Posts Tagged 'my mom'

Flamingo Mittens

I flipped for this pattern and just HAD to make these flamingo mittens! But for whom?

My mom, of course, because even though she lives so far away, her hands are about the same size as mine, so I could just make them to fit me and know that they would probably fit her!

Every stitch of these was fun, thanks to this mottled, hand-painted pink yarn that I bought on Etsy. The black is super-soft Capretta from KnitPicks and the pattern is from SpillyJane.

I have been working on these for weeks, but they arrived just in time to cheer her up after a fall that broke her shoulder a few days ago. I hope she feels good enough to be out for walks again before the weather gets too warm to wear these.

I love my mom!

Surprising Little Island

This little (4- by 1.5-mile) island keeps surprising us. We took a few outings lately and ended up here:

The Key West City Paintball field. It appeared abandoned and unused, and to me really dreary and depressing, but Zach is already getting excited to play, if he can get anyone to believe it exists.

Down a virtually unused, dead end road, and inside the black net fencing:

We took the Boogedy to the cemetery to make gravestone rubbings with crayons on paper. I remember doing this with my mom as a kid. The Boogedy thought dancing on the graves was good fun, and I wasn’t ready to explain why he should be solemn and respectful, so we didn’t stay long. I wonder if Grandma will enjoy receiving our rubbings.

Last week the Power Boat racers were in town and we went to Fort Zachary Taylor to watch them from the rocky shore. We didn’t pull the little guy out of preschool to go, but we will next year because it was awesome! The boats appeared to just skim the water. I thought of my nephew Mike and his family’s love of car racing. I wish he could have seen this!

My camera couldn’t get good photos of this event, but I sneaked a peak over a fence and shot this baby with matching trailer waiting her turn.

While we were there, we toured Ft. Zach (notice the MOAT!).

And marveled at the difficulties of using Cannons to try to hit Ships.

Barbies and Bikinis

Growing up, I had all kinds of dolls: a plastic baby crocheted into her own afghan, a hot water bottle wrapped in a washcloth; a drinking and peeing baby; a “lifelike,” ceramic-headed infant with a rounded fabric body and bum weighted with five pounds of little beads; a black-yarn-haired cotton doll the size of a 5 year old that my mom made for me (including her lavender pioneer dress and handbag and white bloomers).

However….

I did not have Barbies. My mother was opposed to the impossible figure they would inspire me to attain, which is fair, because I am a long-waisted 5’3″, which means I have Very short legs. I can wear capris as long pants.

My mom was also opposed to bikinis, because young girls shouldn’t be sexualized or show too much skin. I also didn’t get to wear much  black, because kids should wear lots of happy colors.

Once, when I was nine, my mother’s sister (Aunt Delores) came to town from 2500 miles away. She took me to a bunch of yard sales on Saturday morning and bought me several Barbies with frazzled hair and arthritic knees. She laughed and laughed when she found and bought for me a tall, busty German doll with erect nipples. That one was a non-standard-size doll of impossible figure, so she never got any clothes.

I felt terribly scandalous, then, when I used my sister’s eyeliner to paint one of those Barbies with a black bikini. Twenty-six years later I still remember my mortification when my mom found it under my bed. I thought she’d be furious, so I swore up and down that I hadn’t painted it, that it had come that way.

I wonder if I was a better liar then than I am now? Perhaps when you’re a parent, you just get used to finding strange things in your kids’ rooms. Zach told me he once spent weeks collecting his urine in empty soda pop bottles in his dresser drawer, to “see what would happen.” I’m sure his mom had an absolute fit about it.

Thanks Jane Brocket for reminding me about dolls and pretend play. Also, I had a fun time reminiscing about the toys of the 80’s at this website.

Tales of a Bad (Overconfident) Daughter

felt hollow (Small)

A tale of woe. A tale of overconfidence. A tale of yet again saying “how hard can it be?” only to find out that I should have read up on it a little more.

So. I saw this beautiful tutorial over at Kleas. Felted beads…so easy that the preschoolers were able to do them. I thought, this is great, these are gorgeous, I will make these for my mom, who always wears interesting necklaces to coordinate with her outfits.

Such is my confidence in my fiber-wrangling abilities, that I waited until Mother’s Day morning before starting this project. My friend Kristin came over to help (I also consider her a specialist in wool control). She made the puffs.

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I wetted and rolled a puff with a tad of soap. Ok, maybe too much soap. I labored alone in the kitchen, whining and wheedling that this was taking longer than I thought it would, and that the snakes weren’t felting properly. And that jeez, this is not working! Kristin felt certain that I was doing it wrong, so she came to the rescue:

felt process (Small)

She had no more luck than I did. Our snakes never did get firm enough; one felt hollow in the middle and the other had a permanent slit up the side.

felt snakes (Small)

When we cut the beads up, they were not as pretty as I had hoped. Worse, they started falling apart almost immediately. I am not as talented as the preschoolers at that other blog!!

felt beads (Small)

I ended up giving my mom a baggie full of vaguely bead-looking fuzz stuff. Happy Mother’s Day from your not-so-talented daughter.

Zach kept teasing me that I should have glued them and some gold-painted macaroni to a piece of construction paper and told her the Boogedy made it for her.

My mother, bless her heart, oohed and aahed and tried to think of ways to salvage them and still use them.

A good mom praises a good effort.

Rock Hunting

My mom has such a way with toddlers. At the end of a long spring break, when I didn’t know what to do next to keep the Boogedy occupied, mom announced that they were going for a walk around her apartment complex to look for rocks to put in the “rock bag”.

“Rock Bag Rock Bag!” the Boogedy repeated excitedly to himself.

They searched for the best rocks:

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They put ‘em in the Rock Bag (!):

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Then, we came home and she gave him a bowl of soapy water and a scrub brush to wash the rocks.

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After the rocks were toweled and put on display in a plastic bin, I realized that the rock game occupied him for more than an hour! What a smart grandma!

Florida Sunshine Quilt

Several weeks ago my nephew Josh and I helped my mom lay out a quilt on the floor of the clubhouse at her apartment complex. This is an “Orange Peel” quilt, and my mom spent many years of her childhood in Florida, so she named it “Florida Sunshine”.

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On Easter we took photos of the finished (GORGEOUS!) product. She wanted me to show it off here. I dare you to find a brighter quilt.

Front:

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Back:

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Detail:

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Here we are, Team Florida Sunshine:

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Grandma’s House

It’s Spring Break for me and so Zach is using this opportunity to completely sand and refinish the hard wood floors downstairs. Here is a photo of him looking exhausted only 3 days into his labors, and a sneak peek of the floors, now sanded and puttied:

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The good news is that I get to stay at my parent’s house and they get to have some quality time with the Boogedy. Here is my dad getting fed rice cracker snacks…this is the only time I’ve ever seen my father willingly eat peanuts:

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My mom went outside and found a little friend for the Boogedy to examine:

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And every night we get to sleep under the most glorious quilts ever made. This one is called Venetian Tiles my sister Jeaka made:

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I topped that one with a coordinating “Woodland” throw my sister Marian made:

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As the Boogedy says, “PECKY BOO!!”

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Six–Photo challenge

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Jen of Painted Fish Studio tagged me to “open the 6th picture folder on your computer, open the 6th photo and blog it. write something about it. then tag 6 more people to do the same.”

the photo above is my 6 of 6, a detail from this set:

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Years ago my mom painted this wooden farm set for my Aunt Suzie’s grandchildren (my cousin’s kids. At this point of familial reltionships, I just consider everybody cousins). I don’t know for sure if my dad cut out all these little animals and sanded them before mom painted them. It’s likely. After I had the Boogedy, Aunt Suzie gave me the set, complete with red barn carrying bucket.

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This toy is always a hit for visiting kids, and I’m so pleased that we still have all the pieces! I remember when the Boogedy sat down one day and was able to do all the animal noises.

Also see The Boogedy’s Ark, for another handmade and hand-painted toy made by my parents (for me when I was little!).

I’ll tag:

KnitSonya

Maria

Marian

Jeaka

Chompers and Watchers

Cool: This craft project is hilarious! Thanks so much to BitterBetty for her creativity, a great blog, and for this excellent tutorial. Here are pics of the assembly line:

And photos of more creepy plants. The orchids “watch” the front door. The chomper guards the water fountain.

Dissapointing: I invited 5 people to my little craft party on Sunday, and everybody but my mom cancelled. Tis the season, I know. Fall means everybody gets sick. The way I usually structure these get-togethers is to have everyone pay a small (like $5) materials fee to offset the costs. So after my mom gave me $7 (she’s a good tipper), it meant I spent 23 bucks on styrofoam, paint, pipe cleaners, my first glue gun, silly vampire teeth, etc. About $18 More than I would have with my tight budget, if I’d known it was just going to be us.

I spent tons of time shopping for this project, and hours ahead of time pre-painting everything. Zim’s is going out of business, so I saved $$). I was really looking forward to social time with my friends around the hot glue gun, and potluck snackies. I don’t like sounding whiny, but making 36 chompers practically by myself was exhausting. Mom and I only finished two “watchers”.

Oh well. More chompers for me. Anybody have any pointers on making craft parties successful?

Hot Cuddle Bottle

When asked “what is the one invention you wouldn’t want to live without?”, I’d have to say it’s this little darling…the hot water bottle. I am cold from October through May and keep a hot cuddle bottle at my feet every night. We turn our heat way down at night to save energy, so the whole house is pretty chilly. We pile on the blankets, but a cuddle bottle feels like such a luxury!

When I was a little girl, my mom would fill the hot water bottle with warm water and I would carry it around, pretending it was a wiggly, giggly little baby. When I was pregnant in 2006 and visiting Sonya, I told that story to her daughter (she was probably 4); she thought that was the silliest thing I’d ever said and shook her head at the ridiculousness. So I drew this face on my hot water bottle, filled it up, and left it in my guest bed. When I came back later, she had wrapped it up in a blanket and played with it all day while I was out.

During that same vacation, I bought the yarn to knit Ms. Cuddle Bottle a sweater. I used a Trensdetter yarn called Tonalita. It self-striped, and I went through two balls without ever seeing a repeat in pattern. It keeps getting softer and fuzzier.

The face is still there, a reminder of a nice Thanksgiving visit.

Sorry for the low-light photo!

The quilt here is called “Wild as a March Hare”. My mom sent it to me when I lived in SF, and needed the bright colors to survive the foggy days. It features tons of madras plaids from old thrift store shirts, lots of oranges and hot pinks.

Hints for hot water happiness:

* If you want to be as warm and cozy as I am, you can purchase a hot water bottle like this at most drugstores, but you must look for one that is non-latex. The latex ones smell funny, and they leave a weird red dust on your sheets.

* Look for a fully plastic plug and seal, the metal ones don’t seal as well.

* Dry the whole thing off after filling it with tryuly HOT water. Dry near the plug really well. Any drops that get in your bed cool down real quick, and damp sheets are NOT cozy.


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