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Tag: Inspiration (page 1 of 2)

Handmade guitar

marching band
Maggie gets very upset with me when I haul out the recycling because in it she sees endless possibilities, countless projects just waiting to happen. One of her favorites is Marching Band. Brothers get recruited as workers or audience members, and if they’re really lucky, they get to march as well. She makes all the instruments: maracas, shakers, tambourines, drums, bottle flutes, and guitars.

To make her Box Guitar all you need is a box, some rubber bands, tape or a stapler, and an empty paper-towl roll.

  1. Cut out a square(ish) on the front of the box, and a hole big enough for the roll at on end.
  2. Tape or staple rubber bands across the open section on the front. They should be pretty taught.
  3. Stick the tube in at the end and tape to secure it.
  4. Strum!

I was surprised at how well this worked, while not exactly the most musical of sounds, it definitely made different pitched plinks and plunks when strummed.

Next time, I’m thinking I’ll break out the tempera paints, and glitter glue so she can properly decorate her oeuvre, and make it her own (dub Tim Gunn voice-over here). As is this photo feels a bit too much like product placement for me . At least this time, she chose a soda bottle for her flute instead of the usual wine or beer :-)

Inspiration: Creative Summer


If you haven’t already stumbled upon it, you’ve got to go visit the Creative Summer pool on Flickr. Really! It was set up by Molly of MommyCoddle a week or so ago and the creative goodness is just pouring in.

Even if you don’t blog, please share pictures of your kids’ summer creations over there. I know I could use all the inspiration I can get as there’s still a month and a half of summer vacation to go and I’m starting to feel a panic setting in :-)

Here are a few of my favorites so far:


Now I will learn to sew!

Lotta Jansdotter’s Simple Sewing: Patterns and How-To for 24 Fresh and Easy Projects

Ages ago I pre-ordered Simple Sewing by multi-talented blogger Lotta Jansdotter. Today it came in the mail and I am positively drooling over every page.

She presents simple yet beautiful projects in such a readable way that I am convinced that this time I will actually make something lovely. She even goes so far as to include several patterns in a convenient envelope. The only thing I’m not crazy about is the binding. It’s spiral bound & I have a personal hatred for spiral bound books — I’m always worried that I’ll tear the pages, and these pages are much too pretty to tear so I’ll have to be extra careful.

I’m almost afraid to show the book to Miss M this evening because I know she’s going to want to get cracking on a project Right Away! Even though I’m a little scared to dive in, I can’t wait to see what we make :-)

Inspiration: Huguette, Pia, and Bodil

I’ve noticed a bit of a trend on the blogs I read. Almost all of these crafty mamas have an incredibly crafty Mom or Grandma (or Aunt…) in their lives. This got me thinking a bit about my personal inspirations. The women in my life are my Mom, my sister, and my Mother-in-law. Each is completely different in her approach to her creativity, but each incredibly inspiring to me. I figured that since I’d had this micro-Aha moment, that I should share it.

Huguette: taught me orienteering, how to card wool, how to make animations with a Super8. How to cook, crochet, milk a cow, make a Japanese garden in a meat tray (something I’ll have to do with my brood soon). How to set up a tent, make a candle, and start a proper bon-fire. She tried to teach me math, and quilting, and embroidery… I didn’t take to those quite as well.

Pia: was the first person I ever knew who subscribed to Martha Stewart Living. She’s always been super organized. One of the best cooks I know. She’s the one who made a cardboard box doll-house for me, one of the most magical playthings I ever had. She grew her own veggies, made her own pasta, and canned her own produce way before it was cool to do so. I remember being bowled over when I realized that her books were alphabetized by author (thousands of them).

Bodil: knows exactly where everything should go in a home. She has turned home organization into an absolute science. She sews. Really sews. I wish I could do that. I dream of being able to set up my home as seamlessly as she does. Through her, I’ve become aware of the importance of traditions for my family, especially when we all live so far away from each other.

I see so many echoes of them in my daily life, and feel incredibly lucky to know each of them.

Inspiration: Kiddley & Loobylu

I’m bummed…

One of my all-time Favorite Bloggers is taking a break. Claire Robertson, who’s been writing Loobylu and Kiddley since forever posted today that she’s going to stop for a while. Now I’m going to have to find out about new and wonderful things people are doing All On My Own!

What’s sad is I only discovered this sub-culture of fantastically crafty blogging mamas after I quit my job this past September. I can only imagine how hyper-crafty we could have been all these years !

The good news abounds!

  • We’ll always have the archives – YAY!!!!
  • We can look forward to more beautiful illustrations from her
  • I’m sure we’ll be able to pre-order her children’s books (I’ll be among the first in line, natch)
  • She might just change her mind :-)