It’s been a hard winter over here. My husband hurt himself and the recovery was slow, and then Kai caught pneumonia and was scary sick for a longer time than we would’ve wished. Everyone is finally back up and moving, and so I’m working on my New Year’s Resolution: blog more!
From January 15th to June 15th, we’ll be doing the Buy Nothing (New) Challenge. Between a huge pile of medical bills coming our way and generally wanting to increase our savings and pay off our student loans, we’ve been taking a good hard look at our lifestyle and are ready to make a change. So we are going five months without buying any new consumer goods. We’ll be using up, fixing up, and making do.
I think I’m in love. Ella’s Wool makes Tubes, ribbed knit wool pants in toddler and kids sizes. These are meant as pants, not diaper covers like much of the wool I review, and they make the coziest, comfiest pants. These are a great mid layer, and Ella’s Wool also makes a wool baselayer that I hope to review this season as well.
As I pulled out things for our harvest meal, I’m also pulling down all our winter paraphernalia. As soon as the table is clear on Saturday, we decorate for winter.
In order to do that and not have chaos, I stage each box of goodies in the guest room. I’m pretty meticulous by nature so every box is labeled and organized, but every year I dig through them and make sure only the stuff I want to decorate with comes out after harvest.
The only thing I don’t do in advance is test light strips, because that’s my husband’s job! It just frustrates me.
It also means that I know what we’re missing before we need it. Like this year, we have a fireplace and a mantle! I mostly have things that can be repurposed for this space, but I have also been keeping an eye out for the two or three things we would like (stocking hangers!)
It’s Toy Rotation Tuesday here, so I thought I’d write a little bit about how we deal with toys and gifts.
This is the first time I’ve ever been away from home since Kai was born. I’m off presenting at a conference on my dissertation research and my kiddo and her dad are hanging out doing fun Halloween things.
It’s weird going back to my professional life after so much time more or less being a SAHM. I mean, I’ve been working, but writing from home and traveling across the country are two different things.
It is, however, really nice to be hanging out with my colleagues and having intellectual conversations again. I even went to a bar last night for the first time in more than two years.
Still, I’m going to be ready to be home when the conference is over!
Christmas shopping is in full swing around here. I thought I might make a few suggestions for presents made with natural materials to offset some of the plastic shock that often comes with Christmas. This week I have another list of small scale makers that offer awesome handmade goods.
Grandparents tend to get excited about Christmas, I know my mom does. Sometimes this excitement translates into piles of gifts. Plastic, plastic everywhere. I think I’ve seen this question on every mom related Facebook group I’m in, how do I stop the grandparents from buying a ton of plastic toys?
I’ve already started shopping for Christmas and I know some of you have too. I thought I might make a few suggestions for presents made with natural materials to offset some of the plastic shock that often comes with Christmas. I’m not an Etsy affiliate, so these are just people I love and want other people to love too! This first week of handmade Christmas, here are seven makers who focus on toys and educational materials.
We’ve had a wild, busy month here at casa de la Craftsman. First, the nice camera took a dive and unfortunately had to go in to get fixed. Sadly, this happened before I took loose parts pictures, so the loose parts series is on hold until I can take pictures of all the pretty things!
We also had some good wildness around here. We made an offer on our first house! The inspection is this week and if all goes well (cross your fingers for us) we will be homeowners. The house is a little bit of a fixer upper, so there should be some remodeling post in our future. I’m definitely going to try and paint the bathroom tile, and if I can get the spouse on board, I’m going to do concrete counter tops as well. So check back for remolding posts in a month or two.
We’re also gearing up for our first academic term of homeschooling, and we’re co-hosting a micro boarding gaming convention (i.e. 30ish semi-local people playing games all weekend).
What are you guys up to today? Any one else too busy?
I first became acquainted with the idea of loose pieces from a Reggio facebook group. Loose parts, architect Simon Nicholson argued, let kids engage in open ended, experimental play. These parts can be used to build, be taken apart, carried around, and used to build something totally new and different. They are the ultimate open end toy.