August 25, 2011

Kid Sewing Sweatshop

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A few weeks ago, three of my nieces came up the mountain to visit. Since I am always commissioned to sew on missing buttons or fix broken elastic, I figured it is time for these girls to learn some basic sewing skills.

The oldest two (ages 13 and 9) learned how to make basic bags and totes on the sewing machine. They sketched out what they wanted to make, cut out the pieces, and then -very wearily- stitched them up with the machine. I sat next to them to help, but otherwise they did it all themselves. I also shoed them how to hand-sew embellishments and buttons on. The most important part!

The youngest niece (age 6 next month) I taught to hand sew. At first she was a little scared of the "sharp needle", but I convinced her she was old enough to do this herself. I machine-sewed a little felt tote for her and then she cut out and hand-sewed on little hearts herself. For a first time sewing project her stitches came out pretty even. She really enjoyed it, so hopefully she will keep it up.

- Sarah

D.I.Y. Bookcase Dollhouse

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Okay... So not the most fabulous transformation, but I was going for success and function. I really just Mod Podge-ed (is this a verb?) some 12x12" scrapbook paper on the shelves and back of the bookcase and then Mod Podge-ed (if it's not a verb it should be) over it again to seal it up. My only complaint is that I painted the paper seams white for definition, but didn't wait long enough for it to dry so when I Mod Podge-ed (seriously... it's a verb) over it, it streaked the paint. Oops.
By the way, I left the top space blank for stuffed animals. Incase you were wondering why I didn't cover the whole bookcase.

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The Camsters instantly took to it with her little wood peg dolls. She didn't mind the paint streaks. Once we are done moving I hope to make a few "proper" dollhouse dolls. What that would look like.... I don't know. I'll figure it out and update you.

- Sarah

August 13, 2011

Dear D.I.Y. Gods,

Dear D.I.Y. Gods,
If there is such a thing as a governing higher-power for silly "do it yourself" projects, I formally request your aide. I know I have prayed many a time for help with such projects as: the play kitchen, the cadillac couch, the ceramic drum base, the ceramic elephant head, and more recently the feltidermy. I also want to point out that most (if not all) of these were absolute failures.

So could you maybe pretty please help me with this D.I.Y. dollhouse? Really, it should be easy for you D.I.Y. Gods to manage... I just want to turn a small bookcase into a super cute dollhouse for my daughter. If you don't do it for me, do it for my sweetpea Camsters.

image from

Your Ever Loving Worshiper
- Sarah

Columbia's "Gold Rush Days"

Today I opened up the schoolhouse to the public for the park's monthly "Gold Rush Days". Sixty-eight visitors from around the world came in to ask questions and hear the history of California's oldest two-story brick schoolhouse. I greeted people from Germany, France, Canada, Brazil, and good ol' Cali. I even saw some familiar faces:

- Sarah

August 5, 2011

Inspiration Board

This is my inspiration board for our new house. I needed to find some ideas to brighten up the dark wood walls and my sweetpea's new room.
Sorry I don't have links for any of these. I got the images off of

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Left: top- I love this idea for photos, but I think mine will be a large black and white photo on a white background instead of a chalkboard. Maybe it will help offset the darkness of the wood paneling the house has.
Middle- we are looking at white leather couches and I like this color combo.
Bottom- I'm a little in love with this pallet table... Maybe too much, but it looks really neat.
Right: top- I like this room arrangement.
Bottom- I love this tray as a little side table. I have a bunch of these from my bellydance days that I can convert... just need legs.

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Left: pallet garden idea for the deck saves space.
Right: top- would be good for herbs.
Middle- this would be perfect for my chai addiction. Everything at arms reach.
Bottom- adorable! This would go on the front porch wall that you see as you walk up the stairs.

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Camster's room inspirations:
Top Left: have you seen these bookshelves made from rain gutters? Camsters has trouble putting her books away on a normal bookshelf so this is hopefully easier for a toddler.
Top Right: I'm going to make one of these for her out of an old rabbit skin.
Bottom Left: art display idea
Bottom Right: I want to buy these for her room so bad! Love the colors!

- Sarah


Sometimes it feels like I'm just checking in here. Sometimes I have nothing to report. Sometimes I like to just read other peoples blogs for awhile. And then sometimes I feel like I need to make stuff because of said blogs.

Well, it doesn't feel like anything new has happened lately.

We are moving in a few weeks and I have done nothing to start packing. Strike that. I do have three boxes sitting on my front porch.

I ordered two 30x36" rabbit cages from our local Tractor Supply since they don't keep them in-stock. I'm eagerly awaiting my French angora rabbits.

I typed up a list of "baby" signs, made a picture workbook of the same signs, and made a flyer for "Baby Sign Language Classes" starting in October. I figure October will give us plenty of time to settle in after the move.

I put my little Sweetpea's hair into pigtails yesterday and she instantly looked like a "kid" instead of a "baby". They are so right... children do grow up so fast.

I almost forgot! We have enough money saved up to buy a couch! I am sooo excited because for the last two years we have been using a trundle bed as a couch. Which is sad. Because it in no way can be mistaken for a couch. This will be the first time in my adult life I have ever bought
a piece of furniture. Hand-me-downs have been our life for so long. Gone are the days of Top Ramen and saggy cushions! Wow.... that sounds attractive.

- Sarah