Monday, March 29, 2010

Salt and Pepper move in

In my last post I mentioned that my sweet Grampa-in-law recently downsized from his house of 40 odd years to a retirement condo. And we ended up with his salt and pepper shaker collection. All 400+ sets. That's alot of salt and pepper shakers (7 large boxes full in fact). I am not a collector of anything really, except maybe dust bunnies under my bed (sorry mom), dvd's and fabric/craft supplies, but since they get used and replaced on a regular basis I don't think it counts as a collection. Mr Darkside on the other hand can definetly be labeled as a collector. He has glass display cases housing hundreds of action figures. He has boxes and boxes of lego sets waiting for a cabinet in which to properly display them. He has collectable knives (safely locked away from the kidlets). And yet somehow it became my job to sort thru and set up the s&p collection.
Actually when we aquired these boxes I shoved them away in our basement guest room fully intending for them to sit there for a few months. And then I realised we were expecting company and I had to clear the room out. So I started to dreaded job of sorting. And you know what? I started to enjoy it! It was kind of like opening presents at Christmas! Like discovering crazy new things in every paper wrapped package.

Here's a look at some of the salt and pepper madness. Their new home in our guest room;
Some of my favs: pink elephants
Creepy '70s cats with googly eyes
An assortment of colorful fish
Angry lettuces...
A whole shelf full of veggies
Some funny ones that made me giggle
an assortment of little people
and the wild west shelf
And with all these shakers you may be wondering- did I take any for daily use in my kitchen? Why, yes, yes I did. I chose this lovely simple green set that matches my kitchen wall color perfectly. I love this green!
I jam packed that big cabinet full of the most unique and interesting shakers in the collection. I still have 3 more boxes of clear glass, coloured glass, and wooden shakers that didn't fit. Going through those is a whole other post!

** Sorry for the terribly lighted pictures taken on my basement air hockey table. I didn't feel like making multiple trips up the stairs carrying breakables**

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


A few weeks ago my grampa-in-law moved from his house of 40 or so years to a retirement condo. Going through the treasures (and layers of dust) in his house was quite a chore, and all of us grandkids and great grandkids ended up with boxes of neat old things to take home. I ended up with 6 big boxes full of his salt and pepper shaker collection, but thats a post in itself!
While packing up my sister-in-law discovered a bunch of old ties headed for the dumpster. She saved them, washed them and came up with the brilliant idea to make snakes out of them for all the great grandkids to have a fun momento from their great grampa. So this sunday, after our weekly lunch at the in-laws, the kids played with their cousins and I sat down and made some snakes.

My son picked out an orange tie with a crazy '70s pattern. I'm not surprised. Orange appears to be his favourite color. This year the majority of his preschool artwork has been orange, orange, and more orange. He rarely voluntarily chooses an alternate color. Sometimes he takes a leap and colours with pink. But not often. Its a wonder all our orange crayons aren't worn down to nubs yet.

This was my first try and I followed my sister in laws directions and glued on googly eyes and a red felt tongue. 

My daughter picked out a ratty, nasty, stained, but oh-so-soft purple tie. I tried to talk her out of it but she was determined. Of course she also wouldn't give the tie up for me to work on it, so I made her brothers snake first while she ran around wearing the nasty tie like a beauty pageant sash. And then she fell asleep. So I picked out a tie in better shape with a funky blue and white pattern and hot pink lining. And I sewed on the tongue and button eyes because my sweet 2 year old is rough on her toys.
The kids really like them, they pull them around them house, beat each other up with them, and wear them like scarves.

And there you have it. This is a totally easy project and I think older kids (maybe 6+) could make these mostly on their own except for the hand sewing the liner closed.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

My personal March Madness

My kids are 2 years apart and their birthdays are 8 days apart, with St Patrick's Day smack in the middle. And our house was party central last weekend. I'm guessing this is the last year that we will be able to have combined birthday parties, and definetly the last year that our house will host, it's just not big enough for a herd of preschoolers. But as chaotic as it was, it was also alot of fun! We had 2 parties, seperating friends and family because of our lack of space and hosted about 23 people each day. Here's a peek inside the chaos:

We went with a pirate theme with a little bit of fairy princess thrown in for the girls. A pirate wall poster to colour as guests arrived. Bean bag toss game, covered in blue paper and added pirate ships (found online and printed) and drawn on waves to become "Fire the Cannons". The kids loved it! I think this is a keeper for future parties!

Of course pirates wouldn't be pirates without plenty of tattoos which were supplyed at our "Get Inked" station! A week later and my kidlets are still sporting full sleeves of fairies, flowers, cars and shamrocks!

And of course- a picture clue treasure hunt! Thought up, and brought to life entirely by my amazing husband! He took pictures of the hiding spots around the house, alternating upstairs and downstairs to tire the kids out! And he came up with awesome rhyming clues to accompany them! The last one was my favourite so I'll share it with you!

The treasure ye seek is
so close now I say
its hidden where no pirate
would go anyday
where people get clean
scrub a dub dub
go upstairs
and look in the tub!

And what was the treasure you're thinking?
Why LOOT BAGS of course! Filled with eye patches and clip on earings , bubbles, snakes, curly straws, and bouncy eye balls for the boys. And fairy sticker books, bracelets/necklaces, bubbles, sparkly bounce balls, curly straws and gel pens for the girls.
And no party is complete without cake! Or cupcakes in this case! Each with its own pirate flag!

On to party #2 the next day! The kids were oh so thrilled as you can tell! It was Raven's birthday, my little princess is 2!!
My mother-in-law made Axel an AMAZING pirate ship cake! And I turned out a mediocre fairy cake. (hey I was tired from the previous day's festivities, and the mad dash to clean up in between, give me a break!)
Happy birthday fairy princess!
Happy birthday my little man Axel!
The kids favourite gifts- scooters! (don't worry, we plan on buying helmets right away! Since then it has snowed, putting and end to any further scootering for awhile!)
Planning these parties has kept me from crafting for awhile. I did manage to turn out 17 superman/batman emblems for a friend who is planning a 4 year old superhero birthday at the end of the month, but I forgot to take a picture of them in my haste to get them in the mail. I also made a baby superhero cape for the same party, but I seem to have misplaced the pictures of it being modeled by an oversize purple monkey. Also I think my sewing machine needs a tune up, its been running rough lately, breaking threads, not winding bobbins properly and annoying me to no end! I'm hoping to get it fixed (or get a new one) soon so I can get back to crafting! I have a ton of summer projects I want to make for Raven!