them in the comment section, Thanks!


It Floats and Then it Doesn’t! May 25, 2008

Filed under: Family & Friends — twlowenstein @ 6:13 pm
Tags: ,

I love it when it comes together like this. His own plan, independently crafted, and tested!

My son took some scraps out of the recycle bin and gathered the materials he needed to make this:

Guest blogged by my Big Guy:

Mama, want to ask me what my inspiration was?

I made a boat out of cardboard, duct tape and two bottles. I made a boat called Motorboat Lightening. It was not that easy. It was kind of hard because I had to do all that in one day. I was going to use foam but I knew I couldn’t find any so I used a water bottle I drank in the car. It was an experiment. What things float and what things not. I got a big pool and filled it with water. Only 2 things sank and a whole bunch of other things floated. A toucan mask sank and so did a rat mask. All of the other things I put in there floated. My boat floated because it had 2 bottles underneath. I put tape so water wouldn’t come in the bottles. I three doubled it. I’m going to make something else, I don’t know what it’s going to be yet.

Edit from the Boy: “Never ever put a cardboard structure in the tub because it will dissolve.”


I Have an Orange Bow, Do You Have an Orange Bow?

Filed under: Family & Friends,Random Bits — twlowenstein @ 9:52 am
Tags: ,

Can’t type long – just coming up for air from the craft room. I took some brutal before shots that I am going to have to muster the courage to share. I will have to wait and see if the pleasure of the AFTER outweighs the embarrassment of the BEFORE.

I came across this drawing in the crap room craft room, done by me when I was 6 in 1975. You can tell I was still adjusting to the birth of my little brother a year earlier. Poor kid has no name and no snazzy colorful outfit but at least he’s in there and smiling!

Alright, I’m diving back in.



SOS May 22, 2008

Filed under: Random Bits — twlowenstein @ 7:56 am
Tags: , , ,

This story, Catalytic Beet Cake, from Melissa over at What Knot made me think of a time I was the laughing stock of a police station.

Setting & Brief History: I was living in a big 2 family in Cambridge and we had been broken into a number of times since I moved in.

Silly Story: I was home alone and had just showered and put on a gel face mask (this was obviously pre-kids). As soon as I went into my bedroom, I heard a really scary scream. I knew it wasn’t coming from my apartment because it sounded muffled. I was freaking out and wondering if I should call 911 or what, when I heard it again. So I called 911 and reported a possible break-in below us. The officers arrived (I’m still in my robe, manically peeling the mask off my face as I tell the police what I’d heard and the history of break-ins at our place) and they do a guns drawn canvass of the basement, the apartment below and our place. They don’t find any evidence of a break-in or of an intruder but they say they’ll wait downstairs and I should quickly get dressed and leave the house for a while. I rush upstairs, heart beating, to get dressed so I could get the hell out of there. While in my room I hear the scream again. I was totally WTF confused and then I realized that the scream was the screen saver on my old school Mac. The one with bugs scurrying across the screen and apparently a woman screaming in the background. Anyone remember that one?

Dilemma: So I had to decide if I was going to go downstairs and admit to the police waiting to escort me outside that it was just a little screen saver or if I would smile and thank them for their diligence and duck out with my face mask peeling pride (semi) intact. I ended up telling them the truth (they were the LAW) and asked that they just not use my name when they mock me back at the station.

If I were to have a super power name it would be – Super Sees-Danger-Where-There-is-None GrrrL!

Glad I don’t have any photographic evidence of this event but in my head these Etsy finds are the perfect illustrations.

Feast your eyes on this from JSartist’s Etsy shop, it’s from her Weirdo Bug Collection:

Clayflower22 has this in her etsy shop. It’s a baby head planter and I like it.

Stay safe people, there is danger lurking everywhere!


A Little Snippet from My Day May 21, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — twlowenstein @ 4:05 pm

We were reading a book watching t.v. and my son said, “This is a funny show.” I asked what he thought was funny about it and he replied, “Because princesses don’t wear skates.” I was all ready for a discussion about gender equality but when I asked, “Oh, really? Why?”, precision boy struck again with, “Well they didn’t have skates in medieval times!”

uh, yeah – of course!


My Little Man is 2 May 18, 2008

Filed under: Birthday Parties,Family & Friends — twlowenstein @ 10:28 pm
Tags: ,

We finally had my son’s 2nd birthday party after a one week postponement and a 5 hour rain delay. In the end, it was a beautiful sunny day shared with good friends and family!

If I had to pick which thing my son loves more, dogs or balls, I’d be in a pickle so Doggie Ball party it was!

I made dog ears for each kid to wear in lieu of birthday hats. I got a bunch of sparklie headbands from the dollar store and fashioned some felt & fur ears. They even left them on for 3 minutes!

The hit of the party was the dog bone dig. I had the “big” kids bury the dog treats in the sandbox and then the younger kids search for them. They collected the bones in the dog bowls I also scored from the dollar store. At the end of the party we gave a box of slightly sandy dog bones to a dad at the park who had a dog at home, so no dog bones were wasted in the making of this party.

I made chocolate cupcakes and decorated each with a negative space dog bone. I cut out dog bone shapes out of paper, put them on top of the frosting and then sprinkled confectioners sugar over it to leave the bone shape. I didn’t factor in the wind but it was a party for a 2 year old so, really, a little wonky is just right. I also made some dog themed chocolates for the kids to take home. Candy molds rock, minimum effort for maximum effect. I tried creating candies with multiple colors this time, not so tricky and kinda fun. I will admit that I, myself, would not eat one of these candies on a $100 dare. Something about those little melting disks screams carnauba wax. I’ll have to experiment with higher quality ingredients next time.

We served the cupcakes in dog bowls that the kids took home. The wind never allowed us to light the candles but that did not deter my little guy. He’s been practicing. Every time we said something about his birthday he @@@B……l……e……w@@@ out imaginary candles, very sweet.

The goodie bags were stuffed with stickers, water colors, a notebook and a bone shaped carabiner.

And these didn’t quite make it to the party table:

You are just going to have to trust me when I tell you that these are meant to be dog bone shaped.

Reminder: do not treat the timer as just a suggestion.

edit: These were supposed to be dog biscuits with butter, cinnamon and sugar on top.

Our other big activity was playing “fetch” with a bunch of balls we brought from home and some winning additions to the collection received as presents (Thanks E, S and K)! I think they all made it home with us. A big thanks to K for risking poison ivy to rescuing the basket ball and to E for crawling under the car to fetch the much loved Hello Kitty ball.

This decorating was done for us prior to the party. My friend who likes to take a firm stand on graffiti is planning to bring a sharpie her next trip to the park and change “PooP” into “BooB” – you know, for the greater good.

Sign of a good time spent:

Happy Birthday little guy. You make me stretch my parenting muscles and you challenge me to be better. Most days I thank you for that! 🙂 I appreciate your wonder at the world and your capacity to love. You have taught me to appreciate the unique gifts each member of our family brings to the table and I am so glad we are a table of four.

I am buckling my seatbelt and looking forward to YOU at TWO!


Carcass May 14, 2008

Filed under: Family & Friends,Random Bits — twlowenstein @ 6:45 pm
Tags: , , , ,

I have some super talented kick butt friends. Here is one of them:

If I am ever in a rumble, this is the woman I want by my side.

P.S. – I don’t plan to make back to back youtube posts a habit but this is PURE BLOG GOLD!


This is Going to Be Stuck in Your Head ALL DAY! May 13, 2008

Filed under: Random Bits — twlowenstein @ 9:14 pm
Tags: ,

Found at The Poverty Jet Set.