Paper Dolls for Boys

Raising 2 crafty boys and thrifting every chance I get.

I SWEAR This is the Last You’ll Hear of My Toe September 29, 2008

Filed under: Random Bits — twlowenstein @ 3:43 pm
Tags: , ,

unless I lose it in a logging accident, then I’d have to say something.

Remember I said I had a little doctor crush on my junk collecting podiatrist?  Mostly it was because he’s actually bigger than me, and that is HARD to find in the medical profession.  I’m over him now.  And I think it’ll be fairly obvious why here soon.

On one of my visits he astutely commented, “You’re pretty heavy on your feet.”  Uh, dude – I’m pretty heavy when I’m off my feet.  Strike 1.  And then today, strike 2.  He suggested I continue to bandage my toe for another week because, “Frankly your feet run a little dirty.”  God damn Crocs.  I’m skipping strike 3 and just calling him OUT.

I know I’ve been a Croc defender for a while but I have to say I’ve been talking about retiring them when the toe heals.  I’m going to go ahead and make it official,  I’m looking for my next favorite shoe.  Please help me decide.

These are the ones I really want but they don’t have my size in this color.  I may hold out.

edit:  There has been some interest, I should have said – these are  Josef Seibel Nadine in Bari/Serrano Viola/Natural.

These are the other contenders:

I don’t know about this one.

I think these might be the ones and then get the boots when they become available.

I used to have a serious shoe thing.  In grad school I was all about my Fluevogs.  Here are some shoes I do not think I can currently pull off but I LOVE them anyhow.  edit: I forgot to add that the thing that RUINS the number shoes is that there is a heel on them.  Why?

And just for giggles and shits, I might get these to wear to the podiatrist next time…

I am also open to write-in ballots if you think you have a shoe for me!


Cultural A.D.D. September 28, 2008

Filed under: Random Bits — twlowenstein @ 11:03 pm

I think we all have A.D.D.  It’s cultural at this point.  You can’t go to the furniture store to just buy furniture.  You need an “experience”. This is what I had to walk past (IN THE STORE) to get to my sofa, a movie theater, a water fireworks show, trapeze lessons, a burger joint, an ice cream stand, a jelly bean store surrounded by GIGANTIC jelly bean mosaics.  Think jelly bean monsters, construction vehicles, and a Willy Wonky Wonka bridge with jelly bean ducks crossing under it.  Oh and did I mention the sports stations so you can always check in on the Red Sox?!

Here is some random Youtubers documentation:

Here are the water fire works, again not mine:

My youngest and I went with his little buddy and my friend Lauren.  It was both sweet and maybe a signal to chill on the blogging when she turned to me and excitedly asked if I was ready to take some crazy shots for the blog.  I have been known to drop the phrase, “if I didn’t blog about it, then it didn’t happen!”.  But I didn’t bring it, not for any Zen awakening but rather because I was grumpy and didn’t feel like dealing with it.

Grumpy because my last sofa debacle turned into my current sofa debacle. Recap, in an effort to get a “transitional” sofa before we move (HOPEFULLY) and get my dream leathah sectional, I got a sofa off Craigslist.  It turns out that it IS down, not good for the allergies, and the foam from the bottom of the sofa is brittle and we have piles of what can only be toxic dust around the sofa.  And then just for an added slap in the face, it’s the least comfortable sofa I have ever had the displeasure of sitting my ass upon.  So I went to get transitional sofa #2.  Cheap but new this time.

Maybe I am old or maybe I am just oldish & old-fashioned but I just kind of wanted to look at the sofas.  I will admit that I could see how it would be easy to get swept up in the “fun” but my youngest was terrified of the monster, the water show, and the trapeze that he called, “ahhhhhhhhhh – BOOM” with accompanying signs making it clear, to my relief, he has no plans to try it anytime soon.  It was all very loud.  Sensory overload for sure.  Which I kind of get just trying to pick furniture in the first place.

My friend had her eye on the starfish upholstered chair in the country section, just kidding.  But she did have a good idea for a better way to spend your time at Jordan’s – predicting which person would go for which sofa.  People watching at it’s best.  It would be easier to do without the kids though.  A firetruck push cart for two can trick them into forgetting they are in a furniture store for only so long.

So she was right.  I should have brought the camera.  If I think about this too long I will tie this all together and end up with how blogging is the ultimate example of cultural A.D.D.!  We can’t just do one thing, live in the moment and all that.  But instead I’ll end with this story.

My son’s woodshop teacher told me that the kids were each building a model of a room and my son chose to build a yard.  He told her that even though it was an outside room he wanted to make a leather sectional to add because it’s what I really wanted.  I laughed out loud.  Whenever he whines about wanting another of something or things not being fair I always say, “Yeah, well, I want a leather sectional so we’re both out of luck.”


And on a TOTALLY unrelated note, I just wanted to thank you for the hugs.  Virtual and otherwise that you all gave me after my last post.  I really appreciate the supportive comments.  The sofa hunt is a result of my post-appointment freak out.   Anyone really LOVE their vacuum cleaner?  Looking for a tip on what kind to buy!

And just in case anyone is losing sleep over it, I go for what I hope will be my last appointment with the podiatrist tomorrow.  Cross your fingers (and your toes if you are that freakish talented)!


Hug Please September 26, 2008

Filed under: Family & Friends — twlowenstein @ 1:37 pm

This morning was a rough one.  My oldest son has allergies, some more severe than others and the list grew today.  I don’t usually write about his allergies on here because A) I feel like it’s not really my story to tell and B) it just feels a little too personal/scary.  So I might delete this but for now I’m going to process with you as my support.  How’s that for needy blogging?

This is the first allergist appointment my husband has missed in the 5 years since we’ve been going.  He just couldn’t make it.  I packed 3 bags of snacks, books, toys and tricks in preparation for what is always a long appointment.  Both boys did an amazing job of holding it together through all the shuffling from one room to the other and the waiting.  My usually calm and reasonable child was panicky and freaked though when it came time to do the skin test.  I’ve had it done but it was a long time ago and I don’t remember it but judging from his reaction I know that it is painful and scary for him.  4 panels of allergens, covering his whole little back, were pressed into his skin while he sat on my lap pleading for them not to do it.  It was heart breaking.  I am not usually a reward type mom but I was offering up everything but a pony (mostly because I was affraid he’d be allergic to it).  Then we had to wait 15 minutes for the reactions to really kick in.  Not fun.  Thank god for the television in the separate waiting room because it kept my little guy happy (along with the lollipop and stickers) while I fanned my big guy’s back and tried to keep him focused on anything other than  the growing angry welts.

The results were a bummer.  More allergies, both food and enviromental. More daily strategies to combat the asthma that comes as a a result of the allergies.  And mostly, more to worry about.   I always feel compelled to say that I know there are MUCH worse things that could befall my child other than allergies.  I know it.  He’s a healthy child who has asthma and allergies.  I got it.  He’s also my kid and I worry about him.

__________Stepping away from the computer__________________

I actually feel better now.  I just had a total momma bear moment.  I left the computer and got pissy on someone for smoking on the stoop.  Retracting claws.  Our new neighbors below us are very nice etc.  but her brother is visiting, an extended visit.  He’s also very nice etc. but he smokes.  He smokes out front and it bugs me but today he was smoking on the porch.  Makes sense since it’s pouring but it was wafting up into our apartment and it was too much for me at this moment, today.  I just went back down and did a follow up, “Sorry if I snapped at you.” kind of thing.  But I have to say, it felt good to DO SOMETHING.  Even if it was yell at some guy standing on the porch trying to stay dry.

So maybe it wasn’t a hug I needed after all!


The Girl is Crafty Like Ice is Cold September 25, 2008

Filed under: Craft — twlowenstein @ 1:54 pm
Tags: , ,

I am in a craft group.  Sweet words, those.  They way it works is that everyone brings what they are working on and we sit and eat and chat and share and work.  Feel free to use our revolutionary group as a model for your own craft cell.

I had visions of fabulous photos to share with you that would capture the vibe and all around good time that is craft night.  But I realized that it’s not the “stuff” that makes it so enjoyable but the companionship, teasing, laughing (and maybe the wine) that makes it a night I look forward to.

Here is the host of the evening holding the incredible bag she made.  She’s a hooker (craft not profession). She made a rug that looks impossible to make by hand but I believe her when she says she made it!  She also knits and sews and can make just about anything else I’m sure!  Thank you for hosting at your lovely house, for making yummy eats and for putting up with all our (ok, mostly my) stories of what squicks us out.

This crafty lady likes a little peach wine cooler with her crafts!  Yeah, it’s a screw top.  So WHAT?!!  She was working on a pair of pants worthy of her very handsome little guy!  You can’t just buy pants that meet such a criteria in the stores.  My fingers are crossed that she loans them to my little guy when her son out grows them.

And here is the best freezer paper stenciler on the planet.  Which really rankles me since I introduced her to the craft at the last meeting.  Isn’t that against some kind of craft group etiquette?  She showed me up at my own damn craft.  It ain’t right.  She has volunteered to make a Dracula shirt for my Halloween obsessed son so I can’t stay mad at her (Haunted Doll House coming soonish!) .

Here she is doing the robot while making a robot.  Hoot and a half.

And luckily I was able to grab the partial shot of H above before she had to jet off to watch Project Runway.  I’m voting for her to win PR even though she isn’t on yet.  She made a skirt entirely out of “fabric” from Home Depot.  Eat that Heidi Klume!  She is also an accomplished wood worker and a great example for my sons.  The other day my oldest saw a vintage hand saw at the thrift store and asked if we could buy if for H because she would love it!  We passed on it because of a loose handle but it made me happy that he though of her first.

We coaxed M out of her house and were very happy that she showed up.  Not to brag but she is a published children’s book illustrator and her books have a special place on the boys bookshelf!  She brought a project that we all can relate to, the unfinishable.  I believe she has hand sewn the whole thing!  And I won’t tell you when she started it, that’s her story to tell (or not)!

I wanted to make a silhouette of my boys somehow incorporating some of the amazing family ephemera I got this summer but I didn’t have the right tool for the job.  Any suggestions?  The little rotating cutter tool thing or tiny scissors?  So I made a folded book and I’m going to go ahead and call it a sculpture.  It was simple and soothing and provided instant gratification.  I have a hard time ripping or cutting into books but somehow I justified folding as not “ruining” the book.   I understand how the argument could be made to the contrary, and it may have been questioned by the librarian in attendance and I may have reacted defensively but peace prevailed.  Peace prevailed.

Funny but somehow I got the most photos of my project…

The last two shots were taken in my house (FTR).

Next craft night Lauren and I are going to be co-hostesses with the mostesses!  Lookout!


The Macabre Wedding Dolls September 21, 2008

Filed under: Thrift Scores & Pat and Charlie — twlowenstein @ 12:53 pm
Tags: , ,

Perfect for Halloween or just plain scaring your engaged friends!  Just wanted to let you know what I’ve been up to this weekend.  Stocking the shop.  These are my favorite from this weekends postings.  I scored the little Kewpies  at Brimfield and they were so creepy I had to love them.

The listing reads,

‘Til death do us part…

Up for your consideration is this vintage couple ready to tie the knot although I think they are too young to tie one on.

They stand soberly at 4 inches tall and are dressed in the finest and most delicate crepe paper gown and tux. Their bodies are made of plastic but their hearts are made of love.

They are in good vintage condition, especially considering how fragile crepe paper is. Her gown has some spotting on the bottom near the hem. The photos show this accurately.

These two are perfect for use as a cake topper, an assemblage piece on the perils of young marriage or for your freaky baby wedding doll collection!

I won’t make a habit of advertising here but it’s Sunday and this is all I got people.  🙂

You can find them here if you are so moved!


More Quality Me Time or The Story of My Toe, Part 3 September 19, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — twlowenstein @ 12:45 pm

I took my camera hoping to document the wonderful collections of my podiatrist but I got put in the bland room.  This severed foot foot model was the best I could serve up to you.

I have been sparing you the updates on the never ending story of my toe.  But today you will suffer along with me.  I just got a surgical “procedure” done on my toe to remove a huge hunk of the nail that was embedded deep into the flesh of my left big toe.  Palatable, no?  My friend Vonda came to the rescue again and watched Baby Vegas while I went to the doctor’s office.  He would like you to know that he works one day a week at his satellite office which IS handicap accessible.  If you remember I was surprised his home office, literally in his house, didn’t have a ramp.  Link to the fascinating beginning of the story if by some fluke you missed it. I was good and freaked out this morning before the procedure.  First of all, when I went back to see him he made a point of saying I should not bring the kids, however well behaved they may be, to the next appointment because he “didn’t want to traumatize” them.  And then to really set the tone of terror, my 6 year old kept asking during the drive to school, “Are you going back to that man’s basement to fix your toe?”  I kept envisioning him imagining a basement toe torture chamber.  I kept trying to tell him that it was a first floor office, with files and a receptionist and plants that were alive and everything.  I don’t know if he bought it but I do know that it amped up my freak a little.  What was I doing going to someones house to open up my precious, albeit neglected, toe?!!!

He started the procedure with a reminder that today is National Talk Like A Pirate Day.  I tried my best to say, “AAAAAARRRRGGGGGGGHHH” instead of some other choice words when he was sticking the Novocaine in the bones of my feet.  I immediately nixed all plans I had to get a tattoo on my foot the way he was poking that needle around.  I was glad the boys were not there.

He gave me the care instructions and reminded me (although I have no memory of the initial conveying of this KEY piece of information)  that I was not to walk today but to recline and elevate my foot.  That would involve magic or a crime.  Really, just how am I supposed to manage that?  And I am really bummed to miss the Town Day celebrations tonight.  There is going to be a pony ride except the ponies will be dressed as zebras.  Is that a blog post waiting to happen or what?  Okay.  I need to go recline now.


Short Shrift September 18, 2008

Filed under: Family & Friends — twlowenstein @ 11:55 am

Subtitled:  I have a second son!

Sometimes I feel like my little one gets short shrift in terms of blog time. So I present to you, my second (and please please please let him be the last) born child!  Have I told you the story of the cigar?  If anyone has read all my posts (mom) and remembers let me know.  Heck, I’ll just tell you again.  Why should you be any different for those who know me off-line.  This is my go-to story.  I lead with this one.  And I often repeat it.  I have heard many variations on, “Oh Yes, I think I remember you mentioning something about it…”, some kinder and gentler than others.  But this is one of the big family stories about my little one.

I wrote a paper in grad school about how family stories, the stories that parents choose to remember, tell and retell, teach kids what is valued.  Particularly in terms of character traits.  The family story that is most oft told about me is the one about when I was small enough to be able to stand in the middle of the driver and passenger seats in my parents old brown LTD (in those pre-carseat days).  We were headed back to the military base and my dad pulled over to give a GI a ride.  He got in the back seat, said his greeting and thanks and then pulled out a cigarette.  I put my little hand on my hip and told him, “If you light that my daddy is going to pull this car over and tell you to GET OUT!”  He put it away and we’ve been telling it ever since.  So lippy was good (if dosed out to those deserving, excluding my parents).  I’m not sure what this cigar story tells my little guy about what we appreciate about him.  He kind of reminds me of Animal from The Muppets (who was always tied for my favorite along side Miss Piggy).  Here it goes.

My son ate a cigar.  A cigar he found on the ground at the park.  It’s coming back to me, I think I did tell it.  I’ll keep it brief.  He chewed on a cigar that at the time I was sure was packed with something other than tobacco.  We called poison control, monitored him, all’s well.  But I have to stop projecting into the future.  Envisioning him with tattoos (MOM would be nice) and piercings and whatever else is the next wave of shock.  In support of this crystal ball vision is the fact that despite my son having very few spoken words , like single digit, the other day he busted out with Mohawk. It sounded like mo-hah but that’s what he was saying as he showed me the doll with the wonked out hair sticking straight up in a style that was very mohawk.

So here is my little man.  My little man that is the kind of kid that makes grandparents howl because it’s coming back at ya.  My little guy that we call Baby Vegas because he blows on his dice when he rolls for us in Backgammon.  Here he is with one of his buddies, shooting darts and rolling the dice.

Here is the theme song of both my boys:

I love you, you little scamp.


Blowing Up, Like a Puffer Fish September 17, 2008

Filed under: Random Bits — twlowenstein @ 1:18 pm
Tags: ,

Yipppppeeeeeeee.  One of my favorite sites, Apartment Therapy Ohdeedoh, featured my shop today!!!  I am super pumped and super scrambling to try and get more stuff up in the shop!  (not that it’s flying off the shelves, just want to offer up the options!)

This blog continues to be such an adventure for me and I am so pleased you are along for the ride!  I keep thinking of self-aggrandizing things to say in a mocking way of course –  like the title, but I am worried the tone won’t translate.  Think I’ll keep the bulk of them to myself until my family is all together for dinner (I’m pretending to make something healthy and yummy that the kids will love – what are you pretend making for dinner?) and then I will prance like the plus sized peacock that I am!

Screen caps are an advanced move for me, so excuse the blur.  Click on it though and CHECK ME OUT!

P.S. I am cracking up at the Sex in the City ad frozen in my victory moment for all time!


Love the Love! September 16, 2008

Filed under: Family & Friends — twlowenstein @ 9:04 pm

Thank you all for your kind words about my business card.  I kind of giggle internally every time I say, business card.  I really appreciate the positive feedback, I love the love.  I guess I should start handing them out now.  People won’t buy from my shop if they don’t know it’s there, right?  How do you pass your card out?  I’m looking for strategies and tips, the slicker the method the better!

Here are some quick shots from the end of summer of the desk my oldest and I painted.  The boys and I were on a walk around the neighborhood and we came across a great kid-sized wooden desk.  It was obviously used and abused but we had a vision.  We strollered back to the house and drove back before the garbage truck could whisk it away and it sat in our basement for a long time.  It was on our summer to do list and we DID IT!  My son’s intricate vision called for more skilled hands than these so I talked him down from diamonds to stripes.  He picked the colors on a mom and son trip to the hardware store and we painted it together in the garage.

But the point of this post isn’t so much the table.  I wanted to show you brag on my son’s super organizational skills and his eye for collecting.  He’s already got a few things picked out to sell in the shop.  He’s very interested in pricing these days.

He show-cased the ever growing collection of postcards from my parents (great job on that mom)! And below is something he made last year in Pre-K.  I love the design he painted on.  I love it enough to show it to you, knowing full well it means putting in a photo that exposes my wonky lines, that painters tape ain’t a sure thing!

Alright, I’ve got to get back to work.  I have something in the words that I am really excited about.  I hope it actually happens!  If and when it does I will come a braggin’, it’s part of my charm.


Business Cards for ALL My Friends! September 13, 2008

Filed under: Random Bits — twlowenstein @ 1:15 am

These are the first business cards I have ever had.  There is not much demand for them in the education world.  I have never had a kid ask for my card and if s/he did, it would just get all sticky real quick!

I ordered the cards from Etsy seller Fahpopups and am very happy with them.  She did a fabulous job!  If anyone is in the market for cards be sure and check her out.

Consider yourself SERVED.