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...

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Handlebar, anyone?

My artistic brother, Noah, loves to construct and decorate theme cakes for his boys' birthdays. Miles just turned 5 yesterday, and I have to show off the cake Noah made for his "bike" party. I wonder which section Miles chose to eat?
Rowan came downstairs as usual this morning and snuggled up next to me on the couch with Bun Bun. I noticed Bun Bun was naked and asked where her clothes were. "She was too hot in the night." Apparently, a knitted sweater and knitted dress are not good bunny sleepwear, so we started to discuss how to make Bun Bun a night shirt or gown for these hot summer nights. I pulled out my fabric scraps, crafted a pattern (Lord help me - this is not my strong suit!) and crossed my fingers. Let the random construction begin!
Bun Bun has such an odd shaped body - like a pear (which really, in today's world, is pretty normal when I think about it!) - and Rowan prefers to have her tail out, which means I need to seam the gown up the back leaving a hole for the fluffy tush. I basically cut a large piece of fabric I can wrap around Bun Bun under her arms, using ribbon for straps, then seam up the back to the tail and put snaps on above the tail along the back because Bun Bun's large head won't fit through the chest hole.

Rowan wanted bright blue thread on the green fabric, which of course means every stitch is easily seen and my very imperfect sewing skills show up tremendously. Luckily, Bun Bun is not picky about this kind of thing. Even after measuring, the first swath of fabric was too tight - thank God I had another hunk to cut from. It was barely big enough, but we made it work. Rowan chose some pink ribbon for the straps, and we used tacky paper to iron on the cloth heart.
Not the best nightgown ever made, but not bad for a lazy Sunday morning's work!

In an effort to be Girl Scout Leader crafty, I spent several long, stupid hours yesterday troubleshooting a PowerPoint issue. I am making each of my Brownies a canvas bag to hold all their various Brownie books, etc. this coming year. I created a design in PowerPoint (for lack of having better, high-tech design software) which I need to print on iron transfer-paper so that I can apply it to the bags. The trouble: the design needs to be a reverse/mirror image when printing in order to come out right in the final step. PowerPoint will allow you to flip a picture, but not text. 

I spent a good hour on my own trying this and that. I looked at chat groups online, and finally ended up called Microsoft for some help. The phone call was almost an hour - and filled with the usual frustration of the rep not listening to what I wanted to do, topped with a language barrier. He spent 15 minutes having me set up software so that he could see my screen, and then would disappear for awhile to consult with someone else, then come back with a "solution" which wasn't what I had asked for. 

First he created text with a shadow underneath it. Then he tried to convince me that flipping the text upside down was a "mirror" image. LORD. What a waste of time! When he finally understood what I was trying to accomplish, he said, 'Sorry - that can't be done." I asked him (the PowerPoint expert) if there was any way to trick PowerPoint into thinking the text was an image/picture so that I could flip it? No, he said. 

Meanwhile, Brynn has awakened and is crying - a diaper loaded with poop. After I calmed down, changed the diaper, and took a deep breath (Brad is very glad he was not there for this technology session - I go a bit bonkers)I called my design goddess friend, Melissa. She called back later that afternoon. Oh yes, you can select the text box by right clicking on it (aha!) and choose "Save as picture" from the menu. Then you can import that picture into the document and flip it any dang way you want. DUDE! It took less than 2 minutes for her to walk me through it. I will never call Microsoft Support again! I wanted to email the PowerPoint guy: to tell him how to do this for the next person who calls with the same question, and yes, also to stick it to him a little bit. But there is absolutely no email address you can use to contact them with this type of thing, and I am not going to call again and waste more time. LOVE you, Melissa! Now after all this, if the iron transfer does not work well on canvas, I might cry. :P

This just in: it worked!! Ta da!
Lastly, I will leave you with a picture/letter Rowan created for our friend Laurie, who is off to Girl Scout Resident camp this week - she will love getting this in the mail!

1 comment:

  1. Oh my gosh, I LOVE that letter and drawing Rowan made. :) The recipient will be thrilled! :)