Snow Day Fun

tobogganoutsideplayhouse

Yay!  Winter is upon us!  When the snow flies the girls fly out the door.  I have the easiest time on these snowy winter mornings.  They can’t dress and eat breakfast fast enough.  A quick ski around the yard or jumping on the toboggan:

toboggan1But it can’t all be fun when there is work to be done.  Winter blew right into our lovely little playhouse and the girls had some cleaning up to do.

toboggansnowinsideWhich can be fun too!

snowinside1

snowinside2

snowinside3The Missus took care of the porch.

tobogganisweepingDoes this mean we can call the playhouse a four season fort?

toboggangirls inwindow

It was a great morning and we decided afterward that the pictures would be perfect for our annual “Cool Yule” card.  Happy Holidays to all!

Cool Yule 2013

A Solstice surprise

I know that many of you were left wondering after my “This Moment” post earlier.  I must say the story of this doll house is one that really touched me.

I was approached by an acquaintance at KUF who asked if I might be interested in the doll house.  An older gentleman and his wife were looking to find it a good home.  It belonged to their daughter and as she is now 40 years old and has only boys it wasn’t something that would be passed down.  As it happens, I have been looking for exactly this kind of doll house for years!

And so I went to go see it.  It is just so precious.  The gentleman told me about how a friend with carpentry skills made it for his daughter for Christmas many years ago.   He was still painting it that Christmas Eve!  You can clearly see how thoughtful the person making it was.  The staircases, the railings…the perfectly chosen faux wood floors in the living room and bedroom, faux tile in the kitchen and bathroom and the velour “carpet” in the attic.  Even the wallpaper is on a scale that is perfect for this tiny house!

I was gushing with gratitude saying how I promised that my girls would take such good care of it when away he went again to find the accessories.  Accessories?  Oh my goodness, wait ’til you see…

Are you kidding me?  There was a side board for the kitchen, a letter writing desk (which actually works!), a grandfather clock and a cuckoo clock, a market basket, a canopy bed and a lamp that is actually wired for electricity!!

I mean for Pete’s sake!  Look at this phone!

This fireplace!  Have you ever seen anything like it?!  The bucket with the faux wood, the fireplace tools, not to mention the tiny silver tea set and those books!  Those are honest to goodness real books….with pages you can flip!

Clearly I couldn’t wait to set it all up when I got home and look at each and every precious piece.  Dust and all, I put the whole thing together taking notes on what needed repair and what needed doing (a new cover for the bed mattress is in order I do believe).

I would have died to have a doll bed like this as a kid.  Amazing.

So cozy!

Do I even need to tell you how much I love this cradle?  And this stroller?

Yep.  This is the bathroom.  It has a soaker tub.  Goodness.

The bedroom!  Doesn’t it look like it is out of a magazine or something?

Another adorable fireplace and this lamp…clearly, I need to look into wiring and electrical for miniature houses!

And that completes our house tour.  What do you think?  Will the girls love it or what?  I was really and truly touched by this generosity.  The exchange was finished with a handshake and a heartfelt Merry Christmas.  Merry Christmas indeed.  I’ve been thinking of ways to pay it forward ever since.

That’s a Wrap! Green Wrapping Paper Part II

Remember that Hollow Book I made a few weeks back?  I have to admit I felt a little bit guilty about ruining a perfectly good book.  As I cut out the center of the book I noticed the darling illustrations that appeared every few pages.  I had to do something with them…wrapping paper it is!  Sew unique if you ask me ; ).

Follow.

Step 1:  Ruin a perfectly good book (accidentally ruined pages will work just as well as those ruined on purpose).

Step 2:  Cut the pages of the book to roughly the same size (if you make a hollow book first, this work is done for you).

Step 3:  Sew the pages together end to end with a straight stitch on your sewing machine. In the picture below you can see that I did some back stitching on either end as you would when you sew fabric.  This is totally unnecessary and I gave it up a few pages in.

Step 4:  Keep sewing end to end until the strip is long enough to wrap your present.

Step 5:  Now sew your strips together to look like this…a fairy tale paper quilt!

Step 6:  Make sure you’ve made enough of a “quilt” to cover your super awesome gift (ie: Elsa Beskow inspired dinner ware for a friend’s baby from Bella Luna Toys).

Step 7:  If you didn’t think of the size of your gift and just kept happily sewing (like me), no worries, just cut the quilted paper like you would any old wrapping paper.  Then wrap it up!

Step 8: Decorate your freshly upcycled gift.  If you don’t have ribbon, make your own (like I did) by cutting up that old worn-out  yet festively coloured t-shirt into strips…if you’re really adventurous, make a t-shirt strip pom pom for on top.  And if you are adventurous but lazy, don’t bother to cut around your pom pom because it looks fine just the way it is.

Step 9:  Admire your awesome gift as it sits under the tree.  Oh, and send me some pictures if you try this at home or a link to your blog if you share this tutorial.

Stay tuned for the t-shirt pom pom tutorial…