Paper Dolls for Boys

Raising 2 crafty boys and thrifting every chance I get.

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!


Hodge Podge April 22, 2009

Freezer paper stenciled Storm Trooper shirt for my big guy who is COMPLETELY engrossed in all things Star Wars (whole other post about that when I am well).


I do not care what my family says, I LOVE this little baby doll.  I went to an estate sale that was crazy-collector FULL of dolls.  This was the one that “spoke” to me.  I gave her/him a little FPS tattoo to help out with the perpetual silent scream.  I ask you again, please do not analyze me.


This is one of those finds that before I even thought of anything else I said to my husband, “The bloggers are going to be SOOOOO jealous!”.  Can anyone else admit to feeling that way?  I probably would not have know this was so dang cool if I hadn’t developed some sort of bloggy aesthetic.


It was published in 1960 and it’s an origami craft book with the most amazing illustrations and examples.  I plan to frame these for my next craft room, where ever she may be…

Favorite one (because the subculture tells me so, wink wink) :


Sore throat, can’t type anymore.

Like crap feel, to nap need.  Seriously WAY too much Star Wars…


Old Craft April 21, 2009

Filed under: Craft — twlowenstein @ 11:15 am

Is there any other kind these days?  I found this in my craft desk as I was mercilessly weeding.  It should be in the “GO” pile but something about it struck me as Dr. Seuss-like and silly so of course I put it in the “Live to See Another Day” pile.


If I remember correctly, I made it before I even had a cell phone!  Embarrassing tid bit #73 about me is that I just sent my first text message yesterday!  It read something like this, “44howthehelldoesthisthingwork!” except maybe not spelled so well.


There was a time I was addicted to sewing paper and vinyl.  I could easy fall off the wagon with that one.


I have tons of posts on deck.  Just trying to shake this awful sore throat and fever and then I will barrage you with an auction update, Roller Derby photos and more ramblings to be sure.


Altered Thrift March 23, 2009

Filed under: Craft,Thrift Scores & Pat and Charlie — twlowenstein @ 12:03 pm
Tags: , , , ,

My favorite thrift store folks, Charlie and Pat, gave me two ceramic wall hangings when they were closing up their shop for the winter months.  I mostly took them because my granny taught me it was polite to take what is offered to you.  I have since found this to be a cultural/regional thing.  Southerners generally think you rude if you don’t take what is offered and Northerners think you rude if you do.  Just my take on it, feel free to share if you have a different opinion (I’ll let you decide if I mean that in a Southern or Northern way!).



Anyhoo, the hangings were ugly not to my liking so I painted them.  My original plan was to paint them one color but I couldn’t decide between the green or the blue and my craft group said go for it with both colors.  I hope to do one more coat of a high gloss finish but for now I hung them up.  I might have to take them down later as my husband diplomatically said last night, “I like what you have done with those, I’m just not sure if I like them enough to hang them in the living room.”



I think I might need to move my hippo and green man if they stay but more than likely they are headed to the craft room.  No worries.  It really was about the process for me on this one.  It was fun to paint and see them transform from fugly to less fugly (says me).

I had to stop myself from painting more things blue.


Play Dough Goodness February 23, 2009

Filed under: Craft — twlowenstein @ 12:29 pm
Tags: , ,

February is the month I volunteered to make play dough for my son’s classroom. We had great success with the first batch, a pink sparklie blob made tons more fun used in conjunction with a brain jello mold (stolen borrowed from a friend).  No photos of the play dough brain but I snapped plenty of round 2.

Pretty Standard Play dough Recipe (as given to me by my son’s teachers)

4 cups flour

1 cup salt

4 cups water

4 tablespoons oil

1/2 cup cream of tartar  (this stuff is a little pricey but I always do what teachers tell me!)

Mix in saucepan and stir until dough is formed and not sticky.

glitter,kool aide, food coloring, curry (will get to this soon) optional

*I believe this is my first recipe I’m sharing on my blog. Dinner at my house for all my friends!


I won’t admit what time it was last night/this morning when I found myself at the stove mixing up this batch like a mad scientist.  Let me recommend that you not double the recipe.  I decided to so I could make an extra big batch for school and have some left over for my youngest to enjoy.  Man, “stirring” the globby mess for about 30 minutes or so was not enjoyable.  Next time I will mix up the dry ingredients and cook it in 2 separate batches.  Something else I will do differently is leave out the curry powder.   I have used curry and coffee to dye playsilks before with really cool results.  Not so with play dough.  First off, I dumped all my sweet curry from Penzey’s into the play dough, never to be seen but sweet goodness are we SMELLING it!  I’m guessing the teachers are going to politely ask me to make another round tonight.  I ended up using food coloring and made an orange and a yellow.  I rolled them into balls with the yellow on the outside and the red “hidden”inside.  Hope they are enjoyed.  We have had a blast smelling playing with our lot this morning.

I’m typing a plug for the play dough accoutrements to be found in your house (or in thrift stores).  We go on a hunt as part of our playdough prep and this time we came up with an egg slicer, tea bag press, magnifying glass, pencil, straws, tooth picks, sandwich shaping thingie, measuring cups, bottle caps and a building block to use as a roller.

Feel free to share any of your play dough tips and tricks!  Always looking to mix it up. or like they sing on Yo Gabba Gabba, “Go crazy, go crazy!”.  That show is a larger part of my life than a) I would like and b) would like to admit.


We Interrupt the Regularly Scheduled Program… February 17, 2009

Filed under: Craft — twlowenstein @ 8:25 pm
Tags: ,

Sorry to bust in on “Yellow Week”  but I wanted to share (share, brag, whatever) about a fun meet up I had today with Mimi and Melissa.  Mimi and I met up once before (twice if you count her being kind enough to give me some boxes, which I will put to good use if sales ever pick up again in my shop.) but this was the first time meeting with Melissa.  It wasn’t the first time we planned to meet up but the first time it actually happened!

It was lovely.  Lovely and surreal.  It is strange to meet up with people who you a) already know bits about, some really deep and personal, from reading their blog and b) have so much in common with from the word jump.  As we climbed to the top of the stairs in Mimi’s amazing house on the way to her studio, Melissa squealed, “Just look at this linoleum!”.  I’m used to being the only friend who thinks the vintage wallpaper in the house my friend is planning to knock down and build up something else in it’s place is amazing.  It was easy conversation because we were speaking the same language without any of the awkward getting to know you chit chat, “What’s your favorite color?”.  At times I felt like they were speaking an advanced version of the language as they are both talented working artists but I enjoyed hanging in there and drinking it all in.

It is inspiring to be around people who combine dreaming with doing.

After lunch we took a walk to see an old rusted iron fence Mimi wanted Melissa to see and on the way we popped in to our local fabric store.  It was fun to watch Melissa get some recognition for being one of the Free Spirit (not Fresh Spirit as some may call it) designers and to see her do her thing.  I had to stop myself from yelling, “I’m with her!”  And her!” Next time I go in I will ask if they are carrying Melissa’s line yet.  I will NOT be buying the salmon fabric they are currently pushing.

We continued on our walk to the fence and once there we all three whipped out our cameras and began to DOCUMENT.  Each of us will post our photos and it will be interesting to see our different takes on the same subject.  Here are my non-yellow shots of the aforementioned rusty fence.





I really like this one Mimi took of Melissa and I doing our thing.

So thanks for an enjoyable afternoon.  Being with you both has expanded my dreams and for that I am grateful.  That sounds a little dork-ass-punk (or DAP as my husband says) but it’s a true story.


Quick Valentine Idea February 14, 2009

Filed under: Craft — twlowenstein @ 2:34 am
Tags: , , ,

I am coming late with the Valentine ideas but here is a fun card to make.

I made these a few years back, in my Get Crafty days, and just found the photo in the depths of my Flickr sets.


I printed vintage Bollywood posters then use repurposed cardboard and I sewed them sandwiched with vinyl. Finally, I punched some grommets in the corners to hang the cute little cheap Valentines.

And here are the presents we gave to my son’s teachers today.  He glittered up some wooden IKEA frames and picked out a vintage Valentine for each teacher from the shop.  I forgot to take a photo of them before I wrapped them.


I was laughing at how many non-laundry uses I seem to find lately for clothespins.  I love these little mini ones that I used to fasten the photo card to the package.

I am trying my hand at making some Valentine chocolates tomorrow.  Will report back.

I am a posting MACHINE this week.