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Sunday, 6 March 2011

Introducing...

...my Mum (you might want to grab a cuppa - this is a long one).

The lady responsible for all my Arty-Craftiness...all 4ft 10 & a half inches of her. Whatever you do - don't forget the 1/2 inch...she gets very touchy about it LOL

Despite her limited mobility these days she is very independant and will still give lots of things 'a go'...here I caught her looking out of the window considering where she was going to plant some summer bulbs.
Things might take her a bit longer these days but she gets there in the end...
This is the person that during my growing up would never be put off of trying anything or trying to adapt something for her purpose.

Knowing the sort of people my grandparents were it has always amazed me as to where my Mum got her arty-craftiness from. I know she and her sister were taught to knit but it wasn't by my nan as she struggled to manage garter stitch lengths that someone else would have to cast on & off for her. Great Auntie Queenie was probably responsible for the basic skills and I know Mum did knitting at school. Nan couldn't sew either...it was more likely to be granddad stitching on a button if the need arose so I know this was a skill Mum definately gained at school.

So from these basic beginnings it is surprising what my Mum has managed to achieve over the years. She is very good at looking at something and then creating something similar. Oh and if you thought my crafting skills were pretty eclectic then you should see what she has tried...knitting, embroidery, dressmaking, home furnishings, woodturning,, watercolour painting, oils, crochet, silver-smithing, beading, just to name a few...

I can remember her making a plaster of paris landscape on a huge board for my sister and I to layout our farmyard buildings & animals. It had a mountain and fields, rivers & roads and was wonderfully creative. Then there was a year when we left it too late to get a Christmas tree so she created our very own "North Pole" - a piece of 2x2 wood wedged vertically between the floor & ceiling in the corner of the lounge. It was covered in red & white crepe paper to make it look like a candy cane and had lights and decorations attached - we woke Christmas morning to find our presents at the foot of the pole.

Mum turned her hand to costume making when I attended Dancing school. Once again her ability to look at something and make something similar came to the fore. At competitions I would often see other children in beautiful (expensive) costumes and beg Mum for something the same. On three occasions she completely covered leotards with sequins - each one stitched on by hand - because it was cheaper than buying the same thing ready made...I had a lovely emerald green one that she even dyed my tap shoes to match by using shoe dye and green glitter, a gold one that shimmered like fish scales but the most beautiful of all was a white leotard covered in mother-of-pearl sequins. It had leg-of-mutton style sleeves - the top part made from crystal chiffon and the long cuffs covered in the sequins. The poloneck collar was covered in sequins and decorated with glittery net butterflies...and more of the butterflies were woven into my hair - looking back, I was a very lucky little girl.

Over the years, although Mum encouraged both my sister and I - my sister wasn't really interested. However, I have always liked to try, dabble, copy - have a go.

Mum is always very supportive of my crafting efforts and I have to thank her for most of my larger crafting pieces of equipment. My Quickutz & Alphabet was a combined birthday/Christmas pressie as was my Cricut. My sister had money for something so I got a BigShot. My Cropadile was an Easter gift as was my Bigbite a year later. When I used to take her to Ally Pally she would see things demonstrated and then ask "would you like one of those..."

Some crafters follow their hobby despite their families "Not getting it" - I've never had that problem as far as Mum is concerned.

So now you have met my Mum (at least virtually LOL) and all I can say is - thank you Mum for giveing me the encouragement to find pass-times that I really enjoy.....................

12 comments:

Dan said...

What a wonderful post, and a wonderful Mum! I particularly love that North Pole story :) I remember when I was a kid in the States my mum went down to the "5 and dime" store (a bit like Woolies used to be) and bought supplies which she later turned into an illuminated Christmas village under the tree, which really made the holiday magical that year. It may be true that our mother's didn't have the money to buy these things, but the fact that they put the time and effort into creating them themselves shows how much they cared. You're very lucky to have such a mum (as am I!) :)

misteejay said...

Oh I bet that Christmas Village looked beautiful Dan.

Toni :o)

Hazel said...

Arn't mums amazing. I love mine so very much. I've recently got her into card making by joining my friends card crop. I said the other day I was going to get some distress inks like we used at my friends. She said shall we halves, I don't remember what we did with them but we'll both be using them?? How can you argue with that??
H xx

dddeeebbbzzz said...

Three cheers for crafty mums! What a heartfelt post!

Mrs Elmo said...

Awwww my little Grandma :-D

Ruthie said...

And she is beautiful too! How cute!

Rx

Sandra said...

A beautiful post, written with love - and that just comes through ... and hey, I'm with her .. being 5ft and 1/2 an inch, I'll back her every step of the way LOL.

Allison said...

what a lovely post
AllisonX

ffroggie said...

Lovely heartfelt post and a lovely Mum Toni :)

I too love my Mum very much, but you are so lucky to have one that encourages you in your crafty endeavors. Mine does not get my crafty-ness at all lol. Love the story of the North Pole, and Dan's Christmas Village, there has to be an idea there Dan!

voodoo vixen said...

What a lovely post Toni!! I'm with her on the half inch... us Lilliputions have to stick together and every half inch counts!! I think your Mum was in a generation of women that had to be creative to give their families stuff... now we just buy things - and I know which I prefer, even they weren't perfect, they had love guilt in.

Paula - Buenos Aires said...

It´s a pleasure to meet her! And thanks from me too, I love everything you make. :)

Lynn Stevens said...

I Loved reading about your mom and all the craft things she has accomplished in her years. They say good things come in small packages, and here its true!
What a treasure she must be to always be supportative of your art!
You are a lucky gal, The costumes sound gorgeous and so much better than store bought and what memories they must hold for you and your mom. Thanks for sharing her with all of us!
Hugs Lynn