Wednesday, September 30, 2009

More Lunch Love!

Bento box Lunch 9/28/09
Pork empanadas with sour cream and salsa (leftovers from the night before), homegrown tomatoes, cheddar cheese squares, whole wheat crackers, fruit salsa.

Bento Box Lunch 9/24/09
Apple and peanut butter waffle-wich, fruit salsa, cheddar cheese squares and whole wheat crackers, homegrown tomatoes and chocolate mini rice cakes.

Bento Box Lunch 9/23/09
Ham, turkey and cheese sandwich, sticks and stones trail mix, homegrown tomatoes, sweet pickle and grape, strawberry and pineapple fruit salad.

Bento Box Lunch 9/22/09
Homemade mini blueberry muffins, hard boiled egg, mini carrots,cheddar cheese and mozzarella and turkey and whole wheat cracker "lunchables", pinepapple and strawberries.

Bento Box Lunch 9/21/09
Ham "lunchables" with cheddar cheese and whole wheat crackers, chocolate mini rice cakes, cucumbers and homegrown baby carrots, ranch dressing dip, kiwis and pineapple.

Some things I've learned so far on this lunh box filling odyssey:

I use as many left overs as I can. Not every lunch is very creative looking, as true bento spirit is - but I try with what I have and what time I can squeeze out in the morning. But I am surprised what I am adding from our refrigerator and pantry that ends up looking pretty cool in the box anyway.

I have noticed that the kids love having their fork and spoon and that that helps with being able to have more than finger food in their lunch. They love anything mini or cut up or in fun shapes. They like the different textures and colors.

Frequently I have to add an additional container in their backpack for afternoon snack which is usually some kind of cereal trail mix and a banana or apple. I know, I can't believe our little worms eat this much food. I wonder though, if this has helped to contribute to their energy in the late afternoons. We haven't heard any complaints about being tired yet.....yet..I am sure they will have some when the newness of first grade goes away!

It probably seems strange that I am writing about my kids' lunch. But I want to share to give others ideas. That is where I have gotten my inspiration - from others so wonderfully sharing their ideas and recipes. It's more time consuming than I thought and yet I am still into it and the kids have loved it and really become a part of the process. We'll see what Fall and Winter bring us.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Colorful Weekend Crochet

It was colorful crocheting this weekend!

Finishing up some older projects:

Dishcloth in the sunlight

Yep, another dish cloth.

Dishcloth with funky colors

A beautiful head wrap from Craft Leftovers...

My Springy Head Wrap

...made with Red Heart Heart & Sole sock yarn in Razzled Dazzle. I LOVE this stuff. My first time working with sock yarn. And I absolutely LOVE the variegated colors in this yarn.

Springy Head Wrap on

Oh yeah, and a really simple double crochet headband for Lil' Mermaid that I made from Red Heart Super Saver yarn (which is not my favorite because it's so acrylic-y and scratchy, but I just had to use this new colorway, called Marrakesh). I love the colors!
Simple crochet headband

Now the new stuff that I started. First is this scarf by Doris Chan from Interweave Crochet magazine. It's being made with the same sock yarn from above and the secret is that you're supposed to really, really stretch it out when you're done and block it. Hmmmmm...I have my doubts about that but the yarn is too beautiful to resist.

Crochet in progress...

And then I started my first art crochet project. I won't tell you what it's supposed to be yet. But the pattern is from the really fabulous Margaret Oomen and it's in the Fall Crochet Today magazine.

Some of my first crocheting with crochet thread

It's also one of my first crocheting projects using crochet thread, Yikes! Pray for me. This stuff is a little intimidating!

Hula Hoop Making & Kool-aid Dyeing...

This was our weekend
...this was our weekend!

We attempted two projects we have been meaning to do for ages.
And it was FUUUUUUUUUUUUNNNNNNNNNNNN!

Twisted Sister:
Hooping, hooping, hooping!Twisted Sister!This darn hoop!


Hoopty-Do:
Hoop it Baby, hoop it!Hoop boy in front of the laundryPerfecting his hoop technique

The Littlest Hooper:
Hmmmm...how's it go again?Different cropping on littlest hoop girlOkay....DONE!

Papa hoops too!
Papa hoops too!

And yes, there is a reason there are no hooping photos of Mama - (I'm the worst at it!)

The hoop twins and their homemade hoops

And here's some results from the kool-aid dyeing:

Kool-aid dyed wool yarn and wool roving
Brightly dyed wool roving and wool yarn

The playsilks were the favorites:
Beautiful colors on the laundry line

Oh Peelu and her playsilksThe turbaned playsilk piratePeelu and her playsilk cape
The Dred Pirate Roberts and the Pea Pod FairyPlay silk girlsTurbaned goof ball

However there is a warning here: TOO MUCH FUN CAN BE EXHAUSTING!
WARNING: Hula Hooping can be exhausting

Tutorials on these projects to come.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Wind chimes, wind chimes & more wind chimes

Lil' Mermaid's finished windchime

This was the summer of wind chime making! And these were some easy and musical projects.

First we started out with the wind chime that Hot Rod made for his Papa for Father's Day.

S working on his Father's Day gift

This one was definitely the easiest and Hot Rod put it together while my back was turned. It was that fast to make. Then he made one for Grandpa W. I think it's kinda cool and industrial working. AND it makes THE coolest sound when the washers dribble down. It sounds like a tinkly rain stick. I wish I could say this wind chime idea was totally ours - but we got it from our favorite family magazine - FamilyFun.

Washer chimes in slow motion

We were so excited with making wind chimes that when I saw this idea from the Lulu Bird, via Crafty Crow, I knew that we had another wind chime we had to put on our summer crafting list. As we got closer to our County Fair, Lil' Mermaid and I thought this would make a good project for the recycled art class.

She painted my old clothespins:

Peelu's painted clothespins..

Then she and her father came up with the idea of adding beads while she was stringing them up (cause lord knows we have a LOT of beads in this house!):

Stringing her clothespins and beads together

Putting the wind chime together

Her father helped her drill holes through the heads of the clothespins instead of just tying the fishing line around the head. Lil' Mermaid found an old sink drainer that Ross had in the garage and that became the "crux" of the wind chime that she tied the fishing line to....and voila....a very pretty, softly tinkling wind chime.

Cutie patootie with her wind chime

And then we have our final summer wind chime that we designed ourselves. Or I should say that it was Hot Rod's design because it was his project for the recycled art class at our County Fair this past summer. And he is nothing if not opinionated about any arts & craft project that he takes on...

Hot Rod's Finished Silverware Wind Chime

First we hit the local thrift store for some inexpensive silverware and also found this old wire candle sconce, sans glass holder, and then we raided Ross' tackle box for more fishing line.

The pieces of Hot Rods wind chime

Oops, I almost forgot - Hot Rod spent a while hammering his silverware flat. I am not sure that this was really necessary, but it was manly pounding that Hot Rod and Ross thought was cool and important to do first. :-)

Getting those forks flat
Hot Rod working on pounding his silverware

Ross also helped Hot Rod drill through the handles of the silverware with proper safety glasses and a special drill bit. Then he started tying the fishing line to each piece of silverware. Working with fishing line and small children is a bit of a tangle - literally and figuratively - go in with LOTS of patience and much assisting!

Stringing the silverware

Then, Hot Rod started attaching the silverware to the sconce and trimmed the long tails of fishing line left over. You could really use anything for the "crux" of this wind chime. It would be cool to make more with different, recycled "cruxes" each time.

Finishing up his wind chime

And here we have it: an inexpensive, clanging, metallic sounding wind chime that would make a great gift and a great addition to the backyard!

Hot Rod with his silverware wind chime

And here's a quick shot of both wind chimes at our County Fair:

S & R's Recycled WInd Chimes

Fun, easy and they all make beautiful music. WE LOVE WIND CHIMES!!!