Cozy Toes!...just a peek!

Spring might be here but with it has come some very wet and chilly evenings and Nothing besides running out of hot water in the shower makes me crankier than feeling the chill that comes with such weather. I am not comfortable with using a plug-in heating pad over night so a bit of turning back of the clock is in order. Enter the old fashioned hot water bottle! While having a long history I don't think you could call it glamorous. I have distinct memories of growing up with a bubble-gum pink bottle in our bathroom cabinet and at one point I took a marker to it and made it look like a pig; mom was not happy, but then she was not a big supporter of the arts. So when I went looking for a bottle I had something in mind but it was harder to find than I thought it would be and uglier and more *rubber* smelling than I remembered so of course I had to make a cozy for it!..

The first step was tracing the bottle (sorry , forgot to take a photo of that!) next was pulling out some very cute pink wool that had given it's life for a felting experiment and cutting out the pattern with the top of the bottle oriented on the bottom ribbing to take advantage of it being a nice finish.
In the photo you can see the ribbing and it worked out just perfectly.
Of course since I can't leave well enough alone a little rick rack never hurts! I did hand sew this on since I love to hand sew, but did use some liquid stitch to hold it in place.
And there I must let you use your imagination since my camera ran out of batteries. But never fear!.. I have actually drafted a pattern which I will have up to give away to anyone else who gets all hot and bothered that they must too have their own water bottle cover. .. sit tight, it might take a week or so for me to get it posted.

Why yes we still homeschool, why do you ask?

Guilty as charged, I have not been talking much about our homeschooling of late. Nothing awful, just chugging along heading towards the end of the year. The little boys are just about done with all of their books/workbooks and math. Grant will graduate this Spring and Claire is now in an intense two week prep phase for taking the ACT in about 3 weeks, so yes this means if all goes well she starts college in the Fall. This is Chris's last year of middle school so I have another one in high school as of next year. And as I think about it this next year will be Greg's last year of elementary...gahhhhhh!

One thing oflate that has been fun has been exploring different artists and their mediums of expression. Today we looked at those who do carving from the famous to the funky. Our project was to design and carve their own stamp making something not only beautiful but useful. Gregory drew a gift box with balloons attached to be used as a stamp on his B-day invites that we will be sending out next week. It was so fun to watch his intense nature as he carved and I have to say that I think for a first totally original drawing and carving it came out pretty dang well! He went on after this to carve a tiki stamp as part of his luau theme party. It was amazing and I will share it tomorrow.
And as a note, I could give you some bullsh*t line about how my kitchen table looks in that photo of Greg carving but honestly during really active and engaged homeschooling that is how it looks. I try to clean it off each night and get stuff back into place but you can pretty much count on it looking just like that by three o-clock the next day. If you look close you can see the Leapster which was being used to drill spelling, the very cool History book ( thanks Kay!) the phone book where we were looking up recorder lessons, flash cards, knitting needles and a labeling machine.. all part of a pretty average homeschooling day here a Chez Anarchy!

Rain Gutter Shelves

Short on space for books? or maybe bottles of beads and glue with no place to call home? Try the VERY inexpensive but sturdy option of installing gutter-shelving! There is tons of research showing that books displayed this way increase reading in children of all ages and I am thinking that given how strong the gutters are that they might be just perfect for holding the growing number of odd shaped containers of craft supplies that I have been accumulating. I see a trip to the home improvment store in my near future!
Interested in doing this yourself?.. if so look here!


Sorry folks, I have had to add protection to my comments since I keep getting virus laced spam from geeks with small male parts... since obviously if they had bigger endowments they would have better things to do with their time!

Crafty heads up

Spent a little time at the Target today and spotted a few potential finds in the $1 section. With a little restraint I brought home only one thing.. a small wooden box with a 12 piece memory game. In it's self it's pretty darn cute but I think it might have even better potential in the little wooden shapes and the box it's self as the base for another craft. I am not sure what I want to do yet but I wanted to put a shout out to others... oh and even better it was with the Easter stuff so it was 50% off so a nice little buy for 50 cents :)

Story Disks

My criteria for educational projects is simple. It's must be beautiful, expressive, useful and not be more quick turn around fodder for the landfill. This of course rules out 90%+ of what you often see being created in the name of education. Admittedly I am lucky, I am principal, teacher and parent. I drive the tone and form of our lessons so that means I can tailor our projects to my personal aesthetic; goody for me!
Currently we are having lots of fun creating story disks for each book we read and enjoy. These disks take the place of the all too typical book report since just one look at the different disks bring back floods of memories and stories from my kids.

Story disks are easy to make; all you need is, one thin wooden craft shape per title, some glue and a color copy or scan from the cover or other meaningful art work from your book of choice. I pre-drill the hole at the top for hanging but this can also be done afterwards.

Center your image for cutting by holding the wooden shape and photocopied image up to the light to line up for best use. Then hold steady, flip copy down to table top with wooden piece still in place and trace the piece and cut out your image just to the inside of your tracing line. Glue the image onto the shape and then seal with some spray sealer is you like. One the back note the title of the book, the author and the year you read the book.

Our disks are being hung one by one on a curtain rod in our kitchen window but at the end of the school year they will be packed aways and then pulled back out and used as Christmas ornaments on the tree. It's a great way to hi-light and remember some of the wonderful books of childhood, not to mention that they make super cute, very personal ornaments.

Flashing a bit of swag going into the weekend

As promised I am going to show off a bit of my bounty from my thrifting trip and a small project I did. First of is the collection of prints that I framed for the kitchen. I am super proud of myself that I found them, bought them, framed them and got them hung all within about a day. This is a total record for me.

The prints are part of a collection of 12 prints ( most with doubles) that are from a Nursery School in England. Most all were used at some point as evidenced by the corner wear and tack holes. To some this would make them less valuable but to me this makes them all the more charming and in fact the ones I framed had frank aged tape marks on them showing just how long they had been hung in some nursery-classroom. I have framed a total of 6 of the prints and will be putting many of the unframed duplicates up for sale in my new Domestic Anarchy-Anex @Etsy.. Don't go looking for it yet.. it's not up or running but soon.. oh so soon.
I love the play between the little girl's gingham dress and my gingham kitchen wallpaper.. it was obviously a match that was meant to be!

Next is a very quick but very dimly lit craft project that I wanted to share ( night photos really suck). I ran into these heavy little paper-weights at my local dollar store and scooped up a few to do a craft with the small children's crafting class I teach once a month but could not help but make a up a few in advance, all in the name of science you know! In the end these two weights went to two wonderful ladies who came to help me work on a big event at church. I used a rather damaged copy of an old Richard Scarry ( pre-Busy Town) book. Most of the pages have severe wanted damage or markings so I don't feel bad about giving what is left of it a new life.

The glass orbs slightly magnify the images and the way the light plays on the shape is quite fun. Nothing earth shaking really but a nice quick gift that was fun to make.

In other news.. I got the most AMAZING box of wool/rayon felt from Wool-felt Central. My hands shook as I opened it since I knew that the colors were just going to knock me over and they did! Between the colors and the cute color names ( how could anybody not love a green with a color name having to do with pickles?) it was like Spring in a box. In the next week I will have the first wool work pattern ready to go as a free PDF download to accompany an article I have written on the subject for THE LINK . In addition Wool-felt central will have a color kit package ready so you can order the felt you need for the project.

To celebrate my first project with Wool-felt Central I will be having a give away of one of the kits with everything you need to make it. I will also be sending a made up project to Indiependence's monthly give away so you will have two.. yes two chances to win some very cool stuff.

Freaking scale!

Let us just say that the whole weight loss thing is not going so well and even those I have been pretty dang good my scale seems to be moving in the WRONG direction. ~sigh~ 194.8

Quick check in

Well I got my scale fixed... as of today I am 193.5 pounds. I am shooting for 180 so simple math would tell us that I have 13.5 pounds to get rid of. I took my meds, including my Byetta and had a real breakfast. Not huge but a good start. If I can get my hip to feeling better I think some walking would do me good today!

Back in the Saddle Again

The last last week was one long trail ride, and I feel very saddle-sore but very pleased with how our church events went, I was blessed to have the help of some very good friends ( Hi Kay, Jamie and Diane! plus a special thanks to my darling husband!!) I hope it means the kick off to a very good year in the church. Alas there was no yard work accomplished and the house looks worse than ever so even though it's the end of the trail for our Spring break it's but the start of more work for me.

And as long as I am talking about work I am going to mention that today is the start of the GREAT-WEIGHT-ESCAPE. I have twenty pounds that must leave... folks that it like carrying around four, five pound bags of flour with me everywhere I go! I want to feel better and it would not hurt the way I look to get this extra weight off. So.. if you care to join me feel free to check in each day .. I hope to post up my journey starting tomorrow with how much I weigh. I hoped to weigh-in today but found out that my scale needs new batteries since I while I know I have gained some weight I KNOW I don't weigh 999 as my scale says :) For today it's going to be about stocking the kitchen with healthy food and getting my diabetes meds balanced out.

In crafting news I did get a few things done in the few spare moments that I found and will be getting those pictures up. I have a cool print to give away and even took a few brain dead moments last night to make some jewelery that makes me very happy. So check back in... I hope to make it a very good week!

Spring Break

I hope that everyone has a wonderful week. The Domestic Anarchy house is taking advantage of one of the perks of homeschooling and taking our Spring Break this week. The weather is suppose to be good, the yard needs attention and I have a couple of articles due not to mention unending projects to do around the house so I do here by decree that the Holiday has begun!

When I get back next week I have awesome SWAG to share with every one.. I totally hit a sweet spot in the thrifting world and found some vintage school prints from England, some great vintage flash cards and other fine stuff. WAY to much for me to keep to myself so I guess I will have to find a way to give some of it to you.. and you and you!

Bloggy love to all!


I'm a Book Babe

I can't help it.. I LOVE books. Just about any book will do but craft books are a particular weakness and another one has come home with me not to long ago. It's Cath Kidston's In Print, and it is totally swoon worthy to say the least. The book is filled with ideas and projects for use with vintage finds and fabrics.

But let me back up. First I totally scored on this book since I found it at Homegoods for less than $5 - but honestly it's worth more than that and I sort of feel like I stole it at that price. The book is not only a visual treat but also a textural one. My copy is hardback with a nice sturdy binding, made for the long haul. But even better is the feeling on the cover of the book.. it feels and looks as if the book is covered in vintage fabric...very nice. While just a small touch it really adds to the experience of reading the book.

The body pages are slick and thick.. and the colors, it's like the most perfect spring day on every page. It makes me smile just picking it up and flipping through it. Fun fabrics and cute project ideas abound through this book but while saying that.. this is not a "How to do it book" so if you don't know one end of a needle from another this book is not going to teach you that but it might inspire you to learn.

My personal criteria for the purchase of a book has to do with a comparison of the price -vs- how many projects I will do from the book. So far i have been inspired to make two projects based on the book and have many other ides drifting around in my head.

I created my new ironing center based on her "old fashioned ironing table"

I used her drawer lining idea in my closet hutch

Next on my list are some nice tea towels for the kitchen from some vintage napkins I own and I think I hear her "practical bed covers" calling my name each night.

I think it would be hard to be disappointed in this book no matter what.

The Neighbors Just LUV Us!

The first few days of Spring are trying to bust forth here in Chattanooga and after weeks of wet icky weather the sun is out and so are my kids. Now normally this would be a good thing but it seems it does not take much to turn *good* into *trashy*...

In fact it seems you can do it so fast and have so much fun doing it that you then want to go out and do it every nice day that comes your way. To get it just right closely follow these directions:

Take two siblings who get along about as well as two weasels stuffed in a sock.
Have them scavenge two pieces of old wooden lattice from the pile of construction stuff that needs to go to the dump.
Let them prop said pieces of lattice up with old trash cans in the middle of the side driveway to house.
Scrounge up two old wooden rackets and some dog-slobber tennis balls.
NOW!.. go wild hitting the slobber balls back and forth and bicker as loudly as humanly possible about the wonderful new game you have invented.
Wash-rinse-repeat until the neighbors start looking at you like you are even more weird than they already think you are.

Creating a junk-free Easter

Easter is right around the corner and if I had forgotten that fact it would have come back to mind when I walked back into Target today. Luckily I was ready and already had a plan. I was able to walk by the $1 selection of plastic Easter glory ( rabbit ear headbands anyone?) at the front of the store with nary a glance. This year I have pledged to have a *junk free* holiday.

Now this is not a holiday free holiday, there will be chocolate bunnies and Jordon Almonds a-plenty. What there will not be is the usual variety of cheap small stuffed animals, plastic eggs and crappy $1 toys that break in no time. Nor will there be extravagant toys ( Target had Easter bikes... since when the hell did the Easter Bunny bring bikes?) since we don't need any of those either. My pledge is to the fun and the practical. Items we need and use every day, made more special by getting them in fun colors. Our baskets are going to contain.. new pool towels in punchy bright colors, new water color pencils and some cool candy. But while there I saw many other things that would be great to put in a basket.

cute panties or pastel plaid boxers

Spring Pj's

Hair clips

cool tooth brushes


Hooded beach towels

school supply baskets

jazzy pencils and notebooks

little pastel staplers
Art supplies

Think out of the box!.. or basket as it be... what can you do to create a junk-free holiday at your home?