My Fresh Hell
Life in Scribbletown.

Sue Sews Slow Joe Crow’s Nose


Dusty has a new hobby or interest or whim: sewing. I’m trying to trace the origin of this sudden interest and the best I can do is point to one of the things she received in her gift bag from the Birthday Party of Doom. She got a necklace kit in a vial – fishing line, a clasp and a zillion little beads. She made a pair of (mismatched but attractive) earrings for a soon-to-be-mother friend of mine. Then, I found a collection of beads, buttons, and general stuff with holes from my jewelry box (actually one of those multi-drawered boxes you are supposed to keep screws and nails in – that was my “industrial chic” period) and she made her aunt (look out, Amblus!) a bracelet. It was supposed to be a necklace but when she finished it, it wasn’t quite long enough so now it’s an extra large bracelet. So if my sister’s wrist suddenly balloons up with a rare form of arm elephantitis, it’ll fit like a charm.

The extent of my sewing ability (I am rabidly allergic to sewing machines) is repair work: putting a button back on, hemming pants (which is a good skill to have since we’re all height challenged), making the occasional sock monkey.

Maybe it’s the continuing influence of Laura Ingalls and all the sewing she did in the books, but the other night, Dusty wanted to learn to sew. So, I rummaged around, gathered up some more beads and buttons, cut some squares of fabric, threaded a needle, gave her a few pointers, and let her go to it. Boy, she sewed the hell out of those buttons. And she did a decent job, too. She finished two during my bedtime turn (while I read “The Witches” to her) and another during her “alone time” prior to lights out.

We were then instructed that one square was to go up on our bedroom wall (which was done post haste), one was to go up in Red’s room (“high, where she can’t get it”), and one would go to school with her to be bestowed upon some lucky teacher. Miss Ellen was the lucky recipient. She oohed and aaahed over Dusty’s effort and who knows what she’ll do with a piece of fabric (with monkeys and palm trees on it, no less) with half dozen odd buttons sewn onto it. Dusty said it represented the night sky – all the buttons – so our artist has found a new medium in which to work.

Perhaps if she actually reads to dogs tomorrow, I’ll take her to the notions store and buy her some buttons all her own. One of the nice things about this parent job is being able to capitalize on a child’s interest (especially if it’s not an expensive one) and encourage it as far as it’ll go. Maybe by Christmas she’ll be skilled enough to reupholster my sofas and the big old 1930’s over-stuffed chair that’s falling apart. Yeah, child labor. That’s the ticket!


12:41 p.m. ::
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