projects great and small

We are busy with all kinds of exciting projects around here...some small ones and one pretty big one: Once again we find ourselves with a backyard that is a big muddy mess. It's littered with shovels and wheel barrels, mountains of dirt, and several thousand pounds of rock, sand and flagstone.  It's going to be amazing...eventually. 

In other news, after talking about brewing kombucha for the last couple of years...I'm actually doing it!  I was stuck for some time not knowing how to get my hands on a good SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast) but after reading about it on the blog Bonsai Aphrodite I made my own and have my first batch of kombucha brewing at this very moment.  So far I'm giving this project very high marks in satisfaction and I think my scoby is just the prettiest little scoby in town. 

And finally the most mundane project I've probably ever posted here on this blog...I painted my radiator!! I know this doesn't sound like much but several years ago I started scraping paint off our dining room radiator and never finished it.  I really don't know what my problem was but I'll use the fact that the dining room was my "studio" and it was always full of junk and it just never got done.  After reading Alison's post on her lovely blog Deuce Cities Henhouse about painting her radiator I was finally inspired to do it.  I think it was the part that read "So, don’t be scurred! Don’t be a wussy! You can do it!" that really got me.  So now, no more half-scraped, maroon radiator (yeah, the previous owners of our house painted the radiator and the walls and the baseboards in the dining room MAROON.).  Instead its just a white radiator no one will ever notice.  Thanks, Alison!



I finally got around to listing this bear!  In the shop now!


spring pigs

I just finished reading Charlotte's Web to the kids (for the second time) and  I made them Wilbur-inspired Spring Pigs for Easter.  Although I liked them plain I added the little prize ribbons as a way for them to be able to tell their pigs apart.  The ribbons were actually a big hit with the boys, in fact Oscar suggested that all my toys from now on should be wearing prizes of some kind!!  There have been some arguments about which ribbon is truly the 1st prize ribbon and of course which pig is the real Wilbur;  I saw it coming. 

I used a pattern in this great book by Carolyn Vosburg Hall as a basis for my pigs although I made several changes to the pattern make them more my own.


good morning

And Happy Easter!

 (u u)*


easter eggs

The boys and I dyed Easter eggs today and I think they turned out so nicely.  We did this method using little bits of plants growing in the backyard.  I wanted to try my hand at making natural dyes this year but never got around to gathering the supplies I needed.  Instead I faked it by mixing my own dyes with food coloring and vinegar in more muted tones.  I got these pretty colors by toning down the bright artificial colors by adding a little bit of the color's opposite; the red has a little green in it, the blue has a little orange in it etc.  We also rubbed a tiny bit of vegetable oil on the eggs once they were dry to give them a little bit of shine and bring out the depth of the colors. 



There's a new little bear on the shelf in my studio. I kind of can't get over this outfit!  She is made of soft hand dyed mohair and has been distressed to make her look like she's nice and worn in.  I'll be adding her to the shop as soon as I have time to take a few more pictures and list her.

I'm in a bit of a quandary as to how to inform interested parties about new toys in the shop.  It's been a while since I did a larger update and with custom orders and other projects keeping me busy I can't see pulling together a larger group of toys anytime soon.  I hate to email my mailing list every time I have one or two items to put in my shop.  I think for now I'll just inform you here on my blog and also on Facebook about available toys. I'm not a frequent poster on the Fox and Owl Facebook page but I'll be sure to post new shop listings there.


Buena Vista Park

Greetings from atop a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River.