a peek inside the fishbowl

18 Sep, 2006


Posted by andrea tomkins in: File under crafty|Misc. life

Last weekend I had a surge of creative energy. I know myself well enough to know that when this happens I have to go with it. If I don’t, I get anxious, jittery, and am prone to grumpy outbursts…. almost as if I haven’t eaten or slept. If I’m creatively dehydrated and I spot a fountain, I rush to get a drink. I drink. I feel better. And all is well.

On Sunday I announced that we needed to go to Home Depot. If your Home Depot is anything like our Home Depot you know that this is usually a spot to be avoided on the weekends. This is especially true in the Spring and Autumn when Ottawa residents fall victim to Home Improvement Frenzy. It’s bedlam. But I wasn’t going to let that stand in the way of The Surge. We had stuff to buy. And it had to be Now.

First on the list: baseboard molding. It was time to make the frame for my found art project. It was going to be biggish: 4 x 3.5 ft.

Here’s the point in the story where I explain how my husband and I aren’t very handy people. I mean for chrissakes, we’re intelligent people… just don’t ask us to measure or cut or build anything.  (I must admit: Mark is definitely handier than I. He’s actually built things. I haven’t.)

We spent an embarrassing amount of time at the mitre box trying to figure out which direction to saw which angle on which piece of molding. In fact, I had to make an impromptu diagram. It was all going okay, but then something awful happened.

Mark finished sawing one side of the molding, picked it up, and poked Emma in the eye with the freshly sawed corner.

We froze for a heartbeat. Emma’s hand flew to her eye.


(I am suddenly reminded of an accident I witnessed in grade seven industrial arts (a fancy name for “shop class.” A friend of mine sliced her hand open while working on one of the machines. She fainted. The teacher walked toward her with a smirk on his face. “WELL,” he said. “THAT’S WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU DON’T FOLLOW THE RULES!” What a jerk, eh?)

Well, we didn’t follow the rules. We have become the poster family for The Dangers of Home Depot and Why Children Should Be Closely Supervised At All Times. Gadzooks.

So there we were. Part of me was fully prepared to see eye juice streaming down her face. In my mind’s eye I was already seeing myself picking her up and sprinting to the car. She moved her hand away and I steeled myself for what I was about to see. I was prepared for the worst. But it was nothing. Not really. Her eye was pinkish and there was sawdust on her face. The wood molding had poked her lower eyebrow. I picked her up and took her to the ladies room to splash cold water on her face. Emma cheered up quickly and we made our purchases and left. (Her eye was pink for the next couple of days.)

FYI: Sarah didn’t escape from Home Depot unscathed either. She had managed to get a sliver of shaved metal stuck in the bottom of her foot. Don’t ask me how, but that’s the last time we go to HD in sandals.

So back to my WIP. Thanks to my neighbour’s loan of a couple corner clamps I now have something that looks like a frame.

I haven’t been able to prime and paint it yet. I’ve been sick with a bad cold and am still feeling nauseous.

I’ll have more pictures to show soon. Hopefully soon.



6 Responses to "WIP*"

1 | BeachMama

September 18th, 2006 at 8:35 pm


Great job on the frame. You would never know you guys hadn’t built anything before.

And is that your porch?? I love it!

2 | Miss Vicky

September 18th, 2006 at 9:16 pm


Damn, did you get my nesting instinct? I need it back!

3 | andrea

September 19th, 2006 at 8:25 pm


BeachMama – yes! That’s my back veranda. In the off season it becomes a respository for a lot of our, ahem, stuff. Some day I will give it an overhaul and make it proper little napping nook.

4 | Sharon

September 20th, 2006 at 3:17 pm


Nice back poarch…Nice place for a cuppa tea. Nice frame too. You guys need to invest in a chop saw or a miter saw…wouldn’t live without mine.


5 | Freakazojd

September 21st, 2006 at 3:38 am


You didn’t go to WGD, did you? Because that totally sounds like something Mr. Anderson of WGD ‘fame’ would say…

6 | andrea

September 21st, 2006 at 10:53 am


Hey Freak: I did. And the hand slicer was Martine M. :)

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The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human offspring: Emma (23) and Sarah (21). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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