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easy wood
Over the summer we got a family pass to the Portland Japanese Garden. Our son found a cool miniature Zen garden toy at the gift shop. Inside was a beautifully written pamphlet explaining Zen meditation, and how raking and caring for your rock garden can be a great way to clear your mind and attain...
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Our kids are getting older! The twins are now 11, and our youngest is 6. I haven’t posted here in quite awhile, but we’ve actually been as busy as ever creating all kinds of projects. Along with art, one of our favorite family activities is playing games. We love Catan, Sushi Go, and No Thanks,...
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Our youngest daughter LOVES anything that involves cooking, and she’s also enchanted by tiny objects. So I decided to paint the top of an old mint tin to resemble a stove, then I created some cooking objects that could be stowed away inside for a miniature kitchen set. So far, it’s been a huge amount...
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Last night I made this little mixed media bird with various scraps from my art studio – wood, feathers, wire, and fabric scraps by the awesome people at Umbrella Prints. Not sure what I’ll do with him yet. Maybe a stop-motion animation skit would be fun.
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In the last week of summer break, my son told me one morning that he was bored. So I asked him if he’d like to make a slingshot. He definitely said yes! I’d actually been thinking about this project for awhile, and I believe the design ended up having the perfect balance of safety and...
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Baby E has been having a lot of fun with a vintage cash register toy, but it’s too hard for her to get the coins into the small slots. So I made some round circles out of scrap wood, sanded them, and cut a few slots into a shoe box. Then the kids and I...
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My five year old daughter has recently discovered the fun of catapulting things with her spoon. To bring the action a bit further away from the table, I decided to make some very simple catapults out of scrap wood. After dinner we spent the entire evening catapulting Star Wars Lego figures outdoors. It was super...
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Today it was decided that we needed more people for the dollhouse, so I got out some scrap wood and had the kids draw figures on the pieces. Then I took my woodburner and traced over their drawings and made some “doll blocks”. It was so fast and fun that I had to try making...
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Our new baby girl loves looking at the Modern Paper Mobile for Babies that I made awhile back, but her favorite place to relax is in her bouncy seat. So I made this simple stand with some scrap wood and wire. It’s very lightweight and sturdy, so I can carry it around the house along...
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I came up with some simple modern dollhouse designs for my book, Made to Play. This is one design that didn’t make it in the book, so I thought I’d share it here. It’s very fast and easy to make. All you need is a board, (any length is fine) and two small strips of wood...
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We’ve been having some more windy days with small sticks falling into our yard. So I took a piece of scrap board and drilled some holes into it and made a little forest building toy. It was fun sticking the branches in to build the forest, but it was even more exciting when my son...
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I recently scored a free box of wood scraps and in it was this fabulous old cedar block.  I decided to paint it and turn it into a “city block”.  I think it might be a good block for the Vintage Wood Figures to hang out with.
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Here are a few things we’ve been enjoying in the great weather we’ve had this month: The kids really love riding their bicycles on our driveway.  Last week we spiced things up by drawing a track with some sidewalk chalk.  They love practicing their turns while trying to stay in the lines.  I was impressed...
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I was digging around in my box of vintage wood scraps, and decided to make some little figures with a few of the small colorful pieces.  We used paint pens to draw on them, so it was an easy way to make a fun set of dolls to play with. And look at this great...
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I was talking about stilts with a friend the other day, and remembered the old coffee can stilts that were popular when I was a kid.  For Jack and Tess, I thought the tall coffee cans would make me a little too nervous, so I used some pieces of 2×4 wood instead.  They were a...
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We just got back from the beach today, and had a great time.  Before leaving, I quickly made a couple of sand combs for the kids to play with.  They added a nice and relaxing element to our sand playing.
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I’ve started to make some doll house furniture.  I’ve been wanting to do this for a few months now.  My kids love playing with doll houses.  I bent a little chair out of wire, and finally found a use for the awesome hand printed fabric scraps I got from Umbrella Prints.  Got out the hot...
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My nephew and niece had a joint birthday party last week. Pablo loves trucks and Milly loves our climbing gorilla when she comes over. She also loves princesses, so I made her a climbing princess. Good old fashion fun!
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I’ve been wanting to make some wire animal sculptures for awhile, and finally got around to it. I thought it would be fun to make the heads out of wood and paint them. They’re definitely Alexander Calder and Joan Miró inspired. Also below is a quick video of me making one, if you want to...
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