Paper Dolls for Boys

Raising 2 crafty boys and thrifting every chance I get.

Thrifted May 31, 2009

I have not been in a blogging state of mind lately.  I have not been writing much about us being in the process of buying a new house because a) it’s not that exciting b) there are many hurdles to jump before it really happens and c) I am saving up all my house themed posts for AFTER we move in.  You have been forewarned, I plan to bore you silly with the decorating details!

I have put my Etsy shop on hold, it will return specializing in funky ephemera (someday), but I haven’t stopped thrifting.  I wanted to share with you some great scores I got while in NC visiting my parents.  My father is a super collector of tins and this is one trait that hasn’t skipped a generation (unlike good looks and modesty that Daniel and I inherited from Granny and Granddaddy!).

Thrifted Tin

I am scaring myself in my advancing age.  I am turning into a crazy cat lady but without all the cats.  Turns out I collect vintage children’s toys and vintage products aimed at children.  I will admit to being slightly embarrassed by this fact but unable to curb the impulse.  Does this make me kooky or pitiful?

thrifted Tin Side

I mean could you resist these frolicking baby elephants?

YumInside of this beauty was a bunch of lovely vintage buttons.  I picked a few out to share.  I made button rings before and that was fun and easy.  Do you have any other ideas of fun projects to do with vintage buttons?

thrifted Buttons

And here is a peony in our yard after a big storm today.  I am going to miss that plant.



Vintage Photo Friday May 29, 2009

I had a lovely surprise sitting on my doorstep yesterday.  I big ole box from my Aunt Donna, aka Kindred Spirit!  She had made 2 adorable little bags for my sons filled with just the right things.  My youngest has carried his duckie bag around yesterday and today with the cutest green duck in it.  It’s hard to find one he doesn’t have these days but she did it!   But better yet, there was also stuff for ME!  Sorry, it’s all about the kids usually, but everyone for themselves when it comes to packages!

Inside the box was a wonderful old black purse filled with vintage photographs.  Aunt Donna wrote, I am entrusting the family ‘Black bag’ to you!  It has held family photos for as long as I can remember.  Whenever we wanted to look at pictures, we would pull down the old pocketbook…It was a fun thing that we would do when we would all get together. How cool is that???!!!!


She also included:

•  a vintage vegetable basket

•  a cake decorating set that was my grandmother’s – still in the box!


•  a folding ruler that was my pop’s (grandfather) that has his name written on it – did I mention my LOVE of vintage rulers on here?


•  a strap that was my great-great grandfather Hersey Britt’s.  Aunt Donna said it was used to sharpen razors and also used as a paddle when someone got a whuppin’.  We will use it purely for display purposes!


•  Some sewing notions from my grandmother’s stash.  My grandmother Britt was an amazing seamstress and a very creative sort.  I remember her making the best doll cakes!
•  Some super cool Halloween decorations that will look perfect at the new place (chugging along, still moving forward)
•  and not of vintage interest but extremely thoughtful, she also included some coffee for my husband who does enjoy a good cup of coffee.  He was surprised and touched to be included in the box of fun!
So thank you Aunt Donna for all your thoughtful goodies!
Here are some photographs that I excitedly pulled out of the black bag.  My pop was in the navy and a bunch of the photographs were of his navy days:
pop navy
pop navy_0001
I think there is a target audience just waiting for these photos on ebay. Don’t worry Aunt D, I’m holding on to them.  Just sayin’ is all!

Hoop Dreams May 27, 2009

Filed under: Craft — twlowenstein @ 9:35 am
Tags: , , , ,

Craft room snippet taken through the viewfinder of my vintage camera.

Tiny bit of the craft room taken this morning.

I have big plans for those antler in the little bathroom under the stairs in the new house!


Vintage Photo Friday May 22, 2009

Filed under: Vintage Photo Friday — twlowenstein @ 7:34 am
Tags: , ,

I picked up a few new vintage photos while at Brimfield last weekend.  I am trying to limit my photos to 4 collections:  people at the beach, parade photos, people with eye glasses, and interesting mustachioed men (but would surely buy a woman who met the same criteria).  But the truth is, I mostly buy the photos that “speak” to me.  And so I came home with these 3 little ones.  At 50 cents a photo I kind of felt like it was a rescue mission.

brimfield photos_0003

This guy fits my eye glasses rule but he was coming home with me glasses or not.  Just look at his outfit, that hair, his smile and oh that glorious chair with it’s contrasting floral cushion.  It’s hard to look at these and not think about what his future held for him.

brimfield photosThis little girl’s expression is wonderful but it was the hair that first grabbed me.  If I had given birth to a girl, this is what her hair would look like while I still had a say in it (minus the big a$$ bow).

brimfield photos_0001

And my favorite that I am leaving huge because just LOOK at him (I think).  That belly, that gloriously pudgy baby belly!!!!  As I see it so large I am seeing details I did not see before, who is that on the wall?  What is he standing on?

brimfield photos_0002

This is the back of that adorable baby photo.  What do you think it says?  S. Irvin H. Fort the Third?  Sedwin?  I think he looks like a Sedwin.


I was wondering if you had any creative way to display your old photos.  I was thinking on a “clothes line” but am curious what you do with you old photos?  Maybe I’ll put a stack in an old hat and leave it out for folks to riffle through.  hmmm

& &

Here are the folks who are playing along with Vintage Photo Friday.  Please let me know if you would like to add you to the list.  Come on and play, it’s FUN.

Be sure to check out all the vintage photo goodness below:

Green Jello

Knot Sew Crafty

Sheep on a Spring

Pineapples & Artichokes


Through the Looking Glass

Handy Crafts

My Own Crafty Wonderland


Los Angeles is My Beat

The Bee Bonnet Report

Living, Laughing and Loving in Austin

A Jen Too Many


Duckie Birthday Party May 19, 2009

Filed under: Birthday Parties,Uncategorized — twlowenstein @ 8:44 pm
Tags: , ,

My youngest is a boy obsessed with rubber duckies.  Really really loves his duckies.  So we had a Duckie party to celebrate his 3rd birthday last weekend.

Invitation blog

I sent out this invitation using a photo I took of his “Duckie Shop” that he sets up thrice weekly.  Do not get your hopes up, each time you ask, “Can I buy a blue duckie?” He takes the blue duckie and puts it in a pile and says, “Not fer sale!”  No matter what, none of the duckies in the Duckie Shop are ever actually for sale.  Fun game.

Birthday Banner

I hung this banner at the park.  My sewing machine bit it so I glued this baby together.  Actually a little harder to manage than if I could have just pinned and sewn.  I freezer paper stenciled a birthday message.  I like the way it turned out and plan to hang it in his room when we move.

Cake and Goody bags

Cake and goody boxes. I bought fabric to sew goody bags but a) my machine wonked out and b) I had already bought these Chinese take out containers as part of my ‘be nicer to yourself’ project. I had these little photos printed up at Snapfish (highly recommend them, much better job than my beloved Flickr) and used them for the labels.

Duckie Cake Pops

Here’s a ttv shot of the cake and the duckie cake pops I made.  I saw them here and here.  They were harder to make than I anticipated, why do I never learn?  At first I made them fist sized and not surprisingly found them to be unwieldy as I dipped them in the yellow candy melt mixture.  But then I smartened up, reread the directions and went with something closer to the quarter size they were suggesting.  Next time I would add less frosting, maybe no frosting and just cream cheese as a binder b/c these things had to have been sickeningly sweet.  I had no desire to try one.  It was all about the joy on my little one’s face (oh, and the PHOTO opportunity).  The cake below I was quite proud off.  To bake without eggs is not so easy.  I layered 4 cakes and slathered a blue dyed coconut/frosting/cream cheese mixture between and all around.  Layering was key because egg-free cakes tend to have very little rise to them so this cake felt substantial, like a “real” cake.


Waiting for guests to arrive.  Wearing a vest he picked out of the dress up drawer just for his party.  Dapper little dude.  See those balloons?  They were supposed to launch the ceremonial pacifier off into the sky (and out of his mouth) to mark turning 3.


Half way through the party a great wind (or my husband’s loose knot tying driven by fear of LWP – life without the pacifier) whisked the balloons away.  Plan B – sew those suckers into a stuffed duck.  We’ll see…


The most fun the kids had was making “duckie popcorn” with the parachute.  It was perfect because they could all do it at once and there was minimal parent direction.  They just popped those ducks all over the park!


In this lovely hand made bag was a lovely box with a rubber duckie “handle” on the lid.  My son immediately ripped it off.  He treasures the box but insists that the duck goes INSIDE the box, not on top.  Sorry L about his critique of this particular craft.


There were no complaints however on this next craft.


Do you see the greatness that is this shirt?  Duck, duck, GOOSE!  Lauren freezerpaper stenciled it, she is the MASTER.  He got many more lovely duckie themed presents, including a duck umbrella that is as cute as all get out but I don’t think my husband wants me posting the photo of him under it.  Will check and get back to you. Update:  He acquiesced.


Love that man.


Thank you to my lovely contact on Flickr, PaperNest who suggested feathers in playdough as an activity.  The kids loved it and a couple of the adults got in on it.  My father in law declared my friend Vonda the duck modeling genius of the party!  Disclaimer:  this is not a shot of Vonda’s work.


Here one of my best friend’s daughters taking a good whack at the pinata.  Isn’t she adorable?   This was my last party pinata.  We made one before that didn’t break so we went with store bought and it also didn’t break without serious adult intervention.  I did kick it old school and let the children fend for themselves.  There was not one shove or tear involved and it was a lesson learned for me.  For my oldest son’s 3rd I had individually wrapped bags for each child inside the pinata so it would be “fair”.  Blah blah blah, no FUN!

pinata spoils

Thank you to all our friends who came and helped to make this such a joyous celebration.

We love you all and look forward to hosting you in what we damn sure hope will be our new house!

Birthday Collage

My little guy in the cool duck costume sent to him by my doting parents, A-One grandparents!  My big guy wore this to welcome the kids to the party.  They worked it out that he was the “number one helper” of the party.  Very sweet.

I wonder what next year’s theme will be?  I am challenging myself not to start thinking about it until the party is 3 months away, instead of my usual 6 month mark!


Vintage-ish Photo Friday May 15, 2009

Filed under: Vintage Photo Friday — twlowenstein @ 12:00 am

Today I am sharing one of my favorite childhood photos of my brother and me.  I think we’re at the Grand Ole Opry in Tennesse in one of those dress up photo places. I look forward to being at some equally cheesy establishment and taking such a photo of my boys one day!

Me and Dan old west

My brother was a hard core dress up kid and I love how in character he is in this photo.  Love you, D!

Vintage Photo Friends:

Green Jello

Knot Sew Crafty

Sheep on a Spring

Pineapples & Artichokes


Through the Looking Glass

Handy Crafts

My Own Crafty Wonderland


Los Angeles is My Beat

The Bee Bonnet Report

Living, Laughing and Loving in Austin


Feeling Right Proud of the Kid… May 12, 2009

Filed under: Family & Friends — twlowenstein @ 7:33 am

Dressed himself for school this morning.

dressed himself and everything!


Alphabet Sunday-ish May 11, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — twlowenstein @ 8:50 pm

Lauren says, Z is for Zapatos:


It’s hard to remember them all but I think this is my favorite of yours Lauren.  What a wonderful shot!

Maybe because it’s the last letter of our Alphabet Sunday project or maybe because it’s the dang letter z but I have had a hard time coming up with both a word and an image to represent Z.  I was thinking Zenith for a long time but was flummoxed by the prospect of representing it pictorially.  Then I thought Zone but ???.  So today I was determined to get a Z shot so I carried my camera with me all day, no inspiration.  Finally a friend stepped in!

Tracey says, Z is for Zipper:

z is for zipper

So thanks M for the idea.  “Zipper!” she said immediately as if it were she who had been pondering for two weeks, not me!  So obvious. And thanks also for being one of the hand models!

Big thanks to Lauren for doing the project together.

I look forward to our next!  Any ideas?


Vintage Photo Friday May 8, 2009

Filed under: Vintage Photo Friday — twlowenstein @ 11:37 am
Tags: , ,

As I get ready to go to Brimfield with my buddies I thought I would share this photo of my Dad and Granddaddy together at Brimfield sometime in the 60s I believe.  My Granddaddy was, among other things, an antiques dealer.  I am sorry we never got to share that passion but am happy that the gene has been passed down and furthermore, that it seems to have taken hold in both my boys as well.

New Scans_0006

It not necessarily the best photo, photographically speaking, but it holds great sentimental value for me and I am glad I have it.

And I’m putting my Brimfield wish list out there just for good mojo:

Old metal mail box

Tall medical cabinet (hopefully a crazy industrial teal color)

Leather Settee

Metal lawn furniture (hopefully the old shell kind)

Plus any other super cool deals that catch my eye!


Anyone else going?  What’s on your list?


Vintage Photo Friends:

Green Jello

Knot Sew Crafty

Sheep on a Spring

Pineapples & Artichokes


Through the Looking Glass

Handy Crafts

My Own Crafty Wonderland


Los Angeles is My Beat

The Bee Bonnet Report

Living, Laughing and Loving in Austin


Sit Down and Let’s Catch Up… May 6, 2009

Filed under: Craft — twlowenstein @ 1:52 pm
Tags: ,

I needed help with a craft project so I asked the craftiest folks I know, that’s you bbs!

Each class at my son’s school decorates a chair and then the chairs are sold at the school’s fund-raising auction.  I was asked to make the Kindergarten chair.

Here is the post with the before shots of the chair and table.

The auction was last weekend and it was really so much fun.  We bought 2 pieces of art from 2 very talented artists in the school community and I look forward to hanging them in OUR NEW HOUSE!  I have not been very active on my blog/twitter/etsy because in addition to getting a teaching job for next year, after being home for 7 years, we are in the process of buying a house.  It’s all very exciting, good change!  But my head is spinning a bit with all the details and work to be done!!!  More details to follow as things settle.

But back to the auction.  Here is the finished chair (plus desk) that I decoupaged with the K kids’ amazing drawings of a farm field trip earlier in the year.dsc_0007




Sorry the last one is so blurry!

I like how they came out (5 coats later on the desk legs, ugh) and they raised more money than I thought they would for the school.  Let me just say it’s a 3 digit number that if I were to round (a smidgen) , it would be closer to a 4 digit number!  If I thought for a moment it was my craftiness and not the hard work the of the teachers, the artwork of the kiddos, and the worthy cause that sold the chair, I would be decoupaging instead of typing at this very moment.  🙂

I know you are not supposed to compare yourself or your work with others but who in the hell doesn’t?  When I dropped off the set I felt a little like a kid holding a crayon in the lobby of the Museum of Fine Arts!  The other chairs were very creative and arty, cool conceptual pieces.  But in the end the chair and table went to the family of a little girl who is quite the author at such a tender age so I like to think she will use this desk to write many masterpieces!

Here are some of the other funky chairs people made:


I really wanted this chair.  What you can not see from my photo is that the poetry of the children from this class is swirled in there. Love it and would copy it if I could.


Keys were a big theme of the auction and there was a bidding war for this one!


I know the Pre-K chair must have taken so long to do!  I love hos it is true to the developmental stage of the kids.  Boom DIDDY, A Goodbye!


How fun is this chair?  You know the kids had a BLAST helping make this.


Yeah. I was going to cut out the bottom of my chair and make a beautiful scene with birds and twigs and glue feathers all over the chair but then I just went with paper and glue!  Oi vey, it’s a pretty cool chair!

Now I am off to pack the car with 6 boxes of my destashing for the thrift store!