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DGM: Damn Gingerbread Man

August 17th, 2012

I recently posted this story on my instagram for a #YoungatArt event ModCloth was doing.  Thought I’d share it here, too (and show my mom that I’m not always so bad when I “do the internet”).
#YoungatArt  - ModCloth
When I was in Brownies we all made felt ornaments at one of our after-school meetings. We had some hands-on embroidery instruction and could make anything we want. I chose to make a gingerbread man. Or what I thought was a gingerbread man. We had no patterns, and we all made things from our imagination. No patterns, no inspirations… just our creative minds. I was not happy at all with my results. I brought it home in tears, and my mom assured me she loved it.

Every year my mom put that fugly damn gingerbread man on our Christmas tree, and every year I quietly snuck that damn gingerbread man to the back of the Christmas tree out of sight, and every year my mom told me how much she loved it and that one day I would love it too. She assured me - year after year.

And now gizillion and twenty-something years later I love that damn gingerbread man! My life is now filled with sewing, stitching, fabric and quilting, and that damn gingerbread man is my link to the moment when someone gifted me with the challenge to create and to make. And most of all - that making things makes happiness not just for myself but for others too.

A few years ago my mom gave me that damn gingerbread man, and he now graces my design-wall with my creative and treasured joys. The damn gingerbread man is my daily reminder that nothing creative is ugly. Though some things take time before they show their beauty. I’ve also added a mouth on him (no wonder all these years he’s been so quiet). And one day I may even stitch up his bum so his bits don’t fall out. If there’s a contest for the longest time it took to complete a project - I’m throwing my hat into the race.
[Damn Gingerbread Man, circa late 60’s/early 70’s, Orinda, Calif.]

Posted in La Familia |

35 Responses

  1. The fabulous Cindy Sharp allegedly said:

    Good story. He looks lIke a gingerbread man from Mars.

  2. The fabulous Shawn allegedly said:

    I love your story Monica and I have some things like that myself!! Is he wearing a bikini…lol I can see where your intricate and beautiful stitching started.

  3. The fabulous Dana allegedly said:

    love him! My mother recently gifted me the toilet-paper-roll Santa that I made when I was three! They should get together and make a video…they’re both really awesome.

  4. The fabulous Kelly allegedly said:

    DGM is PDC (pretty damn cute). if any of my kids came home with something like that, i would be in love!

  5. The fabulous Books_Bound allegedly said:

    What a great story! Thanks for a Friday smile. :) I’m glad your mom kept DGM.

  6. The fabulous Amy allegedly said:

    I love that story for so many reasons. It reminds me of my first felt Pooh bear I made all by myself, of my own mother’s support of my crafting, and of the kind of inspiration I hope to be for the girls in my girl scout troop as they get older. Thanks for sharing.

  7. The fabulous MC allegedly said:

    Awww, I know how you feel! Glad you and Mr Gingerbread Man have come to be friends.

    When I was little I made a construction paper & yarn santa for the tree. Due to a lack of foresight on my part, he ended up having 2 heads. My dad still puts that damn santa on the tree every year even though it has basically faded to a uniform beige colour now. I look forward to having it passed down to me :)

  8. The fabulous Polly allegedly said:

    I think we all have a story or two like that of our own…with things we made as children that we always thought was ugly but came to be special!!

  9. The fabulous Bridgette allegedly said:

    You should have that damn man bronzed! He should be in the Quilter/Creater Hall Of Fame :)

  10. The fabulous Julie allegedly said:

    French knots and excellently done outline stitch (just look at that smile)–true talent that little guy shows.

  11. The fabulous Karen allegedly said:

    Wonderful keepsake and point to make!

  12. The fabulous Karen allegedly said:

    Love this Monica, so great

  13. The fabulous DianeP allegedly said:

    Great story Monica - thank you for sharing! Your gingerbread man looks a little like a dinosaur, but he’s great!! Your stitches are really, really good for a young girl scout - the beginnings of a true stitcher.

    Your Mom was right - he’s a treasure. So glad she kept him for you.

  14. The fabulous Megan allegedly said:

    Such a sweet story!

  15. The fabulous Brenda allegedly said:

    So funny, you made my day with that story. Too cute.

  16. The fabulous AnnieO allegedly said:

    Aww, he’s a bit wonky and weird, but aren’t we all?

    Glad your mom held onto it until you fell in love too :)

  17. The fabulous Sandra R allegedly said:

    Hay, I think I can predict your next holiday fabric line-DGM! Actually, he seems OK by my standards. His shape and color are correct for gingerbread, and they do get the green and red treatment for Christmas, so your standards were too high as a Brownie.
    My first quilt, yes. Made with my grandmother. In one weekend. UGLY but beloved.

  18. The fabulous Pam allegedly said:

    Yes, I have an early brown wash cloth dress for Barbie that I FUSED hand cut rick rack onto from a jeans patch from the grocery store. Circa 1965. I was way ahead of my time. haha. On the bright side, I don’t think I have ever been bored in my life. There’s always something to cut up and sew…xo

  19. The fabulous Kristyne allegedly said:

    (insert very thick southern accent) Dude, I am LOVIN’ the fugly. Yep. It is butt fugin’ lovely. ;) xo

  20. The fabulous Jayme C allegedly said:

    Orinda?!!!!! I’m from Antioch! I had no idea we shared some East Bay roots. No wonder I am so drawn to your blog!! It couldn’t possibly be your humor, your fabric, or all your creativeness!! ;)

  21. The fabulous Sarah allegedly said:

    Guuuhmmmmm….gingerbread man….green frosting… mmm

  22. The fabulous Joelle Lambert allegedly said:

    My younger daughter (now 20) painted a ceramic fish toothbrush holder at Petroglyphs which holds our toothbrushes and my older daughter (now 23) thinks it is ugly. Her 5 month old baby loves the fish and wants to kiss it whenever she is carried into our bathroom. Guess who is going to get the fish? And she will love it.

  23. The fabulous Cindy allegedly said:

    I love that story. And the DGM. He’s cute…just like the person who made him .:)

  24. The fabulous Cradke allegedly said:

    Bahaha!! You are hilarious! My sisters and I still joke about which Christmas decorations belong “at the back of the tree” - the ultimate insult for a homemade decoration. I made this weird baby Jesus out of clay when I was grade 2 - every year my younger sisters would hide it at the back of the tree. I still have it - and now, it earns a place of honor at the front of the tree. Even though it’s been “accidentally” dropped and broken, messily glued back together with some yellow type of glue, I love it!

  25. The fabulous chris allegedly said:

    LOVE it. thanks for sharing your story, it’s inspirational to see that there are others out there who have had similar experiences. sometimes i throw things out thinking “this is awful”, and someone secretly pulls it out of the trash. years later looking at some of these items, i reflect back and think, “this is so great, why did i want to get rid of it?!”

  26. The fabulous pat sloan allegedly said:

    What an AWESOME story and that you still have him is even better!!! Love that moment someone told you that you CAN create from your own soul… your story made my day!

  27. The fabulous Michelle allegedly said:

    I love this story… it’s so true. We creative types never are satisfied… yet beauty really IS in the flaws isn’t it? Great story - I’ve got a felt Santa ornament my Mom’s kept for about 39 years… she sent it to me on my first wedding anniversary - it hangs proudly on my tree every year. Still ugly - but beautiful.

  28. The fabulous Lynette Anderson allegedly said:

    Hey, I love this gingerbread guy. Wish I had more of the cute stuff that I made as a kid still around. I do have some embroidered pieces I did with my grandma which are very special.
    Lynette x

  29. The fabulous nancy allegedly said:

    I finally made a set of 4 tiny treats bags. I used black cat halloween fabric. They are so cute! Thank you for sharing your design.

  30. The fabulous nancy allegedly said:

    Oh! I forgot to say how much I like the Gingrebread Man. He carries his age well!

  31. The fabulous Kate allegedly said:

    He looks like a little gingerbread monkey. Put a tail on him and tell everyone that’s what he is. You did a pretty good job for a little girl. You should see my first stocking doll I made in the fifties. I still have the poor little thing.

  32. The fabulous Sue Smith allegedly said:

    I laughed ….. But in a good way! Thank you for that.

  33. The fabulous Sue Smith allegedly said:

    Hi Monica - I was wondering if you would mind if I re-blogged your gingerbread man photo (with reference back here of course)? I just wanted to do a little piece on loving our creations whatever they may look like - and your pic is so perfect, I smile every time I think about it!

      You’re so sweet and thank you for asking, Sue! I’m so touched you want blog about my gingerbread man! I’m sorry, but I prefer my photo not be used because the gingerbread man (in all his ugly glory) is so dear to my heart and special to me. Please feel free though to link to this blog post (I’d dig that).
      Monica <3

  34. The fabulous Sue Smith allegedly said:

    That’s ok Monica, I quite understand and thanks for getting back to me. Feel free to drop by some time, I’m new to the world of blogging but learning as I go!

  35. The fabulous Joanne allegedly said:

    I’m sitting here laughing into my tea! So funny! That damn gingerbread man - bet he looked really wrong with no mouth, no wonder he was put to the back of the tree!

Farting around with needle & thread and then blogging about it.

Monica Solorio-Snow
Happy Zombie

Pacific Wonderland
Astoria, Oregon

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