25 June 2012

thrifting show & tell - red


unlike our usual thrifting adventures, this week's had a purpose: to find me some clothes for our upcoming road-trip. a month ago i was put on a strict eating regimen (that's a story for another day), the result of which finds me between sizes. not wanting to go on a road-trip nakie, i needed to hit the shops. to my delight i quickly gathered a large pile of perfectly katish clothing, all appropriate for road-tripping & other adventures.

i was gleefully headed to the check-out when thehobbit spotted it. there, beneath a hideous rug & two horridly ugly comforters, lay the rug of my dreams. long have i wanted an oriental rug, preferably one a bit worn here & there. the ones i had come across in the past were the wrong size, or colors, or much too expensive. 

not this time! this time the rug was the perfect size, the perfect colors, & the perfect price. woo & hoo, baby!

of course, this meant that i could not afford my glorious stack of clothing. back it all went.

except this teensy pair of red wellies. every elfling must have a pair of red wellies, don't you think?

of course, now i shall have to go on the road-trip nakie. 


20 June 2012

mine no more


the time came for me to give up my beloved sewing nook. toys had begun taking over the big room, toddler chaos needed to be contained. i shall not bore you with how sad i was at losing my sunny little room, nor at how long i managed to procrastinate the move. let me just say: quite a lot, & quite a long while.

i have yet to find the perfect artwork & rug, but otherwise elfling's play-nook is open for business. would you like a brief tour?

we got lucky that we had furniture elsewhere in thebelfry that fit this tiny space so perfectly. this small bookcase used to house school books, which long ago outgrew its confines. its petite dimensions is perfect for toddler books, baskets, & cauldrons. what? your child does not keep his toys in cauldrons? how odd.

that smaller shelf-thingie on the right used to store thehobbit's craft supplies. its new job is that of rag doll & stuffed creature containment. occasionally i organize it, but the order does not last long. oh. the reason the bottom squares look odd is that they are the backside of drawers. elfling became obsessed with opening & shutting them; often with a teensy finger still inside; so i turned them around. we lose storage this way, but better than we lose teensy fingers. i think i found this little shelf-thingie on the side of a road.

i was about to start this sentence with: & on the other side of the room. ha! as small as this space is, it hardly can be called a room, let alone have another side to it. so:

right here we have the rest of his stuff. to give you an idea how small this nook is: that is not a full-sized baker's rack, it stands less than 5-ft tall. that red & brown box on the bottom shelf is one of my favorite things; a toy garage that belonged to my father-in-law. i love its homemade simplicity, & the knowledge of how many little ones in this family played with it before it was given to us. you do not want to know how many wooden cars, ducks, ladybugs, & helicopters are crammed within.

before i draw this to a close i want to say that we do not have a dead bear rug. that flat panda is one of those pillows that velcro into a stuffed animal shape. i find it creepy, but elfling looooves it. plus, until we do find the perfect rug, creepyflatpanda (his name. in my head.) keeps his tushy warm on the uglier than sin linoleum floor.

& that ends our brief tour. thanks for joining me. what about you? did you give up your space for your wee people?


18 June 2012

for now


it has been much too long since thebelfry had a faery garden. once thehobbit outgrew his love of faeries & all things teensy (can you hear my heart breaking from there?) i stopped finding time to maintain ours.

now that elfling has discovered the world of the wee folk, i am yearning to make a new one with him. i have a lot going on right now, so all that is happening is a great deal of poking around the internet for inspiration. pinterest has loads of beautiful faery garden photos, as does my lovely friend over at the magic onions.

one thing i was able to do now was to pot a few bits of succulents for my kitchen window.

i used a bucket stolen from thehobbit's old borrowers' house, & a tiny wooden container that was missing its lid.

it may not be the faery garden of which i dream, but it is enough to satisfy. 

for now.


13 June 2012

on a mission


if you get a chance to visit the santa barbara mission, do not pass it up. it is the most beautiful place, with gorgeous crumbly bits everywhere you turn.

i confess that i did not listen to anything our guide was saying, as i'd had my fill of mission tours back in elementary school. plus, the idea of people coming to a place to convert the native inhabitants makes my skin crawl. instead i followed along, snapping photos of the gorgeous crumbly bits, & humming quietly to myself.

thehobbit already knew the history of the california missions, & our feelings on the subject, so i wasn't worried that he'd come away thinking how wonderful that those selfless spaniards came here to take such lovely care of the natives who clearly could not care for themselves.

in any case, being a lover of crumbly bits himself, he was paying more attention to the sites than the guide. he did say that she was very nice though.

the interior was just as gorgeous, filled with artifacts. a bit dark, so most of my photos did not turn out well.

except for photographs of windows. just look at how thick those walls are!

i loved this window most.

before long we were back outside. the cemetery was my favorite place. so pretty. so hauntingly pretty.


12 June 2012

in which i was thwarted


do you remember that pumpkin photo shoot i did back in october? well, i attempted the same thing today with a giant crate of watermelon. what a difference eight months makes. elfling still thought it would be great fun to be plopped into a crate of produce, but he had no desire to sit still for the camera.

nor look at me when i asked him to.

thehobbit offered to try taking a few, but didn't think it was necessary to taking a few good shots. (it's not like it was a crate of cars, or something.)

refusing to be thwarted, i took back the camera, & tried one last time.


except for my thumb in the lower right corner.




11 June 2012

mud pies in the making


last week i stumbled upon mud stations on pinterest. i saw  fancy mud kitchens, simple mud kitchens, mud bars, & rustic mud pie stations. by the time i was finished looking, i knew we needed a mud station at thebelfry.

of course, in typical kat-fashion i decided this had to happen a) that very moment, & 2) whilst manlyman was away & the rest of us were down with a (to quote a friend) bad-ass cold. thehobbit, being the least bad-assificated (real word), was put immediately to work sweeping & hauling.

for a back-splash we are using an old headboard that i found on the side of the road a few years back. i had intended on making this, but ended up leaving it at the mercy of the elements instead. the work surface itself is our old coffee table, which had been dragged outside one year for a party, then also left at the mercy of the elements. (yes, i see a pattern.) right now the table is the perfect height for a toddler to stand at.

after things were swept & hauled, it was simply a matter of gathering tubs, bowls & cups from elsewhere in the yard, & some wooden spoons from thehobbit's old kitchen set. oh, & hanging a mini birthday bunting, of course.

there is still much to be done: shelves to house things, hooks for the back-splash, a thrift shopping expedition for kitchen tools, & so on. i think, however, that we have the makings of a wonderful mud station.

elfling got busy straight away, making pretend mud pies for me. i was too ill to deal with the aftermath of mud-play, so had not told him that he would be able to play with actual mud here. if the joy at puttering away at his little pretend mud station is any indication, cooking real mud pies is going to be mind-blowingly awesome.

(i shall post photos when the mud station is complete!)

updated :: we've added an old crate, & more kitchen items.

07 June 2012

ancient greece studies (the books)

photo :: found on pinterest
thehobbit  is studying ancient greece over the summer with friends. instead of meeting for classes, they'll do the work on their own time, then meet twice monthly for activities, games, & a party. sort of a freaky, backwards summer camp, i suppose.

because we have so little time, i decided to stick with just a few things: the basics of when & where & who, mythology, & the olympics. that last would not be one of my choices were it not an olympic year.

like i did with our middle ages studies (here & here), i thought i would share resources with you. here are the educational books we are using - in no particular order:

groovy greeks activity book - i've not yet looked through this one, i only just ordered it.
ancient greece! 40 hands-on activities - borrowed from auntiepaper.
classical kids - ditto this book

& those for (more importantly) fun:

the lost hero - i know this one is a series, but book 2 is roman-themed. we'll save this for autumn :)

whew, that was a lot of linking! links & ideas will have to wait for another day.

06 June 2012

orchard happenings


our orchard is making me happy these days.

the branches are heavy with apples, & new flowers are blooming daily. i adore apple tree blossoms.

the marine layer had yet to burn off when we were out watering, but i could not resist snapping photos anyway. enjoy!

apples & their blossoms are fun to photograph up close.

here is a photo of the apple section of our orchard:


oh, did i not tell you? our orchard is a bit small by normal orchard standards. it consists of one dwarf pear tree, one dwarf lime tree, one dwarf pomegranate tree, & one exceptionally spindly dwarf apple tree. :)

it's the little things in life...


05 June 2012

monkey sea, monkey do


you thought i misspelled see in the title of this post, i know you did. well, my dearest one & only reader, i did not; i actually meant sea, as in sea-monkey. thehobbit is raising them. it had not occurred to me to buy him a kit when he was younger, so this is his first experience with the little creatures.

i did wonder if he was too old for this; being a great old man of fourteen; but he is having a blast. he named them all bob, talks about them quite a lot, & visits them many times a day. truth be told, the entire family is smitten by our colony of sea-monkeys.

can you blame us?

that's bob, by the way.


edited to add :: i just heard back from sea-monkey central - bob is knocked up! that dark mass before her tail is her eggs. woo & hoo, baby!
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