Paper Dolls for Boys

Raising 2 crafty boys and thrifting every chance I get.

I’ve Got My Procrastinati-ON August 15, 2008

Filed under: Family & Friends — twlowenstein @ 11:36 pm
Tags: , ,

Okay, I swear, I will stop. I will get my cessati-ON.

This one is for one of my oldest and dearest friends Julie, who says I have been quiet lately. “I’ll have a blue Christmas without you. You-oo-ewwww” She’s having a baby girl and since Tracey isn’t really an option for a name, we need your help. Please offer suggestions (I said it in my head but I refrained from typing it. Baby steps) in the comment section below! Please do not suggest the name Giddeon. It would not go down well.

Glad you asked Julie. My weekend plans are as follows (grab a bag of chips and something to wash them down with):

  • Move bunkbed from playroom to small bedroom (and by move I mean badger the man to do it)
  • Feel guilty about not making the placemats yet. Avoid email asking if I have mailed them yet. I will not be a swap flake, really.
  • Go to reenactment on the Boston Common. Hoop skirt here I come…
  • Attend child’s birthday party at some kind of Medieval fencing venue.
  • Paint desk in “diamond pattern” with oldest son for his room.
  • Check my etsy shop compulsively to see if I have any sales. Will fight urge to spend hours in the community forums moping because I have no sales.
  • Try and squeeze an estate sale in (or two).
  • Make tri-corn hats for the birthday party no one can attend. edit: going to purchase them
  • Make pouches for the hard tack we are giving to those who do show up as a party favor. edit: can’t find the hard tack
  • Try and gather at least 5 bags of stuff for donation. (it’s hard not to do it, and I don’t mean the donating part) edit: no way, but did wash
  • Return coffee mug to Target because it leaks from the bottom. How hard is it to make a travel mug that doesn’t leak? Wouldn’t that be the main goal?
  • Try and make it to the mall to get some poprechat from the Indian stall. Also try and figure out how to spell poprechat.
  • Mail package to Julie and her little girl to be!

This is my new avatar on Etsy. Isn’t he dapper?

I will gladly be accepting any and all awards for most random/scattered post! Send ’em on.


We Got Our Precipitati-ON August 14, 2008

Filed under: Family & Friends — twlowenstein @ 10:37 pm
Tags: , , ,

Tip for a kickin’ car campin’ trip:

High powered walkie-talkies. We caravaned up with our friends and each car had a talkie. We also gave each other handles:

Ice Man, Oxygen, Fever, Pussycat and Yardsale to name a few. Put your thumb on your nose if you can guess which handle was bestowed upon me. Clue: It ain’t Pussycat.

It was fun to be silly and share in the anticipati-ON of the trip to come. I highly recommend them. But don’t get your feelings hurt when on the way home, after you’ve packed up all your soaking gear and the excitement is naturally lower, radio silence is maintained. I mean how many times can you whine, “I’d pay 50 bucks for a shower” into the WT?

We camped at Pillsbury State Park in NH and had a blast despite the fact it rained pretty much the whole time. We were proud of ourselves for making it work for a couple of days but we knew when it was time to pack up and call it a trip. When the tent starts leaking, that’s a wrap. Also the camp is a “remote” site and has the unsavory combination of “pit toilets” (outhouses) and no showers. You don’t think of running water as a luxury until you don’t have it.

This is from the first night, full of promise and pioneer spirit:

And this is the next morning, still raining.

The first morning my friend and I got up and made a yummy breakfast. Blueberry pancakes with chicken sausage and Bloody Marys! We surprised the guys with a banner, thought up during our food stocking trip. My friend and I were cracking each other up, telling random people that we were going camping. Feeding off their bored and annoyed responses (or lack thereof). I’ve tried to tell a couple of people this story and it doesn’t translate. It was slap happy at it’s best though and almost as fun as the trip itself. The pancakes were super good, better than I make at home. We used bisquick, apple sauce, chai mix and a little maple syrup (egg free solutions). They were fluffy and good. Everything always tastes better camping though.

You can blame the guy in that last shot for my current addicti-ON. He got me hooked on the wordplay like in the title. For example, at night when the kids were all asleep in the tents we got our inebriati-ON (sounds like inebriashawn). As I type I realize it’s probably not as cool or funny when I break it down like that. Sorry G. I’m trying to get my imitati-ON.

Here are some shots from our trip. We’re already planning next year’s trip. Any good campgrounds to recommend?

Even though the forecast called for rain, we forgot to pack a raincoat for my youngest son. We fashioned him something from our emergency poncho that is always stuffed in the car. It didn’t slow him down any.

I don’t know what is up with my camera. I haven’t figured out how to adjust the size of the photo and now as I am trying to post they are either huge or tiny. I’m just going to treat you all like grandparents today though and ply you with tons of photos (big and small) – hope you all have gum in your purses and a big wet kiss for me and the boys when next we meet!

My husband channeling his inner Macgyver, beach umbrella as rain shield for the fire!

These are our friends. You can tell by their expressions that WE are really fun folks to camp with! And I think everyone was a little over me getting my documentati-ON.

Good friends, good fun and good times! Thanks G,L and O!

And on an unrelated note -I have scores to share with you soon. You know we hit an an antique store on the way home!

Hope you are all staying dry!


Gone Campin’ August 9, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — twlowenstein @ 6:55 pm


Snaps From My Parent’s House August 8, 2008

Filed under: Family & Friends — twlowenstein @ 9:42 pm
Tags: ,

During my blog absence I was at my parent’s house in NC. My parents have moved probably 14 times in their married life, correct me if I’m wrong Mom. Something that I appreciate is that they have always made the place we lived into HOME, no matter how long we were planning on staying. I appreciate it even more as I am currently struggling with investing emotion, energy, money and time into this apartment. We are (hopefully) moving next summer and that’s making me even less motivated. So thanks M&D for setting up home every time, everywhere.

I was happy to see this.

My parents got this in Mexico a looong time ago and it has been in storage for years. It’s painted metal and I covet it. I had forgotten it but when I saw it in the kitchen it instantly reminded me of my childhood.

Check out this photo, it was apparently, a happy childhood. Can’t you just see that piece hanging in this kitchen? I blew this up so A) you could take a gander at my little brother,the cutie. He was the kind of kid that ladies at the supermarket gave free cookies to and B) so you can fully appreciate the wallpaper. Sweet.

This is a vintage piece of Thai textile that has the tiniest bit of chartreuse in it. I LOVE it. My Mom said as I was taking photos, “Well, at least I know where all our stuff is going to end up when I die!” She meant Etsy.

This I made for my Mom at a paint your own pottery place.

These were my Granny and Granddaddy’s (the antiques dealer):

And this, my dad thinks, was my Great-Granny’s. It’s tied from tobacco twine.

Thanks Mom and Dad for such a great trip and being such good sports about us invading your space. And a fine space it is!


Flash From the Past…At Least it’s NOT E@@y Related! August 6, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — twlowenstein @ 9:19 am

I woke up this morning with a jolt and yelled at my husband, “Did I leave my camera in the bathroom?” ! I jumped out of bed, hurdled over piles of homeless clutter, dodged the stacked bins (remnants of our recent trip) and squeezed through the bathroom door that would not open all the way due to bathtime blockage on the floor from last night. Luckily the camera was not left in the bathroom after taking this shot to document the horror:

Everyone is always going on about how Crocs are a crime against fashion blah blah blah. I am a Croc’er, and I wear them with neither shame nor pride. Those f@ckers are just comfortable. But here’s the problem with them – HOBBIT FEET. These are my son’s feet after 1 day of normal play wearing his crocs. Sorry to spring that shot on you, just thought you might be wondering why I had the camera in the bathroom in the first place.

So after I gathered myself from such a harsh awakening, I thought of a little paper piece I did a few years ago.

Here is an excerpt from my GetCrafty “blog” about :

I haven’t felt that inspired lately so I decided to experiment with housewife art, a topic that takes up a lot of my mind and time. I’ve begun a journal/altered book project trying to express some of my feelings about traditional gender roles and my seemingly constant struggle with our home. I feel torn, part of me wants to tuck this ‘pop-up’ away into my journal and another part of me wants to nail it to the front door.

The front of the card reads, “For Show” and the back of the card reads, “For Real” – I don’t know if that’s legible in the photo.

This is the first thing I’ve posted that makes me feel a little exposed so wash me in the gentle cycle.

People responded to it a number of ways. Here’s the link.

It was at a time we were doing a lot of playdates. The kind where we showed up at a new friends house and she had baked some bread for the boys with wheat berries she ground herself. Not so shocking if you read blogs now-a-days but at the time it had some impact. It was a time that we were traveling in new playgroup circles and so when it was our turn to host I did the biggest clean ups and then acted like this is the way it always is. It took me a while to figure out the other parents were more than likely doing power cleans before we arrived and putting on a “show” and to stop comparing myself with them. Luckily now we have shaken things out and have settled on a group of good friends that do not require cleaning prior to their arrival nor do they straighten before our arrival. True friends.

What made me think of it this morning is that I can not even kid myself that I am pulling off the impostor half of this dichotomy. I have been fully immersed in that-which-shall-not-be-spoken the past 4 days and everything else has pretty much been ignored. And it has nothing to do with how everything looks to the outside world but rather how we choosing to live in our space.

Today I am unplugging (you know, after I do a post about how I am not going to use the computer and check my shop on you know what for any potential sales ONE LAST TIME). I am going to clean the playroom and then spend some time with my boys getting it good and messy again. I am going to put away everything from our last trip just in time to pack for our camping trip. I am going to slow down, relax, and do a little cleaning as I go. But I am not promising a homemade dinner.


Etsy Crash Course August 4, 2008

Filed under: Craft,Random Bits,Thrift Scores & Pat and Charlie — twlowenstein @ 11:52 pm
Tags: ,

Just as I am not qualified to dispense dietary tips or etiquette lessons, I feel a little funny writing an Etsy “round-up” with one sale under my belt. But I thought it would be helpful for me, and maybe to you, to have all the tips, tricks and links that I am quickly amassing gathered in one spot.

I have been immersed in Etsy this past week. I have dabbled in Etsy from the buyers side but it’s a whole different ball of wax over here on the sellers side. It has been fun staging my shots, figure out the lighting (still not right), researching information about my items and learning the Etsy ropes in general. Posting is a much longer process than I anticipated. A wise woman tried to tell me that it was exhausting having an Etsy shop and now I hang on her every word.

Here are some links that I am finding useful as I dive into the etSEA:

Majaba This is a meter of sorts that allows to view your item views, and heart tallies.

Helpful Etsy Links Compiled by LooseWire Word on the street is she is Queen of Etsy, I kowtow.

Etsy Wiki

FAQ Etsy Sellers

Ultimate Newbie Guide

Etsy Fee Calculator

Edit to add new links:

Here is a thread I started in the site help section of the forums titled What Else Don’t I Know About Etsy?

I found much of the information posted above in this thread. Thank you to all the Etsians took the time to share.

Did your parents ever read you the book about Cold Pricklies and Warm Fuzzies? It’s a, ahem, vintage children’s book my parents used to read to my brother and I in an effort to teach us about manners. We are not glowing endorsements but my point is the other sellers on Etsy so far have been total Warm Fuzzies. Very helpful and willing to share their knowledge to help out someone potentially “in competition” with them.

If you have any Etsy seller Tips or Tricks not listed above please feel free to share.

I am still wondering if there is an Etsy Vintage community/group/team that I could join? Anyone know?

Fyi I can’t put up a cute little Etsy button on WP so I have listed my shop on the blogroll for now, until I decide if I am going to jump to another server and photoless posts bother me more than posts with photos that do not really pertain to the text so here are a few shots from the shop:


Have You Heard of This Little Thing Called ETSY? August 2, 2008

Filed under: ***A Link to a LINK for My Etsy Shop - CLICK IT!*** — twlowenstein @ 6:46 pm

I remember thinking, what a weird nameit’ll never catch on, when I first saw Etsy advertised on Get Crafty. So it is with that nose for business that I excitedly present to you:

Click on my banner and you will be whisked away!

Phew. I do not know why I was surprised at the amount of time, effort and work it took to get my shop off the ground. The searching and finding part is a breeze but then there is more! I enjoy the photography and am looking to hone my craft which is a good thing because product shot stuff is knocking me around a bit. I am going to have fun figuring it out. And I an not even going to speak about figuring out the shipping cost.

But enough kvetching from me! I hope you check out my shop. And most importantly a big old THANK YOU for cheering me on as I started this blog and for supporting me in my decision to jump into Etsy. You all ROCK.

Edit to credit: My super talented younger brother designed my banner. He is an amazing artist, darn good with the computer and knows the lyrics to every song ever sung. If you are looking for a cool Etsy banner of your own or just some good old fashioned graphic designing, let me know and I will hook you up with his info!