covered


This fancy little number is really just a plain old $1.09 composition book in disguise. I read about this technique in an old Martha Stewart Living magazine a couple of years ago, and finally decided to try it out. The key players in this project are the glue stick, book binding tape, x-acto knife, and decorative paper of your choice.


I have plans for the same technique with a different aesthetic. Stay tuned.

xo e

spring stones

Here are Chick's finished fabric collage stones. She made these while I worked on the story stones. I am so fascinated by the bright, sunny colors she chose. Don't they look like Easter eggs?


Chick cut up her own bits of fabric and then glued them onto the stones using Mod Podge. After they were dry, I trimmed them up and smoothed down the rough edges a little bit with my fingers.


These seem to be equally as fun to play with as the mouse and company stones. They can be flowers or food or mountains or water - or just colorful blobs.

A big thank you to The Crafty Crow for featuring my Story Stones yesterday! How lovely.

xo e

necklaces


Here are my newest creations. The stamps are hand carved, the wood is hand painted with non-toxic paint and drilled, and then I'm using really nice Irish waxed linen for the cord.

There will be some for sale in the shop soon.

xo e

story starter game


Lately, I have been thinking about story telling and how it seems to be the gateway to highly imaginative and intricate play. I watch Chick create fantasy worlds where nothing but torn pieces of paper become the characters from the last play she saw or a chapter from a book, and it helps me to remember the stories that were in my mind when I was little. The big family joke is that my favorite toys were the tiny ballerinas that were poised on top of one of my birthday cakes. They were made of thin, cheap plastic, and the paint was chipping away from the moment I first saw them, but I really did love them more than most of the bought toys in our home. We rinsed them, and for years they told stories as they danced across my family's globe visiting stages and homes in every country imaginable. For some reason, I chose them to be my imaginary guides, and, to this day, when I see them, they remind me of travel to far away lands. They were the inspiration behind the mouse story stones, which then got me thinking even more about story starters. I created this little game that is intended to create dialogue and story with little ones and their friends and, hopefully, with their grown-ups as well.

Materials:
little wooden discs (bought at a craft store)
acrylic paint
paint brush
sharpie
permanent stamp pad
some little stamps from your collection

I painted the wooden pieces with non-toxic paint and then used stamps and a sharpie to create the images. All of the pictures, aside from the cat, are my own hand carved stamps and drawings. The idea is that you flip the pieces over so that the images are hidden and then you take turns adding each element or character into the story. Different minds will interpret and incorporate each image differently, which is what makes the game fun.




xo e

more story stones


Some birds and dinosaurs have joined the picnic.



I was scheduled to have jury duty this morning at 8:00 a.m. sharp, but as I was closing the car door, a court guy leaned outside of the courthouse and told me it is canceled and that I should just go home. Tom was sure that he was a prankster and that I should have someone sign something official so as to verify my arrival at such an early hour. But when I dutifully inquired - he showed me his torn up, raggedy court badge and sort of stared at me until I left. I felt kind of ridiculous; me with my early arrival and carefully planned excuse, and as the door closed behind me on my way out, it was all I could do not to say, "and by the way, just so you know, I couldn't serve on your lousy jury anyway because I have really big breasts that are full of milk and they need to feed my very, very hungry toddler." But, I didn't, and when I opened the car door and saw Tom's bewildered expression, I had one of those way too long laughing sessions that left my belly feeling achy. Not too soon after, I started thinking about the hour of magazine reading I was planning on doing while they would have been organizing their paperwork, and the lunch break where I would have slowly nibbled my food in a *gasp* restaurant, and the shop hopping I would have done as I walked to catch the bus back home. Yeah, it had the potential to be really boring and there was the risk that they would want me to serve for more than three hours, but, oh, how I was looking forward to those three hours. So, at 7:57 a.m. I went home to help my mom cook some eggs and wrangle the kids into clothing, and after seeing them off to the park, I decided to reclaim those three hours.

Here I am typing in a quiet little cafe with internet access and a creamy cafe au lait.

xo e

story telling stones: mouse picnic

After months and months of drawing pictures of mouse picnics with Chick, I decided that we should make a mouse picnic for her to play with. This project began with peaceful stone gathering and then turned into an excuse for indoor water play since all of the stones needed to be rinsed. The very very end left us covered in glue and feeling eager to see who our little stones would become once dry. Chick chose which shapes and creatures should be at the picnic, and I cut out the shapes and did most of the gluing . This afternoon, she worked on a more abstract set of rocks that are still drying - I'll post pictures of those soon. I'm realizing that this project doesn't really have an end; there is always one more little friend or food or burst of color to add to the set. The best part is that I found out my kid can tell a pretty involved mouse story; these little friends have names, back stories, and very specific likes and dislikes. Like, for instance, the cheese is definitely colby jack - not swiss.

Here is a little tutorial showing how this passel of mice and company were created.

Materials:
stones of all shapes and sizes
bits of fabric and paper
hole punch
scissors
pencil
Mod Podge

Step 1: Collect stones in a bucket. Try to find different shapes since that will ensure that there are lots of options later on. The smoother the stone, the better.

Step 2: Dump the stones into the sink, fill the sink with water, and have someone who loves to play in water scrub each one with a brush. Just rinsing the stones is also perfectly fine too. Once all of the stones are rinsed, set them out in the sun to dry.

Step 3: Using a fabric pencil, draw a mouse shape on your favorite gray or tan fabric and cut it out.


Step 4: Find a stone that seems to work well with your shape, and coat the stone with Mod Podge. Then, put the shape on the stone and put another layer of Mod Podge over it. Use your fingers to rearrange the shape, so that it is positioned just right on the stone.

Step 5: Use a hole punch with a super small hole to punch out a little eye and glue it on the mouse. Then, cut out a tail and glue that on as well. Be sure that the entire mouse has a layer of Mod Podge over it.

Step 6: Let the mouse dry.

Step 7: Make some mouse friends, food, and play things for your new friend.



xo e

meow


I made this cat n' yarn design months ago as a special order. Miss Sophie, our shy feline, was the inspiration for the shape and posture of this polka dotted friend. I used cotton fabric and wool felt for the applique, and the black tote is 100% organic cotton. This one is now for sale in my shop.

I'm busy working on another remake garland. More soon.

xo e

circle garland tutorial


I came up with this project because I was looking for a do-it-together-in-stages project that would be satisfying for both me and my four year old daughter. This project took us a few days because we wanted to take it easy and have fun. Tiny toddlers and pre-schoolers love it because there is lots of random ripping, sorting by color, and borderless gluing. And, it is super satisfying for older kids and grown-ups because it produces a tidy, happy, circle string that will add color to wherever it is hung. Oh, and this is a re-make project since all of the paper (even the card stock) was from the recycle bin.

Chick loved every stage of this project, and couldn't wait to collage a yellow circle so she could use the picture of the "queen," who is really an Egyptian carsophagus (see yellow circle below). But, honestly, her yellow circle is magnificent and beautiful and completely hers (aside from the trimming). And, I love that her collage circles will be intertwined in a chain with mine.

Here is a little tutorial.

You will need:
assorted scrap paper
card stock
Mod Podge
yarn
scissors
hole punch
small sponge brush
jars for sorting scraps (optional)

Step one: Collect magazines, flyers, newspapers, old boxes, etc. from the paper recycling bin. Once you have a nice big pile, everyone should rip, rip, rip, and tear, and rip. Once you have a big pile of torn paper, put it in a little bin.


Step two: If you want each circle to be its own single color then sort the torn pieces of paper by color. We used little jam jars. We didn't sort all of the paper bits - just enough for a few circles of each color.


Step three: Use a cup to trace circles onto card stock and then cut them out. Don't worry if your card stock has markings since you will be covering it with lots of bits of paper. Our circles were just under 3 1/2 inches. You can do as many or as few circles as you wish, which will determine the length of your string.


Step four: Use a collage medium, like Mod Podge, to coat the circles. Then use one color of paper bits to cover the circle. Be generous with the Mod Podge, and continue to apply as you put down each layer of paper bits. The best part about this step is that you do not have to be precise about the edges. Let your kids and yourself collage right off of the edge of the circle because you will trim it once it is dry.


Here, Chick applies the "queen" to her yellow circle. Tom and I agree that her yellow circle just might be the best of the bunch.


Step five: Let your circles dry. Once dry, flip them over and trim around the circle, trimming off the extra collage material. You should be left with almost perfect, firm, little circles.


Here are some of our trimmed, happy circles splayed out on our kitchen table.


Step six: Punch two holes in the top of each circle. It is best if you punch the holes at the top and not in the middle since this will allow the circles to drape nicely.


Step seven: Find some yarn from your stash (or ask your favorite knitter if she wouldn't mind sharing) and weave a long strand through the holes being sure to weave behind each circle. The yarn does a fine job keeping the circles in place, but if you feel antsy about your circles shifting around, you can put tiny dots of glue on the back to keep them in place.

Step eight: Find a place in your home that needs color, light, and unity, and hang your string there.


xo emily

late afternoon

3 Trees in a Row


This is print that I made for a charity auction for Chick's school. I urge anyone local to come check it out because it is going to be a super fun time. A rockin' band will be playing, there will yummy food, wine, local hard cider, home brew, and lots of bidding with items of all shapes and sizes (and prices). There is going to be an inclusive, welcoming vibe running throughout the entire event, and the money that is raised will go toward the scholarship fund. Check out the auction blog and talk to me if you are interested in going.


This is what it looked like at 3:30 this afternoon. Chick and I darted outside wearing only our socks because we were afraid to miss the light. It was a mad rush to feel the warmth of the elusive sun on our faces. We were glad we moved so quickly because it didn't last long. Chick flung her body on the grass and then did some groovy dance moves, and I grabbed my camera.


We were feeling desperate because it totally snowed this morning. I know, I know - it is normal for it to snow in New England in April, but, come on, that does not mean I have to smile and be happy about it. I had just dropped Chick off at school this morning, and was walking with Mouse to the car when I noticed white stuff floating in the air. I was sure it was dandelion fluff or some sort of pollen-y matter, but when I reached out to see what I was dealing with, it instantly melted on my palm. It was definitely snow. Snow with no sun in sight. Until.....3:30.

xo e

remake :: sunny bird string


Chick and I used brown paper grocery bags from my new best friend, the recycling bin, to make groovy sunny bird strings.

First, we painted.


Then, we let our new blue paper dry in the sun. I decided to use two different blues and purposely made it streaky because I like how it makes each bird look unique once they are cut.

Once it was dry, I designed my bird, created a stencil, and cut them out.

Before sewing , I ran a cool iron over them to make sure that all wings, tails, and beaks were nice and flat. I repeated with yellow and suns, and then slowly machine sewed them into strings.


Below is my first string. It is faulty because I needed to sew a little higher up to prevent flipping. Tom made sure to remind me of the actual physics law that applied: how geeky (in the best possible way) and science cute is he?

There is a bird string update in my shop.


xo e