Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Can you find the Halloween addition?  I'll remove it in November and it'll be our Thanksgiving wreath.
 This time of year is too busy to allow time for blogging, but I wanted to put up some pictures of our Halloween home and maybe inspire you on your own home decorating adventures.  I'm not much for gruesome and gore, so it's mostly creepy crawlies around here (and cute ones, at that). 

A yarn candy bowl the Ninja made last year.  Find instructions here.

Banner from my creative sister-in-law.  Felt, ribbon, and heat-n-bond.

Mini treat pumpkins, hung from a tree and lit with an LED tealight.  You may need to trim the opening with some scissors to get the light to fit.

More pom-pom spiders.

And this was a purchase my mother insisted on - "You'll never have time to make it!" - and she was right, I didn't.  But I have the glass, and the cutter, and the silicone and grout, and will one day get around to replicating this.  Maybe when things slow down in February.

And the kaleidoscope of butterflies is down, and in the process of being replaced with a few bats.  Maybe I'll actually get it done before Halloween... I'll post a picture if that happens.  Right now the priority is getting the kids encostumed before the first party.
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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Not too safe

This parenting thing is not for the faint of heart.  I have no idea who this Elizabeth Stone is to whom the following quote is attributed, but I remember the first time I heard it, thinking, That is it:  "Making the decision to have a child - it's momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking outside your body."

Not far from our home, in the development where we rented for a year while we were getting to know the area, there is a playground structure the kids have dubbed "The Spiderweb."  The geometrically correct would call it a buckyball within an icosahedron, but no matter; they scale it pretty much as a spider scales its web, rambling over its ropes 12 feet up in the air.

Last weekend Baby Girl got introduced to it by dad (who is generally better at this sort of thing than I am), and insisted on visiting again today.  Armed with all the affirmation from the NY Times' article scorning too-safe-playgrounds, I biked them over and proceeded to have my heart skip a few beats every time Baby Girl (remember, she is only 2!) decided to stand with her small hands on the top of the metal frame and bounce on the ropes.  Or when she was climbing and hung by her arms for a few seconds before regaining her footing.  Little Brother, more cautious and afraid of heights, asked me, "Mom, what does 'outclimb' mean?" (remembering a line from the Berenstain Bears' No Girls Allowed.)

I hail from a respectable line of overcautious Chinese women, in whose philosophy a child's injury equals a mother's oversight.  But the article claims, and I tend to believe, that there is such a thing as too safe, in playgrounds, and in the larger arena of real life.  And aren't your best (or at least strongest) playground memories centered around the now banned merry-go-rounds, rope swings, and wooden teeter-totters where you first learned the principles of centrifugal force, gravity, and who-not-to-trust-on-the-other-end-of-the-seesaw?

And so we climbed, with mom valiantly staying far enough away to resist grabbing for the backs of their shirts, and enjoyed their flush of pride when they got to the "tippy-tippy-top."

The view is so much better from up here.  
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Saturday, October 1, 2011

Rocking Horse Makeover

A friend of mine called a few weeks ago with this offer: she had an old rocking horse her dad had made which her boys had outgrown, and it was on its way to Goodwill, but she knew Baby Girl was crazy about horses... would I like it for her?  Would I?  Just the kind of challenge I love, and I had carte blanche to redecorate it however I wanted.

It was sturdy and had good bones, but was in need of a makeover...
Started out by removing the old mane, tail, and bridle
But after some plastic surgery...
The jigsaw gave it a new profile
Fresh make-up...
Quite a few coats of white paint

A soft new 'do...
And some tasteful accessories...
Hot-glued braid bridle, modge-podged gingham fabric accents
She is ready and waiting for an almost-3-year-old's birthday.
And the best part?  With most of the supplies already on hand, this one put me back just $3.50 in fabric and trim.

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