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Archive for February, 2014

Lucy

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Lucy is the latest crochet kitty I’ve made – I chose to do a gray and yellow kitty, adding the white on the face, paws and ears for a little more interest since her dress was just one color.¬† I also added the buttons since I felt it needed a little something ūüôā¬† She is now with her new adopted mother, the almost-2-year-old daughter of a friend of mine, who has since named her “James”, hahaha.

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Every time we use the last egg, I can’t bring myself to throw away the carton – they are just so useful! ¬†There are about a gazillion things you can do/make with them, so I always chuck them into my bin of “random packaging I might use for a craft”, which is embarrassingly large (old tuna can, anyone?). ¬†This past Sunday, though, I’d seen something on Pinterest (of course) that had given me an idea and I just happened to use the last egg that morning, so egg-crate-monsters it was!

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Just cut them out in pairs, and decorate however you want to look like eyes – we did ours quickly with just marker, but you could totally glue googly eyes on these. ¬†Then we stuck in pipe cleaners to add crazy “lashes” and attached them to our fingers. ¬†Quick and oh-so-easy crafty fun.

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I luuuuuuuuv me a good, healthy smoothie. ¬†It’s the best way to relieve all dietary guilt I feel associated with not eating enough fruits and veggies – both for me, and my kids. ¬†If they have one of these as a mid-morning snack or with their lunch, I sleep a bit better even if they don’t eat their veggies at dinner time, or I’m all out of fruit at breakfast. ¬†Mind you, all smoothies are not created equal – many run the risk of too much sugar when they have too much juice in them, or (Heaven forbid) frozen yogurt. ¬†My go-to mix has just 5 ingredients (6 if you count water).

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I only use a 1/4 cup of OJ and then use water to get it liquidy enough to blend easily (is liquidy a word?).  Anyway, my 2 year old and 5 year old gobble these up РI probably make them 4-5 times a week.  I usually eye-ball the ingredients, but generally, I use:

  • 1 cup loosely packed frozen baby kale (I find the taste of baby kale milder and I can stuff in more without my kids objecting. ¬†I just buy it fresh and then put it in a freezer bag myself)
  • 1/4 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/4 cup frozen mango
  • 1/4 cup OJ
  • 1/4 cup water (if it doesn’t blend easily enough, add more water)
  • 1 or 2 tbsp chia seeds

Then I whip it all up in my Bullet for about a minute.  Yummers.

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Something I’ve discovered with some surprise is that, for a younger child, the appeal of putting beads onto a pipe cleaner Never. Gets. Old. ¬†Whenever I am at my whits end and can’t think of anything for them to do to save my life, I break out the pipe cleaners and beads. ¬†You can bend them into shapes (like the hearts below), use them to form letters and numbers, make bracelets, crowns… you name it, we’ve made it.

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The beauty is that you can re-use all the supplies with a few un-twists of the pipe cleaners a few days later (they won’t miss them what with the HUNDREDS of pipe-cleaner bead thingies they’ve made) – it’s a self-replenishing craft!! ¬†For valentine’s we got a little more crafty than usual and attached them to some leftover lollipop sticks I had from a party and voila! ¬†Heart wands.

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My 2 year old and 5 year old both enjoy doing this for what seems like hours, and the bonus is that it’s good for their little fine motor skills to put them on. ¬†I get to cook dinner AND feel good about their little brain development – win, win!

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Even in California, it gets cold enough to stay indoors for a good portion of the winter. ¬†Especially where we are near San Francisco, the wind can be bitterly cold some days. ¬†I do the usual things to keep them entertained – bored games, coloring, painting, etc., and those work okay, but also get old day after day. ¬†Now and then I stumble upon something that’s new and engaging enough to last quite a bit of time before the novelty wears off, the latest of which is sink bubbles.

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Many of you may have already discovered this, but for us, it’s new and it’s GREAT! ¬†It gives the girls the joy of a bubble bath, but without the full-on production of a bath, and as long as you throw a few towels on the floor, the clean-up is relatively simple. ¬†We’ve been doing this daily for about a week and they are STILL begging to do it every afternoon. ¬†A tiny bit of water and bubbles followed by some vigorous mixing and you barely even need to use any of each to get a sink full of bubbles (which means the ability to make large puddles on the floor is minimized). ¬†Give them a couple of cups and they happily make bubble cappuccinos and lattes for a good 30 minutes (do I take them to Starbucks too much?).

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I’m going to milk this one for all it’s worth – if your kids can be trusted not to make too much of a mess, definitely give this one a go!

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Clementine

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Here’s another of my recent crochet dolls I got around to photographing – this one I made for my younger daughter, so she’s a keeper too. ¬†I tested out attaching a flower headband with this one and I think she turned out pretty cute – I’ll need to work on the technique a bit though before using it on one I give away. ¬†Anyway, hope you like her!

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What is amigurumi you ask? ¬†It’s basically japanese crochet doll making – usually little dolls, using a little crochet hook. ¬†For some unexplainable reason I decided about 6 months ago that I MUST learn to do this, and so here we are… meet, June:

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I’ve really loved learning to make these – it took some trial and error using patterns I found around the web and mixing and matching and adjusting to get to the specific look I was going for with these dolls, but once I perfected it, I’ve been making them as much as I can (which really is only about one per month).

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I’ve only photographed this one, but more will be coming! ¬†I decided I should start taking their pictures since I really do love them all, but, let’s be honest, what do I need these for? ¬†They make great gifts, so off they go, with just their photos to remember them by. ¬†This one I made for one of my daughter’s, though, so she’s a keeper. ¬†I’ve given a few away and have about three in progress for friends having babies this year, so I’ve got plenty to keep me busy.

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I love trying new colors and styles for the clothes – it really is a great creative outlet and I love making something with my hands. ¬†Graphic design is fun, but it’s different than REALLY making something, ya know? ¬†Anyway, I hope you enjoy the pics and if you’d like any tips or technique info, give me a shout!

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