Tag Archives: woodworking


It’s not my strong suit, especially when it comes to expectations for myself and my creative works.

I like to aim high and be profoundly disappointed in myself when I am, inevitably, not capable of being some unholy amalgam of Ma Ingalls, Maria Montessori, and the Yarn Harlot.

I’ve been watching the weeks tick by with shocking speed and looking at the dwindling but still ambitious nesting list and getting more and more frustrated with myself for not inventing a Time Turner and spending all my doubled days knitting and sewing and deep-cleaning the house.

And that is CRAZY.

So, in the interests of realism, here’s the list of things from the nesting list that I would most like to finish in the remaining time before the baby comes.  I’ve allotted myself one project per week until Christmas, because I know that there will be other things (like gift making for the extended family and baking bread and playing with my children) that will crop up as I try to go about my business.

Top-Priority Nesting List for the Next Six Weeks

  • nursing pillow cover— I have a new, experimental nursing pillow.  I designed it myself after years of struggling with commercially-available options that were either awkward to use, impossible to fit around a pregnant belly, or simply not tall enough for me.  But it needs a water-resistant cover because babies are leaky and it is filled with buckwheat hulls.
  • winter boots for Númenor and Ithilien— For years, we were devotees of Stonz booties, but my children have now outgrown their XL size, and I wasn’t very impressed with the redesigned versions anyway.  So this winter, they need new boots for snow and slush purposes.
  • winter bear bunting– This is one of the things that I added to the nesting list in a panic about having a newborn in the depths of winter and not being able to simply withdraw from the outside world like I did when Ithilien was born.  Babies need warmth!
  • dyeing for my petticoats and the faux Victorian gown– Simply put, dyework is NOT something I’m going to be able to do with a newborn in tow.  Whether I actually get these projects sewn up and finished is another issue, but the dyeing at least needs to be done before the baby comes.
  • Balmoral bootikins– I’m not sure what size these will turn out to be, so it’s important to finish them before the baby outgrows newborn-size things.
  • crib– This is truly the centerpiece of the baby’s space.  Baby clothes will be stored in baskets underneath it, the mobile may need to be re-positioned over it, wall décor will need to move around to accommodate it, and I haven’t quite figured out how or whether I’ll be able to put a dust ruffle on it.  So much depends on having it finished that it’s really not optional.

I may not be posting much as I try to get these things finished, since some of them are sure to take more than a week and I might be interrupted at any moment.

But I’m out there, somewhere, wishing I knew the charms and incantations necessary to be in two places at once.

A Pile Of Sticks

A couple weekends ago, my parents delivered a pile of old sticks to our house.  This is all that remains of the apple trees that shaded the house I lived in when I was a teenager: a pile of dirty, muddy, twisty sticks.

apple wood crib posts in the process of being stripped and cut to length

Since then, we’ve been slowly transforming this mass of dead trees into something rather beautiful and yet completely ordinary: a place for a tiny baby to call hits own.

We don’t really use a crib, not as a place where our babies sleep.  Our babies share the “big bed” with me and Robert for the first couple of years.  But we need a crib anyway.

Because sometimes, when you are the youngest member of a household, everything is too big, too loud, too rough, and too generally dangerous.  Sometimes your parents want to put you down so they can go take a shower or do something dangerous or dirty.  Sometimes you have inquisitive and entirely overwhelming older siblings.

Our crib is simply a dedicated space that belongs to the baby.  It’s a spot where we will be able to place that precious tiny human with a couple of interesting objects and a minimum of supervision for a while.

We had a crib that we used with Númenor and Ithilien.  But it never really felt like it was ours.  It was some cheap, commercially-produced thing that was only attractive before the fragile finish started to rub and scratch off, and was never stable.

father and small children stripping and measuring logs for crib

This crib will be our crib.  Hand-hewn.  Cut from my parents’ apple trees.  Rustic and unexpected, but also classic and clean.

me stripping bark off one of the logs that will become our crib

A former pile of sticks.