Tuesday, March 31, 2009

My brain needs a hobby.

You may not remember this, but back in the day, I said something to a swap buddy about wanting to learn embroidery. 

It was pretty far back in the day, so don't feel bad if you have no recollection of this since I barely do myself.

I'm a little forgetful sometimes. There. It's out there. Shit out of horse.

Anyway, this nice swap buddy of mine indulged my whimsical wishes and sent me a Stitch-it Kit with her swap project and I was very excited. The whole time (years) it sat on my craft shelf, just looking at me with its "Remember - YOU wanted to embroider - so here I am whenever you're ready. Bitch." look on its face.

That Kit is really a lot mouthier than I would have expected from a pink box. 

Anyway, after all that time, I finally busted open the box and did something with all that thread. 

Well, to be truthful, I used very little thread, but I used some of the thread which is an occasion in itself given my lackluster attention to this craft BUT STILL.

See I had a project I finished last fall that I'd crafted with the full intention of giving it to my goddaughter when a gift-giving holiday presented itself. And then I made her something else for Christmas, so this bag got put back on the shelf, again for "future gift-giving". 

Now her birthday is this Saturday, and as I went to retrieve it from the shelf, yet again, I decided it needed some more specialing up because it's sat around for so long that my guilt had sort of taken over. Like it wasn't as special as it should be if I've let it sit on a shelf for six months. 

This is how my brain works, folks. Somehow the special-ness of gifts somehow degrades if that gift sits on my shelf for too long. Who knew that my brain had shelf lives associated with gifts? What IS it doing in there?

My brain needs a hobby.


I have been watching Wendy specialing up these cute Library Totes, like, forever, and I keep telling myself that these would be great ways to special up this gift for Emma, as though I could get enough of my shit together to do it all.

As though. I'm delusional.

While I imagined I'd make the bookmark, the hand-carved bookplate stamp AND the embroidered library card pocket, I only managed to get to the pocket. Because, apparently, embroidering two inches of muslin really takes it out of me.

I might have started sweating while making that flower. 
What? You didn't know that was a flower?

But in case that reason's not good enough, I thought of a few more ways to justify my laziness:
  • Three-year-olds don't know what to do with stamps.
  • You can't stamp a library book anyway. That is how one gets one's library privileges revoked and I won't be responsible for starting this child on a life of crime.
  • I doubt you need to bookmark pages of a picture book.
  • She's three - she's going to put her dollies in here and take them for a swim in the pool - stamps, bookmarks and even embroidered pockets aren't going to make a damn bit of difference. In fact, I bet they'd just ruin those dollies' afternoon swim.
On the bright side, she may be able to get a bunch of dollies in there.

So, I gave up, embroidered the pocket, sewed it on AS THOUGH MY LIFE DEPENDED ON IT because holy crap what if I fuck it up and have to re-embroider another piece of fabric - shit! And then wrapped it with a princess card and a savings bond because that is all I know how to do as a godmother who knows nothing of children.

Eventually, I'm going to have to get better about giving gifts to this child so that Bubba and I don't become those people that always give crappy gifts like we all have in our lives.

You know what I'm talking about. That aunt that always sends you ridiculous Christmas sweaters with blinking reindeer noses or the uncle that shops for everyone's gifts from the Harley Davidson store. You laugh, but this is a real thing that happened. To Emma's mom, my best friend, so I know this issue is ripe in her mind as her beloved daughter opens gifts from her devoted public. 

If she's not on the lookout for Emma's future "shitty gift-giving relatives", I would be disappointed in her mother's intuition. Not that I have any (intuition or kids) or could judge anyone's habits with their children, but you know.

So, I'll be looking to y'all next year for gift suggestions that would please a four year old chatterbox. She likes pink, the swing set, her little brother and hiking with her papa. Feel free to start brainstorming now. 

I'll need to make up my lack of child-relation skills with really, really good birthday presents. 


  1. "Shit out of horse"?

    Is that a new finnyism?

    I like it!

  2. Adorable bag.

    How about a doll quilt and pillow (crazy mom quilts has a tutorial - and yes, if you can make that bag, you can make a quilt).

  3. I think it turned out great Finny -- a nice little surprise in there when she opens the bag! And Michelle has a great idea for next year -- you must file that one away!

  4. I don't know any four-year old who wouldn't love a blowtorch.

  5. The shitty gift giving people in our family are the in-laws. Everyone dreads opening their gifts (even the grandkids) because they are usually SO bad that you can't even fake enthusiasm. For instance, last year, they gave my husband a ziplock freezer bag full of used LEGOS (no, I am NOT married to a 12 year old who lusts after LEGOS. And we don't have any kids either, so it couldn't have been some sort of mix up).
    You could make her something hiking related, like a bug catching kit, or a flower collection thing (you know, those THINGS that you collect the flowers in - you know!!!).
    Anyways, good luck with that, kids are hard.

  6. You must be on to something with this tote idea, because my daughter turned four exactly one week ago, and part of her gift was a mama-made tote. Inside was a new pair of shoes (purple Keen Mary Janes) and her very own Klean Kanteen. Wow-look at all those "k" things in her bag! Who knew! Anyhow, my point is, little girls love bags. And the embroidery turned out pretty sweet. Nice job!

    Next year, you could consider an apron and a children's cookbook. My little one loves her apron and will actually select her kid cookbook as a bedtime story. She makes her mama so proud!

  7. Oh wait, did I not mention that the littlest ones on the list only got the bag, not the bookmark or stamp? And, ya, I was totally thinking of the problem of a book stamp with a library bag, but well, I hope the kids are smart enough to figure that one out.

    Also, your embroidery is great! Words are super hard to do (I've got a pair of embroidered panties that I wanted to make for a Valentine's Day project that will be sitting on a shelf for the next year).

    I'm with Alevin and Company, an apron and cookbook would be great. Also, craft supplies are always fun, especially with this book about painting all over the house (called I Ain't Gonna Paint No More), but once again, it might lead to a life of crime and/or time out.

    I'm all about the inappropriate gifts. You'd think I'd know better being a mother of 4. (But frankly, as long as it doesn't make noise, I'm happy with any gifts my kids get.)

  8. Just found this pattern for an apron and a chef's hat.



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Look at you commenting, that's fun.

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Sucks, right?

Anyway, to remedy this, I usually come back to my posts and post replies in the comment field with you.

But, if you ever want to email me directly to talk about pumpkins or shoes or what it's like to spend a good part of your day Swiffering - shoot me an email to finnyknitsATgmailDOTcom.