Handmade market day

This past week, our homeschool group held a handmade market day for the kids. There was some miscommunication in the group and the planning was left until the last minute. There was a lot of debate over how to handle the market, payment, etc. We have held one in the past in which some of the items were priced incredibly high and wanted to avoid that scenario.  A few days before the market we got some details on how we could run it, but in the end the kids decided that they just wanted to trade items anyways. 

Jack made perler bead items and also did origami by request.



Here are some of the items other children brought:


tic-tac-toe bag games.


Homemade cookies and custom lego sets.


Popsicle stick and q-tip bow and arrow set.


Pool noodle nunchucks.



Fabric belts, popsicle stick boxes and bent popsicle stick bracelets.


foam stamps.


handmade greeting cards.

Looking forward to doing this again!


The other day Jack asked me to show him how to stitch.  I asked him what shape he wanted to stitch we drew it up and he got to work.


The next day he decided to make a stuffy for his best friend.  He designed it, cut it and stitched it himself.  It's a Minecraft block.



That evening he stitched a surprise for me:


And since then he has completed a few more:






These will be framed soon.  I love that he has found something he enjoys spending time on.   He told me it's quite meditative.  I know that it why I love doing it. I just need to actually finish a piece. My favorite part is hearing him say, "Mom want to sit and stitch with me?" 

magnetic slime

I recently saw this post on Frugal Fun For Boys on magnetic slime.  I knew this would be right up Jack's alley.


This was really easy and quick to make.




It was super messy, but tons of fun.  Jack played with it for days.  Ours was rather thick and we tried to make it thinner the next time around.  We didn't have a  lot of success making it thinner, but it was a great science exploration. 

For the recipe and directions be sure to check out the post on Frugal Fun for Boys.


One of our friends from our project group introduced us to the art of Suminagashi, or Japanese paper marbling. 


Our friends used ink from the craft store along with paintbrushes and a floating medium.  We wanted a bit more variety in color and a cheaper option, so we bought this kit from Amazon.


The kit we bought comes with littel circles of paper to use instead of floating medium. The circles are reusable.  It also has six colors of ink.




We are thinking of binding some of them into a book. The others I think we will use in our art projects. 

It's a fun way to explore colors and design.

fall is in the air

I've been trying to get a little decorating done. I wish I had a mantle to decorate.  I had to improvise a little.


Ignore the guitars and the empty picture frame.  I have an idea for that frame, just need to make it happen.


Last weekend, Alex and I ventured in to an antique store for the first time.

It was a mess. Lots of great stuff, but so full you couldn't even get to everything. Made me feel sad for all the books they had. I did pick up a few Garfield books for the boy. I also found this:

Minus the gnomes and such. I put a fresh coat of paint on it-- I had to it was painted three different colors.



I am still tweaking it a bit and trying to find the perfect little things to put in it.




Random things on a Monday:

  • I made Jack a slouchy beanie. It looks good. I am thinking I need to make more.
  • I started making a stunt dummy aka fencing target today
  • I also made a practice foil. We won't order real gear for Jack until the end of the month, but he can't wait that long!  Time to get creative.
  • I made the first batch of pumpkin muffins for fall. Yummy goodness.
  • I finally started to get some of our school papers put away into binders.  Jack is really enjoying his picture history narrations and I want to keep encouraging that.
  • Laundry done. Phew!
  • We watched The NeverEnding Story last night. It's been a long time. I think Goonies will be next.
  • Did I mention that the leaves are already starting to fall off of our Mulberry trees? Just a few every day, but fall is coming.
  • I helped Alex replace her iphone screen tonight. It's not all done, but we did finally get it apart.
  • Zac and I have been trying to get back to our nightly walk. Unfortunately we keep picking the night before the garbage is collected, which means it is a smelly walk. 
  • Rugby started.  Enough said.

And I am glad Monday is over.



scenes from the weekend

A snake at park day.

A worm bin completed.


The mason bee home I made last year is no longer vacant! We have bee larva!!! So excited about this.

The weekly batch of granola.

The latest felt project. Star magnets.

Not pictured: the birthday cake with family, the coffee, the late nights staying up waiting for teens to be home, the back to school shopping,  the chores.


On the list for this week:

  • homeschool planning full force- be ready for some posts on that.
  • our next class for the co-op is going to be a green cleaner day, I know it doesn't have much to do with gardening but there are some that are interested. So I am starting to gather resources for that and create a binder.
  • Another project I am getting ready to start is an herbal medicine kit for the coming winter. Time to  gather resources and organize them. 
  • School shopping as our schedule allows.
  • And that is all. Well you know what I mean, that and the other hundred things.

What is on your list?


a day in instagram


Zac is doing a huge woodworking project for our house. I was up early and helping him paint in my pjs.


Eventually Jack joined us for some target practice.

Back inside for reading and breakfast.


My neighbor brought over some garden goodies. Dinner went from blueberry mango quinoa to a pinto bean, garlic, onion, pepper and tomato quinoa burrito. It was yummy.


One piggy went to a new home.


A chore system for Jack. The cards are from Confessions of a Homeschooler. We are not using the whole system, just the cards.  I put them in this badge holder for him to wear during chore time to hopefully keep him on track.  The cards from her system just happened to have the chores I needed on them so I didn't have to reinvent the wheel. 

A felt plushie in progress.  This shop has so many cute patterns.  Time to get my project on with some sewing.

What's not pictured:

  • the workout
  • the mom binder that I finished printing out
  • the garden co-op work done
  • the laundry
  • the book decluttering
  • the chatting with kids
  • hugging the hubby
  • making his coffee
  • the phone calls- almost caught up
  • cleaning out the fridge
  • other housework


scenes from the weekend

It was a big weekend. So big, I needed a day or three to recover.  It was all good though.  The biggest thing was my birthday!  I am one step closer to 40!  The other big thing was a potluck for the garden co-op, on my birthday at our house.  It just seemed to be the best day for it.  And to be honest, it was nice. A couple of years ago,  I decided that one year I wanted to do a kindness day for my birthday. This wasn't exactly what I first planned, but the end result was the same. I spread the kindness, joy, love...whatever you want to call it. It was the perfect way to spend my day--outside of myself.  It was good.

So here are some pics from last Friday on:


Jack won a Lego set.









This week:

  • still trying to find some  rhythm for our days.
  • getting used to a quiet house. With everyone working 5+ days a week the house is abnormally quiet for summer.
  • staying cool- which means break time is in the afternoon. Work time is in the morning and evenings- if we are still awake enough.
  • taking a week off from just about everything
  • getting my supplies together for planning the new school year.
  • working through an illustrator class- fun!!!
  • getting a stack of books together to read- excited about some of these.
  • art-creating lots of projects- going through lots of spray paint.
  • being patient with myself as I do some serious introspection.
  • enjoying the chocolate stash I have from my birthday.
  • making a to-do list in order to get back on track
  • thinking I need to create a workable household routine since everyone is so busy, which brings me to the question of having a household notebook or not. 
  • Thinking I need to get those baby presents mailed once and for all. 
  • Feeling thankful for it all.

What is on your list?

being crafty

I am knee deep in preparations for the big garden potluck at our house this weekend.  Since it's something big of course, my procrastination has shown up in the form of all the projects I must have done before I have people over. Ironically enough, painting the boys room hasn't made the list.  Here are a few projects:


I collected seeds and made these cute little packets for them. 


This is a banner made out of strips of fabric. It looks like a kite tail...I hope.



The last two are jar lanterns that I made. I think we will use them as hanging flower vases.

Tomorrow I start cooking, make a run for paper products, and try to get the house in order. The good news is we have a kitchen faucet again! 

felt suns

Happy solstice! We celebrated by going to a neighborhood potluck/ice cream making contest. It was fun and HOT!  I wanted to do a felt project this week and worked off of this pendant that I ran across on pinterest. 



I'm not sure what I am going to do with them. They seem a little big for pendants. Any ideas?  They are about 2  1/2 inches.  It does give me ideas for Christmas ornaments. 



I wanted a quick, creative, satisfying project this past weekend and decided to make a beaded suncatcher.  



Quick, easy and adds some much needed color.  It now resides over my kitchen sink window so we have something pretty to look at as we do the dishes.  Well that is once the sink is fixed. Have you ever done dishes in a bathtub? So much fun.



Yesterday  we headed up to the local national park for pre-history craft day. Every year Zac and a few other pre-history enthusiasts set up a demonstration in the courtyard outside the vistor's center and teach people about the natives around the area.


The tables include all different kinds of replicas. They are all avid flintknappers.


These effigies (?) are awesome. I am planning on making some myself. I would like to make some and paint them also.  They look fun!


Jack jumped right in and started teaching people about the arrowheads. He was a natural. The ranger asked if he would like to come work there. It was also evident that he was very proud of his dad.  We all are. One of the other guys asked me what I thought of my husbands hobbies. I told him I was actually very impressed by them. The attention to detail and patience involved amazes me.


That is a fish basket on the table that someone made.


Sorry for the dark pictures. I was using my old camera since it is lighter and better for hiking. They were also making sandals out of yucca plants, cordage out of yucca, and Zac helped two of our little friends make arrows using his arrowheads.

After spending some time at the demo we headed up the canyon to take one of our favorite hikes.


The cool canyon water was a welcome relief at the top of the hike.


It was a really fun day.






My latest project has been dying beads.  The pic above shows what I've done so far.


These multicolored beads were dyed using food coloring. I only left them in for about 5 minutes at most.  When I put them on a string the family said it looked like a candy necklace.


These are done with watercolor paint. Just me and my Crayola. If the first looked like candy, then these look like gumballs. 



These red ones were also done with watercolor. 


The only problem...I am running out of beads!

lamp redo

I bought this lamp a few years back for around $5 at the thrift store.


After I had finished painting the room, I noticed that the shade color was too close to the wall color and it just felt kind of off for me.  I had also just painted my bedside shelf an awesome turquoise color. It seemed like the next logical step was to pump up the shade. I turned around and saw the bag I sewed up  a few years back and thought it would be perfect.



So after some deconstructing and a lot of fabric glue, this is the end result.


I love it! And it's going to get more use than that bag did!

monster pants

I've finally been getting around to some projects this week.   For one of them, I tackled the holes in the knees of Jack's pants. Last spring I scored some pants for Jack at a garage sale for 25 cents each. The only problem was they had holes in the knees. Jack likes the holes and thinks they are cool, but they were starting to bug me. Now I know I saw these somewhere on the internet, this is not my original idea. The problem is I can't remember where I saw this idea first. So forgive me for not linking back. If anyone knows of the first post with this idea, lmk. :)






The good news is he likes them. They are still cool enough to wear.  

the new hobby

A while back I mentioned that Zac has a new hobby.


It is a hobby  I fully support because it gives me things to hang on the wall.  Pretty things.




It's also sparked a lot of learning. We have a poster hanging up  that shows different types of butterflies and Jack would read it, copy down the names and then google them to find more images. There have been books and movies about butterflies.  This past Sunday Zac and Jack went on a butterfly hunt.  They were gone most of the day and came back with three.  Zac let Jack pin one.








Someone is hooked now. They are plotting buying a real net for him for the next butterfly hunt.  In the meantime, I no longer have to buy artwork.