Monday, January 12, 2009

Sew and Ice


Stevie Wren wrote a post last December that inspired me to -get this - sew something! The Family Portrait Rag Dolls pictured on her post are amazing!

My sewing skills are limited to sewing buttons back on after I sneeze due to a major self induced disinterest in doing anything further mainly because threading a needle can be a two day project in itself and I tend to fall asleep while attempting cross-stitch.

But these dolls...amazing.

I toddled off to the book store and discovered that yes they do sell craft magazines. Thousands of them. I purchased the Sew Somerset/Winter 2009 and then took a trip ever to Joanne Fabrics for the supplies I needed: Computer printer fabric, muslin, thread and fiberfill.

I attempted to ask a question of the fabric cutting ladies. They were standing there doing nothing. I asked where I might find the computer printing fabric. They said I need to take a number. They're pretty strict. I asked one of them to just nod ever so slightly in the direction of the fabric and they complied.

I used my Mother's first communion picture for the doll, enlarging it first on paper and then printing the enlarged version on the fabric. My printer was in dire need of black ink and printed the picture in shades of green which I thought was pretty cool looking so I went with that. The doll is embellished with pearls; a button on her glove, necklace and flowers on her cape collar. I used peridot drops as leaves by the pearl flowers, a peridot bead on her veil, amazonite triangle beads for the bows on her shoes and a little bunch of flowers on her belt. I had all of the embellishments in my dusty ole craft box.

I plan to go over to Tarpon Springs later this week - one of the antique stores has a collection of vintage pictures I can use to make more of these dolls.

I don't know if I can get there from here!


My Northern buddies have been posting spectacular pictures of snow and ice on their blogs lately. Betsy's header and pictures in her margin are just one beautiful example. These reminded me of an adventure on ice I experienced with my sissy Janet. It was around 1962 0r 63, and we had had an ice storm of major proportions overnight.

We went to Catholic school, and things may have changed, but back then there was no such thing as a snow day. After all, we had God and the Blessed Virgin to keep us safe. We also wore our scapulars, various medals, a crucifix or two and oh yes, that little note in our pocket that said: I am a Catholic. In case of an emergency, please call a priest. So there we were, out in the weather, books in hand, uniforms on, lunch bags containing our "after morning Mass" toast.

My favorite was toast with butter and powdered sugar on it. There was some kind of chemical reaction that took place during the hour I was at mass - or maybe it was a miracle of some kind, but the toast became so tough I could barely bite through it. It still tasted good. So I kept taking it for breakfast. But I digress.

So, we managed to get down the stairs of our house - maybe we rolled down - I don't know. And then we were on our way. There was no traction anywhere - not the sidewalk, not the grass - none. So we're moving along making these little slidey steps with nothing to hold on to and nothing to brake against. Just slippety slide tiny steps. Me on the left and Janet on the right - the street side of the walk. We're making progress, three or four houses down, passing a driveway, slippetty sliding along when all of a sudden the wind picks up. Not hard, just a breeze really, coming in from our left. It starts blowing Janet right off the sidewalk and down the driveway - sideways. She's still standing, but has nothing to grab onto except maybe to hold her lunch a little tighter, but nothing else, so she keeps going, right in the middle of the street. (Very quiet street and no cars, so don't get all stressed here - but there could be a car so she's got to get out of the street!)

There's nothing I can do to help her as she's doing this slo-mo sideways slide. Except laugh of course, which we both did, but that only made it more difficult. There was no way for her to get back out of the street, and nothing I could do except continue on - me up on the sidewalk her in the street with those little mincy slippetty slidey steps all the rest of the way. Trying not to laugh. Mostly just trying not to kill ourselves in the process.

I don't remember a lot about the rest of the trip - I think the one street we had to cross was free of ice from the morning traffic. The rest of the way was an overland shortcut through a couple of back yards. The miracle is that neither of us ever fell - not once. If we did, we would've just had to lay there looking up at the sky waiting for the ice to melt while the other sister continued on her way to school. After all, if there aren't any snow days, there sure as heck aren't any hang out with your sister until the ice melts days. Those nuns were even more strict than the Joanne Fabric ladies.


Renee said...

I LOVE (yes capital letters) this post. It was so much fun to read. Maybe I enjoyed it even a little bit more because of Catholic school or the ice I've experienced walking. Thanks so much. It was so fun for me to read.

Love the doll. Good job and great picture of your Mom.


Love Renee

Debby said...

You know, Musey, marmalade and now sewing. Wow. I'm impressed. It's like you've been following Dr. West's instructions...

lmerie said...

That is a neat idea!

Martha said...

I love your doll so, so much, especially the story behind it and how much it means with you not being a sewer and all that. Great post, adorable story which reinforces why I now live in the sunbelt also.

steviewren said...

I was wondering how you were going to connect the dots in this two part story...beautifully as usual! Great doll-great me some instance relatives while you are getting yours at that antique store please.

MuseSwings said...

Thank you so much Renee! I stopped over and enjoyed your dreams post.

Imere - It was actually fun to make.

I know, Debby!! Is this like the end of the world or something??? Dr. West hahaha! You're right!

Martha - yes - the only good way to go is south!

Stevie - Hahaha I'll check out the instant relly's for ya! I'll see who I can find. I'll mostly look for rich uncles and sugar daddys

Elizabeth said...

I'm jealous of your weather!

Sparky ♥ ∞ said...

Oh Cynthia, that cheered me right up! Thank you so much! It is so gloomy outside right now. I have all the windowshades drawn and the lights on with my hot 'hippie' tea (green tea) beside me. YUCKY weather!

The doll is delightful! You did a super job. I like the green tint too. Very nice.

The story of walking to school on the ice was hilarious! I can picture poor Janet sloooowly scooting down the road trying to maintain her dignity. Makes me doubly glad I grew up in Florida. Y'all are tough! I only had to survive not suffering from heat stroke riding my bike in the summer. My anti-persperant didn't stand a chance. [lol] :o) ♥ ∞

Blicky Kitty said...

@ Debby hehe I think the kind doctor would approve.

Yours came out beautifully Cynthia. Let me know if you need any old photos. I have a treasure trove. I can't wait to try it!

A. said...

That is so funny! Totally reminds me of my wintery walks to school as a kid in Sweden.

I love the doll, and the green color is awesome.

Dave King said...

I do admire the originality of your posts.

Jeanne said...

I love the doll -- green is definitely her color -- and the memoir was hilarious!

That damn expat said...

Oh wow I'm so happy you found my blog because now I found yours! I'm a fellow Catholic and that alone is a wealth of inspiration for me. I started a series called Sunday School Rebel on my blog, I have a feeling you might appreciate it;)

Sparky ♥ ∞ said...

OMGoodness Cynthia! Check out today's (13 Jan) Garfield cartoon!! You'll get a tickle outta that one! [smiles] ♥ ∞

MuseSwings said...

Sparky! What a riot. It's perfect for this post.

TDE - glad I found you too! It pays to wander about in bloggland. I'll check out your series

Blicky! Thanks for the offer - I'll ck the antique store and if I don't come back with some instant relatives I'll give you a mao!

Dave, thank you! You the MAN!

Jeanne and A. Thank you! I love your comments!

Marie Reed said...

Marmelade and sewing! You are going Donna Reed on me! You are always wonderful!

soulbrush said...

the doll is fantastic, ice terrifies me, not the stuff you put in drinks, that stuff on the gorund.

MuseSwings said...

Marie - something's going on. Better put my pearls and apron on!

Soulbrush - drinks only for ice! Cheers!

Tiffany said...

Those ducks on the ice look cold! I'm ready for spring already.

Sandy said...

Oh yes, the nuns, and all that catholic stuff. I went to Catholic school until 5th grade when we moved out here to California, so I enjoyed your tale!... fun reading and now I need to go back and look at your doll.