Metro Parent


We made it into Metro Parent! Check out the September issue’s article Handmade Birthdays to see pictures and details of Quinby’s 3rd and 5th birthday parties. 



Must Make Monday – Not your usual holiday decorations


Q and I made one of these today. It was super simple, although cutting the doll out was too hard for her little 4 year old hands. She could do the snowflake tutu just fine. She added a little paint to hers.

I think these orange slices would be perfect for our annual Winter Solstice Party.

These dressed up mason jars would be lovely for the party as well and so simple to recreate.

This glitter village is glorious! And it’s made from cereal boxes! I think I might have to do a glitter village making craft instead of a gingerbread house this year.

I have been going crazy for string art the past few months, but still haven’t tried my hand at it. This little doozy may just be the project. I LOVE STARS!

Alright, for the crafter who likes to use the big tools, here’s the project for you. Yet another one that would be great for Winter Solstice! These cone trees would look great as a centerpiece, on the mantel, or even alone.

This last one doesn’t have a tutorial with it, but if you are in need of a felted ball tutorial drop me a line and I’ll send you to a couple of good ones. I’ve made a few felt balls in my time and have been meaning to set up a little sweatshop, ahem!, I mean workshop with the kiddos to get some made for holiday decorations. Not sure why they didn’t just string these balls up with a needle and thread, but all the colors sure do look pretty!

What crafts are you making this holiday season?

Fall catchup 3 – home projects


Hubs, the best husband in the world, made me these glorious jewelry racks. They are on the wall leading to our master bath. So, so nice. I smile a little every time I walk by. And I’m wearing more of my jewelry and in different combinations than I was before. Buh bye dusty jewelry alcove!


Fall Catchup 2 – decorations


The family and I went on a gorgeous, autumn-day walk a few weeks ago and collected leaves. I pressed them between some heavy books for a few days then let the girls go to town with the modge podge and some paint brushes. After letting them dry for an hour or so I tied them with some hemp rope I’ve had in the craft supplies since the late 90’s and my small stint with macrame.

I wanted to do a quick solo paper crafting project and I saw this tutorial with free template. If it seems like my mantle is covered in every thing that doesn’t have a home in my living room, that’s because it is!

My gal pal Anne and I crafted these origami stars for the holiday season. I’m not sure yet where they are going. I’ll figure it out this week. A garland maybe? I also want to doing a felt ball garland. I’ve got the roving all ready, now I just need to get to it!

Fall catchup 1

So much to catch up on! First off, I never showed you our costumes. The girls were sick on Halloween, so we missed trick-or-treating. Bummer!! But luckily, we got to attend a neighborhood costume party before the big day, so we all got to wear the costumes I worked so hard on! Q went as Rapunzel and PZ was Pippi Longstocking. I used the following tutorials for Rapunzel’s dress, Pippi’s jumper, and their wigs.


PZ and I tie-dyed her “long stockings”, which was fun.  We just used the legs from one of the pairs of tights I cut during wig production. And if you don’t know why Q is carrying a frying pan, you obviously haven’t seen the movie, Tangled, enough times.

I got to do some fun make-up for myself, and these fake flowers in my hair were just held in with bobbi pins. So easy! I was by far the scariest face at the party! But I don’t think I scared too many toddlers. Boo!


Hubs went as a pirate. PZ thought this was appropriate since Pippi’s dad was also a pirate. In case you are wondering what PZ is holding, she’s got Mr. Nilsson (Pippi’s monkey) around her neck and her horse, Old Man. She’s also got an umbrella, because it’s Portland.


Did anyone else make a Rapunzel or Pippi. Feel free to link! Next I want to show you my DIY autumn decorations, but that’s a-whole-nother post!

October = Month of Sickness

So basically at least one if not both of my girls and myself have been sick every day this month. Yesterday was the first day in two weeks that I’d had both girls back in school. Today, Q is back on the couch. Boo!

Needless to say my Random Object Illustrations have been sidelined, but I do have some pictures from the month that I wanted to share from those rare moments of sun and health.


A Foundry find

The Rapunzel Halloween costume I made for Quinby

Nana’s knit dress on Q

I chose the materials and my friend Yancey hand-knit this gorgeous sweater. Yay!

Emily Alexander’s shadow puppet theater

Nature walk find

PZ and I made Pippi’s “long stockings”

Everyday is Halloween when you have your favorite skeleton

I’ve finished Q’s Rapunzel wig and am almost done with PZ’s Pippi wig. Fingers crossed that we are all healthy in time for our friend’s Halloween party on Sunday and of course trick-or-treating on Wednesday.








Conker (Chestnut) Crafts

It’s officially autumn. No turning back. If you’re anything like me, you’ve got at least one kiddo who’s crazy for conkers. The pocket on PZ’s lunch box is always full of the little guys. Maybe it’s because they are so smooth and shiny, or maybe it’s like sea shells, just a pretty thing to find as you wander around, but whatever the reason; (da da dum!) it’s conker season!

Q’s teacher and I were talking about them today. She has a daughter also obsessed who has squirreled away an impressive stash of conkers. What’s a mother to do? That’s right. Get crafty! Check out these great ideas!


First of all, did you know conkers, otherwise known as horse chestnuts, will keep both spiders AND moths away? Store them in little bowls around the house to ward off those 8 legged critters, or string them together with a pretty lace bow like Wildcraft Vita did and hang the strand in your closet to keep the moths from getting at your sweaters and wool coats.

Wildcraft Vita also has a recipe for making conker Viking Soap. Very cool!

How about taking a tip from Rhoda, the editor at Country Homes and Interiors, and use conkers in a lovely flower display. Such pretty hydrangea.

O Matko! shows some great examples of conker animals. These might be a bit tough for the kids, but I like the use of playdough.

Get into the Halloween season with a conker spider web. The Imagination Tree will show you how!

These awesome conker chairs as my favorites.

Of course, if all else fails, you can always just play conkers. Let Tea and Sympathy show you how.

And if you don’t have a 6 year old picking up every conker they spy, but you still want to get in on the conker fun, how about this fiber arts craft diy from  oddknit.

Awesome! For more ideas, check out Here We Are Together‘s Ten Things To Do With Conkers list. Happy crafting everyone!

xoxo Emily

ROI Day 5, 6, and 7

We’ve been continuing to have outstandingly beautiful weather. Yay! I just LOVE October. I need to pick up some purple sunglasses before it’s too late! Anyway, today on my walk (not a nature one, but an actual exercise one) I stopped to pick up these lovely (if slightly dry) peas. I was inspired by my flower dress, that I wore later in the day to the playground, to draw floral and leaf patterns on the peas. After taking my picture I let the wind have it’s way with my precious peas and later heard a little girl delight in finding one on the ground. So I’ve decided to let nature reclaim all of my ROIs from here on out.

I also found this chestnut seed casing on the ground during my morning walk. Prickly little bugger, but I like how he came out. The soft insides made for some difficult pen work. I’m using Sharpie Brand Ultra Fine Tipped pens.

This mermaid on a stick was not easy. If drawing on paper isn’t your forte, don’t expect drawing on soft wood to be any simpler! The girls and I sat in the playground for more than an hour drawing and coloring mermaids. Not sure how we got on that tip.

Here are Anne’s ROIs from the last two days.

I know Anne has recently finished a new painting. Perhaps she’ll give me the okay to let you guys have a peek.

These are some of the drawings my girls did today. Not ROIs, since they were just drawing in my sketchbook, but they were totally cracking me up!

I drew a quick circle on the back of my sketch book to get my pen working again during my chest nut seed casing drawing. Q wanted to draw one too, then added a mouth and kept telling me she’d made “facebook”. HAHA!

This is my oldest daughter PZ’s page. She’s 6 and did all the drawing and coloring herself. In case you’re wondering, the Queen mermaid is upset because her hat looks like an elephant is sitting on her head. Or so I was informed.

PZ drew these mermaids for Q to color. I kind of love the strange “South Park” eyes on the orange mermaid. I also really like the yellow tail choice. The big puffy looking mermaid is crying because she is too weird to have friends. This is what my 4 year old told me. Don’t even try to psychoanalyze that one!

Anne’s husband Ollie surprised us at the park so I made him draw this mermaid. Q gave her very long hair and what looks to be chest hair.

Hope you had a great weekend!

xoxo Emily

ROI Day 3 and 4, Feeling Better?

I finally got out and about yesterday. Quinby and I went to the park and collected a LOT of acorns for this Wednesday’s Work.  I successfully made these pancakes. Much better than last weeks! And we worked on this cute little project.

Today wasn’t as care-free a day. Lots of errands and such, but I did get the chance to make this super easy and fortifying soup and I my ROI for today were these woodenvbeads. Maybe I’ll make a necklace out of them one day soon. I like how there’s a natural ombre effect because of the wood grain.

Here’s Anne’s ROI for today. I think this is one of the items she picked up this morning on our impromptu walk. “Swifts migrating on a rose hip”.

Enjoy your Friday folks!

xoxo Emily

Random Object Illustration – Day 2 (In which I am furthermore going to abbreviate the title to ROI)

I’ve been sick (just a stupid cold) since last Friday, so haven’t been too interested in nature walks. The sun though has been beautiful (isn’t that always the way!?) shining in through the window while I lie in a pile of used tissues and watch a White Collar marathon on Netflix. Why did I never know about this show?? I love con men! At least on TV. And Matt Bomer is CUTE!

So all day I’ve been trying to wrack my brain about what I should use for my random object when I’ve barely been outside and here’s what my Coldcalm-ed coated mind came up with. Tights!

I kind of love how these came out! My Mama sent me a ton of colored tights from her stash last winter (thanks Mama!), and now I’m thinking I’m going to have to make more of these. A lot more. With the new fabric paint pens the work is pretty quick. I’ll have to see how these do in the laundry and then perfect my technique. These would make a fun project for the girls too.

Stay healthy and stay creative!

XOXO Emily