right here, is a quick lil post about what you can do when you've got some old hardcover books, a young adventurous artist, and just about anything they can paint, draw, or colour with. i got this box of books from the recycling depot for another project and brought one out because loji wanted to watercolour but i couldn't find our watercolour paper. so...hmmm...book pages...obviously. when i suggested he pick a page, he looked at me with these sneaky unbelieving eyes....like, "you're seriously gunna let me paint in this book?" "go big buddy. make that book super awesome. it's better filled with your beautiful art that blended up to make more blank paper. " to this he went to work. he had a lot of fun.
when he was done painting, we would just leave the book open to dry. he'd walk by it later and notice it was dry and flip to another page and begin a new masterpiece. i am excited to see the book get filled right up with colourful pages. at with point, maybe before, i'll make a cool book cover for it. perhaps give it to his daddy for father's day next year. or just keep it for the archives. love this already.
alright...alright...i know....you feel abandoned because where in the h-e-double hockey sticks have i been? i know. i do. i have missed you all very much. okay...lets get on with it...or i might just cry. that's how much i've missed blogatroning. that's how much i missed you. f'realz yo!
so, father's day. it is pretty awesome when you have someone in your life that completely deserves adorning on such a day. for all the others, get a tie, cuff links, old spice, or a head in a box (whoa, morbid reference from the movie Seven...holy! dunno where that came from. dad issues much? kidding! i kid...i kid!)
i got my husband's first father's day prezzie before we even had a child together. he wanted to have a little one sooOooooOo bad and i was not on board. i loved him so much that i wanted that sweet dream to come true for him and whether it was with me or someone else, i just knew that he would be the best dad ever. so, i got him a blue ribbon that said #1 Dad! we were at the music festival i used to put on, near Portland, OR, in our airstream rv, and it was father's day. i played a harry houdini and pinned it on him mid-kiss. we both shed a couple tears and..well...err...the magic spell was cast. i was pregnant with our little man shortly after that.
i love pining over what to do and how to show and reflect our daddy love for him at this time of year because he truly is the best papa i have ever seen or experienced. this is one of the crafty bits we made for him last father's day. it was strung up right outside our bedroom door.
i got my 2 boys, Malakai and Lorijah, and sat down to tear strips of paper and color them all bright and happy. i asked them what were some of their favorite things about their dad, things they liked to do with him, funny moments, memories.....it took a bit of prodding at first, but as i asked more specific questions, the yum started pouring out. it was so fun and sooo sweet. my cup runeth over.
they also helped me safety pin the little love notes to the cool cord i had brought out for this. we pinned a few this's and that's here and there, like paper cranes, foam flowers, and strips of colorful netting (from a sack of lemons) to "up" the cute factor times a million and then boom. it was done.
i strung it up in the wee hours. when Loji woke, we put his present under a bright scarf with magnet letters spelling HAPPY FATHERS DAY on a tapestry on the ground, under the garland. we made a breakfast picnic on the floor and set it up so when he walked out, after his big cozy sleep in, we were all there hanging out waiting for him. so cute.
recycled materials people! the sweetest presents are the ones from the heart; made with love. you don't need much to let those around you know you adore and appreciate them.
these are so sweet and will be the perfect touch on easter/ostara morning. i think i will leave little nests all over the yard and in the house tucked here and there and not say anything about them until everyone catches on. love the eggs and bunnies and symbology of this fertile time of year. love the hunt...the excitement and thrill of tiny treasures. and as you also may know, i LOVE crafting out of recycled materials. love this project.
(i recently fell in love with the artbarblog.com and that is where i got the idea. she's got some cute ones.)
first, cut our paper into strips about 1/4″ in thickness and vary the strips in length from 6″ to 12″. next, put plastic wrap on the inside of the bowl you want to shape the nests with. mix glue with water (half and half), and brush it all on the inside of the bowl on top of the plastic wrap. then take individual strips and arrange them criss-crossing around the bowl. after a while, paint on more glue which helps keep the layers down. add more paper strips, until about four layers are formed. put some of the strips around, like a real nest and others just across so the pieces stick out. when your fingers got too sticky, wipe them on a wet towel.
let the bowls dry overnight. then….get someone to drumroll with their hands on the table…another with their feet on the floor. lift the nests out of the bowl and peal off the plastic. voila! the most beautiful and delicate nests!
after a day or two of weeding our garden beds and cleaning up the winter debris, we got all our seeds out. i went to "seedy saturday" where heirloom seeds are sold and traded and brought home the beginings of a bountiful harvest. we got out the egg cartons i collect to plant our seedlings for the year. my little man always helps me with this on the spring equinox. there is something so magical about this for me. we have such sweet convos about the changing of the seasons, what we loved about winter, what we are excited for about spring, and looking forward to in summer. i always braid in notions about how the seeds we are sowing in spring will be so fun to enjoy all summer. we talk about what we will make with the fruits and veggies that will grow and the picnics, bonfires, and potlucks we will share them with our friends. i love this day.
i cut down the center of the carton, separating the two halves and cutting off the little side tab to recycle it. then i stack the two together and fill with organic soil. loji loves doing this part. i usually leave cleaning the porch off after winter rains and pine needles dropping until after we plant our seedlings. he also likes poking holes with his pinky and placing seeds in them. he tries to convince me that all we should grow is watermelon and corn and i explain to him, or try to, because i halfway agree with him, why that isn't what we are doing.
then because the soil isn't packed down at all and you want to keep it pretty loose for the seeds to sprout, but don't want it spilling all over the sides...we water the first few times with a spray bottle. i used a sharpie to write on the sides of the egg cartons what seeds were which. i usually use popsicle sticks to label them, or clothespins that have snapped apart, but was pretty much fresh out. so, a sharpie it was...
then, i put them on baking sheets or pans so that the watering doesn't make a mess and put them in a sunny window. it takes only a day or two to start seeing the sprouts. loji and i make bets which will come up first and run to check every time we think about them. radishes and brussel sprouts won the first round this year. if you have a good farmers almanac use that or google where you live and what gets planted outside when. i also use this step to help loji learn to research things that interest him and help him find out things he'd like to know. today we will be planting our lettuces, arugula, kale, cilantro, dill, beets, broc., and brussel sprouts. since the cardboard of the egg crate will be a bit moist, it is so easy to tear them each individual sprout in an egg cup right off and plant the whole thing right in the ground. before i do this, i pinch a little whole in the bottom for the roots to easily grow right through. the carton itself mulches right into the soil and actually protects the youngster in the ground a bit. love this time of year. kinda giddy like a school girl.
the low down...soon, i will get better at posting these tid bits as i am doing them, leading up to the holidays and parties i throw them on, so you too can share in the culinary crafting adventure i set sail upon. hop aboard matey! squack...hop aboard matey (totally done in a parrot accent, much like the one from Aladin). for now, here this is for next year's reference for you to go ahead and take magic back along side us!
little recap on St. Patrick's Day....we decided to take magic back!!! the actual story of st. patrick and his day is totally lame and sad... but, like many "holidays" it has come to the americas through hemispheres and time, passed like a silly secret through ears and culture until it has become completely unrecognizable to it's origin. YAY! so good, in this case. this is the day my family celebrates magic! rainbows, leprechauns, and pots of gold. adventure seeking, charms, spells, and going green. crafting, food and friends. long live the druids, the shamrockers and magic homies like yourselves!
rainbow ice cubes....umm, yeah. took me days to finish these icy gems...freezing each layer separately and such. found natural food colouring that was extremely spendy and not as poppin as i'd hoped, at whole foods. but deeeam! i had fun drinking my irish whiskey with one of these babies floating in it. the kids were suuuper excited about them. i found enormous silicon ice cube moulds somewhere... forget where, but am in love with them. i have seen them on amazon if you wanna go that route.
i really wish i had amazing pictures of the table pre-aftermath...but...nope. was totally in the zone. the magic zone. fueled by magic, guiness and irish whiskey and solid gold friends and family. loved this evening. only 3 couples and a houseful of kids. that's how we do.
since i post about the projects i make with or inspired by recycled or reused materials, i figured i'd give a shout out to my local recycling depot!! they are so awesome. they run a "zero waste reuse store" that i have scored some ridiculously amazing items at. cookie cutters and rolling pins for a quarter, an antique underwood typewriter (!!!) for a buck, brand new camping gear, vintage plates and pudding cups to make cake stands out of, vinyl records, sheet music, etc.... most people walk up and think these shipping containers are filled with junk. they are. but if you know what to look for, you just might find a diamond in the rough. if you don't think there is one near you, look harder.
in the town next to us, there is one at the dump that i have seriously salvaged insane pieces of furniture at and even seen people walk away with le creuset pieces and brand new juicers before. hello. sounding like a hoarder here....i'm not. just giving a shout out to treasure finding! carry on.
i love making cute shizzle out of recycled materials. that is one reason that i love these so much. also, they are extremely useful and have the secret power of making anything they touch look like pure magic. i have made and used these in several different ways. i've tucked one into the bow on a gift, i have made boutonnieres with them, used them in up do's in my hair, attached them onto twigs using floral tape and given a dozen flowers to a friend on special occasion...but my favourite, by far, was what i used these particular flowers for.
i was doing all the decor for a fundraiser for my sons preschool. the theme was Wonderland. i made centerpieces for the tables filled with these white roses. i dribbled red nail polish and "painted the roses red" on the tips of the petals, letting the red drip right off onto the roses underneath. i thrifted a few decks of cards and took out all of the heart cards and tucked them in between the white roses. they were the best. i cannot even believe i don't have a picture to show you. i need to recreate it. i will. i promise. calm down!
i sometimes buy these brown rice tortillas. in truth, i think they have a secret ingredient that causes you to forget that they are NOTHING like a tortilla so you will, in fact, buy them again. they crack, break, and basically make a big mess out of whatever it is you are trying to wrap up inside of them. exhale. rant over.
between each one, is a round sheet of parchment type paper. it is so that they do not stick together. i get it...but sheesh...such a waste. that is what fuelled these roses...wondering wtf to do with them besides throw them out.
start by cutting a spiral into them. make it simple so that the width of the paper strip is nice and thick.
now, take a toothpick (or twig, wire, pencil....whatever you'd like to use) and put a bit of hot glue on the bottom 1/3rd of it. starting with the outside corner of the paper spiral, start wrapping/twirling the paper around the toothpick. the glue will dry fast and keep it in place. do it pretty tight at the beginning, but as you add a bit of glue here and there, play with wrapping it a bit looser to make more of a rose shape. you can even play with folding the paper as you go, personalizing each one.
when you get to the inner part of the spiral, there is a perfect shape to dab some glue and then seal it up. with a bit of practice, you'll get the hang of it and they will look so clean and just perfect for whatever you are using them for.
I'm Jody Starfish. My friends call me Martha Starfish because I obsess a wee bit over miss Martha Stewart, Pintrest, and all things clever and beautiful. Love to cook, play, craft, garden and love up my friends and family. Welcome to the rodeo.