Friday, May 24, 2013

(Doll)House Keeping

Here's Goldilocks in front of the dollhouse before
Are you a thrift store scorer?  Many years ago - long before the kids were even married - I found my best score ever:  a vintage Cape Cod dollhouse.  A co-worker and I would often take our work breaks to cross the street from the library to a charming thrift store called The Blue Smock.  It was run to benefit the local hospital.  So many treasures to be found here: we both scored many unique purchases.  One day, though, in the half-price back room there was the house of my dreams!  Not only was it half price at $10.00, but it included a plastic bag full of furniture.  The house was sturdy.
Evidence led me to believe a craftsman had put the house together. 

Herein lies the problem...where do I store this house while I wait for the kids to marry and the
babies to start coming?  My workplace was the obvious answer. 
I used the dollhouse rooms as cubbies to store my materials for Storytime. 
Form meets function.
This is NOT my desk at work, by the way!  I just found this photo on a workplace desk search..  It's up to you to
imagine a dollhouse placed underneath this desk for many years.

But, the time has come to restore this beauty.  Two grand-daughters as of this writing with one grandson presently on the way.

Get out the sander, work gloves, paintbrushes, paint and elbow grease.
It's time to do some house-KEEPING!

BEFORE:  the interior was in need of much work!  Especially the floors.  The wood in the living room was split and torn; the fuzzy carpeting upstairs was like lacquered velour and a royal pain to remove.
DURING:  the interiors are in the process of being "stripped" and painted.  It was nice outside (finally) so I could work in the breezes blowing on our deck!
AFTER:  the house has been panted and papered.

Now let's take a look at the dollhouse exterior.
BEFORE:  just as the house looked when I purchased it.

DURING: the red roofing "shingle" wallpaper has been.stripped and the siding is taped off and ready to paint.
AFTER: house siding, roofing and trim has been painted.

One of the last steps in finishing up the dollhouse was to add wallpaper and flooring. I used scrapbook paper for the wallpaper - applying it to the wall that had been covered first with Mod Podge. The flooring? I used textured white vinyl wallpaper from a sample book.  It went down like a dream and will be easily cleaned.
In this dollhouse anything goes!  Giant chairs, three toilets in 3 rooms? Of course!

I love the look of concentration on Miss E's face.

How much fun is it to have a little house for our little ones?

Much, much  much fun!  I think I enjoy playing with it just as much as Miss E! 
Maybe even more.

Monday, May 13, 2013

The Mommy's Day Project

Mother's Day 2013 and it is time for one crafty grandma to come up with a project for the grand-daughters to make something special for their Mommy. One grand-daughter is only 6 months old, so she'll have to participate in an age-appropriate way; the other is a three year old who LOVES any project with art supplies! Bring on the paint!

Luckily, I was at JoAnn's and found these cardboard-type letters. 
Paint (freebie from a magazine tear-out coupon from Valspar) was rounded up with four color choices.
Miss E chose berry pink (surprise, surprise - that girl loves pink) for herself and a chartreuse color for her baby sister.  Fun stickers in dimensional felt were also purchased at JoAnn's to apply to the letters once painted and dried.

Time to get to work!  As the girls came to our place for their first sleepover together, we had a nice, early start.  (Insert yawn here.)
 The letters have been painted and now it's time to make the gift wrap and cards. Calling all bare feet!
Miss M was so chillin' as Wes held her and I placed her footprints

on the brown butcher paper in heart-shaped "units."


Color-coded wrapping paper: chartreuse for Miss M and berry pink for Miss E.
Miss M looks on as Miss E goes to work on the cards.  Don't worry...Miss M is being held in this sitting position on the edge of the table by her Papa.
I wrote down just what she said.  Interesting how the train trip made an impact.  And she wrote her name herself! 

Once the cards had been properly written and stickered, they were ready to be tied on top of the packages.
All set - wrapped and ready to give to Mommy.

Looks like Mommy likes the gift!

We will actually celebrate together later as a family as one of the "fold" is presently out of town.

I hope that you enjoyed your day! 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Walk-about with the Queen

"Well, hello! Thank you for accompanying me on a walk-about in Illinois.  I am far away from my country, but so nice of you
to entertain me with blooming trees and flowering plants.  I heard you had snow just days ago." 

April is a special month for the Royal Family. 
The Queen celebrates her birthday on the 21st and
Will and Kate celebrate their two years of wedded bliss on April 29th.
And my friend, Marti, and I like to celebrate right along with them!
Due to drippy, cold weather, though, we postponed our walk-about with HRH until
yesterday.  Yesterday was perfectly perfect to "hike" with the Queen around the
lake in Independence Grove - a local park that was once a quarry and now
one of the locals gems fit for royalty.

Please join us as we hosted her HRH in Lake County. 
You are also invited to our bag-lunch picnic following our walk.

She rather enjoys being up close and personal to nature.

"Oh my.  Horses and dogs not allowed?  But I am the Queen!
We are NOT amused."

Good thing the Corgis are not with her today!!!!

Plumage of another sort - would these wild grasses work on a hat?

Prince Charles is awaiting his turn in the driver's seat - will HRH ever relinquish it to him?
Or will the seat be filled next by Prince William?

Remember how Bachelorette Catherine curled up inside the big vehicle wheel and got the guy (Sean)?
The Queen is very pleased that the other Kate got her "guy" Prince William!

"Perhaps my new grandchild will be a girl and they will name her after some sort of flower?"

Do note the English Rose printed on our table linens in honor of HRH herself - the ultimate English Rose!

                                         Long live the Queen!

And just in case you would like to review our last year's outing Tea and Garden Stroll with the Queen, you may find it at the link below: