It begins...

A friend recently forwarded an email to me titled "The Invisible Mother," a short essay comparing the tireless and often thankless job of a mother to the builders of Europe's great cathedrals. Both give their whole lives for a work they will never see finished, both make sacrifices and expect no credit, and both are fueled in their passion by the faith that the eyes of God see every detail. The writer of the essay was inspired by the thought that our endless efforts in motherhood, invisible as they may seem, are worth it and can make an enriching life.

For many of us, the way we choose to hold our invisibility at bay is by creating something tangible. For me, my days often end with knitting - my love of fiber and the need to do something relaxing end up producing something I can hold and look at. Nobody will know how many times I swept under the high chair that day, or how many toys I picked up, or how many times I tried to coax a "please" or "more" or "sorry" out of my 5 year old. But a darling, handmade infant hat? That you can see.

I start new projects every day, and my 10 year old does the same. In this process of creating (and yes, often not finishing our projects!) we connect with each other and a bigger picture of ourselves in the process. My plan for this blog is to share the projects that excite me and bring some accessible proof of my existence in this invisible world of mothering!

So, this blog is dedicated to the mothers out there whose days are filled with the minutia of tasks that build our children and our families. I often tell people that I haven't decided what I want to be when I grow up. But for now, I am the builder of a great cathedral. With every shoelace tied, lunch packed, and forehead kissed, I build.

And I can hardly wait to create something new...

Friday, June 17, 2011


For those unfamiliar with Girl Scouts, one of the essentials of camping is the "sit-upon." This useful tool fulfills its name by being something you can sit upon in nature to keep your keister dry and clean. It can also be cushy, for comfort! Last year at Day Camp Rowan and I used plastic place mats as our sit-upons, but they were awkward to fit in the backpack, and not at all comfortable. So today, we crafted a comfy version!

We picked out a vinyl tablecloth at Wal-mart that we were both happy with, (at first Rowan wanted the wine-country-grape-cluster one - ick!) and bought some white nylon cord. Hobby Lobby sells foam seat cushion inserts, so we got a 12x12 square for Rowan and a 14x14 square for me after I decided the 12x12 might be too small. We both laughed, remembering once when we were visiting Chicago and took a ride on the El train. Rowan had picked a bench seat and then asked me, very loudly and to the amusement of several other passengers, "Mommy, is there room on here for your big butt?" Good times.
This afternoon we cut our tablecloth into two rectangles, using pinking shears. We then used a hole punch and went around the edges punching a hole about every inch or so. We wrapped the cloth around the foam, and "sewed" through the holes using nylon cord. After weaving the 3 sides, we measured enough to make a long strap, so that the sit-upon can be slung over a shoulder for hiking (or attached via kara-beaner to a backpack). I suggested we write our names in permanent marker, and Rowan decided to go to town with some extra decorations. We tested them out under a tree in our yard, and they work great! (And yes, a 14x14 is large enough for my big butt. :P )
And per yesterday's post, here is a link to the "Striped Vest for Kids" pattern I'm working on (Afghans for Afghans) for anyone who wants it. I have completed one side, and am flying up the other side now that my wrist is pain-free!!

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