28 December 2010

shh, i'm not really here


my plan to take a wee break for the remainder of the year has failed miserably. i've already: snuck into my nook to sew, worked on a project for elfling, sketched a ton of valentine ideas for theshop, placed two orders for supplies, & now am here with you.

i haven't anything fabulous to share, i just wanted to say hello. so, hello!

that's all :)

ps :: if anyone asks, you never saw me here.

26 December 2010


that's a photo of my first attempt at making my mother's famous yule log*. from the outside it looked quite well done. once sliced? well, not so pretty. but! it tasted amazing, & that's what most matters. manlyman proclaimed it a thing of beauty, & said that my mother would have been proud. sometimes that man o' mine knows just the thing to say. next year i plan to make a fancier version, but for my first christmas without my mother, it had to be just like hers.

i hope you had a fabulous solstice, & that your christmas (or if you aren't of the christmas variety, your weekend) was wonderful.

have a lovely end of the year, do!
* it was actually nabisco's recipe, but as she made it for us each year, she gets credit :)

20 December 2010

blessed be!

painting :: by thehobbit
 how wonderful to have a full moon & a lunar eclipse, both on the eve of the solstice! i hope you are able to see it where you live. the weather here most likely will hamper visibility, but i'm not sad. you see, i have an elfling, who woke me before 4am today. i would sleep through the full moon playing guitar hero in my bedroom at this point. i won't be seeing the spectacle, no matter the weather.

for those of you who are waiting to see who won the give-away: i have not forgotten that i was supposed to have drawn on friday. well i had forgotten, but have remembered since forgetting. i'll draw sometime this week, & announce the winner the next time i post. i'll include an extra mushroom for your patience. just to the winner, mind you. the rest of you are outta luck :)

that's all for tonight. i hope you have a glorious start to your winter/summer.

here comes the sun, do, do, do, do. here comes the sun, & i say: it's all right...

16 December 2010

a royal collaboration

photo shoot :: outtake

a few months ago i was asked by my oh-so-fantastic teammate, pin pon, if i would like to create a crown to go with a capelet she made. seriously? well, of course i would! even before joining natural kids i was a huge fan of her work.

once the (utterly adorable) capelet arrived i got to work on the crown. i believe i even showed a sneaky peek or two, way back when. the delay has been in photographing the set. unfortunately my little models & i never seemed to mesh schedule-wise. thehobbit, as willing as he usually is to pose for me, was not interested in modelling an ultra-feminine ensemble.

finally i accepted that i would need to just find another model. you know, that's easier said than done. i know many little girls in the required size, but a) i wanted a classic look, & 2) very few in this age group are willing models, once the camera is in front of them.

as you can see from this post's photo, i did find the perfect model. not only was she still willing with the camera clicking away, she was the cutest little ham i'd ever worked with. what you see above is one of a few standard "model" poses she has in her repertoire. she cracks me up :)

so! the royal set can now be purchased here! i still have to take some closer photos of the crown's details, as well as the gorgeous interior of the capelet - just waiting for the rain to stop. if you have a princess in need of this set, i suggest you buy it before i get the photos uploaded. it may not be around long.


10 December 2010

a celebratory give-away!


recently theshop made it to (& past) its 100th sale! i had hoped to make something special for you, but there isn't enough time in a day right now. instead i'm offering one mini mushroom set to one lucky reader. these sets will only be around for a short time, as my supplier no longer makes the tall button. i know, it's my favorite one too. i will have sets of three for sale, until i find a fourth size i like. ok, enough babbling!

for one entry: leave a comment.
for a second: become a NEW fan on facebook, & leave a comment that you did.
for another: become a NEW follower on twitter, & leave a comment that you did.
and more: follow this blog, subscribe to the feed, blog about it, fb, tweet, etc - you get the picture.
ooh!!!!!!! another: send me a convo with the link showing that you'd bought from my shop, then leave a comment that you did!!! (i just came up with this one off the top of my head, hence all the exclamation points.)

this give-away will close next friday, the 17th, when i remember to get online, pst. ok, get commenting, & good luck!

ps, i hope you win. shh. don't tell the others.

09 December 2010

thursday things - little prezzies


box of stocking stuffers: naturalkids (look! my acorn gnome kit!)
this installment of thursday things focuses on little prezzies for stockings & solstice. no chitter chatter, let's get right to it!

i am thrilled to have my acorn gnome kit included in the box of stocking stuffers you see pictured above. the boxes are fabulous if you have more than one child to buy for, or if you want to spoil your only child rotten.

set of houses: woodmouse

i love amber's toys. their rustic simplicity makes me swoony. if elfling were older, the caption on this photo would have read set of houses you can't have, because i just bought it, neener neener neener. she's hosting a give-away on her blog, by the way.

typewriter key jewelry: buster and boo

how about something for you angsty tween or teen? sara has just what you need. i adore this lock/key necklace beyond reason. i may have to buy it for myself. by the way, my own angsty hobbit has approved her wares for guys, not just girls. in case you were wondering :)

snake oil salve: muddyfeet

santa just ordered a jar of this yummy calendula salve for manlyman's stocking. golfing in winter leaves his hands dry & tender. she sells it with a regular grown-up-type label, but santa & i think the silly label is so much better. i'll let you know how manlyman likes it.

gardenia perfume oil: sacred waters soap co.

wives, mothers, sisters, girlfriends, etc - they all love smelling pretty. if shan's soaps are any indication (i use them exclusively), her perfume oils will do just that. her shop lists two other scents, if gardenia doesn't appeal.

that brings this edition of thursday things to a close. disclaimer: i do not get anything for the things i feature. they are always chosen because i like them, or because they have caught my eye. that said; i do know all of today's sellers. just thought i should throw that out there.

happy shopping!

08 December 2010


we went to my favorite tearoom last week, to celebrate our 20th anniversary. elfling wasn't impressed by the scones, as you can see by the above photo.

twenty years! i shared our story nearly three years ago. of course, since then we have added another princeling to the faery tale. yep, we have an heir & a spare! i hope you enjoy our story.


06 December 2010

in which there are many santas


earlier this year, i was gifted with my mother-in-law's many bins of christmas decorations. i had already vowed to purge my own holiday bins when christmas rolled around, so only kept the things that made my heart go pitter-pat. the rest i donated (with her permission) to a thrift shop.

so what pitter-patted my heart? why her wonderful collection of santas, that's what! i had long admired the many santas, & wanted to have a collection of my own. i made it to a grand total of two santas before quitting. you see, a certain hobbity boy was born & from then, on, all my christmases focused solely on him.

i figured i'd begin again once he was a teenager. having elfling thwarted that plan - i'm already blind to everything else, watching him as he discovers all the wonders of the holiday season.

that's ok however, because i no longer need to collect santas. thanks to my m.i.l. i've plenty of my own. plenty enough to split in two, when the boys begin their own families, even. don't you think that would be a lovely thing? they can grow up with the tradition of putting out the santas each december, then continue the tradition with their own children - with the same santas!


there is room for more.


26 November 2010

wonkylations make me smile

i know i go on & on about my love of the japanese nearly2dollars store (yes, they raised prices!), but can you blame a girl for gushing? recently we were in need of birthday prezzies for a mini who loves the store as thehobbit & i do, so off we went!

one thing that i love about the store is the wonky translation to be found on packaging - it is always fabulous. this time there were notebooks sporting wonkylations (real word), so i took photos of my favorites, just for you!

a sewing theme:

a bear, with balloons:

are they not the most wonderful things? what is making you smile today?


15 November 2010

promise, postponed

photo :: property of click here
 i want this record player, want it so! i do think santa should get this for me - i've been a very good girl. mostly. well, ok. i truly haven't, but i meant to be.

the gorgeous player has, sadly, nothing to do with this post. i have no access to sheba (she's in laptop hospital), so needed a photo to keep you riveted to my every word. :)

i know i said i would have the frame tutorial soon, but my photos for it aren't on this borrowed laptop. sorry! no worries, sheba is not dreadfully ill, so the tutorial's postponement should be short.

for now, you can stare dreamily at the above photo with me.


11 November 2010

everything old is new again


so much is new around thebelfry. mostly it's elfling-related - words abilities, etc - such is the world of a bébé. i shan't bore you by gushing over how brilliant he is. i mean really now, what mama doesn't think her offspring is the next einstein? of course mine is. i also have some new treasures to share.

the above is a gorgeously tattered quilt. it was made by manlyman's grandmother's older sister. how's that for a mouth-full? my mother-in-law rescued it eons ago, when her mother was going to throw it away. gasp!

recently she nearly made me cry by passing the quilt on to me! i think i was actually somewhat near to being ever so slightly speechless for a moment or two. never was i so happy that manlyman's siblings don't like old things.

this sweet little shelf for the bathroom is my latest thrift shop find. i think it is the perfect shade: not quite white, not quite beige. its shallow shelves aren't the most practical, though it does manage to hold a few daily necessities.


for years now i have wanted this poster, & now i have it! in a wonderful old frame to boot! well, sort of. look more closely at the photo & you'll see it is, in fact, printed off my computer - frame & all. i know!

coming up, i have a tutorial for making frames such as these - though in card stock, not computer paper like mine. speaking of which: am i the only one who makes things better for others, than for herself? do you do that as well? please tell me you do. lie to me if need be.

rats, i had more to chat about, but a certain elfling has decided to wake early from his nap. thanks for visiting!


09 November 2010

just popping in

the pumpkins go marching one by one...

to say hello! i have been a bit discombobulated the past few days, trying to get eleventy million things done. today is more of the same, but i did not want to let another day go by without visiting. i shall have a proper post for you tomorrow.

until then - have a glorious day, do!

~~ the holiday sale is still happening in theshop !! ~~

03 November 2010

love is in the air

kats in the belfry has been getting some love on a few oh so nice websites/blogs. it is quite a wonderful feeling, i must say. lookie here:

* pure pixie features autumn. doesn't he look handsome?

* a few items are shown on natural suburbia, though only my portobellas are mentioned. if you look closely you may also spy my mini mushroom set, & spring on the bottom shelf.

* scroll down oh my! handmade goodness' fantabulistic (real word) holiday gift guide to see my birthday crown.

if all that were not woohoo enough, today i spoke with a woman about carrying my birthday crowns & birthday tiaras in her lovely boutique! we shall see where that path takes us. & yes, i am speaking of the royal we :)

i hope you get some love today as well.

02 November 2010

chocolate skulls, a tutorial


in honor of my mother's first year as an ancestor, instead of sugar skulls, we opted to make chocolate ones. she loved dark chocolate. is there any other kind? i mean, really now.

we had planned on making the skulls, then decorating them after they'd cooled, but we chose the lazy way. hence the above (hobbit-named) bloody skull look. this is a child-friendly craft, by the way.

what you'll need: small skull molds (google lists many places from which to purchase molds), your favorite chocolate (we used bittersweet), & colored sugar. edited to say :: you'll see that i'd cut the mold into strips. it makes it easier to pop the sugar skulls onto the drying rack. you don't need to do this for chocolate.

* melt your chocolate in a double boiler, or microwave. to do the latter, nuke it for one minute on high, stir, then 20 seconds more, & stir. that should be long enough.

* place your molds on a cookie sheet that fits in your freezer. if you haven't one, cut a piece of cardboard to fit. sprinkle the colored sugar into each skull.

* carefully fill each skull with chocolate. we have tried many ways of getting the chocolate into molds, & a fork was voted the best by thehobbit. you can plop in the bulk, & the last bit drizzles nicely off the tines. easy peasy.

* once all the mold's skulls have been filled, carefully pick up the mold, & tap it on the counter. this should remove any air bubbles.

* pop the tray of skulls into the freezer for at least 15 minutes. the longer you can leave them in, the better. you need their centers to harden.

* sprinkle sugar on a little plate on which you've jauntily placed a bloody skull, & photograph it next to your fancy pumpkin. or just eat it. whichever.

if you do this project, please let me know. i want to see photos! enjoy.


01 November 2010

dia de los muertos

unrelated photo of a zombie aviator, aka thehobbit

also known as day of the dead, dia de los muertos (ddlm) is a celebration that has its roots in ancient times. to learn all about it, read what dayofthedead, or wiki has to say.

i have a lazy version of a ddlm tutorial for you, but not until tomorrow. stop pouting, because i have some fun ddlm links to tide you over!

* our favorite thing to do is create sugar skulls. mexicansugarskull explains the what & the why, has fabulous photos, & skull molds for sale. a great tutorial, as well.

* at azcentral you can find a list of crafts to, as they say, make this ddlm one to remember.

* coloring pages are always fun. use them to decorate you home, or enhance a homeschool lesson. i'm told they're great for quieting your little kids, so their older siblings can actually do their lessons. thecolor has some perfectly suited to the holiday.

* speaking of homeschooling, check out this wonderful education packet! i don't want to spoil your oohs & aahs by telling you what's there, so just go take a peek.

that is all for today! come back tomorrow for my lazy version of a ddlm tutorial. have fun crafting!


30 October 2010

the veil thins...


...& the spirits of those we love walk amongst us.

have a happy hallowe'en, my friends. blessed be.


23 October 2010

a fresh start OR finding me


i have been spending a great deal of time thinking about my blog & biz. lately i have not had the time to give either proper attention. that's resulted in half-arsed posts; when i remember to post; & too many shop items in desperate need of being rephotographed. those things - for me - lead to stress.

all that thinking; besides being vastly less fun than daydreaming; led me to decide it was time for things to get back on track. or get on the right track. oh! now this song is stuck in my head. your welcome :)

blogging how i used to should be an easy enough thing, once i get my mind set on doing so. & um, perhaps get a bit of sleep & exercise? a sluggish body makes a for a sluggish mind. or something like that. remembering to take photos should also aid in getting back to my bloggerific ways.

as for theshop? i am not sure yet what i am going to do. closing isn't an option, i love creating & selling too much. i do think i need a fresh start though. i want to get back to how i began this adventure: sewing. i miss making funky drink slings, & market totes. i have never even put my funky mama/kid aprons in my shop, not to mention a bunch of other things i'd sold only at shows, or given as gifts. & do not get me started on the ideas that fill the pages of my sketchbooks!

that is not to say the little wooden dolls & toys are going to be discontinued, not in the least. i just want to things to be more me. some days i think a brick & mortar shop would be a better venue for me. etsy is just so big a pond, & it hard getting people to find my quirky little fish of a shop.

so my first step on this fresh start is to clean house, so to speak. it came to me that a sale of freakish proportions would be just the thing. i get my stock moved out to make room for my fresh start, & you get quality handmade items for freakishly low prices - just in time for the holidays.

from now, until the end of november (or stock runs out) everything in theshop will be 40% off!!!! i told you it was a sale of freakish proportions. so let's get things rolling: please take a look in my etsy shop, &  shop till you drop. oh, & don't forget to share the link with others - no hogging the goodies! thank you :)

here's to a fresh start, & finding me again. (did i forget to tell you that you'd need a glass of wine with this post? sorry.)


22 October 2010

hobbity photography

cloudy sky 1

cloudy sky 2

cloudy sky 3
thehobbit is better at taking the photos, than naming them. this series (if you had not yet guessed) is called cloudy skies. i love that he is enjoying his adventure with my camera. yes, i said my camera. oldies may recall that he has a my former piece of crap camera of his own. upon discovering his love of taking photos, he discovered that his camera is, indeed, crap. guess what he wants this holiday season?

my question to you: what camera do you recommend for a 12yo budding photographer? keep in mind that i don't want to spend very much money. because he is known for being fickle, he could drop photography at any given moment. his main complain about crappy the camera? the macro setting sucks.

so? what camera do you suggest? i know you have an opinion on this - all my readers are know-it-alls. i wouldn't have it any other way ;)


14 October 2010

thursday things - spoooooky!


this week's thursday things is spoooooooky. just a few things i came across, & thought you would like. enjoy!

* i bought this spooky pretzel mold yesterday. we dip pretzels every december, but when i saw this, i knew the tradition would be moved to october. this year we'll be dipping for hogwarts. i found a lesson on the science of melting chocolate. fun & yum. i'll post all of that on the hh blog. (i got the mold 50% at a craft shop.)

* i ordered this halloween-themed, spooky science kit, & hope to have it by friday. we unschool, so the money i would have spent on text books & worksheets, i instead spend on fun kits.

* ok, this spooky vampire on a stick is too wonderful! not so spooky are the mustaches, which are even better.

* elfling needs this spooky scaredy cat. definitely.

that's all for today. my spooky elfling is up from his nap, & in need of spooky snuggles. have a spooky day :)


13 October 2010

i capture the castle


look what thehobbit found at a local grocery store! we watched the man putting the finishing touches on this fun castle. neat!


11 October 2010

my collection grows, & ew!

before i share a portion of my eiffel tower collection, i have to share what i discovered upon photographing them. more accurately it was when i uploaded the photos here that i noticed the foul layer of dust on my littlest towers. ew! now i may not be the most fabulous housekeeper, but i do dust regularly. though, apparently i stink at it. behold the ew:

moving on: i do not know what it is that draws me to the eiffel tower, but draw me it does. i get all kinds of swoony when i see it. above you see two from the paris, in las vegas, & two from thrift shops. that teensy one is a charm. i had to remove it from my charm bracelet, because it would catch on things.

this one is my favorite! a gift from my mother-in-law, it is cast iron doorstop. the photo isn't the best, so you cannot clearly see its lovely rusty bits.

below is my newest acquisition. i found it this week, at the grocery store of all places! it was on a clearance shelf, in the frame, for $1.79. nope, you read that correctly: one dollar & seventy nine cents. in the frame!

ignore the reflection, it couldn't be helped. isn't it pretty? my dream is a gigantic print such as this; one to take up an entire wall. sigh.

thank you for loving me despite the ew looking at a portion of my collection with me. do you collect anything? i'd love to see.


09 October 2010

bébé's "noisy wallet"- a tutorial


finally, i can upload photos! let's get right to it, shall we? this is how i made elfling his very own noisy wallet. for this project you'll need: fabric, felt, 1 empty package of wipes, 6 inch ribbon, & 3.5 inch velcro strip.

* cut your fabric & felt each into 2 rectangles, measuring 9 x 5.5. i don't recommend wool felt for this. you'll want to wash & dry it regularly, so opt for bamboo, or ecofelt. something that won't shrink.
* cut the wipes package open, then into 1 rectangle, slightly smaller than the others. you know i mean the refill package, right, not the hard box? this makes the crinkley noise when you wee one plays with it.
* cut your ribbon in half.

* make a sammich: fabric (right side down), felt, wipes package, felt, fabric (right side up). we aren't turning any edges, so you want to make sure your fabric isn't the wrong way. i am lazy didn't have a problem with my layers sliding about, so i didn't pin. do so, if you want.

* on each short side, insert a piece of ribbon that has been folded. make sure enough is on the inside of your sammich. the ribbon isn't a must-have, by the way, unless your bébé is mad for tags like elfling.

*zigzag around all four edges of your sammich, reinforcing at the ribbons. if you want a neater look, feel free to turn down the edges, etc. my way isn't for everyone, but works perfectly well.

* straight stitch your rectangle in half, shortwise. this will be where you wallet folds. i then stitched each half in half again, but you needn't - i was going for a quilted look, then changed my mind.

important note :: if you are bothered by crooked lines, yet not good at paying attention, do not use a plaid fabric! the photo above illustrates why.

* zigzag your strip of velcro to what you have chosen to be the inside of your wallet. this is the closure, so sew it near the two shorter edges. it's also another fun noise feature, so don't opt for a button instead.

that's all there is to it! i don't have a photo of the wallet folded, as a certain someone would not give it back once i handed it over for testing. you can see that the tag is thus far his favorite feature. if you make you own noisy wallet, send me a photo, so i can see! the dreaded blahblahblah bit: please, please, please make this only for yourself & friends - not for resale. i am sure you would never do such a thing, but i felt i had to say it. thanks, for understanding. now, go make one!


if sewing is not your thing, let me know! i am currently making noisy wallets for theshop.
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