Thursday, October 06, 2011

{pretty, happy, funny, real}

~ Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life ~

Pretty & Happy:

I've been doing some knitting with super-exciting, beautiful Noro yarn. It's Japanese and expensive, but the pattern called for it and when I saw it in the yarn store, I couldn't resist it. I bought it for the hat I made for myself, but I had (more than) enough left over to make a stocking cap for Noah. He's not a huge fan of it (*sigh*), but he does like to play with it. It's a little big, so he can actually pull it down over his entire face, which cracks him up.
Yesterday was the first real rainy day for the season - it rained all day and it was pretty chilly, so it was the perfect day to wear my hat for the first time. So much fun!

I think they're funny little Halloweenish guys now that they're done, but this was one of those crafts that simply frustrated the living daylights out of me. It sounds so easy - you just use masking tape to tape off faces on glass jars, then you paint them with orange acrylic paint. Let them dry, remove the tape, stick in a tealight, and done.
Easy enough, I thought. (Famous last words thoughts.) I had plenty of glass jars that I'd saved from food. Sure, the paper labels were still stuck on them, but those would be easy enough to remove, right?! Wrong. I let those jars soak in hot water while Noah and I played at the park, but I still spent an hour scrubbing and rubbing and scraping bits of paper and glue off the jars. Meanwhile, Noah was excited to do a craft and kept asking me if we could start yet. Now, Mama? How about now?
Next, I needed to tape off the jars. Which... took another hour. And then I put 15 minutes on the timer, told Noah not to leave his room until the timer went off, and laid down in bed to recover from all that unforeseen work.
Then, Noah painted jars for FIFTEEN MINUTES. That was it. *sigh*
So, in retrospect: I should have stopped the label-removal-craziness and asked google how to do it right. I'm sure there's trick. And obviously, the craft wasn't really age-appropriate for a three-year-old - I wish I'd thought that part through.
Now - if I were to do this again, I'd just have Noah paint the jars orange and then paint the faces on with black paint later. Or mod-podge tissue paper onto the jars, which would eliminate the spottiness issues we had with the paint.

We got home from our vacation (in a rented minivan) to this. Bummer. My dad coached me through driving at a snail's pace to the gas station, then filled up the tire for me so we could go to the grocery store to fill the post-vacation void in the fridge. The next day, my parents, Noah, and I spent five long hours at Sears and in the mall (killing time while we waited). They were supposed to find and fix the leak (it's part of our warranty), but they couldn't find it and then they pointed out that the front tires were worn dangerously low (and unevenly), so we ended up buying four new tires and having the alignment adjusted. It was lengthy and expensive, but I actually learned a lot about tires. It was exactly the sort of decision I would have stayed out of had I had the choice, but when I realized I had to be the wo-man of the hour, I lived up to the challenge and actually felt sort of empowered. And the difference in driving the car was actually amazing, which surprised me.

Pretty, happy, funny, real is the brainchild of these ladies here, who are encouraging their reader to find contentment in the everyday perfection and imperfection of life.   


Yara said...

I like your hat.
I should finish knitting my hat... you know, the one I started last Christmas!

I miss you guys.
Yay for new tires & being the man(wo)

bethany actually said...

Um. When did Noah turn into, like, a five-year-old? Maybe it's just the contrast between his serious expression and the whimsical hat, but he suddenly looks way older.

I have some lovely Noro yarn. I need to really actually learn to knit and use it.

As the daughter of a mechanic and granddaughter, niece, and cousin of many mechanics, I know more about cars than you can shake a stick at. I still always forget to change my oil, though.

Your story about soaking jars and scrubbing all the paper and glue off is EXACTLY why I take the labels off jars before I let myself take them down to the storage room where my jars live. If I didn't do it immediately, I'd never do it and then the jars would just have to get recycled because I'd be too lazy to scrub the labels off.

FWIW, some labels seem to come off easily with a soak in *HOT* soapy water. Some labels require a bit of elbow grease after the soak. And some don't seem to want to come off at all. Those are usually the jars I chuck into the recycle bin, unless they're really pretty and/or I want them for some specific reason.

bethany actually said...

And wife of a mechanic! I forgot to add that part. Troy has never worked as a mechanic for a living, but he took auto shop in high school and even went to a national competition once for it. And he owns an MG. Enough said.

Anonymous said...

I agree that Noah looks WAY older in that pic! BTW, your jars turned out really cute!