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personalized napkin rings

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Pia’s cousins came over this weekend to spend the night and their mom had requested that we do a craft. She is attempting to use cloth napkins more often at home, but she wanted to avoid having to wash them after every meal, since napkins don’t get that dirty after one meal (especially in a house with older kids). So she wanted a system that would allow each kid to keep their own napkin from meal to meal. We came up with personalized napkin rings, which my nephew, John, took a step further and said they should be personalized with their Thai initials.  First the kids strung beads and shells of their choosing onto wire. Then we busted out the button maker, made flat-back buttons with their initials, and taped them to the beaded rings. I’m not sure how well they’ll hold up over time, but if they break we can come up with a new napkin ring design. And the fun will begin anew.

stitching up a magic hat

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A little friend of Pia’s had a birthday party this weekend to celebrate turning 6. Since it was to be a magic-themed party, complete with a magic show, Pia thought we should make a magic hat for him. We used some thick, black foam that Jim had left over from a work project which I hand-stitched together using black yarn. The inside is red velour with a secret hole near the top of the hat, where a young magician could hide any number of things during a show. The outside of the hat seemed a bit dull, so I added an oversized black flower and some velvet trim. We included one other prop, a white scarf to pull out of the hat, which turns colors the more one pulls on it. Simple, but fun.

a first: the wormhole has a contest

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Yes. It is exciting. Domestic Wormhole is hosting its first ever contest. And we want you to enter. Listen up!

Jim is doing a “14 days of 3-D love” series on his work blog where he is making one valentine-y thing a day on his 3-D printer at his work, Advanced Design Concepts. What is a 3-D printer you ask? It is a printer that prints things, not images. Like the elephant above. And the light cover below. It can print anything you dream up. Crazy cool. We’ve come up with a list of some things he is going to make, like a switch plate cover (I’m thinking something like this, but of a squirrel or a chipmunk… or a different woodland creature for each light switch… whoa), a tea light holder, and swizzle sticks (because nothing says Happy Valentine’s Day like a cocktail). But we want to know what you would print if you could print anything you wanted on a 3-D printer. Here is the scoop:

  • The printer can print anything up to 9 inches wide by 6 inches deep by 8 inches tall, so your idea has to be that size or smaller.
  • It can be as intricate or as basic as you dream up.
  • The object will be printed in acrylic.
  • Names, numbers, and words can all be imprinted onto the object.
  • Ideas must be submitted by February 7th.

Submit your idea in the comments section. If we choose your idea we will send you the final product. Yes. You will get your idea printed out into a 3-D object and then sent to you.  You will get to hold your idea in your hands. Wild. So comment away! Hooray!!

happy anniversary… to the 3 of us

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Jim and I have officially completed 11 years of marriage. What did we do to celebrate the steel anniversary? A romantic dinner for two? A night away at a quaint b&b? Of course not. Since Pia joined our family we have become a 3, no longer a 2. Pia requested brussels sprouts and chocolate dipped strawberries for “our” anniversary dinner. (Because of last year’s anniversary dinner she now assumes that chocolate dipped strawberries are the traditional anniversary food.) I think the picture above illustrates our life as a 3. Pia in front, Jim and I in the background, happy to watch as her life unfolds before her. Because, really, having her make us a 3 has made us a happier 2.

happy: bruce and a new blog to follow

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To my delight, I discovered that my friend, Debbie, has started her own blog: Ordinary Creative. Her blog is long overdue as she has been dreaming up great projects for years and I have been lucky enough to see many of them. Her goal is to find time to do something creative each day of 2012… I think I might just need to have that goal as well. I highly recommend clicking over to Debbie’s blog to check out some of her great ideas. I really want to try her DIY gallery wrap canvas.

Yesterday I was the lucky recipient of one of her projects, a clock made from Bruce’s Born in the USA album. It quickly found a home in my sewing area, right next to the album cover (surely one of the best album covers of all time, but I might be biased). I’ve been needing a clock down there for quite some time since I’m always worried I will be so immersed in my sewing that I’ll forget to pick up Pia from school. So hooray for things that are useful and cool! Thanks Debbie!



happy: hard to find

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I’m still sick. And grumpy. I am an enormous baby and pretty much complain non-stop when I am sick. Yesterday Pia kept reminding me (when I would begin to grumble and cry) that I just needed to think of happy things. “Don’t cry mama,” she would chide, “when I’m sick I just try to think of things that make me happy, like flowers and rainbows.” This sounds suspiciously like a mash-up of Pinky Pie’s (the my little pony) “Laughter Song” (crack up at the creepy/whoop it up with the weepy…) and the advice I try to give her when she says she can’t sleep (just think of a calm, relaxing place…), but I’ll take it. Her attempts at comforting me really do make me feel better, because she is so sincere in her advice. The other thing that makes me happy when I’m sick? The excuse to take a 3 hour nap. Which I did. This morning. Immediately after dropping Pia off at school.

happy: watercolor pencils

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I woke up with a cold and spent most of the day moping on the couch (and reading the Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson, which I find fascinating). After my blissful Saturday I felt quite blue that Sunday wasn’t destined for the same level of happy. But then Pia, sensing I needed cheering up, asked me if I wanted to draw. And drawing with Pia is, hands down, my absolute favorite thing to do. We brought out the watercolor pencils (a most delightful medium) and set out to anthropomorphize our cats, Haile and Darwin. Drawing our 24-pound cat in a ski sweater is now my surefire ticket to a jolly mood.

happy: coffee filter snowball

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Days like this are too few and far between. Pia woke up happy and agreeable and we spent the morning bouncing between projects, games and silliness. Usually there are two to three meltdowns before noon. Today, zero. Happy. After lunch she was seized by the idea that she wanted to learn how to skateboard (inside, of course) and now she is making a kite. I think she is ready for spring.

We made the snowball (above) by attaching coffee filters to a styrofoam ball with t-pins. There were many squeals of delight as we were making it. Most of them were mine. I love projects like this that are super cool and super easy. I want to make a dozen more.

sister synching, part 2

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A snowy day. A ‘new’ Bruce Springsteen album on repeat. The discovery of a ‘hidden’ track on said album. Two happy cats following me around the house as I putter and clean. A mocha and a bavarian creme donut on the table, surprises from my husband this morning. This day lends itself well to being reflective. So reflective I shall be.

Since Robin has left the wormhole for solo blogging adventures, I asked my sister, Bethney, if she would be up for blogging with me. Happily, she said yes. When we were kids Bethney and I had elaborate plans to live next door to one another when we grew up. Not only would be be next door neighbors, but the houses would be connected via a bridge. Sadly, as grown-ups, we live 56 miles apart… a bit too far for a bridge. For the time being the wormhole is as good as it will get. Hopefully it will serve as a route for me to virtually pad into her kitchen in my slippers on a snowy morning and share a cup of coffee with her.

To kick off this new version of the wormhole, Bethney and I need to synch up. Over the next week we are going to attempt to post the happiest moment from each day.  My friend, Kristin, shared this great article about parenting and seizing the moment, or, rather, not seizing the moment. I think it is a great read for anyone parenting little kids, like we are. Finding those kairos moments, that’s what these next few posts will hopefully be about. Hopefully they will inspire you to find the kairos moments in your days, too.

knitting nancys

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I got it into my head the other day that I wanted to make a knitting spool for Pia and after poking around on the internet I found a tutorial for making a knitting ned (the male version of a knitting nancy, of course) at zencrafting.  This version called for popsicle sticks and toilet paper tubes rather than wooden spools and nails, which I thought would be much easier for little hands. Now Pia and I can knit together while Jim reads books to us. It is lovely.

On a trip to Knitch (our local yarn store) this weekend I noticed a new yarn by Berroco called Link which looks like it was made on a knitting nancy. Presumably a knitting nancy machine, but still. And it got me to thinking about what I could do with a long, long chain of yarn. Something like this, perhaps?  So I’m thinking that I will be trading in my needles for a knitting nancy, too. At least for a while. Who knew toilet paper tubes and popsicle sticks could add up to so much fun?