Ever After
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  • February21st

    I find solace in crafts, and I get giddy when I actually use some of the stockpiles of supplies I’ve amassed over the years. Here are a few of my latest creations:

    First up is an embroidery pattern that I designed in Illustrator. It’s stitched with Cosmo thread on linen fabric. I then selected six little vintage buttons from the button jar. I wanted to make my own shadowbox frame but ended up just buying one from Hobby Lobby. This little creation is getting shipped off to Utah for my sister’s 40th birthday. I’m only a month-and-a-half late.

    When I was a little girl, my mom made me an Easter dress each year. When I was eight, she made a particularly special dress with a tole painted yoke. I still have it. I also still remember the day this photo was taken. I was not happy with being forced to wear hot rollers and with the resulting ultra-poufy do.

    For this little soldered pendant, I scanned a floral motif from the dress and made a little collage in Photoshop. When I was in Utah a few years ago, my mom sent the extra Easter dress fabric home with me, so I cut a little piece of it and used it on the backside of the pendant. This has gotten me in the mood to sew a dress for Vivian this year. Maybe even out of the vintage pink Easter dress fabric? Ariana is too old for such nonsense, she reminds me, but I am going to knit a vest for Tad.

    And while I had the soldering iron out, I got some practicing in and made myself a fun, busy charm bracelet. I call this creation “A few of my favorite things . . . ” and found myself humming the Sound of Music song as I soldered away.

    I’m sure BT wishes that I could find solace in family history work and that a few of my favorite things included cleaning, folding laundry and making dinner.

  • February21st

    Be Mine

    Posted in: Lori, Vivi

    As a seasoned room mom that helps plan class parties up at my kids’ elementary school, I give the thumbs down to Oriental Trading Company crafts that just get thrown in the trash the moment the kids step through the door. As a result, when the head first grade room mom asked if I would help head up a little personalized Valentine’s craft for all the first graders, even though I knew it might be a sizable amount of work, I agreed.

    The head room mom and I went up to the school and took pictures of the 100+ first graders. We set them in front of a large piece of foam core and had them pretend that they were blowing kisses. I cropped and adjusted each picture in Photoshop and then imported each into a card template I’d designed in Illustrator. I had the cards professionally printed on nice, heavy glossy cover stock  and found some yummy, high-quality square envelopes on clearance at paperpresentation.com. At the party, the kiddos wrote a little note to their mom or dad on the back of the card and decorated the envelope.

    Perhaps, like the junk crafts that I dislike, the card ended up in the trash can at home, but maybe a few moms tucked it away as a memento of their sweet first grader.

    I know I did.

  • February21st

    Love = Sacrifice

    Posted in: Lori

    A phone call from my former boss asking if I was ready to come back to work has ignited several days of soul searching. Six-and-a-half years have passed since I traded my career at GE Consumer Finance to be a stay-at-home mom.  Back then, I had just received the highest possible performance rating of  “Top Talent” and was set to receive a sizable raise. I loved what I did, and I was good at it. I don’t say this to boast or brag. I just think it’s important for my children to know these things. I want them to learn that love requires sacrifice.

    Even though Tad gives me his highest possible performance rating of “The Best Mom He’s Ever Had,” most days I feel like I’m failing. Our grout is grungy and you could write the Magna Carte with your finger on the dusty surfaces of our home. Like the 80 yards of slipcover fabric stashed in the corner of my craft room, I do not feel like I am fulfilling the full measure of my creation. I am a mediocre mom and housewife, and I hope it’s not wrong to long for accomplishment, appreciation, and excellence. Nevertheless, earlier today I declined a wonderful job opportunity because, although somewhat flexible, it would require me to be away from home during the after-school hours a few days a week.

    Tonight, I selfishly allow myself to wish for the best of both worlds, shed some tears of self-pity, and feel grateful that someone still thinks me employable. In the morning, I’ll put on a happy face and be genuinely grateful that we are all healthy and that I have the blessing to be home with my kids while they are little.

    Sometimes even the right decision is hard.