Christmas Disaster 2013

There’s always something.

In 2010, my van died on a Friday night after dropping my mom off in Pittsburgh to catch the bus home. Then after spending the night in a hotel (we had just moved here, and had no friends in the area), the new belt they put on broke, so we had to stay over again (and spend a ridiculous amount of money for the repair since we went to Firestone (they were the only ones open on the weekend).

In 2011, I almost cut off the middle finger on my right hand. I cut right into the bone, and was out of commission for a couple of days. Then I spent the rest of the Christmas season, sanding with my middle finger held aloft from the sander or whatever else I was doing, so it didn’t get bumped or vibrated.

Last year, well, I ended up with some freak stomach virus that had me vomiting up my stomach bile all night, and left me wasted the next day. When of course I should have been making toys.

Well, this year, we left to get more wood (I ran out of cherry again!) from my wood guy. He’s about an hour away, and I wanted to hit up the Wheeling Lowe’s for more 1/2″ pine (our store has been sold out for months, and they aren’t restocking it, so I’ve been cleaning out every store within driving distance, because there is NOWHERE else to get the stuff!).

Well, some time in the time we were gone, a pipe burst in my basement (it was the pipe for the hose, and yes, I’m an idiot for not turning it off sooner). There was ankle deep water when I finally got down there when we got home.

I waded in to shut off the valve for the hose pipe, and then frantically started rescuing any wood that was on the floor.

Caleb came down, and said he’d get something to dry it up. After I vetoed the idea of towels, he said he’d find something. I had my doubts, but he came back with a jug, a watering can, and a little plastic cup, and started bailing water. It was better than any idea I’d come up with.



I got some larger implements, and it actually went quicker than I expected. It would have been much worse, if I didn’t have a drain and sloped basement. The drain apparently couldn’t handle all the water or it was clogged or it doesn’t really go anywhere but into the ground.

About halfway, I sent Caleb upstairs to the bathtub to warm up his feet. He thought I was being too worried, but the last thing I needed was him to get frostbite or something. I can see it now, “Local Boy Rushed to the Hospital with Frostbite because his negligent mother was too stupid to turn off the hose valve when it’s freezing out.”

So instead of working any of my 50+ orders, I was baling out my basement, and driving to Walmart to replace my dremel, which was on the ground of course, and wouldn’t turn on. After that I was exhausted and went to bed.

This morning, it’s time to get back to business. At least this year, all my limbs are still attached, though I took a wicked whip across my knuckles from the sanding band on my dremel flying off the other day. But no permanent damage.

Knock on wood.

(Oh yeah, you saw right, my basement is a disaster.)





New Stable for the Nativity

I made a new, more traditional stable for the nativity set.


And here it is with the whole cast of characters:


I also made separate listings so you can purchase just the holy family and the stable, and then next year you can add some shepherds with the angel, and the following year the wisemen can come join the party with their camel.

Though of course you can still purchase the full set with and without the stable.

Well, it’s going to be short and sweet today. I’ve gotta get back to work to get ready for Handmade Arcade on Saturday at the Pittsburgh Convention Center. Not to mention my lovely etsy customers’ orders.

Thanksgiving Giveaways

Congratulations to Laura and Ivegon for winning the 2 reindeer I was giving away in November!

For the December giveaway, I’ll be giving away a free ornament of your choice all you have to do is leave comments on my posts this month and you will be entered.

My family came to visit again this year for Thanksgiving, and it was wonderful. I grew up in a family of 8 so I just love to have the house full of talking and laughter (and yes, of course, teasing and a bit of quibbling as well).

My mother came early to help me out with the I Made It Holiday show. She also volunteered to do a bit of finishing for me, working on fire trucks and dollhouse beds.

Two of my brothers helped me out with drilling some buses, and everyone played endless games with Caleb and each other.

IMG_0081 IMG_0082

We took a trip to the Christmas tree farm to cut down our own Christmas tree. It is 9 feet tall and squished up against the ceiling. But it looked very impressive out in the field. My youngest brother played lumberjack again cutting it down in less than a minute.



Finally I’d like to thank you for reading my blog and buying my toys. It’s so nice to think while I’m working that these pieces of wood will bring endless hours of fun to imaginative kids all over the world. So from me and Caleb, thank you.