One of the (many) things I love about A. is how crafty he is. He has an engineer’s mind that blows my mind and he loves to make — and organize — things. And I love watching him at work. When he focuses, he moves his mouth in and out, flexing his lips. It’s… well, it’s sexy is what it is.
When we moved into our (very small) apartment a few weeks ago, one of A.’s first missions was to turn a little nook near our small half bathroom on the first floor into his workshop (can you say Man Cave?). He laid linoleum on the floor, installed shelves, hung his tools and moved in his workbench that he made a few years ago. He also installed a curtain rod — all we have to do is select the curtain color and wala! He has his own personal space.
On his workbench, A. has a lathe. I’ll admit I didn’t know what a lathe was until I met A., but it cuts metal and wood. He learned how to use one when he got his PhD in chemical engineering at Caltech. One of the first things he made, before I knew him, were metal tops that spin and spin so that they look like they’re not moving anymore. They sit in our living room (but as soon as baby is old enough to grab, we’ll have to put them away). They look like family heirlooms to me.
And speaking of family heirlooms, on our living room table is the beautiful chess set A. designed and constructed out of wood and metal (it took him a year). I hope someday our child will enjoy playing chess as much as A. does, cause he or she will inherit this beautiful piece of work.
Against the wall is the small bookcase we built together two summers ago out of slabs of poplar from Home Depot.
Last night, A. finished bookcase No. 2 (we decided that the first needed a sibling — mostly because we have way too many books). It’s the same design and color, double the width. A. did all of the work this time. It took him about a week and $150. Two nights ago, when he stained the boards, I holed up in our bedroom, away from the fumes, reading. Last night, I held the boards in place as he assembled them.
By midnight, it was fully assembled, coated with beeswax and drying out against the wall in our dining room. In a few days, we’ll fill it with books.
Oh, A.’s ability to organize! Because we have very few cupboards in the kitchen, A. also figured out a system for our pots and pans in the pantry.
I find A.’s creativity inspiring — and I love that he can teach me how to build things. And lately, I find myself drawn to design blogs like DesignSponge and thinking about what I can craft. I’ve already taught myself how to knit a scarf, but I’d like to make another with really soft wool. I’d love to create a beautiful baby book. Maybe some wooden bookends or a fruit bowl.
In two weekends, A. and his dad plan to paint the entire apartment. We’re in the midst of selecting colors — my mind is dizzy with shades of yellow and green and beige. And then we can finally start working on the nursery — a crib and bookshelves and a rocker and a mobile. I have a feeling by then my nesting instinct will be raging out of control.