28 February 2010

fish heads, fish heads, roly poly fish heads...

do you remember that song? this post has nothing to do with fish heads, but the song got stuck in my head (yours too? you're welcome), when i was thinking about how roly poly the new people heads are.
my supplier changed the shape, & they didn't say if they'd be switching back or not. i'm bummed, i prefer the flatter head.

the gal with orange hair is the original style. i apologize for their nakedness; they're shameless. do you see the difference in the shoulders though? the original's are not as round. i don't mind that much, it's the head that has me discombobulated.

look how much more roly poly it is. the original's is more squished, which i think makes a for a better face. i was going to say more realistic, but i don't want you thinking i'd lost my marbles completely.
that isn't to say louise isn't as cute as pippi, she just isn't the same. (soap! you named the new gal without even realizing.)
i don't know. what do you think? i would love your input.

i'm sorry, but that eco gnome is just too cute. i told you he was dinky, but i bet you didn't realize just how dinky :)
wow, that was a short nap. ok, i'm off to smooch all over my elfling's face. please leave a comment about the new heads.

27 February 2010

fancy hats optional


i wish i could have a tea party, & invite you all. since i cannot, i want to ask you to celebrate my birthday with me, right where you are.

pour yourself a cup of tea, or coffee if you prefer (or booze if you prefer). don't forget the plate of tiny treats! if you have kids, send them off to play elsewhere, so we can relax. mine are in the other room already.

are you wearing a fancy hat? parties are all the more fun with fancy hats. of course if you aren't the fancy hat type, that's ok with me. i'm just glad you're here.

it isn't a birthday party if there aren't prezzies, & so, i have a prezzie for you! i came across this movie quite by accident, & loved it. the sets are amazing, the costumes make me drool, & well, colin firth is in it. need i say more? i thought not. i watched it on netflix's instant watch, so if you have it, you can head over after you leave here. to tempt you:

ooh! i hear the kettle calling. i'm off to make more tea. thank you for joining me in celebration. now go have a glorious day!


ps :: the flowers are in my insanely over-grown backyard. i love flowers that flourish without my help.

26 February 2010

what the??


yes, you have come to the right place. strange isn't it? i have been wanting to switch to a white background for some time; because photos look so much brighter on one; but i love the scribe template immensely.

well, i finally made the change last night. change is good. right? right?!?! tell me change is good, because i am freaking a wee bit. i still have to tweak things here & there.

i need to re-shoot the header photo - this template doesn't allow my blog name to be in lower case. that just won't do. all who know me tease me for my lack of caps. i love the photo of my gate, so i'll most likely shoot the same image, but with my blog's name in the picture itself. i cannot decide just how though. perhaps i'll do the letters on individual squares of fabric, string up some twine, & hang the title using mini wooden clothespins. we'll see. (edited to say :: i added text to the original photo. it'll do, for now.)

there's also the issue of columns. i hacked the last template for the 3rd column, & can do the same to this template, but i'm on the fence. a part of me likes the sleek look, but then i personally don't like scrolling for days to reach something on an other's blog. 3 columns is great to eliminate that issue. again, we'll see.

that's all i came to tell you today. i am waiting for a custom order to dry, so i can finish it. have a lovely day, do!


** tomorrow is my birthday! what did you get me? **

25 February 2010

a mini documentary: eco gnomes


eco gnomes are the environmentalists of the magical world. above you see a group of them, on a clothing expedition. they take magazines that humans no longer need, & turn the pages into clothing. one issue of kiwi could clothe an entire colony for a year!

after they have dealt with their nakedidity (real word), they try to get adopted by humans. once in their new homes, the eco gnomes set about helping the humans live more green lifestyles.

it seems that one little guy made his outfit already, but it looks a bit wonky. no iron, perhaps?

don't feel badly for the little wrinkled guy, he's already been adopted. by me! his fellow gnomies will be heading to theshop sometime in the next week. once they've arrived, i'll let you know so you can adopt 1 as well. if i can stop myself from keeping them, that is.

(can you believe how tiny they are? that is not a giant acorn in that 1 picture. these gnomes are an inch tall!)

23 February 2010

new shipping envelopes


i ran out of the smaller, padded envelopes. since my time for errands is limited these days, i didn't want to waste it on shopping for boring supplies. i'd much rather squeeze in a short trip to a thrift shop!

i've long wanted to create envelopes out of something i would recycle anyway. i tried magazine pages a few months back, but they looked sloppy. the other night i was walking around thebelfry, looking for something that would suit, when i spotted paper bags from the grocery store.

now don't get on me for wasting trees, please. i use cloth bags (heck, i make cloth bags!), i just don't always remember to bring them. so when i do bring home my shopping in paper bags, i reuse the bags.

i try to find uses that take the place of something i would have to buy - that way i eliminate the cost, & waste of another something. in the past i've used them for gift tags & wrapping paper (before i began using cloth bags & metal tins for prezzies), & made many hobbity sketch pads.

back to the envelopes: so i put the sets of shakespeare people into their cloth bags, wrapped them in (previously used) tissue - hahaha not tissue for blowing noses, for wrapping! - then measured the packets. i added 1.5 inches around, & cut out 2 pieces of bag for each set.

from there it was over to sewlie: a zigzag stitch on 3 sides, slide in a packet, & zigzag the whole shebang closed. because my market has fun designs on their bags, i slapped an address label onto each.

the first two:

i love them!

this isn't a permanent answer to my envelope quandary. after all, i am still working on remembering to bring my cloth bags to the market. for now though? i have the most fabulous envelopes that ever there were :)

for fellow bizzie owners: what to you re-purpose? let's share ideas, so we can get closer to a greener way of doing things!


22 February 2010

!!!!!!shop update!!!!!!!


head over to theshop, & see the newest creations! can you believe i actually got things a) created, & 2) in theshop? clearly i am not kat, but kat's more together twin ;)

there are: birthday crowns, felt mushrooms, & wooden forest gnomes. woohoo, indeed.

my crown listings are sans models this time around. thehobbit decided he was no longer willing to model for me. no worries, as oddsox' youngest boy looks like a younger version of my hobbity one, & is more than willing. as soon as we've done the photo shoot, i'll be updating the listings.

a few things in the works: crowns in paler hues, crowns of damask, drink slings, & aprons. i also have been sketching new shakespeare people. is there anything you'd like to see?

i'm off to make gluten-free brownies with my unwilling model. i'd love to stay & chat, but i need some brownies, & you have to go buy all my stuff :)

have a glorious one, do!

21 February 2010

a sneaky peek


a monster designed by a monster. my monster, that is. thehobbit came up with the idea for this crown. i think he's cute - especially those wonky eyes. they wobble, but then whose eyes don't? ;)
this birthday crown is 1 of 6 for monday's shop update. there are other things waiting to be uploaded, & even more in the works.
it feels good to be creating again.

20 February 2010

losing my mushrooms


i have a shop update in a few days, & want to list my felt mushrooms. i think they'd be wonderful in an easter or spring basket. when thehobbit was smaller, i gave him one on ostara, & he didn't put it down for days. he still has it, though being a great old man of 12, the mushroom now lives in his treasure box.

it wasn't until i went to photograph them that i realized i had sold the lot at winter faire. making more isn't a problem. well, it wouldn't be were i to find my pattern, & mushroom-colored felt. i packed it together, & stored the basket somewhere where i could easily find it. yeah...

i've searched my studio twice, but not come across it. i did find this lone mushroom, in a box of ribbon. i don't know how it got there, but i suspect this guy had something to do with it:

now if i come across the other acorn gnomies; during my mushroom kit search; perhaps i'll include them in the update as well.

do you store things where you're certain you'll find them, then not?

19 February 2010

royal proclamation!

i'm rearranging the furniture here; yes, again; so things my look a bit wonky for a short while. don't worry, i shan't make a mess of things. much ;)

18 February 2010

thursday things - 6

did you notice that the other day i hung the above picture over there? -------> of course those of you who subscribe don't see all the sidebar goings-on. in fact, for all you know i deleted both sidebars long ago, & that arrow points only to the next word. you really should visit the blog more often; to see all you're missing.
this week's thursday things is natural kids. they are an international group of very talented artisans, who create toys, clothing, & other things for children out of natural materials.
their shop is a portal to each artisan's etsy shop where you can browse by shop name, or by category. they also have a fun blog, to better get to know the group's individuals. the recent post is a delicious, vegan scone recipe. mmmm.
i haven't had a chance to visit each shop, but what i've seen thus far has been beautiful. they take such care with their creations, & it shows. you may have seen some items here, as i featured a few of their artisans last thursday.
they, them, their - all pretty words, but they don't really apply when i write about natural kids. not any longer, at any rate. you see, i am now a very proud member of their group! that's right, my as in: we, us, our! you may woohoo me now :)
thanks for indulging me in a bit of self-congratulatory-thursday-thinging (real word) - i just couldn't help it :)
now i am off to make dinner, & you, my one & only reader, are going to check out my group's shops. heeheehee my group.
**blogger is messing with my spacing again.**

12 February 2010

thursday things - 5

buy the mini mushroom set here!

it would seem i forgot to post my thursday things yesterday. are you surprised? no, you are not. but! you forgive my swiss cheese brain, because you, my one & only reader, are kind. & dazzlingly good looking to boot. :)

today's things are all about a favorite pastime of mine; playing make-believe.

look what i found on etsy!

* wooden catapult - long time readers will recall my thehobbit's love of toy catapults. this one is divine in its simplicity, & affordable. a must-have, if you ask me.

* fairy crown - all i can say is "wow".

* coffee to go - any child of a coffee addict should have this in his/her play food basket - can't emulate mama or daddy-o without it. i know i'll need one for elfling before too long.

* fairy kitchen set - i showed thehobbit, & he immediately ran off to tinker with his borrowers' house. you cannot get a better thumbs-up than that.

& now you must get yourself gone from here, ignore your chores & work, & spend the remainder of the day wallowing in make-believe. yep, i am that bossy.


10 February 2010

i didn't forget

i promised a photo of the bunting i made, using japanese newspaper. here it is hung in front of the xmas/new year/forgot-to-take-it-down bunting.


the party - part b

what does one do when one wants to talk about food, but took no photos of food? one takes a photo of the still unwashed party dishes! let me clarify, so manlyman doesn't faint from shame; the dishes were done that night. all that's left is this little bowl of soaking soy bottles & veg cutters. it's ok love, you can get up off the floor now.
afraid we'd run out of food, i made quite a lot. so much in fact, that i sent the stragglers home with food, & thehobbit was able to have sushi for 2 days more. ok, i may have gone overboard, but oh well.
if you're looking for kid-friendly japanese birthday party food ideas, here is what i served:
*tamari almonds
*veg sushi (cucumber, carrot, scallion, enoki)
*molded hard-boiled eggs
*salted edamame
*sweet-spicy green beans
*inarizushi (i used canned inarizushi no moto - tofu pockets)
*cold noodle salad
*iced green tea
*cupcakes with adzuki paste frosting
the extras for sushi:
*pickled ginger
*sesame seeds
*2 flavors of vegetarian furikake
here are the promised recipes:
when i said recipes yesterday, i meant it in the loosest sense of the word. as in: i would tell you what was in things, & you would figure it out from there. i am sorry! i didn't measure. i rarely do. helpful, am i not?
*cold noodle salad*
1 package of cooked japanese noodles
trader joe's wasabi dipping sauce (or: tamari, sesame oil, & wasabi)
orange champagne vinegar (or: seasoned rice vinegar, & orange juice)
1/4 head of cabbage, sliced very thin
1 bunch enoki, chopped
3 large scallions, thinly chopped on an angle
1 large handful of cooked edamame
pinch of sea salt
1) make a dressing with the dipping sauce & champ vinegar. if you need to use the substitutes, use the other vinegar & sesame oil as you would in a normal salad dressing. add a splash of oj, another of tamari, then some wasabi to taste. go easy on the wasabi though. tinker until you like the taste.
2) toss the dressing with the rest, & chill.
*sweet-spicy green beans*
1 package/bunch of steamed green beans, chopped
1/2 a bunch of enoki, chopped
pinch of garlic powder
red chili flakes
clear oil
1) make a simple syrup from the water & sugar. add the garlic, then the chili flakes & tamari to taste. you could skip this & add the flakes to a sweet teriyaki sauce, i suppose.
2) pour the marinade over the green beans & enoki. serve hot, room temperature, or chilled.
that's all i have time for today. i hope i've inspired you to host your own japanese party. at the very least i hope i've made you hungry as i now am ;)

09 February 2010

the birthday party - part 1

i am so glad thehobbit's birthday party is no longer heading my to-do list. i loved creating a day that fully celebrated my boy, but wow! this one took a great deal of work.

i wish i had photos to share of all the food, & of the kids making their obento, but i haven't. i, in typical kat-fashion, took 2 photos, then promptly forgot i owned a camera. rats & fleas, indeed.

here is 1 of those photos:

that's the kids' table. i used a camping table, as its telescoping legs made it possible for them to sit on the floor. the place mats were ads from the japanese store. on the mats, each child had: a napkin, a packet of rice cookies, a disposable bento box, bamboo chopsticks, & a paper oshibori.

in the center of the table were: sushi grass, decorative picks, paper food cups, & dinky soy sauce bottles. not pictured is the bowl of soy sauce, & that of molded eggs. more on the eggs later.

thehobbit was concerned for their dainty knees & bums, so began placing my velvet couch pillows on the floor. hahahahaha, as if! manlyman brought out folded white towels for them to use, & though he pouted at first, in the end thehobbit was content.

the kids listened patiently to my brief explanation of obento & the things on the table. then they set about rolling sushi, cutting out carrots (there are special little metal cutters, used to turn slices of veg into various shapes. our set was of flowers.), & gathering food. the kids then spent a seriously long time designing & creating their boxes.

the parents & i were quite impressed with some of those creations! one party-goer loved hers so much, she refused to eat it. how cute is that?

after eating, they watched an amazing documentary about origami. you heard me correctly, i said documentary. i know it was a party, but we're homeschoolers, it's how we roll. you must see this show, it will blow your mind. the documentary originally aired on pbs, but we got it from netflix.

my plan was to have them then create their own origami masterpieces, but we ran out of time. they were too busy being goofy preteens, & i didn't want to get in their way. all in all a darn good day :)

i'll tell you about the food; with recipes; next time.


06 February 2010

in which thehobbit gets help

the day is finally upon us - today is the hobbity boy's number 12 birthday!!! for me that means quite a bit of birthday snuggling, plus a pile of work yet to be done for tomorrow's party. for you it means it's time to draw a winner from the top hat!

i let thehobbit draw the winner. never let it be said that i don't spoil my boy rotten on his special day ;)

& of course, being a great old man of 12, he needed help.

the winner is number 3!!

"Asti said...
Pretty bunting !
Happy birthdays to you :) Have a wonderful time boys !"

yay - congrats asti! email me an addy, & i'll ship the wonky birthday bunting this week.

thanks to everyone for making this a fun give-away. i enjoyed it so much, i just may have to find loads of reasons to give you prezzies.

now i'm off to pay the price for being queen of all procrastinators. anyone want to clean thebelfry, & go to the market for me? no? sigh.


05 February 2010

the birds

** last day to enter the give-away of the celebratoriest (real word) kind! **
yesterday we heard birds chirping. it was a lovely sound. at first. soon, though, the sound got louder, & creepy. look what we saw in our pecan tree!

those aren't the shadows of leaves left behind. oh no! those are birds.

i saw that movie. i know what they meant to do. we stayed inside, with the doors & windows locked.


sorry for the fuzzy streak in that photo. we have 80+yo windows, & they're all kinds of wavy.

04 February 2010

thursday things - 4

** leave a comment here, to win a wonky birthday bunting!**

is it thursday already? is time set to fast mode? it does seem like the days have flown on by. how is it then, that the hours of those days drag on forever? it boggles the mind. well, my mind at any rate. i'm easily boggled these days.

this week's thursday things has to do with kids. life's master mind-bogglers! here are a few of the websites that have inspired many a homeschool adventure over the years:

* kids off the couch is great fun. i love their popcorn adventures. they find local goings-on, & pair them with family-friendly movies. even if you don't live here, you can use their pairings as inspiration for your own adventures.

*kids gardening - check out their teacher's room & family room for ideas & tips for gardening with children. if you too are homeschooling; or want to dig (ha!) more deeply into things, this site is a great resource.

* dad can do simply rocks. there are so many fantastic crafts, that i never leave the making section. it's no longer a totally free site, but the dues aren't high, & you'll really get your money's worth. we used them quite a lot when doing hogwarts homeschool. (which i shall be re-opening in the spring!! that's a chat for another day.)

that's all the things i have time for today. where, on the web, do you find inspiration for family adventures?


03 February 2010

you say potato, i say wow!

**don't forget to enter the celebratory give-away! click here**

this is a photo of poe tater. thehobbit & i began growing him eons ago, but never did we find the time to plant the poor thing. for awhile we worried the lack of soil would kill our beloved poe, but that was not what happened.

do you see all those tendrils? that's not hair, my friend. that would be freakylong (real word) roots! the cup filled with roots, & i suppose once there was nowhere else left to fit, the roots decided to grow out into the air. wild!

wilder still? do you see the teeny red dots at the ends of the roots? those would be...

baby potatoes!! yes way! who knew that they could grow out in the air like that? not just without soil, mind you, but literally hanging in the air. we watched them grow for a week, then planted poe in 1 of the extremely over-grown with weeds farm beds.

i recommend you give this a try. don't forget to keep replenishing the water in your cup, & keep it in a sunny window. other than that? ignore the crud out of it until you start seeing air taters. let me know how yours turns out!


02 February 2010

promised japanese goodies,

**sign up for the celebratory give-away!!**

with photos even! i hope you landed on something soft when you fainted just now. so what did i get? nothing for me; drat that tiff & her challenge. i did get lots of yummy party snacks, & ingredients for the actual meal - including sweet red bean paste. i find it too sweet, but thehobbit loves it. i plan on using it as frosting on the cupcakes.

another plan is to have them create their own obento. i couldn't afford a bento box for each child, so i bought a pack of disposable ones. i don't like the waste, but i haven't that many plates anyway.

the store has a whole obento section, so i was able to get lots of things to make the activity fun. if you enlarge the photo above you'll see the tools for cutting carrot slices into flowers, & teeny bottles for soy sauce. too darn cute. also, look at these:

on the right are cups that keep food separate. the other???? well that is simply the most fabulous thing ever - a hard boiled egg mold!!! i've seen molded eggs on obento sites, but could not figure out how they were created. here are the directions:

i hope to get to the japanese market today. there were a few things the dollar store didn't carry - including a newspaper. i need that to make bunting. they gave me a stack of ads to use, but i'll need more. plus they were mostly pink. thehobbit probably doesn't want an all-pink bunting strung everywhere ;)

that's all for today. i am off to look up how far ahead i can make a platter of inarizushi. au revoir! (still no energy to look up 'goodbye' in japanese.)


01 February 2010

be my valentine gnome

** there is still time left to enter my celebratory give-away! click here **

i've been stocking theshop with a few valentiney things. the most recent are sweet, little craft kits. i got the idea (& the 'ok') from paper. may i introduce to you, from deep within the valentine forest, valentine gnome kits:

each muslin pouch contains: a blank peg doll, a real acorn hat, a swatch to complete the ensemble, 1 dinky wooden mushroom (hand-painted), & a packet of hearts.

i showed the 3 kits to a friend yesterday, & she promptly bought them. happily, i had enough to make 3 more, for theshop - yay & yay, again :)

tomorrow i'll share japanese dollar store goodness - with photos! see you then.


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