I have a drawer full of little bags of buttons that came with clothing I don't even own anymore.
I once had a sweater with rows of buttons down each sleeve, when it became worn out I snipped all the buttons off and used them in a layout.
There is a lamp sitting in my living room, its base is a mason jar filled with buttons.
I love coming upon a big bin of buttons in an antique or thrift store, especially when it has a little scoop in it with a sign giving you the price of the buttons in scoops.
I still have a little red hooded jacket my great grandparents gave me when I was 7, one of the reasons I have always loved it? A row of big, white buttons painted with flowers all down the front.
My mom inherited my great-great grandmother's sewing machine, the kind on a wooden stand with a foot pump to run it, the long, carved drawers filled with sewing treasures including small jars of beautiful buttons that she now displays at the base of the machine.
I see buttons as tiny jewels, some unique- hand carved, painted, made from wood or glass or clay, some quite plain- plastic, pumped out by the thousands, holes punched by a machine. But they are all beautiful to me.
So when I am looking to add a little embellishment to a card or layout, as you can see in these photos, I almost always reach into a jar of buttons. The sound they make as they clack against one another, the texture they add to my design, their variety of colors they come in, all add to my enjoyment.
Happy Memorial Day to you all. This is a photo of me with my dad, in 1972, right after he returned from Vietnam. He was drafted when I was about 6 months old and didn't see me again until I was almost 2 years old. My mom kept him fresh in my mind with photos, audio tapes of his voice and by teaching me to say the phrase:
"Daddy's home, oh boy."
Which I apparently said from my crib all night long the first night he was home.
My dad is a wonderful human being, a loyal friend, a loving husband-dad-papa (he is especially sweet to his 2, and only grandkids- I know he loves seeing them grow-
especially since he missed a lot of my milestones.
So here is my Memorial Day wish to everyone who is unable to be with someone they love today- be brave, be safe, come home soon, and thank you.
Ben had his first school performance last week, the kindergarten classes put on a performance of Mother Goose nursery rhymes along with 2 dances and the signing and singing of the "ABC's", "What a Wonderful World", and "See Me Beautiful". Ben was part of a trio who performed "Little Jack Horner"- he took his part very seriously, practiced it at home and in the car, and was delighted by his homemade costume ( he looked at the jeans I cut off and covered with felt patches and exclaimed "Mom, how did you do that!") The night of the performance he was so excited- he kept asking when we were leaving.
44 children filled the risers, some looking a little nervous, others hamming it up by waving at the sea of parents with cameras in their hands. Their brave and sweet teacher Mrs. Stasack led them in song and verse, prompting the ones who had a little stage fright. The songs filled our eyes with what Ben calls "tears of happiness." His "Little Jack Horner" moment went by too fast but it was funny and went off without a hitch. What a magical night.
And afterward, on the way home, Ben said that he knew he was going to be good in his performance, he just didn't know he would be that good :) Aaaah, a star is born.
"Flowers and children bloom when showered with love." Anais Nin
Is that not just a poignant and beautiful quote? And so true. As I was growing up it was sometimes difficult to absorb all that my mom did for me, the time she devoted to playing with me, feeding me, reading to me, nurturing me, teaching me, when she could just as soon been off doing something for herself. I think being able to spend time with her as an adult, and especially observing her as a grandmother I am able to step back and have a new appreciation of my mom.
And whenever I see one of those quizzes where you are asked what you would tell yourself as a younger person as advice for today I always think back to my teenage years, when I wasn't always the most pleasant person to be around, and wish that I would have made it a little easier on my mom... luckily for me she, being a teenager herself at one time, could move past the moodiness of my teen years and embrace the relationship that has grown between us since then. I now share several of her passions including gardening, crafting, and cooking- things that we love to spend time doing together.
So, back to that quote. Thanks mom, for loving me on my bad days just as much as you did on my good- I am trying to follow that example in my own life, with my kids because I truly believe that you can never shower your children with too much love.
I promise at some point I will stop posting about Mother's Day but I wanted to share the card I made for my mom this year (that is me sitting on her lap in the photo- I must be about one and a half)- I love you mom.
I know you are still basking in the glow of not having to do the dishes, cook 3 meals, and wash loads of laundry taller than your head (ha-ha), but I want to take a moment to share what is now my favorite Mother's Day memory.
Today when I picked Ben up from kindergarten I noticed his friend's mom was wearing a clay heart on a ribbon around her neck, a delicate piece of "kid jewelry" obviously, and lovingly, made by the hands of a child.
I told Heather that I thought her necklace was pretty and as she thanked me a strange look passed between herself and Ben's teachers. Laura asked me "Didn't you get your Mother's Day present?" We all looked at Ben who said "Oh yeah, I think it is in the bottom of my backpack." We all tried to cover our smiles and laughter to spare Ben's feelings (but it was pretty hard to do- 2 hours later I still find myself laughing out loud.)
Leave it to my sweet boy to create, paint, and wrap a gift for me, wake up on Sunday and tell me Happy Mother's Day with no prompting from his dad and still forget to give me his gift.
But I still loved my two necklaces just as much today and will wear them with pride.
I also wanted to share the photo of this lilac bouquet- my neighbor invited me over to pick lilacs for myself and my mom (he has 3 huge bushes- I guess he didn't want me scaling the fence dressed all in black to pick lilacs...) I wish you could smell them- our house has that spicy, sweet, spring flower smell.
And they are of course made that much more beautiful because they are flanked by my very special Sponge Bob card...
In honor of Mother's Day this coming sunday I wanted to share this page I made about my husband's maternal grandmother, Grandma Margaret Davis. Grandma Davis lived in Maine so I only met her a couple of times before she passed away in 1999. We were lucky enough to visit her for 2 weeks in the summer of 1999 and it was there that I learned of Grandma Davis' great love of cookie baking and cookie eating. I remembered that Dave used to talk about the boxes of cookies that she would send him in college. And every night, while in Maine, Dave's grandma would put a little scoop of ice cream in 3 bowls and get out a little plate of oatmeal raisin cookies that she called "Grandma Davis' Vanishing Oatmeal Cookies." Before we left Maine I asked her for her secret recipe and she gave it to me- I was so excited to have her secret family recipe.
Since her passing I have made these cookies often, especially around Christmas, and always with the sweet memory of Grandma Davis as I mix the ingredients.
So imagine my surprise, and the deep, long laugh Dave and I shared, when I discovered Grandma Davis' "secret" recipe on the lid of a Quaker Oatmeal Box.
The lid seemed like a perfect embellishment for this layout.
I have to give credit to Liz and Jackie over at Illustrating Stories for prompting me to write down and create this layout honoring Grandma Davis.
I told you that there was a day for everything- and I think this is one of the most important, yet most underappreciated "new" holiday on the calendar. I taught preschool for several years before becoming a center director, and as fun and rewarding as teaching is it is also one of the most difficult jobs I've ever done. And sometimes, at the end of a rough day, the smile of a child and thanks of a parent was all it took to remind me why I love to teach.
And I don't feel as though the only teachers that come into our lives do so through school experiences. So many different people have positively influenced my life by teaching me different lessons, skills, showing me a new way to do something, etc. and I am grateful to each and every one of them.
Ben helped me out with the cards by drawing the pictures of his teachers. We cut some flowers from our yard and took them to school. It wasn't much but we just wanted Laura and Sonia to know that we feel so lucky that they are Ben's teachers.
Happy National Scrapbook Day(and to those of you who don't scrap don't you know that there is a special day for everyone and every hobby out there, you go find yours if this one isn't for you, this just happens to be one of those days that I celebrate, and no you don't need a special costume and we don't have an official drink- yet.)
I made this layout for the Color Challenge from Cathy Z. at Simple Scrapbookswww.simplescrapbooksmag.com, she chose the 4 colors, the layout was up to me- I started another challenge but didn't finish it yet, will post later. I don't have big creative plans today, might try to finish a layout or mini-book, or I might even clean up the horrible mess I made in the living room while making the above layout.
To all you creative ladies (and gents) out there, enjoy our special day.