Ideas for a thrifty Christmas

I am posting this old list along with the pictures of what I made this year.

#1 Origami Crane Mobile. A friend of mine got some awsome origami paper. She bought a pack of 5X5inch for $5 at a local craft store and made a bunch of cranes. She was looking for a mobile for her baby, and she made 12 crains out of papers that went together color wise, and then got two sticks and a bunch of fishing wire. Then she took a needle and put it through the center of the cranes and hung the first 4 cranes on the first stick, and then the second stick hung on to the first with 3 more cranes. It looks SO cool I can't even tell you! (I will get a picture and post it when I finish one). She said getting the balance was a little tricky, but it cost her about $1.50 and what a cool gift!! So I am going to make those for the three teen/young wemon in my life for Christmas.




#2 Magnet boards... getting a cookie sheet is easy. It even usually has a hole in it already. So what I have done is taken a cookie sheet (even one from the dreaded dollar store would work for this... you don't cook with it, in fact you don't touch it at all) covered it with thin fabric (a quilters woven would work the best) glued to the backside with a glue gun and tied a nice ribbon to the top to make it hang. Then I am (have not done it yet) taking a bag of river rocks, and putting magnets on the back of them. This will be a gift for my mom and for my MIL.


#3 Peg Boards... similar thing, only I am going to get a few of those loose squares of peg board stuff, and then I will paint them. Hopefully I will do well enough to give away and be happy about. I am taking small glass stones (like the ones you put in the bottom of vases) and gluing them on to silver tacs. This is going to be for a few friends. I may even find a few really cool beads and make tacs out of them.



#4 Sea shell candles. I am taking a lb of bees wax... mixing it with a lb of paraphin and a bunch of wicks from the craft store and pouring the wax over the wicks in some seashells that I have had forever. It will make the cutest little candles. (Got this idea from Martha Stewart as I did the rock magnets)


#5 Bamboo plants... these can be very pretty and if bought at the right place, can be really inexpensive. I was thinking of looking at Ikea.

More thifty gifts...

Cedar block candle holders. These smell great! I just took a 6X6 of cedar (next time I will use something a bit smaller) carved a 3/4 inch hole in them (perfect for a tealight), sanded them, and sealed them with linseed oil. They are beautiful and look wonderful.


Beaded key chains... these took some doing. They are stunning! But wern't very sturdy until I used 40lb fishing line... which did stop me from using some of the tiny beads I had in the first set, but they didn't break. Which was good. And they looked so beautiful! I had them all displayed on this part of my wall for a while... they were stunning!





Halloween

Our pumpkin houses turned out great! Here is a link to closeups:
My little fairy princess.

And YuGiOh of course! Complete with red spiked hair. :)

Our family, Nov 2004

Pumpkin houses

These are the pumpkin houses we made for our city this year. What a fun project it was! Alex and Cyan had a blast designing their houses. Cyan was insistant that we make the green house (very top rt corner of the pic below) into one too... that was a HUGE pain as it isn't a pumpkin... it is some sort of gourd. lol... but it was a great project that I think we will do again.

Batiks!

Jennica and I did a bunch of batiks this afternoon. Heather is setting up this great shop area she has out back just for a batik studio. They have big plans... but I am just enjoying these beautiful clothes we have decorated! All of these come from goodwill and for pennies, we made them into this:







Maringo House Kitchen

This is the Maringo House kitchen. It is like the best and the worst kitchen ever. The worst because it has always been sort of like cooking in a hallway. There is no room to turn around around the stove, there is no space to cut or chop anywhere near where you would be cooking. But...
The pantry.


Awwww... the pantry. The pantry is like a little peice of heaven. I will always want a pantry like this one. It is a solice in this kitchen, that is terrible to cooking, awful to keep clean, but oh joy... you can just stand in the pantry and be happy smelling the smells and looking at all the clean, full jars lining the walls with bounty goodness.

The view of the front window. I have been collecting these colored glass vases for a while now... they look so beautiful with this old style glass window. A wonderful view above the hallway style sink. Beautiful.

Night time red sunflowers

Hannah gave me these as seedlings, and I think they will become a permanent fixture in my garden. I just adore them!

July in the urban garden

In July, everything starts bursting and growing so quickly! This is the view from in front of Mikes house (the vet) across the street. Our little alter. Cyan sang the song from the Muppets with Harry Belefonte called "We Come from the Fire" while I was setting this up. It was pretty much the sweetest thing ever. I just love her little singing voice!

Our Playhouse

This is the play house. I designed it two years ago, it was built and primed last summer with me, Dan, and Don, then Dad and I added the swingset for the kids birthday this year, and Don and I painted the whole thing this left over purple from the trim on the house. I think it turned out super cute!

Alex hits the ball!

Baseball has been a really mixed blessing this year. On one hand he wanted to do it SO BADLY... on the other hand, now that he is in it, he really doesn't like it. lol... but I am making him finish out the season at least. Then, if he wants to do it again, it will be his choice.

One of the guys on his coaching team just sent me this set of pictures. This guy has a great camera!

I don't remember if Alex hit the ball that time or not, but he sure is trying! (And his form is pretty good too. :) )

My urban garden

Welcome to my Urban garden. Living in the middle of Olympia, just blocks from downtown, I have started growing my own food. This is the only truly sunny spot in our yard because of the wonderful greenbelt of maple trees behind our houses. So here is where I put it. It sure is turning out beautiful this year! Here are the tomatoes. By the end of last year, I had these tomatoes about 5 ft tall and had to be staked to the garage wall. lol!
Here is my bean teepee.
And my perennial herb garden... the parsley has self seeded again. I love that stuff! It is right under the hose spicket, so I am guessing it is happy there. I hope that rosemary plant will come up and cover the garbage cans. It grew so well last year.

A pair for Alex


Alex has been asking me for two weeks to make him a pair like Cyan's. So here is the 'boy' version. Organic unbleached denim, with cord patches. :)




Lazy day in the garden

Everything is growing so beautifully!





The kids came out to 'help me', ie: play while I weeded the garden. I even got some good sidewalk chalk time in. :)


Side Panel Patchy Pants

I am selling these babies on Amity's right now. :)


We had to give our dog away today

Sweet Cooper.

We can't take Cooper along on this move. We gave him to a great family with two kids. The girl is older and the boy younger, but they are about Alex and Cyan's age and I think he will do just fine with them.

I am really sad we had to give him up, but I think he will be fine. Cyan on the other hand, may not recover very well. She is having a really hard time with it.


Squirrels in the walls!

Meet Buster:

I know this is a horrible picture of me, but I found this squirrel in my wall today! There is a whole family of them living in the attic. I have heard them for a while, but thought they would just go away. The other day they started coming down the walls and one of them got stuck above the heater vent in the livingroom.

Taio and Cooper have spent hours there, listening to them scratch and move around. Watching intently. That is how I found Buster... Cooper was freaking out next to the vent. Such a good dog!

The first one we found (in these pictures) was such a baby that I thought for sure he had gotten lost, but one by one, they have come down. Now three of them I have taken out with my leather gardening gloves on and put them back outside. I wonder how Aunt Barb is going to deal with this.

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