Little Break


It might be a little quiet over here this week. I’ve started a few projects that need to be finished so that they get the h*** out of my kitchen, plus a writing deadline tomorrow for a piece coming out around Earth Day. I’m not in over my head by any means; on the contrary, I love being busy in such creative ways, and find myself snagging less sleep because of the creative bug. But it does mean I have less time to blog.

The first project has to do with the boys’ upcoming Circus Night, which we are heading up this year. I’m really excited about it, but was struggling last week trying to find a refrigerator box for the ball toss game I wanted to create. I called every hardware store imaginable, with no luck. I looked online only to discover that the heavy duty box I was wanting would cost upwards of $90, so, nope.

Then, after driving home from parent-teacher conferences with all three boys in the van last Friday, I turned onto our street and nearly screeched to a halt upon seeing a man struggling with an enormous empty refrigerator box in the street. I rolled down my window, gave my least creepy smile — Any chance you’re trying to get rid of that refrigerator box? 

He said I could have it, but that it was full of trash and it would in no way fit into my car. I didn’t skip a beat, told him to hang on, I was going to drag that sucker two blocks uphill to my house. In a satin dress. And I did! I dropped the kids off at home and put on a episode of The Magic Schoolbus with strict orders to stay put until I ran back home, with Milo in charge. Then I left my kids, sprinted down the hill, and dragged this enormous box up the hill. The sound of this thing dragging along the sidewalk was the loudest sound you can imagine in the middle of the day. So, of course, a neighbor drove by just at the moment I was sweating and breathing hard and almost to my front yard, looking fully like a crazed lunatic. He rolled down his window, clearly amused with the sight of me having finally lost it, and said, Listen, Lauren, if things are rough at home, all you have to do is knock. As in, I was clearly planning to move into this gigantic box and live inside its belly, because honestly, I could. It’s far larger than any refrigerator I’ve ever seen!

So, I got the box I needed for the ball toss game for free, two blocks away from our house. It may as well have been delivered to our front door! What luck! Not so lucky: I had to drag the thing indoors so that it didn’t get ruined by the rain. As a result, I had to start earlier than planned on this project, and you know, once you get moving, it’s best to keep up the momentum! DSC_0033DSC_0024

I painted the entire thing white with leftover paint from our basement, then drew two different scenes on the wider sides of the box: one of a trapeze lady (I made her costume out of old wrapping paper cut to size and layered onto her back), and the other side a juggler on a unicycle. On the other two sides I’m working on a cool circus-y design. Obviously, I’m not finished yet, but it has been so much fun looking for inspiration and using my creative side in this way.

Plus, it was rainy and cold all weekend, so we were stuck indoors. A project like this was perfect. Milo helped me paint the box, which was a tremendous help. And of course, Emil and Oliver wanted to paint while I painted, on the floor next to me (every square inch of floor space in our kitchen was covered in newspapers and projects). It was a good reminder that your kids are always watching and inspired by what you do: if you want them to paint, you paint. If you want them to read, you read. The same goes for everything! It’s so fascinating to see that happen and a good reminder that we are constantly influencing the way they spend their time and how they choose to enrich themselves.

But back to the circus stuff…

Much of the inspiration came from this amazing giant bookThe Circus: 1870’s — 1950’sgiven to us this past Christmas by our dear and thoughtful friends Maggie and Alex. This book is seriously so cool, we have it on display in our living room. But the real treat is opening it up:


Seriously, the artwork!DSC_0028DSC_0027DSC_0029DSC_0031DSC_0032

Cutting holes in this box was no job for a pair of scissors — it was like dealing with wood, so I had to use a small hand saw from a pumpkin carving kit to do the job! We have so many fun things planned for this night, I can’t wait to share it with you, but it’s still a while off. Until then…

I’ll see you when I see you!

4 thoughts on “Little Break”
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  1. Can’t wait to see what else you have up your sleeve for circus night. This is pretty amazing. It sure is nice to stretch different creative muscles from time to time, isn’t it?

  2. That looks great! So envious of how charged to seem to get over commitments and challenges. I am so spun dry, over committed, worn out… I’m excited about everything, but don’t have the energy to give anything my all. I don’t know how you do it!

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