30 June 2010

ready, set, go!


photo : property of wonderbaby designs

years ago i worked for a friend, sewing the innards of baby undies. she had a thriving biz, but life got in the way (as life is wont to to) & she closed her doors.

recently she began sewing again, & has opened a shop on etsy. hoorah, indeed!

head over to wonderbabydesigns , & buy her wares. they are well made & cute. if you haven't a wee one, or are not into ec, then send your friends her way.

the first person to buy a pair of poquito pants, & let me know about it (i'll need proof. i know you people are as sneaky as i.) shall win a prize from me! don't ask me what, because that's a secret. & yes, by secret, i mean don't yet know.

ok. time for you to go shop. go!

28 June 2010

prezzies for the soon-to-be


two of my natural kids teammates are about to have teensy ones: melissa of sqrl & bee studio , & donna of day of rest.

some of us on the team are throwing them baby showers. well sort of. we are spread out all over the world, so getting together for tea & party games isn't possible. what we are doing is making prezzies for their babes, & shipping them by a set date. our hope is that the gifts all arrive within the span a few days.

assuming they are behaving, & are not reading this post, i can tell you what i've made. well, made & making. you see, a certain elfling snatched one away from manlyman, & proceeded to love all over it. by love, i mean to say that he stuck it in his mouth, & chomp-chomp-chomped! giggling maniacally all the while.

there he is, my sweet doctor horrible, with a cheeky chicken's head in his mouth. i had planned on making a chicken for his birthday, but apparently he wanted a specific one. happily, i have more of this fabric to sew another for the shower.

these chickens are much smaller than those for sale in theshop. i like them, so may have to offer both sizes. the smaller hens don't have crocheted crowns. instead, i used red twill tape. i love how they appear even more rustic this way. i may even prefer it. hmm.

i'll show more photos when i've got them ready to ship. perhaps even links to what the others are making. what fun!


26 June 2010

saturday give-aways at the nk blog!


do you want this birthday crown for your very own? that question is purely rhetorical - of course you do! for a chance to win this crown, head over to the natural kids' blog, & follow the instructions. this contest is over, you waited too long!

the crown pictured is the one offered in the give-away. it's made of wool felt, & grosgrain ribbon. the buttons were saved from clothing that had seen better days - they have little stars upon them! i don't know about you, but to me, this crown feels a bit where the wild things are.

it's perfect for any boy or girl, so long as the child doesn't harbor a hatred for blue. or stars. or crowns. it's also perfect for you! why let kids have all the fun?

time for you to head over there, & enter the contest. oh, & don't be stingy - tell your friends. good luck! (shh, don't tell the others, but i hope you win.) too late, the contest has ended.


24 June 2010

thursday things - trees


the true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit. ~henderson

this collage displays but a snippet of my collection of tree photos. more specifically, photos taken from beneath trees, looking up. i don't know why, but i am forever taking pictures such as these. i believe we've chatted about this before, in fact.

i came across these, from 2008, when searching for picture of thehobbit. i never did find that photo, because the trees, they led me astray. lucky for you, because they inspired this week's thursday things, (she said, as if she wasn't forever forgetting to post on thursdays).

* this site is a great educational resource, as is this one. there are many things children can learn from trees, which are enhanced greatly should they learn about the trees first.
* you can find many faery doors doing a google search. this site sells plans to make your own! we have an 80+ year old pecan in the backyard in need of a tiny door. our front yard is home to a giant pine sporting its own magic. we chatted about it a few years ago.
* get involved! my favorite tree-sitter has a website that offers information & inspiration. on her front page she asks, what do you want your legacy to be?

* two books thehobbit loved when he was younger: the tree & tree spirits.

between every two pines is a doorway into another world. ~muir

go hug a tree!

23 June 2010

on planning to celebrate


can you believe i've begun planning elfling's first birthday party? where did the time go? it seems just yesterday i was sharing photos of my immense belly, truly it does. sigh.

one year. my bébé is nearing one year old. if i think too much on this, i shall curl into a ball & cry. instead i'll focus on the party itself, & not the reason.

we opted to throw a small fete, to keep me from having a nervous break-down things simple. as much as i would love to invite everyone who brought meals & prezzies, sent us cards, & lent their support; it simply cannot be managed.

taking advantage of the season, we'll be celebrating with a backyard barbecue. no checkered cloths & tiki torches for me, it will definitely be katificated: vintage cloths, faery lights, bunting, fanciful decorations, & hints of whimsy.

it will also be documented! i'll be taking part in a month-long, natural kids celebration event (more on that later). visit here, throughout july, for photos, ideas, tutorials, recipes, & of course, a give-away. how can i resist?

let the wild rumpus begin!

~peace, kat.

22 June 2010



i made this little bag eons ago, for a waldorf faire. such a sweet little bag, perfect for treasure-gathering, or toting snacks. sadly, it didn't sell, so i packed it away, then forgot about it.
i wonder if people were put off by the crease that runs down the center. personally, i find it amusing. this bag used to be a pant leg, you see. specifically a pair owned by manlyman, & we all know he is quite gifted with an iron.
perhaps i'll make a few more for my other shop. assuming i first find the time to photograph the basket of items waiting to be listed. why is there never enough time?
so what about you? have you found anything long since forgotten? any treasures you want to show the rest of us?
ps :: yes, i did abandon the new template. it was a temperamental pain in the arse.

20 June 2010

dear manlyman,

i hope you know how much our sons love you. i hope you see the light that shines from their eyes when you walk into the room; how it burns only for you, pure & fierce. most of all i hope you know how deserving of their adulation you are. happy fathers' day, my love.

17 June 2010

en plein air


an out-of-doors family art studio is in the works. it's quite exciting, but there is still much that needs to be done. to keep thehobbit from bemoaning over & over how. long. this. is. taking! i've set up a mini studio for his current obsession: painting.

if you'd like to join the warm weather fun (apologies to my upside down readers), feel free to be a copy-kat. i used a wooden fruit crate turned on its side, because i had a few lying around. any small table will do, but if you look at the photo above, you'll see that the other side of the crate keeps supplies off the ground.

we have a heavy marine layer at night, so the supplies will be stored in a plastic bin when not in use. the bin should fit nicely on that bottom 'shelf'.

the best part of this whole project is the paper. little paper! i found a bag of card stock remnants at a discount store; various colors, some with texture, & all thick enough to handle painting with watercolor. little remnants! i think the largest is 6 inches across. kids love little anyway, but facing a little blank canvas is less daunting than a big one. everyone can manage a little masterpiece, & in the end feeling proud of the accomplishment.

i've corralled the paper in a cardboard tray that fancy mushrooms had come in; it's the perfect size. if you haven't a tray small enough, look in your pantry. you could cut a snack box in half, horizontally, to make one of your own.

set out a water bowl, a rag for drying brushes, paint sets, & a selection of brushes. those that come with the watercolor sets are not good for bigger kids. instead, offer quality brushes, in different sizes. make sure there is at least one very thin brush, for details.

you needn't spend a lot of money on this set up. check your craft store or amazon for supplies. heck, check your dollar store, you may get lucky.

once your child is in the appropriate attire for painting little masterpieces; in this case a dirty shirt found beneath the bed, jammie bottoms, & a fancy hat; let him/her have at it!

as each painting is completed, hang it to dry with clothespins. it was too windy to hang thehobbit's on the line, so we opted for the fence. i even broke out the package of mini clothespins i'd been saving - sticking with the theme of little.

if you don't have a fence, or a line, you can tack string onto a wall, & hang the paintings on that. or even on a willing bush, or tree!

of course i realize this set up works only for a single child. those of you with hordes of children will need either many fruit crates, or a one large surface. perhaps a coffee table you're no longer using?
we are going to use our old coffee table in our out-of-doors studio. it can be used as a creating surface when thehobbit has friends over, for sitting upon when using an easel, or for an impromptu picnic. i'm sure a small table & a set of chairs would work better, but we're trying to use what we have in the garage.

as you oldies will recall, i'm not a summer gal. i prefer cooler weather, & gray skies. however, this mini prelude to our studio under the sky is making me thrilled that summer is nearly here.
i hope this inspires you to set up your own area for creating outside. & no! you don't need a yard to do this. a patio, or even a balcony would work just as well. think creatively, & you'll find a way. please leave a comment (with a link to photos) of what you come up with. if you already have an area set up, leave a comment right now! i want to steal see!

paintings :: the paintings in this post were all created by thehobbit.

14 June 2010

of chickens, shops, & blogs...


my wee elfling loves the cheeky chickens! to such a great degree that photo shoots have not gone well. he wants only to bite, drool, & otherwise bestow his love upon them. because i cannot let him love the chickens as he longs, tears ensue.

it's not as if he doesn't have one of his very own; it's that he wants them all. i did list more cheeky chickens in theshop, though. they just aren't listed with photos of them being loved upon by a beautiful elfling.

speaking of shops; i've finally opened my other etsy shop! it's where you'll find all of my bags, slings, pouches, & other things not created specifically for kids. i don't know how to refer to it. non-kid store sounds strange, & adult store is, well, you know. wink, wink, nudge, nudge.

so the new shop is called kat's belfry. i wasn't sure if i should keep the name similar, or if that would be confusing. in the end i went for similar. obviously. you can find it here. there isn't much in it at the moment, but i hope to have it fully stocked over the next few weeks.

the last thing i wanted to chat about is my blog. i'm sure you've noticed the change, but don't get used to it. i do like it, quite more than i thought i would. the problem is that this template makes my sidebar photos dead. no matter how many times i redo them, they are no longer hotlinked.

i've looked everywhere, but cannot find a fix. if you know of one, please let me know. i know it is not just me, because a friend is having the same problem.

wow, perfect timing! the wee one stirs. have a lovely day!

11 June 2010

on how to waste time...

... fiddle with blogger's new template designer, knowing full well you will change it back in a few days.

off to discover how to make my header centered. that would be time-wasting, the second.


09 June 2010

royal proclamations


hello, my one & only reader. i've a tangle of random thing to tell you, so i thought a royal proclamations post was in order.
* there are new goodies for sale in theshop, with more on the way! that sweet birthday tiara is 1 of 4 in need of a head to call its own.
* i've turned off post moderation. i don't like having to type in the letters on other blogs, so am no longer going to make you. i shall thwart spam by crossing my fingers & hoping for the best.
* donni wrote a lovely feature about kats in the belfry on her blog, the magic onions. read it & leave a comment about how you adore me, how talented i am, & how impressed you are by my modesty. in your own words, of course.
* i strayed from the challenge! oh the shame i felt. no worries though. i've had a chat with tif, & all is well. & no, i'll not tell you what i purchased, because you'd gasp with shock that i could be lured by such a thing. & truly, is it about the whats? no, it is not. so we move forward, confident that i shan't stray again. no need to discuss how i didn't need the little tote, nor point out that i make them to sell. um. oops. moving on...
* my wares can now be found at pin pon, in the andersonville galleria. if you are in the chicago area, please do visit.. pin pon is filled with the most glorious creations for children. i am proud to be included.
* there was more, but, in typical kat fashion, i've forgotten. sigh.
have a lovely day!

08 June 2010

i've got the rule-breaking blues


in all the years we've chatted, i've never shared photos of thehobbit's face. sure, there have been glimpses here & there, but never enough that you'd know him were you to see him walking down the street. it was a rule i made when starting out on this journey: no photos of faces.

why kat? why are you breaking the rule? i honestly do not know. i just saw this photo, & felt it belonged here. perhaps it's because of who he is now, no longer my teeny guy that i feel i must hide from the bogey man.

that photo speaks for itself. my teeny, shy, long-haired boy in fancy clothes has grown into this. this, i have no idea what. he's a little guy now: independent, sure of himself, arms raised high as if to say here i am world! too bad he can't say it in a top hat; i miss his fancies so.

yes, i am a bit blue. transitions have always been difficult for me. that isn't the reason for the photo's blue tint, however. i did nothing to the photo, it was this way when i downloaded it. strangely, it was the only photo thusly bluedified (real word). it would appear that my camera has a mind of its own.

so there you have it; the face of a hobbit. watch out world.


06 June 2010

of fish & chicks


thehobbit's beloved fish, mortimer silvertongue (aka mo) passed on last week. he was 2 & a half years old. we buried him beneath a pomegranate shrub, purchased for the purpose. it has been a painful week for my sweet boy. losing a pet is heart-breaking, but a first pet? sigh. sadness beyond reckoning.

now has begun the discussions (shall we say?) about what creature to be the newest family member at thebelfry. manlyman wants a parakeet, thehobbit & i want chickens. thus far our discussions are getting us nowhere. we say chickens, he says no. he says parakeet, we pretend he asked us what we're planning on naming our chickens. i'll keep you posted.

in the meantime, i'm making chickens! here is the first of what i hope will be many:

she has a jingle bell deep within her stuffing, a crocheted crown, & a twill beak. the beak has been double stitched so tag-obsessed teenies cannot pull it off. each chicken is 8 inches (20.32 cm) from tip to tail. perfect for little ones, as well as teenies. elfling has tried to steal the four i've made, so i'm thinking i have a winner here.
as soon as i can discover why etsy is saying my photos are too large, i'll have them for sale in theshop. i'd love to hear what you think about them. good thoughts only please - all negative commenters shall be ignored. probably deleted. perhaps banned. you know, as usual :)
on that note of love & joy, i am off to catch up on the goings-on of my blog friends, have a lovely one!
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