Thursday, 12 September 2013

Friends to the Finish

My friend Maria and I have so many unfinished projects, I suggested we help one another out. Her daughter Anna just had a baby, just over a month ago and Maria brought me this quilt center for finishing.

I think Maria expected some quilting and binding but I found myself adding a border and replicating some insect characters in thread art and applique.

Finally, I finished it off with a scalloped and scrappy binding. This week I finished the hand binding on the bus. The colours are sweet and I hope she likes it. I mimicked the ladybug, butterfly and bee with applique patches for body, but the heads and details are free form thread stitching. There is minimal quilting on the white border except to see some bug trails and bee spiral paths.

Modeled as usual by Babydoll.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Stroll through Wicklow County

Sunday was the day for us girls and a dollhouse the size of a garden shed. Actually, three little girls, as we had Cutiepie’s best friend from her former school; she hadn’t seen her in a few years. From Wexford to Wicklow, Cutiepie asked me three times if her face or any other part of her had changed. As I tried to reassure her she was the same beautiful girl from years earlier, she squirmed in her seat saying she had never felt so excited.

Powerscourt, home to Ireland’s largest dollhouse, really impresses. I didn’t remember my camera, you will just have to trust me when I say it was beautiful. The girls and I enjoyed the leisure stroll in awe of the dollhouse furnishings.

Afterward we headed up the Sugarloaf mountain, this time collecting a former classmate of Babydoll‘s. I had been creating a baby quilt for the past18 months and on this day we were delivering the finished quilt. The lime green and pink patchwork had become a particular favourite among me and my sewing friends on Saturday morning.

The new owner’s mom has since text me saying it’s symbolic (being her last little baby) and that it’s to hang on the stairway wall… that’s candy to a quilter. Years ago, I made a personalised interactive (pockets with hidden animals) quilt for her two older children (it still hangs on the downstairs wall!). She since added two children and with each birth, we applique the new babe’s name to the quilt. So the patchwork is a real labour of love and fun with this family. I feel honored to know the quilts hold such meaning.

After visiting several different members of this family, we left them with promises of a future overnight visit. Headed over the Sally Gap where we stopped for a shot at our favourite vista point. I think the g irls would climb for hours if the cold didn’t stop me.

On the east side of Wicklow, we found a sleepy granddad in front of the television with the house just as quiet as he. With night setting in, we finished our tour of Wicklow in Hollywood at Nanny’s grave. Cutiepie positioned a bouncing butterfly and Babydoll placed a colourful ceramic snail at Nanny’s grave. Both were so fitting of their personalities. The girls enjoy reading all the headstones while I reflect on my time with Nodie and my time now without her.

There are very few things in life I’m sure of right now. But two sure things are Babydoll and Cutiepie. We climbed back in the car and headed home to Wexford. I suspect her stomach was growling, cause Cutiepie suddenly announced that she plans to invent crackers that are already buttered. Not to be outdone, Babydoll chimed in that she intends to invent ice cream that never melts. Sure as that.

I may be feeling unsure of my life’s direction, but I’d like to think I’m preparing my daughters to aspire to the ultimate. If it’s cuisine of the future, well then, bon appetite!

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Bet Against Someone Your Own Size

The other day I made a bet with Cutiepie.

I was certain I would win. Is the app Viber or Viper, made-up word vs. real word?

And yet, I did not win. Honestly, when will these techno companies stop making up names? Placing the bet, I offered up a million dollars, but she didn’t accept this as a real bet. Obviously she was certain she was going to win. Not sure where she gets such confidence.

Her price: an iPad.

The problem is, an iPad is entirely inappropriate for an 9yo, no matter how adorable. (And I’ve seen some cute iPads.)

The second problem is the 10yo sister who has been begging for an iPad for two years.

How do I make good on my word, without coughing up two iPads?

These girls are getting smarter than me by the minute. I’d nearly bet my two girls conspired this ruse.

Only, I’ve sworn myself off all bets.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Untold News

He left on Thursday morning.

We suggested that our daughters not to share the news with anyone outside the family just yet. We’re still trying to understand how this plan, his plan, ‘the’ plan—an ‘experiment’ we told them–was going to happen and what it means for our future. With Daddy gone, I wasn’t sure how to answer questions.

Monday was the first day of school. Home from school, Babydoll broadcast her news that she stood in front of all her class and told the news. Watching my face at this announcement, Cutiepie, lowered in an uncertain tone, she said she too shared our summer news that Daddy had moved to New Zealand. I pushed the permanent knot further down my gut and managed a big grin and welcomed all the news of the new 5th class and 3rd classes.

It has now been six days and it has only felt worse each day. We hung three clocks: Dublin (home for us), San Francisco (home for extended family), and New Zealand (home for Dad). We set our Skype account to never log off. We go about our day, jumping at every electronic beep that might be Daddy skyping us.

Football and camogie games (one lost, one won), a sewage line unclogged, and walks with the dog filled our weekend. As I remind myself to check door locks at night, the notion of an all-girl family saddened me, but I’m committed to succeeding while inside I’m crumbling. On Sunday, between Uncle Ben and Pablo Picante I began sobbing when I couldn’t find taco shells in the Wexford Super Tesco. All I wanted was the commerical, pre-made, perserved 12 taco shell kit, one of only three Mexican dish food items they stock. The moment I saw the emptied shelf, my heart screamed for the simple corn tortillas found in San Francisco ready for frying and dishing up by scratch. Who exactly needs a kit to make a taco? What I want is a kit on how and where to be happy.

Knowing it would take more than guacamole and salsa to mend my broken heart, I covered my red rimmed eyes with sunglasses and headed home to get a hug from my girls.

The girls are giddy and curious with a nervous excitement for back to school and their dad’s move to New Zealand. I’m proud of them and really, it shows the naivety of children and their resilience. And yet, I still can’t stop thinking how decisions like these are defining their DNA.

It’s only been six days and I know when it’s 60 days gone by, it will be the girls who’ll come to me for hugs.

I’m willing to bet they won’t want to share the news with anyone then.