A Chip Off the Old Mug

As I was cleaning up the kitchen after supper tonight, I was thinking about my chipped mug.  It’s one of my favorites.  Cooter used it, it was in the sink, my cast iron skilled slipped, and there you go.

The story of How My Mug Got Chipped.

But it’s one of my favorites so I am going to make it work for me.  Then I started thinking about the one that belonged to my Great Aunt.  Nothing fancy just elegant like she was, and so I wanted to have it.  Unfortunately someone put it in the microwave and it didn’t like it very much, so there’s a crack in it.

At the time, I was devastated.  That was one of those times when I could hear my Mama’s voice. “It’s a thing.  Things are replaceable.  People aren’t.”

She’s right.  But the mug wasn’t going to be easy to replace either so I put it on a shelf near the table where we eat because I can’t let go.  Not yet.

I started wondering (I think a lot when I do the dishes…..or I phone a friend, both things help me pass the time without really thinking about how much time I spend cleaning up after meals) if there was something wrong with me that I can get so sentimental OVER A MUG.  After coming to the clear conclusion that of course there is nothing wrong with that (ahem), I wondered if there’s something I could DO with these mugs.  I mean, the law of averages pretty much states that I will have more chipped mugs in my possession as the years go by.

Might as well be prepared.

After the kitchen was done (okay, mostly) I sat down and decided to click on Pinterest just, you know, to check and see if anyone had given any thought to my predicament.

ALL THE BROKEN MUG PROJECTS, Y’ALL.

I AM NOT CRAZY.  I AM NOT ALONE.

So many ideas of things to do with chipped or broken or without a handle mugs.  It was a bit overwhelming, a little out there, and very encouraging that I’m not the only one who can’t let go.

Because honestly, our mug collection can tell some stories, people.  And some of them are worth telling again.

Tonight I’m giving a shout out to Pinterest.  It’s another happy place for me.  I have even grown to appreciate that when I arrive, they have a whole new set of ideas for me to look at, based on what I’ve pinned before–“Picked for You.”  Well, aren’t you thoughtful?  Thank you, Pinterest.

As for the rest of you mug hoarders, much love.  I get it.  You are in good company.  Let’s sit and enjoy our coffee or tea together and share a toast to the mugs and the stories behind them.  (But let’s don’t clink them together, no need to go crazy and risk any more cracks and chips, y’all.)

Love to all.

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My poor “Thistle Farms” mug right after it was chipped before I washed it with my tears. Just kidding. I used a washrag. It’s all clean now. And sitting waiting to get the verdict on what comes next.

 

Christmas Creating

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This.

This beautiful piece.

Someone I love is very clever, and she created this beautiful wreath all by herself–bow included. (I know–I was VERY impressed.)  She told me about finding the pan on sale a while back and waiting for the right time to make gingerbread in this pan.

But the time didn’t come.

And so she recreated it.  She repurposed it.  She thought outside the box and figured out a way it could work for her.  And what a lovely thing she made when she did.  I adore this wreath.  Almost as much as I love the one who made it.

I think of how my Daddy talked about us owning our things, not letting them own us–making them work for us and not the other way around.

And this is a lovely example of doing just that.

Wishing you all the inspiration to think outside the box, to recreate and repurpose, and to make spirits bright!

‘Tis the season.

Love to all.

 

I Can Rock Some Home Decor, and Other Fashion Faux Pas

Many days I am a walking billboard for “What Not to Wear.”

I know this.  I accept it.

The way I know this is because apparently I gave birth to a fashion expert.  She KNOWS what is fashionable and what looks good, and what DOESN’T.

And she loves me enough to tell me.  Each and every time.  Quickly.  Without hesitation.

And with, at times, extreme disgust.

Like today we were shopping at the GW Boutique where Cooter found a Halloween costume (already, yes, he’s only been talking about it for a month).  It’s just about hoodie weather here now (any day now, please), and I like to look and see what fantastic hoodies they might have.  It’s like a game.  A treasure hunt.

We were walking through the men’s section (you can find the best hoodies there), and I saw an Oxford shirt that reminded me of one I used to sleep in–it had belonged to one of Mess Cat’s old boyfriends and thus, she had passed it along to me. (Hand-me-downs for the win.) I wore that thing until it fell to pieces.  Literally.

When I pulled the shirt out to show Aub and see what she thought of it, she got “the” look on her face and said, “Why you want to go around looking like Bill Cosby?” referring to his unique tastes in clothes on the Cosby show.  Y’all remember the “Cosby sweaters?”

I laughed.  She was right.  But I still got the shirt.  It was on sale (hello!) and I think it will be comfortable to sleep in.  And it might just be fun to get “the look” from her every now and then.

So yes, I love my clothing bargains.  I found a cool website, ThredUp, which is an online clothing consignment store.  We found Aub several dresses at very good prices for her law internship.  One day on a whim I typed crocheted top or something like that in the search box, as I found myself in something of a bohemian style mood.

And I found this top.

My tablecloth top.  I love it so much.

                                                            One of my favorite tops. I love it so much.

I was in love.  The color, a light cream, and the crocheted details and the asymmetry of it.  LOVE.  Because, if you haven’t picked up on it before, I’m a bit wonky and asymmetrical myself.

I wore it last Sunday to Evening Prayer with jean capris and a coral colored tank underneath.  Most days I dress for myself.  I don’t mean that I dress myself (which I do) but, barring a glare from my girl, I wear what I enjoy.

And I really enjoy that top.

As we were setting up and milling about, talking and catching up before the service started, one of my friends came up and said, “Hey!  I made it tonight!”  I was so glad she did.  Her spirit is fun and sweet and calming, a really rare and welcome combination.  I smiled.  Then she continued, “And you are really rocking that tablecloth you are wearing, I have to tell ya.”

Y’all.

For the love.

I burst out laughing.  My friend totally caught me off guard.  But she was so right.  It did look like one of those doily type tablecloths from way back when.  And with the asymmetry making it rounded, if it hadn’t had a brand tag at the back of the neck, I might have thought it was the best repurposed sweater EVER.

Alas, though, it was just made that way.

My sweet sisterfriend immediately backpedaled because she’s sweet like that and started apologizing.  But I reassured her then and I am reassuring you now, girl, I love you.  Thank you for that belly-busting laugh.  The kind that erupts from you before you even know it’s happening.  I LOVE THOSE KINDS OF LAUGHS.  And I’m thankful when they happen and for the person who inspired them.

The thing about my daughter and my friend commenting on my fashion choices is this.  It doesn’t bother me that they had something less than flattering (I don’t know, could being compared to a tablecloth be considered flattering?  Mayhap)  to say about my clothing, because their commenting means they noticed.  Me.  They saw me, and they noticed what I had on.  It also means they care enough and are comfortable enough in our relationship to say what’s on their minds.  They aren’t being unkind pointing out my fashion faux pas–their sharing comes from love.

And that’s a gift to be sure.  To be known, to be loved anyway, and to be close enough that someone is comfortable sharing their truest thoughts.

A gift I am so thankful for.

Later last Sunday evening, the fact that I’ve been known to pick up one or ten crocheted or knitted afghans from the GW came up.  As we were talking, it was as though a lightbulb came on over my head.  “Y’all.  I have passed by a round blanket or two at the GW, simply because it didn’t really appeal to me.  But now, NOW, I know what I can do with one.  I’ll repurpose it and make one of these tops!”

Now that will be something worth talking about, don’t you think?

May we all have someone who loves us and loves us well and keeps us on our toes, with sharing ideas, opinions, and lots of laughter.  Because laughter really is the best.

Love to all.

Old Sewing Scissors and Things Made New

This morning our Princess and I had a Mama/Princess event.  Aub was at work, and the Fella and Cooter were out doing their “Guy’s Breakfast.”  So my girl and I went to Bare Bulb Coffee for a tie-dyeing and “upcycling t-shirts into scarves” class led by one of my favorite local artists Micah Goguen and his trusty assistant.

It.  Was.  BIG Fun.

Princess working on her tie dye project.

Princess working on her tie dye project.

Gathered with friends and folks we had not met before, we cut, we twisted, and we bound with rubber bands–so many rubber bands–and then we bleached two color tees (one green and one yellow)-and our Princess added beautiful color to her white tee.  The bleached ones we have already washed, and I love the patterns that came out in them.  The tie-dyed one will be revealed tomorrow.  She is almost beside herself with excitement.

Our Princess' tie-dyed scarf project, waiting for the reveal.

Our Princess’ tie-dyed scarf project, waiting for the reveal.

We returned as a family this afternoon to dye pillowcases to brighten the stays of young ones at the Children’s Hospital in Macon.  For a little guy who didn’t want to go, Cooter had a great time.  He loved blending the colors and turning the white pillowcase into something cheerful and fun.  Cooter, Princess, and my nephew Shaker all enjoyed themselves, and after they’d colored a pillowcase for a child in the hospital, they each were allowed to decorate one for themselves.  They were told that sleeping on it could help them remember to pray for and send light to someone sick in the hospital.

Shaker's pillowcase project.....he was really getting into it by the time he was working on the second one.

Shaker’s pillowcase project…..he was really getting into it by the time he was working on the second one.

Beautiful, right?

This morning my knitting diva friend–Micah’s trusty assistant, who can do anything from building a deck or stairs for her dogs to climb into bed to knitting and sewing clothes for her grandchildren and their dolls, was teaching us how to make the scarves once our fabric was ready.  As she began showing us the first step, she looked around.  “Where are my scissors?” she asked, checking the counter and tables.

Someone reached to hand her a pair of theirs.  “Here, these are really good scissors.”

My friend shook her head gently, and said, almost to herself, “No, let me find my blue-handled ones.”  And then she did.  The lesson continued.

It made me smile.  Just an hour earlier when my girl was getting ready to cut her shirt as directed, she was having a hard time with a pair of scissors.  A kind woman behind us offered us her scissors.  “Here, use these.  They are dressmaker’s scissors.  They are made for cutting fabric.”  (They may have been, but my girl still struggled a bit, which made me wonder about an “operator” issue.  Never mind that, she did get it cut and we moved on.)

It tickled me later when I started thinking back on my day.  And as I laughed to myself, I was also laughing at myself.

I don’t know if it happens all over, but us folks around here, we take our sewing scissors seriously.  In case you didn’t know, yes, sewing scissors are only for sewing.  And they are treasured and taken care of.

Which is probably why I asked if I could have my Mama’s sewing scissors.

To my knowledge they never touched anything other than fabric.

Okay, not more than one time.  And I said I was sorry.

Those scissors were special.  They were always ALWAYS where they belonged (but then again, not much in Mama’s house wasn’t) and they always cut precisely.  I guess because she took them to be sharpened as they needed it.  I can remember seeing signs at Hancock’s Fabrics back in the day with the date the scissors sharpener “truck” would be there.  I guess Mama either took them there or Daddy might have sharpened them for her.  Either way, she took good care of those scissors.  And we knew we were to leave them alone.  They were NEVER EVER to touch paper.  Good heavens above, under NO circumstances were you ever to use them for a school project or even for cutting patterns as I recall.  And I only did once.  I felt so guilty over that, but as they are still cutting just fine, I guess the damage wasn’t irreparable.

I’m just as serious about my sewing scissors.  I don’t let the children use them at all.  I even got other scissors for cutting the fleece for blankets because I heard that fleece can dull them.  (And I am picky about my fleece scissors too–I have the ones that are spring loaded to make it easy for cutting the strips.  I often wonder why the fabric cutters in fabric stores aren’t issued those scissors–they sure can save your hands.)  I am sure I have traumatized a child or three when I’ve seen them casually reaching for my sewing scissors for a craft project.  Oh good gravy no.

Tonight I am thankful for the opportunity to learn a new craft.  Mixing and changing colors–there is something soul-stirring in that.  Creating. All those shades of light and dark coming together to make beauty.  And finding a new purpose for something old and worn out, well, that fills me with hope.  I am looking to be repurposed myself sometimes.  To be made over for a new way to be in this world.  And I’m grateful for the memories of my Mama and her scissors and to have people in my life who still live with the old ways.  Sometimes–no, I’m starting to realize more and more–most of the time, the old ways ARE the best.

I was just thinking, sometimes it’s best to hold on to the old, but sometimes it’s best to create something new…..and sometimes you can do both at the same time…..

Life sure is a funny thing sometimes, isn’t it?

The transformation from t-shirt to scarf…..creation, I love it!

The bottom part used to be the same color as the top part of the shirt.  Who would have thought that bleach would turn it such a beautiful red clay color?

The bottom part used to be the same color as the top part of the shirt. Who would have thought that bleach would turn it such a beautiful red clay color?

Cutting off the bottom seam and then cutting the strips.  So thankful for a GOOD pair of sewing scissors.

Cutting off the bottom seam and then cutting the strips. So thankful for a GOOD pair of sewing scissors.

Almost finished scarf--haven't decided if I'm going to embellish with some old costume jewelry or not.  But very fun, yes?

Almost finished scarf–haven’t decided if I’m going to embellish with some old costume jewelry or not. But very fun, yes?