Polly Pockets taken up a notch.

A customer had been pursuing Marcus with this project for quite sometime.  Marcus knew how much work this “little” project would be, and he was correct, sir.

The project is a scaled replica of the customer’s house for his daughter’s Polly Pockets.

It is complete with a stone exterior, slate roof and copper gutters.  Ashley can now add masonry and slate roofing to her list of contracting skills.

Rebecca’s spiral staircases for her own Polly Pocket architecture  inspired the staircase for this mansion.

I even got in on the action, painting a bit here and there.

But my greatest contribution was standing around staring at it with my mouth hanging open.  Got to encourage the real laborers, you know.

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Come back.

I am sanding finish on a kitchen cabinet.  Everything Marcus makes requires hand-sanding between coats of finish.  Usually Ashley is sanding finish, but then she became Lady Brittingham, and ran off to Chicago on her honeymoon.  That is why I am in the finishing booth instead of watching daytime television and eating bon-bons.

I do all the paperwork for the business, and that suits me fine.  Sometimes, when Marcus is very busy, or his employee runs off to Chicago, he calls in the 3rd string to help.  We give our all for the Gipper.  Or at least we don’t hide when he calls.

Ashley is like her father, and is very good with her hands.  She is also very patient and can sand for hours, or reglue a million chair parts together without batting a pretty eyelash.  I am not.  After sanding for a time, I feel whiny.   I want to complain like an elementary school kid, whose mom told him he has to clean his room instead of go swimming.    But I usually make jokes instead, or sing loudly with the oldies on the radio.  This makes the other children, who may have also been recruited to sand, roll their eyes.  This is one of my top priorities as a mom.  Then I tell them ravens could come pluck out their rolling eyeballs.  They always like that one.

If you read this, Lady Brittingham, please consider coming back and sanding finish.

I need to get back to the house to eat bon-bons.

Countdown: 14 and 13

Table by Marcus Hinrichs

Whoops.  The countdown is for the wedding, but other parts of life keep pushing wedding thoughts out the window.

A friend and website designer extraordinaire is working on our website, and it requires my participation.

First, I had to write new copy for the website, using key phrases over and over.  If we want people to find us when they google “custom kitchen cabinets”, then I have to mention that we build custom kitchen cabinets.  Did I mention we build custom kitchen cabinets?  It is fun to build custom kitchen cabinets.   And so on.

This process took me a long time.  Marcus finally gave me a deadline, which helped immensely.

Mentioning that we build custom kitchen cabinets (over and over and over)  helped our Google ratings.  Yippee!

Unfortunately, the pictures on our website weren’t too exhilarating.  We’ve been taking random pictures of our work since we began in 1993.  Some were scanned in from mediocre photos.  Many pictures were taken when Marcus was done installing a project, and the light was awful.  So the quality of many of the pictures was just plain bad.

I don’t have photo-editing software, so I was stuck.

God knew my frustrations, and sent help.  Katherine had a friend over last night.  The friend is a photographer and LOVES editing photos.  She works with Photoshop, but showed Katherine all the things you could do with Picnik.  I looked over their shoulders, fascinated.

This afternoon I edited photos on Picnik, and changed them to the proper size (which had also given me many bang-my-head-on-my-desk moments).  It worked!

The pictures still leave a lot to be desired, but they are much better.

When not working on the Project That Lasted Interminably, we went to graduation parties.  Hard to believe the girls Ashley grew up with are now beautiful young women, going off to college this year.  Harder to believe Ashley is getting married in two weeks.  Which leads us to what we’ve all been waiting for…

Photo by Collin Geldmeier