Thursday, June 10, 2010

Notes to Self

My head is full of ideas.  It always has been.  How to rework a pair of curtains, lining a pleated skirt, knitting on the bias, a bias cut shirt panel, hand painted scroll work on our old walls up north ...   My home is quiet for a spell and I am able to chew on my thoughts and really develop an idea ... and then it's gone. 

I was lamenting to my husband that I needed to write all this thinking down, but my attempts at keeping a sketchbook had failed.  More than once.  My husband, ringleader of techies (not to be confused with leader of the ring), carries a handful of 3 x 5 cards in his shirt pocket every day (thus, he always wears shirts with pockets).  Why not use 3 x 5 cards?  Brilliant.

Now I keep vintage planters all over the house filled with blank cards and a writing implement.  I jot down my idea and put it at the back of the stack. 

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Meet the Family

When I was oh, about ten or eleven, I was sewing a blue and green giraffe print smock on my mother's sewing machine, a complicated sewing machine with plastic cams that would magically change the stitch to something really elaborate and useless. I was looking for a straight stitch, but what I was getting was a bird's nest of thread.  I fetched my Dad, fixer of all things, and he promptly gathered up the machine and all its fancy cams and toted it off to the store where it was purchased.  Apparently this was not the first time we had experienced issues with this machine. 

Chapter two of this story is hearsay, and it goes like this: 
Dad: My daughter was sewing her blue and green giraffe smock, and this machine is busted again.
Store Man: How old is your daughter?
Dad: Oh, ten or eleven.
Store Man:  You shouldn't let your daughter use this sewing machine.
(Dad's head gets all firey red, smoke seeps from his ears, and he says something smart to Store Man, something we all wish we could come up with in fits of anger.  He totes the busted machine to our gold Country Squire station wagon and heads to Mr. Oliver's Used Sewing Machine Store and Repair Shop.)

That afternoon my Dad came home with Regina, my very own sewing machine.  She sewed forward.  She sewed backward.  She sewed perfectly and incessantly.  She went to college.  She got married.

Then came Ken.  Ken was looking for a good home, and he found it.  He belonged to my husband's boss' wife, but was no longer needed.  But I needed him - for buttonholes, zigzag, and stretch stitch.  Even today Ken brings me security, a steadfast pal.

Vicky joined us during the knitwear era.  Childrens wear, polar fleece, all things washable.  She wowed us with her flying threads and knife throwing.  My husband is especially fond of her because of her Husqvarna heritage.

Meet Ruby, our olympic athlete.  She joined us when everything needed a slipcover.  Everything.  She's a chain stitching 5-thread Winner.

Show what's under your skirt, Ruby.  Why, is that a .5 horse power motor?  And a chute. Good Golly.

And Nina, our foster sewing machine.  She lives here, but she has another family.  And she is loved.  She's our MVP, the all-around player that can tackle any job. Without her, we are a losing team.

Rumor has it Mr. Oliver still had that crappy cam sewing machine in his store room when he died.