Monday, April 30, 2012

Fun with Chalk Board Paint!

My friend and roommate Natalie, whom I've already mentioned several times in this blog, decided to paint her entire fire place with chalk board paint. It was a brilliant concept (she's brilliant!) and we have been having a blast writing stuff on the fireplace.
But even more fun for us, we were left with an abundance of chalk board paint... and so we started walking around the house trying to decide what we fun things we should alter.

Victoria, thanks to this, has new fun toys:

She had so much fun exploring writing on the different surfaces of the animals, although she spent more time hugging the lion and petting the elephant than drawing on them, of course. I'm definitely enjoying having these in the play room to introduce her the concept of art and creativity. So far she loves dots, we may have a little Seurat on our hands.

Friday, April 27, 2012

This Moment-So cute

{this moment}- A Friday ritual. A single photo -no words- capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor, and remember.
If you are inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see
{inspired by Amanda Soule of SouleMama}  

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Summer clothes!

I absolutely love making summer dresses for Victoria, little girl's dresses are just so sweet, and for some reason they are a lot less ominous to try to make than any other clothes.

I started on the path of summer clothes already, here is the beginning, but I'll make a post when it is over with the inspiration for it.

Monday, April 23, 2012


Happiness, is watching my daughter standing up on her own and walking her little bobbling walk. Those weaving, drunken sailor steps that she takes to finally reach me and hug me tight, are simply the best.
That's all I have for today!

Friday, April 20, 2012

This Moment-At the Park Waiting for Puppy

{this moment}- A Friday ritual. A single photo -no words- capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor, and remember.
If you are inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see
{inspired by Amanda Soule of SouleMama}  

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Doll Play

Victoria is a very "girly" girl. I don't like the term, but what I mean by that is that she shows interest in all of the very stereotypical girl activities. She loves shoes, and purses, as well as being fascinated by all jewelry. And while she loves balls and her dinosaurs, she goes absolutely crazy for baby dolls, and dolls in general.
This is so far removed from what I enjoyed as a child, that I am always taken by surprise when I see her play doll.
Who would have thought that a year old baby would enjoy playing doll in the first place?
A friend of ours brought her baby doll and doll stroller with her on a play date the other day, and Victoria was simply overjoyed. She took over those toys and was a bit disappointed when we had to give them back.
I guess I know what we will adding to our arsenal of toys soon. I need to get going making Waldorf type dolls!
She absolutely loved the fact that she could push the doll around in a stroller.

It required a lot of concentration!
She alternated between drinking and giving the "baby" a drink

I think she felt the doll was not doing a good job of drinking in the stroller, she pulled her out in order to get a better look at what was going on. So cute!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Sensory Experiments

I have been biding my time to introduce Victoria to sensory baskets. I have had so many ideas for her to play with but her tendency to put absolutely everything in her mouth has slowed my progress down in that area.
I finally decided to try a few things this week and see what happened.

The first activity was "planting" flowers, I set up a block or florist foam and covered it up with a fake moss, and gave Victoria some fake flowers to stick in the foam. It's a bit hard for her to do yet, but a few friends that are a bit older (around 2 years old) came to visit and loved the activity.

Then I made a sensory basket mixed with stones, glass beads, and colorful pompoms. I was a bit worried about this one as I thought Victoria might put a lot of the items in her mouth. Sure enough we had plenty of that kind of exploration, but everything was big enough not to be a choking hazard, so I let her go at it. And slowly we shifted to exploring with hands, and then moving items from the basket onto the floor, then to another basket, and then back to the first. We are still playing with it so I am eager to see what other kinds of play she will come up with. 

And the last one was a bucket filled with rice and pasta. I put a few little animal shapes in it for them to dig out or set in the mix, and a few measuring cups and spoons. This one was by far the one that every kid loved most I think. They dumped the rice in and out of the cups, in and out on the floor, Victoria tried to eat her share of it, but finally decided that putting it into the cups and giving it to people was more fun. 

I'm glad I took the leap and let Victoria explore all these fun things, it's easy sometimes to be weary of messes  or to worry about age appropriate activities. I am extremely lucky that Victoria has both younger and older friends around to help me fend off those preconceived ideas.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Busy Busy Bees

Well as the title suggest we have been supremely busy, this week-end was the birthday celebration of two of our good friends, so we were preparing, baking, and running around making sure everything went well.

However, what I am really excited to share with you is the fact that we have bees in the communal backyard now! These little ladies arrived this week-end. So far so good, the queen was alive when we got the bees and seems to have made herself quite at home in our hive.
It's a beautiful thing to watch those little ladies fly around the backyard. We should have a beautiful harvest this summer with their help!

Right after we picked them up.

They were clustered around the queen's box and buzzing like crazy!

Our hive, so beautiful!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

A Home Made Busy Board!

I did not get a chance to post this. But another gift that Victoria got for her birthday was a home made busy board that her Auntie Natalie made for her. I love this gift so very very much.
Not only did Natalie make it with her own hands, but it will grow with Victoria for at least the next two to three years. I had seen a home made bust board somewhere on the internet, and the idea had stuck with me ever since, so when Natalie asked me what she could give Victoria for her birthday, I tossed the idea her way... and she made it awesome!

Several friends have called it the lock picking training device, here it is:

Right now Victoria loves the knobs and door bell. She has yet to figure out any of the locks, but knowing her that will come soon. 
I love the fact that it is round too, hopefully with some imagination she will be driving a car, steering a ship, and who knows what else while she plays with it. 
We will be hanging it up in the play room soon, but for now it being on the floor has been nice too as Victoria has been using it as an obstacle course and balance board (with Mom's help of course).

Friday, April 13, 2012

This Moment- Getting Comfortable

{this moment}- A Friday ritual. A single photo -no words- capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor, and remember.
If you are inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see
{inspired by Amanda Soule of SouleMama}  

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Victoria's Mantel

Victoria's playroom has a chimney in it, that I am slowly decorating. On the mantel I've put some important pieces for us, and I thought I would share them with you.
I have to hang up the canvas. Her friends D and Z (10 and 8y/o) made it for her birthday! Sweetest gift ever.

I added her name spelled out with our "French" blocks. On top is a baby fairy that D made for her.

Our Moomin. We are not quite yet to the point of reading the books, but this is something that I will share with her, the Moomins were one of my all time favorite reads when I was a kid.

Greatest set of Russian Dolls ever. Gifted by our friend CeeCee.

Another set of Russian dolls, (the ones small enough to fit in mouth). A cute set of flash cards, and a Vintage cube puzzle that I got in France last year.

The Cube Puzzle!

The different pictures of the puzzle. I love that thing so much.
I love having a mantel, it allows for seasonal decorating for Victoria's play room, and to showcase what is important to us as a family at any moment. A few weeks ago, before this latest arrangement, I had all of Victoria's birthday cards displayed on it so we could admire them. Right now I have all of these items but I've also added the polaroids taken on Easter, and a few daffodils.
When I get bored in a few weeks I might put the toys away and bring several plants in to serve as a center piece. Or maybe we'll start growing herbs on it since it gets such great light in the morning.
The possibilities are endless and I just love that we can show a piece of who we are so easily on it.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Easter Surprise

As I have been making Victoria handmade items for each celebrations these past few months, I simply couldn't let Easter go by without making her something fun.
I took one look at an oversize sweater I had gotten at the thrift store a few months back, and I knew it just was begging me to become a bunny for Victoria. So here we are, a HUGE bunny gifted to her on Easter, up-cycled from a woman's sweater.
It's big! I didn't think it would be quite as tall when I cut it out, but it's  as tall as our 8 year old friend, Z!

She loves those button eyes.

Close up of the face.

Bunny hanging out with his friends. I left the pocket in front, and I will be making a smaller bunny to put in there.
 It will be a bunny/kangaroo hybrid!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Easter Fun!

Easter was absolutely great this year for Victoria.
We went on quite a few Easter Egg hunts and Victoria quickly understood the concept of picking up those colorful plastic eggs and putting them in her basket. She of course only got one or two eggs on each hunt except for those that had a set amount of eggs for each kid, as she doesn't quite run yet. She just moseyed on from her first egg to the next and was quite happy walking around with an egg in each hand as her prize.

However, on Saturday we went to a park hunt and Victoria picked her usual two eggs... except this time one of them was the Golden Egg! This little lady won the cutest Radio Flyer tricycle! How lucky is this kid?

The "big girls" helped her with it, but she can push herself a little bit without the pedals, and I know she's going to grow into it within a few months... it goes so fast!

Check in soon to see the Easter surprise I made her too!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


Being a single mom who wants to start up her own business can sometimes be extremely overwhelming. As I think up new ideas for toys and clothes, I'm holding my daughter by the foot to stop her from climbing the dresser. I manage to sneak in a few minutes of sewing while she takes a nap on the sofa, but the second she wakes up I am there taking care of her and my work gets left behind.
The fact that I am a proponent of Attachment Parenting (AP) makes it somewhat harder as well. As a parent who practices AP, I never let Victoria "cry it out" If she needs me, she needs me, and I will be there for her no matter what.
And so, some days I am completely overwhelmed. I become unable to do anything because of the thought that Victoria won't let me get anything done anyway, so I might as well just concentrate on her care. I also hit the usual road blocks that us creative types sometimes get. I'm in the middle of a project and all of a sudden my brain decides to stop functioning, and I can't figure out how to finish the piece, or sometimes it's the energy required to finish it that I'm lacking.
Luckily while sometimes interfering, Victoria is also able to "charge" me up a great deal. This whole home business is being created for her, so that I can be around her and work from home. And so we keep going... and working... and trying... and creating.
And it's not so bad... and really quite fun to go on this journey with her!