June 10: Waldo is back; and June 11: origami is back

June 12, 2013 § Leave a comment

Monday was “dress as your favorite character” day at school, which gave us a chance to pull out the Waldo costumes and have some (creative) dress up fun early in the morning. And the sun was out, which allowed me to get one or two nice shots of Waldo and his cool dad who dressed in costume in solidarity.



Last night at dinner, J. asked “So how do you make an origami cat?” I don’t know where that question came from, since we weren’t talking about cats or origami. But it’s a good question, and I found out from my friend the Internet. And we made a cat.


I have high hopes for his origami future.


June 2 and 3: Birthday gifts

June 4, 2013 § Leave a comment

Things are busy in our little workshop. It’s O’s birthday on Friday, and we started making her gift a little too late. For his first birthday, J. got an altered book from me, and a collage story from dad. Of course we are doing the same for O. Dad will probably be done by Friday, but I procrastinated. I have lots of good ideas though, so whenever it’s done, it will be good. Here are snapshots of what I have so far:


It will be a book about being strong and powerful, and it will feature all the goddesses that bring blessings and abundance.

J. is also making his sister a gift, a cloth doll. He also just started. This is what he has so far:


And while this is going on, we are also conducting a science experiment, with one of those things that grow in water. We have an ear that looks too real and disgusting! and we are seeing how much it will grow. In the process, J. is getting a lesson about area and counting unit squares.


It’s still growing!

May 21-24: sewing and pottery

May 25, 2013 § 1 Comment

Once I realized that I can skip a day of blogging without feeling too bad, I started doing it more often. This week is a good example of that. But, with three finals behind me, all graded, I can now temporarily return to that other life, the one in which I don’t have to grade papers until midnight, one in which I can be creative by choice and not because I am bound by a resolution from last year. I can return to daily posts.

Although I haven’t been blogging, we have still been active in our home. J. and I have decidedĀ  to take up sewing. There is a book called Sewing with felt that we picked up from the library, and, after buying some new felt (recycled & U.S. made) and embroidery floss, we got to work. Here is the product of two evenings of sewing:


The one in the middle is a nautical flag. The hearts are filled with soybeans, which make great beanbags.

And today we did something a little out of character, but so much fun! We went to the Painted plate place where J. and I picked out a piece to paint, while drinking coffee and cocoa. What fun, even if we didn’t quite fit the typical customer profile. He was sweet and calm and we had a good time just doing something together instead of our usual banter.


We pick up the fired and glazed pieces in five days. Stay tuned.

May 7: sewing at midnight

May 8, 2013 § Leave a comment

I don’t think I am doing this project the way I had initially intended. Instead of carving out time every day for myself, I find myself scrambling, around midnight, after grading and class prep, to find something to do for a few minutes so I can check this thing off the list too. This is too bad, because I do enjoy all the things I make. I just wish I had more time for them.

So last night at midnight I made an origami penguin for my injured kid, and wrote a note on the body of this pink penguin that said Get well soon. He was very pleased with it this morning. The penguin was nothing to report, but I can say that I didn’t skip a day of creative acts, and I made a kid happy. Who doesn’t like to get notes?

Tonight I finished my first hand-sewing project, a little red felt purse. It is surely nothing to be excited about, except it’s the first thing I have ever sewn in my life, and it was fun. Some decorations may be in order. And a more ambitious sewing project. Maybe after the finals are over.

In any case, I apologize to my readers to being so unexciting lately. There are two weeks left until the end of the semester, and at this point, everything seems like an endurance competition. I believe I will make it.


May 1: Bows

May 2, 2013 § Leave a comment

Yesterday we were finishing the Thank you notes so there wasn’t much to report. But today my little boy and I sewed. I got a book about sewing from kids from the library, so J. picked a project from it: a bow. He often insists on liking things that only girls are supposed to like, and I am not sure if this is because I think that gender norms are ridiculous or because he genuinely feels this way. Either way he wanted to sew a bow, so he made one, and I made one, and I made his so he can put it in his hair, and he did, and he loved it. He is a very rough little boy and it’s funny to see him that way. Great fun. I am not the best at sewing, but I really enjoyed it. It was very calming. I think I could get into it.


January 30: Scarves

January 31, 2013 § Leave a comment

Yes, indeed, I skipped a day of the blog. The flu got me. But now I am better and was able to do a low-stress, low-effort craft: making imperfect, crooked, matching felt scarves for the kids. J. helped me decorate them with pompoms, using one of our favorite tools, the glue gun.


J’s scarf (note the toothless grin — his first lost tooth)


O’s, simpler, scarf, with pompoms where she can’t reach them. And the funny face made by J. of course (though he initially complained about helping with the project — who can resist a glue gun, right?)


October 31: Halloween

November 1, 2012 § Leave a comment

The hard work has paid off. People commented on our costumes wherever we went, and the candy loot was huge. It would be great if this were a daily occurrence: people wearing costumes, walking around their neighborhoods, talking to their neighbors. There was a house on our street where they were handing out hot chocolate and hot cider, and this made my evening.

Here is the Waldo family at local businesses and back at home. Creative living in action.

October 30: Costumes all done

October 31, 2012 § Leave a comment

Two more hats, for Waldo and Wenda, and a bone for Woof. The bloody costumes are done — it would help if I could sew and had a sewing machine — but they are done. A lot of work for 2-3 hours spent in the rain collecting high fructose corn syrup candy.

Okay, okay, I am excited. The veil between the worlds is thin and children get to run wild outdoors for one night. It’s a good holiday.

October 26: Henry Darger and knitting

October 27, 2012 § Leave a comment

This is how I spent the last part of the evening


The good life: a documentary about Henry Darger from the library, loose leaf tea, and an attempt at knitting a red scarf. It is nice to stop obsessing about work and look around to see the richness of the world.

October 25: more about costumes

October 26, 2012 § Leave a comment

My littlest Waldo Watcher was not cooperating, so I barely managed to take a picture of her striped outfit with a pompom:

As for our biggest Waldo fan, who is the reason we are all dressing in red and white, he is going as Woof (Waldo’s dog if you didn’t know), so today I attached some ears to his hat (he ended up some glue on his hair, which resulted in an unplanned hair trim), and D. made him a striped tail, and he is almost ready to go:

Waldo and Wenda still need hats. I expect those will be done by the end of the week.

I never thought I’d be making Halloween costumes, but I really enjoy it. Last year we made an R2D2 costume for J, and he was the only kid we saw all night in a homemade costume. Apparently, store-bought costumes and face paints are toxic, so Green America has come out with an alternative Green Halloween. Check it out.



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