Friday, January 22, 2010

letting go

photo: artful magpie

I dreamed of becoming a writer. A real bonafide, published author.

I started a writing journal.

I collected words like salt and pepper shakers.


I jotted down catchy phrases for future use.

I mailed off manuscripts.

After a while I started collecting my rejection letters.

Dear April, Thank you for your submission, unfortunately...

I glued the rejections into my writing journal.

Why? I don't really know. Maybe as proof of effort.

Sometimes you find yourself holding on for dear life to a dream, afraid to let it go. Stalled.

Sometimes your only available transportation is a leap of faith. Maragret Shepard said that. I read it on a calendar and it has stuck with me.

I slowly pried my heart from around the writing dream. I slowly, ever so slowly, let it go.

Years went by.

I discovered blogging.

Today I write not to make a living, but in spite of the crazy life I'm living.

I write because I let go and my hands were empty, ready to receive a new dream, similar to my old dream, revamped.

If I've learned one thing in life it is this: when you make plans God laughs.

I dreamed of becoming a writer. God made me a mother, wife and blogger.

My readers don't have to go to Barnes and Noble and buy a book. They can sit in front of their computer in their bathrobe with their coffee, bad breath and bagel and read for free. I'm quite sure more people click over to Suaviloquy everyday than would have ever bought my book.

And I just wanted to say thanks. Thanks for dropping by and helping me realize the dream I never dreamed on purpose.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

as promised...

Paper Wreath Tutorial

twenty-five to thirty sheets of really great printed craft paper (I LOVE this line)
twenty-five to thirty sheets of solid color paper
an old book
buttons (thirty or so)
floral wire
glitter(oh my I do love glitter)
wire cutters
needle nose pliers
foam wreath form

Using your craft paper and old book, cut out "X" shapes in various sizes with rounded edges. The largest should be around 6-8 inches and the smallest should be about 3 inches. Cut four each from the printed paper, solid paper and old book pages. Do not worry about uniformity. It looks better if each petal is unique. Also cut out circles for the flower centers. I use a 1 1/2 inch die cut.

Cut a length of floral wire (I like to use heavy gauge wire for more stability). Thread a button onto one end and using your needle nose pliers, curve the wire so the it goes back through the button.

Follow with a circle.

If you want to glitter your flower, use some glue to coat your paper and sprinkle and tap off excess. Start to crumple and shape your petals. I like to curl mine inward. Stack the petals one by one on the wire.

After you have stacked all twelve petals, use your needle nose pliers to make a curl with the wire in the back to hold the petals tight.

My wreaths are fairly large and require twenty-five to thirty flowers. Yes, it does take me forever.


It lasts forever. The flowers never die.

And you can always make a small one if you don't think you can handle hours of crumpling paper.

Poke the wire from each flower into the foam wreath. It may take a little tweaking to get them arranged just right.

Be patient.


Oh, and send me a pic of your finished wreath!

*****Okay I'm writing this very small because I don't want to come across as a intellectual property freak, but I would like to say that you are welcome to use this tutorial for personal use, but please ask before you publish it somewhere. After all, It's the polite thing to do.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

the girls' paperie

There's been a wee bit of crafting going on as the rain falls.

Oh yes there has.

One of my besties, the uber talented and funny Margie Romney-Aslett, will be debuting her new line of scrapbook paper next week at CHA.

You might recognize Margie as the cover girl for Making Memories. Well, she's movin' on up! She has her own line of paper and embellishments that she designed. She partnered with Advantus to create The Girls' Paperie.

Because I'm such a supastar Margie sent me a box full of her new papers to play with. I made another paper wreath like
my Christmas one. I used Margie's papers and it will hang in her booth at CHA next week.

Some of you asked me to give instructions on how I make these wreaths. And I will do that...


For now, relax and check out Margie's blog and the business she runs with her daughters. It's pure eye candy for crafters.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

cloudy with a chance of blogging

The sky broke open and the rain is coming down. It is dark and quiet in my house. The baby is nestled down under the covers in her crib. I'm listening to Lissie while I work in my art room. The hound dog is sleeping at my feet and he only stirs to lift his head when the dryer buzzes.

I started to work on an article that I was asked to write about infertility, but I decided a rainy day isn't conducive to the hopeful feeling I wish to convey.

What does one say the infertile?

What is there to say anyway?

Why is rain inherently sad when it should be just the opposite? Rain makes everything grow. It gives life.

Today I want to think about rolling green fields, not barren wastelands.

Monday, January 18, 2010

knocking holes in the darkness

Friday was a bad day. The big trial that Sugar Daddy won is going to be retried. The thought of going through the whole thing again makes me feel like I have a tape worm stretched from my throat to my bowels.

On Friday I was pretty distraught.

Then a little miracle happened.

I happened to be listening to Rev. Kyles being interviewed on NPR about Martin Luther. This is what he said:

It is said that Robert Louis Stevenson was a man who never enjoyed good
health.He spent a lot of time in his room even as a child. He was always looking out the window. His nurse asked him one day, Robert, what are you doing? He said, I'm watching that old man knock holes in the darkness. She said, what are you talking about?

He would climb up the ladder and light the light, come down, move the ladder to the next pole, climb up, come down, move the ladder. And everywhere he would light a light it appeared to him with his little quick mind that a hole was being knocked in the darkness.

And so I'm suggesting that those of us who have the strength and the ability, we should be knocking holes in the darkness. So, Martin Luther King came to Memphis - it was a dark place to come, but he came and he came knocking holes in the darkness.

One of life's great truths is that if Mama aint happy, aint nobody happy.

So I had to find a way to myself snap myself out of it.

For some time now, I've been considering a perm. Yes, I know this hearkens back to the regrettable fashion era known as the eighties.

But. I was thinking of just getting a body perm. Natalie was in total agreement. She thought it was a great idea. She has curly hair herself and I think she is somewhat partial. She encouraged me to go for it.

I knew I needed a good laugh to lighten things up around here, sooooo......

Not to worry. I only slept in foam rollers. But Natalie didn't know that.

I totally convinced her that going on her advice I permed my hair. And I did it myself.

She was beside herself.

People. I got a day full of the kind of laughter that makes your ribs ache and your head hurt. The kind of laughter that releases some kind of happy chemical (who knows what its called, I'm not a scientist) that makes everything just a little better.

So maybe I made myself happy at someone else's expense. Ah, what can you do? It was worth it and although I might have upset Nat a little, I knocked a big ol' hole in my own darkness which means my kids and husband will have a happier mommy. Which means everyone will be happier.

An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity. -Martin Luther King, Jr.

Do you think I missed the point here? I do what I can.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


This is what I know about her so far:

she hates getting dressed
she loves bananas
she hates her car seat
she loves her brother
she hates having her nose wiped
she loves to watch people in public
she hates being put to bed without being rocked
she loves to cuddle
she hates to hold still for a diaper change
she loves to get in the bath
apricots give her diaper rash
her eyes are bluer than anyone I've ever known
she is shy and afraid of strangers
she says "mama"
she makes me so happy my heart feels too big for my body.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

these boys

You see these boys?

They make me laugh all the time.

They tease and tickle and sometimes, just sometimes, they pout.

Both these boys love to be in the kitchen making something delicious.

Both these boys hate to make their bed in the morning.

Both these boys cuddle up to me and flash a big smile when they want something.

They have the exact same color of eyes and their ears are identical.

Every night they have a man talk. No girls allowed.

But sometimes they talk about me and I listen at the door and I realize that these boys hold my heart in their hands.

photo by tara whitney

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

okay. fine. damnit.

I've been running pretty regularly for the past year or so and I am nigh to shed a pound.

I'm a whole lotta pissed about this.

Evidently my three and four mile runs aren't cutting the mustard, or in this case, the fat.

So to that I say, okay. Fine. Damnit. I have officially upped my mileage. It's a major pain in the butt to try and work longer runs in around Birdie's schedule. I'm going to have to get creative.

But it's worth it. I've either got to lose ten or buy a new wardrobe. I can't take the pinch any longer.

Monday, January 11, 2010

curl girl

There was a little girl...

who had a little curl...

right in the middle of her forehead.

And when she was good,
she was very, very good.
And when she was bad,
well, she could pitch a fit the likes of which you have never seen.

in defense of loafing

We spent Saturday afternoon laying on our backs on a patch of grass near the sea. We watched the clouds go by.

I think people should do more loafing. I'm all for a healthy dose of lollygagging, puttering, lazing, musing and daydreaming.

Just a little everyday.

It's best with someone who's hand you aren't too shy to hold.

And not when you are supposed to be finding your shoes before school.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

hello dolly

After all these years, I still can't resist a doll.

This is "Stroll" our, I mean Amelie's, first kokeshi.

I guess it's a good thing that I have a doll of my own.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

all the rage

The very small world I live in includes art. I love art. I love looking and doing and watching others do. If I were rich I'd buy a lot of art.


I'm not rich. I'm just a mom who buys her groceries at Costco and shops at discount stores. But I've found a loop hole. Artist Trading Cards. They are all the rage you know.

I'm much to lazy to go into detail about what they are so just click the link. I "wikied" it for you. (That's a new word I just made up that I'm sure will find it's way into mainstream language soon.)

Here's a card I did last week:

Here's some cards I love:

1. Hotel Chatham Paris, 2. ATC Feather Mail (2), 3. Woman, 4. Offer, 5. artist trading card assignment 2, 6. "China Girl" Artist Trading Card

You can trade cards on Etsy, Flickr, here and here. I'm sure there are a billion more places as well.
Might you like to trade with me? Show me your goods and we'll negotiate. Beware though. I'm a hard sell.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

on becoming happy

The thing about being a housewife is that you must embrace it fully or you'll never survive.

For years I bucked against the system. I was sure that the good Lord intended for me to be the next top editor at Harper and Collins.

I wore my hair in a pixie. I bought designer make-up and expensive black clothes. I was chic and unhappy. Whatever.


One of life's great truths is that babies soften you. I didn't know who I really was until I saw myself reflected in my children eyes. I didn't know that I loved to crochet until I made the boy's baby blanket. I didn't know I loved to bake until I baked a birthday cake.

There is an old story about an African farmer who, upon hearing that other men were becoming rich by finding diamond mines, sold off his land and went in search of his fortune. He searched for many years and died a poor man. Meanwhile, the young family who bought his land discovered crusty old rocks in the soil which turned out to be diamonds.

Sometimes you are sitting on a fortune. Sometimes you have to do a little work to uncover your diamonds. What looks like ugly rocks, could be just the thing you are looking for to make you happy.

I find housework is made much more enjoyable by the wearing of aprons. I consider them my uniform. I wear them to cook. I wear them to silversmith. I wear them to rock my baby to sleep. They help me take the tarnish off my life.

They make me feel official. They make me feel like a resourceful woman.

They make me feel like a diamond in the rough.

Monday, January 04, 2010

a fresh start

Here we are. 2010.

Yep. It came.

The boy is back in school. Thank the Lord for that.

The baby is back on her nap schedule. Hallelujah!

We purged the fridge of all sweets. Damnit.

And I'm thinking I would really love to have a clothesline in my yard.

Now I know you are saying to your computer, "April, you suck at laundry. Why do you want a clothesline?"

I'll tell you why.

I love the smell of sunshine on my clothes. I love the feel of crisp cotton. And more than anything, I love to listen to the sound of sheets snapping in the wind while I drink a tall glass of lemonade on a lazy afternoon.

I want to keep my options open. If I do decide to do laundry, I'd like to have the option of hanging it on the line to dry. That would be refreshing.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

the big bother

Birdie is walking around the furniture. She is tittering this way and that and falling quite a bit. I love to watch her fat little legs as she maneuvers around. The concentration on her face.

I'm trying to soak it all in. I'm trying not to forget.

Not so long ago it was the boy I was watching. I miss my baby boy. He is long gone and in his place I find a wise crackin' string bean. Every ounce of babyness was gone in a wink of the eye. Poof!

He yells at his sister when she slobbers on his toys.

He whines when she jabbers so loud he can't hear the television.

He is repulsed by her stinky diapers.

But he loves her and it is magic to me to see the two of them together. As far as Birdie is concerned, Thom can do no wrong and the closer she can be to him the better. I was never one to worry about loving a second child like I did my first. What I didn't anticipate though, is how much my love for my son grows when I watch him love his sister.

Friday, January 01, 2010

toss and turn to 2010

Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man. ~Benjamin Franklin

10:06 pm

I think it would be nice to get better at knitting this next year.

10:43 pm

This may be my last chocolate for a very, very long time.

10:44 pm

Okay just one more.

11:12 pm

Is it midnight yet? Can I go to bed?

11:28 pm

Oh for heaven's sake, why am I torturing myself? It's already 2010 in New York. I'm exhausted.

11:50 pm

Should I wake up Sugar Daddy to kiss him at midnight? Nah. I don't want to get his cold, and he's sawing logs over there.

Did I check to see if the doors were locked?

My pillow feels flat. New Year's resolution: buy new pillows.

Also, get better at knitting. Oh and get my art room organized.

What am I doing? I don't believe in making resolutions.

Check lists. I believe in check lists.

  • buy pillows
  • organize art room
  • get my sorry soft arse back into shape
Is it midnight yet? Why am I still awake? How far should I run tomorrow? We need baby wipes. And celery. Lots of celery to snack on. Is that Thom? Oh good, just the dog. My word I'm tired. Go to sleep. Go to sleep. Go to sleep. Did I lock the front door? Oh and,
  • no more staying up late