Preschool Activities for Easter


Yesterday, we got our math, reading, and writing done right away in the morning. So that meant we got to spend the rest of the day thinking about Easter projects. {Trying to promote the benefits of getting work done first thing! Sometimes I’m a waaay better preacher on things than I actually am on doing them. Bah.}

Here are some fun ideas we found for our 2-6 age range.
With do-a-dot paints we made bunny carrot pictures. We actually didn’t have a brown do-a-dot so Elias improvised by drawing his bunnies and then making his ground blue. Blue ground is probably more interesting than brown anyways.

We made carrot feet. Probably mostly because I want to capture my babies smallness. We also thought they’d be fun to send off to the grandparents. On the front of them we wrote “Happy Easter” and then I had the boys write their names. Again, trying to capture the stage they are in with their writing.



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I mentioned laminated cotton in the last post. We use it almost everyday! It’s good stuff. You can see it as our drop-cloth in some of the pics above.

And lastly we dyed some more Easter eggs. Ninja style this time. A little tape and what was supposed to be googly eggs, but alas were not found, so marker eyes. This was so easy that I think we will do this one again next year.

Did you know that if you add a little baking soda to the water when you make hard boiled eggs, it makes them easier to peel? {Works well, but I do think it makes the eggs a little firmer…maybe…I don’t know.}

A few years ago when we first started raising chickens, I realized that I only had brown eggs. I was disappointed at first when it came to decorating eggs because I thought brown would be harder to dye. Truth is, is brown eggs take a little longer to turn color, but they come out more jewely vibrant in color when they do. Beautiful!

We tried making “dinosaur” easter eggs as well this year. It’s where you hard boil eggs and then crack the shell all over and then dye them. The dye is just supposed to seep into the cracks and leave your egg all spidering/liney when you peel it. Didn’t work that great for us sadly. Maybe someone knows a trick to it?

I hope you all have a wonderful Easter surrounded by friends, family, and the AMAZING grave can’t keep Him in the ground LOVE of our GOD!!

Playdoh + Color Wheel


We are big playdoh fans around here. I’m not one to shy away from a little mess and it keeps the kids entertained for LONG periods of time. All ages like it. BAM! I’m a fan.

I came across this great color wheel activity and knew we had to do it sooner than later. I can’t ever remember doing much with color wheels growing up and I can’t tell you how many times I wish I knew more about it with doing my own making projects. {Another perk of homeschooling…learning things you as the teacher want to learn about. bahhahaha.} So here’s the lowdown on this really fun, simple, and very informative activity.

Grab 3 colors of playdoh. Red, Blue, and Yellow. From there it’s all about mixing them. {Mixing playdoh colors is absolutely hands down FROWNED upon at our house, so getting to mix colors was rather exciting.}

Here’s a link to the lovely and well done Color Wheel Printable.

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It’s really fun to be teaching one thing and have it flow naturally into another thing. Doing our color wheel got us talking about different kinds of art and so we did a picture study.


The picture study then led us into creating our own works of art with paint. It was lovely. We started with something and totally ended in a place I did not anticipate.

Laminated cotton or oil cloth work awesome for us as dropcloths/tablecloths when working with things like playdoh, paints, glitter…anything messy. Laminated cotton and oil cloth come in crazy beautiful designs. I LOVE using them over just plain tablecloths. :)

Here’s the playdoh recipe we use.

  • Mix in a saucepan over medium heat…
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1/2 cup salt

After everything comes together and looks/feels about the consistency of playdoh, you can add things like food coloring, glitter, essential oils…  I love this step. And each person can have their own custom playdoh!

Hope you enjoy a little playdoh fun soon!

At home.


For some time I’ve been wanting to try making a natural version of Vicks VapoRub. The boys are just coming off a nasty cough and so today I finally looked up some recipes and whipped some up. {I little late on this cold, but I’ll be prepared for the next time one hits!}  Here’s the recipe I found the most useful. It really came together very easily. I used about 1/2 cup coconut oil, and 2 Tbsp of beeswax.

I also got to dabble in using some of my Young Living oils. I wanted this rub to be good for the boys but also the coming baby so I used 3 drops Lemon, 3 drops Thieves, 3 drops Peace and Calming, and 1 drop Peppermint. The oils and amounts I used are a bit more gentle for baby…namely the peppermint since it is cooling on the skin. Yay for awesome oils!! Oh, and just so you know, I now am a member of Young Living Oils, so if ever you need anything, feel free to contact me. :)  Love exploring the world of natural remedies!

I also spooled up some bakers twine. I LOVE this stuff. It adds such a rustic, chic, handmade look to things. I saw an adorable spool of it at a shop and was soooo tempted to buy it. It was $12.99 and I really had a hard time walking away. I’ve been trying to be resourceful though and I knew that I had plenty of twine at home and that I had this random old wooden spool floating around my house. So I made my own adorable wooden spool of twine. Saved me a few bucks and actually created more room in my making space since 3 large paper spools fit on this wooden one.

And I made some progress on this little hexi project. Next step is to take some embroidery floss and outline the hexi. Then bind it and call’er done. Small sewing projects are so satisfying!!

Makings Update

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Another video blog this week! Videos are just so much more personal and up-close. :) Enjoy!

Granola Recipe. (I forgot to mention that the recipe also has brown sugar and cinnamon in it!)

Crockpot Yogurt.

Daily Bread. (Uses whey from yogurt.)


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Lately I’ve felt like doing a video post. I LOVE watching and listening to podcasts, so thought you might enjoy this method of posting too. Grab some handwork and join me…or get some dishes done while you watch…whatever! Mostly just sharing what is going on in life right now and what I have been working on lately. Take care!

Heart Day


I have been looking forward to Valentine’s Day for weeks now! With the long chilly days of winter, it helps break up the month of February. Plus it is an excuse to do/make fun things!

The boys were rather rowdy the other day so we made a trip to the mailbox to send off our love cards. I made them run the entire way and I think we all felt better after. Including Garbe, the cat, who made the trip with us.
The deer got an earring just for the occasion. {One of my favorite knits!}
I threw some hearts on the burlap bunting I made last year. I think it is perfect to help spruce up the house for the holiday.
I don’t have a ton of decorations for Valentine’s Day, so this adds some good punch. I will be sad to take it down…better think of something good for Spring/Easter to go up next.
This morning we made monster boxes out of an old kleenex box and an egg carton. This is such an easy project and a fun way for the boys to store their v-day wishes. They even added wings and legs to them this year.
And my dear husband showed up at lunch with a bouquet of pine greens he collected on his walk home from work. Totally his style of a Valentine gift! One I may not have appreciated as a newly-wed, but one I cherish now. He is sweet and this says and smells of home.
Loving thoughts to you all on this day!!

Snow Day


Today started with a crazy temp of something like -17. ??!!!? Even a true Midwestern girl can only take so much of this. Thus I decided to call it a snow day–full of makings!
First up is Egg to Penguin by Susan B. Anderson. Elias picked this toy out of one of her books yesterday and was still stuck on it this morning. I gave in and started knitting it. I was rather surprised at how fast it went.


Second up is a project I’ve had on my want-to-make list forever. This is a Wee Wonderfuls pattern called Bunny. I love a wool hand project. The simplicity and beauty of wool… He turned out perfectly sweet. I might have to make more of these to celebrate spring/Easter.


What next? Maybe I should think about the house or supper… Or maybe the kids and I should make toilet roll butterflies…

Handmade Gifts


I’ve been doing some making down in my sewing room and it’s making me excited for Christmas. In fact, I have decided that if I just can’t stand it, I will pull out Christmas stuff before Thanksgiving. {GASP!} This would be against all household tradition but there is such a short time this year between holidays and children make things so exciting. I haven’t given in yet, but if temptation is unbearable someday I am giving myself permission.
So here’s what I’ve been making…
Advent Bags. I ordered some 5×7 muslin bags off Amazon…I actually was making my own bags but abandoned it when I had the boutique deadline… Then I stamped them with a set from Stamp’in Up. My thought with these is to hang them on twine from our fireplace and have the boys open 1 bag each day. I will have special surprises that include little food treats, Bible verses, actions for the day, activities, word of the day, small toys or reminders of the season…
Bunting. I can’t get enough bunting! I save the bunting around my house for birthday celebrations. They are so colorful and festive. I’m not sure one can go wrong with bunting.
Rice Bags. These have been around for a long time, but as the weather gets cooler and muscles need relaxing, I find myself often reaching for one. You pop them in the microwave for 1-2 minutes…add a couple drops of essential oil if needed, and settle in a good chair. Or bed! The boys LOVE taking their “Bed Buddies” to bed with them. It in fact makes going to bed rather easy. (Let’s hope that lasts!)
adult rice
I forgot to snap a good picture of the “Bed Buddies” but you can catch a glimpse of the owl and elephant next to all the head wraps. I also made foxes and monsters.
owl rice
Next up on the making table is some pillowcases for the wee ones and shirts. Handmade Christmas, here we come!

Boutique time, this Saturday!!

Birthday Crown

THIS Saturday, November 9th from 10am-4pm.
The Burmeister Home
2024 119th Ave NE in Blaine, MN

I have been busy as a bee this week getting ready for a boutique sale! I haven’t done one of these since before kids so I’m so excited to see how it goes…what sells, what people are interested in…you know. I know not all my readers are local to me, but if you are and feel like heading over to Blaine MN, I would LOVE to see you! Plus it’s a great excuse to get an early start on Christmas shopping and to support local artists and small businesses.
Here are some of the things I’m working on. Birthday crowns for little people, adorable buntings, Custom baptism banners to help children celebrate and remember, and jar cozies. (Perfect for this wintry weather!)
Birthday Crown
Baptism Banner
Jar Cozy
I will also have Bed Buddies and Pocket Pals for kids. These are rice bag critters that are warmed up in the microwave–Elias loves taking his to bed with him! The pocket ones are minis that they can hold or put in their pockets as they head out the door. So fun!
There are headbands, Advent bags for the month of December, Altoid box creatures, rice bags for adults, small zippered bags, pin cushions… Oh boy! I better keep working!

Here’s the details on location and time.
THIS Saturday, November 9th from 10am-4pm.
The Burmeister Home
2024 119th Ave NE in Blaine, MN

Here are a list of the vendors! I can’t wait to do a little shopping myself!!
Pallet and Canvas Art
Burlap Banners
Handmade Jewelry for all Ages
Shabby Chic Crafts
Essential Oils
Handmade Life for the Modern Traditionalist
Usborne Books
Thirty-One Gifts/Bags
Be Lovely Makeup
Kids Accessories
Infinity Scarves
Scandinavian Almond Cakes
Felted Mittens

–Oh, and after this Saturday I will be updating my Etsy shop, so if you are interested in something, please let me know! I am more than happy to help you celebrate a handmade Christmas by shipping handmade gifts to you!

Devin’s Coasters

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Every time I go over to visit Emily, I see these darling coasters sitting on her coffee table. They were made by a mutual-very-talented-new-mama friend of ours, Devin. The coasters are so basic that even the most novice of sewer can make them. They are refreshingly simple.  Here is the pattern just for you!

My twist on the pattern is the tags…I cannot resist tags these days. I think they add a bit of voice and quirkiness…plus they make them totally one-of-a-kind and personal to you. The pattern gives you a few different ways you can make tags, so I hope you take the time to add them to your coasters. You will love it! And then you will start to add tags to everything you make…
coaster cover

I picked some of my favorite fabric for this project…fabric that I only had a little bit of that I wanted to savor. Fabric that will make me smile when I see them. I used the fabric to help me decide what to write for the tags. One of the reasons I enjoy the tags so much is that they have meaning to me.

“make believe.” My parents taught me to pretend and dream as a child and it’s something I try to foster in my boys. As an adult, I’m still a dreamer!

“quiet time.” I cannot tell you how much this means to me. Especially as a mama of small children. For my last birthday, this is all I wanted from my family. GIVE ME QUIET TIME!! Please.

“all in a day week.”  There is so much I want to do everyday, and then so much that needs to get done.  It’s a hard balance for me.  (Actually I’m not sure there’s really balance but…)  I just can’t do it all.  Lately I’ve been jokingly saying, “Why do today, what you can do tomorrow?”  Oh my, that’s probably not very helpful.  True for some cases though.  And sometimes it saves my sanity.
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“let er” breathe.”  The fabric has little undies on it and little undies make me think of my mom telling me how important it was not to wear undies to bed under your pj’s….  Just a bit of mother’s wisdom…whether true or not, I do not know.   Makes me smile though and reminds me that a lot of things in life just need to breathe.

I hope you can get some Handmade time in this weekend!  Here is the “Coaster Love” pattern if you want to make some of your own.  Pin it, share it, send it to someone you think might like to make some too…

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Birthday Boy


Espen turns 2 today!  Somehow peanut butter was a new addition to the last birthday crown, so I decided it was a good excuse to make a new one.  I love birthday crowns!  They just make a small person feel special.


We also did a little measuring on the birthday banner growth chart.  Always a special moment for me!  Espen is almost exactly the same height as Elias at 2.

espen banner 

Thanking God for the last 2 years and praying that 2 is a good year for this little fellow!

The Handmade Girl

Oh boy, oh boy!  I am so excited to share something I have been working on lately!  An extremely talented friend and I just joined up to form a new “maker” community. My partner in crime is Emily Steffen.  By day she is an amazing photographer and I mean AMAZING!  She also loves to make things…photography and making…I think those two go together like bees and flowers.  Perfect!  Long story short, we just launched our new online community called The Handmade Girl.



Take a look at our website and you will see/read just what we are about.  Emily and I both will still have our own businesses going…me + patterns/blogging, Emily+ photography/textiles…but we wanted to also create and expand a place where makers and wanna-be makers can be inspired and share awesome ideas.  So whether you’ve been a DIY girl for a long time, or just starting, we hope you will enjoy what The Handmade Girl has to offer.  Watch for ideas, patterns, classes, tutorials, videos, etc.  Yay!!  So excited to be on this road with The Handmade Girl.

Chevron napkin pattern, Fabric chevron pattern, fabric napkin pattern, free sewing patterns, the handmade girl, emily steffen, ingrid barlow

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I will continue to blog here and design sewing patterns…I have 3 new patterns in the works…so continue to pop in here!!  You just have to add one more stop to your day–The Handmade Girl.  Hope to see you there!!

Come follow us on facebook, twitter, and instagram–thehandmadegirl!!!


Sew Along Saturday!

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I am so thrilled about an event fellow maker, Emily, and I are doing on Saturday!!  It is called Anthro Inspired Sew Along!  Here’s the low down.  This Saturday from 10-2, we are meeting at Emily’s home, to make this awesome table rug/placemat inspired by textiles from the store Anthropologie.  Always wanted to sew?  You should join us!  Emily and I will walk you through it–sewing is really not hard!  Been a sewer for years?  You should join us!  We are all about making together.  {Really, this whole event is just an excuse to get together and share creativity!}  Sign-up via the link below!  Easy supply list will be emailed to you after sign-up.

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After a bit of sewing, Emily and I will serve lunch.  I’m sure it will be good!  :)

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After our bellies are full, we will finish up and then send you off with a fun surprise/thank you!

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This is going to be soooo much fun, and I hope that if you are in the area you will come hang out with us!  And don’t worry, if you aren’t from around the Twin Cities area, Emily and I will be hosting virtual sew alongs VERY soon!
















Sign up here for Saturday!!

DIY Curtain Rods


Curtains are one of those things that I want to look good and be functional but don’t want to spend the money on. Especially the curtain rods! They always seem to hit me in the gut with their price tag and blahness. So I told Tony that I wanted to try to make our own. On the cheap! He was game and started thinking about it. He even took a trip to Menards to do some figuring. {I’m thinking it might have just been an excuse to get out of the house, but I am not one to judge.} I love what he came up with!
We decided to use 3/4 inch electrical conduit for the industrial look, price, and slidability of grommet curtains.

Curtains are from Ikea.

We used large “Z” hooks to attach the conduit to the wall. This 6 inch hook fit the size of our conduit and held it away from the wall a bit so that the curtain hangs and slides nice.

To finish the ends of the conduit, we fit galvanized caps on.

From what I could tell, conduit comes in 5 and 10 foot lengths. We have an entire wall of windows so we needed to attach the 10 foot pieces to make one long rod. We used screw couplers for that.

When you add your hooks and couplers, just keep in mind that your curtain won’t be able to smoothly move over them. So we placed ours in the center of the conduit where the curtains meet in the middle and at the ends where the curtain stops. Our wall of windows also has some natural breaking points where the curtains sit when open, so we were also able to place couplers/hooks there.

This is the rod for our room. When we first bought supplies, it appeared that they were out of 10 foot pieces, so we went with two 5 foot pieces, cut them down to the size we needed and then joined them with a coupler in the middle. {Come to find out, they had tons of 10 foot rods out in the back. arrrrr!} All well. The coupler works. IKEA curtains.

And here is the curtain in the boys’ room. Same set up. Curtains are ones that I made with some elephant fabric and Kona solid, charcoal. I bought the grommets from a local quilt shop and they were a breeze to snap on. No tools required! So easy!

I will be the first to say that this type of curtain rod is not going to fit in everyone’s home. It has an industrial, modern feel that might not fit in a traditional home. I think it works perfect for us and I am thrilled that we did it on our own and saved a penny. Here’s part of our receipt so you can see some of the prices. Love DIY projects that turn out!

The wonder of command strips.


Tony and I knocked out some killer projects this weekend! So thrilled about them that I had trouble sleeping Saturday night. {My life must be pretty soft if that’s what keeps me up at night!} More about those projects later. Today I want to show you something I did that goes along with one of them.

Bottom line–I needed a place to hang something on the wall. I didn’t want it to be permanent. I wasn’t sure what that something on the wall was going to be. Here’s the a-ha moment. Extra Command Strips from 3M!! You know how they give you extra in the box of hooks? I hardly ever use them because once I hang something it doesn’t come down. I grabbed a tin can and tried it out. This little can, is one to hold chalk for the boys. It needed to be low to the ground and movable.

My father-in-law gave me some of these 3M strips that are kind of like velcro. I can’t tell you much more than that since I don’t have the packaging, but you attach one strip to the wall and the other to your object.

You can then remove the object whenever you want. Sweet!

The boys are in business.

Here’s my can. It sits higher on the wall so the boys can’t get in to it and it doesn’t need to come on and off. However, I still didn’t want to damage the wall if I decide to remove it.

I have not tested this theory, but I think I should be able to pull on the tab and remove it cleanly. I left just enough room to grab the tab on the bottom.  Now I know I am not the first to try this, but I still think it is a pretty nifty idea. Just think of what you could do!!

I’ll show you what all this chalk is for tomorrow. I’m sure you have no idea. :)