{Crappy Crafts} Doll camping accessories

If you can’t tell from some of the other “projects” I’ve posted on the site, I have a creative mind but the execution leaves a lot to be desired. I mean, it’s embarrassing.

The reason I still post my crafts is in case someone a bit more crafty than me is inspired by what I’ve thought up.  So in acknowledgement that some of my achievements belong in the Pinterest “fail” category, I’ve decided to, going forward, entitle these posts: Crappy Crafts.

I really want to add a trademark symbol after that but I know what trademarks are and this isn’t trademarked. Alas. Just mentally put the tm there. It looks cooler.

Anyway, I love dolls. I didn’t like dolls as a little kid (I specifically remember having Barbies and Transformers around 4 years old and having them fighting a war against each other), but as I grew up I became more girly.  I could spend all day playing dolls with a little kid.  L also hadn’t shown much interest in dolls until recently, but luckily brother J is showing interest too so now I have some quality doll playing hours under my belt.

L, however, has loved her little pacimal monkey, Ooie, (note: the company is pretty much out of business now so you can’t get pacimals any more) since she was about 9 months old, and she treats him like her little baby.  So to try to encourage doll play with him, over the years I’ve gotten and made as many accessories for him as I could get away with. He’s about 8 inches tall so the Circo mini series works well for him (clothes, doll crib, potty/highchair set, etc).  [By the way, isn’t this the CUTEST thing?]

Over the summer, we as a family went backyard camping and L loved it. She wanted Ooie to participate fully next time with his own sleeping bag. Challenge accepted.

The Circo mini crib has the perfect squishy bedding to form the base of a sleeping bag (I can’t find a purchase link to the crib but here is the twins bunk bed set with the same bedding).  I sewed on the pillow that came with the crib and added a soft blanket (more like a nap mat than a sleeping bag).

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It has already fallen apart but it was cute while it lasted.

As usual, I decided to take it about two or three steps more and made a collapsible tent, a grill, and a fold-up lounge chair.

For the tent, I used an old Sweetheart Cottage playhut that had already fallen apart.  The pop-out roof gable was perfect for the size tent I wanted, and it was put together with bendable poles so I could take it all apart and put it into a bag for portability:

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Here you can see how the poles became the handle for the ‘carrying case’

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The grill was easy enough (you can see it in the above pics). I had a metal M&M tin left over from Valentine’s day and used the instructions from this website as inspiration.

Ahem. This is most definitely not mine. See why my versions are called “Crappy Crafts”?

I then added some 3m wire hooks as legs and as a handle and threw in a battery operated tea light for the fire.

Finally, the chair.  This was actually harder than I thought it would be.



I used a wooden easel stand:

But I wanted to use the “back” of it for the chair, which means the center of gravity was off.  I ended up putting a wood sample as the seat of the chair and then wrapping a long strip of cloth for the back.  Velcroing the cloth made the chair tip the correct way and keeping it un-velcroed allowed it to collapse.

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The back of the chair/the front of the easel

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So that’s it! L loved her camping toys and played with them a bit and has recently pulled them back out to have sleepovers for Ooie.  All of the items are a bit precarious since I can’t sew worth a darn but hopefully someone with more skill can make use of these ideas!

Next crappy craft: my easy peasy soft baby carrier for a tiny stuffed animal.

Previous crappy crafts:

 A Desk For the Boy

Play Kitchen


What do you think? Any other ideas on how to make a camping play set for a doll? Let me know in the comments!


A desk for the boy (or: turning the toddler bed upside down)

Well, I broke the crib. Whoops.

It was set as a toddler bed but I slept in it with the J almost every night for months. I finally moved it back to a crib (long story). Well, when we did so, it was just…not safe. Cracked supports, etc.

So J is now back to a mattress on the floor.  As for the crib…

I was inspired by this:



Super easy, right? Just keep the one side off (like a toddler bed), raise to newborn height, add some chalkboard paint, and voila. The creator of this desk had to get some particle board to sit on the mattress supporter, but my Ikea Sniglar crib actually has a solid mattress support so no problem.

Well, eep. First of all, I broke the crib some more by trying to get the railing off again. And because of how it’s designed, it was basically impossible to raise it to newborn height without the rail.

So what did I do? I put the crib back to toddler bed height, with the rail off…

and turned it over.



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Does it look like a crib turned upside down? Err..yes. Actually, without the mattress on the bottom there/quilts hanging from the desk, it actually does look pretty desk-like. But I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to create a little tent/nook.

I put my breathable bumpers around the legs to obscure the untrussed turkey look.  If I wanted to go hardcore, I could nail some particle board around the edges. Oh, and paint the desk. Those would probably make the look complete.

What to do with that extra side?



(from Blue Cricket Design)

I don’t have a picture of my version but it pretty much looks exactly like that. For once.

Top 10 Most Awkward Things My Toddler Has Said About Jesus

It's fitting that I'm posting this 10 minutes after coming home from the church kids' music program

It’s fitting that I’m posting this 10 minutes after coming home from the church kids’ music program

So, I owe you a post on preschools. And a post on infant sleep. Alas, four sick family members, a newly crawling baby, a sitter mix-up, and a tantrum-throwing toddler has made for very little research time for me.

So, as an offering, I give you, Top 10 Most Awkward Things My Toddler Has Said About Jesus

Let me explain. We have a Benjamin Franklin action figure and a Jesus action figure. Both are remnants from our ironic college days. Of course, L found them and appropriated them as her own.

We’re trying to raise our children in a Christian home. We like that she recognizes the figure as Jesus, so when we read her books about Jesus or sing songs, she has some sense that she’s familiar with him. Kinda like her obsession with Dora, but less throw-myself-out-the-window annoying.

Given that, our Generation Y-ish appreciation of total and complete awkwardness still gives us endless amusement with the following pronouncements, even if our more religious friends might be slightly horrified:

10. “Ya Ya Ya, Jeeesus” *

9. “Oh no, Jesus Fall!”

8. “Thank you. Jeesus Chwist!”

7. “Jeees-us! Jeesus! Whey’d Jesus go?”

6. “Dance, Jesus, Dance!”

5. “Jesus KISS Franklin! Kiss! Hug!”

4. “No, Baby, MY Jesus. Mama, Baby take my JEES-US!”

3. “Jesus eat cracker thank you Mommy.”

2. ” Jesus Franklin toot diaper change!”**

Before I get to #1, here are explanations of #10 and #2

* “ya ya y” is how L pretend “sings”. But it sounds like she’s going, “Yeah yeah yeah” like a bored teenager.

** #2 has led to me saying THE weirdest thing in my life – “No, honey,Jesus and Franklin are big boys. They go potty.”

So, #1. Let me back up. L decided at one point that she wanted to be a baby, like her brother. She asked to be given a bottle. I couldn’t find a doll bottle anywhere, so I grabbed the first thing I found…Jesus.

“Here honey,” I said, “Let’s pretend Jesus is your bottle for now.”

Which led to her saying for the next 4 hours, to anyone she encountered,

1. “Lucy want Jesus milk!”

The No-Cost, No-Time, No-Construction, No-Sew Play Kitchen

ikea play kitchen

There are a few things you need to know about me.

1. If I don’t finish something in an afternoon, it will never get done

2. I’m extremely cheap

3. I can’t sew

4. I can’t build things

So when I decided I wanted to build L a kitchen today, my options were limited.

Enter the Ikea Leksvik hat rack. We love this hat rack (and the matching shoe rack). However, we just don’t have space for the hat rack in the new house.

I turned it upside down and moved some hooks around. Voila, the basis of the kitchen.

The Sink:

One of the types of hooks looked like a J-faucet and the other type looked like faucet knobs, so I adjusted the hooks accordingly. I used a wire basket for the sink  (with some screws in empty hook spots to hold it in and shelf liner on the bottom). Next to the sink is space for an outlet (an outlet cover I had lying around.)

The Stove

For the stove, I cut up a Crate and Barrel flexible cutting board. I stuck some blank CDs and put the cutting board on top of them, and then drew in some ‘coils’. I used the hooks that looked like knobs for the stove knobs, and I also used some Pottery Barn curtain rod finials in the middle (they could be broadway lights, or knobs – eh, use your imagination).
I didn’t really have any materials for an oven but I did use the wire basket part of a very small rice cooker/steamer that I never used and placed in under the stove. L seemed to get very quickly that it was supposed to be an oven.

The Backsplash

We already had a corkboard hanging, so I just added a spice rack, a magnetic board, and a clock. I ‘installed’ another ‘outlet’. I also have some push lights that we never use so I added them to the corkboard as well. Finally, I hung a lampshade for the kitchen light.

What makes this even better is that since it’s a hat rack made for hanging, we can hang the entire kitchen at toddler height and hang the backsplash above it.


Update: Lactation Chic asked me for more detailed photos. Instead of honoring her request, I added on to the kitchen and took some fuzzy cell phone photos. Sorry!

The countertop: I placed the Ikea structure onto a cheap silver-ish Target trunk we’ve had forever. The hat rack was longer than the trunk so I also put a crappy orange crate we had in our backyard next to the trunk. On top of the trunk and the crate, I put some awesome granite and marble hot plates my parents had given us from pieces of their old kitchen. Then I put the hatrack on top, to create an island/countertop in front of the sink/stove combo.

More backsplash: I added another corkboard and put in a picture/window and a little mailbox. I nailed the hatrack into the two corkboards to keep it secure on top of the trunk.

An oven! I took a priority mailing box (that just came today!), covered it in foil, cut a square hole and put a cute square scrapbooking box I have. Then I placed it in a square aluminum desk inbox/mail holder thingy and stuffed the whole contraption into one of the hat cubbies.

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Private Education in Midtown and Downtown Tulsa – A Directory

School blackboardLooking for schooling resources for midtown and downtown Tulsa? I’ve tried to compile everything I can find in one place. This post is about private education; I will be compiling public school information (and any public/private partnerships) in a later post.

credit where credit is due -some of my information came from the following sources: Tulsa People’s 2009 guide to Tulsa’s private schools, TulsaKids’s Education Directory  and Tulsa realtor Lori Cain’s 2012 guide to private schools in the area.

Preschools/Daycare Centers

A note about Early Education/Preschool:
It is difficult to separate preschool from child care centers, especially when some preschools take children as young as 8 weeks old.  For that reason, I have omitted some centers from the list, even if it has “early learning academy” in the name, if it appears to be more daycare-centric than preschool-centric. But I’ve also let in a few daycares that are well-regarded.

For a complete list of childcare options (including preschools) for your child, check out the Oklahoma DHS site.  Each daycare center/preschool has drop-in visits from case workers to check conditions, and any reports filed against the center are reported on this site.  This site also covers in-home daycare options.

The Child Care Resource Center also is an excellent resource for childcare centers in Tulsa. You may put in your criteria (age, distance from work or home, etc) and a customized report will be emailed to you.

Finally, if you are looking for excellent babysitting services, Seeking Sitters is a franchise founded in Tulsa with qualified and background-checked sitters. I personally use it (a sitter is with my children now as I write this) and I have nothing but positive experiences.

University of Tulsa Kindercare
Donna Terry, Center Director
2906 East 3rd St., Tulsa, OK 74104
Ph: (918) 583-5400 Fax: (918) 583-5426
Ages: 6 Weeks to 12 Year-Olds Open: 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM, M-F

Infant Programs (6 Weeks – 1 Year)
Toddler Programs (1 – 2 Years)
Discovery Preschool Programs (2 – 3 Years)
Preschool Programs (3 – 4 Years)
Prekindergarten Programs (4 – 5 Years)
Before and After School Programs (5–12 Years)

Chapman Child Learning Center (a Bright Horizons program). On the St. John’s Hospital campus.

Happy Camper Academy – ages 6 weeks through 5 years. Allows for continuous parental monitoring via webcam. Daycare and preschool.  1819 E. 15th St. Tulsa, OK 74104
918-584-2779 (58-HAPPY)

Hillcrest Child Development Center  – (918) 579-7858, 1121 S Victor Ave, Tulsa, OK 74104 (918) 579-7858

Church- and Temple-based Early Learning Centers:

John Knox Child Development Center – 2929 E 31st Street Tulsa OK 74105 918-742-7655.  A ministry of John Knox Presbyterian Church. Preschool and daycare.

University United Methodist Church (On the TU campus). Preschool and Mother’s Day Out. Hours: 9:00a – 2:00p Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. For additional information on Preschool and Mother’s Day Out, please contact preschool@uumctulsa.org or call the Church Office at 918-592-3633.

First Christian Church Child Development Center – 913 S. Boulder Ave. Tulsa, OK 74119 (918) 582-8237

First Baptist Church Child Development Center – First Steps Developmental Preschool. Tuesday, Wednesday, and/or Thursday. 6 months-pre-K. 403 S. Cincinnati Ave Tulsa, OK 74103

First United Methodist Church Early Learning Academy – 8 weeks – 5 years.  Tuesday, Wednesday, and/or Thursdays. 9:30-2:30. Enrolling now!  Registration forms may be picked up or requested by calling (918) 587-9481, ext. 212. Please ask for Judy Landers, Director.

First Lutheran Early Learning Center – Jennifer Olden, Director.  6 weeks – 5 years. Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. 1244 South Utica Avenue // Tulsa, Oklahoma 74104 // 918.592.5705 // flelctulsa@yahoo.com

The Early Learning Center at  Congregation B’nai Emunah6 weeks – 5yrs.  If you’d like to schedule a tour, please call 585-KIDS. 1719 South Owasso Tulsa, Oklahoma  74120

Boston Avenue Weekday School – M-F 9am-2:30pm. 4months- Kindergarten. Children may attend 2, 3 or 5 days a week. Contact Patty Barnes. 918-699-0112. 1301 S. Boston Tulsa, OK

Temple Israel Moe Gimp Early Learning Center (a Day School program)- 6 weeks-5 years. Jewish-based education. Pikler Institute philosophy. 6:45am – 6:00pm, Monday – Friday.  Sasha Reedy may be contacted (918-747-3122) for enrollment information. 2004 East 22nd Place • Tulsa, Oklahoma 74114

Dioceses/Parish Schools:

St Catherine School – A parish Catholic school Serving the Tulsa Diocese. Pre-K through 8th grade. 2515 W 46th Street Tulsa, OK 74107.  (918)446-9756

School of Saint Mary1365 E. 49th Place, 749-9361,Opened in 1954, the School of Saint Mary is a parish school that aims to provide its students with a quality education while integrating their spiritual, academic, moral, social, physical and emotional development. 1st-8th grades.

Other Religious Private Schools (more than early childhood education):

Holy Family Cathedral School – 820 S Boulder Ave, Tulsa OK 74119 (918) 582-0422. Ages 3 through 8th grade.

Monte Cassino School
2206 S. Lewis Ave., 742-3364,Founded in 1926, Monte Cassino is a Catholic community school that serves students in preschool through eighth grade.

Augustine Christian Academy
6310 E. 30th St., 832-4600,Augustine Christian Academy, formerly St. Augustine Academy, is a Christian, classical school dedicated to providing a setting to students that is both challenging and supportive. Located in midtown Tulsa in the former University of Oklahoma Medical School library building. Pre-kindergarten through 12th grades.

Marquette School
1519 S. Quincy Ave., 584-4631,Established as the Sacred Heart School in 1918. Ages 2 years – middle school. Marquette’s Early Childhood Development Center (ECDC) serves children from ages 2 years until developmentally ready for kindergarten.

Bishop Kelley High School
3905 S. Hudson Ave., 627-3390,serves Catholic and non-Catholic families who seek a college preparatory program within a Christian environment of concern, trust and growth. The school is owned by the Catholic Diocese of Tulsa and serves a student population of nearly 900 students, grades 9-12.

Cascia Hall Preparatory School
2520 S. Yorktown Ave., 746-2600,offers a stimulating academic curriculum to students in the sixth through 12th grades.

Peace Academy
4620 S. Irvington Ave., 627-1040, Peace Academy is an Islamic private school educating students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade that aims to provide a unique learning environment with high standards to students of all faith traditions.

The Little Light House – 5120 E. 36th St. | 918-664-6746 | Learning haven for children living with autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy and other challenges. It provides a program designed to offer special education and therapeutic services to children from birth to 6 years old. Students attend Little Light House tuition free. Bible-based curriculum

Tulsa Adventist Academy – 900 S. New Haven Ave – 918-834-1107 – PreK-10th grade

Other Private Schools:

University School (on the University of Tulsa Campus) – serves academically talented children from ages 3 to 8th grade. It has flexible class divisions (instead of dividing the students into grades)

Miss Helen’s Private School 4849 S. Mingo Road, 622-2327,Family owned for more than 50 years, Miss Helen’s provides a safe, loving and challenging environment for students in prekindergarten through fifth grade.

Undercroft Montessori School
3745 S. Hudson Ave., 622-2890,
Undercroft is a nonprofit private school serving children ages 3-15. The school was founded in 1964 by parents who sought a whole-child approach to their children’s education.

this article was originally posted on the Midtown Tulsa Moms website