two little birds on my doorstep


The bird on the left makes me smile because he is unintentionally wearing a red beret. I'm now inspired to create a Paris series with two french birds, a little baguette, a cup of coffee, the Eiffel Tower, and a bottle of wine. Yes! I think I will.

In the meantime, we have plans to kick off August with lots of swimming, long walks, ice cream, disc golf (for Tom), and hopefully some lounging and writing for me.

Happy almost August!

xo e

**update** At least one of the French birds will have a mustache.

Story Stones: Fairy Tale Series & a tiny blog update

These are some more story stones from the new Fairy Tale Series. Stay tuned for magic beans, a basket of magic stones, and more.




Oh, and I created a flickr photo group page (in the sidebar) for those who would like to share pictures of projects that were inspired by a Red Bird Craft design. I love seeing the beautiful creations that were inspired by one of my projects or designs, so please, please consider posting your creations!
Crafty connection is the best.

xo emily

nests

Have I mentioned that creating story stones is super addictive? I spent some time designing and making some new characters and props this past week.


This little house is part of my newly designed Story Stones: Create Your Own Fairy Tale series. There are lots of little people, critters, and items that complete the series, which I'll be posting bit by bit this week and next.

I'll also have some new story stones in the shop beginning on Wednesday, July 29th. Look for nests, woodsy bits, and fairy tale fun.

xo e

blue (and some handmade storage boxes)

This is the shades of blue mobile. The dowel, which can't be seen in the picture, is covered with a thick, natural linen.

Below are some handmade storage boxes that we are using on our porch to store napkins, candle holders, and whatever else ends up being plopped inside. The boxes were once little kid shoe boxes, and are covered in paper that Chick and I painted. I think these would be handy in a playroom or child's bedroom for little thing organization, which makes me think I should make a few more to store hair ties, fairies, and maybe some lego type people.


The kids and I will be busy finding adventures and whatnot this weekend while Tom and his kind cousin rebuild the walls in our bathroom. We had a little bathroom crisis this past Friday; Tom went to fix four teeny tiny tiles that needed new grout and BAM! the entire wall crumbled down. I was in NY preparing for Nanny's 90th birthday celebration, and when I found pictures of my bathtub walls stripped down to the studs in my inbox, I took a few deep breaths and instantly imagined pretty little white subway tiles dancing in my head. Problem solved - especially since we found some subway tiles that were really inexpensive! I'll post pictures of the bathroom wall progress soon.

Happy weekend!

xo e

ninety


What could possibly be the occasion for such fancy feet? Nanny Ruth turned 90! And, oh my, did we celebrate. There were flowers and cake, spoken memories and dancing, and a guest of honor who was reminded of how loved she truly is. When people tell stories about Nanny they almost always mention her smile and how it always made and still makes them feel extra loved and extra listened to. All of the story telling and memory recollection that I heard this weekend makes me feel so fortunate. My daughters and I - we are the lucky ones who get to be her grand and great grand children. I've gotten to see that smile every time I've walked into her home for the past 32 years and now my girls get to see it too.


Oh, did we celebrate!

xo e

lemonade for everyone!


I discovered lemonade syrup two years ago when my family visited my Auntie Lynn's house for a summer party. It was a long drive, so when we arrived, we instantly slipped into her cool, bubbly not-so-hot tub where Chick lounged until her skin was wrinkly and raisin-like. We were sufficiently relaxed, feeling perfectly in love with our family, and lounging on couches, when out of of nowhere Auntie Lynn led me to a pot of syrupy, lemony joy and told us that we should help ourselves to a glass of cold lemonade. Just fill a glass with ice and water, add the right amount of lemonade syrup, and stir. Brilliant! I was hooked the moment I poured and swished.

I love lemonade, but I like it very diluted and very lemony, which is why this syrup is perfect. I add just enough to make it mildly sweet, and since the sugar is boiled with lemon rinds it is has a deep, lemon flavor. I've been making it every summer since. It can be packed nicely away in mason jars and stored in the refrigerator until the next lazy warm afternoon when only lemonade can quench your thirst.


Lemonade Syrup
adapted from The Joy of Cooking (I tweaked it a tiny, tiny bit)

Yield: about 2 1/2 cups of syrup
Ingredients: 1 c water, 2 c sugar, 7 lemons, 1/8 tsp salt

1. Place 2 cups of sugar , 1 cup water, thinly sliced rinds of 2 lemons, and 1/8 tsp of salt into a pot.
2. Simmer for 7 minutes.
3. Cool and add the juice of 7 lemons.
4. Strain and then add half of the rinds to the syrup for flavor and color.
5. Store in a jar and place in the refrigerator.
6. Add a little bit to a glass of ice water.
7. Sip, kick back, and enjoy.

So, so, so good.

xo e

color mobile


This is the rainbow mobile I made this week for our mudroom/play space. It is made from a wooden dowel, some wooden discs, fabric, thread and paint. Both Chick and Mouse are drawn to the colors and love to watch it spin and move with the breeze. I'm captivated by the dull clink, clink sound it makes when the painted discs gently bump into each other.

How to:

1. Cut a skinny wooden dowel (bought at craft store) to size, cover with a thin coat of craft glue, and wrap a narrow piece of fabric around it. Let dry.

2. Paint each of the wooden discs a different color. If you choose to make your own circles out of a cereal box, then after the paint is applied and dried, coat them with Mod Podge to make them hard and sturdy.

3. Drill or punch (if made out of a cereal box) a small hole in the top of each disc.

4. Tie some thread onto each disc and then tie the tops of the thread to the dowel. Tie a piece of yarn to the dowel and hang.

I'm in the middle of making one that has some natural linen fabric covering the dowel and multiple shades of turquoise discs. I'm thinking that this will be a nice way to teach Chick about how to create and appreciate different shades of the same color. I've also been thinking that it would be nifty to use wire bent into a circle or a found twig instead of the dowel. I'm going to use a twig when I make one for my soon to be born nephew's bedroom.

xo e

swoop


Her Nest

Recycled bits of paper and such on smooth finish Strathmore paper.

xo e

above the couch


I've been busy working on paper collages for the past couple of weeks. Most of the paper was found in my recycle bin or delivered as junk mail, and some of it is from a volume of a dilapidated antique dictionary given to me by my dear friend Maddie (xoxo). As of Friday night, a few of them have a new home above our couch. I heart cairns, so they tend to find their way into my art.


Also, I'm really curious to find out how to make prints of some of the collages I've been making on paper (as opposed to the ones above that are on canvas). I am equipped with a high performing scanner and photo printer, so I'm left wondering about paper quality, clarity, etc. Are there any artistic lovelies out there who want to share tips?

xo e

necklace winner & thrift store score


I used a random number generator because it sounded all fancy and mysterious, but, really, I could have just drawn a number from a hat. The winner of the necklace give-away is Bixi and Goxi ! I'll need your name and address, please. She is from Germany and she wrote:

What a lovely necklace! I live in Stuttgart / Germany
and I love the variety around here: You have museums, art gallerys but also a lot of nature, wood and parks nearby.

Thanks to everyone who participated. I loved reading the little descriptions of where you live. I found myself imagining the mountains, far away lands, the little flowered yards on the way to the beach, the CSA farm under the highway, and more. It helped me to feel a little more connected to those who visit and support my site. I'll do another in a few months or so.





I actually went thrifting on July 4th. Who knew that the The Trading Post, the newly expanded thrift store down the road from me, would be open on a national holiday. There they were munching pizza, welcoming people to their lovely shop. I scored big! Along with the bowl (only $2.00) and free buttons (how nice of them), I also bought one of those fold-up suitcase holders for people who come to visit and a little side table for Miss Mouse's room. Tom finished building one of Mouse's closets yesterday, so we got to do some reorganizing in her room.

I'm off to enjoy a sunny afternoon at the park with tom and girls.

xo e

composition


A few evenings ago I remade another $1.09 composition notebook. This time, I used a brown paper bag, a page from an old book, and some scraps of paper to cover and decorate it.

Along with learning to make my own deodorant and discovering that I have a hidden hair cutting talent which has resulted in tidy haircuts for the girls, creating my own journals rounds out my top three liberating projects. All three of these projects not only leave me feeling like I never have to spend money on these items again, but the end result feels more satisfying and enjoyable than what I would have bought. When I purchase a journal, I end up using it sparingly in order to make it last for as long as possible. Now that I make my own on the cheap, I find myself writing and note taking much more. This new one is parked my our telephone for quick messages.

As I mentioned in a previous post, the key players in this project are the glue stick, book binding tape, x-acto knife, and paper of your choice. Once you glue paper onto the notebook, the secret for a smooth cover is to use a bone folder to press, press, press out all of the creases and bumps. This paper bag was wrinkly and creased when I began. Really, really creased. You could probably also iron the paper on low heat, but I was feeling too lazy for that.

Here is the notebook pre-book binding tape and pre-decoration. Smooth, right?

I'll be back with necklace give-away winners on Saturday morning. Thank you so much to those of you who have responded; I have been enjoying your comments.

xo e