I tend to write long. Maybe you've noticed? In one of my all-time favorite movies, The Paper, Michael Keaton, a Metro editor for a gritty little NYC daily, and Randy Quaid, one of his writers, has this nice little exchange: 

McDougal: What's with all the grunt work? I'm a columnist. 
Henry: You're not a columnist. You're a reporter who writes long.

Indeed. Except that when I was an actual columnist I tended to write short. Seems I have much more to say about making things than I did about race. So there you go.

We've all been a little under the weather at the Lovelihood household, all wheezy and coughy and snotty and achy. Boys are absenting themselves from work and school, opting instead to contribute to the general malaise one finds when people who aren't feeling so hot are cooped up together. Crafting time has been relegated to little snippets carved out between tending to cranky children and fighting for couch time under the good throw. So today I thought I'd just show you a few of the itty bitty things I've been up to. And I'll try to keep it short. For once.


Much of my adult life has been spent amassing the the things I coveted as a kid (Easy Bake Oven, anyone?), so finding this loom on clearance was a bit of a coup. It took some convincing to get The Boy to understand that this is a Momma thing, and not a toy for him. A hard sell, seeing as how it IS a children's loom picked up from our favorite toy store. The yarn that came with it is crazy-garish and the lack of fiber information can only mean it's a synthetic. But it sits there on my table, inviting me to pass the shuttle back and forth a few times a day. I have big (read: overly-ambitious) plans to spin up some of this stuff and take it for a ride.


Unseasonably warm (even for Houston) 70° weather recently turned to chilly, drizzly grayness. Good hat weather. Thinking we'd lost The Girlie's knitted hand-me-down, and not having the time and energy to sit down with a set of double pointeds, I decided to transform a couple of rectangles of flannel and felted cable-knit sweater into an elfly bonnet of sorts. Mr. New Media was not sold on it, and we have since unearthed the lost hat from diaper bag depths, so it will be left to be seen whether this one gets any real play.


In between colds and antsy to get out of the house, I slung The Girlie on my hip and escorted The Boy around the neighborhood on his trike. We were stopped halfway down the block, trike high-centered over the sidewalk-defying roots of a big old tree, when I realized the ground was littered with wonderful little acorn tops. Leaving the trike where it was, we scurried back home for a pail to collect our harvest. I still haven't given up on my dream of creating a well-stocked army of little felted acorn minions. For now these little guys are happy enough to nestle up to the jars of notions and fabric scraps on my cabinet, occasionally acquiescing to The Boy's gentle pets.


I love the idea of little plants. Many of those novelty planting kits in potlets found in the dollar aisle at Target find their way into our home, much to Mr. New Media's dismay. I dutifully soak the peat and bury the little seeds and select a suitably sunny windowsill and even water them for a few days. And then I forget about them, and any little germinations that have managed to scraggle their way to the surface are left to wither and disintegrate back into the dirt. This little guy was supposed to sprout a headful of grassy stuff. It never happened. So I replaced the seed/dirt pouch with one of our hand-felted balls, and he now houses wayward pins and needles. I call him Pinhead, of course.


One more thing. Two of my photos, in one day last week, made their way out into the interwebs (here and here) with the help of the open Creative Commons license I apply to most of my Flickr uploads (images of the kids excluded). This tickles me to no end, mostly because as a designer at skinflint companies who didn't enjoy spending money on working chairs, let alone art, I used to scour Flickr for CC-licensed photography. There's so much great stuff on Flickr, telling compelling personal stories that you just can't find at stock photo sites. Of course, I've spent my share of money at those places, too.

OK. So that wasn't actually any shorter than any other post I've written here. But I tried. Kind of. And there are more pictures. Which actually kind of makes it even longer. So I'm not even going to try any more.

Tags: acorns, creative commons, felt, hat, loom, pinhead, yarn

Acorn hats

The Boy just couldn't stop gathering acorn tops, and we arrived home with a lovely pailful. Read more about me at

Acorn hats

The Boy just couldn't stop gathering acorn tops, and we arrived home with a lovely pailful. Read more about me at

Acorn hats

The Boy just couldn't stop gathering acorn tops, and we arrived home with a lovely pailful. Read more about me at

Outside in


I'm not sure if it's because I never looked at the ground in Seattle, or if it was that our sidewalk was always a smooshy, unwelcome mash of crabapple remains, but it seems to me that, by comparison, the streets and sidewalks of our particular Houston neighborhood are aflourish with pick-upable goodness. So much so, that it can occupy a good hour, taking The Boy around the block with a pail and an eye for anything that can displayed on a dish or seashell or desk or brandy glass or makeshift frame of colored popsicle sticks. 

The Boy sets his sights for flowers in purples and pinks, blue-gray bird feathers, and little red berries from a neighbor's tree ("You know these aren't for eating, right, Boy?" "That's right, Momma"). He glues them to paper or tucks them into boxes or picks out the purplest of the flowers to display in the letterpress drawer. Me, I go for the acorns and air plants. Air plants, because until now I'd never seen one in the wild, thinking they were only to be found glued to gnarly driftwood and sold for crisp Alexander Hamiltons at street fairs. The idea of freely picking up perfect specimens, pre-attached to bits of twigs and leaves, is a thrill akin to finding a Ming Dynasty vase amongst someone else's garage sale discards. And acorns because, having grown up in a rather flora-poor urban environment and then spending the last decade+ in The Evergreen State, I still maintain a cartoonish image of them, something to be wielded by high-pitched squirrels as ammunition against pesky felines. 

So yeah, I've been collecting acorns and air plants, keeping them around for the sheer novelty of it. There's also a sort of Waldorf ideal to it, keeping track of what's going on outside by bringing a piece of it inside. And even I feel these little vignettes around our home are more than a tad contrived and overthought. But they make me happy, nonetheless.


Now, shortly after I took this photo, I discovered that at least one of the acorns had been harboring maggots, thick and grubby and blindly writhing. This made me considerably less than happy, and that batch was promptly chucked. But not wanting to give up on the acorn as a whole, I decided to embark on the craft cliche that is making little acorn replicas by felting little bits of wool roving. These things are everywhere in the craft blogosphere, probably because it's a satisfying little project, fun enough to tackle with The Boy, once you accept that when you put a 3-year-old in front of a bowl of warm soapy water, messes WILL be made. All part of the fun, right? Also, when you let the 3-year-old apply the glue to the inside of the acorn caps, accept that sometimes messes will be made there, as well.


So, we managed to bring in a little bit of the outside. Score one for nature. Then we de-natured it, because I have a strong distaste for bug-life. Whatever. I'm happy with my acorns again.

Tags: acorns, air plants, felting