Friday, March 21, 2008

I'll deal with my procrastination problem later

This week I had a lot of chores to do, like taking all our income tax information to the accountant, making an appointment for a haircut, calling a tree trimmer to remove a branch left over from the ice storm, and packing for our upcoming trip to visit Aunt Sassy. So of course I decided it would be a good week to build Little Omi a cardboard kitchen. Needless to say, the kitchen was completed long before the chores (in fact right now I'm still not packed and we're leaving tomorrow).

I used these instructions, which cost a very reasonable $7, although I see the price has gone up to $8 recently. We were lucky enough to find a really huge double-walled box behind the new Circuit City and all of the pieces came from it. I had to make some minor adjustments so that we could fit Little Omi's new stove top on the stove side, but it worked out pretty well. I'm waiting to add the sink. Right now the counter space seems too valuable; Little Omi likes to make omelets and bake muffins and she needs room to crack eggs and fill muffin tins.

Of course no new kitchen would be complete without a nice oven mitt. This photo shows the sweet Amy Butler fabric that was also used for the curtain above. (Thanks so much to L for introducing me to Quiltworks, my new favorite local fabric shop!)

While we were at it, we may as well make some little napkins to go with the tea set. Grandma had the bright idea of fringing the edges, which gave them that little something extra, I think.

Monday, March 10, 2008

eBay + imagination = LOVE

I've been on the hunt for a nice tea set for Little Omi for quite some time now, ever since she started to bring Big Omi and I imaginary bits of food she had plucked off the furniture or walls. I didn't think my criteria would be too difficult to meet; after all, I just wanted something simple, that adhered to the basic principles of good design, didn't require batteries, wouldn't break if mishandled by an almost 2-year-old, and, if possible, wasn't pink. It turns out that most tea sets on the market these days fail to meet any of my standards. The tin set at Magic Cabin is passable, but the design is a little busy... and pink. There's also a Curious George set, but Little Omi doesn't even know who Curious George is yet. has a couple of nice wooden tea sets, but neither one comes with more than 2 cups, and while you'd have to check with Martha on this one, in my opinion one cannot hold a proper tea party with only 2 cups.

Eventually I realized I was searching for the tea set of my own childhood: a Fisher-Price white plastic set with yellow flowers on the tea pot, yellow lids for the tea pot and sugar cup, 4 tea cups and saucers, and 4 fat little yellow spoons, all nestled in their own little divided sections of a sky blue tray. Enter Grandma and eBay, and today we held our very first little tea party with the newly-procured tea set of my childhood (sans tray, but perhaps that will show up some time, too). Little Omi was ready for it. She seemed completely stunned and excited by the idea that we could all pretend to be drinking tea, stirring in sugar and cream and refilling our cups frequently.

Here's the rest of the happy gathering. While Miffy and Baby Doll were perfect guests, Paddington Bear was quite rude, demanding spoonful after spoonful of sugar in his cup, and making very loud slurping noises when he drank. Perhaps it was because he wanted a cookie; he was never offered one and eventually they were all eaten by Okasan and Grandma.

Little sprouts

Little Omi's pea plants have sprouted and are growing fast. The other day I pulled 2 of the 3 plants to make room for the biggest one to grow, and we studied the different parts of the plant. Eric Carle's book The Tiny Seed helped out a lot, too.
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