Thursday, February 4, 2010

How it all came about.....part one

I caught the DIY bug from my mom. When I was a kid she used to sew many of my clothes, much to my dismay. I hated having homemade clothes (this was obviously before handmade was all the rage) and the matching short and shirt sets I was forced to wear to school made me blush with embarrassment. In fact, I specifically remember one such atrocity that I was mortified by. It was a shorts and button-up shirt set, all in the same bright turquoise blue fabric with amazingly ugly, almost neon, yellow and green parrots plastered all over it. Dear Lord, I swear that outfit could qualify as child abuse. I was around 7 or 8. Clearly this has scarred me for life. But in spite of it, I somehow still grew up with an appreciation for handmade and reused items.

I remember one of my proudest gift giving moments as a child was when I decorated an inexpensive little wooden box with letters, lace, glitter, and teddy bears and gave it to my Nanny for Christmas. I was so proud of that thing, that I had made it with my own hands. My mom and I also had an unhealthy obsession with t-shirt paint. The puffier, the better! We would paint and blow dry shirts for hours. She was into so many artsy, crafty things; sewing, painting, ceramics, jewelry making, pine needle baskets (that's actually a more recent endeavor), she tried it all. But her main expertise was and will always be with the sewing machine. What a great skill to have, to be able to whip up a new shirt when nothing you own will do. Or mend just about anything. Pants too long? No problem, grab the pins and stay still! Shirt a little snug? Let's just let it out a bit! Yes, her sewing machine was used practically every day when I was growing up.

And all of that makes it kind of unfathomable that I myself did not put hands on a sewing machine until a few years ago. Again, handmade just was not that cool when I was a kid, so I never bothered to even try to learn how to sew. I totally kick myself now for not drinking in the wisdom that was so readily available to me all those years. I could be whipping up cute summer dresses and making rad clothes for my boy. Though making clothes is out of my range, I can whip up a mean snack bag like no one's business! And I did it all by myself, with no patterns or even input from mom. And I know that I got that ability naturally from her, I got her creative genes. My sister and brother inherited her voice and love of singing, I inherited the ability to think "How can I do that myself?". She and I, we like to figure out ways that we can create the result we want ourselves, instead of just automatically running out and buying it. Of course it doesn't always work that way, but we try.

The crafty maven herself
(I was going to put a picture of the both of us here,
but for the life of me I could not find one
where I did not look like a st
eaming bowl of poo.
Note to self: take some more pics with mom.)


  1. Sweet little story!

    Steaming bowl of poo? Come on now. Surely they weren't THAT bad.

  2. Ha Sarah, I can promise you, they were pretty rough!

  3. what another good way to kick off your blog~ I am much like you, when it comes to kicking myself for not sitting down with my mother and grandmother when they wanted to teach me things like how to cook and sew, it is totally biting me in the bum now but hopefully it is possible to teach an old dog new tricks ;)

  4. Kim, it's such a pain, that whole hindsight thing, isn't it? Every time she whips out a skirt in 30 minutes I'm totally jealous. But of course if I ask her super nicely she'll whip me up something, too, so I guess I can't complain too much!


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