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Posted by on Jan 31, 2012 | 2 comments

One-Hour Project: Child-Sized Blanket Roll

One-Hour Project: Child-Sized Blanket Roll

I have fond memories from childhood lying on the living room floor watching movies while snuggled up in my 1970s vintage Scooby Doo sleeping bag. And ever since my oldest son Jack started asking for a family movie night, I’ve been thinking about sleeping bags. Jack has a sleeping bag, but little Calvin doesn’t, so this was the perfect time to make one. I looked online for instructions, materials, and was a little dismayed by the cost and the complexity of a true sleeping bag. Calvin doesn’t really like to get under blankets (at age 3 he is totally fine keeping himself warm in the fetal position with his stuffed animals around him), so I decided I would go super basic and make a blanket roll using supplies on hand. In a couple more years, he’ll get the deluxe model with the zipper, built-in pillow, and who knows what other accoutrements. The blanket roll is really easy. All you need is a sewing machine, 2 pieces of fabric, quilt batting,...

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Posted by on Jan 30, 2012 | 1 comment

DIY Dollhouse Miniatures: Macrame Plant Hanger

DIY Dollhouse Miniatures: Macrame Plant Hanger

Katie and I were joking about renovating my daughter’s Ana’s dollhouse. It all started when I discovered the amazing world of DIY dollhouse miniatures. I first read a how-to blog post on Etsy for making “micro planters” and a tiny macrame plant hanger. Then, a search on Flickr and Pinterest revealed an entire subculture of people who make remarkably lifelike miniature food the size of match heads out of Fimo modeling clay and furnishings and decor for entire rooms, like my current favorite, this midcentury modern room. Although Katie and I in our consultation with my 8-year-old daughter, Ana, have big future plans for her dollhouse renovation, over the weekend I made a few accessories to add some warmth and personality to the space. Our plans include some projects that Ana will help with, including making a cool backsplash, improving the rug under her dining room table, making refrigerator magnets, and wallpapering an accent wall. Ana’s dollhouse is modern in style and she mostly has Plan dolls and furnishings, but...

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Posted by on Jan 27, 2012 | 3 comments

Family-Friendly Make-Ahead Brunch

Family-Friendly Make-Ahead Brunch

You can eat breakfast, lunch or dinner anytime, but brunch is a special treat. It’s my favorite meal to cook. So to celebrate the birthdays of my two little boys (both born in January), I thought brunch would be a good choice for the family party. With 14 adults and 5 children attending the festivities, planning and logistics were critical. People tend to gravitate toward the kitchen, and with a small space I wanted to make sure there were no traffic jams. I selected food that could be made ahead of time and be ready when the guests arrived. First up, quiche. My mom always made quiche when we were growing up and I do the same with my children. In our house we call it pie since it’s a word the kids understand. They gobble down their spinach pie getting a hearty serving of vegetables with each bite. For the birthday brunch I made two quiche using the same basic recipe — in one I used spinach and in...

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Posted by on Jan 26, 2012 | 10 comments

Mason Jars and Open Shelving: Pantry Storage at a Glance

Mason Jars and Open Shelving: Pantry Storage at a Glance

Rebecca Underly is the owner of Del Ray Cakery, a home-based business that specializes in cake pops, decorative and wedding cakes, and other sweet treats. A mother of two young children as well, she uses her kitchen for her business and as the center of her family life. It’s a wonder that every surface isn’t covered in thin layer of sprinkles, flour, goldfish crackers and pretzels. Some days this may be the case, but Rebecca has found a way to use dozens and dozens of mason jars to manage her baking inventory and keep life running smoothly in the snack department as well. Behold her open pantry, a floor-to-ceiling set of neatly arranged mason jars. In addition to her Del Ray Cakery business, Rebecca is also a recipe developer and food writer, which is why she says she has “so many different kinds of things in those jars.” Rebecca has a method for organizing the mason jar pantry: She marks the purchase dates of the dry good on the tops of...

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Posted by on Jan 25, 2012 | 5 comments

DIY Inspiration from the MV Big Flea Shop ‘N Drop

DIY Inspiration from the MV Big Flea Shop ‘N Drop

The Mt. Vernon Big Flea is a huge fundraiser that benefits the Mt. Vernon Community School PTA located in Del Ray. The MV Big Flea takes place in May, but work is well underway to ensure a successful event, including a Shop ‘N Drop last weekend. Like the name suggests, anyone can come to the Shop ‘N Drop to purchase items already donated or to drop off household items for sale. Last weekend, Leslie and I volunteered at the Shop ‘N Drop, helping to unload and sort merchandise. And, as an added bonus, it gave us the opportunity to get a sneak peek at the bargains — and you know we love a good bargain. With treasures behind each corner, I think we only saw about half of the merchandise. But as we dug through boxes and bags, a few things caught our eyes. We weren’t really sure what this was, but think it could possibly be a wall hook for a quilt or tapestry. I imagine it hanging in...

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