Ellis & Barnes: Serious Mothers!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

A few little projects

Hi PPAers! Three posts in a matter of days? Is the baby ok?

Yes, Katy Belle "not a baby anymore" Lawrence is fine. She just started taking really long naps and I am so "stay at home mom" now which I think means I post more.

Over the last few months I have done a few little projects I thought I would share. I do feel like One Bad Mother when I nail stuff like this.

Chalk Alphabet Hop

Katy Belle and I were outside playing and she was pretty "roamy." You know, there was nothing she wanted to really do which meant she was going to start a ton of things and stick with them for 2 minutes. This makes me crazy but instead of saying "PICK IT" to a 2 year old (thats how old this project is) who rightly doesn't give to ships in the night what I feel like, I grabbed some chalk and started drawing.

I made a circle and in each one wrote a letter of the alphabet. I made a big circle of circles and said "hop."

She did and with each hop she named the letter and I felt like some sort of super genius!

The great thing is that this amused her for weeks. 

Note: I only used capital letters, but wish I had done lower case as well. 

I then stole a great Pintrest idea to make a little garden for her that she could do anything she wants in.

Secret Garden

I filled it with rocks and pots and let her plant a plant (which died minutes later it seems) and put a little gate around it. 

I was then feeling extra super momish and asked if she wanted a flag. Yes she did. 

No, that is not the number "10." That is clearly a donut over waves.

She has really loved it. 

Update on the garden. 3 months later I discovered some stray cat has started taking a crap in it. Charming. On the plus side, it has been so dry here the poop is easy to spot and the garden is generally no fun. Must remember to SERIOUSLY clean the garden before she gets interested again.

Finally....bean bags.

Man, I love them. These are super easy to make and a super cute gift! Of course Katy Belle never played with her bean bags but I did. They were a life saver when she was younger and I had to just sit in the room with her. I could grab them and toss them around...sort of like a stress ball....but filled with 

Ok, I have more to come plus an awesome project called "A WEEK WITH THE AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE" with Jordi. We are taking a photo of ourselves each day doing house-wifey things in a 60's/70's style.



Thursday, August 23, 2012

Burlap Pillows

So occasionally, PPAers, I yearn to do real crafty projects.

Stefan had a 1950's backyard BBQ themed party for his birthday. Of course this meant potato sack races. Of course we didn't do that. We sat around and ate and drank beer and played bocci. So we suddenly had 3 dirty but very cool potato sacks.

What to do?

So I cruised Pintrest, which I think was created to help answer questions like "what to do with potato sacks" or "what are 50 activities I can do with my toddler that will take effort on my part and my toddler won't give two shits about?"

Clearly, I am going to turn these stinky bags into pillows.

Now...first, unstink the pillows. About all you can do, as far as I know, and I know very little about this, is to hang them out in the sun for a few days and beat the daylights out of them. The sun will help bleach out the stains and the stink.

I kept mine out for a week but they could have gone a month. I just have no patience for my crafts.

Essentially I cut the sacks a little bigger than the pillow size. Put them together right side to right side, sewed 3 sides, turned inside out and then stuffed with a pillow.

I then took binder clips and folded in the open side and clipped so I could hand stitch it shut with yarn. 

The first pillow I used really thin yarn but with the second I used the thick, crafty looking yarn, like you use for sock puppet hair.  It worked great and I think looks cooler.

These are burlap sacks people. No sun can make these the type of pillows you want indoors unless you get brand new burlap sacks. So taaaa daaaaa....porch pillow dinosaur party!


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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Home made birthdays are the best...

...till your kid gets old enough to know better.

Oh PPPAers, it has really been too long. I promise I have lots of posts to post and promise to be just as bad getting them posted as I have been this year to date.

I wanted to give you a Katy Belle birthday wrap up. This year's theme was "Balloons and Lollipops." A lot of thinking went into this theme...mainly Katy Belle really enjoying balloons and lollipops. 

Guess who doesn't really enjoy balloons?

This girl.

I felt like a cat walking through a room full of sleeping dogs. Dogs that don't like cats. Also the cat is wearing tap shoes. So very stressful. It is the popping. Popping is no good. I really compartmentalize...well...pretty much everything....fears, anxiety, past traumatic experiences, all that painful dental work, failures, sadness, that time I peed myself in 1st grade, the belief that if I think something mean about a fat person that person can read my thoughts....all of that CRAMMED waaaaaaayyyyy down deep.


So I cruised the Pintrest pages for ideas and was inspired. is going to be JUST like this.

Oh boy. Yeah, we don't do well at decorating. You may remember these little Halloween cupcakes I made last year.

Here is the link to the full cupcake post. I'll wait while you PIN it.

Let's hear it for home made! 


Maybe cake!

How about now?

Or now. Note the 5 pound cookie lollipops slowly ripping the cake as they descend into madness.

I will say I did a rad job on party gift baskets. I have been hoarding these stupid baskets from our weekly farmer's market trips and ta daaaaa....

Step one, clean baskets or cover rotting strawberry goop with cheerful ribbon.

Cram with toxic foam.

Fill with easter grass and cram a bunch of potentially life threatening objects in it to give to 3 year olds. 

 I'll wait. I know....SO MUCH TO PIN! 

You know who ate a ton of candy and cake and doesn't look at all impressed?

This kid. (That is Ryan...Britt's daughter.)

You know who was ever more impressed?

Katy Belle.

I know behind that disinterested stare is a happy child. Or a child about to puke.

For some reason I thought I should take all the videos and pics from the party and cram them into a video. I think it is apparent that all footage is taken at the beginning and that there wasn't as much footage as I needed to match the song and I like star swipes and Katy Belle went naked about half way through so her time on the slide is edited because there was a lot "flashing" coming down the slide and I do think our balloon decor is lovely.


I am just going to add the decoration photo because it might inspire someone else. Self pin.

I really will try to get a few more posts up soon.