A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

Category: crafts (Page 2 of 3)

Craft Whores – Meet Our Judges!

The countdown in ON!

One week ago today, my friend The Suniverse and I announced our fantabulous brainchild: Craft Whores!

Let’s review:

1.) You make a craft that is naughty or “inappropriate” in some way.

2.) You take pictures of it and blog about it.

3.) You come back here next week and link up your post.

4.) Three awesome celebrity judges will pick three winners.

5.) PRIZES! Naughty, naughty prizes. Oh yeah, baby. Details coming soon.

The official link-up begins one week from today: September 13-17.

So what are you waiting for? Get yo’ naughty craft on! 

Friends, you do not have to be an accomplished crafter or artiste to participate! In fact, I’m going to be disappointed if someone doesn’t submit a penis sculpture made entirely of uncooked macaroni, dried pinto beans, and dog hair. M’kay?

Seriously. Let your naughty imagination be your guide. Skills optional!

Come on. I know you’re a little twisted. If you didn’t think poop or vaginas were funny, you wouldn’t be here. It’s okay. You’re among friends! {secret naughty hand-shake}

Now as for those celebrity judges . . .

{Drumroll, please.}

Hold onto your hot glue guns and flesh-colored pipe cleaners, people. We’ve got Internet royalty in the hizzy:

(Confession: I just copied and pasted this next part from The Suniverse because I got tired and she’s clearly the brains behind this operation.) 

Bad. Ass.

 from The Next Martha.
Witty, pretty, and wise.
A crafter, sarcastic, and
a great dancer (according to The Suniverse, I’ve not yet had the pleasure. Yet, I say). 



She’s a doll. Truly.

 from Crafty Chica.
Awesome in so many ways, in so many media.
A crafter,
A writer, and
Sweet as pie.



Writes what you feel.

Robin Plemmons
 from Balls to the Wall, Y’all.
Who knows how to bring it,
An artist,
A writer, and
So giving.


(Still copying from The Suniverse. She’s awesome. Why reinvent the wheel?)

These brilliant, generous women have agreed to act as judges and decide who among you will be selected as being the CRAFT WHORES OF THE UNIVERSE.

No lie, people. This is a big deal. I can’t believe that they’ve agreed to soil themselves among us mere mortals, but they have and NO TAKE BACKS, O.K?

(This is me interjecting: Su, did you just say “soil themselves”? Because bitch, please, I don’t remember agreeing to work with encopretic judges. Oh crap. What have I gotten myself into?) 

Hi. It’s me again, Leslie, aka “Iris.”

So, I hope this answers some of your lingering questions and gives you the encouragement you need to play along, regardless of your skill level in the artsy fartsy department.

In fact, we haven’t really finalized the criteria for judging, so you never know . . . maybe there will be a prize for “Worst” or “Most Fucked Up” or “Scariest” or “Least Artistic.” We’re pretty wild and crazy you know. I’m just saying.

Please spread the word! The more the merrier!

With faith, hope, love, and hot glue,


Craft Whores – Are You Twisted Enough?

Once upon a time, in between sessions at the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop, I met a fellow humor blogger named The Suniverse and we hit it off like a needle and thread.

Well one day, whilst admiring her cross-stitched “SUCK IT!” avatar, I came to discover that she actually designed and stitched that splendiferous creation herself! Awestruck, I pledged my allegiance to her forever.

And then I showed her my boobies.  Continue reading

The Valentine Card Conundrum

(Originally published 2/10/11.)

What is it about Valentine’s Day that makes me feel such an urgent need to overcompensate for all my shortcomings as a wife and mother?

Perhaps you’ll recall the time I made a Valentine Tree, hand crocheted heart ornaments, and a vulva shaped coin purse? I think it started a few years back when my oldest child was in Montessori school. Oh, those were some rough years for a mom like me.

In my grossly generalizing approach to life, the mothers who choose the Montessori way usually fit into one of three categories:

1.) “Mother Superiors,” aka Über Moms, who are fiercely competitive “Type A” women on a mission to forcefully mold their kids into the future leaders of the free world.

2.) Hippie Moms who really dig the student centered Montessori philosophy and want their kids to have lots of freedom to work at their own pace and choose their own groovy work each day.

3.) Slacker Moms who are terrified of how their kids are going to turn out unless they shell out the big bucks for top notch private education to make up for the lack of intellectual stimulation at home.

Guess which one I am? Or was, rather. My youngest, Bucket Head, doesn’t go to Montessori school. Which is probably why he wears underwear on his head and enjoys “Shart Frackers and Douche Bags for ‘nack.”


Valentine’s Day always gives me horrible flashbacks of that first year at the Montessori school when I made the hideous mistake of sending in cheap-dime-store-made-in-Taiwan-with-lead-based-ink-cards featuring licensed Bob the Builder characters and actual CANDY containing gluten, peanuts, and red dye #40 taped to them. Oh, the shame.

When Nature Boy got home that afternoon, he tore open his beautifully decorated bag of “Valentimes” and there on the table were 15 adorable homemade Valentines and ONE tacky Bob-the-Builder “Put it there, Bob” Valentine/candy combo pack.

And of those 15 homemade Valentines, most of them included very special “I made these with my Mommy!” non-edible treats like heart-shaped crayons made from recycled crayon bits lovingly melted in antique collectible candy molds, or little red and pink pompom critters waving a paper plea to “Be Mine!”

I’m totally not exaggerating. Montessori Moms play to win. I probably should have known that by the large number of “ALTA Tennis Champ!” magnets on all the Hummers in the parking lot, but I was too focused on getting to school on time and getting the hell out of there before someone asked me to volunteer for something.

Yep. Those Martha Stewarty Valentines Day cards were a real slap to the rubber parts. So I made a mental note that Valentines Day is obviously more about the earning or losing Mommy Points and not really at all about the expression of preschool love. And, I vowed that I would never put myself or my poor children in that situation again.

So last year, on Valentine’s Day, when Bucket Head was attending his first year of non-Montessori preschool, I made sure we were ready to show those other moms how it was done. Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I present exhibit A:

Bucket Head's Homemade Butterfly Valentines, 2010.

Ta-DOW! Oh yeah baby. That’s what I’m talking ’bout.

Not only were they cute, but my toddler totally got to participate in most of the process. See those polka-dots? Bingo markers! And threading the pony beads onto the pipe cleaners? Holy hand-eye coordination practice, Batman! Sure, he got bored after making three of these, but the point is, we made them ourselves for pennies on the dollar!

Bigger picture: I was about to exchange my World’s Worst Montessori Mom crown for a World’s Best Non-Montessori Preschool Mom crown.

(Insert sound of screeching tires here.)

Not so fast, Grasshoppah.

Wouldn’t you know it, when Bucket Head brought his bag of Valentines home that afternoon, his butterfly card was the ONLY handmade card in the bag! And the butt loads of candy? For a second there, I thought I had accidentally enrolled my child in a Toddlers & Tiaras style beauty pageant.

I can just imagine those other mothers looking at our butterfly cards and thinking, “Aw, how sad. Little Bucket Head couldn’t afford real Valentines!” or “Well, lookie here. Bucket Head’s mom has an inferiority complex. Bless her heart. Let’s pray for her. Honey, bring Mama the fam’ly Bible coozy.”

Damned if you do. Damned if you don’t. And some people wonder why I drink.

One of these days, I’mma figure it out, and when I do? LOOK OUT, BITCHES.


© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris.

I can’t quit you, Pinterest.

Oh Pinterest, how you tease me with your visual harlotry.

You make everything look so pretty, and easy, and attainable.

But you lie. And you torment me.

Oh sure, there have been a few fleeting moments of success.
Like the time I discovered the best broccoli recipe ever.*

And Bucket Head sure does enjoy the magnet board I put in his room.

And when I saw that I could make an igloo out of recycled milk jugs,
I thought I had died and gone to heaven. Because I’m a freak like that.

But my anal-retentive husband threw away the first milk jug before it had even dried.

Giant milk jug igloo, you will never be mine.

People like me have no business getting inspired to make stuff. It is dangerous.

I should probably just stick with recipes and gardening and funny stuff.

And I really need to remember that you can’t believe everything you pin. 

Because those bacon pancakes?



in a word?


Unless you actually WANT a gigantic vertical-bacon-enhanced vulva. Then, yay!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to step away from the computer
and get some actual fresh air into my lungs today.

Or I could just sit here and pin some breathtaking outdoor scenes.

Damn you, Pinterest.


*That broccoli recipe? I adore it. But my husband and kids do NOT.
And you know what that means?…more for me.

© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris.

The best Christmas card we ever made

My friend Laura helped me make some really fun Christmas cards a few years ago.

I was just so sick of my usual Christmas card routine: dress the kids up, try to keep them clean long enough to get a good picture, stick ’em in front of the tree, scream at them to smile at the same time, “no – not that smile…your real smile,” get frustrated, make someone cry, etc.

I desperately wanted to do something different. 

So when Laura called me up one day and said, “Hey Toots, the lighting is perfect this afternoon. Meet me at that abandoned trailer up the road. I’ll bring the Beanie Weenies,” how could I say no?

I grabbed our matching PJs and a few props, tossed the kids in the car, and we were on our way.

It was so incredibly liberating to just let the kids play and be themselves. It didn’t matter if they got dirty. It didn’t matter if they weren’t all looking at the camera at the same time. It didn’t matter that we were trespassing and eating processed meat from a can. We all had a blast. (Well maybe not Bucket Head, but he was only 21 months old.)

Laura sure has a gift. Here are a few of my favorite shots from that day.

Surprisingly, none of my children have been approached by the Hanna Andersson catalog to model. Huh.

Jello powder. It’s not just for breakfast anymore.

Now check out this next one. It’s an action shot.*


Look at that lighting! Love the snot rivulets. That’s not a real squirrel, by the way.*

Now imagine all these pictures and more on some sweet mama-jama matte card stock with a beautiful quote and seasonal greeting inside? Second only to my children, this card is possibly one of my finest creations. Either that, or I was overdue for a med-check.

And how was it received?

“Well, it’s different,” said a vast majority of my relatives.

Mission accomplished. (Insert evil laughter here.)

Happy everything,


* I swear, no children or squirrels were harmed in the making of this card. 

This craft fair didn’t suck.

Last weekend while running a few errands, Mini-Me and I serendipitously happened upon the most delightful outdoor craft fair!

It was a spectacular autumn day here and Mini-Me had $8.00 burning a hole in her little pocketbook, so I opened my window as we slowly cruised by Market 334. Live music and the smell of barbecue simultaneously hit me smack in the kisser. Cue the illegal u-turn.

“We’ll just check it out. If it sucks, we’ll go to Target.”

Sure, it sounds jaded, but in my experience, local craft fairs in North Georgia can be hit or miss. We went to one a couple years ago that had hand-crocheted toilet paper coozies as far as the eye could see. My dead Aunt Doris would have loved it. But me? Not so much.

Well imagine my surprise… this craft fair was 100% awesome. There was not a single corn cob back-scratcher in sight. Sorry Target, we’ll come by another day.

Every booth was more fabulous than the last. Luckily for me, I didn’t have a lot of money in my wallet, or I could have easily dropped the kids’ college funds there. But we did make a few purchases you have to see.

First up: something unique, sparkly, practical, and FUN!

While ooh-ing and aah-ing over all the shiny things in the Two Bead Broads booth, I was immediately drawn to a sign for “Hillblingy Goblets.” I misread it and thought it said “Hillbilly.” Either way — she had me at GOBLET.

You know I loves me my wine.

Y’all, feast your eyes on my newest acquisition.

Gold Hillblingy Goblet by Kris Straukas of Two Bead Broads

Is that just fun on a stick, or WHAT?! I will be drinking my afternoon Momtini from this on a daily basis. And best of all, I can just screw the lid on so the flies don’t steal sips of my hooch while I’m not lookin’!

The fabulous artist who makes these doesn’t have an Etsy store (yet), but if you’d like to buy one (or twelve), it’s no big thang for her to ship them to you. She makes them in all kinds of color combos, but I decided to “go for the the gold” because it makes me feel all classy, an’ ‘at. Contact Kris Straukas for more info at twobeadbroads@comcast.net.

The next booth we couldn’t resist was stocked full of the cutest handmade stuffed fleece creatures we’d ever seen. Check these out; they’re called Musers. They remind me a little of those ubiquitous “Ugly Dolls,” but way cuter and in much groovier fleece patterns.

Mini-Me and I were mesmerized by these funky little guys. And the artist, Kathryn Muse, was so sweet to us. She took the time to tell us all about her creative process and how she comes up with her ideas (lots of input from her kids). She even offered to coach me on how to sew one of my own someday if I ever unearth my sewing machine.

Mini-Me and local artist Kathryn Muse, creator of Musers(TM).

Kathryn’s little Musers would make darling gifts. She has an Etsy shop and a blog where she introduces new creatures and shares about her journey as a new Etsy seller. She also does custom orders. Love that!

And now, please meet the newest member of my Halloween decorating committee:

This fun little dude is made out of tube socks! I am seriously in love! My kids and I have made sock-monkeys before, but I never would have dreamed about making a skeleton. Look at this face!

He’s got a sparkly tie, a plastic spider sewn to his shoulder, and I love that his eyes are two different sizes. ADORABLE. The artist is Stacia Roble. She has an Etsy shop, but I’m not sure if she has anything in stock right now. Contact her at yesroble@gmail.com for more information.

Finally, one last artist to highlight. Meet “Sweet Sammy,” a mother-daughter team who make beautiful handcrafted wooden pendants and necklaces. Mini-Me thought she would simply die if she didn’t get one of these. Luckily for me, the artist had a soft spot for little girls with great taste, so she was willing to work with Mini-Me’s very limited budget. Then she gift wrapped her selection in a beautiful bag and made us both feel very special. I truly appreciate anyone who goes above and beyond like that. Thank you Martina!

The time we spent at Market 334 was my idea of the perfect Fall day with one of my three favorite kids. I hope your weekend was equally wonderful!

Supporting local artists, spending quality time with my baby, and finding a classy way to get my drink on at the same time; life is good!


PS – If you’re new here, please help others find me by “liking” the The Bearded Iris at Babble.com’s list of the Top 50 Mom Blogs (I’m currently #12). That’s liking, not licking. Unless you’re Gerard Butler, my husband, or my dog, please don’t lick me. Thanks.

© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris.

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