A lot of beautiful and inspiring images and projects have crossed my path lately. August is my birthday month, so my gift from Lyndon is that I’ll be able to finish out my sewing room and the nursery. Right now I’m just trying to soak in images and ideas, ways to fill our lives and house with serenity and a semblance of order. I think really that the word balance would be better than order – as linear as my mind tends to run, I’ve also come to accept that an orderly life is not in the cards for me! I prefer to work towards keeping an even keel as life’s waves come and go, rather than trying to force a plateau into places where hills and valleys are supposed to be.
First of all are three nursery photos that I ran across while checking out punkymoms.com today. I’ve been feeling a bit run down and isolated from working full time and caring for Oli… not to say that I don’t have support, because my family is 2 miles away and they and my husband are great! However, I don’t feel that there are many people I can relate to right now, and those that are going through the same life challenges as I am are all too busy to meet up with me (and I’m too busy to meet up with them).
I’m not so sure that punkymoms is the place for me, but it’s a start. I’d love to hash out some of the day-to-day questions I have with some other mothers who are either experiencing their first infant right now, or are near enough to the experience that they haven’t forgotten all the cool stuff they figured out! Most of the moms in my life have kids 10 and up, so they aren’t very recently practiced at breastfeeding, teething, planning a nursery, etc.
While I know that I am a punkymom at heart, I don’t have some of the issues that I often listen to in the counter-cultural crowd. Most common among them: I don’t assume that people are judging me based on how I look. Sure, it can be likely depending on where I am or who I am talking to, but I’ve noticed that there is a pervasive perception among those who collect tattoos and piercings to assume that people won’t treat them like equals or that they are being scrutinized closely by a disapproving and prejudiced public everywhere they go. Maybe this is too honest, but I find it tiresome. I’m interested in collectives of moms who uplift each other and share mothering experiences without judgement, not forums in which women bitch and moan about a soccer mom turning up her nose at them in the grocery aisle.
For Oli’s nursery, I have so far found an old chair in the trash of my sister-in-law’s neighbor and a small wooden wall hutch. The chair, which is child-sized, needs to be completely taken apart, sanded, glued back together, and then screwed back together. It is probably made of oak, or something equally sturdy, and it obviously sat out in some inclement weather for a while, but it’s really fixable. I’m going to paint it red – that slightly light red that’s very popular right now. Not cherry red, not fire truck red, but just a shade bluer and whiter than regular old red. The hutch will be perfect for a few small keepsakes and books, little treasures that Oli likes but that need to be kept out of the way. I’m painting it a bright sunny yellow. (Her nursery walls are pale green, by the way)
Beyond that, I need to figure out what I want to decorate the walls with! I tried to recreate the lovely birds on a wall from Curious Bird, but so far my little tweeties turned out kind of like blobby pincushions (I made my own pattern – not a good idea). If you’re wondering why Olivia has gotten to be seven months old without a completely decorated nursery, the answer is that we moved in only three weeks before she was born. I had to seriously stifle my nesting instinct while we bid, then closed, then paid up down payment for the house over the course of a month. I feel pretty darn lucky that the walls are at least the color I wanted!
As another source of inspiration, I recently read the first half of a book titled Math and the Mona Lisa about the connections between science, art, and nature. One crossroad of these three subjects that really fascinated me is the logarithmic spiral.
It is both a natural and mathematical phenomenon! I decided to explore it using art and started a meditation piece for my brother-in-law’s birthday based on overlapping spirals. The execution hasn’t been quite as profound for me as the concept, but it has been a stimulating exploration into being present. Since it’s a drawing designed to aid meditation and calm, it seems only right to really take my time and be completely within each penstroke as I work on it. That kind of quiet time is really good for me.
I am always thinking about making clothes for Oli, no matter what else I am up to. I’ve been slow regarding the projects I already purchased patterns and fabric for. This is mostly due to working during the week and then her lack of nappage on the weekends. She’s stopped taking those lovely two hour naps that were so good for her and daytime sleep has devolved into 20-45 minute naps at a time, usually, about twice a day if we’re lucky. She is one tired girl by bedtime! I don’t get a lot of “me” time for projects, etc., but I will try to get on that stuff before she outgrows the patterns. I saw a really cute bootie pattern today (I’m always scoping out cute booties):
They are easy to make, small, and she’ll still need them come winter. She might walk early, but she likely won’t be walking well by the time cool/cold weather makes its way back to Texas. Being functionally shod will not be an issue for a while yet.
Podcasts have also been great inspiration lately! I have several mothering-themed ‘casts on my iPod, as well as the very cool Craftypod, which gave me some great blogging pointers and got me to thinking about organization for this thing. That’s great, because it means I’ll probably update more frequently.