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!


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?)


August 28: More origami & finishing what I started

August 29, 2012 § 4 Comments

Another mom book I recently checked out is called Good enough is the new perfect. I didn’t really relate to the moms profiled in the book (most made approximately 3x as much as I do and were much more ambitious than I will ever be), but I did enjoy the premise: You don’t have to (try to) be the best at everything. Or, you can have it all, but not all at the same time.

How does this apply to origami? Well, while I could spend hours trying to figure out instructions for complicated origami objects, I really don’t think that this would be making good use of my time, especially since the last few days have been quite busy and tiring. Maybe in a few years, when I have fewer things on my plate (no small babies, kindergarteners, or looming tenure for example), I will want to become an origami master. Just not right now.

I really wanted to make the bunny mobile I mentioned in the yesterday’s post, but I realized that I can a) just use a bunch of origami animals from my easy origami book I made ages ago and stuck into a basket under the couch because I hate to throw anything away and b) make a few more easy origami objects, each of which takes about 1 minute to make while I am hanging out with my baby who is just starting to enjoy lying on the couch and looking at the world. So I did. And then I used some glue to make the pieces look better on wire. And then I pulled out the wire, and D. and I each made a mobile. I asked him to help because he is a mobile expert. He once created an awesome algebra lesson using Calder’s mobiles that I have him teach in my classes once in a while.

We each created one. This is how he did it (there is a carp, a pigeon, a sailboat, and a pelican)

and this is how I did it (there is a star, a pinwheel, two birds with curved wings, a swan, and a butterfly)

Tomorrow they will both go above O’s changing table, where she likes to hang out. I hope she enjoys them, even if they look nothing like the mobile from the book:

Maybe it’s because they gave no directions for how to make it. This is my peeve with craft books: they make it look so easy, and then I can never make it look anywhere near as good. But you know what? Who cares. It’s good enough, and I am sure she won’t know the difference. In fact, she may enjoy the bright-colored creatures more than the pale blue bunnies.


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