“Let me fall out the window / with confetti in my hair” – Tom Waits. / We Make: giant wall confetti.

You will need:
Sheets of card in your desired colour way.
I went with for sort of toned down disco. Like, disco for ladies. You want to dance all night, but you also make a hell of an ice tea. Do not feel limited to using card. Fabrics. Maps. Wrapping papers. Pages from children’s books. Though you may need to back these for weight. A texture wall would be great in a kids room. Or for drunk people at parties. Confetti made of fake fur. Foil. Sequins and sparkles under Duraseal. Let your imagination run wild. Channel Yayoi Kusama. Invite me over.

A pen, scissors and a template in your desired size. A side plate is perfect.

Blu-tak. Those tiny stick dots they use for photographs, maybe? I don’t know. The preferred adhesive of the person who owns the walls you are about to confetti.

 

 

You will need to:
Bake a large cake. Lay out a drop cloth on the floor in front of the television. Find the least watched most watched children’s animated feature you have. On drop cloth lay all the items the children could ask you for in an hour. Water. Face cloths. Batteries. Remove all items you would usually confiscate in an hour. Water. Face cloths. Batteries. Give the children half the cake each. Roll film.
Draw as many circles as you can fit on your card. This will take some time, but will be strangely fulfilling in the way repetitive menial tasks can be. Cut out all of the circles you have drawn. This will take some time, but will be oddly meditative in the way strangely fulfilling way repetitive menial tasks can be. Breath in and out uninterrupted. Then confetti what needs confetti-ing.

 

Wall Confetti3Wall Confetti2Wall Confetti1Wall confetti4

Advertisements

Before & After: Mismatched Kitchen Chairs.

Chair #1: $2 from salvage yard.
Chair #2: Found on the side of the road.

12

Chair #1: Sanded / Base coat in Resene Havoc / Taped off in stripes / Top coat in Resene Fizz.
Chair #2: Reupholstered in a pin dot polkadot.

Kitchen.

Together

We Make: Mistakes. A Pantry Make-Over. And a Give-Away.

 

Step 1: Find, in your possession, some adorable kitchen labels from Stuck on You.

Step 2: Stand, forlorn, in front of your woefully disorganised pantry. Your Spare-Room Policy of ‘if an area is a total mess, but I don’t have to look at it, does the mess really exist?’ has clearly been extended here. Look from your pantry, to the cuteness of the kitchen labels, and back to your pantry. Resolve that drastic action must be taken.

Step 3: In a flurry of activity, remove every item from your pantry and place them, haphazardly, all over your kitchen surfaces. Preferably an hour or so before you must prepare a meal for your family. This will lead you to discover that the lid of the washing machine makes a perfectly adequate chopping board.

Step 4: With hot soapy water, scrub all hardened jam, flour, crumbs and fingerprints until sparkling clean. As if on cue, have your cat walk over your freshly washed surfaces. Rinse and repeat.

Step 5: Get up at 5.30am, two days in a row, to undercoat your pantry before the children wake up and try to ‘help you’.

Step 6: Go to your local paint store for test-pots. Do not let the fact that, on returning home, you discover you do not have any of the other tools required for painting a decorative feature. You know, like painters tape. Or a ruler. This is the point where most people, on having a freshly painted pantry, all white and inviting, would just say, hey, maybe I don’t need to paint a Chevron stripe in here. But you are not most people.  Devise that, alongside your can-do attitude, a record sleeve and some ordinary cellotape will do just fine to fashion a guide for your stripe. Be pleasantly surprised with the results. Feel a little smug once you have finished. Go and have a shower. I can’t believe you left the house like that.

Step 7: As you stand under the warm water trying to wash the paint out of your hair, think to yourself what a shame it is that it overcast; that now you will have to wait until tomorrow for your paint work to be dry enough to get to the fun part of the make-over – the organising! Wonder if it’s normal to feel so genuinely excited about your kitchen cupboards. Realise suddenly that you seem to have completed a whole thought. This has not been possible during the children’s waking hours…ever before. Feel immediately and overwhelmingly suspicious.

 

 

Step 8: Expletives.

Step 9: Thank your ‘helpers’ for the ‘fine job’ they did ‘helping you’. Worry that perhaps the tone in which you write about parenting on the internet is somehow drawing these experiences to you. Try not to think too much about Thomas theorem.

Step 10: Spend another two days preparing all the meals in the wash-house because you cannot face painting the pantry for the eighth time.

Step 11: Just do it already. This is getting ridiculous. You haven’t seen the bench in a week.

 

Re-Re-Painted Pantry.

 

Step 12: Paint over Jackson Pollock Jr and Jackson Pollock Jr. Jr.’s masterpiece, ignoring their cries of protest. Realise this may well be the first in series of instances wherein you ‘don’t understand their art’.

 

 

Step 13: Once your pantry is completely dry, enjoy with great relish the grand reorganisation. Know now that this was the reason you had been hoarding all those jars. Stand back often to admire your work and to take a series of poorly lit photographs. Ignore the realisation that you could have just used washi or another decorative tape to create your Chevron stripe, and saved yourself a whole heap of trouble.

But where’s the fun in that?

 

The End.

 

And now! A  Give-Away!

Stuck on You have kindly donated a set of their gorgeous personalised kids pyjamas. Head over to their website and check out all the styles available here. Then come on back leave your preference in the comments for a chance to win. I’m crazy about the Circus themed ones!

The winner will be picked at random next Thursday the 18th of April. Good luck!

For more from Stuck on You checkout their homepage. Or say hi to them on Facebook or Twitter.

How To: Have Chickenpox – A Retrospective.

Your crippling social phobias will allay long enough for you to entertain the largest group of children you are not obliged to have at your house if not for a birthday. They will kiss and dance and squabble and feed each other handfuls of hummus, sand, bogies on toast; that sort of thing. And because you are all liberal; or perhaps, because you are so tired; or perhaps because this is the first adult conversation you have had in months, you and your merry band of other long-suffering parents will not interfere or send them conflicting messages about sharing or delouse and disinfect them as you usually would.

And when things begin to turn; when the babyest packs it in or the eldest begins to resemble a communist dictator; or when the adult conversation turns to money or ailments or age, and bags are packed into bags and babies are packed into bags; and remember the days when you could just walk out the door? And some semblence of sticky normality is returned to your overturned house, you will relax and commend yourself on living the dream; of raising children, of having friends you’ve had since you were children, of having friends you’ve had since you were children and now they’ve children. You’ve come full circle and you all eat organic. Atleast in front of each other.

Then the next day you will receive a call; if they have manners. A text if they don’t. Atleast the text will be in all caps, if they have any decency. ‘OMG!’ it will say. ‘WE HAVE CHICKENPOX!! I AM SO SORRY!!!’. And you be initially sympathetic; send over good vibes or hard liquor, dependent on your resources, and you will talk about the process and keep tabs on the development and tell your own childhood war stories and assure them that these things happen and placate each other with lies like ‘rather sooner than later!’ and ‘better to get it young!’ and ‘no, no, don’t apologise!’.

And then you will wait.

Did you know that Chickenpox has an incubation period of up to 21 days? It does!

And then on the 21st day, after 21 days of ‘Is it? Do you think that’s one? Is this it? IS THIS IT?’ your littlest baby, who is most prone to generosity, and partial to fistfuls of hummus, sand and bogies on toast, will get a cough and a cold and a fever; will yell in your face of this grave injustice; will have a fanny that’s on fire, that you will have to fan with a magazine, for hours on end, while they lie, pantsless, in your bed on a towel, just so they can sleep fitfully enough that they will be less fearsome in the morning. Then as days pass they will itch and pick and flail and not sleep and then only sleep on your head and scab and scar and continue to yell in your face of this grave injustice.

And you will think; gosh, that was worse than you were lead to believe it would be. And, have I been wearing these clothes for 10 days? Is that a new personal best? There will be a tube of calomine lotion in every room of your house. You will have had more luke warm baths and less sleep since that time you got Mastitis. And your friends were right to apologise.

And then you will wait.

Did you know that Chickenpox has an incubation period of up to 21 days? You did?!

Did you then realise that if your other child was not initially exposed, you, my friend, will now have the potential of up to 42 days of combined individual incubation periods PLUS! Up to 10 days of active illness in each child! For a grand total of 62 days of Chickenpox! Right in the comfort of your own home!

And then on the 21st day, after 21 days of ‘Oh no, is it? Bloody hell, do you think that’s one? This is it! THIS IS IT!!’ your biggest baby, who is most prone to hypochondria, and partial to fistfuls of hummus, sand and bogies on toast, will get a cough and a cold and a fever; will yell in your face of this grave injustice; will dare not admit to his fate, though will beseech you for trips to the Doctor, at once and often, for the treatment of his ‘pimples’; will insist on sleeping in your bed, though they are enormous and hot and only content to sleep at a 45 degree angle, which you will abide with a toe up your nose so that they will be less fearsome in the morning; then as days pass they will itch and pick and flail and sleep and scab and scar and continue to yell in your face of this grave injustice, and remind you, constantly, to make them that Doctors appointment.

And you will think; nothing. You will be a withered husk of zen-like endurance. Just burn those clothes. You will feel anxious if there is not a tube of calomine lotion in every room of your house. You will have had more luke warm baths and less sleep since that time your littlest baby had Chickenpox. You will hate your friends. They could never apologise enough. They should bake you a cake! And mow your lawns! But you’re never socialising again. And not just because you now look like this:

THE POX!

How To: Cure a Hangover.

Spend the evening in charming company. Drink cheap beer and expensive whisky and cider from Sweden. Solve all the worlds problems. Dance in your chairs. Tell each other all your stories until you run out and have to tell all of your secrets. Laugh until you cry and leave before you get thrown out. The radio will play your songs all the way home.

Fall into bed in your clothes. Sleep soundly for two hours and then fitfully for another two. Be unable to get back to sleep after 6am. Using only one eye, check your horoscope from your phone. Make sure to cross-reference it with the Person You Have a Crush On’s to see if today will bode well for postitve vibrations between you. This will also enable you to feel closer to them in the likely event that you are not speaking/they do not know you exsist. Feel free to assume a more preferable horoscope if yours is no good. It is important not to dwell on things when you are in your condition. Get the hell out of bed.

It is critical that you ignore your hangover at this stage. Any attention given to it will only increase its power. This phase is called ‘Action’. Clean your kitchen with great focus. This will serve you later in the day when your hangover evolves. Only when your kitchen is spotless should you allow yourself pause, albeit briefly, to swear and hold your face in your hands and vow never again. Now snap out of it. Make an enormous cup of very sweet tea and wait until it is lukewarm before drinking it. Your body will be very sensitive to liquids at this stage, so you need something non-threathening. DO NOT SIT DOWN. If you stop moving in these early stages you will never get up again. Think of your constant action as penance for posioning your temple.

It is now very important that you go and swim in a very cold ocean. Make it happen. March in with great determination. Do not pussyfoot around. The hardest part will be submurging your bits – this will be unpleasant but it will take your mind off your hangover. Get your head under. What you are doing here is confusing your body into not knowing which of the horrors it is experencing is worse. The cold or the hangover. The cold will win, I promise. The longer you are able to stay in the freezing water, the less hungover you will feel. This is science. When your body is pleasantly numb exit the water. Again, it is important that you do not stop yet. Drink the entire bottle of water you have brought with you and drive directly to the supermarket in your togs.

Do your grocery shopping. Productivity is the perfect thing for you in this state. The key to this, again, is DO NOT STOP. You are a perfect, unfeeling robot of efficency right now. Keep it moving.

The next phase is called ‘Peckish’. Once you have finished your grocery shopping, reward yourself with a very cold coke with lots of ice. It is important to keep your body thoroughly chilled. This will not only serve in assisting you to burn off all the calories of the alcohol you consumed, it will keep you at maximum freshness. By this stage of your hangover you will be ready to eat something. Keep in mind however, that once you begin eating today, you will not be able to stop. You will get stuck in that endless quest for the food item or product that will fix you. No such thing exsists. Bake a cake. Eat a huge meal. Eat a tiny meal. Have a snack. Eat an orange. None of this will fulfil you. But it is part of the process.

Now you are in the final phase; ‘Reward’. You got up…and cleaned your kitchen! You went swimming…in the ocean! You went and did the groceries…on a Sunday morning! All with a raging hangover! You are so good! Look at you! You are a saint. You are now In Credit. Send a few messages you’d usually regret…if you weren’t so virtuous! Eat the entire cake you baked…because you have excercised! Make an elaborate dinner…because you did the groceries! And finally collapse in a heap…because you haven’t stopped all day!

Try it out and report back your findings. Good luck and good livers.