Monday, July 14, 2014

Doll House Bed

I made this bed for my daughter's doll house. It's made of chipboard (like the solid backing on the back of a pad of sketch paper). It's about 6 inches long, and 3 inches wide (12in scale).

This was the first doll bed I have ever made, so I don't have step-by-step photos or a how-to prepared. But it wasn't all that difficult to make. All you need is a headboard, a footboard, bed rails, and a mattress. I found a template for the pieces here, but I simplified the construction process.

I put the bed together using tacky glue, and covered the headboard and footboard with fabric. The mattress is made with a 3x6in sheet of chipboard and 2 layers of polyester batting covered in a simple white fabric.

The pillows are hand sewn and the blankets are simply 6x7in pieces of leftover knit material.

I think it turned out super cute, and I will definitely make another one. After all, this little girl has a brother!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

A multicolored castle

This is our Lego castle. It took us a week, and most of our bricks, to build.
What massive structure have you created with Legos lately?

Thursday, September 26, 2013

A Hobbit Feast!

September 22 is my oldest daughter's birthday. It is also the birthday of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins, of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. If you are Tolkien fans like we are, you will understand what a treat it is for my daughter to share her birthday with such famous literary characters! And it may come as no surprise to you that she requested a Lord of the Rings themed birthday celebration.

She was turning 18. It was quite possibly the last real birthday party she would have here at home. So we indulged her, and planned a Hobbit Feast that even Bilbo himself (and the dwarves, no doubt) would have been proud of!

No Hobbit party would be complete without this
sign on the door! I found the sign online and printed it,
then tea stained it to make it look like parchment.

We tried to give our house a Hobbit hole feel by having
little touches like these candles and a map of Middle Earth.

Hobbit beverages. We also had tea and coffee! 

The feast! There is always a lot of food at a Hobbit party.
See the "One Ring Cake" as the centerpiece? I forgot to put
the mushrooms out before I took the picture, but we didn't
forget that hobbit favorite.

Our Hobbit feast menu. I left off strawberries
and cream, but they were there!

An uninvited guest, the largest spider we've ever seen in our house!
My younger daughter said it was "the spawn of Shelob." Fitting.

Whatever the occasion, themed parties are tons of creative fun! What kind of themed party might you have at your

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Making Marbled Paper

Making beautiful marbled paper is messy business, but there's nothing quite like having paper you designed yourself to use for crafting. This paper can be used in just about any paper craft you can think of -- card making, scrap booking, a background for a drawing or college, or it can be unique stationery for a note to Grandma.
Here is what you need to make your own marbled paper:
  • sturdy paper, such as card stock or thick drawing paper
  • food coloring in a variety of colors
  • shaving cream foam (not gel)
  • waxed paper 
  • an old gift card or other object with a smooth, flat edge
  • a toothpick or skinny paintbrush
1. To begin, spread out newspaper over a large working area. Cut several sheets of waxed paper and arrange them on your working surface so that you have a working space a few inches wider and longer than the paper you will be working with. 

2. Put a generous blob of shaving cream in the center of the waxed paper.

3. Using the gift card, spread the shaving cream evenly over the waxed paper, so that the area is slightly larger than the paper.

4. Drop a few drops of food coloring, in contrasting colors, onto the shaving cream in a random pattern.

 5. Using a toothpick or the wrong end of a skinny paintbrush, swirl the food coloring around until it looks marbled. It is similar to making a marbled cake.

 6. It should look something like this:

Don't worry if yours turns out looking messier. It will still
look interesting when finished!

 7. Set the paper directly onto the shaving cream and press gently and evenly to ensure all of the paper is coated.

 8. Remove the paper slowly. It will be covered in a thick coating of colorful shaving cream.

 9. Use the wide edge of the gift card to scrape the foam off of the paper, and wipe the colorful foaminess back onto the waxed paper to be used again.*

 10. And now you have a beautiful sheet of marbled paper. Leave it to dry overnight!

*You can use the same batch of shaving cream twice. Follow these steps again with the shaving cream that you scraped off the paper. Try not to mix it up too much when you spread it out over the waxed paper, and don't add any more food coloring. The paper will not have the same swirly pattern, but it will still be interesting.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013


We've talked about giving our kids cameras before. Taking photos can be a fun way to get creative no matter where you are! And with things like iPhones and iPods, taking pictures is easier than ever. These photos were taken by my daughter Samantha during our recent vacation to Minnesota, using an app called Instagram. What's fun about using Instagram is that you can experiment with different photo styles, lighting, brightness and contrast, black and whites, and so much more. 

Samantha loves her Converse, and I love the contrast
in this photo. It really pops!

Pretty cool (or hot!) close-up of the smoldering fire.
Have your kids done anything creative with a camera lately?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


Did you miss me?

I've been a busy lady for the last 2 1/2 months: we sold our home, had a baby (our eighth, and we're thrilled!), moved to a temporary rental home, and bought another house two states away. Whew.

We're about to move to the new house, and I've packed up most of the household again, including a lot of our children's things.

So what are they supposed to play with now?

I was quite pleased to find them this morning, playing with dolls and accessories they'd improvised from pipe cleaners. Not a single "I'm booooooored," or nagging from Mom for them to find something to do.

A slice of pizza

Table and chair, with a flower centerpiece



Doll #1 in the chair

I'm told Doll #2 is pregnant :D

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

When was the last time you played with Legos?

Legos are as important as bread in our house. We just can't live without them! My kids and I have had many late nights working on some Lego project, most often some kind of house or building of some sort. After the hours and hours of building, our masterpiece will be proudly displayed on the family room shelf, and taken down often to be examined, played with or adjusted.

Legos, or other similar building blocks, are the ultimate creative toy. You can make just about anything you think of with the right assortment of Legos. If you haven't gotten the Legos out in a while, why not make an afternoon or an evening of it with the family?

You might just end up with something awesome, like this:

It's a Lego hotel, with two guest rooms and a pool!