31 October 2009

My first love

When I was 11, I made my first friend. Her name was Joanne Shalmo and she was in my 6th grade class at Oakland Terrace Elementary. She came from a Catholic family with stair step children, one for every year. Their house was dismal and bare with just an old couch in the living room but filled with that loving spirit called Mom. After Christmas that year, I went over to visit her and she showed me what she had gotten as a gift from her mother. Her mom had made her a black brocade skirt. I was stunned. I never knew people could make clothing. I thought machines made them – you know: fabric in one end and clothing coming out the other.

Her mom showed me her machine. It was an ancient Singer machine probably produced just after machines were electrified to aid home sewers. She asked me if I wanted to try it. I’m sure she saw the excitement in my face as she gave me a piece of notebook paper and showed me how to guide the paper under the dog feeds. As the threadless needle made a tiny perforated path along the paper, I fell in love.

I asked for and got a brand new Brother sewing machine. It was just after Brother had gone into sewing machines. It was a “combo” present a new category of gift giving I cooked up to get one big present for my birthday AND Christmas. It was from my parents and Grandparents and they paid $50. for it. That was the beginning of my lifelong love affair with sewing which later branched like lightening into wider and deeper areas of artistic expression.

When I was about 30 or so, my son Russ came home from school with a sticker of a bouquet of flowers he had earned doing some piece of school work well. I was sitting at my machine. He decided I deserved the sticker and lovingly placed it on the front of my then current sewing machine – a bare bones Kenmore. I made Russ’s coats and pants on that Kenmore and I was very proud of my clothing but now wonder if he was subjected to ridicule for wearing homemade clothes.

Today I have been sitting in front of my $3000. computerized Bother Innovis 3000. It interestingly enough is the 50th Anniversary edition of my original machine. It has a computer screen and can connect to my laptop with a USB cord. Today I am making Russ’s baby a quilt with beautiful fabrics in cobalt and turquoise. I will free motion quilt the “moons” each in it’s own design.

Now 50 years after my first foray into sewing my personal life has changed in a positive direction in so many ways and I have achieved a degree of peace and serenity I never knew existed let alone thought achievable by me. I am free to sew, bead, read using every form of artistic expression I can imagine. How fortunate I am.

And I am still sewing, true to my first love.

30 October 2009

Not being present

This morning I was talking to a friend about not being present when my son was little. I remember little of my life before Maine. I worked and tried my best to take care of this small person entrusted to me by the Universe. Some days when I arrived at work, I had no memory of the commute and when I was home, no memory of how I returned. It was job, groceries, pay bills, clean, cook, laundry, take care of pets and people with little or no time for myself. I had no assistance from my husband and seldom knew where he was or with whom. My days were packed minute to minute and I only allowed myself four hours of sleep a night. I had no concept of how to mother my son or be a friend to the man I lived with for 23 years. Maybe that’s when I started to absent myself. I was so absorbed with the next duty, next trip, next responsibility that I never lived in the present. I think for me I lived unconsciously. I was unconscious of anything but responsibility and pressing needs.

Frequently when I shower, I have to check to see if I used a wash cloth (Did I washed my face?) or feel my hair (Was it shampooed?) I can still completely leave where I am and go to the next event or project or dinner menu or appointment. I can still not be present.

I want to live my life more deliberately now, take the time a task requires without rushing, savoring every moment of the process and truly be in that moment. I am making a quilt for my new grandson, Zac, who will make his appearance on this planet in December. I want to be present when he is around and give that relationship all the time it requires savoring each minute.

When I was younger I didn’t know much and now I am just starting to get a clue. I feel so fortunate that I have not had to go through my entire life, this lifetime, without ever learning to STOP and look around me and pay attention. I want to live with intention.

26 October 2009

Welcome to the future

I was thinking today while chauffeuring my parents to the doctors, bank and Chinese restaurant in Bangor, that I have tentatively stepped into a parallel universe of techno-wizardry. Having grown up with Howdy Doody , Annette and Mickey, I am now the proud owner of a internet business and now this blog thingie.
When did I cross that threshold? Yesterday morning I was just your ordinary run of the mill schlub checking her email and perusing a craft website when ==P O W== I was catapulted into blogdom.
My told my 88 year old parents about this shocking and spectacular arrival into the blogger world when they asked me, “Why do you blog?”
How do you explain a blog to people born just after WWI? What really is the purpose of a blog. I told them it was like an online diary. They said diaries were personal. I said I could share photos. They asked why. I said I could share random thoughts with friends and they couldn’t for the life of them understand why anyone would be remotely interested in my random thoughts.
I guess some things just defy description and why AM I doing this? I can’t even imagine why anyone would be interested in reading my random thoughts. It seemed like a good idea at the time.
Actually I am having a ball. Maybe this will make more sense to me when I have more sense. Meantime I will try to corral some of my more lucid ideas and concepts and blog on.

25 October 2009

My virgin post

I can't believe I started out this morning without a thought of creating a blog yet I sit here having created one. One of my daily stops is to the Whipup  website checking out all the lovely and creative daily additions to their site. Most of the entries are connected to a blog and I have read many of them over the years. Most of these women are young mothers who have to squeeze in stolen moments throughout their day to create, sew, cook for fun and generally tap their creative essence. I am so fortunate (Thank you Universe) to have finally gotten to the point in my life where I do have the time and moderate resources to do all the things I've always wanted. It IS like being a child again when I can wake up with such anticipation for the day ahead knowing I can sew, make jewelry, start a quilt or other project, read my beloved Quilting Arts magazine, watch a "How to" DVD or just read.
 Life is good