Paper Dolls for Boys

Raising 2 crafty boys and thrifting every chance I get.

Halloween November 7, 2009

Filed under: halloween — twlowenstein @ 9:39 am
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This year we trick or treated in our new neighborhood.  It was a totally different Halloween for us.  In our old neighborhood, located on a very very steep hill, we got very few trick or treaters.  We could leave a bowl out with a sign reading, “take a couple” and it would still be there in the morning.  Ok, to jump to new neighborhood in different town.  We had truckloads of Trick or Treaters, they just kept coming.  We had some smoking teenagers (and that’s not a costume idea) daring us not to give them candy and a grown woman happily thrusting her big a** pillowcase at me (no child in sight)- o  k  a   y, but most were decked out kiddos thrilled to be lugging their humongous bags of candy up and down the street.



The “sparkly dancing shoes” of my little skeleton.

My wee one in a hand me down costume my husband and I freezer paper stenciled back when we had free time.


We ended up not waiting until nightfall.


Potentially my favorite image of the night, boo for blur.  Not about to ask this unknown fella for a second shot, in fact I was rather pleased that I summoned the guts to do it a first time.


High five from the netherworld.


These are from my school’s Halloween celebration.


Good old-fashioned balloon shaving fun.


Someone ate the D.


Something tells me that toothpaste might still have been hanging out in the prize bucket at the end of the festival.


And here is my old Alphabet Sunday friend (we have to start something up again Lauren!) showing us all how Halloween can be HEALTHY!!!  Orange Carrots for all my friends!

Now on to Thanksgiving, ever marching forward…


Laboratory October 10, 2009

Filed under: halloween — twlowenstein @ 11:46 am
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Front  yard, spooky make-over.  Former owners dug out tree, makes for good loose soil to stick scary styrofoam in!


We made these specimen jars last year, remember?

We’re in a new house & there is no window to put them in so we’ve made the mantle our haunted lab.


Full view of mantle.  Still have not set up the haunted dollhouse.  Link here.


Thanks to Kate for helping me style the mantle. 🙂


Bird’s eye view of the bird.


Scary dude from last year, story here.


Still have not replaced keyboard.  Working too much!  Miss you madly.

Happy Halloween!



I Made Something! August 16, 2009

Filed under: Craft — twlowenstein @ 9:09 am
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Ok, so I made it a few months ago and I kind of failed at science but it felt good to do.

I shall craft again but a broken sewing machine, a new job, new house and life in general is posing a bit of a crafting hurdle.  I ain’t complaining.


It’s a wind chime made from an old xylophone that I took apart.  I saw the idea online, maybe Craftster?  Sorry to not give specific credit.  I loved the idea and found a great/cheap old xylophone at Brimfield.  During one of our craft group sessions I brought the old toy and used a fellow members amazing stash of scrounged items to make the base and handle.  I tied the metal “notes” onto a sieve and the handle is made from a potato masher (I think that’s what it was).

I proudly hung it from our side porch where it promptly became overshadowed by our neighbors bamboo chimes.  As my son said, “I like the way ours looks better but theirs sure sounds better!”  So I pondered aloud why my little chimes were getting blown away (ba-dum-cha) and my wise 7 year old son said, “Probably because your chimes have holes in them.  The wind just goes right through them.”  DUH.  Ah yes, of course.


So here is my beautiful hanging sculpture or maybe I could call it a hurricane alerter? As in, “If the wind is strong enough to blow momma’s chimes, head for the basement!” kind of thing.

What have you made lately?  I need some inspiration.  Link to your Flickr or blog if you’ve got something to share!


Let ’em June 2, 2009

Filed under: Craft,Uncategorized — twlowenstein @ 3:08 pm
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In our house the boys cheer excitedly when the “Sharpie Mushroom” comes down off the shelf.  I used to call them the “Mommy Markers” but they seemed to intuit the superior quality of the Sharpies compared to their washable markers and their calls for the “Sharpie Mushroom” increasingly became louder and louder.  Then one day, I let them use them.

The house did not fall down, they did not make themselves mustachioed bandits, and the wee one didn’t even run down the hallway screaming as he made a wiggly permanent line.  All things, I guess on some level, I feared.

Sharpie Mushroom of Joy

One of my favorite projects the boys made with the Sharpies was decorating wooden clothespin dolls.

Made by Eben.

I have a thing for wooden dolls (see, I told you I’m morphing into a crazy cat lady who collects toys instead of cats) so my oldest made me this beautiful beast of a doll.  I adore the colors he chose, especially the teal boots.

He made the instrument/sculpture that sits behind the little dude at school.  I love that he goes to a school that allows him routine contact with nails.

Hell, next to nails, the Sharpies are kids-play!


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

Filed under: Craft — twlowenstein @ 1:52 pm
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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!


Alphabet Sunday :: M February 1, 2009

Lauren says, M is for MAKE:


Tracey says, M is for Mustachioed:


Have a great Sunday.

Make something or grow a mustache!


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!