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.

06 October 2010

tutorial, thwarted

i created a fabulous toy for elfling, & photographed the process to share with you. no woohooing though, because blogger isn't allowing me to upload photos today. i tried for quite some time, it just isn't working. stupid blogger.

have no fear, my one & only reader, for i shall try again tomorrow! assuming i do not forget, that is.

until then...


04 October 2010

hobbity happenings


when the dinky bébé joined the family, it became too easy to forget to gush about my older (or, as tinker's middle girl calls him: used) child. i am a dreadful mama.

thehobbit has been a busy bee of late. he now takes classes: lego engineering, english, & science. it feels strange, after so many years, to hand over bits of his education to others, but he's enjoying it.

autumn sunrise
 i cannot recall if i ever told you of thehobbit's karate lessons. he began earlier this year, & recently competed in his first tournament. in his age group, he took 2nd place in kata! isn't that exciting? they gave him a medal, on a pretty red ribbon, which we've proudly draped over his daddy-o's largest golf trophy.

he has another tournament later this month, as well as his second belt test in december. my very own karate kid.

scary goose

painting has become a huge part of his life. he watches the various how-to shows on pbs each night, & paints as often as he can. so far he prefers watercolor, but has begun using acrylic more in the past week.

his grammie gave him a box, filled with her old brushes, & i gave him my travel easel. yesterday i ordered fan brushes & various types of paper from dick blick. i may order a catalog, & have him circle everything he wants - sort of a giant wish list. it should come in handy this holiday season, that's for sure.

tiny flowers
 another new happening is french lessons, on his own, using the rosetta stone. he balked at first, but he does that with most things that he thinks will be too hard. only a few weeks in, & he loves it! in fact, he is already correcting me, cheeky little brat.

lastly is thehobbit's new love affair with photography. perhaps i should instead say taking photos, because he's yet to show an interest in learning how to use any feature other than the macro setting. still! he enjoys it, & has taken some pretty good photos. all those in this post are his, by the way.

so you don't envy me my amazingly perfect son, let me tell you what else is going on at thebelfry. puberty, that's what. oh my maude! puberty is brutal. it is horrid, foul, & nasty. i am sure puberty brings with it many joyful changes in a child as well, but i cannot say what they are at the moment ;)

see? not so envious now, is it? you're welcome.


03 October 2010

are you sitting down?


look! i actually found the time to make something for myself! long ago i gave up wallets, in favor of little zippered pouches. they were just easier for me to use, i could never find a wallet that i loved, & well, zippered pouches are oh so cute.

enter elfling, also known as he-of-the-faster-than-light-grabby-hands. apparently love of zippered pouches is genetic, because every time i open my pouch, in goes one of his grabby hands, & my belongings go flying. i needed a wallet.

the majority of things in the zippered pouch can stay there: tiny pad & pencil, gift cards, tylenol, biz cards, etc. truly, i only need a few cards in my wallet: license, insurance, aaa, stores, library, debit, & coffee gift card. you know, the must-haves.

now before you start worrying that i've begun drinking whilst sewing, i can assure you i've not. the wallet was made for only me, & i am drawn to the shabby. the raggedy edges were done purposely.

the wallet's body was a scrap left over from a drink sling. pockets (& the top's reinforcement) were curtain tabs! long ago i used the curtain to make market totes. i saved the top tabs, sure i would find a use for them one day. boy, am i glad i did. oh! the closure was a tab also.

because i wasn't thinking, i sewed the pockets, on either side of the fold, going in opposite direction. once the wallet was opened, the cards on the bottom half fell to the floor. duh. were i to do it again, i'd have the pockets all face the same way.

no way was i going to rip out the pockets. instead, i added a little triangle of fabric on either side of the fold, but it wasn't enough. to keep the wallet from completely flopping open, i had to add the ribbon you see in the photos.

in the end it took more time to add the fixes, than it would have had i ripped out the wrong-way pockets. oh well. i'm just happy to have my raggedy little wallet.

what are you going to make for yourself?

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