Jul 22, 2010

Sorry I've neglected you! and a bunch of total randomness

Wow, where did July go?! It's stormed past us here! I know it's not over yet, but the last three weeks have flown by, and I haven't posted anything this month apart from the Duplo post before this one. I do have projects that we've done this month that I want to post, but one of them needs some more photos taking and the other needs some video, but I can't for the life of me locate our point and click that takes video clips. Lame. This is how I end up with bazillions of unposted projects lurking back here. I have the attention span of a goldfish.

So in the mean time, I thought I'd share with you some of the nonsense that we've been up to. Not ground breaking stuff, but thought it'd give you an idea of the random happenings around here.

Dens and yarn and "Klob" houses.

My five year old's family tree she made (she sat in the trolley around home depot cutting out all those apple shapes from photographs, while we looked for bolts and screws to rescue the latest craigslist find) See the guy that looks like me with no hair? It was his birthday last week. Happy Birthday Dad!

We've been trying to add to the veggies we're growing in the yard without having to spend a lot of money on compost and pots etc. We were lucky enough to find a lovely family near us that were getting rid of a load of pots for free on Craigslist because they were moving house. When we went to collect the pots we found out that they also had a raised planter they were going to ditch, so Paul went back a few days later and took it all apart and brought it home. Last weekend I spent a ridiculous three hours in the yard, sifting through the six contractors bin bags containing a mixture of rocks and potting compost, pulling out all the rocks from it, to go at the bottom for drainage. It was a very windy day and the potting compost was bone dry, so although it was easy to fish out all the white rocks from it, I ended up looking like I'd walked away from an explosion in an instant coffee factory. It's all put together now though and planted up with tomatoes, peppers, basil, corgettes, bush beans and carrots. The kids did a wonderful paint job on it too!

We have a bit of an epic restoration project to handle over the next couple of weekends. We were lucky enough to score a free play structure from a local family who bought a house with it in the garden, but who's kid was too old for it. They had been trying to get rid of it for a couple of years, but no one who came to look at it could figure out how to take it apart. It took us quite a while to get it apart because a lot of it had been nailed together rather than screwed, but it's still structurally sound, so after I've done a lot of painting then we can saw off the bottom six inches that are rotten, and get it put back together for the kids to clamber all over. A lot of time to put in, but given that the thing would be nearly four grand when new, it's the only way the kids will be having one! With the paint, some replacement bolts and screws, and the cost of the Uhaul to go get it, I think we can bring it in for under $200. I'll let you know how it works out.

Also, thought you'd get a giggle out of our 4th July decorations. We never managed to get rid of our Christmas tree. It's just been sitting at the end of the porch looking sorry for itself, so the kids decorated it. I think we'll decorate it as a halloween tree next!

Multi-story car park improvisation

Upsidedown tomatoes in old containers seem to be doing well! I painted the containers black so that the roots of the plants are nice and toasty warm. They seem to like it :) The one below is a Folger's coffee container that I swiped from the local preschool's recycling bin. We have tomato plants growing in Creamer containers, soda bottles and animal cracker boxes too. Classy!

We've been doing outdoor movie nights on the weekends this month too. Paul was able to borrow a projector from his work, so we've just been dragging all the bedding out into the yard and having friends over to watch a kid flick with popcorn and fairy lights. I LOVE the atmosphere. We just project onto the side of the house, because it's a pale yellow. The last one we had we were babysitting for some friends, so we had nine kids. Here is my four year old and her two best four year old buddies huddled up in a storage box with blankets waiting for the movie to start. Sooooo CUTE! This Saturday if the weather allows us, we're going to do the 1939 version of The Wizard of Oz.

Lastly, my kids painted a huge picture of me today! I'm so flattered! My four year old drew it and they both painted it together. I look terrifyingly Tim Burtonesque in it (apparently those are gardening gloves, and yes, my farmer's tan is pretty much that bad!), but dang, I wish that skirt was real! I'd wear it every day, just look at the colours!!! It's taller than I am by about 6 inches. Maybe I have killer heels on under the skirt?

Anyhoo, just wanted to say hi really, and promise to post some real Filth Wizardry projects soon :)

Also, while we're chit chatting... Here are a few more links to some people that have tried our projects and blogged about them :)
  • The Addams family made a playdough mermaid kingdom here. Just look at those gorgeous wooden mermaid dolls!
  • The Owens family made a stained glass window with tissue paper here. Seeing that made me wish we had some Nepalese Prayer flags like my inlaws have to hang in the house or the garden.
  • Lady Hawkes-Fenster blogged about using our print and cut out robot parts from a looooong time ago here. Good to see that even ancient FW posts are still of use to people!

  • Over at Handmade Beginnings, Eva made some tshirt skirts like my girl's easter ones, with the iron on plastic bag decal technique, here. She found perfect party bags for it!
I hope August doesn't dissapear as fast as July has been doing!


Teacher Tom said...

It's really a pity you've all been so lazy, KM. =)

What a lot of fun you've been having! I'm particularly taken with the outdoor movie set up. I love outdoor movies, but it never occurred to me to just do it at home. Brava!

And that is one amazing portrait!

Unknown said...

What great finds! I love the planter box. I can't wait to own my own home and have a few myself. Movie night looks like great fun! Love the painting.

Joxy34 said...

Wow, that portrait of you is amazing. There's a lot of talent there!

Decomom said...

Love the outdoor movie idea too - it looks like soo much fun! Why didn't I think of that?!?


Anonymous said...

It all looks like so much fun! I LOVE the drawing of you. It is beautiful and so sweet. Thanks again for posting such great ideas. I printed out the robot bits as that was from before I was a subscriber. I know a little boy who will love making a robot :o)

Anonymous said...

Your July has been very busy! The outdoor movie night looks so fun.
Can't wait to see how the play structure works out.

Anonymous said...

hey - if you looking for a camera (since yours has gone missing...:)) try the sony bloggie. I just won one in a competition and it is fabulous and so small it fits in your pocket. we love your posts and have missed you.


Donna said...

That is a beautiful skirt! It looks like a Munch painting.

tracey (aka rainbowmummy) said...

Hi :) Loved each and everyone of the randomness.


ps I LOVE Tim Burton.

Papgena Made It said...

The portrait is awsome!!
you've been busy, no doubt!!!

jenny said...

You have been busy!

I love the yarn web. I recently visited a school in Victoria that had weaved themselves an amazing web spanning trees to create an enclosure. If you are interested, the pictures are here:


Christie - Childhood 101 said...

What a beautiful skirt and I now have plans for our boring brown planter boxes!

Anonymous said...

OMG, too funny to see your christmas tree decorated for 4th of July. Way to go with the creativity. Its so refreshing to come here and see real life in action and not a bunch of apologies for not getting to things. Keep enjoying this lovely summer. Lovely and hot, I might add.

Plummy said...

Sounds like you've been having a great summer! I have to say, my favorite activity here is the painted raised planter! As a kid one of my strongest memories is growing fruits and veggies in the backyard. Look forward to seeing what other nonsense you guys get up to! :)

Elle Sees said...

Is your daughter's name Carys? I've always loved that name!

Heidicrafts said...

Find a white skirt and I'm sure the kids will make it into a colorful one for you.

My husband juggles and wanted colorful shoes, so we bought white Converse high-tops and broke out the fabric markers with the kids. Even better when the lass asked if we could add glitter.

Play for Life said...

I love your web! On tuesday we'll post about the great webs our children created at kinder ... one inside and one out!
Donna :) :)

pink and green mama MaryLea said...

Love the idea of outdoor movies but it would be more of a blood drive around here with all of our mosquitos!

The painting your girls made is WONDERFUL!! I love the bright colors and the beautiful flower skirt. It would be really cool re-done on a big, tall/skinny canvas!

xoxo MaryLea

Gloria Westerman said...

I so enjoy hearing of all you newest adventure......and such amazing creativity.....love your story's.....and your children talents are just as amazing too.....I love how you did your tomatoes plants....I will have to try that......thank you so much for sharing.....

Pam said...

Hi!- I've been following your blog for the last few months. You are truly blessed with an endless amount of amazing ideas...outdoor movie theater- how creative! I teach preschool (sp.ed.) Hope you don't mind- I linked to your blog! Come visit- http://www.cricketcornerkids.blogspot.com

Jen said...

The painting of you is priceless- so adorable.

Looks like you've been having a lot of fun. You are soo creative. If you'd ever like to guest post on Creative and Curious Kids, let me know.

Take Care!


Ms. Erin's HeartRoom said...

The picture of you is gorgeous! I'd never take it down :)

Lisa Bee said...

I don't know if you guys have ever considered building a worm composting bin, but it's a great way to get rid of organic food waste (and paper that can't be recycled, like paper towels!). I bet the girls would LOVE watching how the worms turn food into compost and at the end you get awesome compost for your plants. There's all SORTS of biology lessons that you can teach out of a worm bin, too. Email me if you're at all interested and I can point you towards some resources if you need any. :)

I love reading your blog and seeing what amazing things you guys get up to!

Anonymous said...

Your play structure looks like it is from Cedarworks. Love it!

Lindsey said...

It is a Cedarworks play structure. They still sell the same one, so we were able to look at the online pics to put it back together again. That's what we spent the whole weekend doing! It's all back in one piece now, after a whole load of sawing and hammering and replacing bits and painting etc. Still a fair bit of painting left to do, but at least the kids can play on it safely in the meantime. We're pretty good at biting off not necessarily more than we can chew, but certainly enough that we get very sore jaws ;) Very glad to have it all work out though rather than us end up with a bunch of firewood! Kudos to Paul for his mad skillz with the saw. I think he'll probably put some in progress shots on his own blog at some point.

Lisabee: I'm totally into the worm composting idea, and a DIY bin is on the cards in the future for sure.

Heidicrafts: I juggle too :) Not so much with fire and knives these days though. I do love the idea of letting the girls paint me a skirt. I actually have a couple of plain white linen tea towels that I was going to let them draw skirts for themselves on with sharpies. We just haven't got around to it yet.

Anonymous said...

First off, i love your blog. Secondly, if you really do want a skirt like that you could scan it and then have Spoonflower print it on fabric for you:

Eva said...

Wow I absolutely love all the projects that you do with your children. I'd love to try having an outdoor movie night someday. Thanks so much for linking back to my blog! The plastic bag transfers was such a fun project! :)