Paper Dolls for Boys

Raising 2 crafty boys and thrifting every chance I get.

Step Right Up and Cast Your Vote! September 11, 2010

Joining the CB2 contest late, so hopes are low but I’m giving it a shot.

Entered here and  here.

If you are so moved, vote.

We could win a photo session with Todd Selby of The Selby is in Your House!  I happen to have and enjoy that particular book.  Home design without being too too.

As of 5 minutes ago, I’m only 568 votes behind the leader!  Spread the word Friends!


I’m Not One to Brag, April 20, 2010

Filed under: Thrift Scores & Pat and Charlie — twlowenstein @ 7:15 pm
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unless I’m talking.

Feel free to join me in bragging over at my new Thrift Therapy group on Flickr!

Today was a beautiful thrift day.  It was a mother/son hang out day.  My oldest son, 7, has the eyes of a hawk and can spot good thrift with the best of them (so very proud).  We hit 3 thrift stores and came away with some vintage love.

I plan to paint the frames pink or something, anything, other than that yucky wood.

I got the pillow for 1 dollar.  1 DOLLAR!!! The art work came from another thrift store for $4.99 a piece.  More than I like to spend at the thrift store but it seemed a match with the pillow.  I often find that thrifting days have an unintentional theme.  Today had a yellow thread.

I have a couple pair of these skates now.  I am past my skating years (ok, weight) but in the day (read: elementary school), I happen to win a speed skate contest at the local rink.  So maybe it should have read, “I’m not one to brag, unless I am talking OR typing”.

That does indeed say “50 cents”.  I already put it on the shelf in my kitchen.  I am a sucker for anything with it’s original packaging.  Bake King!

An old napkin holder that I plan to use in my craft room for holding paper.  No plans for the tiny coaster yet, but I snapped it up mostly because it’s metal and cheery.

My son spotted these bowling pins.  We are debating turning them into candle sticks or planting them in the garden.  What do you think?

My son also spotted 2 of these for a quarter each.  Seeing as how we were feeling like SUPERWINNERs, we bought them.

I think I squealed when I spotted these.  Planning to use them in the garden, pot some plants in them, maybe plant them to look like mushrooms or maybe just put on kitchen shelve.  Any ideas?

This tape dispenser isn’t vintage but it was cheap and it’s a perfect combination of functional and quirky.  The bug was a big fan.

I had a hard time taking a good photo of this.  It’s solid brass, ugly beautiful and cost 3 bucks.

I hope to spray it red or rust it out and rewire it for my craft room.  I say that but I have never had anything rewired in my life.  Expensive?  Reasonable?  I think it’s going to work in the space.  Photos to follow one day.

Another day of thrift therapy, I will go to sleep happy.


Craft Room, In Progress January 24, 2010

Filed under: Craft,Home — twlowenstein @ 9:46 pm
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You’ve seen this space as it has progressed, here and here.

If I waited until it was “done” we’d all be done with blogging so I thought I’d put up what I’ve got up.

I’m standing in the doorway, taking this shot.  The room is longer than it is wide.  A funky little space that came with this great built-in bookcase.  The previous owners used it as a little girls room:


I had some much needed help from my friend Kate and son painting the walls and shelves.  It was a bigger job than I anticipated and hence, the only room I have repainted thus far.  Kate?

A lot of these shots are taken on different days at various times of the day.   Plus I am sure I punched up the color on some of the ones in my rare, non-lazy moments.

Decoupaged the closet door with sewing tissue paper.  I had planned to do the backs of the shelves with the same treatment but realized it would take forever and wouldn’t showcase my collections as well as just the blue (am looking up the color in the basement, will report soon).

I have yet to hang this blue door I found on the curb.  I am replacing the entry door with it.   Big plans for that puppy.  Will unveil that after February break, it’s on the list.


Some of my collections.

Antlers and wooden bits on the left and wooden men with moustaches on the right.  Line ’em up!



I am still digging on my granny smock curtains.  I got them at my most favorite thrift store (miss you Charlie and Pat) and saved them for a year before I moved without a clear plan but when I painted this room the Dark Celery color, I knew they would be perfect!  I love it when it when stuff works out.  My collection of faux bois metal boxes, not working as much.  Not even going to talk about my attempted IKEA hack on that little yellow table.

Craft corner.  I did not clean up for you.  Trying to show all the bits, not just the pretty posed bits (and there are TONS of them as well).  I keep all my stamps, thread and various other little bits of crafting crap in the tangerine crates.  Luckily my youngest can eat his way through a crate a week so I have no shortage of storage.

“No Soliciting”, a nicer way of saying, “Leave me alone!”.

Just got a new Brother sewing machine from Costco.  Still trying to figure out how to thread it.  I think I can, I think I can…

This is a shot of my old craft room focal wall.  I took it TTV (through the viewfinder) and it might be one of my favorite photos I have taken, not including the kiddos.  I loved the fabric hoops on this wall but wanted something a little different this time around.  I had planned to put Fishel up on the long wall in my new space but couldn’t figure out how to a fix him to our plaster and lath walls.

Here is what I could hang using twine and push pins.  Thanks to Meg (and Stacy) for letting me “store” these amazing finds in my little craft room.

And this is what I love best about my craft room.; room for my boys to join me in crafting fun and memories.  And since I am still in that “keeping it real” phase, moments after this was taken I believe I made my oldest cry because I was too impatient with his sewing skills.  Well, here’s to more and BETTER memories in my craft room!


SOWA August 24, 2009


I wish I would have asked what SoWa stands for.  SoMA or SoBA I would get.  Anyone?


Every Sunday, 10-4,  in South Boston happens “New England’s largest outdoor bazaar”.  It’s open May through October 25th.  There is a Farmers Market, a Hand-Made section – which was an open air Etsy, and an Import Market.  Plus live music and food.  Good times.

3850144415_ff9f241028_bMy favorite was the antique market.  It’s housed inside an enormous hollowed out old factory. It was stunning.  The prices were also a little stunning.


Isn’t this beautiful?  I have a thing for old game boards and paraphernalia.  My husband & I got excited about this piece for above the mantel but the 250 price tag killed it.  I think that a big part of what I love about vintage is the hunt and the score.  The rescue!  When I buy or curb something I feel like I am taking an under-appreciated relic and giving it it’s proper respect.  If I were to buy a warped wooden wheel for 250, I would feel like a sucker.  Hmmm, how to justify these feelings with my Etsy shop (that SHALL RIDE AGAIN!).

3850978882_c9407b988d_bI like a shop that leads with a negative.  Another thing I will NOT being doing is buying this Chanukiah (name of the menorah for Chanukah).  I really love the this one.  Much of the Judaica is not to my taste but this is perfection.  Except the 300 dollar price tag.  I am assuming it’s silver so maybe the price is justified but I could not stomach it.


This little sock doll was fetching.  I think it was 22 dollars.  A lot of things were priced at 22 dollars.


I liked these red chairs and this vendor was selling a lot of wire gym baskets.  15 each if you bought 3 or more.  I thought that was fair but forgot to go back and pick some up.   Excuse to go next Sunday.

Bought at SoWa

This is the one thing I did buy.  It’s an illustration of Simple Simon and the Pieman.  It was an insert in the Boston Globe.


The vendor shrewdly gave my youngest the shell he was admiring, thus securing my purchase of the illustration.  At 5 dollars, I walked away happy.  As did my shell loving little guy.


Ideas & Suggestions Sought August 18, 2009

Filed under: Home — twlowenstein @ 11:47 am
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My granny gave me this sofa.  Probably 20 years ago now.  It was in her living room since I can remember.  I think she could not really understand how we grew up, moving every couple of years as my dad got reassigned in the army.  I think she wanted me to have this beautiful sofa as a place to be “home”.  I have always thought of it as such but it’s been in storage all 20 of those years.  I finally have a home and am thrilled for this family piece to be a part of it.  The dust mite allergies are less pleased.  So we are getting it reupholstered and refibered (I just learned that term and plan to sprinkle it in my conversations today, maybe work it into Facebook…).


I need your advice, leave the wood or paint?  What to reupholster it with?  I am thinking a gray velvet or maybe an olive.  Teal?  I like the idea of a linen but I don’t think I can swing it, price wise.  Your thoughts and suggestions?


So those are the “arty” shots.  The “I have a blog,  look at my beautiful life” shots.

Here is the other shot, the “my crap is as messy as your crap” shot.

DSC_0011You are welcome.


My parents just drove this up from NC in their pull along trailer.  Along with some other bits and bobs (do not look directly at the John Deer motorized ride on toy or one might magically spring up in your back yard).


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)


Hoop Dreams May 27, 2009

Filed under: Craft — twlowenstein @ 9:35 am
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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!


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…


Charlie and Pat, Back in Action April 2, 2009

Filed under: Thrift Scores & Pat and Charlie — twlowenstein @ 2:17 pm
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My favorite little thrift spot is seasonal and they just opened this morning for the spring.  I was there 20 minutes before opening with the little one, to wait in line.  The folks who came after me formed a lateral line which would have sent me into a rage if it were anywhere but C&P’s.  The thrift “store” is housed in a garage and it’s a little tight in there but I managed about 9 laps around the place, adding more to the stroller each time.  First thing I picked up was a replogle vintage globe on a beautiful stand, 2 bucks – BAM.  Then I spotted a vintage Boston Public School desk and chair, it’s lower middle on the grid.  Or at least the underside is pictured, the desk has elaborate wrought iron legs and a wooden top with a beautiful patina.  The chair is perfection on a metal base.  More photos to come when they are not shoved into the back of the minivan.


Oh, and I got a COMPLETE box of vintage vocabulary cards for a quarter.  LOVE THEM THE BEST.  I have to go pick up my big guy from school so I’ll rush through the remaining scores:  vintage wooden kite string winder upper thing that is as light as a whisper, a mid-century lamp that I did not capture in it’s full glory – it has a double shade!, I got a milk glass chicken because it seemed like I should (not usually a chicken gal), a funky little metal bowl filled with seeds for 10 cents a pack, and a sweet little bird that I believe hangs out at bars and spits lime into drinks (at least that is my vision for her)!  Life is a little more sparkly with Charlie and Pat’s up and running.  It’s like someone hit the “vibrancy” on picnik a few times and I LOVE it!

Happy thrifting to you!


1 Year Blog Anniversary March 10, 2009

Filed under: Random Bits — twlowenstein @ 11:46 am
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Thursday is my 1 year blog anniversary and it’s got me tongue tied and frozen. I am feeling the pressure to come up with a good give away, as I believe the tradition to be.  I also wanted to re-post some of my earlier entries, but I can not figure out how to do it.

I started without a working camera so all my shots were captured using the computer cam – yeah, it was not pretty but I just jumped.   And am extremely glad I did.  I have grown to know, and even meet a couple,  amazing folks through blogging.  I have gotten advice and support from you and every bit of it has touched my heart.  It has made some crappy situations tolerable because I knew it was going to be good blog fodder (I am talking about you public banana eater).  Blogging has reconnected me with my love for photography and has given me an outlet to experiment, learn and share.  Paper Dolls for Boys also gave me the focus and confidence to open my first Etsy shop (although long ignored, I shall soon resuscitate her).

From reading your blogs, I have laughed out loud (with you, with you all the way), tried new recipes, gotten ideas for crafts to do with my boys or try myself, related to you and your daily mom-ness, reveled in your creative endeavors and kind community spirit.  You all make me aspire to be a better blogger.


I will be revealing the contents of the giveaway little by little.  As I figure it out really – I am thinking some vintage goodness is in order, books, fabric and general doo daddery. Part one of the giveaway is this “polaroid” esque photo of my Etsy boyfriend and all around mascot.   I adore him and he stands short on a shelf above my computer watching, always watching.

So if you would like to enter in my 1 year anniversary giveaway all you have to do is leave a comment on this post.  I think I’m kicking it old school and drawing names from a hat.  If you want to be entered twice, tell me a good joke in your comment.  I will leave it open until 6:00pm on Sunday the 15th and announce the winner soon after.

I appreciate your willingness to jump in with me and travel together in our little blog cell.  I am not a gushy type gal but I hope you are picking up what I am putting down!