An Artistic Blast from the Past

I haven’t really sewn since April, so I’ve had nothing to write about. All my energy has been going into my Travel section, documenting three major trips I’ve taken since the end of April.

Today, while looking for something else, I came across a blog post on my old blog. This was written on May 24, 2010, when my grandbabes were aged almost nine and five days short of seven. They loved spending time with Grandma. They loved our Friday night sleepovers, as did I. Precious memories.

I’ve copied it here to share with you. I’ve changed the names to indicate the identities they now have. Gender doesn’t matter. Love of art does.


Weekend Activities

We are a family filled with a passion for the arts, both performing and visual, and with myriad artistic interests. We play musical instruments, sing, write, take pictures, and make things with our hands—all sorts of things in all kinds of mediums. We are artists. We create.

These passions have extended to the third generation. Cody can hardly sit still without having a drawing pad and colored pencil in his hand. In their house and mine, he knows right where to go to find all the art supplies. And Celeste is very interested in my fabric and buttons and thread.

I had the babes overnight on Friday, which became sewing and dyeing time. Celeste has been wanting me to make her a snake that is hollow inside so she can feed it things. Friday night we ran to Jo-Ann’s after supper at Panera and picked out some fleece and some silky lining. Once home, she decided the shape of the snake’s head, and we cut and sewed. She had told me the snake would have a zippered mouth and a red tongue that rolled up into the mouth when you wanted to zip the zipper.

Two or three times on Friday night, I threaded my Bernina 1630 and each time said, “Over this, around that, up the right, down the left . . .” On Saturday morning while I was fixing breakfast, she decided she wanted a different color thread, so sat down and successfully threaded the machine. By herself. At eight-and-a-half years of age. With no help from me.

Anyone who sews will tell you that threading the machine is difficult. You must make sure you pass the thread through each of the eight or so nooks and crannies or the machine just won’t sew. Well, she got all the nooks, crannies, and the tiny little eye in the needle. I was astonished!

Cody spent time looking at all my bottles of fiber reactive dye, and chose “antique gold” (although he kept calling it an-tee-cue) and “lilac”. Then we dug a silk scarf out of my stash and gave it a base bath of gold, then folded and clamped and finished our mini-shibori experiment with lilac. He said, “It’s going to be cold today. I think I’ll wear it to my soccer game to stay warm.” I had to explain that a silk scarf is something you wear for dress-up, not for warmth.

I love that my grandkids think that I, with a needle and thread, can do everything there is to do. And I especially love that they want to learn to do everything I do.

I said to Cody, “Do you know how you are like Grandma? Because we both have lots of interests and not enough time.” He smiled.


Epilogue: This week is their third week at Interlochen Arts Camp. They’re both in high school now, and are both majoring in visual arts at Interlochen this summer.

The three of us frequently talk about how we have so many interests and have a hard time focusing on any one art form.

Some things never change.

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About Jan

Musician and geek and Juris Doctor; lover of fine art and fine craft; mother and grandmother and significant other and friend. Passionate about sewing.

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