Spring Break and two more dolls

The girls are on Spring Break this week, so I have decided to gut their rooms. steam clean the rugs, and paint the walls! Jim has been tending to things like the first Spring mow and outdoor tidying! Not exactly relaxing, but really productive.

Anyhow, I have two more dolls to share with you today.

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I have to say that blondes are tricky because of the eyebrows. I think I have it down now, but I have to do layers of colors. Darker on the bottom and then lighter on top.

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Sorry for the blurry photo on this one. I must have been rushing. I don’t know why. Heh.

I have to say that Falafel is loving these new dolls. She is building playground equipment for them to play on. Tricky since she is sticking skewers together with tape, but I love that it is inspiring her to be creative.

What are your plans this week?

On-Our-Shelves Sunday

Well, our youngest is starting to ask too many questions about the facts of life that make my head want to explode. Which is why we have this on our shelves this week:

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It’s NOT the Stork

by Robie H. Harris

And NO, I am not having a baby. I remember when I had to explain the Birds and the Bees to our oldest, and I literally sweat through the whole thing. And this is one of the many reasons we LOVE our local library. I can take out a book, and read it with my daughter instead of feeling like I am under interrogation.

I gave it to her to look over before we read it. I heard a whole host of EW’s followed by snickers. It was hilarious.

How about you? Have you taken “facts of life” books out from the library to help you explain things to your kids?

Not as easy as I thought

Have you heard of Tree Change Dolls?

Here is a video in case you haven’t:

OK…now that you have, I saw this video in my Facebook feed (as I am sure a lot of you have), and I got very excited and inspired by what Sonia has started. I love that she is not only upcycling these dolls, but she is turning them into dolls that I wouldn’t mind my own daughters playing with.

I had to give it a try for myself!

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I got a bag of Barbie-type dolls from my good ol’ BNP. Cleaned them up and brushed out their hair.

I will share one with you today.

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I stripped off all of the original paint, and then repainted her face!

I have to say that I thought this would be much easier than it actually was. I was an art major in college, I lived and breathed art for most of my life, and actually painted for a living for a few years. THIS WAS HARD. I learned that there is a fine line between cute and creepy. Seriously. Each feature really can go from adorable to YIKES in one small tilt of your brush.

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I think for my first finished doll, it isn’t bad. I did go through a few before her, and actually ended up stripping their paint again. I am sure with practice it will get easier. Both my girls tried their hand at painting one, and they also wanted me to strip theirs down again.

I have a great respect for Sonia’s ability and her vision. She is really incredible (and seems like a very kind human being) and is handling her new found fame with such grace!

She has a few DIY video tutorials on her YouTube channel that I highly recommend if you want to try this too!

What have YOU made today?

Sewing Table

We built MORE furniture. This time, it is something that I have wanted for a while.

You see, I sew in a corner of the living room (which is now minus one chair), and since we moved that chair, I have room now for my very own sewing table. No more cutting fabric on the floor, or taking it to the kitchen counter!

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This was difficult to photograph, but I can tell you a bit about it’s features.

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We added a shelf onto one side, so that I can put containers of notions on it. I have all sorts of things I like to have at my fingertips. Clover Wonder Clips, pins, chalk, scissors, measuring tape, thread, etc. This is 72 inches of space to do that!

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I also got two yards sticks from Ace Hardware, sanded the brand logos off, stained them, and attached one to each side of the table. I LOVE how they look!

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We used another plan on the Ana White site, called the Narrow Farmhouse Table for the base. We did shorten it 20 inches and added our little details. It is a good solid plan that is easy to follow and to do. It matches the desk we made (which is also in the living room).

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This is a strange photo, but I was trying to get the whole thing in the frame. It is 76 inches across!

Wood: Pine

Stain: Saman Sesame

Clear varnish: Saman

Our End Tables in their place

Remember the Truss End Tables we made the other day?

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They have final off-gassed enough to bring them in, so I thought I would share how they look in their new place!

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The girls LOVE their respective reading areas and I love how the tables look {and the fact that they don’t fight over who gets the chair anymore}.

What do you love about YOUR space?

A little Rock Love

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I am working on a whole mess of creative things right now, as well as doing all the normal life stuff that goes with being a Mom to a tween and a teen.

So today I thought I would show you a rock we found on the beach. Clearly, it is full of love.

Happy Wednesday to you!

Some Kale for my Sister

I told my sister that I would show her how to make crunchy kale, so I thought I would share it with you too!

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This is super easy and so very tasty to make, we have it a few times a week. I take lacinato kale and tear it into pieces, put it into a hot frying pan with a drizzle of olive oil, and cook over medium heat (I turn mine with a fork)…

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…until it looks crispy, like this. Just be careful not to burn it.

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I add some sea salt, and devour immediately!

That’s it! Wasn’t it easy?

What is one of YOUR favorite foods to make?

Making ends meet

Heh. I am the worst at coming up with titles. They usually have to make me giggle in some way.

Anyhow, this post is about the fact that I moved a chair.

Just a chair. It set off a chain of events. Just like that.

Let me start at the beginning. There is a large sofa-type chair in our dining room where the girls love to sit and read while I am cooking. And there was only one in the dining room. I am sure you can see where this is going.

Yes. They fought over that chair every day.

Finally (uh like 2 years later) I realized that we indeed have another identical chair in the living room that goes unnoticed because of it’s location. You see, everyone wants to be where the action is, and that is usually near the kitchen. Cause that is where I seem to live. And me = place to be

So I moved the living room chair sister into the dining room. AND THEN I realized that we needed a place to put a lamp on, next to each chair.

So Jim and I built end tables.

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We just went to our favorite site for free building plans Ana White (no relation, but I so wish we were. ha!) and used the Truss End Tables plans.

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I love how the wood we used looked like it had zebra stripes after it was stained.

We have built several things from her site so far (like this, and this, and this). That last link will take you to the very first project I made ALL BY MYSELF! I have discovered that I love building with my husband, much more, though.

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I have to say that this was not as easy as I thought it would be. These plans are not as specific as we would have liked (or are used to), and there were beveled and mitered cuts. That was enough to cross our eyes for a while.

I absolutely LOVE the way they came out, however. We have gotten very good about choosing very straight wood. That is one of the most important things you can do.

Because this is our third project together, we really worked out who was adept at doing each job. My forte seems to be the cutting and using my cordless drill to screw, while Jim is a champ at pocket hole screws and holding the wood nice and steady.

We both have very strong views on the proper way to use a hammer, though. Good thing we have two.

Total time spent on actual construction: approx. 3 hours

Wood: mostly pine

Stain: Special Walnut 224  stain

Clear coat: Polycryllic

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What have YOU made today?

On-Our-Shelves Sunday

This week, my husband actually picked this series out:

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Mouse guard: Legends of the Guard

by David Petersen and others {see above}

Jim loves these books, and wanted to share them with Falafel (who, as you know, also loves a good epic~especially a graphic novel version). This is a side story in the Mouse Guard graphic novel series. The Author invited other Authors to contribute different stories for this one. It is beautifully illustrated with good tales (sometimes a bit violent), for the adventure-lover in your house.

What is on YOUR shelves this week?

I forgot about his size

After I published yesterday’s post about Archer the Fox, I realized that you may not have a sense of his size!

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Here’s his wee little hat in my hand to give you an idea. Smaller than Sprinkles. He stands about 18 inches tall.

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I have entered both softies in the Sew Mama Sew Spectacular Softies Contest!

Wish me luck!