Moving On

Over the last year I’ve been working on getting an online shop up and running. It’s been live since the  early fall but I also wanted a new site to go with it. That has taken considerably more time and work and has been a long time coming (I bought the domain and hosting nearly a year ago). After a lot of thought I decided when I opened the new site I would close things up here on HairyShoeFairy. A small part of me is sad to let it go since it’s been my online identity for the last eight years but I’ve also been feeling kind of stagnant with it lately. I’m ready for a change; to move things in a different direction.

HairyShoeFairy, in all it’s forms, has been an invaluable record of my life and the lives of my children. It includes our many moves, including buying our house, NYDD’s adventures in schooling, residency, and establishing his identity as a physician, and in many ways it’s my story of becoming. My kids love looking through the blog books I’ve printed over the years and hearing some of the funny things I’d forgotten. I’m so happy to have had this place and I have no intention of just shutting it down. I know some of you still refer back to some of my past sewing projects and recipes and I don’t want to remove the link for things that have been pinned to pinterest. I plan to keep up hosting so the site will still be live and accessible but I won’t be posting anything new here any longer.

I know many of you lovely readers have been with me for years and years and some have become dear real-life friends as well. If you’re interested, I will be keeping a blog on my new site and I’d love to see you there. Since my kids are getting older and I want to respect their privacy more  it won’t be as kid-centered as this space has been. Rather, it will focus more on things I’m working on as a designer and calligrapher as well as anything new we do with our house (spoiler: sometime in the next couple of years we will be tearing down and building again). There will still be personal stories and insights but it’s less of a mommy/family blog than this place. If you are moving away from blog reading but still want to stay in touch you can always find me on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook. I hope to still see you around the internet, my friends.

Embracing the Brace

When I was pregnant with Wingnut I started having some tingling and numbness in my fingers. It happened mostly when I slept, drove for a long time, or talked on the phone. I suspected Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and talked to my mom about it. She had CTS for years before having surgery to correct it and when I told her what I was feeling she agreed it was a possibility. Sometime near the end of Wingnut’s pregnancy it went away and I thought maybe it was just something wacky my body was doing  because of the pregnancy. It wasn’t the only weird thing my body did during that pregnancy so it wouldn’t be surprising.

In the years since then the tingling has come and gone sporadically, usually only happening if my arm was above my head while sleeping. Then a few weeks ago it returned with a vengeance.

I would get the tingling and numbness every time I ran the mouse while on the computer, while typing (like right now), working on any calligraphy, talking on the phone, and especially in the morning when waking up. Occasionally the neuropathy is hot and painful, more than just irritating. It’s been bad enough and often enough that I’ve dragged out my wrist braces again and have been wearing them throughout the day and often at night, too. I asked my mom about it again and, especially with the mention of the hot and painful neuropathy, she and ODD both agree it’s very likely CTS.

Truly, I’m not surprised. Considering all the repetitive, fine motor work I do it was bound to happen. Then I realized my mom had her CTS surgery back in the early 90s which puts her right about the same age I am right now. Fortunately, if I decide to have surgery, it will be less invasive and I would have an easier recovery than my mom did over 20 years ago. I’m not sure if/when I’m going to do it so in the mean time I’m embracing my (obnoxious) brace to keep me from losing my mind.


Big Couch

Last Halloween I spent the morning with workers in my new house laying carpet.

This Halloween I spent the afternoon putting a sofa together. Whee!


Next Halloween I just want to do the Halloween thing with no other house stuff.

On the up side, WE HAVE A SOFA!!

*throws confetti and blows a noisemaker*

ODD wasn’t home so I was on my own and I had to put Cashew down for a nap and pick up Peanut from the bus stop in the middle of it but it went together easily and only took about 3 hours. I love it!

We broke it in on Saturday night by watching Monsters University as a family. We can all sit on it at the same time! It’s funny how something that lets us spread out and each have our own space can bring us closer together. Sunday afternoon naps are so much happier.

I love having something besides the floor to sit on!

New couch

Adventures in Sofas and Sewing

We bought our couch 7.5 years ago from some friends. They were moving out of state and we were taking over their apartment managing job. They had two large couches and only wanted to take one in the move so this one was up for grabs. I can’t remember if they’d bought it used or not but it had been well loved. It was very comfortable and was in better shape than what we previously had so we jumped on it. At the time it was also only just ODD and me so one large sofa was plenty of space.

Over the years it’s seen its share of abuse. We’ve added three children to the mix which only adds to the damage inflicted. It’s been drawn upon with markers, sharpie, pen, pastel, crayon, and paint. It’s been smeared with licorice, fruit leather, and chocolate. When Wingnut was about 18 months old he got his hands on a contraband #10 craft knife and gleefully stabbed holes in one of the cushions. The springs are past their prime so we’ve had folded blankets keeping it somewhat supportive for the last 5 or 6 years. It’s not really our personal style with its overstuffed cushions but it’s been a good couch and it’s really comfy.

Mini Dew living room

Over the last year or two it’s really started to show its wear and hasn’t cleaned up as nicely or easily when things happen. I’ve been eyeing a sofa at IKEA for months and talking about it once in a while with ODD. As a family of 5 our single large sofa is no longer big enough to comfortably hold all of us. Someone always complains about being sat on or not having enough room.

Finally, earlier this week Wingnut drew on the couch (again) and ODD suggested that perhaps it was finally time. I readily agreed and jumped right online to show him the sofa I’d been wanting. He liked the look and we almost threw everyone in the car to run to IKEA to get it. We were already halfway through our bedtime routine, though, so we decided to do it another night.

A couple of nights later ODD was home early enough that we could do it. We tipped the old couch over and ODD started removing the feet while I called IKEA to make sure the one we wanted was in stock. I was assured there was one left in stock but they couldn’t hold it so we threw the couch in the trailer, tossed the kids in the car, and headed out. On the way we dropped the old couch off at the DI.

You see what’s coming, right?

Yeah, we got to IKEA, ODD approved of the couch, and I called a sales associate over to help us. It turns out there was NOT one in stock. In fact, there had not been one in stock for over 3 HOURS! Apparently I had never even gotten through to the actual store; only the call center, and they didn’t have all the information. *grumble, grumble* They couldn’t sell us the floor model and there wasn’t one in the As-Is so because we were given some misinformation they are ordering one and comping delivery to our house so we don’t have to make the trip with our trailer again.

Unfortunately the new couch won’t arrive for 2 weeks. That means that since we already dropped off our old couch at the DI, we are left with only a single wooden glider on which to sit our sorry rear ends until the 30th.


Go ahead and laugh. I totally did. This is so typical of the things that happen to us. Frankly, I’m not at all surprised and since there’s nothing we can do about it now we may as well laugh about it.

As it happens, our new sofa is more structured and while testing it at the store ODD mentioned we’ll need some pillows for it. I’ve loved this fantastic wide green striped fabric from IKEA for years and  have always thought it would be perfect for some huge pillows. Now that we need some I finally have an excuse to buy a couple of yards. I also picked up some black and white fabric to give a little variety but I wanted to keep it to just those few colors.

Since this weekend is UEA I had a whole day without having to pick kids up at odd times and was able to just sew this afternoon. I chose to make them as covers for ready-made pillow forms with an invisible zipper opening so I can take them off and wash them as needed. Two of the pillows are 26 inches square and the other three are 20 inches square. They’re nice and squashy so at least while we wait for the new couch we’ll have something to pad our bottoms when we sit on the floor. Yes, that’s my baby drinking the dregs of some old soda. This is the way we roll when I sew.

After my girl finished her sewing I started mine. New pillows for our still-to-come new couch (more on that later). I love seeing stripes that are lined up just right at the seams. #stripes #sewing

I also took some time this morning to teach Peanut how to sew. She learned how to work the sewing machine a month or so ago when I last had it out but I didn’t teach her anything else, I just let her play. She’s been talking about making a skirt since then so today I pulled out some fabric I’d stuffed away a year or two ago and we made a skirt together. Peanut told me how long she wanted it to be and I cut out all the pieces. It’s a very simple first project, a lined skirt with a gathered elastic waistband. I showed Peanut what to do and she sewed almost all of it and pressed most of it. I think the length is perfect for fall, especially when she wears her boots with it. I’m so proud of her for working on it. She started to get bogged down in on the hemming and all the pressing but I did my best to teach her good techniques and I think all in all she had a fun time making it. She’s quite proud of it and is excited to wear it to school next week and tell everyone she made it herself.

The finished skirt. I bought this fabric a year or two ago, when chevron was really big, intending to make her a skirt but it got shoved in a box and forgotten. She's been begging me to let her sew something lately so today I pulled it out and we made her

One Year

One year ago today, we were at Disneyland, walking miles and miles, dragging our children from one fun ride to another, and slowly killing ourselves.

One year ago today we closed on our house in Utah. Yes, while on vacation in another state.  I didn’t know if our money wire would make it there by that day because the bank made me second guess myself on everything when filling our my forms. It was a highly stressful few days (or months, if we’re being honest).

One year ago today we became the proud owners of the Mini Dew Ranch.

I couldn’t be happier with where we live. Truly, I believe we were led to this house at this time. It took some hard work to get it into livable shape but we’ve really enjoyed living here. Our neighbors are wonderful, my kids’ schools are fantastic, ODD has a decent commute to work, and it’s like we’re living in our own little world in the middle of a city. Everyone who comes to our house says how surprised they are that a place like ours still exists in the city. It’s true. It’s the perfect place for our family.

10/11/12 (isn’t that a convenient way to remember?)

New House!

10/11/13 – one year later

Mini Dew one year later


To read more about what we did to get the house into shape you can check out these posts.