I met her in Atlanta 23 years ago, at a couple`s Sunday School party. Soon, we would work together, our children played together and our daughters took ice skating lessons together. As I got to know her, I was impressed with her talents and gifts back then and boy, have they exploded these last years. She is a mother, grandmother, sister, daughter, aunt and friend. She is a retired teacher. Her gifts include knitting, smocking, sewing and embroidering, crafting and cooking. She is a talented painter and has even tried her hand at a pottery wheel. Her mind dreams of new projects and what she can make next before she has finished the project she is working on. That is just how a creative`s mind works!!
I would like for you to meet my friend, Deborah.
Do you remember, as a child, enjoying making things and creating? Yes, my mother was very artistic, always painting furniture, making our house so pretty and painting landscape scenes. She even started a business in our home wrapping presents for people and they were beautiful.
What is the first thing you remember making and being proud of? Trivets with little tiles at camp, and potholders.
Who encouraged you to create? My mother, my mother in law, then my husband. And art and crafts people at camp and Vacation Bible School.
As you married and started a family, how and where did you find time to do your creating? I had a teeny closet in the hallway in our home where I would sew. My Mother in law, Mama Ann, gave me a used Singer Sewing machine that she bought for $50. I used it til 7 years ago, when my husband, David, gave me a Janome.
Tell us a little about your family… I have 4 grown and married children, all in Birmingham. My son has a son and daughter.
My oldest daughter has 3 daughters.
My middle daughter has 3 daughters and a son.
My youngest daughter is expecting a baby in March.
Have you taken classes to learn new skills? Yes, I took a knitting class from a lady in her home. Lots of sewing classes from Trudy Horne, an amazing and creative seamstress and embroiderer. I have taken many classes at the Smocking Bird for heirloom sewing, smocking, shadow work, etc.
What is your favorite thing to make? I love to make children`s clothes, play clothes like bubbles or fancy garments for Easter. I knit a baby blanket for each grandchild with his/her name on it when they are born.
I knitted a Christmas stocking for each grown child and hang them at my house so Santa can fill them for their families.
I love to cook most everything and anything. For each one of my children and their spouse, they pick their menu for their birthday dinner and I cook it. They chose all sorts of things, from friend chicken and waffles to manicotti to a chorizo bowl! There is usually chalk board with the menu on it for them to see when they get there!
As the children have grown and moved out, has the empty nest syndrome been a hard chapter to go through? What are some of the perks?!! We have really enjoyed the Empty nest. The only hard part is to see your grown children going through difficult times but even then, knowing God was in control, (reminding myself that I am not the rescuer), making them in to amazing Godly men and women. We could see the light at the end of the tunnel. Perks are I don`t have to wait up for anyone at night, less laundry and less scheduling, a house that stays pretty straight, (except when the grandchildren come over!) , traveling with or without planning and quiet mornings.
Have you passed your love of creating to your children and grandchildren? My daughters are all very creative. One is n amazing photographer. My middle daughter is a fabulous graphic designer. My youngest is an excellent cook and food blogger. My only son is always doing projects too. He installed my cork kitchen floor and has just begun a major landscaping project in his backyard starting with 6 truckloads of fill dirt in his sloping property. The grandchildren love to paint and glue and glitter. Pierce who is 11, just made luggage tags for each member of the family, there are 19 of us!
What if any, are the frustrations you find in having enough time to do all the visions in your mind? My sewing and knitting projects take me a long time because part of the joy of making things is in not having to hurry. I am always thinking of something else I want to make and these little grandchildren grow so fast, I can`t get them all done!
I also love to paint, but rarely do that and then I like to have time to work in the yard. Oh my!
What is a fun tradition you started with your children and now grandchildren? Remember when everyone made wreaths on shirts out of their children`s handprints? We did that for my children`s grandmothers and it was wonderful. I think we were always messing round with paints. When we go to the lake in the summer, I always take lots of art supplies. I remember when my children were little, one rainy day my steep mother let them paint every inch of her body not covered by her bathing suit! This year we made tye-dye pillow cases and bandanas with the grandchildren. We loved it.
How do you bring your creativity into family gatherings? Every adult gets to pick the meal I cook for their birthday dinner. Sometimes I cover the table with white paper and everyone draws a picture for the birthday person . Lots of times I have baskets of chalk outside and they draw on the driveway and sidewalk. And recently my husband has karaoke going on in the music room so everyone is singing and dancing. They love to dance! Once the grandchildren turn 5, we take them for a week at the beach. They paint a picture every year, and so do I, for our art wall.
What would you like to see yourself doing more of in the future, time permiting? Making more detailed and fancy children`s clothes I am taking class at the Smocking Bird soon to learn how to do shadow embroidery on my sewing machine. I may sign up for another class to earn Madeira applique techniques.
How do you balance your time between doing for children,grandchildren and being available for fun things with your husband, now that you are retired? I am trying to have one day when I try to stay home and sew or knit but that is not working out so well. My husband loves playing music and is preparing for a show at Workplay so lots of times, he is practicing while I am sewing. We like to watch a movie while we eat dinner, go to shows at the Concert Hall at the BJCC and travel some, just all sorts of things! And I never have enough time, or maybe it is energy, to be with my grandchildren enough!
Any words of wisdom to young moms who share this love of creating ? Write down all the creative things you do with them so when someone wants to do a blog about you, you can remember!