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...

Monday, January 16, 2012


2 weeks have passed since my last craft confession, and almost no crafting has taken place during that time. I could tell you that it's because of my new Jazzercise schedule (which is partially true) or because of the major clutter clearing that is also happening at our house right now (also, partly true.) But the main reason is because I've been feeding a new, somewhat time-consuming addiction.

Jigsaw puzzles. Who knew! On our last couple days of winter break, Rowan and I unearthed all the puzzles we had in the house (none larger than 100 pieces) and filled our kitchen table with them. When they were all done, I had a strong itch to try my hand at a serious puzzle, so I put it on my Target shopping list. I told Rowan about how my grandma Helen used to always have a jigsaw puzzle going on her dining room table, and when a big family meal happened we would simply lay the tablecloth over the puzzle and dine. The last time I had worked on a big puzzle was in Jackson Hole, WY, when my siblings and I took Dad for a week-long 60th birthday excursion. The house we stayed at had a puzzle going, which had clearly been out on the table for years and the colors were warped from sun exposure. In the early mornings, warm coffee in hand, we would gather and work the Old Faithful  Hotel puzzle and by our last day in Jackson we had it finished. 

Well, the Target choices weren't great, but they did have one that inspired me, so home it came. My family lost my attention for several days running. We ate a lot of canned soup.
I must say, it was really cool to intimately get to know a famous work of art. Note to self: add other famous painting puzzles to birthday wish list!

Once this puzzle was done, I was anxious to start another so I borrowed a couple used puzzles from a friend and got to work. Puzzle number 2 was HARD. The colors on the actual puzzle didn't match what was on the box picture, and the box picture was really small and hard to see. Hmmm, perhaps the persistent headache I've had for over a week has to do with eye strain?
I've got a 3rd puzzle going now, but am pacing myself. What can I say, my family missed me and Rowan is sick of soup.

Now, to prove I have actually been productive around the house as well, here are some pictures of my totally organized, clutter-free basement storage area! The amount of toys, boxes, junk, crap, whatnot, had been significantly depleted. Oh joy! Sorry, I forgot to take "before" pictures, but just imagine wall-to-wall stuff everywhere.
Note: Games actually accessible, and camping stuff all stored in or on old dresser! (Also note: sad usage of nice Farha family heirloom rug in grody basement storage area. We feel a little guilty, but not enough to do something about it.)

Tools/paint/hardware: check. Sewing/fabric: check. Wrapping boxes: check. Memorabilia: check.

Lovely, lovely, organized and accessible "Holiday" section.

Puzzles, toys and clothing Brynn isn't ready for: check.
I mean, do I deserve to do a dang puzzle or what!!?!

And yes, the knitting needles have been picked up again - I'm trying my hand at fair aisle. Skulls and crossbones emerging!
I'm not thrilled with the seed stitch edge - it's a bit loose and unless it blocks out really nicely it will be my "trial" hat. I might do another one using a smaller needle for the seed stitch. Also, the pattern is meant to be 6 mos. size and fits Brynn. Hmmm. Need to tweak there as well. But the Cascade "Vintage" yarn feels really good and I like the color!

Now that the basement project is done, the next big thing on my list is to update Rowan's birthday scrapbook. Then do Brynn's. Then update the family album. Then update the girl's portrait albums. I've got my work cut out for me! Let the photo craziness begin...with a few breaks here and there to work the puzzle...

1 comment:

  1. You are a driven woman, that's all I can say. Always doing something!!! The storage area rocks, the puzzles are awesome and put my little ones I do on "Jigsaw Galore Free" to shame - but I still love to end my day with one. I average 8-9 minutes to do a puzzle a day. :) I can fit that in easily! The hat looks terrific! Keep your floats loose and it'll be a winner!! I always love the yarns you pick. Wish our LYS had the ones you have access to. Sadly, it hardly EVER does. I guess there's always yarn barn and webs. :)
    PS Happy MLK day. I read a book to my class and nearly cried today. Very moving.