Saturday, December 13, 2008

Baby is here!


Davis Chancellor Mobley, born 12-9-08. Davis came literally barreling into the world after a very brief labor...about 45 minutes from when I suspected it was the "real thing" until he was in my arms, crying lustily....25 minutes from calling the midwife! Since then, I have mostly breastfed. So, I may have to give up my ornament project until next year! I had no clue, really, no business trying to do something like that and you would think I would know better after 4 kids.
Davis is perfect and beautiful and everything I hoped for.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Husband

In the midst of all this waiting, this advent of torture, I had to go and have troubles with my husband too.
One of my dear friends wrote to me that one way to get the baby out is to share time with my husband, to think Valentine's Day or the day we met or some other sentimental loving time. She said to get in a mood where the room is "fairly shimmering with love". My heart melted when I read that, in a bittersweet way. Nothing in my interactions with my husband lately has been shimmering with anything except misunderstandings and awkward attempts at repair. It doesn't help when hormones naturally dictate that everything he says can and will be held against him.
"fairly shimmering with love"
For days, we had walked around, not knowing what to say, not knowing how to reach each other. I had sunk into discouragement and the hopes I had for my labor to be a "date night", full of joyful anticipation and loving support of each other.
But I have been selfish. I have let my wild emotions dictate the tempo and setting of our words. I have been needy and ungrateful.
Then, for some reason, last night I watched him as he put ornaments on the tree that he had gone and picked out for us, lifted Serena up to put them in just the right places, listened to Maddie singing in the background to the "24 Italian Songs and Arias" accompaniment CD. For some reason, some odd grace overtook me and I was able to simply witness. You know how you can be in the throes of relationship and completely miss "seeing" the other person? But after days of tension, I "saw" him. My heart softened and swelled with gratitude.
"fairly shimmering with love"
If only for a moment, the room was. Sentiment? Christmas lights? nawwww.
I love this man.

Popsicle stick santa..project #7


Brianna is 17 now. Isn't it sweet how she wrote her name? Wish I had also put the year on it.
Hope this project is self-explanatory...just painting a thick popsicle stick and decorating with snowman features (marker or paint) and gluing on a fabric hat and scarf. Easy!
I probably do have 23 more projects I can post. We will see.

Wool christmas trees






Florist's wire (16 gauge), toy wheel of any shape or size (this determines the size of the tree..you could make a whole forest), and wool. Shape the wire, make a blunt end to fit into the toy wheel's hole, glue if you like, wrap wool around your tree armature. Little ones can wrap and decorate with sequins, leftover yarn, etc. I had some angelina from spinning that I wrapped around the tree. For a tree that is more three-dimensional, you could make two or three wire trees and place them in the wheels at cross-purposes.

Silk gift idea

You are going to have to use your imagination for this blog, a LOT, because my camera only cost $80 and it doesn't take close-ups. And the great lighting is in my bathroom.
But trust me, even without my passion for children's art, these are beautiful. It is the same swath of silk that Serena water-colored, cut into pieces, and I then used Mod-Podge to secure them to very small canvases, gathered from here. The canvases were less than $2 each.
Why glue silk to a canvas? Because of the transparency of the colors. I could have her paint directly on canvas with opaque paints, but watercolor on silk is so beautiful.
I recommend using the wet-on-wet watercolor technique (just wet the silk first). Have your child paint to their heart's content, let the silk painting dry, and if you aren't already attached to it, cut it into pieces that fit the canvases. I also recommend the matte Mod-Podge, and smooth out the bubbles as you glue.

Silk and Children

I had Serena paint a swath of silk, fashioned a wire frame out of florist's wire, and stitched the silk to the frame. I then wiped it with oil to give it some transparency. When Chance was putting this on the tree, he made a comment about it...he didn't know that we had made it. We used plain old watercolors...no fancy dyes or silk paints.
I'd like to try this with rice paper too.

idea # (what number am I on?)


You should totally abandon any urges to buy those ready-made ornament hooks and make your own.
My camera is lacking but the wire is brass wire from jo-ann's, and you can shape it with needle-nose pliers into beautiful shapes for your ornaments.

No baby

Here in the purgatory of waiting and waiting, I decided to conduct life as usual and see if THAT brought about a baby. I've already wasted three weeks of maternity leave with my wild, wacky emotions about this whole overdue business. Last night, I was even sure I was in labor and gave up precious sleep to emote about it.
Putting that aside, it IS Christmas and we HAVE been crafting over here (in between nervous breakdowns, of course). I'll upload the pictures after I type awhile about something that has weighed on my heart.
Yesterday, my husband was parked behind me in our narrow driveway. Only it wasn't his vehicle, it was the TRUCK, borrowed to go hunting for a Christmas tree. Now, the truck is a stick shift. The truck being stick shift made me consider something about myself I thought rather odd: I don't know how to drive a stick shift.
I qualify to drive a stick shift truck. I am, a. Living in Kentucky b. descended from a long line of people who totter between redneck and hillbilly and c. have an illustrious family history that includes (but is not limited to) alcoholism, chicken fighting, jail, wife-beatin', honky-tonk-cheatin', and cigarette smoking. We have good things, too, like going to church and pushing food. But those don't qualify you to drive a stick.
You should totally believe everything you hear in a country song, especially ones by Merle or Loretta.
So, sadly, I had to rely on my husband to move the truck. He came from a St. Matthews, professional family. He knows how to drive a stick. Go figure.
Alright, artsy posts coming up!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Catching my breath

Boy, you would think being overdue would afford me loads of time to do things, but it has not. I still have waiting pictures of projects, but honestly, I have adopted an unholy focus on getting un-pregnant. Thank God for my therapist...she really helped bring me down into the here and now today. So, while waiting in this purgatory of overdue land, I am going to continue to make my plans, not stress about the wasted 3 weeks of maternity leave, and get ready for Christmas, and maybe even still write on this blog.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Gift Tags

Gift tags...I got these out of Chance's late Granny's sewing stash...pre-cut with fusible interfacing on the back, to which I fused a cheery Christmas print. But, one could simply cut the shapes out of felt (mittens work too) and then blanket stitch around, add rick-rack or the trim of your choice. The names were free-motion embroidered by machine. You think I have time to do that by HAND? It would be a fun purse-project, and it's nice to have reusable gift tags.
On a mom note, 3 days past due date and already extremely miserable. Not physically, but emotionally, as my older girls (aged 17 and 14) must go to their dad's for Thanksgiving, IN OHIO, four hours' drive away;this is something I did not want to happen as I wish for them to be here when their baby brother arrives. Pregnancy does not diminish my need for Lexapro! Let the pregnant woman groan to whoever has ears.....

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Ornament Idea #1



I am not sure where I found this idea, but it is perfect for children who are just beginning to "come into their hands" and can wrap or wind a ball of yarn.
You simply take a pipe cleaner and wrap it with wool. We did a wreath, too...I'm not much of a decorator, but one could add beads, raffia, etc.
Don't be limited to wrapping with wool. Try fabric or yarn scraps and pretty papers as well. Bend into a star. Use sturdy florist's wire instead of pipe cleaners. Have fun!
No baby yet today...one day past due date.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Rhythm

This time of year, we are living in the great, swinging rhythm of the seasons. In my work with parents, rhythm is applied as a tool to help regulate yourself and your child. Rhythm is breath and breathing. We all need times of quiet...death...stillness...incubation...like a bulb under the earth. Sometimes these periods last longer than expected or longer than is comfortable. Then, we experience the times of growth and productivity, life and light, activity and movement. Having children around helps remind us of the importance of daily rhythm so we can work through the larger breaths life gives us.
Our modern world is anti-rhythm. Not only is an unnatural work ethic practiced, but even when we are not working for money, we are always on the run or in the car or on the phone, or at least feel that we have to be doing something.
For me, finding joy has been finding rhythm...allowing myself to alternate periods of activity with periods of rest and introspection. Were any of us ever taught to do this unless we lived on a farm and HAD to? It feels good to set this example for my children. We can come together instead of being on the go. I remind myself especially about keeping the steady heartbeat of daily life during the holidays. With so much to do, it can become a challenge to really "breathe" and enjoy the blessings of these seasons. Yet, that is exactly what we need to do.
So, in celebration of breathing and rhythm and taking time out, I am starting a "Month of Ornaments" project. Over the years, one of the things my family has enjoyed is making ornaments for our holiday tree. Most will be tried-and-true, sort of trite, and some will be inventive and creative. Hopefully all will inspire those who read this blog to find the quiet time to create. But don't let me throw you off rhythm...no pressure!
Look for the beginning this weekend.

Mandala

Wednesday, November 19, 2008