Sunday, December 30, 2012

It's his birthday

I've never been more excited for a birthday than I am this year. And not for my own, but for Severen's. He turns one today. Here is my "he's here!' post from last year (just look at that little face!)

I vividly remember what I was doing when my water broke. I was standing in the kitchen, walking toward the garbage can to throw away some eggshells. And then it happened. I froze and looked at Soren. It wasn't until that moment that I really, truly understood that a baby was coming. And soon! That was my last moment of clarity for several hours. My next moment came when I realized that the wet, wiggling body on my chest was something that had just come out of my body. Inside, outside. Invisible, visible. An idea of a baby, a real baby. I wish I could have been hooked up to a CAT SCAN at that moment (OK not really) because what happened next in my brain must surely have lit up the screen: I became a mom.

It didn't happen when I looked at him, and that surprised me. I expected to see his face and immediately feel, "Oh this is my precious son!" Instead, I looked and looked and looked at him as he screamed and squinted up at me. I just felt confused. What was this? How could his voice be so powerful? Um, have we met? It was a scary moment, honestly, to expect a wave of tender emotion and feel not much at all.

But that didn't last long - maybe 10 or 20 seconds. Then I decided not to worry about my eyes. Or my brain. I stopped trying to study him. Instead, I just felt him. I pulled him close and nibbled his fingers. I put my face right up to his and cooed. I felt a crazy urge to lick him, like a mama bear. And that's when motherhood hit me. It turns out the the optic nerve is a poor conductor of motherly love. And the front lobes of the brain are ca-pooey after labor. But being close to him, skin on skin, flipped the parenthood switch from "off" to "on." And there is no turning if off again. Ever.

When you go into labor you have one life. When you leave the hospital (birth center, etc.) you have two lives.

I am so grateful for Severen's life and for the chance to be a mom. Happy Birthday, Severen!

P.S. That photo of Soren holding Severen for the first time gets me every time . . .
P.P.S. I will share some birthday celebration photos here next week!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Bird watercolors

I think these bird watercolors from the shop Splodgepodge are really lovely. One of Severen's favorite words right now is cardinal and I'm thinking of getting the cardinal watercolor pair for him. Here is a clip of him talking to his cardinal toy a couple of days ago!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry, Happy, Merry

We had a wonderful day with our family today - I hope that you did, too! Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Closing in on a year

Severen turns one in about two weeks - WOW! This is what we looked like almost exactly one year ago when I was 38 weeks pregnant. I can so vividly remember shooting the photos for that post, feeling my son (I didn't know it was Severen then - crazy!) kick and wiggle from time to time. And here are a few photos of what the two of us look like today.

A year means something different to me now than it did before I had a child. It seems longer and also shorter. It seems longer because I counted almost every one of the last 350 days in some way or another. I charted Severen's growth and progress by the day, the week, and the month. I kept a journal (sort of) about my life and his. I took 1000s of photographs. I carefully measured and documented the passage of time in a way that I've never done before. By doing that I came to see just how very, very much can be accomplished in a year. Every day really counts when you are working on building your life from the bottom up, as children are.

Oddly, the length of a year also feels shorter now than before. Maybe that fast-forward feeling comes from being so engrossed in the dozens of daily tasks involved in raising a child. The pace is almost incomprehensible and things accumulate quickly. One diaper becomes 1000 diapers. One feeding becomes 3000 feedings. A 9# baby becomes a 26# toddler. It is a bit disorienting. Sort of like coming up from the subway the first time and suddenly finding yourself in a different part of the city - trying to figure out how you crossed all that distance without seeing it happen. Soren and I are always marveling at Severen's changes. When did he start doing that? How long has he been able to say, "star?" When did his hair get so long? When did he outgrow his 12 month clothes?

However slowly or quickly time passes, I know that one day I will wake up and be absolutely astonished to find that have been aging along with Severen. I completely understand why people say, "I can't believe I am 40!" or "I can't be turning 50, can I?" It is easy to lose track of time when you are watching someone else grow up.

Monday, December 17, 2012

So clever!

I love seeing shops on Etsy that stage their photos in interesting ways. The photo set up for this Art Deco compact is especially clever!

Choosing how to take the photos for an online shop is a big decision. I started out using a metal background (!) but just before I opened I found an old wooden toolbox that I really liked. I've used that ever since. 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Two of clubs

This pretty pair just fell together at the top of the shop this afternoon. If you are interested in buying both of them, please contact me for a special discount. Happy Sunday!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Step inside

I found this baby ring a few weeks ago in its original box, which is always a splendid bonus. When I looked up the company name on the box I was delighted to find some old photos of the jewelry storefront as well as information about the owner.

Joseph C. Herkner and his family arrived in America from Bohemia (Czech Republic) and settled in Grand Rapids, MI in the mid 1800s. The young Herkner trained as a watchmaker and then served several years as a soldier during the Civil War. He opened his own jewelry shop in 1870 with a modest stock and a repair bench. He was a well respected figure in Grand Rapids until his death in 1914 and people in the community considered his shop to be the epitome of quality. What I would give to walk up those steps and open the doors . . .

It is pretty incredible to think that this ring was once for sale inside this shop, sitting on a counter somewhere or maybe even in the window display. Who would have guessed that nearly 100 years later it would be offered for sale again in my little virtual shop. I wonder what Mr. Herkner would think about that.

Images via

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Looks good enough to wear (er, I mean eat)

This corn varietal is called Glass Gem - and you can see why! The story of its development (over several years by a man in Oklahoma) is pretty interesting. There is a long wait-list for the seeds over at Seeds Trust, as you can imagine. 

Images courtesy of Seeds Trust

Monday, December 10, 2012

Silver and gold (and blue)

I've added several new pieces to the shop. Images are linked!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

5 minutes, $5, great gift

If you are looking for something sweet/festive/useful/vintage to give to friends/neighbors/co-workers/family try making these candle bundles. All you need are a couple candles (I really like these Danish dinner tapers), some vintage hankies, ribbon or string and a fun button. I made these up lickity-split and I think they look quite nice. Do you have a little project like this that you like to do? Something quick and sweet when you need a gift in a hurry? I'd love to know about it.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The new one

I recently added this piece to my mourning collection. The white enamel border likely indicates that the deceased was a child or an unmarried woman. The royal blue enamel background seem almost back-lit, doesn't it? And I love how the knotted and gathered lock of hair perfectly fills the compartment. *Deep, catching breath* - this is a special one.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Holiday lights

Today's shop update is my way of stringing holiday lights in the shop. The colors! I hope you enjoy. These glass beauties are all in the necklace drawer.