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A glittering sparkling sea of tulle

I had full intention of sharing a little of our daily routine today, just as the January photo a day challenge demands…  however, our routine wasn’t routine.  In fact, our routine simply WASN’T.

Early this morning I got a phone call from my sister.  She wanted to take Lily-Ann out for breakfast and then for a walk down by the river.  The girl has been aching for some time with her auntie, and I was more than happy to make things work.  So the girl and I jumped out of bed, she picked out some clothes (I sent her back to pick out something different – a summer dress just doesn’t work for a walk in the snow), got dressed, threw on her outerwear, and she was ready to go!

So what did I do with my kid-free morning?  I worked on a tutu her pre-k EA had commissioned.  🙂

Last year I made a purple, plum, and black tutu for Rhonda’s Halloween costume.  She was a wicked fairy.  It turned out wonderfully.  I made it extra long and super wild.  It ended up being such a big hit that she keeps it at school to wear every so often, just for fun (and has even lent it to some of the other staff – both male and female).  Well, last month she asked me to make another one for her… this one with a water theme.  And I have to say, it’s turned out beautifully!

It was the most complex tutu I’ve done to date, with five different colours of tulle.  All various shades of blue, including one earthy blue that was covered in sparkle.  I alternated lights and darks so that while Rhonda walks it will look like ocean waves, cresting and flowing – light to dark.  It’s a very elegant tutu.

Lily-Ann and I dropped it off for her at school on our way to Lily-Ann’s classroom.  Rhonda was just thrilled, and I’m sooo glad.  Damon even overheard her raving about her tutus when he went to pick the girl up after school – which made me feel pretty good.

tulle, elegantly flowing from dark to light and back again

the tulle elegantly flows from dark to light and back again, like the ebbing of the ocean tide kissed by the glittering moon.

I really do love working with tulle.  Tutus are one of my very favourite things to sew.

I really do love working with tulle. Tutus are one of my very favourite things to sew.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll be a little more successful with the challenge topic.  After all, with such an open topic I’m sure the bigger problem with be narrowing it down.  😉

photo a day challenge for january

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Easy and Inexpensive Ornament for the Holidays

It’s been another long day.� So it’s been a long week.� I was sick.� Our old dood, Sweets (the Chihuahua) was sick.� Puppies spent the day at kindergarten.� More plumbing trouble.� Girl didn’t hardly sleep last night (so neither did Mommy).� So yeah.� I’m beat.� I’ve got nothing left in me to write a blog post.� So here’s something cute from another MomWriter friend of mine.� A super cheap and adorable little angel ornament you can make up for all your kids friends, teachers, and family members:

Easy and Inexpensive Ornament for the Holidays.

via Easy and Inexpensive Ornament for the Holidays.

DIY Thrift Store Advent Calendar!

This year, our first in our new home, I figured we should do something different, something special for the holidays.  So I decided to put together a thrift store (second hand or previously enjoyed) advent calendar.  Thus far, it’s been a really big hit!

We’ve all had those store bought advent calendars with the icky pieces of low quality chocolate behind each window, counting down the days to the holidays.  Well, the thrift store advent calendar may count down the days to the holidays, but it’s WAY more fun, and really wasn’t all that expensive either.  It may be a little late for you to make one for this year, but I’ll talk you through the process anyway.  I have a feeling it may be one other kids would enjoy too.

Step One:  Collect the Goodies!

Every kid, or kid at heart, has something little they really enjoy.  For Lily-Ann I knew I could find a ton of little My Little Pony and Littlest Petshop items in thrift stores and from my fellow collectors at the MLPTP (an online forum).  Used toy cars, and other collectibles would also be great, and for the bigger kids in your life I’m sure there are all sorts of things you could find – think about their favourite things and just go from there.

Step Two:  Decide on Packaging!

You’ll also need packaging for your advent calendar.  We went cute and inexpensive with these little craft baggies.  I actually found them in the baking section at Michael’s, and they were only a few dollars a pack.  I bought two packs, one in red and the other in green.

Step Three:  Organize your Finds!

Next I poured all the goodies out on my bed and grouped them by theme.  In the picture above you can see that a bunch of the LPS items actually made a pretty good “camping” collection.  You can see how easy it would be for the girl to pretend that a kitten and a hamster head out for a weekend retreat with everything they might need.  Arrange and rearrange everything you’ve purchased until you’ve got 24 (or however long your countdown will be) piles of goodies.

Step Four:  Label the Bags!

Labeling the bags is the next step, and while there are lots of cute ways you could do this, I’m about keeping it easy.  So if you feel up to it you can use glitter and glue, beads, or stickers, stencils or cut outs, and any number of wonderfully crafty-good items…  but I simply grabbed one of the girls markers and wrote right on the bags.  As long as you have one bag for every day of your countdown, you are good to go.

Step Five:  Fill the Bags!

Deciding what goes in the bag for each day is a fun part.  Well, at least I know I enjoyed it…  I staggered things so every few days there would be a toy, and it would alternate with a crafting item, or maybe a dress-up item for one of her ponies, or collector’s cards.  Of course, you could just dump any old thing in any old bag in any old order, but I had fun with it.  LOL

Step Six:  Close and Place!

Then all that is left is taping the bags closed and putting them around the tree, leaving them out to be pondered over and opened with relish and the joy of discovery.  Enjoy your countdown!!!

Look! It’s a necklace.

I’ve started this blog post a few times now, and on vastly different subjects.  Clearly I’m in no shape to really be writing much of anything tonight – at least not in a cohesive fashion.  So it is what it is.

What do you want to see here on nights like tonight?  Do you mind these rambling “I have nothing to share” shares?  Would you rather I taped my fingers together and just watched reruns of Bones or Frasier?  Or should I pluck some random fb meme from my newsfeed and post that?

I’ve been posting here on an almost daily basis for a few years now…  and while I love that it gives me a chance to wind down at the end of the day, I do wonder if you (my wonderful reader) would be better served by my posting a little less frequently.  After all, not every post is a gem.  I refer you back to the post I made a couple years ago that in it’s whole was an image of my reusable slurpee cup.  LOL  Clearly, not every post is a winner.

So, for my own self serving reasons I continue to post six days a week (unless I’m sick, away, or dead).  But I do wonder if you’d rather see other things when I end up on one of these long-winded, winding, posts about nothing in particular.  😉  Let me know.  🙂  After all, there is a comments section.

And for something completely random, here’s a necklace I made with one of the many charms I commissioned from Nanashi-no:  I now wear it to all my photoshoots.  😀

Nikon D90 necklace charm and beaded bamboo necklace

bamboo cord + glass beads + metal findings + OOAK hand-crafted D90 charm = happy TD

A Trans* Doll’s Journey!

I had to share a recent project by an artist whose work I really enjoy.  It’s not their usual medium, however they were inspired by a find at the family cottage and so set to work.  She is refinishing a dollhouse originally built by her Grandfather and played with by her mother, and is sharing the progress on her Deviant Art account.  Why do I feel the need to share this?  Well, the most recent addition to her tiny home is a Transgender doll that began it’s existence as female, but has transitioned to male…  right down to the binder (worn a little low, but still poignant).

I’d like to introduce you to this bibliophile of a doll, who is yet unnamed, but seems quite happy in his new life:

Trans* doll by Ullakko

You can check out more of Ulla Thynell’s work at DA, where her username is ullakko.  Here is a direct link to her journal, where she first introduced us to our unnamed friend and shared a little about his transition:  http://my.deviantart.com/messages/#/d595iqi  And while he was not created with the intent of any kind of deeper meaning, I believe there is some truth to be found in how his physical self had to be ground down to find his final and true form.

Catching up. :)

Okay, here’s the last several days.

The Ninth – The wee girlie waits in the front yard for her Pop Pop to pick her up for an overnight at the lake.

Waiting for Pops.

The Tenth – Jennifer and Jacob’s wedding.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…  I HATE shooting posed portraits.  They are lifeless and stale.  Not at all my style.  But it was their wedding day, and posed portraits are what they wanted.  Who am I to argue?  So I smiled and laughed with them as I arranged the traditional wedding portraits, one, after another, after another…  I started getting a little buggy…  so I flipped them around.  LMAO  It made things much more fun.  😉

Say Cheese!

The Eleventh -“I can do it myself Mommy.  I don’t need your help.”  Here’s the wee girlie, putting in a quiet time DVD without my help.  😉  And for those who are wondering, it’s Slim Pig…  on loan from the library.

"I can do it!"

The Twelfth – The beginnings of Lily-Ann’s “Strawberry Day” dress.

Strawberry Day is the wee girlie’s birthday.  I’ve called her my little strawberry since the day she was born… and so it just seemed like a natural to refer to her birthday as Strawberry Day.  This year she has requested a princess party.  Two of her favourite things right now are princesses and excavators…  a princess party is much easier than an excavator party so I wasn’t about to argue.  😉  That said, we needed a princess dress, complete with sparkles and tulle galore.  It should be quite lovely.  I’ve devoted two evenings to it so far, and easily have another full one ahead.  I can be so domestic at times that I scare myself.  LMFAO

The beginnings...

The Thirteenth – Mommy’s Day!

Yep, I took a lunch date with a couple of my dearest friends today.  Damon is home on holidays for the next couple of weeks and was here to watch the wee girlie…  so when asked, I jumped at the chance.  It’s not to often I get time like this to visit with friends.  So here we are; Jenn, Susan, and myself (of course they stuck me out front) heading back home after a great lunch.  A much needed treat that I’m very appreciative of.  Thanks so much Susan, thanks so much Jenn.  I love you guys.  Today meant a lot.  🙂

Girlfriends!

So… there we are.  All caught up.  Take care everyone, and don’t forget to tell those who matter most to you that they make a difference in your life.  It’s always a good thing to hear, and something many of us don’t take the time to say enough.

Night.

…fit for a DIY princess

Wee girlie made a crown today.  🙂  I cut out the shape of the crown, but she did all the cutting, colouring, and sticking for every other piece.  I think she did pretty darn good if I do say so myself.  😀

wee girlie wearing a crown she made from construction paper

Construction Paper Princess

10 Steps to a Toilet Paper Tube Starter Garden

Today we’re going to do things a little different.  Instead of just sharing a photo with you, I’ve got ten.  And the wee girlie and I, will share our steps to making your own starter garden.  No need to have a greenhouse, when you have reusable items laying around the house.

Step One:

Gather all your materials!  Lily-Ann says you’ll need “toilet paper rolls, toilet paper rolls, toilet paper rolls, toilet paper rolls.  And things to put in the toilet paper rolls: DIRT!”  But you’ll also need clear containers, scissors, and seeds.

Gather Your Materials

Step Two:

Cut the tubes!”  Roughly in half is perfect.

Cut the Tubes

Step Three:

Show off your tubes!  Okay.  LOL  You caught us.  It’s not really a step…  but the wee girlie wanted to show off the tubes she helped cut.  LOL

Show Off Your Halved Tubes

Step Four:

Lily-Ann, we can’t keep calling these steps if you’re just wanting to share pictures of what you’ve done.  Folks are going to stop reading.  We need to tell them what to do so they can plant seeds inside too.  “Okay momma.  Uno mas?”  Okay, Kid Kid, one more.

Lily's Pile of Halved Toilet Tubes

Step Five:

Snip, snip, snip the tubes.

That’s right, cut (or snip) several slits into the side of each tube half.  Cut about half way up the side, and put between four and six slits in each one.

Snip Each Halved Tube Several Times

Step Six:

Now like this…”  Lily-Ann demonstrates in the air how to fold the tubes.  “See?

A Half Tube With the Cut End Folded In

Step Seven:

I don’t remember…  You tell me Mother?”  hehehe…  Next you put the soil – “DIRT!” – yes, dirt, into each tube.  Do this AS you are folding tubes.  You need the moisture and weight of the dirt to hold the folded bottoms together.  They will just keep popping open otherwise.  Trust me, we tried folding a bunch first.  LOL  It didn’t work.

The Wee Girlie Scoops Dirt Into a Folded Tube

Step Eight:

We’re almost done.  “Now Seeds!!!”  That’s right.  Open a package of seeds, and pick out a seed.

Lily-Ann's Chosen Seeds - Sweet Peas!

Step Nine:

Put it right in the middle with dirt all around.”  Got that?  Pop a seed into the middle of each toilet paper tube starter.  Just leave it sitting out on the top.  As you’ll see from our picture, it doesn’t have to be RIGHT in the middle.  A toddlers estimation of “middle” is perfect.  🙂  And honestly?  I’m sure if one or two get stuck right on the edge of the roll they’d sprout just fine.

A Seed in Each Starter Tube

Step Ten:

Cover the seeds (if required) with a thin layer of soil, then close the containers and “Go play upstairs!

Okay, so the process is a little long to hold the rapt attention of a two and a half year old for it’s entirety.  But I thought she did pretty good.  She helped every step of the way – including uploading my photos AND writing this post.  Her exclamation of Go Play was the end though, with it, she lept off the chair and ran off to entertain herself elsewhere.

All Done!

Hope this gives you the courage to try a little repurposing of your own.  🙂  It’s super easy to take household garbage and give it a new life.  Even in a project as easy as this one.  Toilet paper rolls would have made it into our compost (where the plants would have gotten them eventually anyway) and the flimsy bakery plastic that one occasionally brings home on a whim would have ended up in a landfill.  So hold onto them next time and you’ll have a mini-greenhouse for your toilet paper tube starters.  Your own little counter top garden.

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