Paper Dolls for Boys

Raising 2 crafty boys and thrifting every chance I get.

Alphabet Sunday December 28, 2008

Filed under: Project Alphabet Sunday,Uncategorized — twlowenstein @ 12:24 am
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Lauren says, H is for Heart:


Tracey says, H is for Hood:



Road Trip December 25, 2008

Filed under: Family & Friends — twlowenstein @ 3:13 pm

It is almost entirely due to my ridiculously poor memory that we take this trip again and again.  2 full days in the car with the wee ones should burn a warning in my head but…We made it safe and as sound as I was before we left.  Here are a few of shots from the trip (mostly taken TTV – my new obsession).

Rest Stop along the New Jersey Turnpike:

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Road food:

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Interesting sign:


I bet you will not be able to stop calling them, “po-to-toes” today.  I chanted it in the car endlessly, way beyond funny.

And finally, you know those moments when it’s just too quiet in the car?

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Hope those of you who celebrate Christmas are having a great one!

I look forward to being in better touch upon our return.  I may post periodically while down visiting my parents in N.C.



First Night of Chanukah December 21, 2008

Filed under: Chanukah,Uncategorized — twlowenstein @ 5:19 pm
Tags: , ,


Happy Chanukah!

edit:  This shot made it onto Flickr-blog.  What a nice surprise!


Alphabet Sunday(ish) :: G December 20, 2008

Filed under: Project Alphabet Sunday — twlowenstein @ 10:15 pm
Tags: ,

Lauren says, G is for Good Morning:


Tracey says, G is for Globes (shot TTV, Through The Viewfinder):



Snap Shot of My Day December 19, 2008

Filed under: Random Bits — twlowenstein @ 4:10 pm

Subtitled:  Sweet god I made it home.

Let me pre-apologize to any of my blog readers who may be public banana eaters, more on that to come.

There was noon dismissal for my son’s Kindergarten due to the impending storm so I loaded up my tired little guy for what would normally be his nap time and headed to the school.  I dazzled him with a mommy opera in the hopes of keeping him up but he feel asleep moments from the school.  I dragged him out of the car and he sleep walked into the school.  Not too bad at this point, I was still  a smiling functioning human.  I will admit that my story cracks in part, due to my own poor planning.  I figured I better get a couple of errands done before the monster snow storm barreled down on us.  I ran to the frame shop to get their advice and/or help in packaging two vintage prints someone ordered from my shop.  I usually send out orders straight away but I was intimidated by the fragile glass.  I double bubbled it and taped cardboard all around and then at the shop the kindest woman busted out the serious frame box and helped me out in a BIG way.  Ok, that’s the boring part (I’m afraid it all might fall into that category but I will soldier on). I tell you about it only go give you a sense of time passing.  Time passing ever so slowly with two tired and hungry kiddos in tow.  So then we went to the 5&10 to get an ice scrapper and a rubber chicken.  We then walked to the Post Office, guess we weren’t the only ones thinking of mailing out packages before the storm.  Apparently there is some holiday coming up or something.   45 minutes.  45 minutes!  I kept chanting in my head, “Oh my god, I’m the mom with THOSE kids”.  I am the mom who  has 2 boys wrestling and “torturing” a rubber chicken on the floor of the tiny and crowded post office.  The kind of mom I would have so smugly look down upon not too long ago.  The last straw was when my 2 1/2 year old threw the rubber chicken and hit someone in line.  If you know my 2 1/2 year old you’ll know he’s got an arm.  More than one person has gotten a face full of ball after leaning down close to him in anticipation of a baby-sized throw.  Oh, and then to make it all more rich and enjoyable, the woman in front of me (not a believer in personal space), reached over to grab my package from me and tried to untangle my packing tape.  I said,” No thanks, I got it!” but she wouldn’t stop.  I swear to you I said, “Unhand my package woman.” and yet still, she continued.  She went from being a harmless crunchy older woman to deranged at that point.  And then, then – she took out a freaking banana, peeled it and ate it.  Oh so close to me and my nose.  I swear I almost lost what was left of my marbles.  I think if we looked up the social contract for crowded lines at the post office it would say somewhere that eating a banana in that situation is in poor taste, I can not even type about the peel.  Not sure, but it may or may not also mention the etiquette for a rubber chicken beat down.  Anyhoo, by the time we left the snow was falling and my blood pressure was rising.

Here is the chicken my oldest decided should have a tattoo that reads, “Chickens for Obama”.


And now the snow is pouring down and piling up.  Here is view from my front window.


I am about to take a toasty shower, put on my warmest robe, grab a bottle of wine, curl up on the sofa with my videos and CHILL.


Teacher Gifts! December 17, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — twlowenstein @ 3:28 pm

I have been a bad blogger and an even worse blog reader lately.  Forgive me! Or rap me once on the knuckles and then forgive me if you must.

I wanted to share the aprons I made for my son’s teachers.  I am super proud that they came out looking like real aprons!  I don’t usually make things that are meant to fit or have a particular shape.  I usually stick to sewing amorphous creations.  But with the help and support of my lovely craft group (I do not think it’s possible to look forward to craft night any more than I do) I was able to make 2 aprons.

And speaking of craft night, look what I am wearing this very moment:


See me trying to pluck that snowy tree right out of the ground?

Chris, my secret swap partner, knit these beautiful fingerless mitts for me!  Aren’t they gorgeous?  And check out the vintage button embellishment!  Thanks Chris 🙂

As for the aprons, I used the book, A is for Apron by Nathalie Mornu (which I highly recommend) for inspiration and directions.

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I am going to include a vintage Classroom Reader with each apron.  I was super excited to find this one, which was a library book at an elementary school in Woods Hole, since his teacher grew up on Martha’s Vineyard!

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I made this one to be kind of like a waiters’ apron.  It will wrap around her tiny waist and make front and back pockets.  I sewed a channel down each side to make separate pockets.    I like the look a lot and hope it holds up.  My next apron will have a heavier weight for the background fabric.   I bought some Sharpies to clip onto the aprons when I give them to his teachers as well.  I was thinking they would show that they could be used for the classroom to tuck stuff away, if they want to.  No pressure!

Ok.  Must go do a bizillion things.  Will catch up with you soon.


Alphabet Sunday :: F is for… December 14, 2008

Filed under: Project Alphabet Sunday — twlowenstein @ 1:10 pm
Tags: , ,

Lauren says F is for Farm:


Tracey says F is for Family:



Felt Chanukiah December 11, 2008

Filed under: Chanukah — twlowenstein @ 10:50 am
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More Chanukah crafts from the ghost of Chanukah past!  We did actually make something yesterday that I will post about tomorrow but today it’s felt Chanukiah – head spinning like a dreidel?

My oldest and I made this simple Chanukiah “felt board” a couple of years ago.  We hang it on the wall and it’s a nice way for kids who are too young for matches to be involved in the “lighting” of a chanukiah.  Quick lesson from someone who learned this 8 years ago,  menorahs are an important part of Jewish ritual and are usually 7 branched and the special menorah for Chanukah is called a Chanukiah and has 9 branches.  1 for each of the 8 days of Chanukah and 1 for the Shamash or “helper candle” that is used to light all the others. The Shamash is usually elevated or seperated somehow to differentiate it from the candles representing the nights of Chanukah.

Front of Felt Chanukiah:


Back which has a pocket to store the candles & flames:


First night (and I don’t remember if I’m starting it the right direction but you get the idea):


We used stamps, you can embroider or make a freezer paper stencil to decorate yours because you don’t watch television like I do and you seem have boundless amounts of energy like I don’t!

And finally a shot from yesterday.  The drediels (and other various spinning objects) are really starting to whirl around here.



It’s a Pirate’s Life for Me December 10, 2008

Filed under: Chanukah — twlowenstein @ 11:11 am
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We dredged the Chanukah box out of the basement today.


Two years ago we had “Piranukah”.  Piranukah = Pirate Chanukah, of course!

Chanukah is the one Jewish holiday that is not religiously based so we took a little liberty  and came up with Piranukah.  Here is our treasure chest that we used to store our 8 nights of gifts in and to set the tone for general pirate merriment.


Unorthodox, uh-huh.  Fun as all get out, you bet!  We’re undecided if we’re going to go with a theme this year or not.  Egyptonukah perhaps?

I’ve seen a lot of great Christmas crafts in bloggertown but haven’t found any cool Chanukah crafts.  Anyone have any on their blogs or seen some in their travels?

Thanks and have a good one, no matter what you call it!!!!


I Say “Bar”, You Say “Mitzvah”. Bar – Mitzvah! December 9, 2008

Filed under: Family & Friends — twlowenstein @ 1:32 pm

We went to a cousin’s Bar Mitzvah this weekend (the kind of cousin that’s too hard to figure out exactly how you’re related – maybe 3rd cousin? on my husband’s side).  Main point is that he’s a great kid and we were honored to be there.   AND I got to put my little guy in the vintage suit I found a while ago at the thrift store.  It’s pure vintage perfection, if I do say so myself.  My husband and I “debated” whether or not this would be what we’d put him in.  When I told him I had taken it to the dry cleaners he said, “I thought you were JOKING about him wearing that!”.  Nope.  And since if you’re still hanging around here, I’m guessing you too are a fan of vintage and will appreciate one of my favorite thrift scores.  It is more challenging to find thrifted goodness for boys, and I have a broad definition of “boy stuff” as my little guy sitting next to me in his floral MiniBoden attests to.  And yes, the people behind us DO have a pink and blue house.  Jealous?


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The outfit was just as adorable with the jacket off.  I had a hard time figuring out what to put under the suit.  Luckily there is the best second hand kid’s shop fairly close to us.  I hesitate to mention it by name because of my selfish nature.  Oh well, good over evil and all – Aunti Erl’s Exchange in Bedford is a great spot to find funky kids clothes for a better price.  Elizabeth, the owner, is great and I have taken lots of outgrown clothes there for credit.  I always walk out with almost as much as I brought!   I went in a semi-panic and found everything I needed but the socks.  I got the grey little boots there and they were perfect!  The shirt is from IKKS and I spent a little more than I wanted on that one but it was NWTs.  I don’t know if you can see it but it is a white t-shirt with parts of a grey and white knit sewn on chunkily with red thread.   I liked the contrast with the vintage suit plus did I mention it was down to the wire?!  I could not find the right socks anywhere so I bought a pair of women’s socks and then cut and sewed them to size.   I used 2 of the button’s from my Granny’s stash to shorten the suspenders but they still were a little droopy so I every so lightly stitched them to the shirt.  It made the diaper change a challenge but well worth it.

I had already picked out something suitable for my big guy who told me firmly, “Oh no.  I am NOT wearing the lederhosen!”  Have I mentioned the lederhosen before?  They are also thrifted and in perfect condition.  My oldest agreed to try them on for me once but made it clear there would be no repeat performance.  The lederhosen is now a family joke/threat.  Here’s an example of the power of the lederhosen.  Scene:  morning before school or as I like to call it, the dark period.  Let’s say my oldest is dragging his feet or complaining to the (my) breaking point and so I say something like, “Would you rather wear the lederhosen to school today?  It can be arranged…”  Works every time.    While at Aunti Erl’s I found a really cool pants and vest set, just the right size, color and softness to pass the many stringent tests of my big guy.  As incentive to wear the vest I let him pair it with a soft shirt underneath. He has a hatred for button down shirts that has nothing to do with fashion.  It’s a tactile thing, so the soft Italian combo fit the bill.


More importantly than looking damn cute, the boys held it together beautifully for a 6 hour affair.  Yup, 6 hour Bar Mitzvah.  As you know we like a themed birthday party around here so my oldest said afterward, “I think that was a disco & candy party”.  There was a DJ and a Teen Wrangler.  This guy worked hard.   I’m not happy with the photos.  I will be putting “attachment flash” on my Hannukah list.  But here they are so you can hopefully get the feel.

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One of my favorite shots is this one of the big guy’s first time saddling up to a bar.  The bartender’s face expression in this one, coupled with the wine he was flowin’, made me love him momentarily.

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Here’s my niece and nephews:  busting a move, doing to limbo and sitting quietly during the service!

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Here are 2 of my favorite cousins of my husband.  I was thrilled to sit with them at big bad table 13. We had nice chats and my little one got to catch up with a favorite “honorary” aunt.


And lastly.  I don’t know the kid but I’m guess if ever there was a kid who didn’t need a big ass pixie stick it was this guy.  Here he is bowing to the DJ/fun booth and snorting something a lot more potent than pixie dust!