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Mothers Day was this past weekend and it gave me a little time to reflect on how complicated mother daughter relationships are.
Even Lorelai and Rory fought once.
And how lucky I am to have the mother I do.
Martha Mary Denio Power is the smartest woman I know. She’s a Nurse Practitioner who makes waves and cuts paths, has gone back to school twice in my lifetime, and has three children who don’t make life much easier (we’re trying mom, we swear!)
She wipes old peoples butts, takes care of any sick person ever, acts as a surrogate mother to my friends, and pours me a large glass of wine when it’s needed.
And she helped me sew my graduation skirt.
Now my mother has always been realistic- she’s encouraged my goals but has been the voice of reason. Journalism- fine, you’re a good writer, you can do it. Professional athlete- nope, you can’t walk up the stairs without hurting yourself.
So when I brought the idea of the skirt to her, she looked nervous. But bought the fabric.
It’s been a really nice project these last few weeks. And on our way down to Flatwoods for a conference where I photographed and she was awesome (because that’s what she does) we got the end trim.
We finished the skirt on Friday. And then I graduated on Saturday. Which, among other things, can be attributed to my mother. I wore the skirt. And it was PERFECT.
Happy Mother’s Day to all those out there who are wonderful like mine. And if you haven’t lately, go do something with yours- I’m not saying the months long adventures of making a skirt beyond your individual abilities (thought it was fun) but something, anything. They’re pretty awesome, even if it takes passing the age of 18 to realize it.
As a college student I should probably be ashamed that I have a teddy bear. Mr. Bear (I was clearly a super creative child), has followed me from a tiny house up a gravel hill in upstate New York to my college apartment and has been a steadfast companion. He wears a shirt from my adopted grandmother from the bakery but that’s the most he’s changed.
Teddy bears were given their name from president Teddy Roosevelt. The story claims that in 1902 Roosevelt was on a hunt in Mississippi had been unsuccessful, but when presented with a cornered bear refused to kill it but asked that it be put out of its misery. Political cartoons depicting the story would progressively make the bear an inspiration for a new toy. Sources claim Morris Michtom of New York was the inventor of the first stuffed toy.
Earlier this semester my mother and I quilted pillows from fabrics from both of my grandfathers’ shirts. Some of the fabric was leftover so when we decided to make bears it was an obvious choice for me. I plan on looking like a crazed spinster lady when I finally have a bed that doesn’t make me look like I’m seven.
We sewed them while up at our cabin in Pennsylvania with my younger cousin Emily. I think we were all pretty greatful for the project since it rained all weekend. Mom was last to finish (not that I’m bragging).
We used a pattern my aunt sent down that was fairly complicated but you can find different patterns for bears all over the internet.
Cupcakes. Oh how I love cupcakes.
Mini Cupcakes. Banana Split Cupcakes (Thank you Nonna’s). Mardi Gras Cupcakes. Any kind will do.
So when my lovely friend Lauren asked me to help her make Rubber Ducky Cupcakes, I jumped at the chance.
Now Lauren is a cupcake master. Her nurse cupcakes are adorable. I believe she’s even made successful cake pops, which I have failed at epically.
She was doing a “Starting Points: Baby Safety Shower” for her capstone class and wanted to do above and beyond the norm for goodies. So we were on to our rubber ducky adventure.
We used directions from the book What’s New, Cupcake to make the lovely ducks and duck butts.
What is the most inventive cupcake you’ve made? Have any secrets like the starbursts to share?
On May 12th I graduate from college. It’s a frightening, exciting, and ridiculous time that I’m enjoying and freaking out during. Several of my friends and I are blogging about it here so I wont go into laborious detail and bore you unless you click that link.
SO in all the crush of job applications, future freakouts, and sadness of leaving friends I have spent the last four years developing, I decided to throw in another project.
I’m sewing my graduation skirt.
I need to shout out to my wonderful mother first of all. Sewing a skirt is at times (this one in particular) more expensive than purchasing a similar item. As a fan of retail therapy I’ll have to admit that the ease of just buying something surely is tempting.
But I saw this skirt on a wonderful blog with directions on how to make it months ago and I haven’t been able to get it out of my head since.
So on I went to buy linen, a little more edgy patterned border, and crazy supplies. Thanks again mom.
Last Friday we started with the two flaps that are explained and I haven’t been able to get back to the Singer sewing machine at my parents yet but it’s coming along nicely!
What’s a project you’ve taken on with best intentions but had little time for? What are you wearing to graduation if you are graduating? And what kind of shoes should I wear!?
I’ve finally finished the photo slideshow instructions! I think I’ll stick with full video from now on because it’s where my strength is but it was worth a shot and was fun to attempt even if the shots turned out blurry.
I used the previously mentioned alpaca yarn so you can check out what it looks like.
I met alpacas.
Clearly lately I’ve been traveling a little bit.
So this adventure took me on winding back roads and behind coal trucks past Charleston, WV to Boone County. Then we rode down a couple of country roads that were incorrect. And eventually down a road that made me nervous that I was driving my mother’s car.
Anyway, this lovely adventure for WV Uncovered was taking me to Good Shepherd Alpaca Farm. I’ll be back there in about two weeks to finish working on our story and I’ll be sure to link it in the future.
The owners, Chris and Rebecca, showed us around the farm, introduced us to the Alpacas, and showed us the hats and yarn they create from the Alpacas. Chris, Rebecca, and their oldest son all help create the hats from looms that I hope to see next time we go. They send the raw stuff out to be spunn into yarn by another company.
I love the natural colors of the yarn. It’s a quality like nothing I’ve seen before since my crafting has been limited to Michaels and AC Moore most of my life. You have to avoid getting the items wet but as Chris said, “I just tell people not to wear them anywhere they would get dirty.”
I’m going to use skinnier needles for this scarf since the yarn is thin and I want them to be tight. And hopefully by the end of the week i’ll have finished editing that long ago promised video of tying on stitches!
So I’m going to take a minute today and just say this- Women’s rights are important. I don’t believe there should even be much of a debate on the subject of our right to control what goes into our bodies, probes or contraception.
I am a college student who has taken birth control. I was raised as a Catholic.
And this is just AWESOME.
A group has gotten together and started a movement to knit and crotchet male congressmen Vaginas. Uteruses. Lady Bits.
They show patterns, their purpose, and provide how-to videos for knitting the creations. I’m in awe of the level of awesome it is. There are links to articles about women’s health and about legislation. And about current presidential candidates and their views on women’s health.
Now, some of this might make people uncomfortable. Some might consider it vulgar. I think I need to find some pink yarn.
Calling women to take action in a humerous way and one that will certianly shock some is fantastic. Make sure to educate yourself on the issues and maybe watch the wonderful interview about Planned Parenthood below from a few weeks ago. Women’s health is important and shouldn’t become something we throw around lightly because it is an election year.
I want to spend hours staring at bright colors and amazing textures and sequins and lace.
As much as I love the Sew Inn and other quaint little fabric stores, there is something to be said about my absolute freakout when in NYC. There’s a freaking block that has JUST FABRIC STORES. I mean there are other things. But they are clearly the dominant visual force.
The only flaw is for some reason my friend who was with me for some reason doesn’t have the same feelings towards fabric stores. Though he was a good sport though my ramblings and excitement.
My knowledge that there was a garment district in New York City was zero. Sure, I assumed in the back of my brain that there were lots of stores and in a city that amazing and large a selection beyond my wildest dreams. But I never really stopped to think about it.
Until I was walking down 40 West between 7th and 8th and my life changed.
Those photos were quickly snapped in windows and displays and aren’t hardly a tribute to how amazing the block was. My shock and love was overwhelming and thus poorly documented.
So now I’m doing research. I plan to start sewing projects in the next couple of weeks, including a skirt I found that would be perfect for graduation (again, shameless plug for Graduation Preparation) so I wish I had previous knowledge but I’ve come to terms with this failure.
There is an entire blog about shopping the garment district, which appears to be a huge expanse of the city and include trim stores, fabric stores, and a variety of other wonderful places. The amount of my lack of knowledge before this trip bummed me out is completely destroyed by my newfound excitement.
The Gotham Center for New York City History has a great write up of the history of the district so I’ll let that well written version be the informant of how the area became what blew my mind on a trip that included the top of Rockefeller Center and my first in-person view of Times Square.
I’ve been traveling a lot recently and I’m finding it difficult to keep up with making things. The amount of time traveling takes and the amount of time crafting takes are conflicts I’m not sorry to have.
The road trip to New York City is on a charter bus and is LONG. The flaws of charter buses could make up another post in their entirety but I’ll try to stay focused here on the positives. I’m not driving so I can bring some sort of craft along to keep me occupied.
I’m planning on bringing my knitting needles, since I’ve been on that recent kick and my mother’s life and my schedule can’t seem to line up for me to relearn crocheting.
What is your favorite/most simple craft to bring along on road trips? I foresee bad lighting and limited space so I’m nervous about knitting but willing to try. I did originally find love for it on ten-hour road trips from the Empire State.
Lent is upon me. Its 40 days of attempting to be a better person, giving something up (and no, homework doesn’t count), and Fridays avoiding meat.
Lent is the preparation before the Easter season. Last week my post on Mardi Gras might have clued you in that I’m Catholic.
Though we are notorious as a religion for hating contraception and currently in the news for being either contraception haters or total hypocrites as a community we do have a few positives. And as a girl who loves food one of them is definitely the Fish Fry.
Traditional Fish Fry’s are held in Churches and Knights of Columbus everywhere I’ve lived. Local restaurants or delis often have them. As a child I walked a block to the local convenience store Esquire and get a fish fry with my dad. Every now and then they’d splurge and we’d get Ted’s Fish Fry.
Fish Frys are popular in the Northeast as well as the Midwest. The variety and types of fish fry vary from place to place but there are two constant themes- deep fried and with tartar sauce.
While traditional fish is cod or haddock, my budget lent me (puns are fun) towards Talapia. And my fry wasnt nearly as effective as others I’ve seen (batter is hard).
Whats your favorite fish to fry? And any local traditions or side dishes that go well? Share with a girl who is struggling with this and has a few more weeks to figure it out. The dollar menu isn’t my friend right now.