This past week, I've been praying particularly fervently for a childhood friend whose 3 year old son was killed when he climbed some shelves in the garage and pulled them over. That has weighed on my mind as I have navigated the week with a 2 year old who is on quite a TWO bend.
Today has included her blocks being picked up by Mama and put *away* (as in she can see them but won't be allowed to play with them for a while), and a bowl of spaghetti thrown on the floor, which led to going down for nap early. But, she also walked into the kitchen carrying a puzzle box with her nappies all tucked in, doll pillow and blanket included. (You can see how they got their names here if you missed it.)
So, while you're clicking around, please join me in praying for my friends and all parents who are grieving with empty arms.
Now. Let's cheer ourselves up with some stuff to keep busy:
In this week's installment of "How Valerie at Frugal Family Fun Blog Made Me Die of Cuteness" we have a fabric dollhouse. AND she claims it came together in a few HOURS. That's my kind of craft - instant gratification!
elsie marley has a simple but fun leaf crown perfect for this time of year. I love the concept of using natural materials, enjoying them as they are, and returning them to nature when you're done (i.e. compost).
Karen Edmisten (who has been self-proclaimed not Queen of Crafts) reminds us to work on our Thanksgiving Trees.
Living with Lindsay has a tutorial for some very funky Book Page Wreaths, though I will admit that my first thought is "how do you dust that??" followed by the answer "by tossing in the burn barrel and making another." :>)
Make It Do has a post on making bed warmers, and the best part is when she notes that corn retains heat longer than rice. CORN. The stuff to which I have nearly unlimited access. Yeah, I'll be making some of these. And in the meantime, I took my rice bag to bed last night and Hubs tried to swipe it for HIS cold toes. These are also super for keeping you warm while sitting and watching TV in the evenings ... if you're too cheap to turn up the heat like I am. :>)
Continuing my felt food obsession, Dana from MADE (who has SERIOUSLY inspired the way I throw myself into sewing projects!) won the first round of So You Think You're Crafty, the name of which cracks me up every time I read it. Also crazy cute, though, was this tractor from homemade by jill . . . and I'll admit I'm hoping a tutorial shows up for it! Though Goose would prefer hers to be green, just like Papa's.
[Also, I just stumbled across Felt-o-rama. There are approximately a bajillion links there. And, please celebrate with me, as I was one of the winners of this felt food pattern! SO MUCH TO MAKE and SO LITTLE TIME!]
Abbi at Proverbs 31 Living is working her way through a Handmade Christmas series, and I've done a BUNCH of clicking around over there. Some things I tossed in the Crafty favorites folder include: pinwheel bobby pins from Little Jenny Wren, butterflies at LollyChops, flower crown made from scraps at mellow, and the Eddie Cap at Mushroom Villagers. (Note to sister-in-law - do NOT click through on that last one...)
I love the randomness of this Scrap Buster Fall Pillow at Cluck Cluck Sew! (PS - many of these are noting that October was Scrap Buster month at Sew, Mama, Sew. I'm using all my willpower not to click over there because I know I'd never get out! Especially considering I pretty much ONLY use scraps to sew!)
Not sure where my deep love for making flowers comes from, but these Paper Towel and Baby Wipe Kanzashi Flowers at Filth Wizardy just plain rock!
This would be a fun gift - How To Make Picture Perfect Pads of Paper at Photojojo. Or how about some Fabric Covered CD Coasters from mojo and co?
I'm a sucker for these - Reusable Cloth Ziplocs at Progressive Pioneer.
Blue Yonder is putting together a series on crock pot tips. So far, there is the intro/vol. 1, volume 2, and volume 3.
I'm a big fan of risotto (how can you go wrong with creamy rice and cheese??) and didn't mind standing at the stove to make it...until the two-year-old entered the picture and tends to need things RIGHT NOW when my hands are busy. Enter Lynn's Kitchen Adventures and Oven Risotto. Yum!
Not quite the same vein as risotto, Katie at Kitchen Stewardship is working on a great series on Lard and Tallow. TONS of food for thought. And let me tell you . . . you haven't eaten really good pie until you've tried a piece on Grandma Johnson's lard pie crust.
Sarah's Musings is holding a For the Love of the Slow Cooker Recipe Carnival - including Sarah's recipes for carmelized onion marmalade (love that it keeps well in the fridge!) and yogurt.
Before long, Goose will be ready to work something like this bread in a bag recipe from AllRecipes.com - doesn't that sound fun?!?
Since our gifts are getting more . . . handmade and thrifted (read: less expensive, more thought!), I'm all about finding better ways to wrap them and make them look pretty. Here's a new one from Bugs and Fishes using yarn and buttons, brooches, and more.
Tipnut has a page on how to help your Christmas cactus thrive. My mom has my grandmother's Christmas cactus and that thing is one happy plant. My cutting from it sits atop my china hutch (far out of a certain Goose's wingspan) and looks sad and lonely. Maybe this will help!
Trent at The Simple Dollar has a great article on Teaching Money Management Through Self-Responsibility. Lots to think about and work towards.
These autumn wreaths at Sweet Life in the Valley are cute and simple - and the square shape makes them really funky, too!
Make your own (cheap!) Pedestal Plate at Reasonably Random.
Confessions of a Sewing Dork (hee!) has easy instructions on how to Hand Dye Silk Play Scarves with Kool-Aid. And a link to cheap playsilks!
These Wrapped Vases from Natural Home Magazine are really neat - though I'll admit I went in there thinking I'd get to learn how to make the paper, too. Quick reconsideration assured me that would be best left to the professionals. :>)
Hooray! This is the first cloth diaper cake I've seen (@ Kate's Kitchen).
Faithfulness Farm has a review of Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House by Cheryl Mendelson. I especially took note of the description of "broken windows" and I know it is quite true in my house. I have a lot of them - lots of bad habits. Need to work on that.
Saving Money In Real Life has a post on Send a Gift, Save on Postage. I'm becoming increasingly frustrated at how postage rates have risen, and I'm pretty far away from UPS and FedEx facilities, but perhaps I need to be looking into them. When I visited Guatemala nine years ago, I was surprised to learn that they'd privatized their postal system with huge improvements in service.
PRAY & PONDER
Though this isn't a prayer, so to speak, Faithfulness Farm also shared a moving poem in honor of Veteran's Day, called In Flanders Fields. I'd not ever known the connection between Veteran's Day (formerly Armistice Day - or Remembrance Day across the pond) and the poppies that Hubs and other members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars sell as a fundraiser - and a reminder. You can read more about it on Wikipedia. Also, for next year, I'm thinking Goose and I might make some big poppies as found at No Time for Flashcards - though green lentils in the middle might look more like the ones that Papa sells.
This falls under Make and Do while praying and pondering Jesus's birth, so I'll put it down here. Elizabeth Foss has compiled her wonderful Advent and Christmas resources all in one post. WOW!
Special thanks to my Goose for taking a good nap today so I coud get this monster post compiled. Happy clicking! (By the way, by the time I got this all put together, I ended up clicking through to Sew, Mama, Sew. It's my goal to come out with less than forty links for next week. :>))