We like to paint in this house. Mostly Eve and I like to paint, but Lex gets involved sometimes too. Recently for a girls night out, some friends and I went to a pottery studio and painted. I made this birthday plate and a little pink bunny.

birthday plate

Yes, I know it looks like a child’s work, but really it was all me! I’ve always wanted a family birthday plate. :) Lucky for me MY birthday comes next!

When you finish painting you leave your piece there and they put the glaze on and then fire it in the kiln. A week later they call and you go pick it up. When I went to pick them up the kids were SO excited and talked me in to staying to let them paint too. Actually it is something I’ve always wanted to do with them. The timing wasn’t the best, but we stayed and had a pretty good time. Eve painted a unicorn, Lex picked a heart shaped box, and I did a cool tea mug! I’ll post pictures next week when we pick them up.


Hard at work, painting unicorns and heart shaped boxes.

The kids have already decided what they want to paint next, when we go back to pick up these pieces, but the place isn’t cheap so things may “happen” such that I pick up our finished pieces without them! School is starting soon, right? ;)

A paper train railway in my kitchen and my new maid

I think I have the messiest craftiest children ever!  This is a good thing, I know, because their brains are active, but so are the scissors, tape, and scraps!

They are currently working on a 3D paper railway, much like his paper race cars and paper airline. I can’t find a link so apparently I haven’t blogged about his paper airlines yet.  He has two separate paper airlines and an airport!

eve drawing

Lex is nice enough to help Eve draw these “blown out” trains as well. They draw the outline, color them in, cut them apart, and then tape the edges together, resulting in a 3D object.

lex train

Lex’s first train and coal car, on the tracks. Lex likes to be in the pictures these days. :)

Now they are working on trains.  He made a few trains over the weekend and some tracks connected with metal fasteners.  Today I found some empty Lipton tea boxes (I drink it by the GALLON!) and they both decided to use them for stations. 

train station

Lex’s train station, complete with clock (on top) and ticket counter (inside). It’s actually cool the way he connected the tracks with fasteners so when it’s time to clean up they all fold together and tuck underneath the station.

crafty kids

Eve has a habit of cutting tiny pieces of paper and then taping them to things. While she could use a large piece and tape it once, she much prefers lots of cutting, lots of pieces, and lots of tape. Despite, or perhaps because of, my repeated requests to the contrary. For her it’s more about the ongoing story as she constructs and less about the finished product. In fact, she rarely ever finishes a project, they just continue until I make her stop!

When it was time to clean up she switched games and announced, “Let’s pretend I’m your maid!”  Um, ok!  Turns out she is a very good maid!  She cleaned up all the scraps (with marginal help from Lex), swept the entire kitchen/dining room floor, and helped Lex clean up his mess in the living room.  Then she wanted to vacuum!  I told her it was dinner time and invited her to join us “since my daughter is at a sleep over party tonight and won’t be joining us for dinner.”   The game continued through dinner and afterwards she jumped up and headed for the vacuum cleaner!  While Lex took a bath, Eve vacuumed the office and half of the living room!  She did a pretty decent job of it too.  The game ended when she wet her pants and I made her get in the bath. :)


She swept with the broom and then she Swiffered!


One benefit of their extended crafty periods is it gives me time to make yummy dinners! Tonight was spinach basil pasta with cheesy roasted tomatoes, salad, and cheesy garlic bread. Much of it fresh from today’s CSA pick-up! I like having the kids nearby while I’m in the kitchen. They make me happy. :)


Vacuuming after dinner. She really worked hard!

The freshly clean maid decided she should spend the night here, in my daughter’s princess bed, so she could finish vacuuming in the morning.  Sweet!  The best part is she doesn’t even ask for payment!  I do love my daughter but I sure hope this maid sticks around for awhile!  :)

The most awesome Lego launcher EVER!

There is nothing better than coming across an awesome project on a blog and doing it that day. Even better is when it’s a project that doesn’t require me turning my computer back on and following the directions. A one-two easy-peasy project that I can pull out at a moment’s notice. A project that I can even whip up more parts when a neighbor comes over to play unexpectedly. Good times. Thanks Becky @ Rub Some Dirt On It!

Read her site for directions and beautiful photos. Stay here for the usual pics of my kids. :)


Plastic cup, cut off the bottom. Balloon, tie one end, cut the other. Stretch balloon over cup, add tape (we add tape to everything, like salt). Pull on balloon “tail” to launch things. She recommends pom-poms, but we have a lack of those in our house so we tried cotton balls (too light), random pieces of plastic (too risky), and Legos (perfect).


We set up a series of targets. We had some pricing stickers lying around that I though we could use for points. Somehow we used them for actual money and I ended up paying Lex $1.75!


Setting the stage.


Things got a little tricky when our neighbor stopped by. I whipped up a Lego Launcher for him in less than a minute, but the game held his attention for only about that long anyway. The problem was he drew Eve away from the game, thereby ending the nice family time we were having. Sigh.

last player

Nothing distracted this guy though! He kept asking the other two to come back and play, but they wouldn’t, so he kept on alone. He loved the game!


We were quite busy with the origami today. Lex loves it. He kept saying, “Wow, it’s amazing that paper can be turned into this.” Every now and again I would make a fold on mine, then show him how to do it, and it would completely transform the shape of the paper in his hand. He was amazed.

origami lex

Also, while we’re on the subject of Lex, this is from the other day, the day after his Three Piggy Opera. He was beaming! I still smile when I think about it!

piggy hat

A crafty afternoon

It’s cold and raining outside today, so this afternoon we kept busy inside instead. We baked peanut butter cookies (YUM!), and made crafts from left over paper bags from Eve’s birthday party, and started a top-secret craft project that I’ve been working on (if you count “thinking about” as working) for about a year now. What’s slower than molasses in January? Me with craft projects!


Eve made a "subway" for her new otter. I think that was the final idea. It went through many changes as she added to it.

lex p1

Lex made a "periscope mask" by attaching an empty butter box to a paper bag.

lex p2

He can see through the box, kind of.


I made some "sustaining food" to get us through these dark and crafty days.


The start of our top-secret project. Eve loves painting. She'd do it all day if I let her. :)

lex p3

The mask gets some decorative details.

lex p4

All done. Until tomorrow anyway.

Ok, off to get the kids in bed. Alan bathed them tonight so I could do some work. Blogging counts as work, right? :)


Tired of the lack of snow around here, or maybe just in the mood for a craft project, Lex decided to make some snow.

crafty snowflakes

Crafty snowflakes decorate our ceiling.

Two days later, we got snow!


Snow! Just a few inches, but it's better than nothing in February!


Looking up.

message in the snow

{eye} heart u - a snowy love note from my boy.

Coincidence? Or just February in Vermont? :)

A super easy craft project

This might be one of the easiest craft projects ever and it took me forever (years, really!) to get around to doing it. (this one is for you Julie!)

Take some pasta, any shape will do as long as it has a hole in it. We used whole wheat penne pasta because that’s what I had in the cabinet.

In a little plastic bag put 2t vinegar, 10-12 drops of food coloring, and 1/2c pasta. Seal it well and shake. A lot. This was Eve’s favorite part. Repeat as needed for as many colors as you want to make.

Let the pasta sit in the dye for five minutes, shaking occasionally. Or a lot. Whatever.

Dump the pasta out onto newspaper to dry. We made four colors and I tried to put each one in it’s own corner, but I let Eve help and therefore many of the wet noodles touched, causing pretty streaking patterns.

Let dry for 15 minutes then turn the pieces over. This sounds very precise. I dumped them from one piece of newspaper to another (dry) piece. Lots of mixing occurred at this point but they were dry enough that it didn’t matter much.

Let sit for awhile longer (we left them for about 4hrs until after school) then grab a string and go to town! Eve made a necklace for her classmate :) You can also use them for gluing pretty pictures on paper, or counting and sorting, or countless other random activities.

Have fun!

pasta necklaces - p1

pasta necklaces - p2

pasta necklaces - p3

Afternoon artwork

Earlier this week, after a busy first day at school the kids made themselves comfy on the floor for some quiet art time.

eve on the floor

Eve drawing a "Toyota chocolate caramel factory."


lex on the floor

Lex drawing a Crayola Factory.


crayola factory

The early version of Lex's crayola factory. This makes me laugh because the brown chute is "sending extra wax from the crayons into the river." Hmm... we had a little talk about factory pollution.



Eve brought the little table into the dining room to make herself more comfortable. Then she drew a picture for another classmate at school. You would think it's a picture of the two of them together, but really it is a picture of the other little girl and that girl's mother, in a house. The girls grandpa drops her off at school and I'm not sure Eve could even pick her mother out of a crowd, but she drew a lovely picture anyway. :)


final factory

Lex ran out of room on the little white board so he expanded to the big one. Then he was wishing we had another white board so he could draw the warehouse!



Yesterday we were in the mood for an art project, but sadly I am way behind on planning art projects. The kids tend to start pulling things out of the drawer and making their own projects. Usually this is awesome. As they were doing that yesterday I finished off a tea box (a BIG one from BJs, one of three that comes in a pack… I love tea.) I thought quickly and turned around to ask if either of them wanted to make a diorama. I had to explain what that meant, of course, and I gave them a few suggestions (beach, party, construction site). Lex said no thank you, but Eve jumped on the idea so I handed her the box and she went to work scribbling all over it. A few minutes later Lex decided he wanted one too (of course) and I quite conveniently had another full box of tea, so I emptied that into a plastic bag and gave Lex his own diorama box. He went to town! Look at what this boy made, all on his own. (Well, I helped a bit when he said, “I can’t figure out how to make the objects 3D.”)

drawing vehicles

Hard at work drawing vehicles.


pose break

Quick break to look out the window and pose for the camera :)


making it 3d

Making it 3D


proud boy

Proud boy! (funny face)



I LOVE this thing! Isn't he amazing?! Look closely at all the detail. The wrecking crane knocking down the building, with pieces of building flying down and pile of rubble below (separate piece in front of building). See the dump truck (back view, yellow rectangle) dumping dirt into a pile and the digger (lower right corner) scooping it up and putting it into another dump truck. He's awesome. He explains it so beautifully, but he wouldn't let me make a video of him explaining it.



Here he is showing me how the wrecking ball is hitting the building and knocking it down.

I love this kid and his creativity!

More butterflies…

While research butterfly activities I cam across this beautiful project. I knew we couldn’t do exactly the same thing since I didn’t want to spend money on that awesome Martha Stewart butterfly punch or on canvas, and hot glue isn’t a standard part of our crafting activities yet, but I wanted to try something similar. Yesterday we painted paper. Easy peasy.

This afternoon we started cutting out butterflies. I thought this would be fun, but turns out the kids were pretty bored. I think we all would have had more fun with the butterfly punch :) I was thinking of a beautiful mobile or something with the butterflies, but since only one side was painted I decided that wouldn’t be as beautiful as I’d imagined. Then I was thinking of chaining them together… but we ended out getting out the glue instead. Give my kids a good glue stick and some paper (or not) and they are happy crafters!

Cutting butterflies. Not quite as fun as a punch, but I enjoyed it.

Butterfly cards

Watch your mailbox, some of these butterflies may be heading your way…