“Special times?”

Happy Pup + Happy Daughter

I’ve been doing a bit more community service than the typical stuff with addicts and alcoholics. Today I gallery-sat at the Gallery for the art guild, and I’ve signed up for the same shift for the next few weeks. I am also mural-sitting my mother tomorrow and taking a friend to a medical procedure on Wednesday. A bit busy.

Today was rather uneventful but I got some handwork done, listened to some NPR (a highlight: an interview with a lineman restoring power in Louisiana after Hurricane Isaac), and had some seriously awesome dog time with Hutch. For the first half hour of my shift we sprawled on the grass and I scritched him all over his body. He leaned up against me and stretched his neck out and his lips flopped comically. Then if I stopped scratching him he’d roll over on his back exposing his tummy and huff and grunt and ask for more and I’d laugh. It was beautiful.

I’m a few minutes away from completion of the September Tumblehome. I think I’m going to be in the local paper soon re: my writings, so I might get to print a few more zines than normal. I’ve also just about finished a bit of handsewing goodness I plan to give away to a reader. (My hand hurts from crafting. Tylenol tonight.) Details and pictures soon!

I’m hoping to teach more sewing classes in the community (I start up at the college October 1st). I don’t market much but I have the skills and I know many people would like to learn them. I appreciate all who read here and the various ways they support me. Ideally I’d be able to earn a living wage at my craftivism but maybe it wouldn’t be activism if it was a 9 to 5.

a child’s purpose is to be a child

First. Hard at work with my first ten list. I hope anyone who reads finds it helpful.


The first rain in a long while helped me feel better. We leave the front door open and our pooch Hutch sits on the porch. He travels over to my mom’s next door now and then as she has this kind of expensive dog-treat/jerky business over there. He has probably lost about twenty pounds at this point. He’s feeling more spry every day. Saturday on our walk he chased a deer (not coming close, of course) BEST DAY OF HIS LIFE

The children’s summer activities are mostly getting into business outside, bookeneded by long periods playing video games – Terraria, Minecraft, and MapleStory. They’ve caught several frogs and delivered them to my mother’s pond. Friends come in and out of the house and eat any food that’s not nailed down. The kids are all getting ready for school. We’re getting ready to keep catching frogs and such, plus celebrate eleven years of marriage September 8th and then, get our Halloween festivities together.

Some older photos from my phone, just uploaded.

Archive Photos: Nels, Post-Bath

Nels out of the bath, ready to watch a movie.

Archive Photos: My Daughter Sleeps

Phee sleeps. True picture of sleeping. Not fake-sleeping. Yes I smooched her.


Ralph receives a huge-ass calzone. Everyone reacts.

Archive Photos: N1SF

Phoenix drew this a while back. I liked it so much I kept it around. Recently she re-discovered it and gave it to our friend Emily; I’m told there it adorns her refrigerator and meets much approval from houseguests.

friday #w00t

First: a piece of mine, just published.

At bluemilk, the video for “Daddy Skills”. Which? Is awesome.

Some commentary on the different ways female vs. male bodies get treated, in the context of the Olympics.

One of the best interviews on public boners (or pseudo-boners) I’ve ever read.

On the ageism front: Hollywood & relating a bit to actual people’s actual problems. Yay!

The Radical Doula guide is out! Wow! I have a dream; raising enough to bring MZP to our community. Can you imagine?

Kristin Craig Lai tweeted me on an article on “invisible infirmities”. Very flattered; it’s a lovely piece.

Rare color photos from a little ways back.

Homemade graham crackers. I actually haven’t tried making these. But I’d like someone ELSE to bring me a batch.

Sylvia Plath’s drawings. Wonderful.

Someone sent this to me: Are you an emotional empath? Scary how many of the questions I answered Yes to (all but one and a half!).

everyone becomes a poet

The other day in the lightning storm things got dicey, and Phee and I figured we might not make it out of there. So my daughter says, “I have to tell you something,” and tells me a secret about a boy. AND I JUST ABOUT DIED FROM THE ADORABLENESS, that she told me this because she thought we might perish together in the car, meeting our demise in a storm. And no, I haven’t told anyone the secret. Not the one. Not even her father.

So today she came home and showed me a bracelet she’d been gifted, engraved with the word, “LOVE”. And I asked if it was from the boy in question, and she said Yes. When she later asked me to fasten it around her wrist, I asked how that all went down and she said, “He kinda threw it on the ground and said I should have it.”

So, at their age. That sounds about right.

My kids made a cake today while I was busy; it wasn’ t quite finished baking at 1:40 PM when they were due for their dentist appointments. They biked down there and I finished things up and joined them. And seeing their little bikes all parked and them taking care of their dentist shit. It’s pretty awesome.


Being a mother is the best thing that’s ever happened to me. It has pieced back everything good and blessed of my humanity.

We have a busy few days. I’m making a birthday snack for a friend tomorrow; we’re hosting a band for dinner and a friendly tour or two of HQX. The kids are featured in an art show opening this week. And I get to make my other commitments including daily walking the dog a few miles.

It’s all good stuff; I hope to relax and enjoy it as much as possible. I need to slow down and expand my prayer life. Here’s hoping I remember, tomorrow morning.

“Let’s pretend we’re a mama and baby jellyfish, cuddling. Jellyfish can’t sting one another.”

Phoenix, Sketch

(one of Phoenie’s latest)

Phoenix, don’t think I can’t hear you glaring at your little brother!

Yes, I actually said this. And yes, I was right (of course!), as the sudden cessation of movement and whispers from the kitchen confirmed. The kids are putting away dishes and doing laundry while Ralph and I work on a few projects we believe we need to finish before we head to the Unschooling Conference. Our children have already packed. They are super-excited.

It’s all good, but I’m teetering on being overworked. Our houseguest/housesitter/CATsitter had to cancel last-minute. I’m worried about money (but thanks to much support here and there I think we’re going to be okay). Both Phoenix and I are teaching wee classes at the conference, and we aren’t quite prepared. I got my times mixed up and I missed an appointment for the kids and I was super-bummed for a few minutes. I’m not as organized as I’d hoped to be for our trip. I’d like to deep-clean the house a bit more before we leave, but I also have the day-to-day I get to do.

However, I’m handling things about… oh, a thousand percent better than I used to. I am genuinely grateful for all the goodness in life and the challenges, well I know things will come if I take it easy. I like my life today. I have more room for other people and their concerns, in my heart.

Today, before swimming. A cupcake date, and Nels in his latest mama-sewn togs (shirt fabric from Gray’s General Store).


Lemon Drop! Then:

Preppy Stripe & Acid Wash

Just for reference. Here is Nels in some other Homesewn, exactly two years ago.


I die a little inside when I realize how fast my kids are growing. Yes, I have realized the solution to this pain. More kids, adopted kids, some other dude’s kids, whatever. The husband isn’t going for any of it. ENNUI>>>

Sewing: I’m really proud of the garments I’ve been making and (some of them) designing. In the case of today’s offering at Homesewn, I’m offering three garment sets. But besides the fun of making these clothes, mostly I had a good time travelling down 80s lane and  may do some again shortly, any recommendations and inspirations are welcome. (Speaking of, check out my friend Dave’s new bike! Radsauce!). Oh and I was pretty proud of my little Google form to help clients out.

Things are good. I can’t wait to blog our trip for y’all. I’ll go there this year, and maybe next year more of you will join me. xxx ooo

we’re out enjoying the sunshine, here are a few images

Phoenix's Creation

Phoenix drew an island – the far-right brown-pink blob is the living hut, which is very far away from the far-left blue blob which is the sole source of fresh water. Active volcano in the middle, sharks and monsters. I’m thinking this place would be tough to survive in.


The cats, after eating an assload of roast beef

Hardboiled Eggs With Tamari

Hardboiled eggs with tamari, part of a breakfast for the kiddos

Nels On His 2nd Chocolate Milk

Nels on his 2nd chocolate milk


Sleep-pile, nighttime

you’d say it couldn’t be wrong / but it’s no joke, it’s doing me harm

Phoenix draws two dragons: one Eastern, one Western. “Spot the differences,” she instructs her brother and I. We do so. She next creates a Wyvern dragon and a Serpent dragon so we can play again. Nels, after a moment, judiciously says, “The Serpent has a pissier eye.” He’s right. It looks angrier. We dissolve into giggles.

Tonight Ralph and I both sit on the bleachers at the Y and watch the two kids tumble in gymnastics. Experiencing a making-up of sorts – Phoenix has been irritated with her brother as of late – the kids recently hatched the plan that Nels should join her sport. As I watch, my relatively headstrong son is happy to take direction from the instructors. Within a few minutes he is bending himself into his first bridge, and all kinds of stretches and jumps.  He looks about a thousand percent adorable in his little sweats. Nels has always liked being physically active, but I also think he looks up to his sister more than she realizes.

Life is peaceful in our home. I’m knitting away on a scrappy project and cooking tea and spending time with the children. I can’t easily imagine a life without them in my daily endeavors. Unhurried and almost always available for one another. Tonight I finish up a pair of skinny jeans on the sewing machine while Nels lays on the floor and we play 20 Questions.

When I give up on a particularly tricky problem, my son’s face lights up that he has foiled his mama. “A family of hornets,” he reveals triumphantly. “But you said ‘Yes’ when I asked if it was mammalian!” I exclaim. “No, I said it wasn’t a mammal but it was fluffy!” “Well, all mammals have nipples. Except the echidna and platypus. Monotremes. Do hornets have nipples?” Then we laugh some more. He tells me he’s bored and I’m like, Yeah, just a minute, I’m almost done sewing. He wants chocolate ice cream and gets it out on the counter to soften.

Emily, Tylur, and Cole come over for movie night and Ralph finishes cooking up collard greens, garlic parmesan bread, and lasagna. We eat and laugh and I’m tired. Tomorrow: up early again as I’ve gotta scoot out of my bed for the electrician. BALLS.

new digs, day one


Yesterday was our first day in the house, and also the worst day moving so far. Just that soul-sucking bit as your life is torn apart and you’re packing shit into boxes and it’s all grimy and you have to face your own depraved piles of disorganized junk. My mom has been very sanguine about the prospect of our move but, she’s not really done it in almost forty years. In fact her house is this big-ass clutterfest that will likely be mine (and maybe my siblings’) to deal with, when she dies. Which I hope isn’t soon. By the way, her house? I’m thinking MATCH AND KEROSENE, but perhaps that’s just because I had to deal with the entirety of my kitchen scene yesterday and memories are still fresh.


As in all Hogaboom domiciles (six now since the kids were born, if you count our camp-out with my mom for four and a half months), snuggling is first on the agenda. P.S. this is a picture of Ralph before he RUINED HIS BODY moving every single thing we own. Yeah you might think you see some of the things we own in this picture, but I assure you there was/is a lot more.

"Giant Clam" by Nels Hogaboom

After a coat of primer and five coats of TANGERINE DICK, the dining area is done! I’m a fan. And Nels’ work, “Giant Clam”, looks lovely I think. Yes, we still need to remove painting tape.


I found only a few items from previous tenants, and these were a few of them. I guess I’m superstitious as I tend to keep things like this. Shit, that reminds me, Ralph is cleaning at the old house and I hope he’s leaving the broom.

Nels Enjoyed The U-Haul

Nels loved, LOVED, reading the disaster policy in the U-Haul insurance. Lightening storms, electrocution, and a scary “burgler” icon. I liked riding in the U-Haul too. It kinda lulled me into naptime.

Peacock Blue

“Peacock blue”, my living room. Chosen for Phoenix. BY THE WAY I really really want my lemon tree rehabilitated and I don’t know how. It flowered a lot then suddenly lost lots of its leaves and when I pour water or give it a shower, it just sieves through. I think it needs a larger pot and a lot more soil. I dunno. I would like to see it return to its former glory!

I’m running terrifically late, and there is still a lot to do. More pictures and silly anecdotes of falling down stairs whilst carrying rolled-up carpets, soon. Ciao!

in other news

Ralph went to bed a bit early; the kids and I stayed up. Phoenix and Nels are both very popular. Here Phoenie chats with her peeps.

She is so incredibly sweet.

Nels Snaps A Shot
Nels takes a picture of me, while we’re out doing our thing today. I think I kind of look like I should be wearing a power suit with shoulder pads.

Nels & Kobai
I stopped by at Rosemary Cottage to get some pictures for my spiritual community’s website. Nels was new boot goofin a bit.

Dedication to the departed

You Know You're Doing Something Right
Yeah, look around my house and you see a LOT of this sort of thing. I figure we’ve got good energy in the house.

More Drawings
Phoenix draws so many creations a day I’ve long given up doing anything other than now and then commemorating a few by snapshot or what-have-you. The kids have been up to some crafting (hence the yarn, pipe cleaners) from kits their grandma Betty sent them.

into the wild blue yonder

Zipper Shield, Button

For today’s sewing blog installmwent I want to talk about:

Venturing Out.

Picture a Kris Kristofferson voiceover: “You know, some people seem to have no trouble gettin’ themselves new ideas, trying out new things and branching out artistically.”

* record scratch, then in my own voice * Yeah. I’m not one of those people.

So anyway, trying something new. In the case of this Mini Yeti snowsuit, I really got myself in trouble. And then self-rescued. I ventured out in a few ways: mostly, in working with outerwear and tech fabrics I’d had no previous experience with (three such fabrics, to be exact). I also self-drafted a few tricky things (including curved spiral-pieced horns), lined and underlined counter to previous experience and without a pattern, and handworked eyelets. This is all new stuff and done on a blind commission sent my way from Alberta, Canada. And I’ll tell you, the whole thing felt like risky business often, and I wasn’t sure if it would work out.

Front View

But, so far, so good. The blessed item is winging its way to its new home, where I hope it will be much-loved and much-worn.

Spiral Horn & Ear

From The Back

(Elastic-back, plenty of room for a diapered – cloth or disposeable – and active child! Lovely-warm double-yarn yeti mitts with mitten-holders! w00t)

I have neither the right nor the hubris (these days) to define the term or concept of “art”. But for myself, any creation I make without risk and without stretching myself doesn’t feel like art – it feels like craft, or construction, or some such combination. There’s no problem with craft, repetition, or factory-assembly type work – after all, how many times have I made a few tried and true patterns? – but since I’m trying to develop myself beyond what I already can do, that risk isn’t always super-fun when I’m sweating it out.

Still, I think things turned out okay, and I’d be proud to gift, with love, this garment to any budding snow-bound little tot. Which I may have to do, if the client &/ortot this was intended for isn’t into my results.

I wrote a fair bit about how I made this in the Flickr tagset; for details on to exactly what fabrics, how much, and how many hours I spent, etc, you can look at my listing.

Hand-Picked Zipper

Sewing Zipper Shield

And now? Off to the Next New Thing.