Monthly Archives: February 2010

Another Sweet Doll Idea for Grandchildren

So in my post yesterday, I mentioned that I had dolls on my mind.  Here’s another doll that I think is fabulously fun!  I love the little curlicue curl on the forehead.  I love the lollipop.  I love the Scotti dog.  In my book, a pink checked Scottie dog is much cuter than a red plaid one!

Another reason that I love this doll is because you use computer printer fabric and print up the doll pattern on your ink jet printer.  How cool is that? A techno craft is right up my alley!

Tim (the brains behind this darling doll) said that he got the fabric at his local JoAnn’s store.  Since there’s a store within a ten minute drive from my house, can you guess where I’ll be going tomorrow??  You’re right!  JoAnnes!  You are so smart . . .

You can go here to see his directions and download the pattern.  All for free.  Isn’t he wonderful to do that?  I say let’s all give him a round of applause.  (Clap, clap, clap.)

But that’s not all, folks!  He has five other freebies that include cute, cute Gnomie Paper Dolls (with three outfits) and a Gnome Bowling game.  What a hoot!  (It seems like I’ve been using that word a lot lately.  I had better brush on some synonyms so I can fling them out at you as I write!)  Another round of applause for Tim!

He also mentioned that you can use printer fabric for quits and pillowcases.  You, my dear readers, are so creative that I bet you can come up with a plethora of ideas on how to use printer fabric now that you are aware of it.  For things such as little cloth purses, book bags, aprons, place mats, bookmarks, table runners, and framed art.  Make a comment below and tell me some of your ideas that sparked in your creative brains.

Thanks Tim, for granting permission of the use of your photo and for freely sharing your creativity.  And — JoAnnes, here I come!

Mannequins for Grandchildren

I was a tomboy growing up.  In fact, I was well into my thirties before my parents stopped asking me if I was acting like a lady.  I was a wife and a mother of three by then.  Sigh.

One of my favorite toys was a Matchbox race car.  It was green.  (I like red sports cars now.  Red ones that go fast.)  So that’s why I’m rather surprised about my interest in dolls lately.

Dolls, dolls, dolls.

Maybe my interest is because these dolls aren’t your normal cuddy-mama-put-a-diaper-on-baby dolls.  (Although if you want to cuddle and snuggle with these dolls, I guess that’s okay.  I just might shake my head,  look at you with askance, and roll my eyes like I am often wont to do at times . . . )

These dolls are not dolls per se.  The delightful creator of this fascinating dolls calls them mannequins.  (Ever thought of snuggling with a mannequin as a child?  Trying to pin a diaper on it?  Give it a bottle of milk?  No?  I don’t understand . . .)

These mannequins are not made out of hard plastic.  They are not expensive.  These mannequins are made out of cardboard.  They are rather quirky.  Adorable quirky.  That’s why I like them.  Quirky is my middle name.

There’s no real expense if you have some cardboard boxes laying around the house.  You probably have crayons or marking pens already so the only expense would be the googley eyes.  But, hey.  If you are into crafts (like many of you are), you might have some of these tucked away in some crafty corner.

Check them out at ikatbag.com. You can see more pictures and get her directions.  (As usual, I have used her picture with her permission.)

I think it would be a hoot to have a whole flock of these mannequins — mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, aunts, uncles, cousins.  It would be fun to have a gaggle more of friends, pets, neighbors, chickens, elephants, the local clerk at the grocery store.

I can see where you could spend a whole afternoon making these mannequins — and then playing with them!  Don’t you think it would be great fun to do with your grandchildren?

Now let’s expand this thought.  Instead of making these cardboard mannequins, why not make some out of plain white card stock?  I can see it now — funky drawn stick figures.  At least that’s what mine would be.

Then, you can dress them by snipping scraps of material and gluing on shirts, Levis, dresses, pajamas, winter hats and scarves, formals and tuxedos — whatever.  Then, rough cut around them and glue them on  popsicle sticks for paper dolls on a stick.

What if your grandchildren live far, far away?  Maybe you could make a kit with cardboard, markers, fabric scraps, and googly eyes and send it to them to create their mannequins.  You might want to make one up (as you??) to include so they can get an idea of what to do.  Then, have them take a picture of them with their mannequins and e-mail the picture to you.

If you think your artistic abilities are lacking and can’t draw out a paper doll pattern, see what you can find on the Internet or in simple coloring books.  However, I think if you hand draw them, your grandchildren will love them.  And, you’ll be able to personalize them to make them look like the person they are modeled after.

Have fun making and playing with your mannequins!

Homemade Wet Wipes

Having babies is expensive — more than when I was a young mother back in the Dark Ages. (If I was a young mother back in the Dark Ages, that means I am OLD. But, that means my children were alive back then, too. Which means THEY are old! Heh heh . . . I’ll have to share that idea with them . . .)

Now, where was I?  Oh yes, the expense of having babies.

I don’t know of one single young mother that uses cloth diapers.  I’m sure there are ‘green’ mothers somewhere out in the world who use them for the sake of saving the planet.  Which is all good and well.  I just don’t happen to know any.  Disposable diapers are great — and expensive.

And, I must say that I am totally impressed by the quality of disposable diapers of today.  Totally.  They are so much better than the ones that were available back in my day that shredded into soggy pieces of cotton when they were full.  And the marvelous tabs on today’s diapers that hold the diaper on.  You can actually ‘undo’ them without wrecking the diaper and the tab will still ‘stick’ afterwards. It almost makes me wish I had a baby.  Wait!  Who am I kidding?  I don’t want a baby at this stage of my life.  I am very happy with being a grandmother and loving the babies that my daughter and daughters-in-law have.

Okay.  Let’s move on to the topic at hand.  Homemade wet wipes.

I read a young mother’s blog yesterday where she shared the ‘recipe’ for homemade wet wipes.  It seems that her delightful son seems to have lots of blowouts lately and that she has been going through tons and tons of wet wipes.  (Is wet wipes a registered trademark for a specific product?  Probably.  I ought to use a different phrase here . . . but I’m too lazy to come up with a generic phrase.  I’ll probably get sued for using this name without it’s registered trademark symbol. . . )

Back to making a homemade product that you can use to clean a baby’s bottom.  (Saying ‘wet wipes’ is more succinct.  Less words.  Aren’t we all about conservation?  Word conservation is good.  You know, I’ve just realized my words are forever getting off track here.  Sheesh!)

Here’s the ‘recipe’ to make those wipes.

Baby Wipes

1 #6 Rubbermaid container (or any container that won’t leak and can hold half a roll of paper towels)

In container mix:
2 cups of water
3 tbs baby oil
1 tbs baby shampoo

Take one BIG roll of Bounty paper towels and cut in half with your electric knife or a knife with a serrated edge.  (So when I’m carving the Thanksgiving turkey, I need to be sure there aren’t any chunks of paper towel still clinging to the knife.)

Leave in the cardboard tube. It will be easier to take out after wipes are made.

After you have your mixture made and your paper towels are cut, put the paper towels in the container and put the lid on. Tight.  You don’t want anything leaking out here.  Then put the container upside down for about 4 hours so paper towels will get entirely soaked. After it’s soaked, remove the cardboard tube.

Voila!  You now have cheaper baby bum wipes.

The mother who shared the recipe says that only Bounty paper towels will work for this.  She also said that her husband didn’t like the fact that they were so ‘wet.’  So, she reduced the amount of water to 1 1/2 cups.  You might want to keep this in mind.

So, there you have it. A great recipe to have tucked in your recipe file box between the Rollo Cookies and the sinfully rich chocolate dessert recipes.

You might want to make up some wipes and see how this all works.  Then, share this with your daughters and daughters-in-law.  This is a great way to help them save a little money.  And that’s something that all of us like to do in this rough economy.

St. Patrick’s Day Movies for Grandchilren

I know that Valentine’s Day is barely over.  I know that St. Patrick’s Day is a month away.  But, I think that you’ll probably want some time so that you can prepare for watching St. Patrick’s Day movies with your grandchildren.

I recommend that you go to your local library or Blockbuster store, get a copy, and preview the movie.  That way, you can make sure that the content is appropriate and that it is good for your grandchildren’s age level.  Here’s a list of a few possible movies that I have found.

Darby O’Gill and the Little People. Darby O’Gill tells wild stories of leprechauns. When he actually captures the leprechaun king and discovers their hidden gold, no one will believe him.  Filmed in 1959.

Finian’s Rainbow. A mysterious Irishman has stolen a leprechaun’s pot of gold and goes to a small Southern town to plant it in the ground so it will grow. A leprechaun has followed him and tries to get the pot back.  Filmed in 1968.

The Gnome-Mobile. An eccentric millionaire (Walter Brennan for those of us who are old enough to remember him) and his grandchildren are caught in the plights of forest gnomes who are searching for the rest of their tribe.  Filmed in 1967.

The Magical Legend of the Leprechauns. A businessman rents a cottage on Emerald Isle which is occupied by a family of leprechauns.  Filmed in 1999.

The White Pony. Kids, horses, magic, whimsy.  This is a movie about a pony’s journey to the top of a movie career. Made in 1999.

Leapin’ Leprechaun.  A man tries to build a theme park on top of land that’s the home to friendly Leprechauns.  Filmed in 1995.

Luck of the Irish.   This 1948 movie is about a leprechaun who acts as a news reporter’s servant and conscience.

I couldn’t resist sharing one other movie.  But this is more for grandma than for grandchildren.  Maybe. That movie is The Quiet Man.  There’s action, excitement, romance.

It’s a classic movie from 1952 starring John Wayne and is about a young man who returns to Ireland from America to reclaim his homestead and escape his past.  No leprechauns in this movie but if you’re a John Wayne fan, you’ll enjoy it.  And, I think that grandchildren will enjoy it too — if you tell them in advance that this is a ‘classic’ movie sans visual effects, aliens, or magical wizards.  The plot is king here.

Do any of you know of other movies that would be fun to watch with grandchildren to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?