18.11.14

Make your own peg people

Peg people are simple to make and so adorable. I decided to make them for my family just because, but thought it was a fun idea anyone could do as a personalized gift for Christmas. All you need are a couple of supplies, a study hand to paint and your creativity.

This is an inexpensive gift with a lot of charm and thoughtfulness. It can be as simple or intricate as you have the time and ability to make. My family of 6 took about an hour to make as I experimented with what I was doing. I am looking forward to making new ones for different seasons and occasions now that I've mastered it. And I am excited to try making the different characters I've listed at the bottom of the post. These can make great durable toys for kids of all ages.



How to make peg people

Supplies:

-Wooden peg people (Amazon or Hobby Lobby)
-Acrylic paint 
-Small paint brushes
-Mod podge
-Patterned paper


Extras:

-White picket fence
-Wooden bench
-Seasonal decorations (leaves, wreathes, miniature lights, etc.)
-Miniature airstream 




 1. Paint the skin color. At Hobby Lobby they have a flesh tone color for caucasian skin, but I had yellow on hand and decided to go with it. If you have a different color flesh tone, I would suggest buying brown, yellow and white and mixing until you find a color that matches. For my youngest sons, that was what I did.

2. Paint their clothing, or mod podge on clothing. All of my kids have a color assigned to them, so I simply painted their clothing one color. There are some great examples of clothing choices out there (here, here, and here), so have fun with it! Here is a YouTube video of a woman using mod podge and patterned paper for clothing.


3. Decide their hair style. I think this is the step that really makes the dolls unique from one another. It can be challenging to try to come up with a different way to paint a round peg to look like different styles, but there are lots of examples (boys and girls).

4. Give your peg people eyes, a mouth, or none. The choice is yours. Some people add a specific eye color, some leave them black. Others will paint mouths and pinked cheeks and many leave just the eyes. It all depends on what you want your peg people to look like.

5. Find them a home. This whole idea started for me from something I pinned using a cookie jar to create a Christmas scene. My mind started racing as I thought of so many different ideas for each season. So, find a cookie jar or a cake stand and top or glue your family together to make ornaments. Decide where your little peg people will call home.




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BONUS IDEAS: 
-Make a nativity set
-Make an entire Thanksgiving scene
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I'd love to see what you created! Share a photo of your finished peg people on my Facebook page.


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14.11.14

3 books to help you recharge

Books can be an easy way to find something outside of motherhood that recharges you. I tend to be a non-fiction reader by nature, but I love a great story that sucks you in as you traverse the emotional ups and downs of the characters. Because books are so easily available through your local library, book stores, e-readers and even online, this option of self-care is available to every one. 

Megan Fletcher from East of the Sun is sharing her favorite books that help her escape. She is an air force wife living in Japan and an avid reader. She hosts her own online book club, which she would love for you to join. Enjoy and be sure to hop over to her website and leave some comment love.


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Any time life isn't going my way, I'm feeling discouraged, or life is just too much to handle, nothing uplifts me quite like climbing into a familiar book.

I tend to enjoy books that have a fantasy element, something set in a different time period, or novels that are full of laughter and wit when I'm going through a tumultuous time in my life.

So, without further ado, here are a few of the books the help me escape:

1. HARRY POTTER BY J.K. ROWLING



Um, can a girl just come out and say that she LOVES Harry Potter? Yeah, that's me. It's a part of my childhood that has traveled with me to adulthood and has turned into a mild obsession. But, it's Harry Potter. It's okay to be obsessed with that. The bravery, the adventure, the friendship, and the amazing story line and imagination that only J.K. Rowling could come up with are just a few things that make this series worth escaping in. I get so lost inside these stories that sometimes I forget that I'm even in my own home. Which is exactly what you're looking for when you want to escape the world for a bit. Of course, if someone told me I could live at Hogwarts, I'd be all over that.


2. LITTLE WOMEN BY LOUISA MAY ALCOTT




This is another childhood favorite and it might be part of the reason it is one of my books to read when I want to break away from everyday life. Something about the realness of the four sisters: Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy makes me fall in love with them again every single time I read the book (which has probably been ten times in my life). In fact, this book is so adored, that it is falling apart at the spine. I always say that a well-worn book is well-loved. Little Women is one of  those books that allows you to fall back into a time when life was simpler and people were good, genuine, and loving. This book always seems like a refresher course on what really matters in life. 




      

And, because I couldn't end this post on a serious note, the last book that helps me escape is a humorous collection of essays by the great Mindy Kaling. I love a good non-fiction book. I especially love a good non-fiction book written in humorous prose that keeps me turning the page for more laughter. I seriously read this book twice this year. Within a month. I escaped to Mindy's world of a chunky childhood, career failures, comedy, and the joys of being just a little bit famous. If you don't laugh through this book, there must be something terribly wrong with you. I kid. I kid. But really... A good laugh always helps you escape from life and it usually makes things seem more manageable when you finally pull your head out of the book. 


That's all I've got for now! I'm so happy to have the opportunity to write for Karissa and for all of you. Don't forget to stop by my blog, East of the Sun. And if you're a book lover like me, you should join book club, The Book Drunkards




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Thanks for sharing, Megan! Be sure to check out Megan's other book reviews and suggestions.


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12.11.14

Creating a sustainable wardrobe- Part 2

First part of this series is here.


My goal as a sustainably minded person is to create a versatile wardrobe that contains sturdy, durable pieces that are timeless, quality items. Over the years I have purchased these items from Target, online, fair trade boutiques and one of my favorite budget-friendly places: thrift stores. 

I am always searching for clothes that will work double and triple duty in my day-to-day clothing. A piece that can only be worn one way or with only one other item is nice on occasion, but I want these to the exception. Instead, pieces in my ensemble should be interchangeable with many things to allow the maximum "bang for my buck." We are after all, a large family living in a small house and I only have so much closet space. My first step in the journey to creating a classic wardrobe began the first year I participated in The October Dress Project. Wearing one dress for 31 days challenged me to rethink the way I did fashion and focus on creative solutions to making that dress look different every single day. Five years later, I can see how much my closet has changed and how my approach to clothes shopping has shifted.

Photo by Tiffany Bagwell Photography


I'm always learning techniques for creating a wardrobe that endures fashion trends and I wanted to share with all of you where I go to learn. Here are my favorite blog posts and bloggers who can help you along the journey to creating a closet full of clothes that make you feel stunning and are making a positive impact on the world around you.


7 sustainable wardrobe resources

1. WARDROBE ARCHITECT: 14 week blog series to help you craft a meaningful wardrobe that reflects your personal style.


2. REFASHIONISTA: Fashion revised, repurposed and revitalized through thrift store finds and a sewing machine


3. THE THRIFT STORE SHOPPER: Listings of thrift stores in every area of the United States in one easy to find place


4. PUTTING ME TOGETHER: Learn to work your closet with proper fit and re-mixable clothing items


5. THE CLOTHES HORSE: Remix pictures every Sunday showing how she styled one outfit many different ways


6. THE GIRLS WITH GLASSES: Watch their YouTube video on thrift store shopping


7. PINTEREST BOARDS: I've compiled even more style advice  on maximizing your wardrobe, fair trade and ethical clothing, and eye-candy.

Follow Karissa Barber // The Acting Mom's board Style Advice on Pinterest.

Follow Karissa Barber // The Acting Mom's board Fair Trade/Ethical Clothing on Pinterest.





What are your sustainable and classic wardrobe tips or go-to websites? Leave a comment to share your knowledge and great advice!

p.s. Check out how to prepare before you head to the thrift store and what to do when you get there

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