Paper Dolls for Boys

Raising 2 crafty boys and thrifting every chance I get.

I Am Not Joking January 31, 2009

Filed under: Random Bits — twlowenstein @ 10:35 am
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Economy in the crapper?  Buy random products off the internet!


This showed up on our doorstep and my husband was sure it was a joke or a cover for more etsy purchases.




They are freezing as I type.  I will let you know.

And since you, like my husband, may be curious – they come in packs of 20!

Edit to add, my husband says the bidding starts at $100

Edit Again:  And I quote my FaceBook (tacky but not as bad as a freakin’ Pickle Pop!), “I am surprisingly surprised to report that Pickle Sickles are indeed as disgusting as they sound. Like eating a scratch and sniff pickle sticker.”  It was bad.  Really bad. I touched my tongue to the frozen greenness and immediately knew I would never do it again.  The good news is that I have my Yankee Swap all set for next year!  You have to look on the positive side people!

Someone turned pickle juice into money.  Respect (and puke).


Sick of Sick… January 29, 2009

Filed under: Craft,Family & Friends,Uncategorized — twlowenstein @ 2:09 pm
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and Tired of Tired!

Both boys sick again, damn winter.


Before I had my own blog and realized how easy it is to manipulate “reality” through photography, I used to visit sites and feel inferior about how cool and clean everyone’s house was.  So in the interest of keeping it real, here is a shot taken the same day and in the same room I did my tutorial.   It was a glorious day spent making and creating crafts (and a mess) instead of picking crap up, which I find is NO FUN whatsoever.


See the fun shirt special ordered by my 2 (kinda soon to be 3) year old?  Now see that pile located just under our hands?  Big dog food storage bag bought at IKEA full of clean clothes waiting to be folded and then never put away, which accounts for the mess just above the bag.  Hard to tell because it all looks like one pile but it’s all about 3 piles deep.   The furthest pile, living safely at the top of the stairs,  is a box of our Chanukah stuff with bags from our trip to NC in DECEMBER on top of them.  The remaining colorful bits are the kids’ winter jackets and snow pants. This place does not have a hall closet and the over flow from the “gear” basket is maddening.

But it is a cute little shirt!  From the depths of mess much creativity can emerge.  Right?  Now I am going to try and at least put the Chanukah stuff away.  I HATE cleaning so much.  I wish it was different but it has always been this way.  I LOVE rearranging and reorganizing but it’s the monotonous upkeep that blows.  Surely I am not alone in this.  Does everyone just suck it up and deal?

And here is a link to a wonderful photo on Flickr by CowboyMontgomery, whose photography I deeply admire.  I am going to order a print of this for my 40th birthday.  I will not, however, be making a cupcake shirt with 40 candles for the occasion.


Tutorial For Craft You Already Know How To Do! January 27, 2009

Filed under: Craft — twlowenstein @ 11:30 am
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This was one of the easiest Freezer Paper Stencils I’ve ever done.  My oldest thought the photo of my youngest sticking out his tongue was “cute” and wanted me to print it out.  Broken printer so I FPS’ed it on a shirt instead.  I scored a cute Garnet Hill shirt from the thrift store yesterday that I spied with FPS’ing in mind.  I  then used the tracing trick to get the image for the shirt, cut it out, ironed it and slapped some fabric paint on it.

I just stepped away from the computer to try and make my first TUTORIAL!  Of course I did not think to document as I went last night so I just recreated the steps to make this easy and fun fps silhouette shirt.

Step 1 :: Pick image you want to make and gather your materials:  freezer paper (different from wax paper in that it is waxy only on one side), pencil, sharp little scissors, paint, shirt.  You can get freezer paper at some grocery stores and at most craft stores.  Giant hiney shaped gourd basket, optional.


Step 2 ::  Trace image using freezer paper (remember to use painters tape so it doesn’t gunk up the screen).


Step 3 :: Cut out the image.  You can either make a clean cut in from the corner or fold and cut.  You need to do this step cleanly because it’s going to form the outline for your stencil, you paint the negative space.


Step 4 :: Iron your stencil wax side down onto your shirt (underwear, pants, whatever!).  Be sure of placement because these stencils are 1 shot only.


Step 5 ::   Paint the inside of your stencil.  I usually paint starting from the paper going towards the middle to decrease chance of the paint bleeding.  Any fabric paint works but word in my craft group is that these potted paints are the best:


Step 6 ::  I am an impatient person so I usually peel my stencil off straight away.  I’ve never had a problem, just make sure to be careful not to let the wet paint on the paper rub against either the clothes you are actually wearing or the project you’ve just put a lot of time and effort into!  Not that I have done either mind you, just a word to the wise.

Step 7 ::  Let it dry.  The directions say 24 hours but re-read step 6.  Last night I waited exactly an hour, then ironed it and let it sit over night.  I’m throwing it in the wash today (inside out) and I’ll let you know if the silhouette slides off!


Here is the book I bought but haven’t exactly read (this post on Whatknot really rang true for me).


But as I flipped through I was particularly taken by this looker:


And intimidated by the advanced nature of these ‘uns:


And that, my friends, is my first tutorial.

Today I do not feel like a craft blog imposter!


Braggy McBragstein January 26, 2009

Filed under: Family & Friends,Uncategorized — twlowenstein @ 1:33 pm

I am blessed with really amazing friends.  They are all thoughtful, smart and funny.  I mean, HELLO!   (Wait, is it likes that attract or…)

I love my friends, and not just when they give me stuff.  It’s just more bloggable when they do.  Hear that my dears?  Want to make the blog?  Hit the thrift store and think of ME!

Here are the spoils from a late Christmas/Chanukah exchange with a couple of girlfriends this weekend:

Kate got me a collection of vintage bottle stoppers.  This red guy with a bushy moustache is my absolute favorite.  I think I squealed when I saw him.  She didn’t even remember that I collected little moustachioed men.  How perfect is he?  He’s just the right combination of charming and terrifying.


She also gave me this really cool vintage circus toy.  It has these amazing little caster wheels that I find thrilling.  I am like a child with tin toys.  Love them!


And Lauren made my youngest this pillow that has the letters of his name that button on and off for cozy sleeping and fun learnin’! Always the teacher. 🙂 I did not get a close up of the buttons but I think they are from her vintage stash.


As I have grumbled about before, Lauren is the MASTER of all freezer paper stencils.  She made this for my oldest, a pogo enthusiast.  She asked, “Do you think he’ll be a little embarrassed by it?”  Then we both cracked up.  His exact words upon seeing it were, “Well, I am the Pogo Master!”  Something else I’m chalking up to being 6, braggart supreme.  I’m clinging to the believe/hope it’s developmental, not character driven!  Of course now that I think about it, my Face Book blurb last night was, “Just got back from the arcade and am happy to announce my total domination at the air hockey table!”.  And isn’t this whole post a brag about my new stuff?!!!


Hmmm, so maybe he gets it from his dad.


Alphabet Sunday :: L January 25, 2009

Filed under: Project Alphabet Sunday,Uncategorized — twlowenstein @ 8:43 am
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Lauren says L is for Latkes:


Tracey says L is for Lollipop:



Silhouette Quick & Easy January 24, 2009

Filed under: Craft,Uncategorized — twlowenstein @ 7:34 pm
Tags: , ,

I love silhouettes and am practicing to become a master.  I bought a how-to book & tiny scissors but am still waiting to excel!  I have a problem with this sort of thing.  I took a couple of banjo lessons years ago and I am embarrassed to admit that I was a little (ok, a lot) shocked that I was not a virtuoso straight away.  I would hate to think that was the reason I didn’t stick with it but…  And while I have not yet mastered the art of cutting I am having fun bumbling along.  Progress?

Here is a quick trick that my friend Lauren uses for freezer paper stenciling that I applied to silhouette making today. I pulled up the image I wanted to use of the boys and traced it directly off the computer screen.  Maybe you all already do this but I thought it was a darn good idea.  I used painters tape and that worked well, no gummy crap on the screen.  I first used regular printer paper but it was hard to get the finer details, optimally I would have tracing paper in the craft room but since I don’t, I cut up the wax envelop that stamp sheets come in.  I heart wax paper.  After cutting out the image I used the wax silhouette as a template for tracing onto the black paper.  I couldn’t find the special silhouette paper at the craft store but I didn’t try that hard since I was thinking they were planning on charging me big $$$ for it.  I bought some black origami sheets and they are working well.  Any expert scherenschnitters out there want to enlighten me why I need the special paper?


You might see a little blue peeking out because I backed it with painters tape to give it some stability. I tucked this into the corner of my framed Shepard Fairey print of Andre the Giant that hangs right next to the computer (so I look at it A LOT).  I am going to give it another shot with their full heads so they look a little less like kissing robots!

The boys wanted in on it so they illustrate the plain paper cut outs from my first tries tracing.


These are now hanging in the “gallery” located in our front stairway.  My oldest  commented, “I don’t know why we didn’t use black paper.”  Anyone else have a 6 year old?  In addition to being able to do NO WRONG, in their own eyes, it seems they also specialize in the free and frequent critiquing of their mothers.

And on an unrelated note, Be My Vintage Valentine was featured on The Storque today over at Etsy!  Thanks to Eartha Kitsch for giving me the heads up!

Edit to add:  Please notice the lovely candlestick that I bought at Charlie and Pats (come back to me C&P!).  I guess I desperately wanted you to notice it as I moved it to be in both shots.  Nope, no shot setting up here.  I just shoot it as it falls.  Really.  Mostly.  Hardly!  BUSTED.


How Many GBs in a Stereoscope? January 22, 2009

Filed under: Family & Friends — twlowenstein @ 3:34 pm
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Last summer I bought a whole box of stereographic cards along with an old book of maps & charts of Ancient Egypt for my oldest son.  He is very into the HGTV show, If Walls Could Talk and I had planned to place these in a trunk to “find” but I couldn’t go through with it as he appreciates the exact and I couldn’t flat out lie, even to make a little magic.  But I gave him the slides and we got very excited to learn more about stereoscopy and how we could view these old and wonderful slides as they were meant to be seen.  Enter Ebay!

Today was a glorious mail day, three bundles waiting for my outstretched arms right outside my door!  One of the packages contained a stereoscope I won off Ebay (I love how we “win” things at auction.  I “won” the privilege to buy.)  Happy nevertheless!

stereo-3 stereo-close stereo-2


stero-pics pyramid stereograph

I hope I am instilling in him an appreciation of things created before his time.  My hope is especially strong as we enter this new stage in his life.  He is now part of the ipod nation.  His uncle sent him an ipod nano (which came in the mail yesterday, it’s a good mail week around here) and my morning has been full of, “Is gigabyte only a word used to measure on ipods or in the whole world?”  and “So now I have my own transportable computer?!”


Let the record show I do not have an ipod yet. After hearing me bemoan the inequity, my son suggested I open a “vintage ipod” shop so I could finally have one.  With a sly smile he described “wooden ipods” that would be more my style.

It’s a new day alright.


GOBAMA! January 20, 2009

Filed under: Random Bits — twlowenstein @ 1:30 am
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Maybe I’ll be better able to reflect on this magnificent day later.  So for now I offer you silliness and celebration.


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Have you tried your hand at making an Obamicon over at Paste Magazine yet?  Bet you can’t make just one!


Go Away for a Give Away! January 19, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — twlowenstein @ 8:59 am
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Check out The Crafty Crow today for a giveaway from my Vintage Valentine shop!   Head on over and see if you can grab a steal!  Also feel free to actually BUY one!


Alphabet Sunday :: K January 18, 2009

Filed under: Project Alphabet Sunday,Uncategorized — twlowenstein @ 7:53 pm

Lauren & Tracey say K is for Kate and Kate is for SURVIVOR: