Archive - July 2008

Still Appropriate Today
While the Cats Are Away…
Three In a Bed

Still Appropriate Today

These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.
-Thomas Paine

While the Cats Are Away…

the mice will craft!

Pumpkin Girl took advantage of our mostly testosterone-free week by making me craft with her. She’s working on basic sewing and sort of pre-embroidery skills. I’m not at my finest teaching her fine motor skills type stuff, but I powered through it, trying to remember how patient my aunt and grandmother were teaching me how to embroider. While Pumpkin plugged away at stitching, I cast on for another sock. It was a Little House on the Prairie moment. Sorry, no pictures yet.

Last night I tackled a long overdue project while the chicken nuggets were being heated in the microwave.

A bazillion years ago, my parents gave me these old ladder back, rush seat chairs. They’d had them since the dawn of time and I needed chairs. I’ve never liked the look, feel or sound of rush seats and these were falling apart but still functional. Then the three of us visited a Shaker village and I saw the really cool Shaker tape chairs they had. This was back in about ’95, before the internet became THE source of all knowledge, but somehow I managed to find a source for Shaker tape and a booklet of instructions.

I cut off the old rush seat, sanded and stained the wood chairs, then wove Shaker tape seats. Very nice. They held up well for 10 years until the Great Bathroom Flood of ’06 when they got hit by water and ceiling plaster. They actually dried out just fine, but the tape lost some of its starchiness and started slipping apart. After a year and a half they were no longer usable. Then Bip the Destroyer got to them and starting unweaving them. Here’s one coming apart:

So I got online and ordered new Shaker tape. As luck would have it, I found the little how-to booklet. Pretty amazing for 12 years and 6 moves later!

First step was to remove all the tape.

In between the woven seat is a little cushion I made, following the book’s instructions. The glue on the edges had loosed so I removed the cushions completely, shook them out and reglued them into place.

Now the weaving. Here’s all the warps (or is it the wefts?) in place.

And now the weft (or is it the warp?) gets going.  Once you’ve got a couple of rows, you add more warp (?) on the left and right to account for the bottom rung being wider than the back.

All finished. Nice.

When Bip saw it he said, “Oh, pretty!  Me sit on it?”  Then he went to the second chair, still waiting for it’s new seat. “You do this one, too?”

“Yes”, I said, “I’ll do that one, too.”

“When?  Later?  After naps?”

(Hmm, do you think I’ve been putting him off a bit lately?  Telling him “later, after naps” a bit too much?  Guess I’d better go remind myself about what I learned from Coconut Syrup.)

So one chair is done and I have plans to finish the second one before the boys return tonight.

Three In a Bed

Boo and Philip are off at Cub Scout Camp this week so  I’m also left with a week of no school and creative dinners.  We don’t really have room for all the food my neighbors left when they moved, so we’ve been working our way through it while the men folk are away.  Last night it was whole wheat pancakes from a mix, before that it was TV dinners and earlier, frozen taquitos and fish sticks.  Not our normal fare at all, but a fun diversion.  Plus, we parked ourselves in front of the TV during dinner time and watched Disney movies.

Hey, that reminds of a time in junior high school when my dad was teaching in San Francisco for awhile.  Every night my mom and I would eat dinner in the living room in front of the TV and watch reruns of CHiPs.  Funny.

It’s amazing the kind of time I have on my hands right now. We’ve been filling it in all sorts of different ways. Monday we went to Build-A-Bear for our end of the year Brownie blow out.  Somehow I came home with a bear, a dinosaur and a WebKinz mouse.  Funny how that happens.   My friend Tami came over and started weeding my front garden which resulted in us (ok, HER) pulling out two dead bushes and showing me how to tie up the foliage from the long gone daffodils.  We rearranged some of my potted plants and now my front yard looks Yard of the Month worthy.  Too bad they don’t actually do that on this base.  I was then inspired to re-pot all of my houseplants and they look so much happier now.  Then this morning I was sitting in the shade of the carport and I noticed how much junk was lying around, so I cleaned up around there, too.

I’ve got a couple of other projects I need to tackle before the boys return  tomorrow evening.

As for the title of this post?  Both Pumpkin Girl and Bip are sleeping in my bed for the week. I just wish they weren’t both such early risers.

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