...Growing, Building, Cooking, Preserving, Crafting...

2006 began our urban homestead when I broke ground on a garden, which now includes perennial fruits, flowers, & many vegetable varieties. We dream of solar panels, keeping bees and hens. Until then we'll continue growing and preserving our own fruits and vegetables, building what we can for our home, cooking from scratch, and crafting most days.


Distraction from the Mess

Happy 3rd Birthday V!
Over the weekend we celebrated Vera's 3rd birthday and since we couldn't host at the homestead because of the remodeling mess, we chose my second home, the Urban Ecology Center.  (I've realized that if I were to get in my car, completely space out and start driving somewhere, I would undoubtedly end up at the UEC.)  A few months ago I came up with a "Garden Party" theme for her party--the years of me choosing her b-day party theme are surely numbered--and I couldn't think of a better place to hold the special event.  Not only was it kid-friendly, but since I know my way around so well--especially in the kitchen--with the help of their gracious staff, I was able to quickly round up any additional supplies we needed for the party.  They have a "no disposables" policy for all events held there (personally, I think everyone should have a no disposables policy everywhere, everyday...) so we used their real plates, flatware, and serving bowls.  I kept the setup fairly simple (in my opinion) and incorporated some of the good old party games I remember from our own childhood homemade birthday celebrations.  Without a functioning kitchen, the food prep. was a bit challenging, but we managed.  A gracious friend let us hang out at her place a couple days before the party to bake gluten-free cupcakes in her oven and my incredibly willing mother helped me put together the rest of the appetizers out of our makeshift kitchen.  It was an easy-going party and I think the kiddos really had a good time.
The UEC's Camouflage Room.  Perfect for our venue!
Colorful tablecloths (yards of fabric), a homemade flag banner across
the ceiling, craft activities awaiting the kids' arrival
Personalized "Green House" placemats and Activity #1: Terra cotta pots for the
kiddos to decorate then Grammy filled them with prizes to take home:
bubbles, sidewalk chalk, packets of vegetable seeds, ladybug rings, mini
marigold pots, UEC's homemade seeded bookmarks, etc.
Activity #2: Plant your first initial (or whatever design you want) with
catgrass seeds.
Reusing mushroom trays
Something to do when the kiddos arrived and
before everyone got settled

Ladybug rocks: V and I painted some beach stones red then the kids had
Activity #3: a chance to detail them into ladybugs upon arrival and
settling in at the party.

Ladybug rings--upcycled pull tabs from OJ.  Colored
with permanent marker.  They were fun, but the marker wasn't so permanent.  :(

Kid- and Adult-friendly spread
Gluten-Free Chocolate "Garden Row" Cupcakes.  This was the first time (and
perhaps last time) that Oreos will enter my house...oh and gummy worms and

Cupcake Rows of "beans" and "corn."
Beanbag toss into a pail (made the beanbags with
scrap T-shirt fabric and real beans)
Preparing for "Pin the Ladybug on the Flower"
Put contact paper over a homemade construction paper flower and used
sticky-back ladybugs from the craft store for the "tail"
Spinning and Pinning
The kiddos running around outside and checkin' out the solar panels on
the UEC's roof
Couldn't resist gifting two of my favorite kids' "food"
books: Blueberries for Sal and To Market, To Market.
Our Waldorf Birthday Ring all ready for the birthday girl
Make a Wish my love!
Much has happened since the last time I posted kitchen remodel photos.  The transformation seems very real now.  We are still a little over a week out from being finished, but I have at least scheduled my range delivery for next week.  Our contractor and his team have worked hard and continue to exceed our expectations of progress each day.  It was great to see the guts of our house during that phase, but what's more cool now is seeing the design that I had in my head for so long + the ideas our contractor had to flesh it out = a real, efficient kitchen.
Let there be light.  Just two of the four can lights are
already providing better lighting than we had before
Drywall is up, mudding in process
Arched doorway
Adding some color.  Tomatillo is the hue, but this appears darker
than it actually is
Doorway arched a la 1920s
Cabinet installation in progress.  Finally looks real now!
New "old style" trim going up around windows and doors

More cabinets
New "old style" pantry awaiting hardware and finishing
Super size bulletin board I scored for $1 at the thrift store
hanging over our double desk area

Pantry/Desk area--maximizing every bit of space.

1 comment:

  1. What a great themed party! I love the cupcakes!!