a monster with a mohawk

design and cut

sewing on the mohawk

finished front

little bat wings

finished again

As soon as Logan got the party invitation he knew just what he wanted to give his friend Rusty.  He drew sketches and pattern pieces, and then cut them out.  I followed his directions and did the sewing.  The arms and legs took a second try because they were too teeny to turn right side out the first time.  It was a good education in the importance of seam allowance.    There were very elaborate plans for clothes, but I talked him into something simpler– little bitty bat wings.

The word is that he’s well loved!

thankfully, my husband is an engineer

So, if you’ve read my blog for any amount of time you’ve probably noticed that often when I show you a finished project I say something like, “I’ve been making this in my mind for a long, long time,” or “I’ve been dreaming this up for a couple of years,” or something like that.

Well, this is no exception.


We were living in a tiny apartment in Alabama in the beginning of our summer of transition to Denver when a good friend sent me this link with exclamation points and excitement that I HAD to make one– it made her think of me.  And I completely agreed that I NEEDED one somewhere in my new house, whenever it would be that I got settled.  Since we’ve been here (for 2 1/2 years) I’ve been imagining those little birds in corners and bedrooms and had settled on just the place– a corner of the front room above the love seat that needed a little color.

the blues and grays

But now that it’s made it is a little big and I’m afraid it would swing into the blinds or the bookshelf and be too much of a temptation for the climbing 2 year old to bat at.  At the moment it is hanging in the doorway between the front room and my art room, but I’m thinking today I’ll put up a hook over my drafting table and let the birdies live there.

a feat of engineering

I’ve been on a bit of a spring-cleaning/ redecorating kick lately with a long mental list of things I want to do around the house and this was one of those things on the list.  In a burst of spontaneity the other morning Jonah and I went through my scrap bin with bird pattern in hand and found pieces that were the right size, cut them out, matched them up, and whipped up some birds.  That went really fast– especially with his help stuffing them.  With all that built up momentum I gathered some sticks at the park the next day and started sewing birds to branches– only to have them hang upside down like bats.  I discovered I needed to put some weight in the bottom of the birds so they weren’t top heavy and to use screw eyes to secure string to the branches so they wouldn’t twist.  I dedicated the next day to ripping out tail seams and spooning in rice, then attempting  to hang and balance it all again– to no avail.

Finally, when Barry had a free night we tried it all again.  We found a few helpful things:

-Attach the birds to the branch with wire instead of sewing them on so they are easy to reposition.

-Thicker branches twist and roll less than skinny ones.

-We ended up using thin picture wire instead of invisible thread to hang the branches because it was more stable.

-Once we found the perfect bird positions we squeezed a little hot glue in to keep them there.

So, now it’s done and so fun to look at!  When my art room is all decluttered and organized I’ll need some photo documentation, so I’ll show you its permanent home then.


look what i have...

Do you see that up there?  It’s a THREE year old who just finished saying, “Take a picture of me, mama!”

This is what was happening behind me:

making of the banner

Birthday banner making by Logan, fancy letters and all.

Ian’s birthday was furry of kid-made goodness.  Now that I’m writing this I wish I had taken photos of the cards Brenna and Jonah drew, but I did get a picture of the Mon-mon they designed and made for him.  (With a little help from me.)

the mon-mon and the crown

And it’s not just any Mon-mon– it’s a SUPER Mon-mon.  Brenna also made him the Birthday King all decked out with a paper crown and jeweled rings.

We had a couple of families over to share a dinner of pigs-in-blankets, macaroni and cheese, and carrots and dip.

with the banner and a reflection of friends


Oh, and cake, of course.  Chocolate cake with pink frosting as requested.

We are so lucky to have this sweet, delightful little guy in our family.  I tell him every night I’m so happy to be his mama, and he replies right back, “I’m so happy to be your Ian,” and kisses my cheeks and chin and forehead.

(To see more pictures of the present opening click here.)

note to self

  • Get up before everyone else.  Read.  Pray.  Do yoga (or go swimming).
  • Take a shower, even if the baby has to come along.  (Naked babies are fun, after all.)
  • DO NOT YELL UP THE STAIRS.  It does not make you feel happy.  Walk upstairs to say whatever it is that needs saying.
  • Do not whine back to whiners.
  • LOOK AT THE CALENDAR.  Your planner is your friend.
  • Wait until after school to look at the computer.
  • Read aloud.  And snuggle.
  • Work on making something with a child.
  • Work on making something all by yourself.
  • Watch birds.
  • Breathe fresh air.  Go outside, even for a second.
  • Eat vegetables.
  • Remember that there are people that live outside this house.  Talk to one (or some) of them.
  • Give one hundred bazillion hugs and kisses.  (They are much more important than math.  Really.)
  • Smile.
  • Laugh.
  • Sleep.

I’m printing this out and putting it on my bathroom mirror.  I’m needing the reminder lately during these days of not-quite-spring.

Speaking of spring– the new issue of Rhythm of the Home is up!

sweetie bird

It’s full of creativity, fun, and loveliness– including the pattern for my sweetie birds.  Go check it out!