Paper Dolls for Boys

Raising 2 crafty boys and thrifting every chance I get.

Summer Quiz September 3, 2011

A)  We spent much time in the great outdoors.  Just soaking up the sun & being at one with the world.  Or B)  We went to the science museum every chance we could and took funny photos to amuse ourselves.

Answer is probably more like C)  We did a little of both with a healthy dose of tv & wii thrown in.

Are you getting the hang of the quiz?  Here’s another for you:

A)  We created a backyard garden and harvested our own vegetables.  The remainder of which I have pickled and stored in our expertly vintage decorated canning closet in the basement.  Or B)  We went to my parents’ farm in NC and the kids rode the zip line my dad set up and we posed for funny photos on the tractor.

And C) We did hit the local farmers market with regularity.  This is the summer I could not get enough zucchini.   I did pickle a batch via this recipe, but we ate them all up during our annual end of summer cookout.  We actually do have a canning closet in the basement but it is kind of scary and full of our Halloween stuff.

A) We wrestled a shark off the coast of NC to tag it for some altruistic science purpose!  Or  B) We dug around in a huge mound for shark’s teeth to add to our collection (a summer pilgrimage).

And C) We posed for goofy photos in the Fossil Museum.

A) We summered in the Hamptons.  Or B) We took an amazing day trip out to the Boston Harbor islands!  If you haven’t done it, you should.

We explored the the Fort on George’s Island.

And collected sea glass and pottery shards on Spectacle Island.

Last quiz question, I know you want a gold star:

We A) Left all collected glass on the beach as directed by the many signs saying to do so or B) stuffed as much as we could into our pockets like the treasure hunters we are.

C) I am not answering that for fear of incriminating myself.


NYC Vintage Photographs February 26, 2011

I never know what to call her.  Well, I always called her Aunt Nancy but she wasn’t my aunt.  Maybe 3rd cousin or something, not sure.  But in the Southern tradition as she was my elder, I respectfully called her Aunt Nancy.  So in that round a bout & rambling way I introduce you to my Aunt Nancy and her wonderful collection of tourist photographs from NYC.  Enjoy, it looks like she did.

Ack, the hats, the suits, the clothes, the hair.  It’s so very Mad Men (which I ate in one big gulp – thank you itunes.)


Statue of Liberty sun bleached and beautiful.


One of my favorites is what I assume to be a shot taken while up on the statue.


This must have been quite a culture shock coming from North Carolina.

I think this is a truck zooming by.  Anyone know what it reads?


That’s the Empire State building, right?

The older I get the more I realize that people have, inside of themselves, a vision of who they are that I am not always privy to.  A collection of events which define them but that I have no access to.  Something I’m chewing on.

I wish I could have known this Nancy and feel honored I am the keeper of her photographs.  In a small way I am learning more about her through these shots.  Thanks Aunt Nancy.


Baby Love May 25, 2010

Filed under: Family & Friends,Uncategorized — twlowenstein @ 4:55 pm

I was lucky enough to spend the morning with my friend and take some photos of her new baby.  She is adorable, but I resisted the urge to have a third child.

But if I did (not going to), I decided he would be named Wendell.

Baby love.


Marching Band Birthday Party May 16, 2010

Filed under: Birthday Parties,Family & Friends — twlowenstein @ 7:28 am

I remember the look in my working friends eyes during the boys’ birthday parties when I was a “Stay at Home” mom.  You know the look.  If eyeballs could speak they would have been screaming, “Free time much?”.  I get it.  I was determined to not let the parties suffer now that I am back to work full time outside of the home.  I also teach Kindergarten which is not one of those jobs you get to take little breaks and check your Facebook or order supplies online from your desk.  Oh the stories my eyes could tell.

This year my youngest changed his party theme from “Duckie Candy Party” (he knows what he likes, my boy) to a Honk! Marching Band party.  We could have made Duckie Candy work but I was so much more thrilled with the new theme!

We were watching this at bedtime on Youtube, simmer down Librarians, I’m a teacher – I got this.

And my son was inspired.  He also loves the Honk! fest we go to every year which is a street marching band joyful noise kind of thing.  He mixed them together and we got our Marching Band themed party.

I got this off ebay, not while at work!, and then my son designed how we hot glued the ribbons on for further finery.  I should say that one of the concessions  to my working, was this was a total sew-free party.  I am ok with that.  My co-teacher at work says that she doesn’t like eating an apple because it’s, “Too much committment for [her] mouth.”  Funny, right?  But I feel the same way about my sewing machine these days.  Only not eating it, just using it.  It feels like too much to set it up and use it these days.  Maybe soon little dusty one, soon.

I ordered this decal from ebay and was really happy with the way it looked on this thrifted vase.  We picked up sticks from the yard and attached ribbons and bells to use as marching batons.

The hats can be found here.  And the felt hat I got for the birthday boy as well.

This poster is from etsy,  I love the image and it’s something I’ll frame and hang in my little ones room as a reminder of the party.

The shirt we made using a stencil bought online, can’t find the vendor.  I was going to freezer paper but then I smartened up, see my earlier comment about sewing as further proof.  We added some ribbon to the sleeve to give it that drum major look.  The hit of the party was the new sand box that’s an old boat we got off Craigslist, dug into our backyard and filled with sand.  I’ll do another post on that one later!

The birthday Poo-bah.

Ok, about the cake.  Let me explain.  The sun was in my eyes….  My little Food Network Challenge watching guy asked for a “tall tall cake” that was white and had strawberries sticking out on top.   We had strawberries on the side, check.  Tall tall was a tall order since I baked egg free cakes.  Not sure if you are aware but eggs kind of give baking it’s structure.  They are super binders those little f’ers.  Ok, there were other mistakes.  I was super proud of myself for slipping wax paper between the cake and the cake stand.  Apparently you’re supposed to just have it under the edge, not the whole thing.  It makes a difference, I assure you.  But let’s focus on my concept.  Not to brag, BUT, I was stoked when I thought to add a vintage drum as a layer for height and interest since you can guess my piping skills are non existent.   My little one decorated the top and stuck the candles in, credit where credit is due.

I may have screamed, “Get over here, the cake is about it fall!” to gather people.   It was keeping with true Food Network Challenge style.  Suspenseful and a little wonky.

It was delicious though.  A parent asked for my recipe.  Not sure if she was mocking me or was really interested because that baby was directly out of da’ box.  I did add my flair with the icing, half store bought half whipped cream cheese to cut the sugary taste.  Maybe it was the lack of eggs that made it so moist and yummy.

Such a fitting present.  This trumpet got a lot of use after the party.  Until I made my oldest stop.  I was ready to donate my ears to charity by that point.

Things I did not get photos of:  the instrument making table for one.  I set out tubes, tin foil, bells, pipe cleaners, empty containers, corks, chopsticks and tons of duct tape so kids could make their own instruments.  We also showed a video clip of the Ok Go song and a few other drumming winners from youtube.

This being my favorite:

And then there was Fishel.  Poor guy has taken a bit of a beating on my porch.  I plan to shellac him soon to salvage what I can of his dignity.

My little guy is 4 and will be starting pre-k next year.  It amazes me that I got so lucky in the family department.  Happy birthday my little drummer.  May you always march to the beat of your own drum.


Matinee Showing March 28, 2010

Filed under: Family & Friends,Home,Uncategorized — twlowenstein @ 8:55 pm
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We are lucky enough to have these amazing vintage puppets on loan.  They are so detailed and vibrant.  The boys spent at least an hour setting up plays.  Not so much dialogue but apparently the puppets are Irish step dancing enthusiasts.

Moment of deep concentration.

My youngest had to ask me for a few weeks to get these down off the top shelf.  I was dragging my feet but am glad I took them from decorative to functional play today.  The boys were careful with them and had a great time, not to mention I got a few shots out of it!

And now for all you Beyonce fans, we’re starting them young:


Parent Wedding Photos 1965 March 13, 2010

Filed under: Family & Friends — twlowenstein @ 4:03 pm
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My mom and my aunts doing the garter thing.

My grandmother helping out.

Looking more than a little scared.

My favorite one!


I Love My Little Boxhead November 10, 2009

Filed under: Family & Friends — twlowenstein @ 4:42 am


He’s got a beard, a shoulder tattoo, a flower tucked in his “hair” and oh so much attitude.

I could not be more proud.


Never Fancied Myself a Rainbow Kind of Gal… August 10, 2009

Filed under: Family & Friends — twlowenstein @ 9:48 am

Rainbow on my 40th

I tried last night to come up with wise words on turning 40.  But word retrieval issues kept getting in my way.

Sage advice from a 40 year old:  Do not play Taboo during your birthday weekend.  Just skip it, politely decline or scream, “NO FUCKING WAY” at the top of your lungs.  Seriously.

You see, I was once a fairly competitive gamer.  At least in my own head.  My husband and I were in a regular game group, before kids, and loved it.  I may have developed a bit of a reputation as being a little too competitive.  But I just called it being a WINNER.  So it was with a touch of this former glory that I approached the game last weekend.  Let’s just say I blew out the candles on humble pie for my birthday.  I completely and utterly stunk.  I believe the jewel on my birthday crown was when I had the word, Ballistic, and I said, “He went BLANK.” over and over until that little sand timer mercifully played me off like keyboard cat.

edit to add, YOU MUST WATCH THIS.  If ever I am down, this never fails to bring the mirth.

Yeah, so I am happy with 40.  Not freaked out about the number.  Just a little freaked out that I need to shop at the large print section of the bookstore, that my butt needs it’s own pull behind wheeled trolley, and that I appear to be just a shadow of my former Gamer self.  But I still challenge anyone to beat me at AIR HOCKEY.  I reign SUPREME.


The Whole Wide World August 5, 2009

Filed under: Family & Friends — twlowenstein @ 10:26 pm

Night Swimming


Good Old Timey Carnival July 5, 2009

Filed under: Family & Friends — twlowenstein @ 10:26 am
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Yesterday we went to the local carnival which always lands over the 4th of July weekend.  We have meant to go for the past 3 years but something always came up.  So glad we made the time to go yesterday with our good friends.


We saw a dragon roller coaster.


Shoved our trash into the mouth of a clown trash can!  I am thinking this could get BIG money on ebay.

3689089062_c0040d7f2d_oWe coveted stuffed junk!

3689201170_4078062f3a_bWe found a clown shooting gallery.


And acted accordingly.

3688381269_9cdfd77c40_bWatched other, braver, folks ride the Viking Ship.


I was blissed out, surrounded by all the colors and vintage carnie goodness.

3689105652_75d05b67c4_bThis reminds me to brag about my SERIOUS faux bois score.  I scored a FREE 4 drawer filing cabinet off Craigslist.  It is a vintage beauty and photos are sure to follow once we’re settled into the new house.  Now back to the carnival…


All 3 of my men, 2 wee ones and my man, climbed through the obstacle course.  Some faster than others! 😉


The signs were gorgeous.


My youngest covered his ears to try and block out all the massive carnival noise, even said no to cotton candy because he had no free hands.  But then, then he spotted the duckie pond.


I wanted to buy/steal the aqua and red duckie.  I settled for a photograph.  Life rule # 427, Do not mess with CARNIES.


SHAZAM! (taken through the viewfinder of my vintage Kodak Duaflex)