Art irons

Today I am going to write about how I ironed a bunch of crayon shavings on wax paper because my friend Kathy showed me this site and I suddenly felt like a crappy mom because I never in a million years would iron crayon shavings on wax paper.

So I ironed crayon shavings on wax paper and Cam got home and we showed him our creations and he said, what iron did you use?

And I said, uh, the only one we have,

You used our iron to do that?

And to be fair, the iron is crusted in crayon and I did think, about three fourths into this project that maybe I should have taken some better precautions as far as protecting our ironing board (now covered in wax and how are we going to iron now?) and cam’s fancy iron we got from his grandparents for our wedding that we’ve only used six times because it’s so fancy and because we wear wrinkled clothes and I also wondered why I chose this day of all days to be a good mom and got crayon all over our table and chairs and floor JUST AFTER I had mopped it and cleaned the place (which is unfortunately a very big deal)?

What iron was I supposed to use? I asked.

I don’t know, you could borrow a neighbor’s, he said and I started laughing. You want me to ruin other people’s irons?

He said, maybe people who do art projects have art irons. I don’t know.

I stared at him. Maybe he was right. Maybe people are ironing crayon shavings all over the place with their kids and they own art irons and they wear aprons and they know how to properly protect their IKEA ironing board cover.

So the questions are, do you have an art iron? I feel like maybe I should have an art iron and now I think our fancy iron is probably our art iron? So maybe I have to go buy a new one? And do you think it’s easy to get crayon out of fabric? Do you think it’s a good idea to shave crayons with your only cheese grater? Do you have an art cheese grater?

Okay. That’s all.

Except this does bring me to a bigger issue, my personal problems. Sometimes I am totally fine with myself. You know, I make dinner now and then. I sometimes exercise. I also take my kids to the library on occasion. Usually I’m doing well. Usually.

But then other times . . . you know when you hear someone is moving and you think, maybe i should move. Would it be better to move? I like this house but maybe we’d be happier somewhere else. We should move. I think we should move. Or your husbands’ best friend buys a pop-up trailer and suddenly your thinking of all the amazing places they’re going with their kids and probably they sing songs on road trips and they explore nature and they make smores and they sleep all night even the baby and if we had a tractor trailer our whole lives would be happier and my kids would be able to survive in the wilderness and they’d know about hard work because they’d have to clean the trailer and work hard and really work hard but play hard and I can’t even get them to put their dishes away after we eat except when I threaten them and I shouldn’t threaten my kids I am a bad person and a bad mother and why does my baby keep yanking my shirt down when I carry him places and did I show my bra the whole day today like when I dropped off one child at preschool and why didn’t I wear a better bra and was I flashing everyone and what did they say after they left and maybe we should move.

You know when that happens?

It never really happens to me because like I said, I’m happy with everything in my life. And this especially doesn’t happen with writing. Like when I hear how other people do things–they write ten hours a day or they network their faces off or they have fifty five books out and their editing thirty four right now or they do this or that or this or that and they write fast and i write slow and they juggle everything and I juggle nothing and sometimes, sometimes it feels a little helpless. That never happens to me.

But if it did, I’ve found one of the best things to do is take a deep breath, slow down. and open my computer. Then I’d do something like this:

1. Make a list of all the reasons why I started writing.

2. Make a list about what I love about writing.

3. Make a list about funny things that have happened to me or others. Writing or not.

4. Make a list of everything in I am doing pretty well in my life (hello healthy chocolate banana muffins I made today).

5. Make a list of people who love me.

6. Make a list of people who love my writing (even if it is just me).

7. Make a list of all my favorite candy and possibly plan a candy dinner during the next writing marathon.

8. Make a list of twenty ideas for novels and picture books and memoirs.

9. Make a list of celebrities who are having personal problems too.

10. Make a list of the wonderful things I’m going to do with MY writing life, doing it MY way, in MY own time.

And then start writing.

This is what I’d do if I had the problem I’ve been discussing. What would you do?



Filed under Ann Dee, July 2012 Marathon

15 responses to “Art irons

  1. Emily

    Thank you so much for this. I’ve been struggling with similar hypothetical struggles lately and it’s always such an amazing relief to know that it happens to other people, like a weight is honestly lifted right off my chest. Women especially, I think, struggle with feelings of inadequacy but I’m always amazed at how much strength and inspiration comes from simply sharing our insecurities with others and lifting each other 🙂
    And it is my personal opinion that fancy irons should always be ruined by craft projects.

    • I think we’re all so much more alike than we think and I think you’re amazing Emily. And yes, maybe that’s true about the irons. Who needs a fancy iron these days?

  2. CLW

    I have an art iron. You can get them cheap at a garage sale.
    Plus, heat up your iron and iron it on an old towel and i think that crayons will go away by melting on the towel.
    Here is something else you can do: Get crayon stubs at a garage sale. Get your muffin cup that you cooked the banana chocolate muffins in. Put all the little colors in (nekkid–no paper). Melt in hot oven. Let cool. Pry out.
    Now you have these crazy-cool discs that are hard to color with but that your kids might like.
    I tell you what, I have nearly run myself ragged trying to do things right. And mostly I don’t. I’ll talk more about that on Thursday. But I like your list.

    • See? You have an art iron. I knew it. I’m sort of nervous to go to garage sales because I worry that I won’t find anything I like and then I’ll walk away and make the people feel sad and that’s rude so then I’ll buy stuff I don’t want. Hmm.

      And yes, I think it’s time I figured out there is no right way. Just the best way I can figure out.

  3. I have an art iron. It’s just a cheapo one you can buy new for a few bucks. Right now I’m being super stubborn and impatient with writing. I started a new WIP after WIFYR and then lost it when computer broke. I wasn’t too far in, but I haven’t written since. I’ve become a crabby old lady that complains about everything when I have nothing to complain about, really. I need to get my butt in motion with that last item: And then start writing.

  4. bookworm

    If I had that problem, I would read your blog posts. 🙂

  5. i usually go post on my blog – which i do so rarely that it always sounds like i’m complaining because i only post when i’m stressed. hah.
    i’m back in ca (for a few weeks) and then we’ll be in utah. and i tell myself that then i will start writing every day. can i write every day and still get packed in time to move? i don’t know. maybe i should try that instead of waiting until the future. i’ve been waiting until the future for too long.

    thanks for sharing today. you’re awesome.

    • You’re awesome, Shar and I have the same problem. On my family blog I used to only post when I felt like crap and then my family thought I had serious problems. So happy you’re coming home!!! And you’ll find time to write. It will happen.

  6. PS. i don’t have an art iron. i have a nice iron that we got for our wedding and we’ve used maybe five times. i loaned it to my mom three years ago, and every sunday trav asks if i got it back so he can iron his shirt. “but we’ve only used it five times, why do we need an iron?” i tell him. “that’s because it’s not here. just get it please.”

    maybe i will use it more now that i know you can do art things like that.
    come to think of it, my mom did have us iron crayon onto fabric. you color the fabric however you want. then you put the wax paper a certain way and it keeps the crayon on the fabric and doesn’t get any of the crayon or wax on your iron.

    then you make something with the fabric. like a pillow. or a blanket. or stick it in a frame. or hang it on the fridge. decorations. 🙂

  7. Kathryn Knudsen

    Our fancy iron became our art iron years ago. Before children. Iron lots of paper with it and it will clean it. And put paper over anything that has crayon on it and iron that too. Only one iron needed. But, we also wear wrinkled clothes.


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