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Two of my favorite things: Ted Talks, and J Smooth, together at last \o/

So this happened over the weekend.

I couldn’t take it anymore – the beautiful sun room, the place where I started seeds in the springtime, and the wonderful library space with the comfy wicker chair that Snowball likes to call His Throne, had become a disaster. It started to collect stuff in the corners, becoming a catchall for random stuff. Basically, it became nigh unusable except as a place to stuff, well,  stuff. And when I walked through the apartment last week, it felt like more and more of it was becoming this combination between catchall and clearinghouse (oh, kitchen table!) and less sanctuary. Which, really? Was a pretty clear reflection of my headspace, which has been super chaotic for about two months now. Something had to freaking give – either that or my blood pressure was going to become yet another thing that I was going to worry about.

Well, my family will be in town this week for the Thanksgiving holiday, and I needed to clean the house till it sparkled anyway, so this seemed as good a time as any to move some stuff, right? Right.

So we moved stuff. I spent a month working up to the decision of what to do with the sun room. I knew that I needed to make it into a dedicated space in order to make it function, but I couldn’t decide between a yoga space or a studio space. We started moving stuff out of the room, because I figured that once it was more empty, I would be able to visualize what it was I wanted from the room. It wasn’t until we moved Queen Coleus that I started to get a clearer picture.

It was also when we moved Queen Coleus that things started to get really hairy. See that pretty red trunk? That was where we originally had the papasan chair. Which now I couldn’t bear to put back in that spot, because it would block the view to the trunk and the plant, which looked totally pretty together.  So I moved a bookcase on the other side of the room and stuck the chair there. Which made me want to move the table holding the teevee and assorted other electronics to the other wall.  (Only I hated it there, and in the morning would wind up moving it back.*) Did I mention, this took place at, like, nine o’clock at night?? But in the end it was worth it, and by the next morning, I had made a decision: project space it would be.

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Go ahead – give yourself the 20 minutes. This is super good.

I’ve always been a little bit fascinated with armour – maybe it’s all the sci-fi and fantasy that I read and have read since I was little, maybe it’s just a preoccupation with fashion, but I just think the stuff is terribly neat-o. As you may or may not know, Dear Will works at the Higgy as the conservator, and I worked there briefly, in education, a while back.  So I’ve managed to learn bits and pieces about the stuff over the years.

So in 2oo8 when Man Cub wanted to be a knight for Halloween, I dug in with gusto. He and I discussed the matter at hand (fashion!), and decided on some fanceh scale armour. I researched, asked a ton of questions, and then  I cut about a zillion pieces of black craft  foam into chevrons, pulled an old long-sleeved tee out of the closet, and fired up the glue gun.

I fashioned the shoulders by molding them around a small pumpkin, and scaled up the shirt from the bottom up, and when I got most of the way around, I ran out of foam chevrons. So, um, I made him a cape and called it a day. Will finagled a helmet and a wooden sword, and our man cub brought home much candy that Halloween. That costume actually made it through two Halloweens (the second year spray painted gold and, “blood” spattered) before it was too small. I believe he would have worn it a third year had it not gotten tight.*

I loved the process of building the costume – the shaping and molding, and even the cutting out of chevrons was kinda meditative. And ever since that costume, I’ve been wanting to build another armour.

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This! This is what I mean in that story!


November 2011