Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Recycled crafts are for the birds

A while ago we made a bird feeder out of recycled stuff. I thought it would be one of those objects that lasts about an hour before it falls apart or gets destroyed as is the fate of many of our crafts here at the Lincoln household. But this birdfeeder is rugged and had stood up to two storms a bunch of squirrels and squads of crows and my two children who like to bash it around a bit before each refilling. So It has stood the test of time and here is the recipe:

-We used a Gallon milk jug
-a pretty tough OJ container
-a lid from a large can of tomatoes
-a rivet
-pipe cleaners
-sparkle stickers
-The milk jug was cut to give a roof over the upsidedown OJ jug.
-cut the bottom off the OJ jug
-Rivet OJ lid to tin lid
-punch holes in milk jug lid and through sides of OJ jug
-cut slits in OJ jug neck to let seeds out
-Use pipe cleaners to hold lid on and to hang it with
-Decorate with sparkle stickers so fairies might come too
and VOILA:
Isn't she beautiful!

We had another bang-up storm yesterday and good thing too as Emma developed a nasty little stomach bug and was out of commission anyway. Zac spent a large part of the day sitting inside his barn so I wouldn't eat him though he did venture out to make a craft with us, which was nice. Later, Emma pulled herself together enough to insist I make a video of her new moves and although we spent the day indoors (Something we never do-drives us nuts to be inside too long!) We had a pretty good time.

Zac's tentacular egg carton creature
Emma's "Earth with a feather in his cap, sitting on the Death Star" ...One can never be too young for Star Wars, right?

Poor, sick Emma. Doesn't stop her from doubling up on the tutus and tap dancing in her clip clops though!
"Zac, do yo want to come out of there and have a snack?"
"No! because you eat me!"
"I won't eat you! You probably taste like boogers."
"No! I'm safe in my barn!...I taste like boogers?" I must add he was delighted by the prospect...

For some reason I can't get videos to upload which is driving me nuts at the moment because I caught a couple of great moments where Zac was accusing me of trying to cannibalise him and another of Emma as she is totally nonplussed by her brother's attempt to sabotage her dance video.
Sometimes I want to be a Luddite and just break the machines that should make my life so easy but really just makes me feel incompetent.

Say! Speaking of incompetent...
I went out to clear the snow today (In the rain-thanks New England.)
We clear the snow away with this:

The big one, not the one with the yellow roof.
We use this Kubota for lots of fun stuff like rock picking, dirt pushing, joy riding, you know, the usual.
By the way, when anyone ever asks why we don't have wedding rings, this is the reason. We got a matrimonial tractor instead.
So here I am today, in the rain, pushing snow around and I am trying to get that last lump of snow...pretty close to the house...But I can get it...just a little bit closer...

OOPS... that is not a board leaning next to my garage entrance. It IS my garage entrance. Delicately peeled away from my house by the blade of the snow blower attachment. It happens so easily, these things. Don't worry, I got it all back together although it will need some proper fixing later.  At least it happened on the same side that my Handsome Husband smashed with the tractor some months ago.
Well there you have it! Another few days gone by at the Lincoln house!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

2 feet of snow, Sparkplugs and a Laundry Elf

Didn't we have a storm yesterday! 2 feet came down in 12 hours or something like that.
Wind! Snow! 
Wind!! Snow snow snow SNOW!
Extreem Weather!
This is my Handsome Husband's favorite atmosphere and he would have been out there on the tractor, plowing out the neighbors and spinning donuts in our driveway giddy as a school girl... but Baltimore has got him until Saturday.

 We have a generator. It has a bad spark plug and a 1/3  tank of dirty gas.  Storms are not be so enjoyable with a useless generator.
And by noon time it was thick. Heavy and swirling snow, wind tossing the heads of the trees and whipping whirlpools of it in the air. I had to get the generator running so if the power goes out I am not caught like some dumass fiddling around in the dark.
"Hey kids! Remember what can  happen when we get storms like this?"
"It gets dark!"
"Right! The power goes out and we start the generator."
"Ok, I have to go fix up the generator so it can start. Who's with me?"
Blank stares.
"You guys want to watch a show?"
Some time later after locating the right long socket, socket wrench, bucket...   (Why is it always only the tools you need that are missing?)
Anyway, it took a while and The silence above was starting to pitter patter. The magic of the TV was  fading and their natural tendencies were reappearing. But I was ALLLLmost done and it didn't sound  really THAT bad.

Anyway, I get upstairs and...All seemed fine. The little darlings were playing 123 blastoff and Aber is gnawing away at a toy.
The generator was functional. Let the storm rage.

Much later, when I went to use the downstairs potty, I saw this:

"That looks very carefull placed." I thought to myself.

As fate would have it, Little Zac wandered past.
"Zac, do you know something about this?"
"Yup Maam!"
"What happened?"
" I helped with the laundry-a! Good boy Zac!" He self congratulated.
Then blasted off down the hall.
He even remembered the soap:


Sunday, January 9, 2011

E learns to Ski

My little whiz kid, who "Is not afraid of ANYthing!"(her words) Is strapping on her boots and learning to ski.
 The excitement is palpable the night before...
 Some serious poses are called for at a time like this...
 The instructors tie balloons to their helmets. Good way to sort out the dozens of kids taking lessons
 She's up!
She's down!
I had to share this moment with you because her excitement was over the top. I remember feeling the same way when I started skiing.

In other news...

I get the kids out every day for a walk. We are lucky enough to have our house back on to a few hundred acres of woods and trails so we can amble out our back door and disappear. But sometimes my enthusiasm for walking is just not shared by my offspring. This day was particularly challenging as they we being absolute buggers so on a whim I grabbed my newest puppet Lou, ran a few steps down the path and threw him up a tree. Well if all it takes is to throw a puppet up a tree call me a goodwill ambassador. All of a sudden my little nightmares turned into giggling adventure hiker-kids and off we went chucking Lou up trees, over logs and through bushes so he could find acorns to eat. Everyone was happy and we even found some ice to try to break our necks on. Success!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

SOUND PANEL PROJECT!! (am I yelling?)

We Lincolns are a loud family. In fact it can get so loud in the house that I want to run away. It makes your eyes stutter. It makes your short hairs curl. It echos kid shrieks and dog barks and toy noises until the bouncing, repeating, reverberating cacophony literally drives you from the house. It interrupts whale migration. It. Is. Loud.
 Husband claims it comes from the Munday side and he may be right. We are a boisterous bunch. But now is not the time for that. I want to share with you the ongoing project we have going to try to ease our bleeding ears: sound absorbing panels!
We checked out websites where we could purchase these wall mounted miracles and decided, as is our fashion, that we could make them better and cheaper than the experts who make a living at it. So at a cost that approximately doubled what we would have paid, we are now 11 panels in to the project. To be sure, we did expand our tool collection with a miter saw utility vehicle (no, really.) and some other "essential" tools. So it's all worth it.
But seriously. I love tools.

Here is Husband building frames out of poplar & plywood
 Nice beveled edge, no?
 Fancy pressed insulation that took FOREVER to track down.

 All the tools you need to stretch fabric over the frames. P.S. It is a good idea to use proper canvas stretching pliers for this. I was ridiculous and did not. My hands paid the price...whimper.
 Don't worry! The air compressor was outside! Stretching fabric on frames

 "Oh look! we finished two! Put them up!"
 We have more to add to this collage, and some artistic detailing to be done....

"But MY! Isn't it quiet!"

Hello Internets!

Well here it is...the moment has arrived and I have joined the blogosphere.
I am intending this to be a great tool for sharing our life with you all.
This will be a mash of family stuff, craft stuff and a log of my personal dabblings and obsessions.
So as not to dally... I was surprised by my friend Nicole tonight when she dropped by the house with this article in the Derry News:
It's me entertaining kiddos at  the Derry farmers market here in NH! I was set up there with my basket 'o' noise makers, puppets, and a story I wrote & illustrated and while parents were loading up on local food and stuff, Their kids were doing the animal dance and  singing songs and partying it up with me and my puppet friend Lou.
I love farmers markets.  It seems so difficult to connect with people sometimes, but at the Farmer's Market, everyone is smiling and chatting and enjoying being together.  In fact I love Farmer's Markets so much I am writing a song about it that I will unveil at.....The next Farmer's Market!
whoo! Clap clap!