Things to Do:

Cover ugly milk crates. This is a house of many crates. They are muy ugly. Must. cover. crates.

Make bedskirts. Simply have no desire to look at hideous boxsprings for another moment. Ick.

Make more rice bags. My feet are always freezing, but if I pop a rice bag under the covers before I go to bed, it’ll keep my toes toasty till I fall asleep. We all use them…we all love them.

Set up studio. This is what it looks like at the moment: (Kind of forlorn, isn’t it? But fear not! I have prodigious plans!)

Make belly bands … avoid TMI moments.

Finish moving. Still.

Finish unpacking. Still.

Laundry. Dishes. Again.

Feed kids. Again. Yes, that’s snow we’re melting on the stove to make supper. Yes, I feel like Ma Flippin’ Ingalls. No, the water’s not fixed yet. Which brings us to the piece de resistance:
Fix busted pipes.

The Eleventh Hour, as usual…

I am so very glad that Chanukah is an eight-day celebration. Because I never can manage to have all of my presents made and ready to give by the first night. Or the second. So, this year, I cleverly told the kiddios that we’d have a BIG Chanukah party on the 7th night of Chanukah. Which is tonight. And so far, I have 2 gifts finished. (Well, actually, the littles came upon me in the throes of puppet-making, and I just went ahead and gave them those, without ceremony, as they came off the sewing machine. Did I mention I have no secret-keeping skills whatsoever? ) I’m two-thirds done with Shani’s beanbags, but she’s just as happy to play with the lentils sans bag. Akiva’s pillow is a done deal, and I decoupaged an exceedingly cool cigar box for Mojy. (He’ll be thrilled, no doubt. What 12-year old wouldn’t want a monogrammed cigar box? Then again, if it doesn’t have a screen, it’s not going to make him happy anyway, so I was doomed from the start.) I’m putting together a pair of tin-can stilts for Chevi & Rooney, and Esti’s getting a doily-enhanced bulletin board for her room in the new house. Did I mention I have about 6 hours to get this done? And I’m working for 3 of those hours? Wish me luck, folks. I’ll need it… Continue reading

The Elephant in the Address Bar

You know you wanted to ask. But, really, you’re far too polite. You figure the answer must be somewhere in the archives, if only you look carefully enough. But you’ve looked, and there’s nothing. Nada. Zippo.

What kind of name is ‘littlegreenbums’ for a craft blog? The answer, dear reader, is simple. One day, after reading blog after blog after blog, scouring Etsy shops into the wee hours of the morning, and well, not nearly enough sleep, I decided to break out on my own. I would open my own Etsy shop and become independently wealthy selling cloth diapering accessories. (See, I said I didn’t get nearly enough sleep.) Now, in order to open an Etsy, you need a catchy, descriptive seller name. Well, littlegreenbums fit the bill. (Get it? “”green,” like “eco” and “bums” like “cute little baby tushies?”) Did I mention the lack of sleep? And the lack of product? Because I made my grand business-opening decision with exactly three wonky-but-utterly-serviceable diaper wipes to my credit. Anyway, long story short, I opened my (now defunct) Etsy shop, this blog, and my new-to-me serger on the same evening. I never actually listed anything in the shop, used the serger to make a large pile of wipes, diapers, and other useful-but-ne’er-to-be-sold projects, and went ahead and started writing my blog anyway. With its silly, silly name. So, now you know. Thank you for asking.

The Scarlet Letter

So Chanukah is in less than a week, and Yours Truly has finally started gift production.   (In my defense, we’re in between two moves, and have been living out of boxes since August…) I have a silly habit of making a gift, then getting so psyched about it that I need to show it to all and sundry.  “Sundry” usually includes the intended recipient of said gift, which is why I tend to be a last-minute-gift-maker.  Less time to give away my surprises.

Anyway, since we’re moving into a new home and mixing up the roommate arrangements, I decided to give the kids decor items for their rooms.  (Yup, pillows.)  So, for Akiva’s pillow, I turned to my old friend Freezer Paper, and took one of Jess’ old button down shirts and got to work.  I stenciled Hester Prynne’s monogram of choice on the back of the shirt, cut up a perfectly hideous denim wrap skirt to make some trim, and VOILA!  One (slightly wonky) present down, 7 to go!  Total cost?  Absolutely free.  Love that!

On another note, I hit the library and picked up a new book yesterday:  A Greener Christmas , edited by Sheherazade Goldsmith.  Odd, considering the fact that I’m an observant Jew?  Well, maybe…but her book is jam packed with beautiful (and adaptable) craft ideas, recipes, and green tips.  Yummy photos, simple directions, and and enough decorating, wrapping, and presentation ideas to keep me dreaming of sugarplums along with my latkes.

Meanwhile, we’re mid-blizzard here in Des Moines, so I’m all about pajamas, hot chocolate, jigsaw puzzles, and The Lucy Show.  (Jess and I are sharing our childhoods via classic TV with the kidlets.)  Cozy, no?  Stay warm…

Happy, happy birthday, baby…

First girl after a run of three boys. Need I say more? This little stinker is as girly as they come…she wants her cereal with pink glitter on it, thank you very much! She’s been anticipating this birthday for months, now, making plans for the grand festivities which will take place in her honor. I didn’t want to disappoint her, and went a little crazy in the preparations for her big day.

The project that has me just tickled is the chair topper I put together from a couple of t-shirts I got from freecycle. There was enough scrap fabric to make a pair of covered-button hairclips and an appliqued “5” shirt for Her Highness.

(Yes, I have sideways pictures.  No, I don’t know how to fix them at the moment.  Sorry!)

So much to make…

so little time!  Yesterday, I scored a 50’s kitchen table in need of some TLC and a nice white wooden chair (in the same condition) from a Craigslist curb-alert.  The chair will be for the boys’ room, with the Ikea sailboat curtains standing in as upholstery fabric for the seat.  Picked up some cherry-red Rust-oleum for my sewing table, and some felt and ribbon to make hairclips for the girlies (in my spare time)…Trying to decide if I really want to try using fondant for Chevi’s birthday cake next month—after watching Cake Boss in the hotel last weekend, I’m feeling inspired!

The thing is, there are all these little people who keep asking to be fed, and bathed, and put to bed.  They want me to play CandyLand, and watch them fight with lightsabers, and bring them to the library.  I like them a lot, but I’m trying to figure out how to get anything done while they’re around.  (Especially the short ones.)  Have you ever tried to sew a log-cabin pillow (from a pair of freecycled jeans!) while you’re nursing an 18-month-old and entertaining her 4 and 7-year old siblings?  It can be done, folks (and I did it last night) but I’m telling you, it ain’t easy.  The good stuff never is.

Excedrin-Crafting

When I don’t eat right, I’m treated to a migraine.  When I’m very lucky, I can catch it with a pair of Excedrin at the onset of the pain, and go happily about my business.  However, when I am doubly blessed and the brain-vise sets in in the evening, two caffeine-laden Excedrin tabs can keep me up–and crafting–well into the night.  So, here I am, pain-free, wide-awake, and feeling crafty.  Tonight’s accomplishments?  Deconstructed 2 pairs of jeans for the boys’ quilts, came up with a couple of ideas for the denim hems, and (finally) cut into the socks I’ve been meaning to make into baby legs for Shani.  They’re all pinned up and ready to sew…in the morning.   (The sewing machine is downstairs, and I need to be within running distance should one of the little creepies wake up.)

Working on ideas for camp-crafts, as well.  Thinking of marbling glass bottles with the middle-schoolers, using enamel model paints and liquid starch.  Linoleum printing for the older kids, along with freezer paper stenciling for the Teen Camp.  Leather for the little ones, and jewelry for staff.  Bottlecaps, bottlecaps, bottlecaps.  Found some wrapping paper to decopage on to my craigslist dresser. When it’s quiet like this, the possibilities are endless. When it’s quiet like this, I’m usually unconscious, though, which significantly impedes my crafting potential. I hate it when that happens.