Happy birthday

So today is my baby brother’s 18th birthday. I remember the day my mom went to the doctor to take a pregnancy test. I remember even better the night when my little brother made his appearance. At home. An hour or so before the midwife arrived because my mom had had several false labors already and didn’t want her to have to make the long drive to our home for no reason. I remember my other brother wanting a lollipop while there was so much drama going on around him. Clifford has been surrounded by drama ever since.

As a birthday present I wanted to give him something that is a little bit from me and also a little bit from Kevin, my other brother (the middle child). Enter Kevin’s remarkable artistic talent. The picture below is his creation and a rather simple picture compared to some of his amazing work because I needed to be able to change it into a simplified line drawing so I could use it as an embroidery pattern. Slowly but surely I did just that.

kevin's frog

Ever so carefully I painstakingly embroidered the frog and his shroom seat onto some plain white fabric to make a patch. The picture below is an in progress shot.

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Finally I finished (actually it only took me two or three hours) I sewed it to a plain white t-shirt et voila.

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The project was enough to inspire me to buy some more embroidery floss to replenish my dwindling supply. As you can see below I found a nice batch of color and I plan to do some more embroidery from other pictures that my brother has drawn. Who knows where I’ll go with it.

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Oh and Clifford, if you’re reading this, you just spoiled  your birthday present surprise….. shame on you

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Inspiration

I asked the other day what inspired you me to do the things that you now love to do and so now I’m going to give my answer to that question. I realized that there were many influences on my artistic side. Musically it was my parents and grandparents. To say they are musical is like saying that fire is hot– a major understatement. There was always singing and instruments being played. On the art side, I watched my mom draw and my dad create things with his lathe and jig saw. Hanging on my living room wall is a sandblasted plaque that they made together. My maternal grandparents dumpster dived and frequented garage sales, thrift stores and people’s large useable “trash.” I had a child size antique doll due to a broken arm that my grandpa fixed with a very large bolt. Charlotte may have had a slight resemblence to Frankenstein, but she was beautiful to me at 5 years old. My grampa also made miniature working violins working from pictures in books. My gramma sewed beautiful quilts and dolls and many other things. My paternal grandparents had their own specialties. Gramma Betty crochets and sews dolls clothes and people clothes too. She still makes her own clothing. My grampa makes crazy quilts out of double knit polyester and does woodworking that still amazes me, making puppets and cars that rolled, furniture and so much more. My stepmom finds all sorts of unusual obects that start off separate and plain and somehow turns them into wonderful works of art or toys for her family while still managing to save money. I have taken all of these skills and woven the parts that I am good at into my own particular style. I am constantly seeking out new challenges because of the wonderful people in my life that tought me so much. And this list doesn’t even begin to scrape the top of the barrel– teachers, my brother, aunts and uncles, my husband— I’ve watched them all and learned so much from them. They all have talents that I envy and I am so thankful that they have been there in my life. For those of them who read this, thank you all so very much. I would not be able to do the things that I do today without your examples.