All Things Being Equal

No longer teetering on the seasonal fence, this weekend saw us pushed over the side like a game of King of the Mountain, where nature, thankfully, always wins. The day of the Autumnal Equinox was long and fulfilling, as we drew the curtains wider and all things backstage crowded onto the scene. There were mega-tantrums and mamas at their wits end, tears and fed-up-ness, and also a succession of ways of being, ways of playing…and eventually everyone onstage remembered their choreography, changed their tune and welcomed in Fall.

It began with long awaited gift giving of Fern’s Big Present. Which all began as this:

Found on the corner near our home.

Rebirth began as a stripping away…and doesn’t it always. Then it started to look something like this:

Two weeks worth of visioning, scheming, mis-taking led us along. There was also approximately 40 coats of paint (Wow, if you want something to be white, don’t paint it deco-blue first because it will suck the chi out of your spirit when, after the 7th coat of paint, you can still see streaks.). I tried to walk away from the project several times, with declarations of I don’t give a sh*t HOW it turns out, I just want it to be done! But each time my wise artist self would gently take my hand and somehow we persevered.

And I’m so glad we did, because eventually reality surpassed our best vision. This was a team effort between Jeff and I, and although sometimes it felt like too many cooks in the kitchen,Ā in the end we unified well.

When Fern first saw it, she looked at us skeptically and said, “What happened to all my kitchen stuff?”…the kitchen stuff that had previously been jam packed into two bookcase shelves. We had to explain just what the toy was. She had been watching us paint it over the past week and kept asking us, “Is it a dog? Is it a book? Is it a duck?”

I became OBSESSED with vintage Meyerchord decals during this project. I thought I could cheat by printing out an image of one and decoupaging it on, but the colors smeared. Someday I’ll fix it, but right now the birth pains are still too fresh.

I painted my old tea pot, from plain burnished steel to enameled red.

One of the drawers we used for storage and the other as the oven. For Fern’s party, we had suggested a play food theme, and everyone happily obliged, much to our gratitude and delight. I found the little muffin tin at Alemany (the same day as the Cuckoo clock fiasco) and our old housemate Cleo went all out and made Fern two PIES and a loaf of bread! They look so cute in there, I can hardly stand it.

Grandma Good went all out with the Melissa and Doug play food. We turned the two lower shelves of our kitchen bookcase into a pantry.

Fern’s favorite is the little stick of “butter”.

The pantry doors. I also got these two little cuties at Alemany. It was Fern who found Mister Tophat, and when the seller realized what I would use them for, she gave me the Missus for free.

Tin cups and saucer from Alemany.

I found a matching bowl at another booth and used it for the sink.

Other bits of cuteness

I didn’t get a shot of it, but in the storage area, we outfitted her with small vintage kitchen bits. My favorite are the stacking tin jello molds that Uncle Shane found. Or maybe the donut cutter.

Girlfriend needs to learn how to clean as she goes when she cooks…


Picnic for Bado Bado and Adoba Dee…her invisible friends.

Still feeling mega-awkward with the outfit shot and don’t know if I can keep it up. I am left feeling uber squeamish and narcissistic. …tanktop: indie craft fair in Sacramento from ages ago, skirt: from Milla, belt: thrifted, minnetonka mocs that are falling apart. I kill my shoes, you guys. I don’t just dress like a forest tracker…I actually go out into the forest and my style suffers the reality of rocks and mud.

More showcasing of Nicole’s generosity from her giveaway..

Lucky leaf earrings, just in time for fall.

I did some cooking myself this weekend…

Look Teeny! The nut grinder!

My FB friends will recognize this…Wild Plum Pie with Tahitian Vanilla and Walnut Shortbread Crust. We topped it with Coconut Bliss. Essentially it was like jammy shortbread bars.

Well dear friends, I actually have the whole rest of our Equinox day to show you, but my writing time is up! Happy Fall to everyone. How was your weekend, and how is the turn of seasons showing up in your life?


26 thoughts on “All Things Being Equal

  1. That is the most beautiful play kitchen I’ve ever seen in my life. And that’s not hyperbole.

    You’re absolutely beautiful (breathtaking, really), and I love your outfit photos.

    Also, send me some pie, maybe? I’m sure it’ll travel well. ;]


  2. Best. kitchen. ever. Now I want to make one. I’m waiting for my felt food patterns to come in the mail, they’ll need a kitchen to live in, yes? I also love the outfit posts, but I completely understand how you feel about it. I would feel very awkward, too. Does it feel less narcissistic if you’re doing it for your fashion challenged fans? Give the people what they want, consider it one of your good deeds for the day!

  3. What an amazing gift! You guys did a wonderful job. Play kitchens are the best, I love the little scenes that happen in them. (my girls also need to learn how to clean as they go ;))
    I just posted about the equinox too! We’ve got a real nip in the air here now, time to get cosy!

  4. Awesome! I was thinking that it might be a kitcheny thing you were working on. It came out superb…..So many unique little touches. Three is such the perfect age to get into it. And it’s so fun to keep adding to it….you can never have too much play food!!! Fern is a lucky little lady……

  5. Such a sweet play kitchen, I LOVE the color scheme. I’m actually in the process of making one for my daughter too. We scored a bookcase this weekend for $5. Its sitting in the living room already getting played with as a kitchen and I haven’t even done anything to it. I love the imaginations of these littles! What did you make the faucet out of? I’ve been breaking my head over this part of the project, look at vintage faucets on etsy and stuff like that, but I like the idea of stuff not being too real.

    1. melissa, we came to the same conclusion about using a “real” faucet…that we either needed to go all abstract or all simulation. a lot of the diy kitchens i found online used a letter “J” from a craft store, so jeff used a jigsaw to cut a similar shape out of a thick board. then we used a “chrome” enamel to make it look like metal. we also attached a thin piece of wood as the base, where the “knobs” are so the whole thing is sturdy. good luck…email me a pic of yours when it’s done!

      1. Man, I was hoping you weren’t going to say that you guys made the faucet, since we don’t have those skills over here. I guess if I go this way, I can find a craft store J.

  6. Wow, well done! I would have gone crazy for this as a kid. Playing at doing grown up things was such a favourite, although now that I’m doing ‘grown up’ things for real it still feels a little like play. Haha! I know what you mean about white over blue. I spent one of my holidays painting my walls white over this horrible/cold light blue that had been there since we’d moved in. (I was going for the basic walls, colourful interior thing.) Such a light colour, so infuriatingly persistent! Got there in the end, but at times I didn’t know if I would… and also wondered if it was just my mind playing tricks on me. That looks great though, so beautiful. šŸ™‚ Also you look gorgeous in that outfit.

  7. Wow Mary!!! That is the SWEETEST play kitchen! You and Jeff did such an amazing job. I LOVE the colors and all the sweet little touches you added. It’s perfect and I love the matching pantry too. Lucky Fern! I think Milla’s right, you win best mom… poor Clover with her ghetto plastic kitchen that used to live in a kid down the street’s backyard, sigh…

    I’m still working on the whole clean as you go concept myself, my kitchen looks a bit like Fern’s after I’ve cooked. Lucas will fully back this up.

    Also, thank you for persevering through the torture that is the outfit shot, haha, I, and clearly I’m not alone here, appreciate getting to see what your gorgeous self be wearin’ šŸ˜‰

    p.s. Yes! The heirloom expo next year, it’s a date!

  8. I am so amazed. And proud of you guys! Who the heck can do such a flippin unreal job! I’m sure there is a market for such beauteous children’s furniture, I for one would commission one from you. sigh. I’m still sitting here in awe, even though i saw this post yesterday. I totally recognise the nut grinder, so perfect in your kitchen, in fact it would be perfect in Fernys kitchen too! I’m dying, not literally, figuratively. I want to go to Alemany with you! I had a couple of things set aside for Fern for her birthday but I’m sure i could knock up some felt food too! Or a mini-teatowel or sumpin. You look beautiful as always, love your stylings, Mia recognised my copycat shoes as being “Mary’s shoes” – I’m reminded by her every time i wear em. And I saw you in that little vest I passed on to you (in your last post – or the one before?), you look way better in it than I did, as I knew you would.

    1. i want you to go to alemany with me! for reals girl, sometimes it kills me too. how did mia recognize those shoes as mary knock-offs…they aren’t that similar! love that girl. love you too and also that vest, which is like carrying a hug from you with me everytime i wear it.

  9. i need those chickens she has. i had those when i was a kid and i still pine for them. i also had a little black piglet that i loved. the things you remember in your old age. what a beautiful kitchen. the colors are great. and please, more narcissism. i love, love, LOVE your outfits and jewelry and in general, i love staring at your pretty face. i’m only here for the narcissism, dammit. don’t take that away from me! ā¤

  10. art at its finest…full of love purpose grit and sweat. i am in awe. and i’m inspired too. thank you! a project like that, sounds like medicine to me right now. i hope to get myself involved in one asap! gonna be on the lookout for what it could be…..

    and you know, you are looking so good, very inspiring in that way too. so the hottest almost 40 year old mama. u are magic.

  11. this is the coolest thing ever! i can’t add more to the above so i will just report that because i feel & think it. wonderful!

  12. precious, precious, precious!!!! i know fern is going to love her sweet little kitchen. šŸ™‚ yes, i love your outfit posts, too, mary. i love seeing everyone’s awesome outfit posts. i will be glad when i get a new computer and then i can post some outfit posts of my own, since my current computer is not letting me upload any more new pic’s, just pic’s that are already on my computer šŸ˜¦ it is tired and wore out.. LOL šŸ™‚

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