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Today we tried our hand at fern printing on t-shirts. I learned several important lessons:

1. Although a project involving hammers sounds like the ideal for a 5 year old boy, overzealous hammering can result in holes. Even on the backside

2. A crisp and clean fern print with children in charge of the hammer is probably not a realistic goal.

3. My children have a hard time getting the hammer head to strike flat, resulting in many crescent shaped blobs in the print.

4. Most important lesson: Kids love making stuff and they’ll wear these with pride – even if they don’t meet my exacting standards.

So, what did Joshua make yesterday?

A pirate, of course! If you can’t squint enough to recognize it as a pirate, you can check it out on Flickr for the annotated version. I’ve got to give it one or two more layers of varnish and then I think he’ll be sea worthy. At least enough to join the crew of the Playmobil pirate ship. Joshua’s new goal is to figure out how to give him a sword.


A golfer, I am most certainly not. I do, however, have a new use for golf tees. Check it out:

A golf tee + a temporary glue dot = a convenient way to hold a small wooden doll for painting and varnishing. These gals are drying after an application of varnish. The tees are stuck into an upside-down styrofoam bowl. I fancy myself pretty clever (for the moment).

I ordered a variety of wooden people from Casey’s a few months ago with the intention of letting the kids paint and embellish them. I also loved the idea of making a kit with the dolls, paper and fabric scraps to give as gifts a la Liesl. Alas, I have ended up hording them for myself to make wee kokeshi dolls.

I am not very adept at painting tiny faces, but I have learned to make friends with the sandpaper. I have lots of little scraps of Japanese papers and origami paper that I decoupage on as “kimono”. I have other ideas of ways to embellish them, but I want to concentrate on my painting skills for now. I just keep buying smaller and smaller brushes, hoping that it will help.

I did finally let the kids paint some of my the dolls today. I’ll try to get pictures tomorrow. Bet you can’t guess what Joshua made?

I am a city girl.  The least populous place I’ve lived is Ann Arbor, MI and it made me a little twitchy.  If it doesn’t have chlorine, I won’t swim in it.  If there is the remote possibility of ticks, I’ll be in the car, thank you very much.  Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the wonders of the natural world.  I’d just rather appreciate them through a window or a screen.

So, where will I be spending the weekend?  Camping.  This is not my idea of a getaway.  This is ulcer-inducing.  I’ve tried to get myself out of it.  In the end, I will suck it up and go along.  It is easier to bitch out into the ether than win an argument here.  Trust me, I’ve tried.

Seems like the chaos of everyday life has suppressed any crafty impulse I might have had lately.

A disappointing result in my latest sewing project didn’t help. I was working on Butterick 5046 view A in a sewing class. We spent plenty of time altering the pattern to fit. At least, that was the thought. After all that work, the fit is significantly not right. I will eventually take it back to my teacher and cross my fingers that we can salvage it. I foresee much quality time with the seam ripper.

We’ve been making very good use of Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day. After the bread machine produced a particularly gnarly loaf, we started using the master recipe in a loaf pan for sandwich bread. This week we made pita. We’ve made it a few times and it is quick and satisfying. Exciting to see the flat round come out of the oven puffed up.

I also made up a batch of the “Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread Inspired by Chris Kimball”.  Whole wheat, white and rye flours with wheat germ and honey.  The smell of baking bread is always welcome, but this loaf smelled especially delicious.  The flavor lived up to the promising smell.

This weekend promises to be calmer than last.  Perhaps I will get in a little crafting.  Crafting and some cleaning.