Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Early birds

We had a yard sale over the weekend, which Miss Kinder used as a good reason for selling lemonade and cupcakes. The sale went very well, and the yard sale early birds were no match for our early birds. [They got us up at 5:30, allowing us to be fully set up by 7. I think only one or two cars had done a drive by.]

It was a lot of fun for the girls, who managed to sell nearly fifty cupcakes and half as much lemonade. At one point during the morning I had to run out for more eggs to make another batch because they were running out.

We've had the most amazing stretch of days, and have been outside for most all of them. I'm sort of excited by today's rain and the gloomy forecast because I've been wanting to have a good excuse to hole up and craft indoors.

Monday, May 18, 2009


It's really hard to keep up with all I want to do that looks like this

When it looks like this

As the days get longer and longer, the indoor craftiness time seems to get shorter and shorter. This is great, but the blog suffers! We'll be moving our crafts outside to the garden in the coming weeks. The plan is to make a fairy house and an herb spiral. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Campground Fever

The camping trip was fantastic. It was rainy sometimes, and cloudy the rest, but we all had huge fun. Our campsite had a perfect view of Penobscot Bay and was steps from the beach. We could sit at the campfire and watch the girls walk down to the shoreline in their boots and fleece jackets and did our best to keep their feet dry between stompings. 

The view from our campsite (site #2) from Searsport Shores Ocean Camping flickr site

The owners are the most committed and friendly couple, Steve and Astrig, who have created a really special place. I learned about it from stumbling on Astrig's blog where she talks about living in Midcoast Maine in a place where her home sits among 100+ campsites. As hosts go, these two are tops. Every Saturday in the summertime they host a lobster bake, once a week they have a family movie night in the lodge, and while we were there we had the chance to enjoy homemade donuts and hot cocoa complete with homemade marshmallows covered in toasted coconut. Astrig's small touches made the place super sensational. The girls favorite was the iced water, which Astrig dropped violets in just to make everyone happy.

For our part of the cleanup, my other half dusted off his carpentry skills while the girls and I spruced up the dressup area of the lodge, going through a huge trunk of gowns and costumes and selecting their favorite 15 to hang up for the season. You can imagine how much they enjoyed this "chore."  

Camping events the girls loved most were using glow sticks and flashlights, and helping gather wood for the fire. They also loved beach combing for sand dollars, beach glass and smooth stones, staying up extra late, being in the rain at night in the tent, getting as dirty as they wanted, and meeting the goats that live on the property. Oh, didn't I tell you they have two goats? This place is paradise.

Photo of Lollipop the goat, from Searsport Shores Ocean Camping website

One packing note: I remembered from my old days as a scout to pack your clothes by day and seal each day in a gallon-sized ziplock bag. This prevents overpacking and most importantly, it keeps everything dry. This was really helpful because it was wet most of the time, and when we got home I didn't have to wash the clothes we didn't wear since they were sealed up and didn't smell like a campfire. 

Friday, May 8, 2009

Happy Campers

In a couple hours we leave for our first family camping trip. The car is packed, the hobo packs are ready, and I hope I've remembered just about everything. Here's to my girls loving it as much as I did as a kid!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

This End Up

Miss Kinder insisted that her best friend receive a riding pony-on-a-stick, a request I couldn't deny her since the pair of ponies-on-sticks are the favorite pretend play item of choice by her and V. when they are at our house. 

I have managed to keep my handmade pledge all year, and I wasn't sure this one infraction was all that bad. I eased my mind on this front in two ways: I bought the pony locally, and then I set my mind to making a box for it that would conceal its identity and allow me to make something as well.

So, what kind of box can you make to hide a stick pony? And it came to me. Ta da!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Softie from a Child's Drawing

For V's birthday, I took one of her imaginary animal drawings to make a softie. Using some colored wool, I needle felted it into shape and then did a blanket stitch to make a small pillowy animal for her. 

This animal is named Stripey. It eats stripes, drinks polka dots, and is the protector of all jungles. How could I not try and bring it to life a bit?

Monday, May 4, 2009

Power Animal of the Month: Honeybee!

Here in Maine, the dandelions, tulips and daffodils are alive with the buzzing of honeybees.  It's such a welcome sound after six months of crunching through snow and ice. No bees were harmed in the making of this power animal roundup, though my sensibilities were offended often from really awful bee-based puns [see: bee mine, bee kind, you're bee-u-ti-ful!] 

I also included a lovely bee box (#1) for bees of the real-life variety. Like Miss Kinder says, "Without bees LEB, you know what!? We'd be so poor and starving, we would even have no food for a million years!"

Twirling into Spring

I've been wanting to make twirly skirts for both Miss Kinder and LEB, because they like them and because it's a good way to practice on my sewing machine. I found two tutorials online that inspired me to cut into the IKEA hippo fabric and polka dots that I'd been saving for something special. 

I approached the project carefully. I got all my materials out, read and re-read the instructions, and dutifully used my seam ripper when I did something wrong. The resulting skirt has me prouder than all get out. It's been very well received.

I'm the kind of mom who likes to indulge the dancer in both her girls, and who also demands that they not be precious about dresses and skirts. I've always maintained that they should play in their clothes, and that getting dirty is a pretty important part of most days. That said, there is no reason that the dirty clothes piled up next to the bathtub shouldn't be as girly as a girl might like. 

I love how Miss Kinder immediately began to dance in this skirt. I also love that she remembered to put good shoes on her feet in case of a quick game of tag or if she needed to scale some big rocks on the beach. 

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