Saturday, January 16, 2010

Okay, maybe I should just call it moving

because I seem to be doing all of my posting over there. Please follow me to my new site at Thanks!!!

Monday, January 4, 2010


Nope, not the kind of segue that people ride around D.C. Proper. (That's segway.) This is the other segue, the one where I tell you I'm starting a new blog and I'm hoping to morph this one into that one. Only it's not entirely seamless as my computer skills are ... developing. Until the two become one, I'm just going to let you know when I post something at the other site, which is at I'm hoping to host a blog warming sometime in January. I'll let you know.


Friday, December 18, 2009

Make-it Night

My favorite night of Hanukkah at our house is the self-instituted make-it night, where the gifts we give are the gifts we make. I LOVE crafts. I'm just not that good at making them, being too impatient for some of the finer details. Fortunately, I've never let that stop me.

Here are the things I made the kids this year:

Hopefully you can recognize these guys without a label. My kids, at least, knew who they were!!

This is a skirt made from fabric created by the amazing Heather Ross. I used this free Lazy Days Skirt Pattern, which allows even people like me to look as if they know what they're doing.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Hand Sanitizer: Everybody's Doing It

This week my daughter asked for the newest fashion trend at her elementary school. I almost WISH she'd asked for a pair of Nikes or Hello Kitty Headband or something like that. But nope, she wants HAND-SANITIZER. The kind you can hang from your backpack. "But MOM." she said. "Almost all of the girls have their own hand-sanitizer." And just like that, my holiday gift problems are solved. Thanks H1N1!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Movie toys

Who needs Happy Meal toys? We saw Wall-E this week and the kids came up with these little dudes the next day. Wall-E stands on two toilet paper rolls. He opens up so you can put trash inside him. The back is an orange crate. Eva is made out of paper and an old lemonade mix container. She has a flashlight arm "for blasting." I can't find the cockroach -- I think he's lost somewhere in my daughter's bed -- but he's made out of a film canister. I'll post him when I find him.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

5 minute moomin

Okay, these actually took more than 5 minutes to make, but they didn't take TOO long so I figured I'd share. Introducing the sock Moomins, as visualized by my own Moomin fans.

The inspiration:
These past few weeks, Washington's embassies have been host to the Kids Euro Festival. This is the second year they've held it. Last year we were too out of it to notice. This year we noticed late and by the time we did, we were too ensconced in soccer games to make it to most of the free (yes! free!) performances. BUT we made it to one, at the Finnish embassy, featuring "a musical landscape" inspired by Tove Jansson's Moomintroll Books. I loved these books as a kid, and when I read them to my kids last year, they loved them, too. There is something a little other worldly about them (duh: they're about MOOMINS), and magical, and sweet, and strange.

The Moomins look a little like hippos, except smaller. (Their ears are actually a little rounder than these, but my kids thought triangles would work best so that's what they cut out.) At the Finnish Embassy, the Moomins weren't small. They were mascot size. (Which sort of makes sense because in Finland, the Moomins seem to be as prevalent as Mickey Mouse. There's even a Moomin World.) In the U.S., the Moomins are ambassadors.

The event featured Snufkin, Moomintroll, Little My, and Sniff, dancing and singing. Snufkin, of course, was the host. He played a saw. And the whole performance was a little magical. And strange. It kind of reminded me of the first time I saw The Teletubbies (which means I did think once or twice: What were they smoking? But in a sweet, affectionate way.) The event was definitely geared for the preschool age, though the books are for older kids. Still, the other-worldliness of it made it tolerable for my guys, as did the freebies: Ginger cookies shaped like Moomintroll and Snufkin! Slap bracelets! Little pins in the shape of Moomintroll! The space was great, the architecture of the building was very cool, and what's not to love about a Finnish guy in a green hat playing a saw?

Went home from the event and immediately my kids wanted to make Moomins out of socks (while my husband wanted to book us on the next plane to Finland.) Buoyed by our recent success with Sock Hedwig, we put together our Sock Moomins fairly quickly, though I'm calling what we came up with a prototype because they can definitely be improved (i.e. next time we need to use NEW socks instead of socks that are a little brown at the heal! Next time we should go with black felt and white felt for the eyes instead of a magic marker.) But once again, we're all about immediate gratification here. An hour or so later we had two Moomins, which have been a hit, even if Moominmama did have to borrow Polly Pocket's purse.

Oh, and I just found a picture I loaded from last winter, when we made Moomins out of Sculpey. They're a bit battered here -- the ears being the most breakable. We built them a little house out of a yogurt container. And blueberry pancakes on plates. Hours of entertainment!

And we're definitely putting the festival on our calendar for next year. I was especially interested in some of the Romanian magic acts, but there were too many time conflicts. I think with better planning we can get more out of it.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Working Theories

Lots on my mind after attending Kidlitcon 09 this weekend in Crystal City. While that all gels into what may become a blog post, I just wanted to invoke, for a moment, my lunch, purchased from perhaps the most generic deli ever built. I have two new food-related theories and they are as follows.
1. If it doesn't smell like salami, it's not a real deli.
2. If you visit a bagel shop that has a New York reference in the title (Manhattan Bagels, Brooklyn Bagels, Borough Bagels, etc.) and the bagel shop is NOT IN NEW YORK, chances are they're protesting way too much. Simply put: Your bagel is going to suck.