Sunday, July 24, 2011

Arky Arky

Here's the mural of Noah's Ark that I painted on the wall of our church nursery this past week. It may not be theologically accurate--that's up to you to decide. The adults love it and the kids ignored it. Oh well.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Fun in a Fabulous Felt Fort

A couple of months ago Jackamo brought to my attention a clever felt playhouse designed to fit over a card table. It was for sale on Etsy, with various cute decorations, and I thought, "I could make that! For less!" It is also the solution to my quandry this year: I wanted to give Ben a playhouse, but our home doesn't have the space for a permanent one.

So I drew up plans for a felt fort to slip over our dining room table, making each panel one of the seasons. Ben was thrilled as soon as I brought home the light blue felt for the main part--I didn't even think about it, but it's the same color as his favorite blankets. I decorated the two long side panels back in June, and he was really excited to see the snowman and sailboat. I decorated the short panels this week. When he woke up this morning and saw the front door with the little doorbell and the mailbox full of letters, he was VERY enthusiastic. He crawled in and started reciting a Kipper cartoon where Kipper and Arnold make a table fort. Plus, he can't enter the fort without pressing the doorbell and saying "Ding dong!"

In the original design, the side corners are sewn up, but Ben likes to be able to crawl out under any of the side flaps, so I left them unsewn. The panels don't hang as neatly, but it's easier to fold up and store away when we actually want to use our dining room table to DINE upon. A friend who was visiting with us this week announced "That is the coolest play fort I've ever seen." I think he secretly wants one of his own, but he is 6'5", and that would probably call for more felt than I can manage.

As you can imagine, I really enjoy making this kind of thing. It's a lot more fun than creating a stodgy piece of art for adults, and it's so rewarding when Ben actually enjoys the playthings I make for him. When I was little, my sister and I were constantly making forts, and Ben is the same--he's a kid who'd rather hide in a fort and read and pretend instead of playing ball outside. I don't know if that's my influence or just his natural preference.

My next project in mind is transforming the unused space in Ben's low-ceilinged, deep, attic closet into a reading nook. I'll let you know if I ever get around to it.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Hysterical Dinnertime

Summer Fun

After an enjoyable trip down South to visit all the relatives, we returned to Maine and brought summer weather back with us. Sweaty! But mostly pleasant. Here are a few things Ben is doing to beat the heat.

Honing his artistic skills on the back porch:

Trying out a new pair of shades:

Having hysterics while smearing melted chocolate chips on the wainscotting:

Playing in the wading pool and picnicking:

And of course, hugging blankie. Because it's never too hot for blankie.