We are super excited about giving a little boy his birthday gift today! The jars once held peanut butter and the toys on the top were saved…I mean…bought from a thrift shop. The paint was leftover from a house project.
Cheers to our trashy gift!
With help from my uncle, I transformed my mom’s old yellow countertops into four Aggravation game boards. Some day it will be trash, but that day is not today!
She hated those countertops.
She thinks that nasty yellow is gone forever.
Oh but I can’t wait to see her face Christmas morning!!
Who am I fooling?
I can’t wait that long.
Happy Labor Day Mom!
Happy Back to School!
…Mom, Happy July 15th!
I guess we will see how long I can keep this a secret.
I pulled one right out of my mom’s playbook today! She is always finding canvas paintings at garage sales.
She buys them.
We prime them.
Little ones paint on them.
The primer was the last little bit of house paint from a past project a 100 years ago.
The paint is Earth Paint I bought online, completely free of petroleum.
And *Wa-La* we have two commissioned pieces for Mommy and a Father’s Day Gift for Daddy.
I really can not decide what I enjoy the most.
Making flower bombs.
Talking about making flower bombs.
Launching flower bombs.
Surprising people with flower bombs.
First, I collect and shred Cubby’s graded homework. Next, the paper is soaked for several hours. Working in small batches, I take the soaked paper add additional water and blend in a blender for a few seconds. With a screen over a sink, I pour the paper pulp onto the screen and allow the extra water to run though. Carefully a shake the flower seeds on top the pulp. Finally, I gather a portion of the pulp and flower seeds in my hand and ring out the extra water. The seeds are left on the counter overnight to dry.
Now bomb the world with cheerfulness! As you are walking or driving toss, pitch or slam a bomb into the air. After a rain storm and a dose of sunshine your seeds will start to take root, grow and bloom.
I chose to use daisy seeds because they are native to our area but also because I have always been in love with this happy flower. Ten years from now if daisies have become an invasive weed and taken over our town, blame me.
These balls of fun are so easy to make yourself, but if you would rather have one of ours, we will be passing them out at our annual Mother’s Day Lemonade/Cupcake Stand this Sunday afternoon.
Location: our front yard.
Crayons are a staple in the tiny house.
Crayons are petroleum based.
Crayons are labor-intensive to create.
Crayons have a larger carbon footprint then you would think.
Crayons lose their coolness when they get small; ask any kid.
Crayons become trash.
So here is want we do with the little bits and pieces of uncool crayons.
When we invite little ones to our home for silly parties we have a craft/party favor ready to go.
After placing the little bits into a silicone muffin pan, I pop them into the oven until they melt.
I found this silicone mold for 50 cents at Goodwill and gifted it to my nephews afterwards to make ice cubes!
When the colors have cooled, we flip the mold over and drop the new crayons out.
This never gets old.
This stretches the life of our crayons.
Of course I chuckle because our guests leave with a little bit of our trash cleverly disguised as a gift.
…a really cool gift.
Cheers to trash-free parties.
Cheers to giving life to worn out, uncool things.
Cheers to the color little ones give to life.
Cubby works hard at school to complete several worksheets and homework assignments daily.
She brings them home.
She shares them with me.
We place them in a box under the kitchen cabinet.
Then, when the urge hits us to draw, we have the backsides of a zillion papers to choose from!
Some in COLOR!
Do I keep every single worksheet,
every single homework assignment,
every single drawing she has ever produced.
That would be silly.
We hang and rotate a few of our favorites in the house but when new favorites are created, we take the old ones down and put them back in the box in the kitchen.
A few of her drawings have really tugged on my heart strings. I will admit, some hang in our tiny house a little longer then a week. I am sure every mother has their version of them. With these treasures, I take a quick photo of them and save them to a digital file on my computer.
Just a few.
Just a few of my ALL TIME favorites.
My plan it to add them to a digital book at the end of each year. When Cubby is older, I will give her a copy of the file to reminisce and share. If she wants to print them, it will be ready for her. If she chooses to travel the world with all she owns in a suitcase, she will have a flash drive to pull out on homesick days…or whatever the newest digital saving device is a decade or two from now.
Hopefully this will create a balance between the extremes. When she moves away from home and starts her life independently she will have the drawings of our large heads with lop sided eyes and super long squiggly arms, hugging each other. She will have the note she wrote the Tooth Fairy explaining why her missing tooth is somewhere under her grandparent’s deck. She will have her first A+ Spelling Test that prompted a happy dance from Mommy. The drawing of her fairy friends and their home will be hers again. And the note of warning she gave Santa, to not let his reindeers track mud into her grandmother’s home, will be safe. They will be hers. She will have all these things without me burdening her with a trunk full of tubs and boxes of paper. She will have them digitally or printed off in one book as a childhood keepsake.
So what do we do with all the papers now?!
Cubby has kept me hopping. She gives me tips before bedtime on what to work on next and shares her thoughts on design at the breakfast table. She worries about giving one with a heart to a boy and which one should go to her grandma. Letting her and our trash, lead our creations has been a crazy, fun adventure!
If a stack of 10 uniquely made Valentines for $10 will make your heart smile, send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your address and PayPal account and I will send you our trash…I mean treasures. Shipping is free. If you live locally, we can drop them off to you this week when we are in town running errands.
Cheers to decluttering the paper in our house.
Cheers to teamwork.
Cheers to creating.every.single.day!
Triumphantly, I walked… no, I bounced… out of the local antique store with past-your-elbows-high GOLD gloves, purse and lipstick tube holder thingy…with a mirror.
Santa can not bring something handmade to a magic-believing 6 year old fashion girl.
Five dollars shorter and so proud of my find, I showed it off to anyone and everyone before I reached home.
I get kinda pumped when I hit the jackpot, especially when I walk in without the plan of striking it.
For those who know Cubby, they know that this has her name written all over it!
By the time I got home I realized that Santa could not get all the credit for this one. I wrapped it up in lace and put it “under” the tree from me.
The real me.
I ate a cookie or two, slept, called in reinforcements, and headed back out for Santa, this time with elves who like to shop local,
like to shop second hand,
elves who may not know it yet but,
hate contributing to the production of more waste by buying new plastic things.
Elves who surprisingly look a lot like me.
But this time- what do my wondering eyes should appear…
But a dress,
just the right size,
loaded with purls and shiny things!
Oh happy dance, as I pranced to the counter with my find.
I also handed over 3 books and set of pens and spiral drawing thingys that she specifically asked for after playing with an identical set at After School Care.
I HAVE NO IDEA!
They just jumped out at me when I walked by the booth marked 30% off.
Ask me if I have any idea how to create the intricate designs described in the inside cover of the box.
I HAVE NO IDEA!
…but one of my elves knows how, and cannot wait to show her.
Ask me how I was so lucky shopping second hand for Santa.
I HAVE NO IDEA!
Ask me how I handed the clerk $20 for all this loveliness and received money back.
I HAVE NO IDEA!
It must be the holiday magic.
Seriously, this kind of shopping is so much more fun than chainstore shopping, where everything is wrapped in plastic packaging.
When I arrived back home I hid my findings in the last built-in hiding spot in the tiny house that Cubby has not found. I also pulled out the two month old gem that
I HAVE NO IDEA
how I kept a secret from her for so long.
It is the big girl gift.
Wrapped in lace under the tree.
Two from me and three from Santa, totaling under $30. Christmas does not have to be about a million presents under the tree. It can be just about you and me and the excitement we share when we find the perfect surprise.
One step at a time.
Reducing our waste and finding beauty and joy in the process.
Cheers to using this next trip around the sun, to focus on caring for our planet a little more deeply.
Cheers to a fresh.new.year.