the clouds that started it all

ok, can we discuss the fact that i started writing this post on september 10th of last year? yikes. here was the first part. it was right after i decided to grab the hopelessly drifting reigns of our young family life and make it something a bit more magical. a big part of this plan was to get off our butts and start doing things. and kind of out of nowhere i decided that would largely include making things; using our hands and brains, instead of just our wallets, to create something. to put something of ourselves, whether it be food or crafts or whatever, out in the world instead of just consuming all the time.

*sidebar: it is crazy to me that i haven't been sewing/crafting for even a year yet. how did i ever live without!?!?! i am so mad that i didn't start this until after i already had offspring. we were outrageously bored when we were pregnant with judah and i could have used those hours to make so very much stuff. alas. don't make the same mistake!*

well, the first ever thing that i decided i wanted to make at the start of this new chapter of our life was a cheaper version of some awesome shelves i spotted on a mom/design blog. i thought these would be perfect in judah's stars & moon room. these would turn out to be clouds that would rain forth the craftstorm that has become a very fulfilling part of my life (that sentence. so deep).

by modern dose. love this, but hmmm, $70 for one? no thanks, i think we can do better. (plus they are backordered...so, double yay for home made knock offs)

so after our labor day campout at the dukes' we decided to make use of their awesome workshop area and enlist grandaddy to help in this vision. we actually finished the shelves themselves (that was fun to say) that same day, in just a few hours of jigsawing, sanding and painting, almost 50 weeks ago, but i didn't want to post about them until we had actually installed them and could display the final finished product...

...which just happened a few days ago. whoops. well here you go, the project you never knew you were waiting for (though i did drop a hint about it at the very end of our first magic experiment):

9/7/2009. safety first: always wear roller skates around power tools. i found these in a pile of garage sale stuff the dukes had out and they were totally my size!

this is frightening. i lost next to NO baby weight until after we stopped breastfeeding so there's my excuse for that. the paleness/fashion/facial expression...that's all me.

team cloudshelves (and 3 tiny month old judah...whaaaa? when was he ever that guy?).

we accidentally took this picture without cousin sophie at first, and it caused her to have a breakdown because she had totally helped me paint the shelves and we had forgotten and therefore told her the picture was just for folks who had built the shelves. she didn't freak out, but was just sweetly and silently sobbing out to the side as we took the first picture without her before realizing our mistake. we gave her huge apologies and took the picture as it should have been. she has the sweetest heart. it was so precious.

and here finally are the finished products where they were intended to live (after a 350-day sojourn in the garage):

8/3/2010. drifting through judah's skyscape room just like they were made to

so yeah, ours are a bit more turdly-shaped than the store-bought ones i got the idea from. this is because i drew the shapes myself and have no skills and didn't bother to look at the picture. this is how i have drawn clouds since 1st grade after school care when a wise old 2nd grader taught me how and i thought it was the greatest discovery ever. so they're turdly, yes, but i think it was worth saving $135. (because the dukes had scrap wood and white paint, all we had to buy were the brackets).

because of the white + the flash you can't really tell in the picture unless you click to enlarge it and squint, but ours do have the little cloud blobs on the front ends of the shelves that give them some cool depth (just like the expensive ones). that is my favorite part of these: when we put books or things on the shelves it looks like the shelved items are floating amongst the layers of white fluffies. so neat.

it really was stupidly easy to make these: get some plywood, draw the design, cut it out with a jigsaw, screw the front, bottom and back of each shelf together, sand, paint, hang. done.

the end. and it only took 11 weeks longer than it did to make judah.


  1. Best Sentence of the Day: " and it only took 11 weeks longer than it did to make judah." Also, I honestly think Judah has the coolest room of all time and I will be honest in the fact that I will probably be stealing all of your decorating ideas when the time is right! I hope you fall under the category of "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery" rule versus the "it's super creepy for a mostly-stranger to be copying me like a stalker"...

  2. dude, is it creepy that you call yourself a "mostly-stranger" and i am like, "nuh-uh! we're totally friends!" hello, CCW staff christmas jeopardy? i don't play dat with just anybody. and yeah, stealing is the best. esp since since you tithe back with some love. 95% of things i make/do are inspired (a nice word for "stolen") from someone was smarter than me. play on, playa

  3. love the clouds! and 8 years down the road when he's too cool for clouds, you can paint them gray and attach lightening bolts to them. and this whole "didn't lose pregnancy weight until done breast feeding" thing... is that always true?? please say it isn't so

  4. I love the storm cloud and lightning bolt plan, Amy. And yeah, everyone said that breadtfeeding would make the lbs fall off, but for me it wad opposite. My body was stingy and held onto about 25 pounds during nursing that came right off after my milk ran out. Go figure.

  5. I would just like to say that I love how your blog is like a conversation... you don't just spill your guts and then leave us hanging. This is DYNAMIC and K8 engages us. Much love!

  6. How is anyone else not DYING laughing at you parading around on roller skates! I love it! I sooo did that when my mom made me come clean all my college stuff out of her basement... Found the roller skates & had a GREAT time cleaning! You're adorable :)

  7. Great blog post, I've been after something like that...

    Sincere Regards