My other hobby…

Occasionally I like to raid used book stores with the zealousness of a Norse Invader on the British coast. But it isn’t just any old book I go for. I like the good stuff. The Norton Critical editions.

And today I hit a gold mine! Normally I’ll haul in one or two. But today resulted in a whopping EIGHT Norton Criticals of varying ages.

I also snagged some other goodies as well.

These are going to look so pretty in my classroom.

Empty Bobbins: A friend with no name

Empty bobbins are moments in life where we pause and reflect.  It’s like when your bobbin runs out in the middle of a project, and you have to pause everything you’re doing to reload.  Here’s one such reflective moment.  This is a moment from a couple of weeks ago when my son went to soccer camp.

So my son, five, played one season of soccer a couple of years ago he liked it but seemed distracted.  Most of the time he just ran around the back part of the group and blended in with the herd.  After that we didn’t hear about soccer again until this past school year.  Well during the week there was just too much going on, so we agreed that a week soccer camp, blessedly at an indoor facility, would be a good start to get back into the game.

Well he loved it.  He was tired, sweaty, and pleased as punch.  I was happy to see he was running and keeping up with the other kids.  As he walked back to the car with me, he was telling me about his friend whom he’d pointed out earlier.  I asked, “What was her name?”  He thought, shrugged, and casually said, “I don’t know.” And then he went on telling me the games they played in camp and such.  I laughed at the fact that he didn’t even know the name of his so-called “friend”.

Well a couple of days later, as we were walking back to the car again, he pointed at a couple of little boys and said, “those are my friends, too!”  They rolled down the window and waved to him.  Once more I asked, “Well, what are their names?”  He looked off and muttered, “I don’t know.”  It didn’t even phase him.

My first impulse was to laugh, but I stopped short because his face was serious as his thoughts were elsewhere.  And here I realized the biggest difference between myself and my little boy’s outlook – and as a result the outlooks of children versus adults.  He didn’t need to know their names to determine they were friends.

As adults, we often ask all about a person to determine how good of a friend that person will be.  We need to know how much we have in common, make connections, and be able to see part of ourselves in that person in order to bond.  But for my son and his friends, they didn’t need to know all that.  They only needed to know that this person wanted to be a friend.  So much so that they forgot to ask about the most basic information – a name.  That simple bond made me smile and consider how we, as adults, would be better off if we could remember that same rule.

What if the fact that we wanted to be friends was enough of a basis for a friendship?

Makes you wonder.

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Related Blogs and Posts:

Autism in Our Nest: Another Successful Season!

How (Not) to Coach Little Kids Soccer

Mushy Post About Friendship

Empty Bobbins: The Last Unicorn

Empty bobbins are moments in life where we pause and reflect.  It’s like when your bobbin runs out in the middle of a project, and you have to pause everything you’re doing to reload.  Here’s one such reflective moment.  This is from a moment when my daughter, now seven, was two.

As a parent, one of the best things ever is getting to introduce all the cool stuff from your childhood to your kid.  So one Saturday evening, I took a chance and busted out The Last Unicorn.  Any kid from the 80’s remembers this film, and I was a little concerned that the Red Bull would frighten her.  I was right about the Red Bull, but after her initial fright, I think she even liked him.  She certainly talked about the Red Bull for a long time after that – and not in an anxious way, more like an old friend.

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Anyhow, so we got to the end of the film, you know, where the unicorns all are freed and come running out of the sea (spoilers!).  There’s a chorus, and by this point you’re super invested in the fate of the unicorns and stuff.  So was my two year old.  I watched to see what she’d do once she got a load of all the unicorns instead of just the one.

The moment was worth it.

Her mouth parted, and she was barely breathing she was so excited.  She finally whispered to me, “can I sing?”  Of course, I told her to go for it.  Now, she didn’t know any words, so she just sang long with the notes as best as she could.  But each syllable she muttered was an attempt to join in on the magic.

It was the magic that comes along with forgetting you’re sitting on a couch and that an adult is nearby.

It’s the magic that comes when you completely let go of pretension and just savor the moment – whatever moment that may be.

It’s the magic of everything around ceasing to exist except the story in front of you.

Somewhere along the way, we become too aware of our surroundings and forget how to do this.  But kids, they know how to do it instinctively.  And in my kid’s joy of singing along with the unicorns, I, too, forgot for a moment I was sitting on a couch on a Saturday evening.

 

Related blogs and posts:

Book Thoughts: The Last Unicorn (Peter S. Beagle)

Animation Revival Beyond Disney – The Last Unicorn

The Last Unicorn (1982)

 

Sloth Quilt

I finished the sloth t-shirt quilt, and it was so fun!  Originally it was supposed to be a lap sized quilt, but my friend said something that’s music to my ears.  She said, “I trust you.  You have complete artistic freedom.”  Most of the time when folks tell me this, they get way more than what they paid for.  There’s something irresistible about having a clean slate for creativity!

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For this one, since I had 10 shirts, I decided to play around with a similar layout like the Berenstain Bears quilt and make the squares staggered.

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My friend said her favorite color, among many of them, was apple green.  Well for me there’s one color above all that compliments apple green – a very texture unbleached beige.  I suppose it’s like the hay element in my mind.  Anyhow, I found a nice quality unbleached muslin, complete with texture variations, to use alongside the apple green.

My friend did mention she was a very tactile person, so the backing needed to be more than a simple cotton quilting.  I looked around and settled on a green flannel-backed satin.  I love the sheen it has, and the feel to it is cool and sleek – perfect for tactile folks!

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The light here is terrible!  Fabric with lots of sheen never seems to look good in pictures. 

I loved making this quilt and expanding on my normal format for t-shirt quilts.  It’s a great example of why I tell folks don’t worry about not having enough shirts to make a bigger quilt.  I can always play around with the layout.  This one, using 10 shirts, was originally meant to be a lap quilt and ended up being a full-sized spread!

Related posts and blogs:

T-Shirt cushion – quick make

A smiling sloth says it all!

Lots of quilt finishes – cute sloth quilt pictured!

 

 

 

 

Mommy-Son Pictures

The boy and I decided to get some mommy-son pictures made, and I wanted to bring something that was important to both of us.  So I brought the Star Wars quilt I made him.  This was the prototype for the other Star Wars quilts I made.

I like how they turned out.  Miles over at Portrait Innovations did a great job!

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Three Quilts for Three Brothers

Recently I received a picture of a senior with his quilt that I’d made.  This one was particularly special because it was the third one I’d made, and it was the final one as this was the youngest of three brothers to graduate.

I made the middle brother’s quilt first.  This is a nice change of pace for all you middle siblings out there, I’m sure!  After that I went back and made the oldest one’s quilt, followed most recently by the youngest.

I enjoyed making these and loved that they all used the same fabrics along with the same “G” on the back.  This is the only client I’ve done a G on the back for, and all three quilts have it.

I also had no idea it was possible to be in as many leadership and community service clubs as these brothers were in!  I’m not sure how the school will fair next year since their presence will have moved on to greater sites.

*Somehow I managed to not get any pictures, or save them, of the oldest brother’s quilt.  Oh well, I can assure you it looks quiet identical to the youngest brother’s.

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I used gold crepe back satin to make the G and at the intersections on the front. 
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It won’t stop raining here, so I had to get creative with my picture-taking. 
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The front of the hoodie!
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This signature shirt required a bit of “Frankenstein”ing to make everything fit, but I managed.  
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The first quilt I made for the middle brother.  I had some fun in the school library with an impromptu photo shoot. 

Back GFinished 1

 

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Wearable memories: Hug a Tee!