Cute Spring Craft

My cousin Darlene, who is very creative and a big part of the Sipka Family Craft Exchange, made these adorable (can I emphasize “adorable” enough??) paper daffodils and sent one to me and a couple of the “Sipka” family crafters.

I put my fingers in the picture so you can see how small it is, and see the level of detail. The leaves, petals and stem are separate tiny pieces of paper, seemingly inked at the edges and then glued together in the daffodil shape. The pot is a sweet oragami structure, and crimped paper provides the “dirt.”

Omg, so cute.

I put it on my desk so I can stare at it all day throughout spring! ūüôā

Family Craft Exchange: Round 2

So while I was racing to get my manuscript done, and taking my kids to San Francisco, I was also scrambling to get my “Sipka Family Holiday Craft” completed and mailed.

I tell about the Helen Sipka Family Craft Exchange, and how it works, here.¬†And I also have a picture of last year’s mass-produced craft, Santa lollipops, at the end of that post. (They were pretty darned cute, now that I look at them again. And compare them to this year’s fiasco…)

Anyway, this year, Rene and I were both so busy that we didn’t really plan our craft until the last possible minute. She has so much going on at school — she volunteers at a million places, does videotaping for her church, watches kids at church, does so much homework every night, works out every night at the gym, AND manages to have a boyfriend and friends, so I felt bad asking her to help with the craft, too.

And me … well, there was that pesky book deadline of Nov. 30. And my craft needed to be done on … you guessed it. Nov. 30! So I was sweatin’ it out. … Continue reading

Getting Crafty

So my relatives this year decided to revive our old “Sipka Family Craft Exchange.”

It’s something we used to do when I was back in¬†junior high, and my mom and all her sisters (who were, like, my age now I guess!) would do their Christmas crafts every year.

They began the “Sipka Family Craft Exchange” where each crafter would send¬†a number of crafts to all participants in the mail, and we’d end up recieving a great big box from Ohio with¬†fun hand-made gifts each year. Most of my aunts made Christmas-themed crafts, like ornaments (or, of course,¬†my mom’s 1970s macrame and rug-loom items).

When I got to be in high school, and had about 7 cousins all in high school too, we jumped into the fray some years. I was quite a crafter back then, so I’d always try to keep up with my mom and aunts (I made lots of wreaths, ornaments, and bells with too many ribbon roses …).

But my greatest memory of the Sipka Family Craft Exchange was when my two teenage boy cousins, Donny and Mike, sent their own package in the mail. Continue reading

The DIY-Project Workout

Nothing is a better weekend workout than a little D.I.Y. project at home: bending, lifting, up the ladder, down the ladder, haul the paint can, squeeze by furniture, up the stairs, down the¬†stairs, back up the ladder, down the ladder, back down the stairs, back up the stairs, crawl along the baseboards, back on your toes, back up the ladder, down the¬†ladder¬†… whew!

I’m a little sore today.

(But my walls look great!)

Camellia Watch 2010

Wow, look what I saw out my kitchen window this morning:


They’re blooooooooming. …

I love camellias. Mostly I love them because they’re one of the few large flowers that bloom in January, so they always look like “exceptions” (… or maybe “fighters”?).

I bought this pink one for my back patio about five years ago, and I planted it right in front of my kitchen window so I’d have a pretty flower to look at once Christmas ended. And, sure enough, it’s delivered: Every year, right about the time I put the Christmas decorations away (feeling a little sad), I look out my kitchen window and suck in my breath a little — there it is! The first camellia! Then I go out and see how many blooms I have.

Today I have three, looking like they’re getting ready to unfold any second. I always feel grateful that my camellias bloom for me, because I’m not a very good gardener. They really need acid in the soil, and there isn’t much there naturally, so I should add some, but I always forget. This year I’m going to try to be a more attentive gardener.

I mean, it’s the least I could do for those beautiful flowers that cheer me up after Christmas sadly ends. …


Less than a week later!:

Pretty young things. …

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