Wednesday, March 31, 2010

in limbo

My creation

1. stretch, 2. 100 yards., 3. essimar_paper_8, 4. wooden buttons detail, 5. sixteen eighty two, 6. Untitled, 7. in limbo, 8. Cherry-keh, 9. OUTSIDE THE FENCE

It seems to me today that the world is in limbo.

I'm watching the snow fall softly on my parents trees.

Is it spring? Is it winter?

I'm wondering when Henry will come home.

I'm wondering when our family will go home.


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

the thing about preemies... that they are just a wee bit pissed about being thrown into this cold harsh world too soon.

Exhibit A:
I thought about snapping a few more pics of the other NICU residents to further illustrate my point, but I'm quite positive I would have been escorted out of the hospital by security.

They are sticklers, those nurses. If you so much as look in another child's direction you get the stink eye.

When Henry is awake, he acts like a little old man who has been interrupted while doing something very important. In this case, it's sleeping. It really puts him out to have to actually acknowledge that he is here on Earth.

However, he doesn't grumble too much and he allows me to kiss every inch of his head everyday. Which is more than can be said for the nurses.

Kissing is another stink eye infraction. You know, germs and all.


The little citizens of my world will be decked out in my favorite line of children's clothes for the Easter holiday.

Have you heard of Tea?

The new collection is inspired by Korea. It's irresistibly cute.

I wish the Easter bunny would bring me home a little grumpy Henry, but alas, I think he will be in the NICU for a while longer.


Monday, March 29, 2010


Everyday I get up and get Birdie her bottle. I cuddle her in the dim morning light and let the events of the last week settle into my brain anew.

Everyday I spend twenty minutes arguing with the boy about getting in the bath.

Everyday I try to keep some form of organization in the room we are staying in at my parents house.

Everyday I figure out childcare for the hours that I am gone.

Everyday I drive to Salt Lake City, search for a parking spot, walk through the huge revolving door, ride the elevator, and navigate the maze to the NICU.

Everyday I sit with my son and the stress melts away and it is only us and the beeping of the monitor.

Everyday I wonder when my life will be "normal".

And everyday I feel more love for my family and more love for my son's birth family and I wonder how I got this lucky.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

having it all, and a little bit more or maybe more aptly titled "second brother"

Sometimes I really think God is sitting up there in heaven missing me like crazy. He's doing his best to shock me to death.

The story I am about to relate is totally unbelievable but one hundred percent accurate. Make no mistake about it, humans couldn't think this up. Only God is capable of spinning a yarn so convoluted.

Last Thursday I was trying to figure out how to grow my business with a ten month old at my feet. Last Thursday I was sitting on my sofa lamenting my lack of time and energy to a dear friend. What a foolish girl I was.

At 1:24 a.m. Friday morning I learned that a girl had given birth to child. A boy.

A little boy was delivered via c-section around midnight. He was 4 lbs 10 oz. He was 17 inches long and perfect in every way if just a little underdeveloped.

And so I was notified in the middle of the night. I sat alone on the edge of my bed staring at the slanting street light streaming through my blinds.

I texted Ben. "Call me." He texted back. "I'm in a meeting." (He was in Taipei) I texted. "Call me now."

He said exactly what I had known he'd say. "She wants us? Is she sure she wants to place? I'm coming home. We are going to get our son."

We threw everything in the car, bundled up the boy and the bird and drove twelve hours to Utah.

I've been trying to put words to my emotions. Dazed doesn't cover it. Neither does shocked. Scared is an understatement. As is happy. It's a feeling I've never experienced and I wonder if it is similar how someone might feel when they die suddenly and find themselves surrounded by loved ones since past.

We named him Henry Wyatt Meeker.

When we laid eyes on this little piece of heaven, we knew that he was ours. It's an experience every person should be so privileged to experience. It's like smelling your mother's perfume or riding a bike down your childhood street. It's home.

He needs a little help breathing and eating. He will be in the NICU for a little while yet. And everyday I will drive a hour to see him, hold him and kiss him. And then I will drive an hour back to my parents house. Back to my other children, who are also riding this wild ride, but harbor no fear, only excitement, as children are want to do.

I tell ya, I feel some kind of stupid for writing the previous post. I'm a different girl today. Jewelry business? What jewelry business? Clean house? Tidy yard? Skinny jeans? Poohey.

I guess God doesn't really want me back anytime soon. He's keeping me pretty busy down here.

First MEeting4

Thursday, March 18, 2010

having it all

"Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; but remember that what you now have was once among the things only hoped for. "
~Epicurus ~

Before they were born, I used to lay in bed dreaming of my babies.

Motherhood alluded me.

For years I had no babies. Only work.

I sold books. I was the storytime lady. I wore stylish glasses. I went to fancy dinners with famous authors.

I sat demurly in my seat and listened to industry talk. I really wanted to be home bathing tiny bodies and reading to my own. I laid my hands in my lap and focused on the ache of my empty arms. People argued over what children really want these days. Coffee cups were refilled. First editions were signed.

There aren't many fancy dinners these days. Placemats are optional.

My manicures only last a day at the most. I find boogers on my couch and Legos in my shoes.

Sometimes I get to go to out without my children and eat on china and use fabric napkins. Not very often.

But when I go to those dinners, I want to talk about what people really want these days. And I want to be the person signing the first edition. And refill my drink please, because I've got a lot to say.

I really want it all right now.

Motherhood, a successful business, a clean house and trimmed yard. I want time to create. I want time to make dinner for my family. I want time to go to the gym. I want to travel and learn a new language.

Everything. I want it.

And it's a painful realization that I can't have it. Surely I realized this before?

You'd think. But no.

Sometimes I'm very childish.

So it's come down to this.

I can't have it all. Okay.

Can I have it little by little? If I focus on what my heart tells me is most important, can I still have a little of everything else?

And can someone please come over and clean the boogers off my couch?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

keeping my chins up

At 1:24 last night my eyes popped open and I was sure I was having a heart attack.

Serious. As a heart attack.

I went through the list of symptoms:
Shortness of breath, check.
Pain radiating from my chest down my arm, check.
Nausea, check,
Back pain, check.
Lightheadedness, check, check, check.

I was dying. And Ben was at the Jade market in Hong Kong.

And then it dawned on me it might be heart burn, which I've never had before. I took an aspirin and a Pepcid. I wreathed around in pain for a good two hours then drifted back off to sleep.

I'm generally not a dramatic person. Oh shut up, I'm not.

I don't get too excited over aches and pains, but this really scared me.

And I gotta tell ya. My hats' off to all you working single parents. How in the hell do you do it? I'm so stressed I'm having fake heart attacks.

I've been baking to help myself cope which is a really bad thing to do. Treats last too long in this house with out The Gobbler, a.k.a. Sugar Daddy, around.


Hummm. I wonder if it has contributed to my "heart attack"? Too many sweets?

So I'm baking and eating and by the time my husband comes home I should look just like a root beer barrel.

Ummm. Root beer....

Anyway, I've hatched a diabolical plan so that I won't look so fat next to everyone else. I'm sharing my (ahem, I mean, my friend Johnna's) peanut butter cookie recipe that will change your life. And your thighs.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
* two cubes butter
* one cup brown sugar
* one cup sugar
* two eggs
* one tsp. vanilla
* one cup peanut butter- the cheap stuff, like Skippy or Jiff
Cream together.
* two tsp. soda
*one quarter tsp. salt
* three cups flour
And lastly:
* one bag peanut butter and chocolate chips
Make em big. Criss cross with a fork on top.
Bake at 350 for fifteen to eighteen minutes until golden on the edges.
Enjoy. A lot of them. Really.

And don't, (Jenny I'm talking to you here) bastardize this recipe by trying to make it all healthy and crap by substituting whole wheat flour and natural peanut butter. These cookies are what they are and really, if you want something healthy, eat some cottage cheese.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

from taiwan with love

My creation

Sugar Daddy called me from Taipei. He said he missed me, and I said that I missed him too and I can't forget to take the trash out and double check every door before bed to make sure it is locked, which he usually does. He calls it "the rounds". I call it OCD.

I said that Natalie was cooking up a big Mexican meal and I wish he were here because, well, it's delicious and things taste even better when he is with me. Even cheese.

I passed along the important information that Thomas is now able to determine the sex of his squishys by looking at hole in the bottom. Evidently, Owen at school taught him this special skill. I am desperately hoping this doesn't lead to conversations that I'm just not willing to have without his dad around.

Sugar Daddy said his flight was good. He was getting a cab to go explore the city. Then our call was dropped.

I didn't even get to say good-bye.

The above photos were taken by a girl named Cecilia. She lives in Taiwan. She is just twenty years old. Yeah, really.


For all you inquiring minds:

The song in the video is Le Moulin by Yann Tiersen, a French artist.

The material is rubber stamp block. I like this brand. It's thinner than most other brands, but it cuts like butter.

I use all my own illustrations, but that isn't a requirement for stamp carving.

Yes, my daughter is named after the movie.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

stamp your art out

So many of you have asked about my stamp carving hobby. I gotta tell ya, it's one of the most relaxing things I do in my life. Some people have a glass of wine, I carve stamps.

It's quiet and methodical and oh so very satisfying.

I made a video of me making a stamp. Here's exactly how its done:

Stamp Carving 101 from April Meeker on Vimeo.

I carved this bird cage stamp yesterday. Sugar Daddy is flying away, to the other side of the world for way to long. I made this card, complete with love note inside, and tucked it into his bags.

My stamp collection is continually growing. People ask me why I don't sell my stamps. The answer is simple. People wouldn't pay what I would ask for them. Stamp carving isn't a mass market craft. It takes time.

I'm considering putting together a class for those in my area that would like to try their hand at stamp carving. If you are interested, please leave a comment with contact info.

Monday, March 08, 2010

friend is such an understatement

Lately I have been struck by the beauty of all my friends. Their grace astounds me. Their talents impress me. Their generosity leaves me speechless.

If you are one of my cronies, reading this blog, because you support me in all I do, I'm telling you now, you aren't just the cherry on top of my life. You are the cakey goodness that holds everything up.

rach, me, jenny

Music Playlist at

I like the way you’re not afraid
You’ve got the world planned in your mind
People say you cannot do
But they don’t know a friend like you

The girl you love has gone away
Still too young to know her heart
She’ll return her love renewed
Cause she’ll never find a friend like you

When I had no one to call
All the world had shut me down
I showed up at your door so blue
Thank God I had a friend like you

Any times I’ve gone without
A home, a meal, a pair of shoes
If you had three you’d give me two
There ain't no other friend like you

I've been so stressed lately. I've got soooo many Secondsister orders to get in the post. I've got to finish off my studio and be done with it. I've got family and church obligations and I've got a husband leaving for China.

On Saturday, I had planned to work like mad to try and get ahead of the game a little. Jenny had other plans for me.

She reminded me that we had scheduled facials.

We laid on parallel tables and got those facials. We didn't talk. We just enjoyed.

We went to lunch because Jenny takes her meals very seriously. We also got macarons. Jenny is even more serious about her desserts. And who was I to argue with macarons?

We talked a little.

We went to get manicures and pedicures. I knew I wasn't getting home to my studio anytime soon.

We sat in the spa chairs, not talking, reading our People magazines.

We went shopping. Sometimes we browsed together asking the other's opinion. Sometimes we wandered off on our own.

We got home around dinnertime.

I got zero work done on Saturday.

And I just wanted to say, thanks Jenny.

Thanks for giving me a day away from my studio.

Thanks for the laughs.

And most of all, thanks for the quiet times.

You always know just what I need even if I don't know it myself.

"Love is friendship that has caught fire. It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weakness." Ann Landers

Friday, March 05, 2010

and now to the winners...

Alice in Wonderland Winners from April Meeker on Vimeo.

Minnie- who said:
Love the necklaces! And agree that the movie looks creepy...I'm not a Tim Burton fan.


T. The Destructor- who said:

I am constantly amazed at people who pour out creativity like this, even once, but more so when they can do it over and over again. Totally jealous of that ability. Those are adorable (of course)!

Thanks T. But you should know that creativity is something I work at and has it's price. Just ask my hubby.

hello spring. so glad you came.

I'll be back later today to announce the winners of the Alice jewelry.


lilly dove


Wednesday, March 03, 2010

curiouser and curiouser

Peter in Frame

The Alice in Wonderland movie comes out on Friday. In his true fashion, Tim Burton has creeped it out sufficiently. That guy can't ever leave good enough alone.

Why he was allowed to lay a finger on this story is beyond me. I guess he has money.

But then again, my mother has always been creeped out by Alice in Wonderland. When I played the Cheshire cat in the third grade that's all she would say, "I don't know why the are doing that story. It's just plain creepy. Creepy!"

And then there is the business about Lewis Carroll being a drug addict and pedophile, which I don't believe and neither does Lenny- a veritable Alice expert.

I personally always liked the story with it's white rabbit and tea parties. I thought it was charming.

I drew the rabbit the other day. I think I will use him to make Easter cards. He makes a pretty good Easter Bunny stand-in.

Found these while I was up in the middle of the night. Aren't they cute?

You can buy them here.

I got started drawing rabbits and I couldn't stop. If only I owned a letterpress. I could make some awesome Easter cards.

Easter Bunnies

I've had some Alice charms in my stash for a while now. I think I'll put them to good use and have a give away.

I'll pick two winners. Randomly, of course, for fairness sake.

You know the drill. Leave a comment, just one. I'll pick on Friday when they release the creepy movie.

Also, I'll be loading this little delight into my shop later today. It's called "Alice".

And last but not least, check this out. What a fun party idea!

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

small but mighty

Small but Mightly Letter Scroll

I'm not much of a scrapper or a journal keeper or note taker for that matter.

But I do blog. Pretty regularly. And I think that counts for something. I keep saying I'm going to get books made of each year I've written Suaviloquy. I really ought to get on that.

But I do write letters to my kids. I wanted to write a little note to Amelie on the day she was blessed. Just a few thoughts on how I felt that day and how much we love her. I thought it would be fun to make it extra special and give her a little scroll letter. It isn't big, but it holds the thoughts I want her to know when she gets older.

Amelie's Letter

I liked it so much I made one in brighter colors.

Letter Scroll

To make my "Small but Mighty Scroll Letters" you will need to get long strips of paper. I cut mine from a roll of butcher paper. I ran the strip of paper over an ink pad to give it a little color.

I then doodled the back side and wrote my letter on the front. I used sticky dots to adhere the end of the paper to the spool.

I used wooden ribbon spools. They are longer and skinnier than thread spools and I like the way they look like little scrolls. But I also think old wood thread spools would be really cute. I sorted through my beads and found the perfect pair. Then I sorted through my ribbons and found just the right one to tie the beads onto each side of the spool.


I also thought that you could get iron-on transfer paper, type your message and then transfer it onto the back of ribbon or strips of fabric. I think I might try that next.

This is a kid friendly craft project. Of course there are a billion variations you could do to make it more or less mature. I'm going to have the boy make them for his teachers at the end of the year.

If you make some, send me the pics! I love to see where people take my ideas.

Monday, March 01, 2010

the blessing

For years I have dreamed about my daughter's christening dress. That's the kind of girl I am. I started shopping when we were waiting to adopt even before Thom was born.

Sugar Daddy knows me well and he knows that there was no stopping me when it came time to finally, actually, buy the dress. He gave me his blessing and his Amex.

I had dreamed up an extra long silk number with pearls and lace. A veritable poof extravaganza. A miniature wedding dress.

But I fell in love with a simple cotton frock with hand stitching. To me it looked like it was straight out of the turn of the century.

My Birdie looked like a angel on her blessing day. It was nothing like I had imagined, but all that I had hoped for.

And we served macarons at the party which made the day dreamy.

This daughter of mine, (and she is all mine now) is temperamental and cuddly and smart and demanding and funny and a lot like a macaron. Crusty on the outside, but oh so sweet on the inside.

Sometimes I love her so much I lick her cheek or nibble her ear. And sometimes in the middle of the night I tip toe into her room and lean over her crib and breath deep her delicious baby smell.

Talk about blessings.