Life's Little Details: Knitting, Sewing, Green Living, Frugal Living and Cooking In A Little Corner of Southern French Countryside.

Friday, June 22, 2007

I Wish I Had One

They say you always give people gifts you wish you owned. I kind of pride myself on trying to give thoughtful gifts that are something the recipient would love to have. This time, though, I'd kind of like to keep it for myself...

Yesterday my husband mentioned that tomorrow is my mother-in-law's birthday. Normally, they don't make a big fuss about that kind of thing in his family. This time, though, since both my husband and his mother are leaving early tomorrow morning for a short business trip (he happened to be able to hitch a ride with her), she's staying the night at our place. I feel a bit funny about seeing someone on their birthday and practically ignoring it. So, I threw an easy apricot pie in the oven while our bread was baking. Then, it occurred to me that I could pretty easily make something I know she has been wanting out of some fabric I'm certain she would like.

I know all this, because the fabric is some beautiful batik (cotton or maybe linen) that she bought back in the 70's when my husband's family was living in Africa (he has fond memories of jumping from one dried elephant patty to the next). The last time I saw her, she gave it to me, happy to know it would finally be put to good use. She had seen how much I have been sewing lately and decided that I should have it. It was a spur-of-the-moment kindness, and I really wanted to make her something out of it, since she had said she had originally wanted to make something with it but never ended up doing so (she doesn't really sew much).

She may not be a seamstress, but she's an excellent knitter who always has something on her needles. She tends to stick to kids' sweaters for all her many grandchildren, but she still has amassed an amazing collection of various needles (big and small). She tends to jam them all into a glass jar (which we've probably all heard isn't great for their tips). What she really needed was a handy cloth needle case. So, I sat down and made one for her today. It got in the way of me finishing an apron I'm making for myself, but it's a sacrifice I was willing to make. Oh, woe is me, I was forced to use that nice, old sewing machine of mine (whose brand is Luxor, by the way - it's French made and dates from at least the early 50's, I'd say by the date on the needles that were in the box). Not to mention this batik fabric. So pretty, and I happened to have a pink corduroy that matched it perfectly (My husband seems to think that given the size of my fabric stash, this really isn't much of a coincidence, but he knows nothing when it comes to real fabric stashes - mine is meager, I assure you.).

The lining is the batik (from Kenya, since I forgot to mention it earlier) and the outside is the corduroy I had leftover from some pants for Lambchop #1 that didn't turn out all that well. I also had the idea that it would be pretty to add a patch of the batik (because I love it so much) to the outside as well as making the ties with it. The only problem with that is that in order for it to show nicely, it had to be placed where I needed to also sew lines for the needles to have little pockets. So, that part is not quite as nice as I had hoped, but she really liked it and was happy to receive such a practical gift (now I see where her son gets it). She isn't one for keeping many objects around, which explains why buying birthday gifts isn't a big thing in this family. But if the object in question has a really good purpose, she's happy to receive it, so I chose well.

Now that I take another look at the pictures of that patch of batik on the outside of it, I don't think it's that bad. You would never have it laying open like that, and it looks very nice rolled up with its patch. You don't see the lines I had to sew all that much.

And, now, just because my mom is having yet another of those days at the office, I'll give you a couple of baby pictures. This little one is a live wire, let me tell you. The other two walked at a pretty early age, so it doesn't surprise me to see her wanting to get around now. She's 9-and-a-half months, and for the past few weeks she's been able to make her way around the rooms of our house a little too well. She loves to pull herself up into a standing position now. Even though she can't walk yet, that doesn't seem to phase her. She's perfectly comfortable climbing things anyway. Yeah, you read right. Climbing things. Like stairs or my sewing box. You know, just whatever might help her get higher. Have to keep an eye on this girl.

Like a caged animal. "Somebody please let me out of here!"

"Better yet, my feet are little. Maybe I could learn to climb this thing."

It is hard work, though. She's just beside herself with... fatigue?

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