Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Collecting from the natural world

In case it isn't readily apparent, I'm a near-hoarder. A collector. One foot in the "that's neat" world and one foot in the "she might have a borderline illness" world. No disrespect to those who actually suffer from this affliction -- I think I'm safely within my boundaries as I can still shower, find clean clothes to wear, and I know where both children and dogs are at most times.

However, I do pick things up. On the side of the road (awesome kid's play kitchen), out of a ditch (toy plane), out of someone's dumpster (okay, that was my husband and that was good stuff he found), and out in nature.

Kids love to collect stuff. I got each of my kids a flat, plastic bait box from Cabella's with the little compartments. We pick up shells, acorns, feathers, pretty much whatever neat little doo-dads we find. I also ran across this image from the Australian website and loved the idea of collecting pictures or creating a scrapbook with drawings and pictures of nature.

How to collect natural objects
Photo from HomeLife

Do you and your kids collect anything? Have you done any fun "nature projects" with the wee ones?

Friday, August 24, 2012

Collecting Garfield Stuff

Oh, how I loved Garfield as a kid. He was just the right amount of smarmy and sarcastic and I loved how he treated that dopey dog, Odie. Like most cartoons, I loved the holiday specials the most. The one I remember most was the Garfield Halloween show. Enjoy!

When we recently bumped in to someone's insane Garfield collection at a thrift store, we had to pick up a few things to resell in our Etsy shop. But it got us thinking: are there Garfield collectors still out there. Yes. What do they collect? Everything. Are certain things more desirable? Yes. As with most things, the more rare it is, the more valuable. For example, a quick search on Ebay found that the Garfield arcade kiddie ride and the standing Garfield with the serving tray (3 feet tall!) got the top bids recently.

If you're interested in collecting Garfield, here are a couple more things I found:

Friday, August 17, 2012

Summer fun at the Fenelon Park Elevator

I had the extreme pleasure of visiting the Fenelon Place Elevator in Dubuque last weekend. I have to admit, once I got in this tiny little box and was what felt like a ridiculous distance from the street below, I kind of wanted to jump out. But, I put on the brave mama face. See? Here's me pulling the cord to let the operator know we're ready to go up.

So we went up up up and here we are mid-hill.

And here's what it looks like when you are at the tippy top, looking over the beautiful city of Dubuque.

When you're ready to head back down the incline, here's where you go out.

Just kidding.

The Fenelon Place elevator website says that this is the shortest, steepest scenic railway and it opened in 1882. Yes, you read that right 1882. It has burned down a few times and been rebuilt, but this is a little piece of history in the most unsuspecting place. I highly recommend it. When you've survived it (ahem) you can hit the cute little candy shop at the bottom, or better yet, head to Monk's for a stiff drink.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

A friend in need

Over a month ago my cousin was in a major vehicle rollover accident that has left him paralyzed from the waist down. He's at the Mayo clinic getting speech and occupational therapy. I'm hoping to help raise some money for the myriad of stuff that might make his new life a little more comfortable.

Me blowing out the candles on my birthday cake. My cousin is the one with the party hat. 
He looks ready to party! 

If you have birthday or shower gifts to buy, please check out my other Etsy shop, Pumpkin Girl. For the foreseeable future I'll be selling everything at a discounted price and all proceeds will go to my cousin and his medical needs. My tie tee shirts are made with real men's vintage ties and I sew them all myself. I also have a few cute things for girls, like a clothesline bodysuit with little vintage clothes hanging on the line.

Thanks for taking a look!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Look What I Made: Breakfast Shirts

I made my kids shirts celebrating their favorite breakfast foods. This is shirt #2 for my older kiddo. The first one got smeared full of "boy dirt" (food, mud, pla-doh, etc.) and too small. The first one didn't have a donut. That was his special request. We've already gotten a couple of requests for more of these shirts for our just to find a few more spare minutes of "mommy sewing time."

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Easy (and impressive) birthday cupcakes

This weekend we hosted our first true "kid party" for my son's fifth birthday. This probably goes without saying, but 9 boys (and one girl) under the age of 7 -- now that's a lot of energy. Here's a super easy idea for making your own cupcakes that look great and take virtually no time at all.

The way I made these little circle motifs was just to find some cool dinosaur clip art and put it into PowerPoint. Then I made a little light gray circle to go around each dinosaur so when I printed them I'd know where to cut. Finally, I added "Happy Birthday" so it fit inside my circles. I think they measured about two inches or so, but it doesn't have to be precise. Here are the rest of the instructions:

Step 1: Bake some cupcakes and frost them
Step 2: Crush some Oreos
Step 3: Smush the Oreos on top of the cupcakes
Step 4: Cut out your circle motifs
Step 5: Cut a bunch of straws into three equal parts; cut a slit into the end of each segment
Step 6: Slide the circles into the split straws and stick them into the cupcakes

When people ask my kiddo about his birthday party, the dinosaur cupcakes are the first thing mentioned, so I know they were a hit with him.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Freaky Tiki

Tiki bars. Tropical drinks with an umbrella tucked in. What says hot summer nights better than this? We recently stumbled across a huge matching set of black tiki mugs, and I kind of got to thinking about the tiki culture. I know there are tons of people out there who collect the stuff. And I've seen shows about people who have turned their entire house tiki. But what's up in my neighborhood  -- the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area -- as far as the tiki scene goes?

Here are some cool finds you may want to check out:

Foundation Tiki Bar, Milwaukee
At Random (not really a tiki bar, but of the same era), Milwaukee
Tiki Tuesday Boat Tour (haven't done it but sounds fun

If you can afford to travel, the Tiki Oasis in San Diego appears to be where it's at.

And if I were going to Tiki Oasis, here's what I'd wear:
vintage 1950s dress / 50s dress / Brown Tiki Turtle Print Novelty Print Cotton Dress
Tiki turtle dress by Rococo Vintage

SALE -- 50s 60s carved hawaiian tiki shoes size 7-8
White carved Hawaiian shoes by 1Susanfunk1

40's 50's Basket Purse Spain Vintage Box Bag

Basket purse by CuriousFawnVintage

52mm WIDE Vintage 1980's Hawaii Tortoise Shell Cuff Bracelet,7" inch

Tortoise bracelet by MekealohaClassic

Are you tiki crazy? Do you collect anything? I'd love to hear about your tiki obsession!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Hello from 1993!

Today had me feeling nostalgic for my years in high school for some reason. I miss those days! Winona Ryder was my style icon and I loved my black hair and black nail polish. I remember borrowing certain weird things from my parents' closet, like my dad's duck hunting jacket. I also remember wearing a really cool mail man jacket. Where has my style inspiration gone to? I used to love wearing interesting weird stuff. These days, it's whatever takes the least amount of effort to put on.

Oh well, remembering the "good old days" is still pretty awesome.

Welcome to Polyvore!

What were you wearing back in the day?

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

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