Wednesday, May 29, 2013


Hi! We redecorated Dash's room! Because he's a big boy now and the old room was all dark and dreary and stuffed to the rafters with crap.

The first thing we did, after getting rid of nearly everything that was hanging on his walls, was paint over the dreary putty colored walls with a nice bright, creamy white.

And then the fun began in earnest. Dash and I worked closely--with each other and with Pinterest--on selecting every last detail. It's still not completely finished, but it's close enough for now.

I couldn't find a black & white duvet or comforter I liked, so when I spotted this fabric and Dash signed off on it, I was pretty thrilled. I ordered some nice, thin cotton batting and a simple gray & white backing fabric and sewed his new blanket in less than an hour.

The inflatable tiger head is HUGE and hangs directly over his head while he sleeps. A normal child would be disturbed by this, but Dash is weird, so he's cool with it.

He thinks that log pillow is the most hilarious thing he's ever seen and never tires of announcing to guests that he sleeps on a log.

He had so much crap hanging on his walls before that it was starting to feel slightly claustrophobic in his room. I'm all for bright and cheerful, but I think we crossed a line at some point into chaotic. So when it came time to select which art pieces we'd be keeping, I was pretty ruthless. We kept the Berkley Illustration tiger he's had since he was a baby, plus I commissioned Josh & Dash to create a couple of originals for the room. More on that in a minute. 

I had been seeing these funny pom pom banners all around the interwebs, but they said things like "loser" and "bitch, please" and while hilarious, they were a little much for a seven-year-old's room. So I ordered a huge bag of pom poms from Amazon, cut some letters out of cardboard and broke out the glue gun.

My favorite part is that when he acts like a poop, I can switch it around to express my feelings.

Dash was an able, if easily-distracted, assistant on the project.

Here's his funny little reading nook. The chair is made of bungee cords, the orange poof is filled with his old stuffed animals, and his lamp is a giant ice cream cone. Because of course it is.

The lamp doesn't really give off much light, so we have it set on a timer to serve as a nightlight. Because I defy you to find a more comforting sight in the middle of the night than a giant illuminated ice cream cone.

Here's Dash's "bookcase," which is 30% books and 60% trophies and medals. The last 10% is Darth Vader alarm clock. Natch.

We bought him this bookcase years ago from Ikea. It's covered in graffiti that is actually Shakespeare quotes. So it's highfalutin' and totally rebellious at the same time.

The desk still needs a tray of some sort, along with a bowl for his tchotchkes. I was planning to cover a bunch of cans in fun paper to hold his pens and such, but when I happened upon this utensil caddy I decided it would be perfect and called it done.

He's got these horrible sliding closet doors that are the bane of my existence (first world problems, yo), so I tried to distract from them by adding simple graphic decals. I just ordered up some chalkboard contact paper, cut it into trophy & lightning bolt shapes and slapped 'em up.

I got Dash a chalk marker to keep the chalk dust to a minimum. (I don't think we're going to be having any self-esteem issues with him anytime soon.)

Here's one of the pictures I commissioned. It's Jake & Finn chilling with the Cali bear. Like they do.

The artist at work.

And here's the piece I commissioned from Josh. The man is obsessed with space in general, and the moon in particular, so when I happened upon the printable from Mr. Printables, I knew what I had to do. You can't tell much from this picture, but the moon is framed in a shadow box, with the UFO & rover mounted on little foam tabs to make them 3-d.

The mile marker is my favorite thing.

Here's the artist ...

And his beautiful but slow-witted assistant.

These are Jokes

If you would have asked me last year if Dash would ever, in a million years, want to participate in his school's annual variety show, I wouldn't have been able to stop laughing long enough to answer. I mean, honestly, this kid is too timid to say hello to his school friends on most days. 

And yet. And yet. 

The Three Jokemigos
He and his beloved Will and Ethan decided on an act (stand up), chose and memorized their jokes, practiced their banter, and killed it on stage.

Here they are right before the show

Here's a slightly-shaky-but-totally-worth-it video of their performance.

After the performance they were elated if a little sweaty.

Signed the program
I asked them to sign the the program. Because they're stars. And I will sell this shit on eBay one day.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Teacher Appreciation

Dash was so incredibly blessed to have an amazing, caring, effective first grade teacher this year. So when our room mom sent out an email asking for help with gifts for teacher appreciation week, I couldn't raise my hand fast enough.

The way our class is doing it this year is fairly simple--the room mom asked for monetary donations, then I took those donations and shopped my ass off. (I may have gone slightly overboard.) (I really, really like his teacher.)

The first "theme" day is Stationery. I had absolutely no clue where to start, so I ended up just buying a bunch of adorable things that I decided could work in her home or in the classroom.

The amount of affordable, irresistible stuff that's available made me squee. I honestly wanted to keep almost everything. But I didn't. Because I'm selfless. Also because that would be stealing.

I wanted to add a couple of handmade touches for the stationery gift, as well. So I printed up some bookplates on large label sheets and cut them down to size.

And I broke out my trusty padding compound to make a few coordinated note pads. I'm not showing the packaging on the stationery gift because another mom is taking care of that part. I'll try to get a picture when she delivers it to the classroom.

The next theme day is Favorite Things. Except she wouldn't tell us any of her favorite things. Because "anything would be fine, really." Well.

So I decided to do a "Welcome to Summer" relaxation kit. I included a good book, a gorgeous Vera for Target scarf, a cute pair of flowered sunnies, some smooshy padded Dearfoam flip flops, the world's yummiest sunscreen, some fun plastic tumblers and reusable ice balls, and a few hippy-dippy bath items.

I loaded everything into this sweet chevron beach tote...

And added a festive tag. I really love this gift and hope it's a fun to use as it was to put together.

OK. Now's where the real crazy starts to reveal itself. The third day of gift-giving involves a way to display all the gift cards donated to our sweet teacher by the students. At Christmas I made an adorable (if I may say so myself) clothespin wreath, and I wanted to top myself this year.

I got it into my head that I wanted to involve lemons somehow. They're just so bright and Summery and make me feel vacationy. So. I printed out some cute illustrations of lemons onto card stock, cut them out & taped them onto the gift cards.

Then I made a lemonade recipe card, a tag identifying what the gift actually is, plus a little note thanking her for a "cool & sweet year." Get it? Cool & sweet? Like lemonade? 

I included a little container filled with vanilla bean sugar...

and some plump organic lemons (along with the gift cards disguised as lemons).

Everything went into a cheerful drink dispenser and voila! It's like a 2-for-1 gift!

Thursday, May 23, 2013


Dash decided to get a hair cut, but he liked it so much he decided to get 'em all cut! Thank you, I'll be here all ze week.

Before (with extra googly eyes and sweet friend Emilee)

After (with besties and Variety Show cohorts, Will & Ethan)

I may stop weeping eventually, but if I were you I wouldn't hold my breath,

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


Our beloved Goulds moved into their new house just 5 short months ago. That's how long it took me to finish this pillow.

You'd think after five months they could at least count on some hand-woven fabric or home-spun floss. Nope. Just my slow ass trying to embroider without a pattern because those stupid embroidery transfer papers can suck a dick.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

My Day

Our Mother's Day this year was low key and perfect, just the way my boys make it every year.

We had the Grandmas over for a beautiful brunch--prepared and served by Josh (!)--and then met our sweet Goulds for hot dogs at the stand. Just a perfect day to remind me (as if I needed reminding) how lucky I am to be the Mama of our little family.

This Mother's Day business is a pretty sweet deal.
I was spoiled with flowers and cards...

Mother's Day poem
And a very special poem from a very special smalls...

Lucky mama
And the most perfect yarn-wrapped vase ever made.

(Not pictured--a new pair of pink Thorlo running socks that made this morning's run about 80% less miserable. Don't get excited, though. Even at 20%, it's still pretty miserable).

Monday, May 06, 2013

(Grand)Mother's Day

Here are the gifts that Dash (with a tiny bit of help from his control-freak mother) made for his grandmas this year.

Mother's day gift for the grandmas from Dutch.
We settled on painting ceramic bowls & mugs, to be presented along with a homemade pint of ice cream. Grandma Sherry (Josh's mom) got portraits of her much beloved & doted-upon puppies, Fannie & Tillie.

Those red tongues are the best.

Like all important artists, Dash signed & dated his work.

Dash's Baba (my mom) is more of a cat person, but Dash has had a fat assful of drawing cats on things for her, so we decided on ice cream cones.

That hyphenated -m at the end of "cream" kills me to death.