These boots were handed down to us by friends when my Little Mr. B. was just a baby.  Little Mr. wore them for ages until he finally grew out of them and we had to get new ones.   Three years ago, when we gave up trying to expand our family through adoption, I did a massive purge and gave away nearly every baby item I could find in our closets and garage... clothing, books, toys, stroller, etc...  But these boots, hidden away in the back of my closet were overlooked.  I found them the other day... dusty and waiting...

Waiting... for another little pair of feet to try them on...

Waiting... to tromp through dirt and puddles...

Waiting... to go on new adventures...
And I was just thinking, I haven't written about my garden for the longest time...

The orb-weavers have been very busy!

And we've had lots of visitors lately...

But my favorite garden visitors?  They're the ones wearing boots!


Little Monsters Love to Read

As part of the current exhibit Monsters in the Bookshelf at the Thacher Gallery (located on the campus of USF in San Francisco) there has been a contest to create a poster of original artwork featuring a monster (or monsters) and a book.  The idea was to simultaneously promote creativity and reading.

 Above you can see my entry for the contest (the results will be announced October 30th...)

My little monsters love to read... How about yours?


Preparing Gifts for the Winter Season

The other morning I was on my front porch, busy planting flower-bulbs in small terracotta pots. With bats, ghosties, witches and pumpkins all around, it's not easy to think forward and get in the mood for winter-celebration gifting... But think ahead, I did, and so I set to planting.  I've always thought of planting flower-bulbs in autumn as a small act of faith -- faith that these small brown things I place in the earth will burst forth and flower;  Faith that, after the darkening days of winter, light will come forth again.

Above you can see a photo I took last December.  I look forward again to this December when my freshly planted pots will boast green, budding shoots.  I look forward to giving these sprouting gifts of faith and hope... bright and green, holding beautiful potential.



At the start of September Shannon of the blog Rhythm & Rhyme launched a Lucky Pincushion Swap.

Just for fun, I thought I'd show you what I created for my swap-partners...

And here's the view from above.  I'm afraid they're not very practical pincushions -- with all the flowers and whatnot, there's not much room for pins -- but they were a lot of fun to design and create!

In return, from one of my swap-partners, I received this most diminutive of sea-scapes (thanks, Anna, for allowing me to use your perfect photo!)  The trees on the island, the whale and the darling boat are all attached to the tops of pins, and so, if one wishes, one can move them about.  Of course this pin cushion did not remain in my possession for long -- it was gently taken from my hands by my little Mr. B.  He sailed the tiny boat for a voyage to visit the whale and then safely moored at the island to collect provisions for the next adventure...

Thank you Anna, for a most perfect pincushion!

P.S.  Yikes!  Tomorrow is the last day to sign up for the Little Angel Swap.  If you're interested, have a look here for the details...


A Fat Little Bat

A few weeks ago I spotted this project here on the Family Fun website.  Just give the string a pull and...

 Up go the little wings!

If you go to the Family Fun website, please note, I made a few changes to their pattern. They made their bat from craft foam while I used cardboard; and their bat is hanging upside down while mine hangs right-side-up (I know bats sleep upside down, but I don't believe they actually fly upside down!)  Also, I reduced their pattern by 64%. I wanted my bat to be small and cute... not big and scary.  Lastly, they stated this craft would take an hour, but I found that, once I'd gathered my supplies, it only took me 15 or 20 minutes to complete.  Putting this together was easy-peasy!

Doesn't he look cute hanging on the inside of our front door?

How are your Halloween decorations coming along?  Any favorite new projects?


Halloween Craft: Lanterns!

When the calendar turns to October, I love pulling out Halloween decorations and making new ones.  One of my favorite crafts this year has been making lanterns out of glass jars, so...

 Out came the kite paper, some black origami paper and a few jars.

I started by painting a thin layer of Mod-Podge on each jar, then covered the jars with a base-layer of kite-paper.

To apply silhouettes, I painted on a bit of Mod-Podge, placed the cut-out shapes over the wet Mod-Podge, then painted a bit more over the pumpkins & bats (it will look like a mess, but beautiful when it dries!)  For an easy tutorial on how to make the eye-ball lantern you can visit the Family Fun website here...

I also made this ghosty lantern... a nice companion for Gus, don't you think? (and a big thank you to Chris of Mamaroots for this gorgeous wooden toy version of Gus!)

P.S.  What are you dressing up as for Halloween this year?


Some More Little Angel Inspiration

Every Blade of Grass has its angel that bends over it
and whispers, "Grow, grow."   
-- The Talmud

Just for fun... a few more ideas and inspirations for the little angel swap...  I got an idea for creating this lavender angel sachet from a tutorial on Anna Branford's blog here.

The bright wings and smiles on these angels make me happy -- they were created by Joanie of the blog Nini Makes.

And finally, a few more peg dolls, the design of which fall into the category of "What was I thinking?" My entire kitchen is now coated with a fine dusting of glitter (as is my baby, my 8-year-old and also probably the cat.)

Sign ups are open, won't you join me for a little angel swap?

P.S.  In my past swaps I've set up swap-groups for children.  So far I've had only one person mention that her 8-year old daughter is interested.  Does anyone else have a child (or children) who might be interested in swapping, too?

Sign-ups for this swap are now closed.


A Little Angel Swap

A la puerta del cielo vendan zapatos,
Para los angelitos que andan descalzos.
Duermete nino,
Duermete nino,
Duermete nino, arru, arru.
(-- Mexico, traditional)

As the year draws to a close and the days grow darker, the souls of many yearn for light and turn towards matters of the spirit.  Many traditions embrace angels as embodiments of this light and spirit...

So, it seems to me that, as the days grow shorter and the year draws to a close, it's the perfect time for a little angel swap!
Won't you join me?

Here are the details:  
For this swap each participant will be in a group of 4 (so each participant will send 3 angels and receive 3 angels.) Once swap-groups are allocated, you may mail the angels you've created directly to your swap partners and they will be sending angels directly to you. This swap is open to all who are interested. The main requirement is that the angels you send should be handmade by you with love and care. Feel free to put other items in the packages you send if you wish...

The swap opens today, October 11th, 2011. Sign-ups will close at the end of this month, and ideally your angels should be posted some time during the month of November (December 1st at the very latest, please.) 

Partners will be allocated as soon as sign-ups close, however if you are concerned about having enough time to create your angels, you may start creating right away!
If you would like to participate, please send an email to me: margaret(at)flyingteapot(dot) com. In your email be sure to include your name, your home mailing address, email address & blog URL (if you have one.) If you don't mind, it would be helpful to me to have all of this information typed in the body of your email so I can more easily organize information for the swap.  **Also, if you live in Canada, Australia or New Zealand (where postal rates have become prohibitively expensive) please let me know if you would prefer to be matched with participants in your own country and I will do my best to accommodate your request.

Need a little more inspiration?
A guardian, a messenger, a being of love and light...
A delicate angel made from soft New Zealand wool by Marie of Softearth's World...

Glittering angels created by Kristin of the blog Kleas (their design was inspired by the delightful book Pretty Little Felts by Julie Collings...)

Toya Walker created these caroling angels and she has a wonderful tutorial which you can find here.

So, grab some glitter and some glue, dig out those sparkly pipe-cleaners... 
and please join me for some shining, winter-time angel joy!

Sign-ups for this swap are now closed...