Back to civilization

When the well is dry, we know the worth of water.

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, (1706-1790), Poor Richard’s Almanac, 1746

It’s my firm belief that anything I want to say, Ben Franklin has already said, and said it better. This exciting episode of the Wendy Files has been no exception. By the time Denny the Wonder Plumber gave us the all clear this afternoon, I was just way too excited at the prospect of doing dishes. And laundry. And washing the floors, for heaven’s sake. Anyway, the pipes are fixed, so we can check that little item off of yesterday’s list. Now, we’ll just have to see about the floor. And the walls. And and the ceiling.

On a lighter note, I finally got around to taking pictures of the presents I made for Esti and Chevi. Esti’s corkboard is based on this tutorial:If I didn’t know my kid would be reading this, I’d tell you I got the corkboard on clearance at Mal-Wart for a quarter. And the canvas is a Home Depot find…I bought a huge dropcloth that should provide me with all of my material needs (had to!) for awhile. Black acrylic paint from my stash and a doily from a pack I bought eons ago…easy-peasy, and definitely budget friendly.

Chevi’s name-art is as basic as it gets. I bought the frame at Goodwill, primed it, painted it, and cut a piece of scrapbook paper to fit. Printed out her name in a font that pleased me, printed it as a mirror image, and glued it to the back of the scrapbook paper. X-actoed it out, and put some contrasting paper behind the cutout, and voila! I’ve stopped lusting after Pottery Barn trappings. (Well, mostly.)

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Things to Do:

Cover ugly milk crates. This is a house of many crates. They are muy ugly. Must. cover. crates.

Make bedskirts. Simply have no desire to look at hideous boxsprings for another moment. Ick.

Make more rice bags. My feet are always freezing, but if I pop a rice bag under the covers before I go to bed, it’ll keep my toes toasty till I fall asleep. We all use them…we all love them.

Set up studio. This is what it looks like at the moment: (Kind of forlorn, isn’t it? But fear not! I have prodigious plans!)

Make belly bands … avoid TMI moments.

Finish moving. Still.

Finish unpacking. Still.

Laundry. Dishes. Again.

Feed kids. Again. Yes, that’s snow we’re melting on the stove to make supper. Yes, I feel like Ma Flippin’ Ingalls. No, the water’s not fixed yet. Which brings us to the piece de resistance:
Fix busted pipes.

We now return to our regularly scheduled craft blog.

In case you were afraid I had given up making stuff in favor of blathering endlessly about the virtues of our new house:This was a roadside rescue I gleaned in October. It was filthy and kind of beat-up, but cleaned up nicely with a can of blue Rustoleum and an IKEA curtain (Goodwill!) to hide reupholster the (previously fuchsia) seat. It’s been claimed by the boys for use as a desk chair.

Itty-bitty blather: check out the floors in the study!

Division of Labor

This little chore chart was my first Midwestern craft project. And, like most of my undertakings, it was born of necessity. With six kiddos, it gets hard to keep track of whose jobs are whose. Naturally, I could have made a chart on the back of an envelope, stuck it on the fridge, and called it a day, but I chose instead to cut, paste, punch and drill my way to chore-ganization.

Step one: Spend a quarter on a bulletin board at thrift shop.
Step two: Spend 2 days digging through basement of rental house in search of boxes of craft stuff.
Step three: Give up, go to Michaels and spend 40% less than highway robbery on box of cool scrapbook paper.
Step four: Open box of ridiculously-expensive-even-with-a-coupon scrapbook paper, then locate “missing” boxes of craft supplies in “safe place.”
Step five: Inadvertently teach children varied and colorful assortment of swear words.
Step six: Spend three days sifting through forgotten goodies.
Step seven: Use scrapbook paper, paper punches, rubber stamps, punch out letters, etc, to create job board and hang tags.
Step eight: Mod podge board, then drive in many many nails to hang jobs on. (Take this opportunity to further expand expletive vocabulary of offspring.)
Step nine: Struggle valiantly to refrain from employing aforementioned vocabulary while assigning chores to unwilling loin-fruit.
Step ten: Admire, hang on wall, and promptly draft into use as key/camera hanging station.

Happy, happy birthday, baby…

First girl after a run of three boys. Need I say more? This little stinker is as girly as they come…she wants her cereal with pink glitter on it, thank you very much! She’s been anticipating this birthday for months, now, making plans for the grand festivities which will take place in her honor. I didn’t want to disappoint her, and went a little crazy in the preparations for her big day.

The project that has me just tickled is the chair topper I put together from a couple of t-shirts I got from freecycle. There was enough scrap fabric to make a pair of covered-button hairclips and an appliqued “5” shirt for Her Highness.

(Yes, I have sideways pictures.  No, I don’t know how to fix them at the moment.  Sorry!)

So much to make…

so little time!  Yesterday, I scored a 50’s kitchen table in need of some TLC and a nice white wooden chair (in the same condition) from a Craigslist curb-alert.  The chair will be for the boys’ room, with the Ikea sailboat curtains standing in as upholstery fabric for the seat.  Picked up some cherry-red Rust-oleum for my sewing table, and some felt and ribbon to make hairclips for the girlies (in my spare time)…Trying to decide if I really want to try using fondant for Chevi’s birthday cake next month—after watching Cake Boss in the hotel last weekend, I’m feeling inspired!

The thing is, there are all these little people who keep asking to be fed, and bathed, and put to bed.  They want me to play CandyLand, and watch them fight with lightsabers, and bring them to the library.  I like them a lot, but I’m trying to figure out how to get anything done while they’re around.  (Especially the short ones.)  Have you ever tried to sew a log-cabin pillow (from a pair of freecycled jeans!) while you’re nursing an 18-month-old and entertaining her 4 and 7-year old siblings?  It can be done, folks (and I did it last night) but I’m telling you, it ain’t easy.  The good stuff never is.