In which we build a hexayurt

Between seeing The Book of Mormon this weekend (amazingly funny!) and attending two BBQs – one with my dental co-residents and one with my Junior League women – we also built a hexayurt in our living room. It’s less than three weeks before we leave for Burning Man and we are running. out. of. time!

We followed the advice and detailed directions found here – with a big thanks to all the inventors and sharers of plans. There are several different types and sizes you can build:

We decided to go with the six foot stretch yurt - more room than the little tiny one, but smaller than one of the monster yurts (and thus easier to pack).

We decided to go with the six foot stretch yurt – more room than the little tiny one, but smaller than one of the monster yurts (and thus easier to pack).

Our first stop was to Home Depot to buy the insulation material for construction. Jeff had ordered the special six inch tape a while back for us.

Our first stop was to Home Depot to buy the insulation material for construction. Jeff had ordered the special six inch tape a while back for us.

Step 1: Clear your living room and organize your boards. We used 7 total with a little bit left over.

Step 1: Clear your living room and organize your boards. We used 7 total with a little bit left over.

Step 2: Draw out your cut lines.

Step 2: Draw out your cut lines.

Step three: Cut. A lot. Get lots of styrofoam pieces everywhere.

Step 3: Cut. A lot. Get lots of styrofoam pieces everywhere.

Repeat steps 2 and 3 for all the boards.

Repeat steps 2 and 3 for all the boards.

Step 4: Assemble the base. Try to remember your high school geometry and get the angles correct.

Step 4: Assemble the base. Try to remember your high school geometry and get the angles correct.

Step 5: Assemble the roof

Step 5: Assemble the roof

Fully assembled!

Fully assembled!

Step 6: Celebrate! We have a hexayurt to keep us relatively cool in the desert and shelter from the dust and wind!

Step 6: Celebrate! We have a hexayurt to keep us relatively cool in the desert and shelter from the dust and wind!

Bonus points: We saw this amazing video and engineered ours to also fold into a compact design. It’s now all one piece  that we just have to pop out and tape a few sides when we arrive:

Folded down hexayurt.

Folded down, one piece hexayurt.

The Man burns in 26 days!

In which there are Christmas Cards

Jeff is always amused by how much I love civic things. I’ve never been called, but I’d probably enjoy jury duty. I love voting (especially when you get to go to a booth, not the mail in stuff they have here in Washington. More convenient, sure, but you lose that feeling of purpose and pride after you’ve completed your small role in the democratic process. I know it’s a flawed system sometimes, but I’m for the ballot box over guns anytime).

Checking the mail is one of my favorite parts of the day, especially now that holiday cards are rolling in. Last year was our first married Christmas, so we were able to use a nice professional wedding photo which made things easy. But how do you top that without going out to get nice pictures taken? It doesn’t help that all the sample cards on shutterfly.com, tinyprints.com, etc have such nice photogenic families that my few good photos of Jeff and I didn’t quite fit their formats. So this year, I made our own:

I started off by designing the card, front and back separately in Pages (the Mac equivalent of MS Word).

I started off by designing the card, front and back separately in Pages (the Mac equivalent of MS Word).

Then I had Kinko's print the front on matte photo paper and the backs onto the heaviest card stock they had.

Then I had Kinko’s print the front on matte photo paper and the backs onto the heaviest card stock they had.

Lots of cutting.

Some cutting.

And more cutting

And more cutting

Printing two cards to one piece of paper saved a ton of money. Each card would eventually be 5x8, which is larger than the postcard standard of 4x6 so I didn't get the reduced postage. Oh well.

Printing two cards to one piece of paper saved a ton of money. Each card would eventually be 5×8, which is larger than the postcard standard of 4×6 so I didn’t get the reduced postage. Oh well.

Then I transported myself back to kindergarten and rubber cemented the fronts and backs together.

Then I transported myself back to kindergarten and rubber cemented the fronts and backs together.

Then I had to handwrite out address on all of them because I forgot to include that.. whoops. I also trimmed up the edges once more to make them flush.

Then I had to handwrite our address on all of them because I forgot to include that.. whoops. I also trimmed up the edges once more to make them flush.

And voila! Ready to send at the post office.

And voila! Ready to send at the post office. All this cost about a third of what it did to order the same amount of cards for my mom (even with the cyber Monday discounts).

Some from us up here in Seattle, Merry Christmas!  

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Fun fact: My dear mother saw Three Dog Night at a company event back in the 80’s. I’ve always loved their Joy to the World song and thought it should be included along with all the other Christmas favorites. And today is her birthday – Happy Birthday to the most lovely and wonderful mom in the entire world! I love you!

At the Bele Chere festival in Asheville, NC - 2011

At the Bele Chere festival in Asheville, NC – 2011

In which I do a bit of decorating

So finals are finally over and I’m finally starting to process the excess amounts of caffeine out of my system. Jeff and I threw a cocktail party for some of my co-residents this past weekend (more on that later maybe), and it motivated us to kick into high gear all the projects we’ve been putting off. Mostly the ones I’ve been putting off. Jeff doesn’t have any projects.

We recently rearranged our bedroom so my desk would fit so I could study in quiet. Turns out Jeff and I don’t study well together – we’re too chatty. Being in this room more made me kind of sad of how bare it was so I decided to do some last minute decorating before our big party (even though people only saw it long enough to throw their coats on the bed).

Before:

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(yes, shambles, I know).

After:

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Old road map from the Jeep featuring one of my favorite drives between Asheville and Knoxville

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Picture from Glacier National Park and a quote, “I like you because you like me and you don’t like very many things” that basically sums up Jeff and I.

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Road map of the US highlighting our trip across from NJ to Seattle. Someone asked me what our fascination with yarn and twine was and to be honest, I have no idea..

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All in all rounded off with some Shel Silverstein books, some transformer insulators from my aunt, a nice sturdy shelf, and a bridal portrait it makes a nice focal point of the room.

Sorry for the weird lighting in the pictures, I tried to make the fluorescence a little less harsh.