Archive for the 'making things' Category

pinterest, a cautionary tale

or, how many times i stabbed myself in the hand with a drink umbrella.

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speaking of drink umbrellas, whoever is making them these days sure seems to have lowered their standards.  if that were possible.  don’t breathe, rain, or slam the door.

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the upside is that the kids got the extras.  they made villages in the spinach.

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played market with dandelions and nuts.

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while gideon built traps for wild boar.

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suffice to say, with a pack of 150 my yard now looks like a christo and jeanne-claude installation.  how could you even have more fun?

the black walnut

my brother and i just finished putting together his little etsy shop.  freshly stocked and ready to go.  i was going to let you in on the good stuff before someone else got it.

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for instance, check out this bird’s eye maple baby rattle.  it’s absolutely lovely.  the perfect shower gift as well as a keepsake that will last a lifetime.  i’m commissioning them for all of my shower gifts herewith.  (which means, if your name is becca, mackenzie, or amy jo, you’d better pick now and i’ll save it for you.)

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but this one is really my favorite.  it is one of the small rattles.  perfect for a little baby hand.  there is something about the weight, color, and sculpture of this one that makes it a complete delight.  like candy.  i love it.   it just sets in the palm of your hand.  and right, now that you mention it, i think i should keep it.

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he’s also been turning out bracelets.  prices aren’t quite settled yet, but i think these are around $5.  i wear mine with everything.

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and he turns out dandy tops.  he sent us a whole variety for chirstmas and i keep them out on the coffee table for guests.  they’re like mini-masterpieces in different shapes and kinds of woods.  i always like to keep something for busy little hands in the living room.  things that don’t look ugly when spread about.  buy a pile.

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he even tried his hand at a maraca.  for the more enthusiastic babies.

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anyways, now you know.  happy shopping.


let me count the ways.

i have been putting off blogging my birth photos.  exactly.  the words “birth” and “photos” don’t exactly go together.  it makes you ill, doesn’t it?  although you’re probably more concerned as to why my doula is outfitted in oilcloth and sailor stripes….

what the heck is a doula anyways?  (everybody always wants to know.)  well, doulas are for doing all the things your husband is supposed to, if he wasn’t busy reading church history (really?  more interesting?) or napping.  but they only wear sexy sailor costumes if you happen to go into labor on halloween.  an unforeseen extra.

which actually turned out quite handy since i ended up wandering the streets of boise in my housecoat, masquerading as a drunk pregnant woman, at 9 o’clock at night.  you know, held up between a sexy sailor and a scruffy redhead.  every 30 seconds you would find me doubled up on the sidewalk or hanging over a planter.  but that’s okay, cuz i blended right in with the territory.  no one would have known i was an actual pregnant woman, in active labor, on a downtown stroll.  no, that woman, she’s obviously waaaaaasted.

when i got back to the center i was at a 5 so they let me in the tub.  they estimated my labor to be around 5 hours, but i’m not sure how they do the math.  i do it by how miserable i am.  walking around town for and hour was pretty miserable, but so are lots of things.  the tub was quite nice for an hour, and then not so nice for an hour.  i was in and out and generally thinking this was the dumbest thing i had ever done.  to me, that’s the hour that counts.  (pushing was clocked at 1 minute and 1 second, so that doesn’t count.  sorry.)

my husband kept on coming home from work that week asking if i could have the baby so he could go on vacation.  which seemed a bit delusional to me, but i guess “labor” means different things to different people.  for instance….

right.  make violet do all the dirty work.

but that’s okay, you can see he rallied when i gave him the distinct impression i was going to die.  cue the hour i saved you 10 grand old man.

and right, it’s just not pretty.

but you get this slimy little kid at the end.  that’s supposed to make you feel better.

they do grow on you.

one of my friends is pregnant with her first and also thinking pursuing “birth photography.”  (i know, some people are insane.)  but that’s why we have all these fun photos.  i would have never taken any of them.  if we were lucky we would have remembered to get a picture of her with the phone for grandma.  and no one would have been there with the presence of mind to capture this.

or this.  which i find more in keeping with the “moment.”

and here’s my favorite “i love you anyways” shot.  i think there are quite a few similarities between a mother’s love and rihanna’s.  some people never learn.

but they’re just so cute!

judith and her daddy.  say hello to the man who will be buying your braces someday, sweetheart.  (i know, he has no idea.)

the photographer insists that i made boy run get sushi before he even held the baby, but i’ll let the photo chronology suggest otherwise….

and see if i ever have a baby in the middle of the night again.  where can you get sushi at midnight?  besides winco.  and that’s hardly the same thing.

then at 2 o’clock in the morning we bundled her up, threw her in the car, and brought her home.  that was my favorite thing about the birth center versus the hospital.  no paperwork, no people, no shifts, no rules, no nurses, no iv’s, no overnight stay.  on the other hand, i don’t need to tell you what i didn’t like.  because i believe i already showed you those pictures.  …gah.

good morning!

the children got up this morning and stumbled into my room.  “look what i found in mommy’s bed!” hollered jehu.  i know, how cool is that?  it’s like magic.

habbers on the other hand was not impressed.  she came in all excited, climbed up on the bed, and then stopped dead in her tracks.  “what is that?”  and then proceeded to give me the stink eye.

i know, it’s hard to be replaced.  roll the look of hopeless dejection.

nothing shopping won’t fix, i’m sure.

everyone else liked her just fine.  they all wanted a girl anyways.

what i am supposed to do with three girls still baffles me.  but hey.  as for her name, we’re waiting on daddy.  and he’s taking his sweet time.  meanwhile, aunt megan is calling her “steve.”


well my husband is wandering around the house eating reeses pieces and singing his, “i’m so glad i’m a man and not a woman” song.  it can only mean one thing.

i’ll let you guess.

the curse of the dollhouse

since my house doesn’t have enough projects there must be plenty of time to work on jael’s.  …um, no.  but my nesting instinct distinctly told me that i must decoupage the dollhouse before giving birth.  and in all cases, the nesting instinct rules.  even if for some ungodly reason it tells me to “nest” the dollhouse.  i just do what i’m told.

i think my theory on this was that the poor female child had no toys.  literally.  that’s because i boxed them up and stuck them in the attic.  (way to go mother.)  i left the boys the legos and the girls the dollhouse.  only the girls didn’t like the dollhouse (the girls don’t like anything).  all the furniture was broken and it was decidedly desolate.  maybe i was wondering how jael would handle a month of neglect without the proper diversions.

in which case, wallpaper seemed in order.  just to cheer it up.  but lest you get any ideas, it wasn’t fun.  mod podge is evil.  you turn around and there are air bubbles.  you squish them out and there are more when you come back.  fortunately, i was past the point of caring.  that and you have to know your audience.  (audience don’t care.)

for the last year i have been trying to outfit jael’s dollhouse with melissa and doug doll furniture.  so much nicer than plastic.  until someone steps on it.  (even then it’s still nicer than plastic.)

it’s almost as cool as this 70’s stuff my mother found.  sweetness.  i think this might call for another little spray paint project in the future.  oh yes, and i would like you to note the two windows i was forced to measure and wallpaper around myself.  now that was some girl math in action.  i even had to splice and match patterns in the process.  boy was impressed.

the whole project meant i sat on the floor too long for someone grossly pregnant.  (time flies when you’re having fun.)  the end of the matter being that i couldn’t get up.  pinched nerves and whatnot.  my husband tried to give me the ol’ heave ho, but it just made me scream.  i ended up laying down, trying to straighten out, and then get up.  but to no avail.  i looked more like one of those upside down carrion beetles wiggling it’s legs.  boy tried pulling me from the side.  i still screamed.  after 10 minutes of  huffing and puffing i was able to find one way i could move that didn’t hurt and made my escape.  there was much applause.  after that we moved to the table.

i think this room will be the bathroom.  we still want to collect the bathroom fixtures, nursery set, and kitchen.  then we will spray paint some of the old pieces, add a few chandeliers, curtains, and call it done.  unless i can find someone gullible enough to trim out the windows for me.  unfortunately, that person doesn’t live here.  (when hell freezes over my husband might be caught dead putting molding in a dollhouse.)

but he was kind enough to glue all the doll furniture back together.  nothing wood glue couldn’t fix.  we’ll see how long it lasts.  fortunately there’s enough furniture in there it should take them a while to mow through it all again.  just give them time.

and now i really must clean the boys’ bathroom.  really.

yeah baby

we took these pictures on our 10 year anniversary, just behind the corner in june.  i thought baby number 5 merited a photo shoot in a trailer park.  there’s no place like home.

of course, it helps when you have a friend who is a photographer and willingly agrees to meet you after hours at trailer parks in garden city.

this particular toaster strudel is due halloween.

i couldn’t decide if i should post this picture.  all i could think was, “does this dress make my butt look big?”  to which my husband said, “honey, you all look big.”

well, here i am laughing after the photographer told marc to suck it in and he totally fell for it.  hooray for skinny jokes.

i love my man.

and this lower photo is the one i am framing.  since it’s pink i could hang it in my dining room.  or could i?  it’s these delicate questions of propriety that i have little (no) bearing on.

for instance, it’s time to roll.  the neighbors are getting suspicious.

thanks amy jo!  p.s.  i look forward to seeing you in this dress next.  😉

hello airplane

after making a tally i found that we had been on five planes, two trains, two cabs, one subway, and one rental car.  talk about bleeding money all over the place.  i upgraded my vintage suitcases for the occasion with custom luggage tags.  so they would feel special, and they do.

here is the image i used.  i took a union jack and distressed it.  i am sure it will show up again.  it’s a pretty big image if you have plans for it yourself, feel free.

here we are spry and fresh at the airport before we knew better.  i actually went out and bought a special lounge outfit for our 12 hour flight.  marc, on the other hand, wore the same pants the whole trip.  because he’s a man.  (he even came home and put them back in his drawer because, what do you know, they still weren’t dirty.)

this was the other strictly unnecessary thing i did.  i got gel nails.  and oddly enough they kind of made the whole trip more fun.  a complete novelty.  only now they are a bit of a handicap, not to mention child-safety hazard (blow baby’s nose = poke out eye).  but totally worth it.  this was the color i was shooting for but they didn’t have it.  still, these made me happy.  i have two more fills before i retire the claws for good.  everyone has to try them once.  even if your husband has to open all your sodas and those tiny complimentary packages of marmite.  i could get used to being useless.

you know, if i wasn’t already.

spaceman spiff

i made gideon a “reading shawl.”  he makes me jealous.

i trimmed down my old down comforter to fit one of the twin beds.  in the end i had this little bit left over that i couldn’t throw away.

it is now gideon’s “nest.”

every time i look at him it just makes me sick.

the bucket woman

i mean, bouquet.

i made three of these for my sister’s wedding last saturday.  they were kinda fun.  i think it was because it was an impromptu sort of project where i used what i had and didn’t have to spend any time freaking out in the aisles at jo-ann’s.

but i still don’t want to do it ever again.

p.s.  pictures of the wedding coming soon.

keeping up appearances

vicar: "oh no, it's the bucket woman. drive, drive!!"

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