Paper Dolls for Boys

Raising 2 crafty boys and thrifting every chance I get.

When 2 Vowels Go Walking… May 11, 2008

Filed under: Family & Friends — twlowenstein @ 6:26 am
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We’ve never been a less is more family. So bail now or go get a snack and enjoy this tribute to my MOM (she’s been called a lot of things and shy ain’t one of ’em)!

That dress, that smile, that little arm that just won’t stay still!

Thank you for having your head in the clouds!

Thanks for all those years of meals ma – your chicken and dumplings are second to none!

Here’s my mom, barefoot and pregnant with me, sitting on the kitchen floor preparing dinner.

Thanks mom for having an open mind and leading us on many adventures.

Here’s my mom respecting the local culture!

These are from our wanted poster passport.

I cannot however thank you for ever cutting my hair like that, I believe it’s called ‘the cheek framer’.

I can still hear you “suggesting” I shouldn’t leave the house without “putting a little color on my lips”, Thank you for finally giving up. Or at least continuing to say it in your head!

Who packs up their kids, one very moody (well, thank god that’s changed) teenager and a little boy with energy to spare, and drives a camper around the southern island of New Zealand? (Hi Dad!) Thank you for being brave and having faith it will all work out.

Thank you for planning the best birthday parties for me: roller rink, dress like your parents party, invite the whole darn 8th grade class, Holly Hobbie, water park! That’s us below, en route to the slides. Thank you for being a rule breaker in general and specifically for ignoring the no food 30 minutes before jumping in the pool rule!

You have inspired me to try and make my own children’s birthdays special and memorable. Thank you.

And thank you for making the m&m costumes, for letting me wear the peanuts one, for dropping us off at the teen center for the Halloween Dance (where we were the only ones dressed in costume) and for picking us up early from the aforementioned function!

Thank you for being silly and encouraging us to do the same.

Thank you for documenting it all on film and being very generous, sharing the photos with me.

Full disclosure: I AM wearing a little color on my lips in this photo. I went through a heavy make-up phase in the late eighties. All shimmery and golden.

Thank you for being a traveler.

Thank you for being a bang up granny! The boys adore you!

Thank you mom for being fun, creative, supportive, daring, flexible, and loving.

Happy Mother’s Day!

I love you.


Quilt Goodness April 12, 2008

Filed under: Craft — twlowenstein @ 3:28 pm
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I struggle with stuff.

I enjoy the hunt for new treasure, the surprise of finding. Conversely, I sometimes feel overwhelmed by my “stuff” and like I am not treating the things I already have very well, as they get lost in the sheer volume. I often dream of a spartan loft that showcases a few key pieces but it’s not who I am. All this to say, that I’m trying to reconnect with my current stuff instead of finding the thrill in the not yet obtained. This is funny following my last post, I know, but that was DAYS ago!

Day 1: Quilts in the Closet

One of the benefits of coming from a southern family is quilts. I was fawning over some quilts on ebay but decided instead to dig my quilts out of my closet and give them some sugar. A couple of puffs on my inhaler later, I was reunited with these little babies. My goal is to carefully launder them and use them (it’s tough in a household filled with full on dust mite allergies which is why they were in the closet in the first place). I’m not a hardcore utilitarian but I do believe the quilts should be used and in doing, create memories for my boys that connect them to their past. I have strong memories of using the basket pattern quilt on camping trips in our old VW when I was a kid.

I want to thank my Granny and Great Aunts Nancy and Nellie for these beautiful quilts. My Granny made a couple of them and I think Aunt Nancy and Nellie’s mother made the others. My Granny grew up on a farm raising 4 kids and working hard, she never learned how to ride a bike but took a plane to Thailand (in 1969) to meet me when I was born. She had guts and grace. Aunt Nancy and Nellie were big time Tar Heels fans. Didn’t miss a game that I know about. Aunt Nellie was funny as hell and Aunt Nancy was tough as nails and they took good care of each other and of us. One of my favorite memories was eating homemade cheese straws watching Miss America with them at Myrtle Beach.

It’s such a lovely day, I wish I had a clothesline to drape these over…

This shot reminds me of Ikat fabric:

The camper quilt, it’s green striped wool backing will forever remind me of my brother and I sleeping on long car trips. Remember back before carseats and rules? Before we got the VW, my dad used to put a mattress in the back of the LTD for us to sleep on during our drives to see our grandparents.

I’ll try and photograph some of my parents wonderful quilts when I visit them this summer. Maybe they need me to take a few off their hands. I’m a helper.


Recipe Box/Treasure Box March 27, 2008

Filed under: Family & Friends — twlowenstein @ 9:20 pm
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My husband’s Gram died a few months ago and we’re missing her like crazy. I’m working on a post that will do her right, and this isn’t it.

It is, however, meant to be a little nod to one of the ways in which she held our family together.


I found this little metal box, discovered it in the back of her kitchen cabinet, last weekend while doing some cleaning in her kitchen. It was one of those things that I didn’t know I was looking for until I found it. I wanted to share a recipe I’ll be making this weekend. I look forward to cranking her hand mixer and stealing some quiet moments to remember.



Her death has made me take stock, as deaths tend to do. I’m hoping to add new recipes to this little tin that will stand with Gram’s and together act to create more memories of family and togetherness. Shabbat Shalom.